They were two brothers. Roger was born in Bayonne in 1911, Guy following suit in the Landes town of Saint-Geours-de-Maremne in 1916. Over the subsequent years, the family base shifted to Pessac, where their father managed the Médoquine freight station, although their mother reportedly soon moved to Neuilly-sur-Seine, in the suburbs of Paris.
|Roger Lapébie. |
Source: Sud Ouest
The Lapébie brothers both settled in Bordeaux, turning to more conventional day jobs. Guy took over a brasserie on Cours Clémenceau, possibly at number 8 in premises which have now become one of the city’s many Bistro Régent restaurants. As such he became a highly-respected figure among the Bordeaux establishment. He also went on to build a hotel-restaurant in the Pyrenean village of Mourtis which was run by his son Serge (also a professional cyclist) until the latter's accidental death aged just 43 in 1991.
The elder Lapébie, Roger, ran a bike shop on Cours Victor-Hugo before opening another shop in Paris in association with Guy. A quick Google search shows that bikes sporting the Lapébie name have now become desirable collectors’ items, but at the time it was more of a struggle; Roger ended up doing odd jobs to make ends meet and lived on a modest pension once he’d retired. Roger Lapébie died at a hospital in Pessac in October 1996 aged 85, Guy Lapébie died in March 2010 in Bagnères-de-Luchon at the grand old age of 94.
Their names live on in Bordeaux, most notably in the shape of the "Stadium de Bordeaux" velodrome track which was built in the Lac district of the city and opened in 1989, a few years after the cycle track around Parc Lescure (now Parc Chaban-Delmas) was removed to make way for extra seating. The impressive structure, conceived by architect Roger Taillibert, can hold up to 6,600 spectators (4,500 seated), and regularly holds top-level cycling events.
|"Look, no hands!" Guy and Roger Lapébie at the grand opening of the velodrome in 1989. Source: Sud Ouest.|