Austria's Max Bulla was the revelation of the 1931 Tour de France, winning three stages and finishing 1st among the Touristes-Routiers, and 15th overall. One of three riders in a breakaway on Stage 2, Bulla won the sprint into Dinan and took the Yellow Jersey by 1'47". On Stage 3 he was caught off the back with a group of unhelpful Independents, and lost 26 minutes and the Yellow Jersey. Bulla won again on stage 12 from breakaway companion Catalini, finishing 2'07" ahead of the next rider and over 20 minutes ahead of the yellow jersey group of Antonin Magne. Bulla's third win came on the mountainous Stage 17, from Grenoble to Aix-les-Bains, over the Lautaret and Galibier climbs.
Of the 40 Independents who started that year, only 7 made it to Paris.
Seen here on Stage 4, from Brest to Vannes, Bulla has flatted his rear tire just before the finish, and burst into tears. Sympathetic spectators watch from the convertible. Note the Oscar Egg jersey, long arms on the rear brake caliper, large single-arm wing nuts on the rear wheel, and high handlebar position. What is the oval item between the seat stays, above the rear brake?
From "Match l'Intran" No.257, 11 August 1931. Click on pic for larger image.
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