1954 Tour de France

1954 Tour de France
Route of the 1954 Tour de France
Followed counterclockwise, starting in Amsterdam and finishing in Paris
Race details
Dates 8 July – 1 August
Stages 23
Distance 4,656 km (2,893 mi)
Winning time 140h 06' 05"
Winner  Louison Bobet (FRA) (France)
Second  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) (Switzerland)
Third  Fritz Schär (SUI) (Switzerland)

Points  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) (Switzerland)
Mountains  Federico Bahamontes (ESP) (Spain)
Team Switzerland

The 1954 Tour de France was the 41st Tour de France, taking place from 8 July to 1 August. It consisted of 23 stages over 4,656 km (2,893 mi). The race was won by Louison Bobet, the second of his three consecutive wins.


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1954 Tour de France.
The French team at the start of stage one

As was the custom since the 1930 Tour de France, the 1954 Tour de France was contested by national and regional teams. Seven national teams were sent, with 10 cyclists each from France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and Luxembourg/Austria (the latter a combined team). France additionally sent five regional teams from 10 cyclists each, divided into Center-North East France, West France, South East France, Ile de France and South West France.[1] The combined team Luxembourg/Austria consisted of six Luxembourgian cyclists, three Austrian cyclists and one from Liechtenstein.[2] In total, 110 cyclists started the race.[1]

Notable absents were the Italian cyclists. In Italy, new sponsors had entered the market, named "extra-sportives" because they did not sell a product directly related to the sport. During the 1954 Giro d'Italia, this caused a strike, the Bernina strike. After this, the Italian federation decided not to send a team to the 1954 Tour de France.[3][4]

The teams entering the race were:

  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Luxembourg/Austria (combined)
  • France North-East/Centre
  • France West
  • France South-East
  • France Île-de-France
  • France South-West

Route and stages

The 1954 Tour de France was the first time that the Tour had started outside France, as it started in Amsterdam.[5] Also new was the team time trial. Although around 1930 the Tour had seen stages in which the teams started separately, in 1954 the team time trial format was reintroduced in a way that only the team time counted. Also the split stages were reintroduced. Stage 4 was divided into two parts: the team time trial of 10.4 km (part A), and a regular stage of 131 km (part B), both run on the same day. Similarly, stage 21 was divided into a regular stage of 134 km (part A) and an individual time trial of 72 km (part B), also both run on the same day.

Stage characteristics and winners[1][5][6]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
1 8 July Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Brasschaat (Belgium) 216 km (134 mi) Plain stage  Wout Wagtmans (NED)
2 9 July Beveren (Belgium) to Lille 255 km (158 mi) Plain stage  Louison Bobet (FRA)
3 10 July Lille to Rouen 219 km (136 mi) Plain stage  Marcel Dussault (FRA)
4a 11 July Rouen to Circuit des Essarts 10.4 km (6 mi) Team time trial Switzerland
4b Rouen to Caen 131 km (81 mi) Plain stage  Wim van Est (NED)
5 12 July Caen to Saint-Brieuc 224 km (139 mi) Plain stage  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI)
6 13 July Saint-Brieuc to Brest 179 km (111 mi) Plain stage  Dominique Forlini (FRA)
7 14 July Brest to Vannes 211 km (131 mi) Plain stage  Jacques Vivier (FRA)
8 15 July Vannes to Angers 190 km (118 mi) Plain stage  Fred De Bruyne (BEL)
9 16 July Angers to Bordeaux 343 km (213 mi) Plain stage  Henk Faanhof (NED)
10 18 July Bordeaux to Bayonne 202 km (126 mi) Plain stage  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA)
11 19 July Bayonne to Pau 241 km (150 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Stan Ockers (BEL)
12 20 July Pau to Luchon 161 km (100 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA)
13 21 July Luchon to Toulouse 203 km (126 mi) Plain stage  Fred De Bruyne (BEL)
14 22 July Toulouse to Millau 225 km (140 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI)
15 23 July Millau to Le Puy 197 km (122 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Dominique Forlini (FRA)
16 24 July Le Puy to Lyon 194 km (121 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Jean Forestier (FRA)
17 26 July Lyon to Grenoble 182 km (113 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Lucien Lazaridès (FRA)
18 27 July Grenoble to Briançon 216 km (134 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Louison Bobet (FRA)
19 28 July Briançon to Aix-les-Bains 221 km (137 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Jean Dotto (FRA)
20 29 July Aix les Bains to Besançon 243 km (151 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Lucien Teisseire (FRA)
21a 30 July Besançon to Épinal 134 km (83 mi) Plain stage  François Mahé (FRA)
21b Epinal to Nancy 72 km (45 mi) Individual time trial  Louison Bobet (FRA)
22 31 July Nancy to Troyes 216 km (134 mi) Plain stage  Fred De Bruyne (BEL)
23 1 August Troyes to Paris 180 km (112 mi) Plain stage  Robert Varnajo (FRA)
Total 4,656 km (2,893 mi)[7]

