1958 Tour de France

1958 Tour de France
Route of the 1958 Tour de France
Followed clockwise, starting in Brussels and finishing in Paris
Race details
Dates 26 June – 19 July
Stages 24
Distance 4,319 km (2,684 mi)
Winning time 116h 59' 05"
Winner  Charly Gaul (LUX) (Netherlands/Luxembourg)
Second  Vito Favero (ITA) (Italy)
Third  Raphaël Géminiani (FRA) (Centre-Midi)

Points  Jean Graczyk (FRA) (Centre-Midi)
Mountains  Federico Bahamontes (ESP) (Spain)
Team Belgium

The 1958 Tour de France was the 45th edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 26 June to 19 July. The total race distance was 24 stages over 4,319 km (2,684 mi).

The yellow jersey for the leader in the general classification changed owner a record 11 times, and only at the penultimate stage in the time trial the decision was made, when Gaul created a margin of more than three minutes. In the final sprint, sprinter André Darrigade, who had already won five stages, collided with a stage official, who eleven days later died because of his injuries.


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1958 Tour de France.

In 1958, 120 cyclists entered, divided into 10 teams of 12 cyclists each. France, Italy, Belgium and Spain each sent a national team. The Netherlands and Luxembourg had a combined team, as had Switzerland and Germany. There was also one "international" team, consisting of cyclists from Austria, Portugal, Great Britain and Denmark. There were also three regional French teams: Centre-Midi, West/South West and Paris/North East.[1]

The French team had had some problems with the selection, as Jacques Anquetil, the winner of the 1957 Tour de France, did not want to share leadership with Louison Bobet, winner in 1953, 1954 and 1955.[2] Anquetil had been so superior in 1957, that he did not want Bobet and Géminiani both in his team. The French team selector then chose to include Bobet in the national team.[3] Raphael Géminiani, who had been in the French national team since 1949, was demoted into the regional Centre-Midi team. Géminiani was not pleased, and sent the French team director Marcel Bidot a "jack-ass" named "Marcel" to express his displeasure.[2]

Charly Gaul, part of the Dutch/Luxembourgian team, anticipated so little help from his team mates that he announced that he would not share prizes. His team mates then refused to support him, so Gaul was on his own.[3]

The teams entering the race were:

  • France
  • Italy
  • Belgium
  • Spain
  • Netherlands/Luxembourg (combined)
  • Switzerland/Germany (combined)
  • Internationals
  • France Centre-Midi
  • France West South-West
  • France Paris North-East

Route and stages

The 1958 Tour de France started on 26 June.[4] Whereas there had been two rest days in recent years, the 1958 Tour had no rest days at all.[1] For the first time, the first mountain climbs were broadcast live on television.[5]

Stage characteristics and winners[1][4][6]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
1 26 June Brussels (Belgium) to Ghent (Belgium) 184 km (114 mi) Plain stage  André Darrigade (FRA)
2 27 June Ghent (Belgium) to Dunkirk 198 km (123 mi) Plain stage  Gerrit Voorting (NED)
3 28 June Dunkirk to Mers-les-Bains 177 km (110 mi) Plain stage  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA)
4 29 June Le Tréport to Versailles 205 km (127 mi) Plain stage  Jean Gainche (FRA)
5 30 June Versailles to Caen 232 km (144 mi) Plain stage  Tino Sabbadini (FRA)
6 1 July Caen to Saint-Brieuc 223 km (139 mi) Plain stage  Martin van Geneugden (BEL)
7 2 July Saint-Brieuc to Brest 170 km (110 mi) Plain stage  Brian Robinson (GBR)
8 3 July Châteaulin 46 km (29 mi) Individual time trial  Charly Gaul (LUX)
9 4 July Quimper to Saint-Nazaire 206 km (128 mi) Plain stage  André Darrigade (FRA)
10 5 July Saint-Nazaire to Royan 255 km (158 mi) Plain stage  Pierino Baffi (ITA)
11 6 July Royan to Bordeaux 137 km (85 mi) Plain stage  Arrigo Padovan (ITA)
12 7 July Bordeaux to Dax 161 km (100 mi) Plain stage  Martin van Geneugden (BEL)
13 8 July Dax to Pau 230 km (140 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Louis Bergaud (FRA)
14 9 July Pau to Luchon 129 km (80 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Federico Bahamontes (ESP)
15 10 July Luchon to Toulouse 176 km (109 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  André Darrigade (FRA)
16 11 July Toulouse to Béziers 187 km (116 mi) Plain stage  Pierino Baffi (ITA)
17 12 July Béziers to Nîmes 189 km (117 mi) Plain stage  André Darrigade (FRA)
18 13 July Mont-Ventoux 21 km (13 mi) Mountain time trial  Charly Gaul (LUX)
19 14 July Carpentras to Gap 178 km (111 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Gastone Nencini (ITA)
20 15 July Gap to Briançon 165 km (103 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Federico Bahamontes (ESP)
21 16 July Briançon to Aix-les-Bains 219 km (136 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Charly Gaul (LUX)
22 17 July Aix-les-Bains to Besançon 237 km (147 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  André Darrigade (FRA)
23 18 July Besançon to Dijon 74 km (46 mi) Individual time trial  Charly Gaul (LUX)
24 19 July Dijon to Paris 320 km (200 mi) Plain stage  Pierino Baffi (ITA)
Total 4,319 km (2,684 mi)[7]

