Roger Pingeon, a 27-year-old cyclist who almost left a cycling to return to his job as a sheet metal worker, today won the sport's richest prize, the Tour de France.
RIDERS IN TIME TRIAL: PINGEON WINNING: PINGEON ON DAIS.
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Background: Roger Pingeon, a 27-year-old cyclist who almost left a cycling to return to his job as a sheet metal worker, today won the sport's richest prize, the Tour de France.
At least 300,000 excited Parisiens line the streets leading to the Parc des Princess stadium in Paris, to cheer him to the finish.
Pingeon had led the Tour, apart from one day, since July 4 and today underlined his superiority over Spaniard Julio Jiminez, the runner-up in the Tour, by beating him in the time-trial which ended the Tour.
The Tour covered 2,990 miles (4,780 kms) in 22 stages and for the winner, Pingeon, there lies ahead an income of at least 20,000 sterling from advertising, retainers and appearance money.
Pingeons established an early superiority in the Tour. On the fifth stage, he romped away to win the Yellow Jersey of the stage winner for the first time. After that he only once had to pass the Jersey to another rider.
Yet only a year ago, Pingeon quit cycling because of a run of bad luck in the Paris-Nice race. But he was persuaded to change his mind. Now, he is the sport's top man.