44 heures d'un marathon extraordinaire

BC Randonneurs Cycling Club


This account by Maurice Macaudière about PBP 1966 was written for the internal newsletter of the U.A.F. (Union des Audax Français) and was published in the issue no. 426 in January 1967. Maurice Macaudière was co-1st finisher of PBP 1966 along with Robert Demilly. Their time of 44 h 21 was a new course record.

Many thanks to Jean Richard who retrieved this piece from his personal archives, copied it out, and asked for and received M. Macaudière's permission to let us republish his words on this web site. Jean Richard has also offered some notes (in English), which I have arranged in the appendix below. These notes provide some contextualizing and other information helpful to those of us who are removed by time, distance, and culture from the events described .

Towards the end of the article M. Macaudière has written a few lines about each of the main players in PBP 1966 - Jean Richard suggests that it might be helpful to read these first.
[Eric Fergusson - May 2004]

Appendix to:
44 heures d'un marathon extraordinaire by Maurice Macaudière (PBP 1966)
Prepared by Jean Richard in May 2004, edited (minimally) by Eric Fergusson

Notes by Jean Richard:

I have copied the whole text by Maurice without any changes, but it is necessary to add some words of explanation in order to facilitate understanding for present day readers who cannot imagine what happened in France between 1950 and 1966. Moreover, the statement [Macaudière's article] is directed to readers who were themselves active riders in 1966, and aware of current and past events - references and innuendo that would have been understood at the time by those readers, are not so obvious now so many years later.

1. Regarding the foreword...

There were two main makers of randonneur bicycles in France:

The late René Herse, from Levallois, a suburb of Paris, who helped our team in 1966: he was already aged, I do not know exactly how old he was, but his daughter Lyli (the Jeannie Longo of her generation) was born in 1927, one can estimate he was born between 1900 and 1905.

The late Jo Routens, from Grenoble (younger than René Herse), who won the male tandem category of PBP in 1948, 1951 and 1956.

...for the readers from 2004 onwards, it is enough to know that there was some rivalry or emulation between two bicycle makers who had different conceptions of the job, and used PBP (among other events) as test for their own material.

2. In the text by Maurice, some abbreviation or other appears, U.A.F. should be all right [here it is anyway - Union des Audax Français], but C.T.L. means Cyclo-Touristes Lyonnais: Rolland Bailly is from Lyon, Maurice is from Roanne, not very far from Lyon and St-Étienne, and they were members both of UAF and CTL: it was an agreement between the two clubs that the riders had a free choice, for which one they rode.

3. Maurice speaks often about a "404": it was a car type (good middle class) from Peugeot, the vehicle driven by René Herse and his daughter Lyli, our helpers.

4. Further, he speaks about "la voiture du Télégramme": " le Télégramme de Brest " is an important newspaper in the Bretagne, and had sent some cars onto the PBP route in order to shoot several pictures and make short interviews.

5. Jean de Chalons was a well known member of the UAF, who was still active although he should have been already 70.

6. The names "Dolpyc" and "Nestozyl" applied to French pharmaceutics, that do not exist anymore. The first one was a very common revulsive, the strongest one at the market, with a penetrating fragrancy which ruled over every group of randonneurs, the second one was exclusively intended for the protection of the backside during long rides. (Once, in a PBP of the fifties, a participant, in Rennes on the way back to Paris, kept both tubes in the same pocket of his jersey: he was already very tired, after 850 km, and erroneously creamed his backside with the revulsive. As he understood the confusion, it was too late: screaming out, he had to be driven urgently to the next hospital for a cautious cleaning and lost much time!…)

The comments below by Jean Richard are directed to me [Eric Fergusson] but also make an interesting footnote about this process of uncovering PBP's history - I thought they might be of interest more broadly. In the course of resurrecting M. Macaudière's article, Jean contacted the author to ask for his permission to republish the article on this web site.

A statement by Maurice Macaudière about the PBP 1966 was written for the internal newsletter of the U.A.F. (Union des Audax Français) and was published in the issue no. 426 in January 1967. I have found the booklet again in my archives, by my search for any documents that could be useful in order to enlarge your notable historical PBP pages of the Canadian Randonneurs.

On the next morning, I have searched the phone number of Maurice in France, and called him. The last time we had spoken together should have been maybe 1967: nevertheless, it was as we would have met us for a couple of days! Of course, we have exchanged some personal details: "how are you, what are you doing now", and so on… and then I told him about www.randonneurs.bc.ca, and asked him whether he would agree with the publication of his aforesaid statement. Immediately, he answered: " -Jean, tu peux faire ce que tu veux, c'est toi qui vois… " ( a very flattering answer for me, this unconditional green light…) I thanked him, and he thanked me too!
In all, we spoke only 17 minutes.