    Race overview

    Dutch news reel about the 1954 Tour de France

    In the first stage, Wout Wagtmans won the sprint, and took the yellow jersey. He would remain the leader until the team time trial in stage 4, when the French team won back enough time on the Dutch team for Bobet to take over the lead.[4] In that time trial, over 10.4 km, the winning team was decided by adding the times of the three best cyclists per team. For the general classification, every cyclist got added his individual time.[8] In the second part of the fourth stage, former winner Jean Robic hit a photographer during the sprint, fell down and had to give up.[4]

    In the eighth stage, Wagtmans had joined a breakaway, which won enough time on Bobet for Wagtmans to take back the yellow jersey.[4] Wagtmans fell down in the eleventh stage,[9] and although he managed to keep his lead until the start of the twelfth stage, he continued without morale.[4] In the twelfth stage in the Pyrénées, three important riders attacked: Bauvin, Bahamontes and Malléjac. They stayed ahead, and Bauvin jumped to the first position in the general classification. Bobet was not far behind these three, and moved into the second place.[10] In that twelfth stage, Hugo Koblet had fallen down, and lost 27 minutes, and his chances to win the Tour de France a second time.[11] In the next stage, Koblet gave up.[12]

    In the fourteenth stage, the Swiss cyclists were fighting back. They were riding as fast as they could, and the leading group was getting smaller. Bauvin also could not keep up with that group, partly because he had a flat tire, and finished 8 minutes behind, losing the leading position. Bobet however could keep up with the Swiss pace,[3] and took over the yellow jersey as leader of the general classification.[10]

    In the sixteenth stage, Bauvin lost another 20 minutes, and dropped to sixth place.[3] The Swiss cyclists had attacked Bobet where they could, but were unable to gain time on him. They had moved into second and third place of the general classification.[10] In the eighteenth stage, Bobet dominated, and dropped all of the other contenders. He won by a margin of one minute and 49 seconds, and his margin in the general classification was 12 minutes 49 seconds, which would normally be large enough for the victory.[10] Bobet also won the individual time trial, and thereby increased his margin even more.[4]

    The Swiss cyclists could not attack Bobet anymore in the last stages, so Bobet won his second Tour de France. The Swiss team had performed well though, capturing the second and third place in the general classification, winning the team classification and having Kübler win the points classification.

    Classification leadership

    Black-and-white image of a man in a shirt with a cross.
    Ferdinand Kübler won the points classification in the 1954 Tour de France.

    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 110 cyclists that started the 1954 Tour de France, 69 finished the race.

    The points classification was calculated in the same way as in 1953, following the calculation method from the Tours de France from 1905 to 1912. Points were given according to the ranking of the stage: the winner received one points, the next cyclist two points, and so on. These points were added, and the cyclist with the least points was the leader of the points classification. In 1954, this was won by Ferdinand Kübler.[1]

    Points for the mountains classification were earned by reaching the mountain tops first. The system was almost the same as in 1953: 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 6 points to the first cyclist, and the easiest ones, in category 3, gave 3 points. Federico Bahamontes won this classification.[1]

    The team classification was calculated as the sum of the daily team classifications, and the daily team classification was calculated by adding the times in the stage result of the best three cyclists per team. It was won by the Swiss team.

    In every stage, a jury gave points for the most combative cyclist. These votes were added in the combativity classification. At the end of the Tour de France, Lucien Lazaridès and François Mahé were leading this classification with 20 votes each. Lucien Lazaridès is regarded as the winner of this classification.[5]

    Classification leadership by stage
    Stage Winner General classification
    Points classification
    Mountains classification Team classification
    1 Wout Wagtmans Wout Wagtmans Wout Wagtmans no award Netherlands
    2 Louison Bobet France
    3 Marcel Dussault Gilbert Bauvin
    4a Switzerland Louison Bobet
    4b Wim van Est
    5 Ferdinand Kübler
    6 Dominique Forlini Ferdinand Kübler Switzerland
    7 Jacques Vivier
    8 Fred De Bruyne Wout Wagtmans
    9 Henk Faanhof
    10 Gilbert Bauvin
    11 Stan Ockers Federico Bahamontes
    12 Gilbert Bauvin Gilbert Bauvin
    13 Fred De Bruyne
    14 Ferdinand Kübler Louison Bobet
    15 Dominique Forlini
    16 Jean Forestier
    17 Lucien Lazaridès
    18 Louison Bobet
    19 Jean Dotto
    20 Lucien Teisseire
    21a François Mahé
    21b Louison Bobet
    22 Fred De Bruyne
    23 Robert Varnajo
    Final Louison Bobet Ferdinand Kübler Federico Bahamontes Switzerland

