A new formula is devised


Trousselier left nothing to chance; it was said that after reaching one control in the lead, he smashed the ink stands so that those behind him could not sign in...

The Tour is finished", wrote Henri Desgranges in 1904, "and I am very afraid that its second edition will be the last. It will have been killed by its own success, driven out of control by blind passion, by violence and filthy suspicions worthy only of ignorant and dishonourable men". One wonders whether he really meant it or not; at any rate, the Tour was back on for 1905. the stages were shortened to eliminate the night riding, but the number of stages was increased to 11, with a trip through the Vosges thrown in for good measure. Moreover, to attempt to reduce the temptation to cheat, the classification was based on points rather than time, a formula which was retained until 1913.

Cheating still went on, of course. An estimated 125 kilograms(!) of nails were thrown on the road during the first stage, with the result that just 15 riders reached the finish from more than sixty who had started. Initially Desgranges wanted to cancel the whole race; eventually he relented, re-admmitting to the race anyone who had made it to the finish, whether by bike or by train. The next day saw the field tackle the Tour's first true mountain stage. The sensation was René Pottier, who climbed the Ballon d'Alsace without dismounting, at an average speed of over 20km/h. It wasn't to help him, however; he retired with tendonitis the next day, leaving the path to victory clear for Louis Trousselier, the public's beloved "Trou-Trou". Not that he left anything to chance; it was said that after reaching one control in the lead, he smashed the ink stands so that those behind him could not sign in...

Stage winners

 StageWinnerOverall Leader
Stage 1Paris - Nancy, 340kmLouis TrousselierLouis Trousselier
Stage 2Nancy - Besançon, 299kmHippolyte AucouturierRené Pottier
Stage 3Besançon - Grenoble, 327kmLouis TrousselierLouis Trousselier
Stage 4Grenoble - Toulon, 348kmHippolyte AucouturierLouis Trousselier and Hippolyte Aucouturier, equal
Stage 5Toulon - Nîmes, 192kmLouis TrousselierLouis Trousselier
Stage 6Nîmes - Toulouse, 307kmJean-Baptiste DortignacqLouis Trousselier
Stage 7Toulouse - Bordeaux, 268kmLouis TrousselierLouis Trousselier
Stage 8Bordeaux - La Rochelle, 257kmHippolyte AucouturierLouis Trousselier
Stage 9La Rochelle - Rennes, 263kmLouis TrousselierLouis Trousselier
Stage 10Rennes - Caen, 167kmJean-Baptiste DortignacqLouis Trousselier
Stage 11Caen - Paris, 253kmJean-Baptiste DortignacqLouis Trousselier

In a nutshell

Results

Overall

1st: Louis Trousselier, (France), 35 points
2nd: Hippolyte Aucouturier, (France), 61
3rd: Jean-Baptiste Dortignacq, (France), 64
4th: Emile Georget, (France), 123
5th: Lucien Petit-Breton, (France), 155
6th: Augustin Ringeval, (France), 202
7th: Paul Chovet, (France), 231
8th: Philippe Pautrat, (France), 248
9th: Julien Gabory, (France), 255
10th: Julien Maitron, (France), 304

(24th: Clovis Lacroix, (France), 870)