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French CyclingA Social and Cultural History$
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Hugh Dauncey

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318351

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317859

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Towards Sporting Modernity: Sport as the Driver of Cycling, 1891–1902

Towards Sporting Modernity: Sport as the Driver of Cycling, 1891–1902

(p.44) 3 Towards Sporting Modernity: Sport as the Driver of Cycling, 1891–1902
French Cycling
Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses how sports in general and cycling in particular found an environment propitious for their growth in the midst of increasing prosperity, literacy, the developing strength of the bourgeosie and the significance of the industrial working class at the end of the nineteenth century. It explains that French sport was at a point where it could build upon the solid beginnings by cycling — particulary on the model of its clubs and associations. Specifically, this chapter covers the activities of the French national cycling federation, a number of popular and now iconic races of this period organized by the press and the newspapers of the time that made cycling and sport their business. Such discussion also leads to a look at the birth of the Tour de France in 1903 and the analysis of why it was French cycling that led to the creation of the earliest of international governing bodies for sport, the Union cycliste internationale .

Keywords:   French cycling, cycling federation, clubs, Tour de France, Union cycliste international, bourgeoisie

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