Tom Isitt Riding in the Zone Rouge
The Circuit des Champs de Bataille –Tour of the Battlefields – bicycle stage race was held in the spring of 1919, less than six months after the end of the First World War. It covered 2,000 kilometres and was raced across the Zone Rouge – the battlefields of the Western Front.
Many of the riders came to the event straight from the army and rode its 18-hour stages through sleet and snow, across the very battlefields on which they had fought, and lost friends and family, only months before. With such a demanding route, ridden using only rudimentary equipment and plagued by such terrible weather conditions, the race was so tough that only 21 riders finished, and it was never staged again.
Despite its extraordinary story, today the race is largely forgotten. Join journalist, Tom Isitt, as he shares this epic tale of human endurance, suffering and triumph over extreme adversity.
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