It doesn’t get more vintage/retro than at Anjou Vélo Vintage, Saumur. A festival in the centre of France, spread over two days where people are dressed in the style of the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or the 50’s. Main attribute is the bicycle. Dating from the 20th century (up until 1980). Participants, all in style of their favorite decade, could choose to ride a course (35km, 46km or 87 km) with their vintage bike and discover the beautiful wine area of Anjou passing by lots of castles and petite villages.
For the second time I had the privilege this weekend to visit the festival. Last year as a photographer to make some pictures for lecloset.com, which was great fun. But this year was even better! I was so excited when they asked me to be one of the jury members during the ‘Concours d’élégance’, representing my blog.
In the 1920’s, dandies competed in refinement and in distinction during automobile style competitions which flourished a bit everywhere in France. In the same spirit of relaxation, and above all originality, Anjou Vélo Vintage organized, for this third edition, its own ‘Concours d’élégance’ with 4 categories (Authenthic, Trendy, Glamour and Sportif) and 24 participants with their vintage bicycles. Every participant was amazingly dressed and had beautiful old bikes, which made it hard for us, the jury, to decide who would won in each category. The lady on the picture underneath won in the category ‘trendy/branché’.
Another great and main event at the festival was ‘La Retro 1903’. A course of 87 km with famous cyclists from back in the days in honor of the coming 100th edition of the Tour the France. Many famous cyclists were there, but they didn’t ring a bell to me, like Raymond Poulidor, Régis Déléphine, Roger Legeay and Roland Berland. Until I discovered one name which gave me a proud feeling, the famous Dutch cyclist Joop Zoetemelk. Who I accidentally saw arrive at the finish.
I could tell you so much more about this vintage world in Saumur, but really, if you have the chance, visit the festival next year. This year there were 2500 participants riding their bicycles through the French countryside, 20 nationalities, and a true ‘gezellig’ / cosy atmosphere in the special made village. Even if you do not want to cycle. There are vintage shops, food stands, vintage entertainment and beautiful old timers to see. A chance to get a taste how it was in the 20’s. A true treat!
Enjoy the pictures!