Scieur continues the Belgian domination


[In 1919] Scieur had spent a time huddled out of a storm in a doorway mending his tyres after four successive punctures. He had two witnesses: the woman who lived in the house, and a commissaire who checked that he did not accept so much help as a threaded needle to speed him on his way.

Once again the Belgians proved the strongest, placing eight men in the top ten. After finishing second in Cherbourg, 33-year-old Léon Scieur took the overall lead, consolidating it the following day with a seven-minute solo stage win at Brest. Thereafter his lead built up to nearly half an hour by the foot of the Pyrenees, but after Hector Heusghem won in Luchon by 24 minutes, Scieur's lead was down to just four minutes. That was as tight as it got, however, with Scieur slowly easing away all the way back to Paris. Once again Heusghem finished second overall, with Honoré Barthélemy finishing third. In fourth place was Luigi Lucotti, the highest placing yet by an Italian rider.

If these early postwar Tours seem lacklustre by comparison with their modern counterparts, it is perhaps hardly surprising when the logistics are considered: these were races of survival rather than action. 15½ hours Sciuer spent on the road to Le Havre; another 13 hours to Cherbourg, 15 to Brest, nearly 19 to Bayonne. And that is for the winners. What of poor Henri Miège, battered by the roads on the first stage such that he was already nine hours behind the lead; or the Monagesque Laurent Devalle, who took twenty-seven hours and eleven minutes to battle his way from Les Sables d'Olonne to Bayonne. Scieur himself was no stranger to hardship. In 1919, he had punctured four times in succession on the way to Brest. Scieur had spent a time huddled out of a storm in a doorway mending his tyres. He had two witnesses: the woman who lived in the house, and a commissaire who checked that he did not accept so much help as a threaded needle to speed him on his way. He finished in Brest two hours behind Firmin Lambot, and eventually lost the Tour that year by little more than that.

Stage winners

 StageWinnerOverall Leader
Stage 1Paris - Le Havre, 388kmLouis MottiatLouis Mottiat
Stage 2Le Havre - Cherbourg, 364kmRomain BellengerLéon Scieur
Stage 3Cherbourg - Brest, 405kmLéon ScieurLéon Scieur
Stage 4Brest - Les Sables d'Olonne, 412kmLouis MottiatLéon Scieur
Stage 5Les Sables d'Olonne - Bayonne, 482kmLouis MottiatLéon Scieur
Stage 6Bayonne - Luchon, 326kmHector HeusghemLéon Scieur
Stage 7Luchon - Perpignan, 323kmLouis MottiatLéon Scieur
Stage 8Perpignan - Toulon, 411kmLuigi LucottiLéon Scieur
Stage 9Toulon - Nice, 272kmFirmin LambotLéon Scieur
Stage 10Nice - Grenoble, 333kmLéon ScieurLéon Scieur
Stage 11Grenoble - Geneva, 325kmFélix GoethalsLéon Scieur
Stage 12Geneva - Strasbourg, 371kmHoneré BarthélémyLéon Scieur
Stage 13Strasbourg - Metz, 300kmFélix SellierLéon Scieur
Stage 14Metz - Dunquerque, 433kmFélix GoethalsLéon Scieur
Stage 15Dunquerque - Paris, 340kmFélix GoethalsLéon Scieur

Results

Overall

1st: Léon Scieur, Belgium, 5484km in 221h 50' 26" (24.724km/h)
2nd: Hector Heusghem, Belgium, @18' 36"
3rd: Honeré Barthélémy, France, @2h 01' 00"
4th: Luigi Lucotti, Italy, @2h 39' 18"
5th: Hector Tiberghien, Belgium, @4h 33' 19"
6th: Victor Lenaers, Belgium, @4h 53' 23"
7th: Léon Despontin, Belgium, @5h 01' 54"
8th: Camille Leroy, Belgium, @7h 56' 27"
9th: Firmin Lambot, Belgium, @8h 26' 25"
10th: Félix Goethals, Belgium, @8h 42' 26"

(38th: Robert Catelan, France, @62h 19' 57")