Henri Pelissier

BornJanuary 22, 1889 in Paris, France
DiedJune 1, 1935 in Suresnes, France
DisciplineRoad Cycling
Pro Career1911 – 1928
TeamsLa Française (1911-1914), Peugeot (1919-1924), Automoto (1925-1927), Armor (1928)
Major Wins1 Tour de France (1923), 1 Paris-Roubaix (1919), 1 Milan-San Remo (1912), 2 Paris-Tours (1911, 1920), 2 Paris-Brussels (1919, 1920), 1 Grand Prix de Paris (1921)

Henri Pelissier was a French road cyclist who was born in Paris on January 22, 1889. Between 1911 and 1928, he competed as a professional cyclist for a number of teams, notably Peugeot and Automoto.

Pelissier’s aggressive riding style and ability to ascend mountains helped him win the Tour de France in 1923. In addition to winning Paris-Roubaix, Milan-San Remo, and Paris-Tours, he also won a number of other significant races.

Francis and Charles Pelissier, two of Pelissier’s brothers, also competed at the top levels of cycling. The three brothers were well-known for their passionate personalities and fierce competition, which frequently resulted in clashes with race organizers and other riders. Henri was very outspoken and critical of the difficult conditions cyclists had to undergo during races, including as long stages, poor roads, and inadequate nutrition.

In 1924, Henri and Francis abandoned the Tour de France in protest of the event organizers’ brutal treatment of riders. They disclosed to the press the numerous techniques and medications used by cyclists to cope with the physical and mental stress of racing. This scandal, known as the “Pélissier affair,” prompted a public outcry and led to the installation of improved food and facilities for cyclists, among other measures.

Henri Pelissier’s Greatest Accomplishment:

1912Milan-San Remo
1919Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Brussels, 2nd overall in Tour de France
1920Paris-Tours, Paris-Brussels
1921Grand Prix de Paris
1923Tour de France

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