Map of the 1978 Tour, Le Blaireau's First Victory
A great pictorial map showing the route taken by the 1978 Tour of France. The race starts in Leiden, passes through Brussels, Caen, Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Metz before wrapping up in the Champs Elysees. The route hits many of the legendary cols of France, including the Tourmalet, L'Alpe D'Huez, La Colombiere, and includes the more atypical Puy de Dome. A cross-section along the bottom shows the hilliest stages of the Pyrenees, the Alps, and the Massif Central.
Classic French pictorial designs decorate the map. Regional depictions show a Breton woman, a Normandie cow, and a sunburnt Belgian child. The mark indicates logos of Le Parisien and L'Equipe, suggesting the map was likely published in both magazines just prior to the 1978 tour.
This edition of the Tour included much of the drama typical of the event. The greats of the previous generation had retired after the 1977 Tour, and injuries had left the field open. Hinault had just come out of winning the Vuelta and thus was a favorite, alongside the Dutch climber Zoetemelk. Minor doping scandals ensued, and the inclusion of the combativity award led to some close battles. Hinault would come out on top, winning the first of his five Tour victories.
The map was sponsored by Leroy Merlin, a French home improvement retailer. Dero was a French artist specializing in depictions on the subject of major sporting events.