government crackdown

by Kate Taylor

Canadians reveling in Ryder Hesjedal’s 7th place showing at the recent Tour de France could be forgiven for not knowing that the race itself has rather ignominious roots in the Dreyfus Affair, as the late-19th case of a Jewish army captain falsely convicted of selling French secrets to the Germans is known. Although Alfred Dreyfus was eventually exonerated—going on to serve in the First World War—the debate over his innocence was massively polarizing, splitting France along race lines into camps of so-called “Dreyfusards” and anti-Dreyfusards. The Tour was the brainchild of the anti-Dreyfusardian sports magazine l’Auto, which used it to boost sales and lure readers away from its Dreyfusardian rival Le Velo. Read more…