May 9 2022
Sprinting Through No Man's Land: Endurance, Tragedy, and Rebirth in the 1919 Tour de France by Adin Dobkin
The Roamers dive into the book Sprinting Through No Man's Land by Adin Dobkin who painstakingly chronicled the journey of the 1919 Tour de France cyclists many of whom had recently completed service in World War I. The ink on the Treaty at Versailles had barely dried when the riders took off on a route around the country's border. Most of the competitors lacked the fitness, resources, and tolerance for pain necessary to endure the 3,450mi race for it was a far cry from the modern tour with teams that posses unlimited funding. The 1919 riders didn't just pedal, they acted as their own mechanic, dietician, doctor, manager, masseur, seamstress and even blacksmith. It was a Tour rich with mythology- the first to introduce the Maillot Jaune (Yellow Jersey), the second longest of all time, but most importantly a race that reunited the war-torn people of France.