___Race Snippets

 

41st Tour de France 1954

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobet Excels Again

SPECIAL NOTE: The “National Team” structure of the Tour de France in place since 1930 was beginning to deteriorate. In the early days of the National team format the riders were fiercely loyal to their team leader (see Rene's Regal Sacrifice in 1934). Now team leaders are attacked stage after stage by their teammates. Team managers spend a great amount of time trying to keep the team's egos under control. A low level murmuring had begun.

Tour de France history was made in 1954, when Amsterdam (Ned) became the first foreign City to host the start of the race. Stage 1 was 216 km from Amsterdam to Brasschaat (Ned).

While Bobet and the Swiss battled, French regional rider Gilbert Bauvin made the first serious challenge to the Yellow Jaune. In the infamous Circle of Death (the hardest day in the Pyrenees Mountains ), Bauvin joined Spanish climber Federico Bahamontes and Jean Mallejac in a 3-rider breakaway. The trio rode steadily over the Col d'Aubisque and Col du Tourmalet. The winning breakaway's time gain gave Bauvin the overall race lead. Bobet managed to limit his losses to 1'59” and moved into second place overall.

Aggressively the powerful Swiss fought back on the flatter stages leading to the Alps . On stage 14 from Tourlouse to Millau the Swiss set a furious pace and the lead group began to dwindle. The race leader, Bauvin, cracked under the Swiss pressure and dropped off the lead group. In Millau, Ferdi Kubler won the sprint and took the stage win just ahead of Louison Bobet. Bauvin struggled to the finish almost 8 minutes later and surrendered the Maillot Jaune to Bobet.

Entering the Alps on stage 17, the Swiss and French teams had bounced Bauvin back to tenth place in the overall classification. The Swiss strategy was not working; they could not gain time on Bobet. The frantic pace did pay some rewards, as Kubler and Schaer moved into second and third overall, 10 minutes behind Bobet. A dramatic battle was set to unfold on the tough Alpine climbing stages.

Stage 18 from Grenoble to Briancon had long been the site of great TdF exploits. This year the showdown was between Ferdi Kubler and race leader Louison Bobet. A breakaway group of contenders formed on the climb of the Galibier. Bobet began to dominate. One by one all the contenders were dropped and Bobet soloed into Briancon for a 1'49” stage win. Bobet's race lead was 12'49” and the TdF championship was now out of reach.

Louison Bobet gained his second straight Tour de France victory. Ferdi Kubler was second overall and won the Maillot Vert (Green Jersey) points classification. Fritz Schaer was third overall. Federico Bahamontes won his first Best Climber classification .

SPECIAL NOTE: Later in 1954, Louison Bobet's strength continued. He had a dominating win in the World Championship road race. He became only the second rider to win the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey and the World Championship's Rainbow Jersey in the same year. Frenchman Georges Speicher was the first to accomplish this double in 1933.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 AMSTERDAM (Ned)-BRASSCHAAT (Ned), 216 km

Wout Wagtmans (Ned)

Wout Wagtmans (Ned)

Stage 2 BEVEREN (Ned)-LILLE, 255 km

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Wout Wagtmans (Ned)

Stage 3 LILLE-ROUEN, 219 km

Marcel Dussault (Fra)

Wout Wagtmans (Ned)

Stage 4a ROUEN-Circuit des Essarts, 10.4 km TTT SUISSE Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 4b ROUEN-CAEN, 131 km

Wim Van Est (Ned)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 5 CAEN-ST BRIEUC, 224 km

Ferdi Kubler (Sui)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 6 ST BRIEUC-BREST, 179 km

Dominique Forlini (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 7 BREST-VANNES, 211 km

Jacques Vivier (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 8 VANNES-ANGERS, 190 km

Alfred De Bruyne (Bel)

Wout Wagtmans (Ned)

Stage 9 ANGERS-BORDEAUX, 343 km

Henk Faanhof (Ned)

Wout Wagtmans (Ned)

Stage 10 BORDEAUX-BAYONNE, 202 km

Gilbert Bauvin (Fra)

Wout Wagtmans (Ned)

Stage 11 BAYONNE-PAU, 241 km

Stan Ockers (Bel)

Wout Wagtmans (Ned)

Stage 12 PAU-LUCHON, 161 km

Gilbert Bauvin (Fra)

Gilbert Bauvin (Fra)

Stage 13 LUCHON-TOULOUSE, 203 km

Alfred De Bruyne (Bel)

Gilbert Bauvin (Fra)

Stage 14 TOULOUSE-MILLAU, 225 km

Ferdi Kubler (Sui)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 15 MILLAU-LE PUY, 197 km

Dominique Forlini (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 16 LE PUY-LYON, 194 km

Jean Forestier (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 17 LYON-GRENOBLE, 182 km

Lucien Lazarides (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 18 GRENOBLE-BRIANCON, 216 km

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 19 BRIANCON-AIX LES BAINS, 221 km

Jean Dotto (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 20 AIX LES BAINS-BRIANCON, 243 km

Lucien Teisseire (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 21a BESANCON-EPINAL, 134 km

Francois Mahe (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 21b EPINAL-NANCY, 72 km ITT

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 22 NANCY-TROYES, 216 km

Alfred De Bruyne (Bel)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 23 TROYES-PARIS, 180 km

Robert Varnajo (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

 

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

POINT'S COMPETITION

Ferdi Kubler (Sui)

 

TdF July 8-August 1, 1954
4,865 Km

1. Louison BOBET (Fra) 140h06'05"

2. Ferdi Kubler (Sui) +15'49"

3. Fritz Schaer (Sui) +21'46"

Starters: 110
Finishers: 69
Average Speed: 33.229 km/h

 

 

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