1948 Tour de France

1948 Tour de France
Route of the 1948 Tour de France
Followed counterclockwise, starting and finishing in Paris
Race details
Dates 30 June – 25 July
Stages 21
Distance 4,922 km (3,058 mi)
Winning time 145h 36' 56"
Winner  Gino Bartali (ITA) (Italy)
Second  Briek Schotte (BEL) (Belgium)
Third  Guy Lapébie (FRA) (Centre–South East)

Mountains  Gino Bartali (ITA) (Italy)
Team Belgium

The 1948 Tour de France was the 35th Tour de France, taking place from 30 June to 25 July. It consisted of 21 stages over 4,922 km (3,058 mi).

The race was won by Italian cyclist Gino Bartali, who had also won the Tour de France in 1938. Bartali had almost given up during the race, but drew inspiration from a phone call from the Italian prime minister, who asked him to win the Tour de France to prevent civil unrest in Italy after assassination attempt against Togliatti. Bartali also won the mountains classification, while the team classification was won by the Belgian team.

Changes from the previous Tour

The prize for wearing the yellow jersey was introduced in 1948,[1] sponsored by Les Laines, a French wool company.[2] In 1947, the media had complained that too many cyclists reached the end of the race, so the race was no longer heroic; this may have motivated a new rule between the third and the eighteenth stage, the rider last in the general classification was eliminated;[1][3] Where the 1947 Tour de France had been France-centered, the 1948 race became more cosmopolitan.[4]

The tour visited the Saar protectorate for the first time when the 18th stage passed Saarbrücken and Saarlouis. A second visit took place in 1953.[5]

The first live television broadcast from the Tour de France was in 1948,[6] when the arrival at the velodrome of Parc des Princes was broadcast live.[7]


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1948 Tour de France.
Gino Bartali (left, pictured at the 1950 Tour) and Fausto Coppi (right, pictured at the 1952 Tour)

As was the custom since the 1930 Tour de France, the 1948 Tour de France was contested by national and regional teams.

After there had not been an official Italian team allowed in the previous edition, the Italians were back. The Italian cyclists were divided between Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi. Both argued in the preparation of the race about who would be the team leader. The Tour organisation wanted to have both cyclists in the race, so they allowed the Italians and Belgians to enter a second team.[8] In the end, Coppi refused to participate, and Bartali became the team leader.[9] The organisation still allowed the Italians and Belgians to enter a second team, but they were to be composed of young cyclists, and were named the Italian Cadets and the Belgian Aiglons.[8]

The Tour organisation invited the Swiss to send a team, as they wanted Ferdinand Kübler, the winner of the 1948 Tour de Suisse, in the race. Kübler refused this because he could earn more money in other races. When the brothers Georges and Roger Aeschlimann announced that they wanted to join the race, they were quickly accepted, especially because they were from Lausanne, where the Tour would pass through. They were put in a team with eight non-French cyclists living in France, and were named the Internationals.[10]

Twelve teams of ten cyclists entered the race, consisting of 60 French cyclists, 24 Italian, 22 Belgian, 6 Dutch, 4 Luxembourgian, 2 Swiss, 1 Polish and 1 Algerian cyclist.[11]

The teams entering the race were:

  • Belgium
  • Netherlands/Luxembourg (combined)
  • Internationals
  • Italy
  • France
  • Belgium Aiglons
  • Italy Cadets
  • France Centre/South-West
  • France Île de France/North-East
  • France West
  • France Paris
  • France South-East

Route and stages

Bartali's three stage wins in a row was the last time that happened, until Mario Cipollini achieved four in a row in 1999.[12]

