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Re: Long Lives
« on: July 19, 2020, 12:41 »
Now that's it ! Émile Idée is 100 !!!

Émile Idée is 100 This Sunday. In 1942 He Raced in the Vienne Département

Raphaël Geminiani considered himself the last surviving rider from the 1948 Tour of France. That was inaccurate. They are four survivor : Raphaël Geminiani, Émile Idée, Jacques Marinelli (born on 15 December 1925) and Willy Kemp *lu (born on 28 December 1925).

Earlier this year, journalist Léandre Martin of La Nouvelle République was investigating about the 1942 "Circuit of France" (28 sept to 4 oct.), a kind of small scale Tour of France, in war years, which crossed the demarcation line. Jean Bobet wrote about it in "Le vélo à l'heure allemande". This year's Tour of France comes to Poitiers and starts the next day from Chauvigny. During the 1942 Circuit of France, you had a stage Le Mans - Poitiers (won by the great Frans Bonduel) and next Chauvigny - Limoges. Émile came 2nd in that stage which crossed the demarcation line, won by a certain Georges Guillier. In the general classification, Émile finished 9th. The race was won by François Neuville, Walloon rider (my grandfather remembers him very well !!). 

When Léandre Martin realised that Émile Idée was possibly still alive he was looking up the directory for his phone number and much to his surprise, he found him ! There was an Émile Idée in Marolles-en-Brie, in the Val-de-Marne, Paris. That was the Émile Idée who raced that Circuit of France, 78 years before !

Émile Idée did not wish to race that Circuit of France but he was forced to. Actually he was French champion in Lyon earlier that year and his participation was indispensable. So he participated but ... wearing his Alcyon team jersey. He had just spent one month in jail for crossing the demarcation line (one week at the Prison of Fresnes, three of them at the Prison de la Santé).

It was not a nice memory. It was cold and I was not in great shape. I have a book in which you can see my teammate Jules Rossi and I. We were frozen.

Émile Idée made a great career with a victory in the 13th stage of the 1949 Tour of France. He denied being a great climber but he could do well on the hills of the Chevreuse Valley, hence his nickname "King of the Chevreuse" after he won five times the "Critérium national" (it wasn't until 1981 that it became "international" and was raced in some other places).

Émile Idée was a great rival to Fausto Coppi, twice a runner-up to him at the Grand Prix des Nations in 1946 & 1947.

He was the greatest but I beat him behind derny at the Longchamp criterium. I didn't fear many riders on the track.

Émile Idée is still informed with cycling news on ... the Internet !!

A couple of years ago I still cycled a bit. I have a home trainer but I'm not very courageous.

What he misses most is not seeing the old friends anymore such as Jacques Marinelli.

Picture from the 1942 Tour of France. Émile Idée is on the left along with Louis Thiétard. What do these two have in common? They were second to Rik Vansteenbergen in major classics (Thiétard at the 1946 Tour of Flanders and Idée at the 1948 Paris-Roubaix).

And according to this article from L'Équipe, Émile Idée did not like the Tour of France.  :D


On another note, Jean Brankart *be is now aged 90. He was born on 12 July 1930. He has his birthday on the same day as me. He was 2nd to Louison Bobet at the 1955 Tour of France, winning two stages (one in the Pyrenees and the last time trial) and 2nd to Ercole Baldini at the 1958 Tour of Italy, winning the mountain classification. Unfortunately, he had to stop his career at age 30 with heart problems. Probably, that was a good decision though, if you think he's still alive 60 years later !!!

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