Vintage 1934 🇫🇷 Tour de France bicycle water bottle
From 1910 to 1937 the water bottles were made of tin-welded sheet metal with a capacity of about half a liter, sealed with a cork. The panniers were gradually replaced by double bottle cages made of steel wire, attached to the center of the handlebars on each side of the stem. The filling is ensured by the riders themselves, then they are supplied during the refreshments.
Two advertisements are mentioned on the Tour de France 1934 water bottle with the name of the company Bourcier, specialized in the sale of liqueurs and syrups.
• BISKRA CRISTAL POUR FAIRE LA MEILLEURE ORANGEADE
• SORRENTE CRISTAL POUR FAIRE LA MEILLEURE CITRONNADE
The Bourcier Frères establishments were specialized in the sale of liqueurs and syrups. Based at 40, rue du Parc in Ivry-sur-Seine in the south-east suburbs of Paris.
Size: Approximately 17,5cm x 7,5cm
Made in France
PLEASE NOTE to review the photos carefully to determine the condition.
They can be found at all levels of the race: in the "musettes" at the "official feeding stations", in the team managers' cars that provide water for the lonely riders, and the leaders' teammates, the so-called water carriers, who are responsible for bringing the precious beverage to their thirsty champions. On average, a runner can drink up to 6 liters of water during a stage. The water bottle is therefore an indispensable ally of the cyclist, who pays great attention to it.
In the 1950s, deprived of direct assistance from team cars and limited to water refreshments at official controls, thirsty racers fetched water whenever they could, especially during unofficial raids in cafés.
These were impromptu descents on cafés and restaurants by the domestiques who would throw their bikes down at the side of the road, burst into the establishment and strip it bare of any bottles they could lay their hands on. With pockets full and any additional bottles stuffed up their jerseys the riders would hightail it back to the peloton to distribute their plunder among their team mates. For the café and restaurant owners it was good fun, a chance to rub shoulders with the riders and be part of the history of the race, and it gave them a story with which to regale customers for weeks to come. In most cases the race organizers would settle the bill afterwards.
It is a scene that we are unlikely to see repeated in modern professional cycling. Team cars start the day stocked with water, soft drinks, and the latest in sports performance drinks to ensure that the riders remain hydrated and fuelled. And, should they find themselves separated from the team car, there are always the motorbikes that shadow the peloton, ever ready to distribute their sponsors.
Today, riders continue to take on drinks at official feeding stations but may also be continuously supplied from kilometre 50. Restrictions still exist, most notably on final climbs and in the last 20 kilometres of a stage but this is more to prevent vehicles from impeding the race or providing a tow for riders taking advantage of their slipstream.