Stage characteristics and winners[1][7][13]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
1 30 June Paris to Trouville 237 km (147 mi) Plain stage  Gino Bartali (ITA)
2 1 July Trouville to Dinard 259 km (161 mi) Plain stage  Vincenzo Rossello (ITA)
3 2 July Dinard to Nantes 251 km (156 mi) Plain stage  Guy Lapébie (FRA)
4 3 July Nantes to La Rochelle 166 km (103 mi) Plain stage  Jacques Pras (FRA)
5 4 July La Rochelle to Bordeaux 262 km (163 mi) Plain stage  Raoul Remy (FRA)
6 5 July Bordeaux to Biarritz 244 km (152 mi) Plain stage  Louison Bobet (FRA)
7 6 July Biarritz to Lourdes 219 km (136 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Gino Bartali (ITA)
8 8 July Lourdes to Toulouse 261 km (162 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Gino Bartali (ITA)
9 10 July Toulouse to Montpellier 246 km (153 mi) Plain stage  Raymond Impanis (BEL)
10 11 July Montpellier to Marseille 248 km (154 mi) Plain stage  Raymond Impanis (BEL)
11 12 July Marseille to Sanremo 245 km (152 mi) Plain stage  Gino Sciardis (ITA)
12 13 July Sanremo to Cannes 170 km (106 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Louison Bobet (FRA)
13 15 July Cannes to Briançon 274 km (170 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Gino Bartali (ITA)
14 16 July Briançon to Aix-les-Bains 263 km (163 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Gino Bartali (ITA)
15 18 July Aix-les-Bains to Lausanne 256 km (159 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Gino Bartali (ITA)
16 19 July Lausanne to Mulhouse 243 km (151 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Edward Van Dijck (BEL)
17 20 July Mulhouse to Strasbourg 120 km (75 mi) Individual time trial  Roger Lambrecht (BEL)
18 21 July Strasbourg to Metz 195 km (121 mi) Plain stage  Giovanni Corrieri (ITA)
19 23 July Metz to Liège (Belgium) 249 km (155 mi) Plain stage  Gino Bartali (ITA)
20 24 July Liège (Belgium) to Roubaix 228 km (142 mi) Plain stage  Bernard Gauthier (FRA)
21 25 July Roubaix to Paris 286 km (178 mi) Plain stage  Giovanni Corrieri (ITA)
Total 4,922 km (3,058 mi)[14]

Race overview

Graph with "Margin" on the y-axis and "Stage" on the x-axis. The x-axis goes from 1 to 21, and the graph starts at stage 1 at 0:00, rises to above 20:00 but returns to 0:00 at stage 13.
The margin between Gino Bartali and the leader of the race in the 1948 Tour de France. After the twelfth stage, the margin reached it maximum at 21:28, but after that it quickly went down.

As the Italian team had not entered the Tours de France of 1939 and 1947, it was the first Tour de France for Bartali since his victory ten years before in 1938. His results in the Giro d'Italia had not been well, and it was not thought that Bartali could compete for the win.[12]

Bartali however won the sprint in the first stage, and thanks to the bonification of one minute for the winner, he was leading the race. After that, the Italian team took a low profile in the race.[12] The lead was quickly taken by Louison Bobet. After the ninth stage, Bobet had built up a lead of more than nine minutes. In the tenth stage, he lost time, and Belgian cyclist Roger Lambrecht reduced the margin to 29 seconds. After the eleventh stage, Bobet was still in the lead, but was having problems, and after he fainted at the finish, he wanted to give up. After a meal, massage and sleeping, he changed his mind, and won the twelfth stage.[15]

After the twelfth stage, Bartali was 20 minutes behind. Bartali thought about quitting the tour, but was persuaded to race on.[16] That night, Bartali received a phone call while he was in bed. Alcide De Gasperi, prime minister of Italy, from the Christian Democratic party, told him that a few days earlier Palmiro Togliatti, leader of the Italian Communist Party, had been shot, and Italy might be on the edge of a civil war. De Gasperi asked Bartali to do his best to win a stage, because the sport news might distract people from the politics. Bartali replied that he would do better, and win the race.[12] The next day, Bartali won stage 13 with a large margin. In the general classification, he jumped to second place, trailing by only 66 seconds. In the next stage, Bartali won again, and took over the yellow jersey as leader of the general classification. Bobet was now in second place, eight minutes behind. The next stage, stage 15, was also won by Bartali. The sixteenth stage was not won by Bartali, but because his direct competitors lost time, he increased his lead to 32 minutes.[12] Bartali lost minutes in the time trial in stage 17, but his lead was never endangered.

With each stage win of Bartali (seven in total), the Italian excitement about the Tour de France increased, and the political tensions quieted.[17]

Classification leadership

The time that each cyclist required to finish each stage was recorded, and these times were added together for the general classification. If a cyclist had received a time bonus, it was subtracted from this total; all time penalties were added to this total. The cyclist with the least accumulated time was the race leader, identified by the yellow jersey. The budget of the Tour de France in 1948 was 45 million Francs, from which one third was provided by private enterprises.[18] In total, 7 million Francs of prizes were awarded in the 1948 Tour de France. Of these, 600.000 Francs were given to Bartali for winning the general classification.[19] Bartali is the only cyclist to win two Tours de France ten years apart.[20] Of the 120 cyclists, 44 finished the race.

