___Race Snippets

 

50th Tour de France 1963

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anquetil's 4th Victory Makes TdF History

SPECIAL NOTE: The Tour de France in 1963 celebrated its 50th addition.

SPECIAL NOTE: Tour organizers, co-directors Jacques Goddet and Felix Levitan, changed the scope of the race by decreasing the number of individual time trials (ITT) and increasing the number of mountain stages.

Defending champion Jacques Anquetil knew the route was not suited to his time trialing ability and scheduled hard climbing races for his Tour preparation. He seemed inspired by the difficult route and came to the TdF with wins in both the Criterium International and Vuelta a Espana.

SPECIAL NOTE: The 1963 Tour de France was scheduled to end in Paris on July 14, “Bastille Day.” All of France eagerly anticipated an Anquetil record-breaking performance on a very special day.

Jacques Anquetil's effort got off to less than an auspicious start. On stage one he fell heavily injuring his elbow and knee. Undaunted he remounted and continued, but missed the breakaway of his main rival, Spanish climber Federico “the Eagle of Toledo ” Bahamontes. Riding aggressively, Bahamontes lead a four-rider breakaway to a 1'28” advantage by the finish. Eddy Pauwels (Bel) won the stage and took the first Maillot Jaune (race leader's Yellow Jersey). Bahamontes gained very valuable time in the overall classification.

Anquetil acknowledged Bahamontes as his chief rival. When the Tour reached Pyrenees Mountain stages Bahamontes exerted his climbing ability and drove the pace up the Col d'Aubisque and Col du Tourmalet. Quickly a select group of 5 broke away from the peloton with Anquetil prominently represented. At the finish in Bagneres de Bigorre, Anquetil out sprinted his breakaway companions and achieves his first ever mountain stage win. The time gained by the breakaway group elevated Maitre Jacques from eighth to third place overall.

Next the Tour moved to the hard climbing in the Alps . After a stage in the foothills of the Alps , the hilly stage 15 featured the tough climbs of the Grand Bois and Col de Porte. Federico Bahamontes made a decisive solo move to win both major climbs on his way to the stage win in Grenoble. The stage win moved Bahamontes into second place overall and gave him a slim 2 second lead on Anquetil.

A tired race leader Gilbert Desmet 1 struggled, losing 8'52” to Bahamontes and Anquetil. Bahamontes took the Maillot Jaune after stage 16 and forced Anquetil to uses all his experience to fight back in the overall classification.

The showdown of the two champions came on stage 17 from Val d'Isere to Chamonix . This was the last hard day in the Alps and Bahamontes needed an extraordinary effort to deliver the knockout punch to Anquetil.

The Spanish climber won climb #1, the Petit St. Bernard, but Anquetil was still in the lead group. On Climb #2, the Grand St. Bernard, the Bahamontes attacked again and won the climb well ahead of Anquetil. The ever-present Frenchman fought back to rejoin the leader on the descent. On Climb #3, the steep and nasty Col de la Forclaz, Bahamontes has one last chance to distance himself from the defending champion. In the rain and cold of the Alps , Bahamontes again won the climb, but could only gain a small gap on the inspired Anquetil.

The descent of the Forclaz was a narrow, twisting, dirt road and in the rain the road became muddy and harrowing. At the top of the Forclaz, Anquetil dismounted, yelling “My derailleur, my derailleur!” When the team car arrived, team director Raphael Geminiani rushed out with heavier, more stable bike, which was much better for descending. The rules of time did not allow for the exchange of bikes without a major mechanical problem. In the confusion of the moment, race officials could not confirm the deceit and failed to enforce the rule. Anquetil remounted and flew down the Forclaz. He reconnected with Bahamontes, and drove past the climber to win the sprint in Chamonix . With the stage win and time bonus, Anquetil took the race lead by 28” over Bahamontes.

SPECIAL NOTE: The following year race officials, realizing the futility of enforcing the arcane bike change rule, took the rule off the books.

The Tour still had 4 stages before the finish in Paris , but the race winner had been determined. The only test remaining before Paris was the individual time trial (ITT) in Briancon. Bahamontes rode an exceptional race but still lost 2'07” to the ITT specialist.

Jacques Anquetil rode into Paris on Bastille Day for his record setting fourth Tour de France victory. The exceptional Frenchman provided excitement in the mountains and won the Tour with style. The previously unpopular Maitre Jacques Anquetil received a standing ovation at the Parc des Princes Velodrome for his grand exploits in 1963.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 PARIS/Nogent sur Marne-EPERNAY, 153 km

Eddy Pauwels (Bel)

Eddy Pauwels (Bel)

Stage 2a REIMS-JAMBES, 185 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Eddy Pauwels (Bel)

Stage 3 JAMBES-ROUBAIX, 224 km

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 4 ROUBAIX-ROUEN, 235 km

Frans Melckenbeeck (Bel)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 5 ROUEN-RENNES, 285 km

Antonio Bailetti (Ita)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 6a RENNES-ANGERS, 189 km

Roger De Breucker (Bel)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 6b ANGERS , 24 km ITT

Jacques Anquetil (Fra)

Gilbert Desmet 1 (Bel)

Stage 7 ANGERS-LIMOGES, 236 km

Jan Janssen (Hol)

Gilbert Desmet 1 (Bel)

Stage 8 LIMOGES-BORDEAUX, 232 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Gilbert Desmet 1 (Bel)

Stage 9 BORDEAUX-PAU, 202 km

Pino Cerami (Bel)

Gilbert Desmet 1 (Bel)

Stage 10 PAU-BAGNERES DE BIGORRE, 148 km

Jacques Anquetil (Fra)

Gilbert Desmet 1 (Bel)

Stage 11 BAGNERES DE BIGORRE-LUCHON, 131 km

Guy Ignolin (Fra)

Gilbert Desmet 1 (Bel)

Stage 12 LUCHON-TOULOUSE, 173 km

Andre Darrigade (Fra)

Gilbert Desmet 1 (Bel)

Stage 13 TOULOUSE-AURILLAC, 234 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Gilbert Desmet 1 (Bel)

Stage 14 AURILLAC-ST ETIENNE, 236 km

Guy Ignolin (Fra)

Gilbert Desmet 1 (Bel)

Stage 15 ST ETIENNE-GRENOBLE, 174 km

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Gilbert Desmet 1 (Bel)

Stage 16 GRENOBLE-VAL D'ISERE, 202 km

Fern Manzaneque (Spa)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Stage 17 VAL D'ISERE-CHAMONIX, 228 km

Jacques Anquetil (Fra)

Jacques Anquetil (Fra)

Stage 18 CHAMONIX-LONS LE SAUNIER, 225 km

Frans Brands (Bel)

Jacques Anquetil (Fra)

Stage 19 ARBOIS-BESANCON, 54 km ITT

Jacques Anquetil (Fra)

Jacques Anquetil (Fra)

Stage 20 BESANCON-TROYES, 234 km

Roger De Breucker (Bel)

Jacques Anquetil (Fra)

Stage 21 TROYES-PARIS, 185 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Jacques Anquetil (Fra)

 

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

 

POINT'S COMPETITION

Rik Van Looy (Bel)



TdF June 23 - July 14, 1963
4,211 Km

1. Jacques ANQUETIL (Fra) 113h30'05"

2. Federico Bahamontes (Spa) +3'35"

3. Jose Perez-Frances (Spa) +10'14"

Starters: 130
Finishers: 76
Average Speed: 37.092 km/h

 

 

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