Louis Trousselier bigraphy, stories - French racing cyclist

Louis Trousselier : biography

1881 - April 24, 1939

Louis Trousselier (1881 - April 24, 1939) was a French racing cyclist.

He was born in Levallois-Perret (Hauts de Seine) in 1881; some sources say on January 29, others June 29. He died in Paris on April 24, 1939.

He is most famous for his 1905 victory in the 1905 Tour de France. His other major wins were Paris–Roubaix, also in 1905, and the 1908 Bordeaux–Paris. He came third in the 1906 Tour de France and won 13 stages of the Tour de France over his career. He also competed in the men's 25 kilometres event at the 1900 Summer Olympics.

Trousselier, known as Trou-Trou, came from a rich family which had a flower business in central Paris. For that reason, when Henri Desgrange, the first organiser of the Tour, sought to popularise competitors by giving them nicknames, he referred to Trousselier as "the florist".

Trousselier's brothers Léopold and André were also racers but they never had the success of Louis, who was only 18 when he won Paris–Roubaix-Antwerp against the stars of the day. He rode his first Tour de France in 1905, taking a few days' official leave from his service as a soldier and depending on doing well to save himself from too strong a penalty - potentially as a deserter - when he got back much later. He dominated the race winning five stages, completing the 3,021 km in 110 hours 26 minutes and 58 second at an average speed of 27.48 km. He won win 35 points ahead of Hippolyte Aucouturier (61 pts) and Jean-Baptiste Dortignacq(64pts). Victory brought him all his prizes, contracts to ride all over France and a bonus from his sponsor. But that night, in a trackside cabin in Paris, he lost the whole lot playing dice with friends.

"There's always another Tour to win it back again", he is reputed to have said, although he never rode as well again. The one bet that he did win was that the army would forgive him for overstaying his leave.

He rode the Tour well again in 1906 but never to the level of the previous year, nevertheless winning stages and finishing third. He became a specialist in long-distance racing, in 1908 winning Bordeaux–Paris 26 minutes ahead of the next rider, Cyrille van Hauwaert. He twice came second in the race and once third. He came second in the 1906 Bol d'Or 24-hour race at the Vélodrome Buffalo in Paris. He rode a six-day event on the track, although he decided against specialising in what could have been a profitable career.

He stopped racing just before World War I and took over the family business.

Trousselier had an entertaining personality and a taste for practical jokes. He was known for training with friends and stopping with them at the most expensive restaurant they could find. Towards the end of the meal, they would start a mock argument in which their raised voices attracted the attention of the restaurateur. When he went to intervene, he was told the argument was over who among them was the best rider. The only way to settle it was a race and the restaurateur was invited to set a local landmark several kilometres distant to which the riders would race and then turn and race back to the restaurant. Whoever came in last would pay the bill.

The restaurateur would then set his diners off on their race... only for them never to return.

Major achievements

Tour de France – 20px1st overall and 5 stage wins
1906 Tour de France
3rd overall and 4 stage wins
1907 Tour de France
2 stages (one tied with Emile Georget)
1909 Tour de France
1 stage win
1910 Tour de France
1 stage win

Grand Tour General Classification results timeline

Grand Tour 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914
Tour 1 3 DNF-10 DNF-2 8 DNF-14 DNF-3 DNE 11 38
Vuelta N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine