Bike rides in Montluçon to celebrate the centenary of the Premier Pas Dunlop (1923-2023)

That’s what’s called pacing… Indeed, the Premier Pas Dunlop cycling event celebrates its centenary this year (1923-2023). Already in existence since 1914, but under the name of the Prix du Premier Pas, it was not until 1923 that it was sponsored and organized by the company, whose main French factory was and is still located in Montluçon. (Allier), thus becoming in fact the… Premier Pas Dunlop.

The story

Originally open to all novice cyclists, this race then officially served as the French championship for beginners, then for juniors, from 1952 to 1981. Each time with several stages throughout France, then a national final . Big names in the discipline have won it, such as Raphaël Géminiani in Montluçon in 1943, or Bernard Hinault in 1972.

Less important in recent years, the ordeal continues nevertheless. With arrivals in Saint-Amond-Montrond (Cher) in 2017 or in Cusset (Allier) in 2008. The last edition dates from 2021, in Lorrez-le-Bocage-Préaux (Seine-et-Marne). And at the same time, in Montluçon, the EDSM Cyclo pays tribute to him every year with its hikes entitled Premier Pas Dunlop.

Centenary Walks

So, for the hundred years, the club could not do nothing. “This year, our cycle tour will be organized on Saturday March 18, 2023… Coincidentally, the first edition of the Premier Pas Dunlop took place on March 18, 1923”, explains the association in a press release. “On this occasion, two courses of 50 and 80 km, as well as a concentration, will be offered”, it is added.

“This event is accessible to all cycling enthusiasts, licensed or not”. Mountain bikes and electric bikes will also be allowed. “The circuits, marked and arrowed, will be done in strict compliance with the Highway Code, without timing or classification”, wishes to specify the club. “Those under 18 must be accompanied and have a helmet, the wearing of which is also strongly recommended for all participants”. In short, everything will be done to make it run at one hundred percent…

This Saturday, March 18, 2023

First Step Dunlop. Bike rides of 50 km or 80 km, and concentration, on Saturday March 18, organized by EDSM Cyclotourisme. Commitments: 3 € for the 50 km?; 5 € for the 80 km?; and €3 for concentration. To be performed on site the same day, at the Dunlop stadium in Montluçon (Allier), from 1 p.m.

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“I remember it like it was yesterday”: Raphaël Géminiani recounts his victory at the Premier Pas Dunlop in 1943 in Montluçon [26/08/2020]

Text: Luc Barre
Photos: The Mountain archives