I recently picked up this little pamphlet on track racing in France. And with the TDF just around the corner, it seems like it was a good time to post it up.
The title roughly translates to 'Track Cycling – Speed' and it was authored by 4 time [cough] world track champion Lucien Michard.
Michard in himself has a very interesting story. He won his first major sprint at 19 in the Paris 1924 games taking home the gold against rival Jaap Meijer of Holland. Michard then went on to win four-ish World Professioal Championships, the first being in 1927. But here is where the story gets interesting. Michard actually won a total of 5 world championships but lost the 5th on a technicality that the UCI was unwilling to overturn. [please detect sarcastic tone here] I know, the UCI being firm on matters that seem unfair. Weird, I know. At any rate, Copenhagen 1931
was the scene of the crime. Michard was up against a local rider, Willy Hansen. Michard beat Hansen by half a meter. But during the vitory lap, as Hansen raised Michard's hand in congratulations, the official accidentally announced Hansen as the winner!
According to UCI regulations, once an offical makes a call it sticks, no matter what the circumstances. The goal of this rule was to prevent cyclists disputing race results, but in this case it surpassed its original intention. Michard appealed the decision with the blessing of the official but the UCI denied his request and to this day, the win is recorded as Hansen's.
Now onto the pamphlet. Actually there is not much to say seeing that I don't speak french. From what I can gleam, it's all about racing strategy including attacking, riding position, equipment and so on. There is also a nice little section that lists “Les Grandes E´preuves Du Sprint” or Major Sprint Races. The records stop at 1928, so I'm guessing this is booklet is from 1929 or 1930.
Since I wasn't able to translate, I've included a gallery below with all the pages. Fee free to send us any translations or things you find interesting and we'll gladly update this post.
[mbspremium slideshow=1 title="Le Cyclisme Sur Piste- Vitesse" subtitle="Full Version by Lucien Michard"]
Click to start the slide show. Use the fullscreen option to read the text.