Octave Lapize

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameLouis Octave•Lapize
Used nameOctave•Lapize
Nick/petnamesTatave, Le frisé
Born24 October 1887 in Paris XIVe, Paris (FRA)
Died14 July 1917 in Toul, Meurthe-et-Moselle (FRA)
NOC France


Octave Lapize was the only 1908 Olympic cyclist to become well-known as a professional cyclist. In 1907 he won the French road and cyclo-cross championships. In 1909-10 he won Paris-Roubaix and from 1911-13 he won the Paris-Brussels race. He was also French champion on the roads in 1910-13. He raced in the Tour de France from 1909-14 winning the race in 1910, while taking four stages during that race. He attributed his Tour win to his cyclo-cross training which popularized that sport. He also won stages at the Tour in 1912 and 1914, but never again finished the race. He is perhaps best known for his comments to the Tour organizers during the 1910 race, while he ascended the Col du Tourmalet, noting, “Vous êtes des assassins! Oui, des assassins [You are murderers. Yes, murderers.]”

In World War I, Lapize served as a sergeant in the 13th Regiment Artillery, and then transferred to the French Flying Corps as a fighter pilot. He was sent to the front where he served with the N504, the N203, and the N90 in Toul. Lapize was shot down by a German plane on 28 June 1917 but survived. Two weeks later he was shot down again and was more badly injured, dying in hospital from his injuries. He was buried that day at the military hospital but at his family’s request his remains were exhumed and removed to Villiers-sur-Marne where a stage of the Tour de France was started in his memory.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Cycling Track (Cycling) FRA Octave Lapize
Tandem Sprint, 2,000 metres, Men (Olympic) François Bonnet 4 h2 r2/3
20 kilometres, Men (Olympic) AC r2/2
100 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze

Special Notes