If you've ridden Col de Braus you might know of him. If you are a fan of Tour de France history you most probably do know of him. If you grew up in a cycling family on the Côte d'Azur between 1930 and 1980 you definitely will know of him.
Le Roi René. Monsieur Vietto.
He inspired so many in our region and, during his peak, many more around the world. Just before the so-called glory years of the Tour, but when the world of cycling was moving towards the tipping point and becoming global news, René found his wings.
He never actually won the Grand Boucle; the war took over the world. A symbol of suffering and sacrifice. But it's been so long, why should anyone care?
Ask Julien Camy. Monsieur Camy has a personal quest to document the life of Le Roi.
A film is a moving memoir. There are stories to be told, people to be remembered, achievements to be celebrated.
Vintage footage, scenes and roads revisited, emotional interviews from contemporaries that make the link back to another time, bringing a great era to life for those who missed it.
Julien Camy has been searching out friends, competitors and fans. He has been buried in the archives and digging through the online forums. And the objective is an hour-long, in-depth look at one of the most interesting characters to grace the world of professional cycling.
The photo on the right is René racing over Col de Nice, a climb we ride regularly to reach L'Escarène and the high moutains beyond. Seeing this photo shows the heritage of the roads we ride on and is part of the reason why we believe Julien's project is important.
So if you have ridden Col de Braus, if you take inspiration from cycling's history or if you are simply interested in a great human story, we subtly suggest you contribute to Julien's project HERE