Historic Overview Romain Maes
Romain Maes (pronounced [ʁɔ.mɛ̃ maːs]; 10 August 1912 – 22 February 1983) was a Belgian cyclist who won the 1935 Tour de France after wearing the yellow jersey of leadership from beginning to end. Maes was the 13th child in his family. He started racing when he was 17. He turned professional in 1933 and won the Omloop van het Westen (Tour of the West). The following year he started the Tour de France and twice finished stages in second place. He then crashed on the day from Digne to Nice and left the race in an ambulance.
His win in 1935 ended a six-year run by French riders. He became a hero in Belgium.
He won the 1936 Paris–Roubaix but wasn't given the victory. The judge said he had seen the Frenchman, Georges Speicher, win. In 1938 he was well on the way to winning Paris-Brussels, leading the race by 100m with only 500m to go. He rode into the velodrome on which the race finished, crossed the line and stopped. The chasers, who had remembered that there was a further lap to ride, swept by him. Maes realised his mistake too late and Marcel Kint won.
Maes started the Tour de France in 1939 and won the stage from Caen to Vire, a time trial over 63 km. It gave him the lead. Then he crashed on the eighth stage and abandoned the race.
Maes rode on the track for several years with his namesake, Sylvère Maes, to whom he wasn't related.
Romain Maes stopped racing in 1944 and opened a bar, "In de Gele Trui" (In The Yellow Jersey), near the North station in Brussels.