Born in the Italian Aosta Valley Garin was a trained chimney sweep and took in December 1901 the French citizenship. He won the 1897 and 1898 cycling classic Paris -Roubaix in 1901 also the bicycle race Paris-Brest- Paris. In 1903 he finally won the first edition of the Tour de France by a margin of nearly three hours, a record that has not yet been outbid. His victory owed the "little chimney-sweep ," as he was called because of his profession, the disqualification of the participant actually leading Hippolyte Aucouturier, that of a car had to be drawn.
The Tour de France 1904 could also win Garin. Subsequently, however, there was a scandal when it was able to show him that he - had taken abbreviations eg forest paths and uses the train to get there faster way point - even as other drivers. It is also known that he used tires that could withstand more pressure, a bar and order 2 km / h could drive faster than the other drivers. After several months of investigation he finally victory was denied and instead awarded to the young Henri Cornet, the fifth-placed on green table.
Garin laid during the race much emphasis on balanced diet, but was also an intense cigarette smoking and wine drinkers. He had two brothers ( Ambroise and César Garin Garin ), who were also racing cyclist.