Race overview

Charly Gaul (pictured in 1959), winner of the general classification

The first stage left in Brussels, to celebrate Brussel's World Fair.[3] In the first stages, Luxembourgian climber Charly Gaul struggled, and lost considerable time in flat stages.[2] During a break in the sixth stage, Anquetil and Bobet were left behind. Géminiani was in the leading group, and gained more than ten minutes on his rivals. After the sixth stage, Gerrit Voorting was in first place, followed by François Mahé from the French national team, and Géminiani.[3] In the seventh stage, Arrigo Padovan won the sprint from Brian Robinson. The jury however relegated Padovan to second place for irregular sprinting, and Robinson became the first British winner of a stage.[3]

The ninth stage again saw a large breakaway, this time including Darrigade. Darrigade won the sprint, and because the next group was more than 10 minutes behind, he became the new leader.[3] Géminiani and the French national team were still on bad terms. When Gastone Nencini, a threat to both, had escaped and the national team members asked Géminiani to help them to get Nencini back, Géminiani refused.[3]

The Pyréneés were visited in stage 13. Darrigade was not able to keep up with the leaders, and lost the lead. Bahamontes had tried to escape but failed, and later Gaul tried to escape, but he also failed. The favourites finished together, and Géminiani became the new leader; Vito Favero was only three seconds behind him.[3] In the fourteenth stage, also in the Pyrénées, Bahamontes escaped again, and this time he managed to stay away and win. Géminiani finished in the next group, but because Favero won the sprint for the second place, he received 30 seconds bonification time, and became the new leader.[3] In the fifteenth stage, Favero again finished second, and extended his lead again by 30 seconds.[3]

In the eighteenth stage, a mountain time trial, Gaul won back time, and jumped from sixth place to third place in the general classification.[2] Géminiani jumped back to the first place in that stage.[3] In the nineteenth stage, over the Alps, Gaul had mechanical problems, and lost ten minutes. Second-placed rider Favero was now at a margin of more than three minutes.[3] In the twentieth stage, again in the Alps, Bahamontes finished first. Gaul lost a few seconds to Géminiani in that stage, so after the twentieth stage, Gaul was more than sixteen minutes behind Géminiani.[8] With only a few stages left, Géminiani appeared to be able to win the race.

In stage 21, the weather conditions were bad. Before the stage started, Gaul told Bobet that he would attack on the first climb of the day, which he did. Bahamontes followed him, but let himself drop back because the weather was too bad and the finish was still far away. Gaul continued on his own, and his margin with the next cyclist kept growing.[8] Géminiani now asked the French national team to help him, but they could not help and did not want to help. Géminiani forgot to take food in the food zone, and was hungry in the last part of the stage.[3] In the end, Gaul won the stage almost 8 minutes ahead of the next rider. Favero came in third, more than ten minutes later, and Géminiani seventh more than 14 minutes behind. Favero was again first in the general classification, with Géminiani only 39 seconds behind in second place and Gaul 67 seconds behind in third place.[2][9] After that stage, Géminiani accused the French team of treason, because he said it was due to their attacks that he lost the lead.[10] Because of the extraordinary circumstances, the time limits were not enforced that stage. Second-placed rider Favero was now at a margin of more than three minutes.[3]

Stage 22 was flat, and the favourites stayed together. This meant that the time trial in stage 23 would be decisive. In that time trial, Gaul was the first of these three to start. Gaul set the winning time, and Géminiani and Favero lost more than three minutes, so Gaul took the lead in the general classification.[2] Anquetil, who felt sick and was behind in the general classification, did not start that stage.[3]

The last stage traditionally saw no problems for the leader, and Gaul became the first Luxembourgian cyclist since 1928 to win the Tour.[2] In the final sprint in the last stage in the Parc des Princes, André Darrigade was in first position when he collided with Constant Wouters, the 70-year-old sécrétaire-général of the stadium, who was attempting to prevent photographers encroaching on the track. Darrigade needed five stitches, but Wouters injuries were more serious, and he died eleven days later.[11]

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.[1] The yellow jersey changed hands eleven times, the most ever.[4][12] Gaul had an average speed of 36.919 km/h, which was a new record. Of the 120 cyclists that started the 1958 Tour de France, 78 finished the race.[1]

The points classification was calculated by adding the stage ranks of each cyclist.

The mountains classification was calculated by adding the points given to cyclists for reaching the highest point in a climb first.

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 Belgian team, with a large margin over the Italian team.

