The leading man in the 1949 Tour de France was Fausto Coppi. His main rival was a teammate in the Italian team: Gino Bartali, the rider who won his second Tour the year before. When, owing to a stroke of bad luck, Coppi ended up being side-lined at one point, Bartali immediately went on the attack. Coppi considered throwing in the towel, but had a change of heart. Luckily for him, because in Paris he managed to score the first of his two tour victories. Our country was able to send two teams to this competition. Marcel Dupont had to settle for a place in the B team, but maybe that is precisely where he struck lucky. Rather than ending up as a helper for Stan Ockers and Rik Van Steenbergen in the A-squad, he headed the team of Sports Manager Sylveer Maes. After the time trial on the last-but-one day, Marcel Dupont came fifth in the final tally, to become the best Belgian cyclist and head back home carrying this striking example of mantelpiece artwork.