The third international "Tour D'Algerie" is due to end in Algiers on the second of April.
SV Czech team preparing
SV Yugoslav team
SV Swedish team
GV Polish team checking tyres
SV Belgian team
SV Swiss team
GV West German team
SV Moroccan team
SV Soviet team make final preparations
SV Starter calling cyclists to line
SV Crowd look on
SV PAN ALONG start of race - riders away
Initials OS/1632 /OS/1642
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Background: The third international "Tour D'Algerie" is due to end in Algiers on the second of April.
Sixteen nations are represented in this year's race, and a record 102 competitors are taking part. The countries represented are Algeria, Belgium Bulgaria, Italy, Morocco, Poland West Germany, Rumania, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia - and for the first time, Denmark, Holland and Czechoslovakia.
The cyclists had a journey of more than 1060 miles (1720 kms) ahead of them when they set out from Algiers on Tuesday (21 March). The fist stage of sixty miles (98kms) was to be over gentle hill country and to end with a mass spring into the town of Ouzou.
SYNOPSIS: Cyclists from Czechoslovakia are competing int his year's tour of Algeria cycle race for the first time. Sixteen national teams gathered at Algiers on Tuesday for the start of the race -- which won't end until April the second.
Poland has been represented in the race before - as has Belgium. A record number of 102 competitors are taking part - all of them amateur cyclists. It's the third time this international event has been held. There are six cyclists in the team from West Germany.
For all the teams - the last few hours before the start were a time for final checks and preparations.
The race is run in twelve stages...a total of more than one thousand and sixty miles (1720 kms). This first day's run was to the town of Ouzou about 60 miles away, and was to include a gentle hill section and a mass sprint. There is no clear favourite for the race - but the organisers have predicted an exciting contest in a race that they see as a major test of endurance.