___Race Snippets

 

45th Tour de France 1958

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Charly Gaul Climbs to a Tour Victory

Marcel Bidot, French National team director, encountered problems in the selection process for the 1958 Tour de France. His quandary was how to convince his “up and coming” young star Jacques Anquetil to share the leadership of the team with veteran star Louison Bobet. After special consultations with both riders, Bidot convinced them both to race in the French “Tricolour Jersey .”

SPECIAL NOTE: The one notable exception was the non-selection of Raphael “Gem” Geminiani. Gem , along time, very strong lieutenant for the French, had his position eliminated by team director Bidot. He was relegated to the regional Centre-Midi team. Always a demonstrative Frenchman, Geminiani expressed his displeasure by sending Bidot a “Jack-ass” named Marcel. The emotional gauntlet had been thrown-down.

The first rider in 1958 to make a strong challenge for the Maillot Jaune (race leader's Yellow Jersey) was exiled Frenchman Raphael Geminiani (now riding for French regional team Central-Midi ). His aggressive riding earned him the Maillot Jaune on the first day in the Pyrenees Mountains on stage 13.

Talented climber Charly Gaul (Lux) struggled in the early stages, losing 3 minutes after a bad crash, 19 minutes going off course on a flat stage, and 30 seconds after a penalty for having sugar in his water bottle . Stage 18, the individual (mountain) time trial on the brutal Mont Ventoux, offered Gaul a chance at redemption. The little climber from Luxembourg won the stage and moved up from sixth to third in the overall classification.

The final stage in the Alps was from Briancon to Aix les Bains. The already tough stage became even more brutal by the weather conditions. Charly Gaul , who abandoned in the heat of 1957, seemed immune to the cold, fog and pelting rain of stage 21. Race leader Geminiani methodically lost time to the Luxembourger. Gaul rode alone into the finish with a 10 minute lead on the new race leader Vito Favero and over 14 minutes on Gem . Gaul now trailed in the overall classification by 1'07” with only one major test remaining before Paris .

SPECIAL NOTE: At the finish in Aix les Bains, a very cold and tired Raphael Geminiani was visibly upset. An emotional Gem blasted his former teammates for consistently attacking his race lead. He called them all traitors to France . Gem was in second place on the overall standings with only 3 stages remaining.

The drama of the Tour was played out on stage 23, the 74 km individual time trial from Besancon to Dijon . This stage was the final opportunity to gain or loose time. Vito Favero had a 39 second lead on Geminiani and 1'07” lead on Gaul . All three riders needed extraordinary efforts to win the Tour.

Charly Gaul steadily improved his time trialing capability since first racing the TdF in 1953. At the finish in Dijon Gaul set the time to beat at 1h40'27” with only two riders left on the course. Geminiani was the next to finish and recorded a time of 1h43'36”, just over 3 minutes behind Gaul . Across the finish line, the race leader, Favero, stopped the clock at 1h43'44”. He lost 3'17” to Gaul and surrendered the Maillot Jaune.

In Paris , Charly Gaul, the “Angel of the Mountains," claimed the 1958 Tour de France victory. Charly Gaul's grand victory made him an instant hero in Luxembourg . The victory for the little Luxembourger came 30 years after fellow countryman Nicolas Frantz won in 1928.

 

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 BRUSSELS (Bel)- GENT (Bel), 184 km

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Stage 2 GENT (Bel)-DUNKERQUE, 198 km

Gerrit Voorting (Hol)

Jos Hoevenaers (Bel)

Stage 3 DUNKERQUE-LE TREPORT, 177 km

Gilbert Bauvin (Fra)

Wim Van Est (Hol)

Stage 4 LE TREPORT-VERSAILLES, 205 km

Jean Gainche (Fra)

Wim Van Est (Hol)

Stage 5 VERSAILLES-CAEN, 232 km

Tino Sabbadini (Fra)

Gilbert Bauvin (Fra)

Stage 6 CAEN-ST BRIEUC, 223 km

Martin Van Geneugden (Bel)

Gerrit Voorting (Hol)

Stage 7 ST BRIEUC-BREST, 170 km

Brian Robinson (Gbr)

Gerrit Voorting (Hol)

Stage 8 CIRCUIT DE CHATEAULIN, 46 km ITT

Charly Gaul (Lux)

Gerrit Voorting (Hol)

Stage 9 QUIMPER-ST NAZAIRE, 206 km

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Stage 10 ST NAZAIRE-ROYAN, 255 km

Pierino Baffi (Ita)

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Stage 11 ROYAN-BORDEAUX, 137 km

Arrigo Padovan (Ita)

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Stage 12 BORDEAUX-DAX, 161 km

Martin Van Geneugden (Bel)

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Stage 13 DAX-PAU, 230 km

Louis Bergaud (Fra)

Raphael Geminiani (Fra)

Stage 14 PAU-LUCHON, 129 km

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Vito Favero (Ita)

Stage 15 LUCHON-TOULOUSE, 176 km

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Vito Favero (Ita)

Stage 16 TOULOUSE-BEZIERS, 187 km

Pierino Baffi (Ita)

Vito Favero (Ita)

Stage 17 BEZIERS-NIMES, 189 km

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Vito Favero (Ita)

Stage 18 MONT VENTOUX, 21.5 km ITT

Charly Gaul (Lux)

Raphael Geminiani (Fra)

Stage 19 CARPENTRAS-GAP, 178 km

Gastone Nencini (Ita)

Raphael Geminiani (Fra)

Stage 20 GAP-BRIANCON, 165 km

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Raphael Geminiani (Fra)

Stage 21 BRIANCON-AIX LES BAINS, 219 km

Charly Gaul (Lux)

Vito Favero (Ita)

Stage 22 AIX LES BAINS-BESANCON, 237 km

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Vito Favero (Ita)

Stage 23 BESANCON-DIJON, 74 km ITT

Charly Gaul (Lux)

Charly Gaul (Lux)

Stage 24 DIJON-PARIS, 320 km

Pierino Baffi (Ita)

Charly Gaul (Lux)

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

POINT'S COMPETITION

Jean Graczyk (Fra)

 

TdF June 26 - July 19, 1958
4,319 Km

1. Charly GAUL (Lux) 116h59'05"

2. Vito Favero (Ita) +3'10"

3. Raphael Geminiani (Fra) +3'41"

Starters: 120
Finishers: 78
Average Speed: 36.919 km/h

 

 

 

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