1949 Tour de France

1949 Tour de France
Route of the 1949 Tour de France
Followed counterclockwise, starting and finishing in Paris
Race details
Dates 30 June – 24 July
Stages 21
Distance 4,808 km (2,988 mi)
Winning time 145h 36' 56"
Winner  Fausto Coppi (ITA) (Italy)
Second  Gino Bartali (ITA) (Italy)
Third  Jacques Marinelli (FRA) (Île-de-France)

Mountains  Fausto Coppi (ITA) (Italy)
Team Italy

The 1949 Tour de France was the 36th edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 30 June to 24 July. It consisted of 21 stages over 4,808 km (2,988 mi).

The Italian team had internal problems, because Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi could both be the team leader. During the selection procedure, Coppi almost refused to start the race, but he was convinced to start. During the race, Coppi almost pulled out, because he felt he did not have full support from the team captain. In the Alps, Coppi recovered. The race was won by Coppi, with second place taken by teammate Bartali, the winner of the previous year. Coppi also won the mountains classification, while his Italian team won the team classification.

Changes from the previous Tour

The 1949 Tour de France marked the first time that the Tour de France had a stage finish in Spain, when it stopped in San Sebastian in the ninth stage.[1] While the mountains had been categorized into two categories in 1948, in 1949 the third category was added.[2]


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1949 Tour de France.

As was the custom since the 1930 Tour de France, the 1949 Tour de France was contested by national and regional teams. The three major cycling countries in 1949, Italy, Belgium and France, each sent a team of 12 cyclists. Other countries sent teams of 6 cyclists: Switzerland, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Spain. Italy and Belgium also sent two extra teams of young riders of 6 cyclists each. The French regional cyclists were divided into four teams of 12 cyclists: Ile de France, West-North, Centre-South West and South East. Altogether this made 120 cyclists.[3]

There were 57 French cyclists, 22 Italian, 18 Belgian, 6 Dutch, 6 Luxembourg, 6 Spanish, 6 Swiss and 1 Polish cyclist.[4] In the previous year, Fausto Coppi refused to enter the Tour de France because of personal problems with his team mate Gino Bartali. Bartali had won the previous Tour, and was trying to equal Philippe Thys by winning the Tour three times.[3] Coppi had won the 1949 Giro d'Italia, and wanted to be the first one to achieve the Tour-Giro double in one year. The Italian team manager Alfredo Binda convinced them two weeks before the start of the race to join forces, so both Italians were in the race.[2]

The teams entering the race were:

  • Italy
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Italy Cadets
  • Belgium Aiglons
  • France Île-de-France
  • France West/North
  • France Centre/South-West
  • France South-East

Route and stages

Stage characteristics and winners[3][2][5]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
1 30 June Paris to Reims 182 km (113 mi) Plain stage  Marcel Dussault (FRA)
2 1 July Reims to Brussels (Belgium) 273 km (170 mi) Plain stage  Roger Lambrecht (BEL)
3 2 July Brussels (Belgium) to Boulogne sur Mer 211 km (131 mi) Plain stage  Norbert Callens (BEL)
4 3 July Boulogne sur Mer to Rouen 185 km (115 mi) Plain stage  Lucien Teisseire (FRA)
5 4 July Rouen to St. Malo 293 km (182 mi) Plain stage  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI)
6 5 July St. Malo to Les Sables d'Olonne 305 km (190 mi) Plain stage  Adolphe Deledda (FRA)
7 7 July Les Sables d'Olonne to La Rochelle 92 km (57 mi) Individual time trial  Fausto Coppi (ITA)
8 8 July La Rochelle to Bordeaux 262 km (163 mi) Plain stage  Guy Lapébie (FRA)
9 9 July Bordeaux to San Sebastián 228 km (142 mi) Plain stage  Louis Caput (FRA)
10 10 July San Sebastián to Pau 192 km (119 mi) Plain stage  Fiorenzo Magni (ITA)
11 12 July Pau to Luchon 193 km (120 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Jean Robic (FRA)
12 13 July Luchon to Toulouse 134 km (83 mi) Plain stage  Rik Van Steenbergen (BEL)
13 14 July Toulouse to Nîmes 289 km (180 mi) Plain stage  Emile Idée (FRA)
14 15 July Nîmes to Marseille 199 km (124 mi) Plain stage  Jean Goldschmidt (LUX)
15 16 July Marseille to Cannes 215 km (134 mi) Plain stage  Désiré Keteleer (BEL)
16 18 July Cannes to Briançon 275 km (171 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Gino Bartali (ITA)
17 19 July Briançon to Aosta 257 km (160 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Fausto Coppi (ITA)
18 21 July Aosta to Lausanne 265 km (165 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Vincenzo Rossello (ITA)
19 22 July Lausanne to Colmar 283 km (176 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Raphaël Géminiani (FRA)
20 23 July Colmar to Nancy137 km (85 mi) Mountain time trial Fausto Coppi (ITA)
21 24 July Nancy to Paris 340 km (211 mi) Plain stage  Rik Van Steenbergen (BEL)
Total 4,808 km (2,988 mi)[6]

Race overview

Roger Lambrecht winning the second stage ahead of Jacques Marinelli at Heysel Stadium in Brussels

In the early stages, Bartali and Coppi both lost time. Before the fifth stage, Coppi and Bartali both were not in the top fifteen of the general classification.[7]

In that fifth stage, Coppi escaped together with the leader of the general classification, Jacques Marinelli. When they were leading by 6 minutes, Coppi and Marinelli fell in Mouen.[1] Marinelli was not hurt and could continue, but Coppi's bike was broken. The Italian team car offered him a new one, but Coppi refused because he wanted his personal spare bike, and threatened to quit the race.

