___Race Snippets

 

42nd Tour de France 1955

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobet Times Three

Two times defending champion Louison Bobet was famous for hard work in training and he set an aggressive early season race schedule for his Tour de France preparation. Coming into the Tour he was slowed by injury, fatigue and saddle sores.

SPECIAL NOTE: After an extensive investigation, Tour officials deemed the finish line camera to be reliable and accurate. In 1955 the TdF adopted the first photo finish to determine the winner of a stage.

The first serious challenger for the Maillot Jaune (race leader's Yellow Jersey) appeared on stage 4. A strong attack by Frenchman Antonin Rolland created a 9-rider breakaway, which finished the stage over 7 minutes ahead of the peloton. Rolland, who was the best-placed rider in the group, took the race lead.

Stage 8 from Thoron les Bains to Briancon featured extraordinary climbing by young Charly “the Angel of the Mountains” Gaul (Lux). Gaul was over 23 minutes behind Rolland in the overall classification and attacked early on the stage. The “Angel of the Mountains” won the stage by 13'47” over a 7 rider Bobet group. The win vaulted Gaul back into the championship hunt.

The classic Alpine stages were done, but the formidable stage from Marseille to Avignon , featuring the mystical climb of Mont Ventoux, still remained. Disregarding the very hot temperatures, Ferdi Kubler (Sui), the 1950 Tour champion, set a torrid pace up the brutal 21 km climb. Only Raphael Geminiani (Fra) dared to follow Kubler's blistering pace. Bobet set a steady but more moderate pace. As the road rose above the tree line, with 6 km to go, Bobet caught and passed the fading Kubler. Delirious and depleted Kubler began to waver and weave over the summit. The brutal Ventoux had claimed another victim. An exhausted Ferdi Kubler did not start the next stage.

Louison Bobet was now setting a pace that no one could match. Over the summit Bobet cruised down the mountain to finish in Avignon almost 6 minutes ahead of race leader Antonin Rolland. The stage win moved Bobet into second place in the overall classification, only 4'53” behind.

The next challenge was the hard climbing stages of the Pyrenees Mountains . Stage 17 featured the climbs of the Col d'Aspin and Col du Peyresourde. Charly Gaul attacked and set the pace. One by one the contenders fell off the pacesetter. Bobet was in only contender who could hold Gaul 's wheel. The Luxembourger won both climbs and soloed into St. Gaudens 1'24” ahead of Bobet for the stage win. The extra effort by Bobet to follow Gaul on the climbs, gave him enough time to the race lead and the Maillot Jaune. A fading race leader Antonin Rolland finished over 7 minutes behind teammate Bobet.

The second day on the Pyrenees climbs, Gaul continued to set the pace. Over the final climb a group of 4, including Bobet and Gaul, slipped away from the pack and rode into Pau over 2 minutes in front of the peloton. The breakaway solidified Bobet's hold on the Maillot Jaune and put Gaul into third overall.

Entering Paris on the final stage, an exhausted Louison Bobet held on for a 4'53” victory. Bobet had accomplished a record tying third TdF win and became the first champion to record three consecutive victories.

 

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1a LE HAVRE-DIEPPE, 102 km

Miguel Poblet (Spa)

Miguel Poblet (Spa)

Stage 1b DIEPPE, 12.5 km TTT Holland Miguel Poblet (Spa)

Stage 2 DIEPPE-ROUBAIX, 204 km

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Wout Wagtmans (Hol)

Stage 3 ROUBAIX-NAMUR (Bel), 210 km

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Wout Wagtmans (Hol)

Stage 4 NAMUR (Bel)-METZ, 225 km

Willy Kemp (Lux)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 5 METZ-COLMAR, 229 km

Roger Hassenforder (Fra)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 6 COLMAR-ZURICH (Sui), 195 km

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 7 ZURICH (Sui)-THONON LES BAINS, 267 km

Jos Hinsen (Ned)

Wim Van Est (Hol)

Stage 8 THONON LES BAINS-BRIANCON, 253 km

Charly Gaul (Lux)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 9 BRIANCON-MONACO, 275 km

Raphael Geminiani (Fra)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 10 MONACO-MARSEILLE, 240 km

Lucien Lazarides (Fra)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 11 MARSEILLE-AVIGNON, 198 km

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 12 AVIGNON-MILLAU, 240 km

Alessandro Fantini (Ita)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 13 MILLAU-ALBI, 205 km

Daan De Groot (Ned)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 14 ALBI-NARBONNE, 156 km

Louis Caput (Fra)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 15 NARBONNE-AX LES THERMES, 151 km

Luciano Pezzi (Ita)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 16 AX LES THERMES- TOULOUSE , 123 km

Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel)

Antonin Rolland (Fra)

Stage 17 TOULOUSE-ST GAUDENS, 249 km

Charly Gaul (Lux)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 18 ST GAUDENS-PAU, 206 km

Jean Brankart (Bel)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 19 PAU-BORDEAUX, 195 km

Wout Wagtmans (Ned)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 20 BORDEAUX-POITIERS, 243 km

Jean Forestier (Fra)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 21 CHATELLERAULT-TOURS, 68.6 km ITT

Jean Brankart (Bel)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

Stage 22 TOURS-PARIS, 229 km

Miguel Poblet (Spa)

Louison Bobet (Fra)

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Charly Gaul (Lux)

POINT'S COMPETITION

Stan Ockers (Bel)

 

TdF July 7- July 30, 1955
4,476 Km

1. Louison BOBET (Fra) 130h29'26"

2. Jean Brankart (Bel) +4'53"

3. Charly Gaul (Lux) +11'30"

Starters: 130
Finishers: 69
Average Speed: 34.446 km/h

 

 

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