Points for the mountains classification were earned by reaching the mountain tops first. There were two types of mountain tops: the hardest ones, in category A, gave 10 points to the first cyclist, the easier ones, in category B, gave 5 points to the first cyclist.

The team classification was calculated by adding the times in the general classification of the best three cyclists per team.

The Tour de France in 1948 for the first time had a special award for the best regional rider.[15] This was won by third-placed Guy Lapébie.[7]

Classification leadership by stage
Stage Winner General classification
Mountains classification Team classification
1 Gino Bartali Gino Bartali no award Belgium
2 Vincenzo Rossello Jan Engels Belgium B
3 Guy Lapébie Louison Bobet France
4 Jacques Pras Roger Lambrecht Internationals
5 Raoul Remy
6 Louison Bobet Louison Bobet
7 Gino Bartali Bernard Gauthier France
8 Gino Bartali Jean Robic
9 Raymond Impanis
10 Raymond Impanis Internationals
11 Gino Sciardis
12 Louison Bobet France
13 Gino Bartali
14 Gino Bartali Gino Bartali Gino Bartali
15 Gino Bartali
16 Edward Van Dijck
17 Roger Lambrecht Belgium
18 Giovanni Corrieri
19 Gino Bartali
20 Bernard Gauthier
21 Giovanni Corrieri
Final Gino Bartali Gino Bartali Belgium

Final standings

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[1]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Gino Bartali (ITA) Italy 147h 10' 36"
2  Brik Schotte (BEL) Belgium + 26' 16"
3  Guy Lapébie (FRA) Centre-South East + 28' 48"
4  Louison Bobet (FRA) France + 32' 59"
5  Jeng Kirchen (LUX) NeLux + 37' 53"
6  Lucien Teisseire (FRA) France + 40' 17"
7  Roger Lambrecht (BEL) Internationals + 49' 56"
8  Fermo Camellini (ITA) Internationals + 51' 36"
9  Louis Thiétard (FRA) Paris + 55' 23"
10  Raymond Impanis (BEL) Belgium + 1h 00' 03"

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–5)[11][12]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Gino Bartali (ITA) Italy 62
2  Apo Lazaridès (FRA) France 43
3  Jean Robic (FRA) France 38
4  Brik Schotte (BEL) Belgium 30
5  Lucien Teisseire (FRA) France 28

Team classification

Final team classification (1–5)[21]
Rank Team Time
1 Belgium 443h 58' 20"
2 France + 28' 16"
3 Paris + 56' 29"
4 Internationals + 1h 00' 30"
5 Italy + 2h 11' 36"


The 1948 Tour de France first showed the strengths of Louison Bobet. Bobet would be the first rider to win three consecutive Tours de France, from 1953 to 1955.[22] After the race, the Italian team manager Alfredo Binda said about Bobet: "If I would have directed Bobet, he would have won the Tour."[7]

Coppi, who had not competed in the 1948 Tour de France because of his bad relationship with Bartali, would enter and win the 1949 Tour de France.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "35ème Tour de France 1948" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 28 August 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  2. Thompson, p.49
  3. Thompson, p.115
  4. Dauncey, p.213
  5. Rainer Freyer (2013). "Die Tour de France im Saarland" (in German). Saar-Nostalgie. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  6. Dauncey, p.132
  7. 1 2 3 4 Historical guide 2016, p. 39.
  8. 1 2 Maso, p.37
  9. Ligget, Phil; Raia, James; Lewis, Sammarye (2005). Tour de France for dummies. For Dummies. p. 175. ISBN 0-7645-8449-9.
  10. Maso, p.26
  11. 1 2 "Tour-Giro-Vuelta". www.tour-giro-vuelta.net. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Tom James (15 August 2003). "1948: Bartali saves Italy". Veloarchive. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  13. Arian Zwegers. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  14. Historical guide 2016, p. 109.
  15. 1 2 Amaury Sport Organisation. "The Tour - Year 1948". letour.fr. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  16. Bill Henderson (5 July 1996). "Looking back: Tour de France 1948". away.com. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  17. Barry Boyce (2004). "Gino "the Pious," an Inspirational Win". Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  18. Dauncey, p.110
  19. Amaury Sport Organisation. "l'Historique du Tour de France, Année 1948". letour.fr. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  20. McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2006). The Story of the Tour de France Volume 1: 1903-1964. Dog Ear Publishing. pp. 156–159. ISBN 1-59858-180-5.
  21. Maso, p. 303
  22. "Wall of Fame - Louison Bobet". Infostradasports. 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009.


External links

Media related to 1948 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/30/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.