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Smoking and the TdF.(5 posts)

Smoking and the TdF.cydswipe
Dec 2, 2002 7:04 PM
I have been looking at some cycling related posters/art lately. I run across the same batch often. The one I am curious about is the "smokers". What was the deal? Today, I couldn't imagine pro cyclists smoking. Anyone know the backstory to this?
Once upon a time.....Alexx
Dec 2, 2002 8:38 PM
Many years ago, there was a popular conception of using a cigarette to "loosen the phlegm" in the lungs of athletes. Many runners in the early 1900's did this, and I'm sure that cyclists did, too.
re: Smoking and the TdF.Racer C
Dec 2, 2002 8:38 PM
It wasn't always known that a low heart beat could make someone an incredible endurance athlete. If I remember correctly, Fausto Coppi's main rival in the 1952 Tour was ordered by his doctor to smoke 3 cigarettes per day to speed up his abnormally low heart rate.
True - Gino Bartali was under Dr.'s orders to smoke ...Gregory Taylor
Dec 3, 2002 6:41 AM
... a couple of coffin-nails a day during the race season. If you take a look at cigarette ads from that period (40's and 50's), you can see similar claims.

For a good collection of stuff like that - old ads, etc. - cruise over to http://www.lileks.com - he has a cool/hilarious collection of stuff (the Gallery of Regrettable Food is a killer) that is worth many hours of winter surf-time.
As a messenger I probably smoked a car/pack a day. (nm)onespeed
Dec 3, 2002 7:51 AM