    Final standings

    General classification

    Final general classification (1–10)[1]
    Rank Rider Team Time
    1  Louison Bobet (FRA) France 140h 06' 05"
    2  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) Switzerland + 15' 49"
    3  Fritz Schär (SUI) Switzerland + 21' 46"
    4  Jean Dotto (FRA) South East + 28' 21"
    5  Jean Malléjac (FRA) West + 31' 38"
    6  Stan Ockers (BEL) Belgium + 36' 02"
    7  Louis Bergaud (FRA) South West + 37' 55"
    8  Vincent Vitetta (FRA) South East + 41' 14"
    9  Jean Brankart (BEL) Belgium + 42' 08"
    10  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA) Center-North East + 42' 21"

    Points classification

    Final points classification (1–10)[13]
    Rank Rider Team Points
    1  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) Switzerland 215.5
    2  Stan Ockers (BEL) Belgium 284.5
    3  Fritz Schär (SUI) Switzerland 286.5
    4  Wim van Est (NED) Netherlands 502.5
    5  Louison Bobet (FRA) France 513
    6  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA) Center-North East 615
    7  Dominique Forlini (FRA) Île-de-France 618
    8  Vincent Vitetta (FRA) South East 653
    9  Richard Van Genechten (BEL) Belgium 660.5
    10  Jean Malléjac (FRA) West 675

    Mountains classification

    Final mountains classification (1–10)[13][2][14]
    Rank Rider Team Points
    1  Federico Bahamontes (ESP) Spain 95
    2  Louison Bobet (FRA) France 53
    3  Richard Van Genechten (BEL) Belgium 45
    4  Jean Le Guilly (FRA) Île-de-France 38
    5  Jean Dotto (FRA) South East 33
    6  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) Switzerland 31
    7  Jean Malléjac (FRA) West 23
    8  Stan Ockers (BEL) Belgium 20
    8  Robert Varnajo (FRA) West 20
    10  Bernardo Ruiz (ESP) Spain 16

    Team classification

    Final team classification[13][15]
    Rank Team Time
    1 Switzerland 420h 29' 57"
    2 France + 18' 27"
    3 Belgium + 32' 19"
    4 Netherlands + 1h 09' 00"
    5 South East + 1h 13' 37"
    6 Spain + 2h 26' 08"
    7 West + 2h 42' 58"
    8 Center-North East + 3h 50' 16"
    9 South West + 4h 08' 31"
    10 Île-de-France + 4h 27' 52"
    11 Luxembourg-Austria + 10h 20' 27"

    Combativity classification

    Final combativity classification (1–5)[15]
    Rank Rider Team Points
    1  Lucien Lazaridès (FRA) South East 20
    1  François Mahé (FRA) West 20
    3  Louison Bobet (FRA) France 18
    3  Fred De Bruyne (BEL) Belgium 18
    5  Robert Varnajo (FRA) West 11


    After he won the Tour de France, Bobet would later win the 1954 UCI Road World Championships.[3] The next year he would win the 1955 Tour de France, thereby becoming the first cyclist to win three Tours in a row.


    1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "41ème Tour de France 1954" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
    2. 1 2 "Tour-Giro-Vuelta". www.tour-giro-vuelta.net. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
    3. 1 2 3 4 McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2006). The Story of the Tour de France Volume 1: 1903-1964. Dog Ear Publishing. pp. 198–206. ISBN 1-59858-180-5.
    4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Amels, Wim (1984). De geschiedenis van de Tour de France 1903–1984 (in Dutch). Sport-Express. pp. 71–72. ISBN 90-70763-05-2.
    5. 1 2 3 Historical guide 2016, p. 45.
    6. Arian Zwegers. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
    7. Historical guide 2016, p. 109.
    8. "41ème Tour de France 1954 - 4ème étape (a)" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
    9. "Nolten stijgt weer in het klassement" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 20 July 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
    10. 1 2 3 4 Barry Boyce (2004). "Bobet Excels Again". Cycling Revealed. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
    11. "Nolten rukt op, thans zevende" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 21 July 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
    12. "De Bruyne wint voor de tweede keer een etappe" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 21 July 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
    13. 1 2 3 "1954: 41e editie". Tourdefrance.nl. 30 December 2003. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
    14. "Bobet toont in de tijdrit zijn grote klasse" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 31 July 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
    15. 1 2 "Bobet onbetwist winnaar van de Tour de France" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 2 August 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009.


    External links

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