___Race Snippets

 

46th Tour de France 1959

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spanish Climber Adds the Yellow Jersey

Marcel Bidot, the director of the French national team, arrived at the 1959 Tour de France with a star-studded roster. They seemed unbeatable at the start with Jacques Anquetil, Louison Bobet, Raphael Geminiani and young Roger Riviere all contenders for the overall classification. The various personalities involved on the French team added to a potentially volatile formula.

French National team's focus was regional French challenger Henry Anglade from the Centre-Midi team. Anglade was riding extremely well in the early stages and the French National team could not stand for losing time to a regional rider.

Henry Anglade launched the first attack on stage 13. A breakaway of 7 riders that formed included Jacques Anquetil (Fra), Ercole Baldini (Ita), Brain Robinson (GBr), and Federico Bahamontes (Spa). At the finish in Aurillac, Anglade out sprinted Anquetil for the stage win and a 3 minute 52 second time gain on the chasing Riviere group.

It was time for the Alpine climbing stages. French director Marcel Bidot's formulated a plan to concentrate on Anglade. Bidot's strategy seemed to overlook the very talented climber Bahamontes.

Stage 15 was an individual mountain time trial up Le Puy de Dome. Bahamontes wasted little time getting into a strong tempo up the climb and easily won the stage. The effort and time gain put Bahamontes into second place overall classification.

Two days later, Bahamontes escaped with Charly Gaul (Lux) on stage 17. Charly Gaul gained the 3 minute 42 second stage win just ahead of the Eagle of Toledo . Federico Bahamontes took the time gain and put on the Maillot Jaune for the first time.

The aggressive riding continued on the roads from Grenoble to Aoste-St. Vincent (Ita) on stage 18. French concern, Henry Anglade initiated an early attack that generated an 8 rider breakaway including Anquetil and Riviere. The lead group had a 5-minute lead on race leader Bahamontes. The talented Spaniard was losing the Tour to the aggressive Anglade. The French National did not want to help Anglade succeed so neither Anquetil nor Riviere contributed to the pace of the breakaway (see Note below). Their action turned into an alliance, if not formally then by deed, with Bahamontes. By the base of the final climb, the Petit St. Bernard, the small Bahamontes group had caught the leaders. He rode into St. Vincent with the leaders and saved his Maillot Jaune.

There was one solid challenge remaining, the 69.2 km individual time trial ITT from Seurre to Dijon . Bahamontes held a 5'40” lead on Anglade at the start of the stage 21. Bahamontes was not known for his time trialing ability managed to ride a strong race and finished the stage 1'39” behind Anglade. Bahamontes, the “Eagle of Toledo ” secured the overall classification by 4'01” over disappointed French regional rider Henry Anglade. The French National team alliance cost France a shot at the championship.

The Spaniard rode into Paris to claim the 1959 Tour de France victory. His victory was the first ever by a Spanish rider .

SPECIAL NOTE: The French crowd at the Parc des Princes Velodrome greeted Anquetil, Riviere and their Tricolour National team with whistles and gears of disapproval. Most fans considered the lack of effort from the two champions on the stage 18 breakaway to be a dishonor to France . Anquetil and Riviere lost large amounts of popularity because of their stage 18 exploits.

SPECIAL NOTE: 1947 TdF champion Jean Robic struggled to finish stage 20, and missed the "time cut off." By the rules he was out of the Tour. The race officials denied his appeals and he finished his TdF career in Chalon-sur-Soane, two stages from Paris.

 

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 MULHOUSE-METZ, 238 km

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Stage 2 METZ-NAMUR, 240 km

Vito Favero (Ita)

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Stage 3 NAMUR-ROUBAIX, 217 km

Robert Cazala (Fra)

Robert Cazala (Fra)

Stage 4 ROUBAIX-ROUEN, 230 km

Dino Bruni (Ita)

Robert Cazala (Fra)

Stage 5 ROUEN-RENNES, 288 km

Jean Graczyk (Fra)

Robert Cazala (Fra)

Stage 6 BLAIN-NANTES, 45.3 km ITT

Roger Riviere (Fra)

Robert Cazala (Fra)

Stage 7 NANTES-LA ROCHELLE, 190 km

Roger Hassenforder (Fra)

Robert Cazala (Fra)

Stage 8 LA ROCHELLE-BORDEAUX, 201 km

Michel Dejouhannet (Fra)

Robert Cazala (Fra)

Stage 9 BORDEAUX-BAYONNE, 207 km

Marcel Queheille (Fra)

Eddy Pauwels (Bel)

Stage 10 BAYONNE-BAGNERES DE BIGORRE, 235 km

Marcel Janssens (Bel)

Michel Vermeulin (Fra)

Stage 11 BAGNERES/BIGORRE-ST GAUDENS, 117 km

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Michel Vermeulin (Fra)

Stage 12 ST GAUDENS-ALBI, 184 km

Rolf Graf (Sui)

Michel Vermeulin (Fra)

Stage 13 ALBI-AURILLAC, 223 km

Henry Anglade (Fra)

Jos Hoevenaers (Bel)

Stage 14 AURILLAC-CLERMONT FERRAND, 229 km

Andre Le Dissez (Fra)

Jos Hoevenaers (Bel)

Stage 15 LE PUY DE DOME, 12.5 km

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Jos Hoevenaers (Bel)

Stage 16 CLERMONT FERRAND-ST ETIENNE, 210 km

Dino Bruni (Ita)

Eddy Pauwels (Bel)

Stage 17 ST ETIENNE-GRENOBLE, 199 km

Charly Gaul (Lux)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Stage 18 LE LAUTARET-ST VINCENT (Ita), 243 km

Ercole Baldini (Ita)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Stage 19 ST VINCENT (Ita)- ANNECY, 248 km

Rolf Graf (Sui)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Stage 20 ANNECY-CHALON SUR SAONE, 202 km

Brian Robinson (GBr)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Stage 21 SEURRE-DIJON, 69.2 km ITT

Roger Riviere (Fra)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Stage 22 DIJON-PARIS, 331 km

Joseph Groussard (Fra)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

POINT'S COMPETITION

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

 

TdF June 25 - July 18, 1959
4,359 Km

1. Federico BAHAMONTES (Spa) 123h46'45"

2. Henry Anglade (Fra) +4'01"

3. Jacques Anquetil (Fra) +5'05"

Starters: 120
Finishers: 65
Average Speed: 35.474 km/h

 

 

 

 

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