___Race Snippets

 

35th Tour de France 1948

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gino “the Pious”, an Inspirational Win

The history of the Tour de France can be put into “tables and lists” of riders who have won grand victories in the overall classification, the climbing or the sprinting classifications, but there are other amazing stories within the TdF that transcend sports. The 1948 TdF is one such story in cycling history. Ten years after his 1938 TdF victory, Gino Bartali would reappear from Italy to give one of the most inspirational cycling performances in TdF history. This year's race would not be remembered for the margin of victory, but instead for the effect it would have on the Italian people and a nation struggling to stabilize its political disorder. CR rates this Tour as #4 on the TOP 25 TOURS of ALL TIMES.

Through the Pyrenees Mountains young, French superstar Louison Bobet took the Maillot Jaune (race leader's Yellow Jersey) and opened a nine-minute lead on second place rider and over twenty minutes on Italian Gino Bartali.

Gino "the Pious" Bartali, a strong Catholic, started to take back time on the leader by winning on stage 7 to holy city of Lourdes . He and Bobet were putting on a back and forth battle. But Bartali was still trail the Frenchman by more than twenty minutes.

Five stages later while resting at the hotel in Cannes, the telephone rang for Bartali. The call was from Alcide de Gaspari, a Deputy (and future leader) of the Italian Christian Democratic Party. Bartali was a very active member of the Party and took great interest in the political upheaval in Italy .

De Gaspari - "Gino, we need you."

De Gaspari was concerned about the widespread civil unrest and perhaps even a civil war because of the shooting of political rival Palmiro Togliatti, Secretary of the Italian Communist Party.

Gino - "But what can I do? I'm here to race the next stage of the Tour de France, not to come home to Italy ."

De Gaspari - "EXACTLY, you can do a lot by just winning stages. If you win a few, it will create a diversion. It will motivate Italian people towards happier feelings. A distraction, believe me we need it."

Gino - "Listen, I will do even better than that, I WILL WIN THE WHOLE TOUR."

The next day was stage 13, 274 km from Cannes to Briancon, featuring major climbing over the Col d'Allos, Col de Vars, and Col d'Izoard. An inspired Gino “the Pious" rode in dominating style. He finished over eighteen minute ahead of the race leader Bobet and climbing into second place in the overall classification, just 1'06" behind the young Frenchman.

Stage 14 featured Bartali again riding an inspired race, aggressively pushing the pace on the grand Col du Galibier and the Col de la Croix de Fer. He eventually broke clear of the remaining pack on the Col de Porte and by the time he reached the finish in Aix-les-Bains the lead was six minutes on his nearest rival. Race leader Bobet finished a distant sixth on the stage, +7'09” behind Bartali. The Frenchman gave up his Maillot Jaune for good.

In Italy a nation watched with great interest and enthusiasm. The Italian excitement grew with each Bartali stage win (7 in total) and the taking of the coveted Maillot Jaune. By the time he reached the finish Paris for the overall Tour de France victory, Italy 's political tensions had quieted. The victory gave Italian's a national hero to rally around.

Something mystical, something magical happened in the summer of 1948 that helped a stumbling nation find its way to renovation and reconciliation. It was a great cycling victory in the Tour de France for Gino Bartali and a great victory in spirit for Italy.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 PARIS-TROUVILLE, 237 km

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Stage 2 TROUVILLE-DINARD, 259 km

Vincenzo Rossello (Ita)

Jean Engels (Bel)

Stage 3 DINARD-NANTES, 251 km

Guy Lapebie (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 4 NANTES-LA ROCHELLE, 166 km

Jacques Pras (Fra)

Roger Lambrecht (Bel)

Stage 5 LA ROCHELLE-BORDEAUX, 262 km

Raoul Remy (Fra)

Roger Lambrecht (Bel)

Stage 6 BORDEAUX-BIARRITZ, 244 km

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 7 BORDEAUX-LOURDES, 219 km

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 8 LOURDES-TOULOUSE, 261 km

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 9 TOULOUSE-MONTPELLIER, 246 km

Raymond Impanis (Bel)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 10 MONTPELLIER-MARSEILLE, 248 km

Raymond Impanis (Bel)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 11 MARSEILLE-SAN REMO (Ita), 245 km

Gino Sciardis (Ita)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 12 SAN REMO (Ita)- CANNES , 170 km

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 13 CANNES-BRIANCON, 274 km

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 14 BRIANCON-AIX LES BAINS, 263 km

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Stage 15 AIX LES BAINS-LAUSANNE (Sui), 256 km

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Stage 16 LAUSANNE (Sui)- MULHOUSE , 243 km

Edward Van Dijck (Bel)

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Stage 17 MULHOUSE-STRASBOURG, 120 km ITT

Roger Lambrecht (Bel)

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Stage 18 STRASBOURG-METZ, 195 km

Giovanni Corrieri (Ita)

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Stage 19 METZ-LIEGE (Bel) 249 km

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Stage 20 LIEGE (Bel)- ROUBAIX , 228 km

Bernard Gauthier (Fra)

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Stage 21 ROUBAIX-PARIS, 286 km

Giovanni Corrieri (Ita)

Gino Bartali (Ita)

 

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Gino Bartali (Ita)

 

TdF June 30-July 25, 1948
4,922 Km

1. Gino BARTALI (Ita) 147h10'36"

2. Brik Schotte (Bel) +26'16"

3. Guy Lapebie (Fra) +28'48"

Starters: 120
Finishers: 44
Average Speed: 33.442 km/h

 

 

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