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April 21, 2017
Photography by Shane Stokes
It may have been hours before the team presentation held on the day before Paris-Roubaix, but the cycling aficionados were already in attendance. As they waited for the riders, they wandered around a pop-up market held metres from the sign-on area in Compiègne’s Place Charles de Gaulle.
For those interested in the sport’s past, it was a treasure trove of memorabilia. A wide range of items were on sale, including old books, magazines, comics, miniatures of riders and Tour caravan vehicles, board games and components. There were ancient jerseys, board games featuring champions such as Laurent Fignon and Bernard Hinault, records, videos, commemorative plates and medals.
Amongst those checking out the gems on display was Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix race director Christian Prudhomme. He spent some time looking at the items on display and also spoke to the various sellers, who were as engaged by the conversation as he was.
He also talked to CyclingTips’ David Everett, telling him that he had a mountain of such items at home. He reminded him that he used to be a journalist and, pointing to a 1989 annual from the world championships in Chambéry, said it was the first year he worked as a commentator.
Check out the gallery to see a sample of the items on display from the market. The memorabilia serves as a reminder of what some would term the sport’s golden era, a time before clipless pedals, electronic shifters, designer shades and immaculately-surfaced roads.