The first climbing star is born


René Pottier confirmed his reputation from 1905 by winning four consecutive stages, and with it the race. Moreover, after the comparative success of the previous race, Desgrange had considerably toughened the event; not just the Vosges, but the Chartreuse massif was on the menu, allowing Pottier - "the first king of the climbers" - to slaughter the field. Sadly, his joy was to be shortlived; aged just 29, he committed suicide the following January.

Certainly not for the last time, the Tour also entered the political arena. On the stage through the Alsace, the race passed through the city of Metz. This was the Tour's first foreign excursion, but the location was significant, for Metz - then in Germany - was symbolic of the territory France had lost in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 - 1871. It was to take a far more cataclysmic war before the city would once again become French.

Stage winners

 StageWinnerOverall Leader
Stage 1Paris - Lille, 275kmEmile GeorgetEmile Georget
Stage 2Douai - Nancy, 400kmRené PottierRené Pottier
Stage 3Nancy - Dijon, 416kmRené PottierRené Pottier
Stage 4Dijon - Grenoble, 311kmRené PottierRené Pottier
Stage 5Grenoble - Nice, 345kmRené PottierRené Pottier
Stage 6Nice - Marseille, 308kmGeorges PasserieuRené Pottier
Stage 7Marseille - Toulouse, 480kmLouis TrousselierRené Pottier
Stage 8Toulouse - Bayonne, 300kmJean-Baptiste DortignacqRené Pottier
Stage 9Bayonne - Bordeaux, 338kmLouis TrousselierRené Pottier
Stage 10Bordeaux - Nantes, 391kmLouis TrousselierRené Pottier
Stage 11Nantes - Brest, 321kmLouis TrousselierRené Pottier
Stage 12Brest - Caen, 415kmGeorges PasserieuRené Pottier
Stage 13Caen - Paris, 246kmRené PottierRené Pottier

The race ended with two timed laps of the Parc des Princes velodrome in Paris, the result of which was not counted as an official stage or towards the overall classification. The fastest rider was Emile Georget, who covered the 1332 metres from a standing start in 2' 07.2". Compare this with a modern 1 kilometre time, and bear in mind the riders had earlier in the day completed a road race of over 150 miles!

In a nutshell

Results

Overall

1st: René Pottier, (France), 31 points
2nd: Georges Passerieu, (France), 39
3rd: Louis Trousselier, (France), 59
4th: Lucien Petit-Breton, (France), 65
5th: Emile Georget, (France), 80
6th: Aloîs Catteau, (Belgium), 129
7th: Edouard Wattelier, (France), 137
8th: Léon Georget, (France), 152
9th: Eugène Christophe, (France), 156
10th: Antoine Wattelier, (France), 168

(14th: Georges Bronchard, (France), 256)