* 6. The Annual Triporteur Race

The Annual Triporteur Race – le Championnat Annuel des Triporteurs


In 1901, the first official triporteur race took place from Paris to Versailles and back. In 1903 the course was 38km – from Ville-D’ Avray to Palaiseau and back.
From 1922 the Championnat des Triporteurs was held annually in mid-November; the course was 50km. In 1927 it was switched to the 39 km Tour de Paris course. Riders carried 65kg in their pick-up beds; winning times averaged 1hr 30mins.
The race even continued for 3 years during the war.


I’ve managed to buy this original copy of the 1924 French newspaper, ‘Le Miroir de Sports’ which has an excellent full page article on the Championnat Annuel des Triporteurs. You can read it here yourself, in two parts.

The photos are good quality too. I’ve not seen them before on the internet so, hopefully, this will provide further data freely available to anyone else who is interested in researching this very interesting subject.



Here’s a translation of an article in the newspaper ‘Match l’Intran’ (16 Nov 1926) reviewing the 1926 Championship (photo below)

“The start of the Championnat des Triporteurs drew a crowd of sporting cyclists
The drivers of the triportuers which one is accustomed to see cutting across the streets of Paris with complete disdain for danger, held their annual championship Sunday morning.

It is a curious sporting event which obtains continually greater popularity, and must surely contribute to the expansion of this modest means of commercial transport. The winner, over the course via Courbevoie, Pontoise, and return to the Porte Maillot, improved upon previous times.

Thirty-six competitors entered the race. At the start, sixteen of them escaped and, increasing their lead, arrived at the finish with nearly eleven minutes’ lead over their closest followers.

The winner, Marcel Cognasson, a deliveryman for a printer in Faubourg Saint-Honoré, whose club is Vélo-Club de Billancourt, is a remarkable athlete. With a “tri” loaded with the regulation weight of 65 kg, he succeeded in covering the distance, in spite of a strong wind, in 1 hour 48 minutes and 52 seconds, at an average speed of 29.087 km/h.

How many cyclists could acheive the same time on this same course?”


With thanks to the website below (where you can find a comprehensive review of dates and times of the annual championship):


Published on October 17, 2007 at 5:28 am  Leave a Comment  

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