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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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L'Auto's Ouvriers de la Pédale

L'Auto's Ouvriers de la Pédale

Work, Class, and the Tour de France, 1903–1939

(p.141) Four L'Auto's Ouvriers de la Pédale
The Tour de France

Christopher S. Thompson

University of California Press

This chapter evaluates the attempts made by the sports daily that organized the race through 1939 to defuse this potential threat by celebrating Tour de France participants as exemplary ouvriers de la pédale (pedal workers) and publicly punishing those who deviated from rigorously enforced rules of appropriate conduct. It notes that racers often resisted this campaign to transform them into “respectable” members of the (lower) middle class and remained true to their working-class identity.

Keywords:   sports daily, race, 1939, Tour participants, pedal workers, middle class, working class

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