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1950 Foldex Official Route Map of the Tour de France Cycling Race

Carte Officielle FOLDEX du Tour de France.

1950 Foldex Official Route Map of the Tour de France Cycling Race


Incredible map with several advertisements geared toward cyclists!



Carte Officielle FOLDEX du Tour de France.
  1950 (dated)    38 x 26.75 in (96.52 x 67.945 cm)     1 : 1524000


This is a 1950 Foldex and La Voix du Nord route map of the Tour de France cycling race. The map depicts France and the surrounding countries from the Atlantic Ocean to Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium and from the English Channel to Spain and the Mediterranean Sea. A highly decorative piece, it combines the official route map of the 1950 Tour de France with local advertisements most likely solicited by La Voix du Nord itself, a daily newspaper from around Lille, France. Numerous cities and towns are labeled along the route, which began and ended in Paris and lasted from July 13th until August 7th. At the center of the map lies a bicycle wheel which contains a section where the owner of the map can include the results from each day's stage. The photograph of six different racers, including Jean Robic and Gino Bartali, encircle the results section.

Each stage of the race is dated, with the start and finish towns illustrated by white boxes. The black boxes represent the cities which hosted a rest day, and the black dots along the route are the towns where teams could pass out food and other supplies to their racers. The two individual time trial stages are labeled using clocks, since they are known as 'races against the clock'. These took place in Brittany from Dinard to St. Brieuc on July 19th and from St. Étienne to Lyon in southeastern France on August 5th. In the lower right corner, an inset map of the July 25th stage from Pau to St. Gaudens details the day's route, which was the race's hardest mountain stage. The racers climbed the famous Col d'Aubisque, the Col du Tourmalet, and the Col d'Aspin. A profile of the stage is included below the inset. In the lower right corner, the stages from Nice to Gap, from Gap to Briançon, and from Briançon to St. Étienne are illustrated with an inset map and stage profiles. Numerous well-known French cities hosted a tour stage in 1950, including Bordeaux, Angers, Rouen, Lille, Metz, Perpignan, and Nimes. Several advertisements appear along the left and bottom border. These include advertisements for clothing stores, a pharmacy, a company which sold cameras, and a company which sold bicycles.

The Tour de France is one of the three Grand Tour cycling races, along with the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España, which take place annually. In 1950, the race was organized by Le Parisien libéré and L'Équipe, two French newspapers. The map was drawn by Barberousse and printed by Georges Lang in Paris in 1950.


Foldex (1934 - Present) was founded in 1934 by René Costard, trained as a violinist, who decided a change of direction was needed and founded his map business. Foldex created easy-folding maps, which led the company to immediate success and it took its place alongside Michelin as the most successful cartography companies in France. In 1970, the company changed its name to Recta Foldex after a restructuring. Following René’s death, his wife Simone Costard took over the business. In 1985 Simone Costard sold the business to the Swiss cartographer Kümmerly Frey. In 1993, the first Atlas of France in A4 format was published, and the Recta Foldex bought the company Éditions Blay. The two companies merged and became Blay-Foldex.

La Voix du Nord (1941 - Present) is a daily regional newspaper in the Nord region of France. Founded in April 1941, it was from the outset a clandestine newspaper which gave rise to a resistance movement, the Voix du Nord. Jules Noutour and Natalis Dumez founded the paper. Noutour was arrested on September 8, 1943 and deported to Gross Rosen, where he died February 1, 1945. Natalis Dumez survived his arrest and died in 1976. The first edition of La Voix du Nord after liberation appeared on September 5, 1944 with a six column headline reading ‘The Nord Region Is Free.’ Throughout the rest of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, La Voix du Nord continued to adapt to changing situations by adding new sections and supplements, notably complete guides for both radio and television programs.


Very good. Wear along original fold lines. Blank on verso.
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