Faber was offered a spot as his military unit's cyclist in 1915 but refused.
"I prefer to serve in the trenches. I know all about trench work and I have more chance of bringing down Germans there than as a cyclist," he said, according to Healy.
Stage 6 also takes riders along Chemin des Dames, a 30-kilometer ridge road and the site of one of the most disastrous French offensives of the war, where hundreds of thousands of men were killed in only a few weeks.
Two other Tour champions died near the route of Stage 7, from the Champagne town of Epernay to the northeastern city of Nancy; Octave Lapize, the 1910 winner, and Lucien Petit-Breton, a two-time winner in 1907 and 1908.
Lapize, who once famously called Tour organizers "assassins" for sending riders up impossibly steep climbs in the Pyrenees mountains, died when his biplane was shot down in a dogfight on Bastille Day, 1917, near the village of Flirey. This year the Tour will pass through Flirey on July 11.
Petit-Breton, who took part in nine of the first 12 Tours, was killed in an automobile accident while on an army mission near the front, which riders will trace on the way to Nancy.
Stage 7 also passes Verdun, a pivotal World War I battlefield where an estimated 300,000 French and German troops were killed — most ripped apart by the apocalyptic shelling that permanently disfigured the landscape.
Before the riders leave the battlefields behind and attack the Alps, one last, poignant reminder of World War I awaits. As they travel from Mulhouse to Besancon for the race's first rest day on July 15, the road passes close to the tiny village of Joncherey.
The village has a memorial to Jules-Andre Peugeot — a 21-year-old corporal killed in a skirmish with German troops on Aug. 2, 1914, making him the very first casualty on the war's Western Front.
On the web:http://www.letour.fr/us/ http://www.wielermuseum.be
Follow Greg Keller on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Greg_Keller
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