When Bartali reached Coppi, he saw the problem, and waited. Even later, the Italian team captain Binda arrived with Coppi's spare bike, and Bartali and Coppi started to ride. Coppi started to slow down, complaining he was hungry and exhausted. Bartali decided he could not wait anmore, and rode away from Coppi. Coppi came in 18 minutes late that stage.[7] Later that night, it became clear that Coppi had been angry because the team leader had not been following him, even though he was in the leading group. Coppi did not want to race in a team where Bartali and not he was the leader. Binda tried to convince Coppi that he had been delayed, and he succeeded in keeping Coppi in the race.[7]

In the Alps, Coppi recovered. In the sixteenth stage, Coppi escaped, and only Bartali followed him. It was Bartali's 35th birthday, and Coppi gave Bartali the stage victory.[8] After that stage, Bartali was first in the general classification, with Coppi in second place, 82 seconds behind. In stage 17, Bartali and Coppi again were leading together. Around 40 km into the stage, Bartali punctured. Coppi waited for Bartali, but when Bartali later fell and twisted his ankle, team leader Binda allowed Coppi to take off alone.[1] Coppi did so, won the stage, and decided the race.[9]

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. Of the 120 cyclists, 55 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 1, gave 10 points to the first cyclist, the easier ones, in category 2, gave 5 points to the first cyclist, and the easiest ones, in category 3, gave 3 points.

The team classification was calculated by adding the times in the general classification of the best three cyclists per team. The Italian Cadets and Switzerland finished with two cyclists each, so they were not eligible for this classification.

The special award for the best regional rider was won by third-placed Jacques Marinelli.[2]

Classification leadership by stage
Stage Winner General classification
Mountains classification Team classification
1 Marcel Dussault Marcel Dussault no award
2 Roger Lambrecht Roger Lambrecht
3 Norbert Callens Norbert Callens
4 Lucien Teisseire Jacques Marinelli France
5 Ferdinand Kübler Ile de France
6 Adolphe Deledda
7 Fausto Coppi
8 Guy Lapébie
9 Louis Caput
10 Fiorenzo Magni Fiorenzo Magni
11 Jean Robic Fausto Coppi Italy
12 Rik Van Steenbergen
13 Emile Idée
14 Jean Goldschmidt
15 Désiré Keteleer Île-de-France
16 Gino Bartali Gino Bartali Italy
17 Fausto Coppi Fausto Coppi
18 Vincenzo Rossello
19 Raphaël Géminiani
20 Fausto Coppi
21 Rik Van Steenbergen
Final Fausto Coppi Fausto Coppi Italy

Final standings

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[3]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Fausto Coppi (ITA) Italy 149h 40' 49"
2  Gino Bartali (ITA) Italy + 10' 55"
3  Jacques Marinelli (FRA) Ile de France + 25' 13"
4  Jean Robic (FRA) West-North + 34' 28"
5  Marcel Dupont (BEL) Belgian Aiglons + 38' 59"
6  Fiorenzo Magni (ITA) Italian Cadets + 42' 10"
7  Stan Ockers (BEL) Belgium + 44' 35"
8  Jean Goldschmit (LUX) Luxembourg + 47' 24"
9  Apo Lazaridès (FRA) France + 52' 28"
10  Pierre Cogan (FRA) West-North + 1h 08' 55"

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–5)[1][4]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Fausto Coppi (ITA) Italy 81
2  Gino Bartali (ITA) Italy 68
3  Jean Robic (FRA) West-North 62
4  Apo Lazaridès (FRA) France 47
5  Lucien Lazaridès (FRA) France 29

Team classification

Final team classification[1][10]
Rank Team Time
1 Italy 450h 35' 23"
2 West-North + 2h 10' 21"
3 Luxembourg + 2h 18' 16"
4 France + 2h 33' 08"
5 Île-de-France + 2h 41' 36"
6 Belgium + 3h 00' 13"
7 Belgian Aiglons + 3h 21' 25"
8 South East + 5h 49' 25"
9 Center-South West + 8h 15' 30"


As Coppi had also won the 1949 Giro d'Italia, he became the first person to achieve the Giro-Tour double.[1] Coppi would go on to repeat the Giro-Tour double in 1952.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 James, Tom (14 August 2003). "1949: Coppi's double". Veloarchive. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Historical guide 2016, p. 40.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "36ème Tour de France 1949" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  4. 1 2 "Tour-Giro-Vuelta". www.tour-giro-vuelta.net. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  5. Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  6. Historical guide 2016, p. 109.
  7. 1 2 3 McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2006). The Story of the Tour De France. Dog ear publishing. pp. 159–165. ISBN 978-1-59858-180-5.
  8. "Rider biographies - Fausto Coppi". Cycling hall of fame. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  9. "The Tour - Year 1949". Amaury Sport Organisation. 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  10. "Terminó la Vuelta a Francia" (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 25 July 1947. Retrieved 6 April 2013.


External links

Media related to 1949 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons

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