Old fashiond Tour de France

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The Tour de France was created in 1903. In the early years, when cyclists made their way from start to finish without the support of a team, they would have to stop for eat, rest or have a beer.

Robert Jacquinot having a bowl of soup, a loaf of bread and a couple of reds. He had 482 km to cover that day

Nicolas Frantz and Armand Van Bruaene reading
the “Miroir”, Tour de France 1929 

Alcohol consumption was actually quite common during the Tour until the 1960s. Beer and champagne were in fashion, for the purposes of hydration and making the ride more fun. 

Riders Henri Colle and Charles Parel having a pit stop at a local tavern during the 1921 Tour de France

Smoking was not regarded as something unhealthy up to 1950s. In 1920s it even was believed that cigarette smoking would help open up the lungs. And during early Tours, cyclists would often have a quick ciggie before big climbs to help themselves.

Cyclist smoking while riding the Tour de France, 1927

Gustaaf van Slembrouck smoking during
Tour de France 1927

Until the 1960s, Tour de France riders used substances such as alcohol, ether, strychnine, cocaine, chloroform, nitro-glycerine and amphetamines to dull their pain and reduce the sense of fatigue from the long and excruciating 18-hour stages.

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