Jacques Goddet

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Jacques Goddet ( Col du Tourmalet )

Jacques Goddet (born June 21, 1905 in Paris , † December 15, 2000 ) was a French sports journalist and director of the Tour de France from 1936 to 1986.


Jacques Goddet's father, Victor Goddet, was co-founder and treasurer of L'Auto magazine , the predecessor of L'Équipe , when the directors decided in 1903 to start the Tour de France . After Goddet had finished his studies, he became editor-in-chief of L'Auto in 1931 . In 1932, Goddet was the first special rapporteur for the French press at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles . In 1936 he took over the direction of the Tour de France from Henri Desgrange . In 1937, on his first tour, Goddet allowed the introduction of the gear shift, which Desgrange had always reluctant to use.

During the Second World War, Goddet was strictly against a resumption of the tour , as he feared that his "Peace in July" would be abused by the National Socialists. As a co-owner of the Vélodrome d'Hiver , however, he could not prevent the Velodrome from being used by the Germans for the Rafle du Vélodrome d'Hiver without his consent , when 13,000 Jews were held there before their deportation in July 1942. Goddet called this "the greatest suffering of his life" until his death.

In 1947 Goddet reanimated the Tour de France, which he led from 1963 together with Félix Lévitan until 1986. Goddet then gradually gave up his duties until he appointed Jean-Marie Leblanc as the new tour director in 1988 . During his tenure as director Goddet u. a. also the green jersey and the dotted jersey for the best mountain rider, as well as the time credits when you arrive at the finish.

Jacques Goddet died on December 15, 2000 at the age of 95. The funeral took place in the Invalides in Paris, where only the greatest French are honored. Today a monument on the Col du Tourmalet commemorates Jacques Goddet.

Goddet as a person

Goddet enjoyed great respect among his employees, as he remained a sports journalist in addition to his activities as tour director, newspaper chief and creator of other sporting events. Jacques Goddet was a typical early riser and a fan of gymnastics. He strictly opposed elevators and always preferred to use the stairs. On particularly hot days, Goddet almost always led the tour stages in the uniform of a British colonial officer, with a khaki shirt, knee-length shorts and a pith helmet. Jean-Marie Leblanc, Goddet's successor, kept in touch with him regularly before making important decisions, such as the Festina affair (1998) .

See also

Individual evidence

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