Hey all, it is another early Sunday morning. I am off to Governors Island in a bit.
Today is the final stage of the Tour de France. I liked the way the Tour incorporated elements of WW1 commemoration into some of the racing stages. I hope this continues through 2018. It seems there is so much they could do without impeding on the integrity of the race itself. One thing that is unique about the Tour is that its course changes year-by-year. It seems that for one thing they could alter the course here and there to visit battlefield sights. This seems to have already happened to a certain extent.
This all got me thinking to past tours, including one that took place at one of the most unique moments in pre-war history: the 1910 funeral of King Edward VII. As you can from the image, most of the European crowned heads-of-state turned out. I once wrote something on the TRB Facebook page about how former president Theodore Roosevelt represented the United States and had a good laugh at the pomposity on display. Still, he did get along with many of these people, including Kaiser Wilhelm II.
It is hard to imagine how Europe would have turned out had the Great War not taken place and many of these monarchs not been deposed.
The Tour de France took place two months later and the winner was Frenchman Octave Lapize. When the Great War came Lapize became a pilot in the French Army. He was killed on Bastille Day 1917.
(Funeral image photographed by W. & D. Downey and Lapize image by Agence Roi from Bibliothèque Nationale de France; both via Wikimedia Commons)