The combativity award was won by Federico Bahamontes.[4]

Classification leadership by stage
Stage Winner General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification Team classification
1 André Darrigade André Darrigade André Darrigade no award Belgium
2 Gerrit Voorting Jos Hoevenaers Jos Hoevenaers
3 Gilbert Bauvin Wim van Est Jean Graczyk Netherlands/Luxembourg
4 Jean Gainche Belgium
5 Tino Sabbadini Gilbert Bauvin France
6 Martin van Geneugden Gerrit Voorting
7 Brian Robinson
8 Charly Gaul
9 André Darrigade André Darrigade
10 Pierino Baffi
11 Arrigo Padovan
12 Martin van Geneugden
13 Louis Bergaud Raphaël Géminiani Federico Bahamontes
14 Federico Bahamontes Vito Favero
15 André Darrigade
16 Pierino Baffi
17 André Darrigade
18 Charly Gaul Raphaël Géminiani Belgium
19 Gastone Nencini
20 Federico Bahamontes
21 Charly Gaul Vito Favero France
22 André Darrigade
23 Charly Gaul Charly Gaul Belgium
24 Pierino Baffi
Final Charly Gaul Jean Graczyk Federico Bahamontes Belgium

Final standings

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[1]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Charly Gaul (LUX)Netherlands/Luxembourg 116h 59' 05"
2  Vito Favero (ITA)Italy + 3' 10"
3  Raphaël Géminiani (FRA)Centre-Midi + 3' 41"
4  Jan Adriaensens (BEL)Belgium + 7' 16"
5  Gastone Nencini (ITA)Italy + 13' 33"
6  Jozef Planckaert (BEL)Belgium + 28' 01"
7  Louison Bobet (FRA)France + 31' 39"
8  Federico Bahamontes (ESP)Spain + 40' 44"
9  Louis Bergaud (FRA)France + 48' 33"
10  Jos Hoevenaers (BEL)Belgium + 58' 26"

Points classification

Final points classification (1–10)[13]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Jean Graczyk (FRA) Centre-Midi 247
2  Jef Planckaert (BEL) Belgium 406
3  André Darrigade (FRA) France 553
4  Jean Gainche (FRA) West/South West 584
5  Edouard Delberghe (FRA) Paris/North East 623
6  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA) France 660
7  Jos Hoevenaers (BEL) Belgium 663
8  Gastone Nencini (ITA) Italy 682
9  Piet van Est (NED) Netherlands/Luxembourg 718
10  Wim van Est (NED) Netherlands/Luxembourg 728

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–11)[13]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Federico Bahamontes (ESP) Spain 78
2  Charly Gaul (LUX) Netherlands/Luxembourg 64
3  Jean Dotto (FRA) Centre-Midi 34
4  Gianni Ferlenghi (ITA) Italy 33
5  Jean Adriaenssens (BEL) Belgium 28
6  Nino Catalano (ITA) Italy 19
6  Piet van Est (NED) Netherlands/Luxembourg 19
8  Jacques Anquetil (FRA) France 18
8  Raphaël Géminiani (FRA) Centre-Midi 18
8  Gastone Nencini (ITA) Italy 18
8  Piet Damen (NED) Netherlands/Luxembourg 18

Team classification

Final team classification[13]
Rank Team Time
1 Belgium 352h 30' 58"
2 Italy + 9' 05"
3 Netherlands/Luxembourg + 43' 26"
4 France + 59' 20"
5 Centre-Midi + 59' 34"
6 Spain + 3h 18' 48"
7 Paris/North East + 3h 20' 00"
8 Switzerland/Germany + 3h 30' 09"
9 West/South West + 3h 45' 14"
10 Internationals + 5h 23' 28"

Combativity classification

Final combativity classification (1–3)[14]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Federico Bahamontes (ESP) Spain 246
2  André Darrigade (FRA) France 243
3  Charly Gaul (LUX) Netherlands/Luxembourg 224


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "45ème Tour de France 1958" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Boyce, Barry (2004). "Little Charly Gaul Climbs to a Tour Victory". Cyling Revealed. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2006). The Story of the Tour de France Volume 1: 1903-1964. Dog Ear Publishing. pp. 228–236. ISBN 1-59858-180-5. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Historical guide 2016, p. 49.
  5. Thompson, Christopher S. (2008). The Tour de France: A Cultural History. University of California Pres. p. 283. ISBN 0-520-25630-1. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
  6. Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  7. Historical guide 2016, p. 109.
  8. 1 2 Jones, Graham (August 2006). "Great Escapes". Cycling revealed. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  9. "45ème Tour de France 1958 - 21ème étape" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  10. "The Tour - Year 1958". Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  11. "Tour de France: An alternative view of the ultimate road race". The Independent. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  12. Hildenbrand, Bruce (20 August 2006). "81 Reasons The Yellow Jersey Still Matters". Bicycling. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  13. 1 2 3 "1958: 45e editie". Tourdefrance.nl. 30 December 2003. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  14. "Clasificacion General" (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 20 July 1958. p. 3. Retrieved 30 August 2010.


External links

Media related to 1958 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons

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