___Race Snippets

 

25th Tour de France 1931

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Victories in a Row for Team France

National pride was on the line when the very strong Belgian and Italian teams returned to battle the defending Tour de France champion, Andre Leducq (Fra) and his French national team.

With defending champion Leducq struggling, teammate Antonin “Tonin” Magne took leadership of the French team on stage 9. Magne matched the aggressive attacks in the mountains and broke away from his lead group to win the very tough stage by more than 4 minutes. The margin of victory gave Magne the race leadership.

Athletes are notoriously superstitious and Magne was no exception. He considered fan mail unlucky and did not open it until after the race was finished. Between stages, an oversized letter peaked his curiosity and against his superstition he opened it. The letter was from an avid French fan who was visiting Belgian challenger Jef Demuysere's hometown. The fan had over heard several of the town's people talking of a plan for Jef Demuysere to attack Magne on the cobbled roads of Northern France. Demuysere trailed Magne by mere 12'56” and garnered a great deal of Magne's attention from the start of stage 23.

Just as the fan predicted, Demuysere attacked on the famous “pave of the North” (cobblestone roads) with the race leader glued to his wheel. The two were joined in a breakaway by Gaston Rebry (Bel) and they dance across cobbles to the finish. With the weather deteriorating the cobbles got slick. The race leader locked in a decisive battle skids while jumping a railway crossing and fell. Quickly Magner remounts his bicycle and set a rapid pace chasing Demuysere and Rebry. At the finish in Malo-les-Bains, Rebry won the three-rider sprint and grabbed the stage victory. The big winners of the day were Magne, who held the race lead over Demuysere. For Magne a small tip from an avid fan proved to be a blessing.

In Paris on the final stage, Magne rode victoriously around Parc des Princes Velodrome as the joyous French fans invaded the track to celebrate.

Special note: Tour history was made on stage 2 when little known, but talented Austrian Max Bulla won the stage in a 3-man breakaway and took the Maillot Jaune. This marked the first time in the TdF that a touristes-routier (individual rider) had worn the race leader's jersey. Bulla did go on to win 2 other stages, but lost the Maillot Jaune on stage 3 after he finished in 37th place, over 29 minutes off the winning time. Short-lived fame, but even one day in the Maillot Jaune can make a rider's career.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 PARIS-CAEN, 208 km

Alfred Hamerlinck (Bel)

Alfred Hamerlinck (Bel)

Stage 2 CAEN-DINAN, 212 km

Max Bulla (Aut)

Max Bulla (Aut)

Stage 3 DINAN-BREST, 206 km

Fabio Battesini (Ita)

Leon Le Calvez (Fra)

Stage 4 BREST-VANNES, 211 km

Andre Godinat (Fra)

Raffaele Di Paco (Ita)

Stage 5 VANNES-LES SABLES D'OLONNE, 202 km

Charles Pelissier (Fra)

Charles Pelissier (Fra)

Stage 6 LES SABLES D'OLONNE-BORDEAUX, 338 km

Alfred Hamerlinck (Bel)

Raffaele Di Paco (Ita)

Stage 7 BORDEAUX-BAYONNE, 180 km

Gerard Loncke (Bel)

Raffaele Di Paco (Ita)

Stage 8 BAYONNE-PAU, 106 km

Charles Pelissier (Fra)

Charles Pelissier (Fra)

Stage 9 PAU-LUCHON, 231 km

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 10 LUCHON-PERPIGNAN, 322 km

Raffaele Di Paco (Ita)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 11 PERPIGNAN-MONTPELLIER, 164 km

Raffaele Di Paco (Ita)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 12 MONTPELLIER-MARSEILLE, 207 km

Max Bulla (Aut)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 13 MARSEILLE-CANNES, 181 km

Charles Pelissier (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 14 CANNES-NICE, 132 km

Eugenio Gestri (Ita)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 15 NICE-GAP, 233 km

Jef Demuysere (Bel)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 16 GAP-GRENOBLE, 102 km

Charles Pelissier (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 17 GRENOBLE-AIX LES BAINS, 230 km

Max Bulla (Aut)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 18 AIX LES BAINS-EVIAN, 204 km

Jef Demuysere (Bel)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 19 EVIAN-BELFORT, 282 km

Raffaele Di Paco (Ita)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 20 BELFORT-COLMAR, 209 km

Andre Leducq (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 21 COLMAR-METZ, 192 km

Raffaele Di Paco (Ita)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 22 METZ-CHARLEVILLE, 159 km

Raffaele Di Paco (Ita)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 23 CHARLEVILLE-MALO LES BAINS, 271 km

Gaston Rebry (Bel)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 24 MALO LES BAINS-PARIS/Parc des Princes, 313 km

Charles Pelissier (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

 

TdF June 30-July 26, 1931
5,095 Km

1. Antonin MAGNE (Fra) 177h10'03"

2. Jef Demuysere (Bel) +12'56"

3. Antonio Pesenti (Ita) +22'51"

Starters: 81
Finishers: 35
Average Speed: 28.735 km/h

 

 

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