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The Tour de FranceA Cultural History$
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Christopher Thompson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520256309

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520256309.001.0001

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Itineraries, Narratives, and Identities

Itineraries, Narratives, and Identities

(p.51) Two Itineraries, Narratives, and Identities
The Tour de France

Christopher S. Thompson

University of California Press

This chapter demonstrates how the ever-changing itinerary of la grande boucle has been exploited to generate diverse and often opposing views of French society, history, and identity. It evaluates past bicycle races conducted in France and how they affected France's view towards the Tour de France. The chapter shows how the psychological impact of including the lost provinces in the Tour itinerary, from 1906 through 1910 L'Auto persuaded the German authorities to allow the race to pass through Alsace-Lorraine. It explains that L'Auto's use of the Tour's itinerary to honor the sacrifices of so many French soldiers reflected a broader commemorative movement.

Keywords:   la grande boucle, French society, French history, French identity, bicycle race, Tour itinerary, German authorities, French soldiers

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