1962 Tour de France

1962 Tour de France
Route of the 1962 Tour de France
Followed counterclockwise, starting in Nancy and finishing in Paris
Race details
Dates 24 June – 15 July
Stages 22, including two split stages
Distance 4,274 km (2,656 mi)
Winning time 114h 31' 54"
Winner  Jacques Anquetil (FRA) (ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson)
Second  Jef Planckaert (BEL) (Faema–Flandria–Clement)
Third  Raymond Poulidor (FRA) (Mercier–BP–Hutchinson)

Points  Rudi Altig (FRG) (ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson)
Mountains  Federico Bahamontes (ESP) (Margnat–Paloma–d'Alessandro)
Team ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson

The 1962 Tour de France was the 49th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. The 4,274-kilometre (2,656 mi) race consisted of 22 stages, including two split stages, starting in Nancy on 24 June and finishing at the Parc des Princes in Paris on 15 July. After more than 30 years, the Tour was again contested by trade teams. Jacques Anquetil of the ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson team defended his title to win his third Tour de France. Faema–Flandria–Clement's Jef Planckaert placed second and Raymond Poulidor (Mercier–BP–Hutchinson) third.

The points classification was won by Anquetil's teammate Rudi Altig. Margnat–Paloma–d'Alessandro's Federico Bahamontes won the mountains classification. The team classification was won by ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson, and Eddy Pauwels (Wiel's–Groene Leeuw) was given the award for the most combative rider. Altig and Pauwels won the most stages, with three each.


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1962 Tour de France.
V.C. XII–Leroux–Gitane–Dunlop riders before the first stage

From 1930 to 1961, the Tour de France was contested by national teams, but in 1962, the trade teams returned.[1] Each of the fifteen teams consisted of ten cyclists,[2][3] but were required to have a dominant nationality; at least six cyclists should have the same nationality, or only two nationalities should be present.[4] For the first time, the French cyclists were outnumbered; there were 52 Italian cyclists and 50 French cyclists, the largest amounts from a nation including Belgium with 28. Riders represented a further six nations, all from Europe.[3]

Of start list of 150, the number of riders riding the Tour de France for the first time was 66.[5] The average age of riders in the race was 27.46 years,[6] ranging from the 21-year-old Tiziano Galvanin (Legnano–Pirelli) to the 40-year-old Pino Cerami (Peugeot–BP–Dunlop).[7][8] Of the total average ages, Legnano–Pirelli was the youngest team and Margnat–Paloma–d'Alessandro the oldest.[6] From the riders that began the race, 94 made it to the finish in Paris.[9]

The teams entering the race were:[3][2]

Majority of French cyclists

Majority of Italian cyclists

  • Moschettieri–Ignis
  • G.S. Ghigi
  • G.S. Gazzola–Fiorelli–Hutchinson
  • Carpano
  • Legnano–Pirelli
  • G.S. Philco

Majority of Belgian cyclists

Pre-race favourites

Pre-race favourite Jacques Anquetil (pictured on stage one)

The defending champion, Jacques Anquetil, was part of the ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson team. This team also included Rudi Altig, and during the 1962 Vuelta a España, Altig had beaten his team leader, so observers expected some internal team struggle. The team manager of the Saint Raphael team was Anquetil's former rival Raphael Géminiani, and Anquetil had asked his sponsors to replace Géminiani for the Tour. They declined his request.[10]

Raymond Poulidor, the new star who had not started the 1961 Tour because of the national team format, started this time in the Mercier team. He started the race injured, as he had broken his hand recently, and was riding with a cast.[10]

The tour director Goddet convinced Rik Van Looy, the winner of the last two world championships, to enter the Tour; Goddet hoped that this he could add excitement.[11]

Route and stages

The 1962 Tour de France started on 24 June in Nancy, and had no rest days.[12] The Tour included six new start or finish locations: Spa, in stages 1 and 2; Herentals, in stages 2a and 2b; Luçon, in stages 8a and 8b; and Nevers, in stages 21 and 22.[13] On stage 18 the Col de la Bonette mountain pass was used for the first in the Tour de France, which at an attitude of 2,802 metres (9,193 feet) is highest point reached in the race.[14]

Stage characteristics and winners[13][12][15][16][17]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
1 24 June Nancy to Spa (Belgium) 253 km (157 mi) Plain stage  Rudi Altig (FRG)
2a 25 June Spa (Belgium) to Herentals (Belgium) 147 km (91 mi) Plain stage  André Darrigade (FRA)
2b Herentals (Belgium) 23 km (14 mi) Team time trial  Faema–Flandria–Clement
3 26 June Brussels (Belgium) to Amiens 210 km (130 mi) Plain stage  Rudi Altig (FRG)
4 27 June Amiens to Le Havre 196.5 km (122.1 mi) Plain stage  Willy van den Berghen (BEL)
5 28 June Pont l'Evêque to Saint-Malo 215 km (134 mi) Plain stage  Emile Daems (BEL)
6 29 June Dinard to Brest 235.5 km (146.3 mi) Plain stage  Robert Cazala (FRA)
7 30 June Quimper to Saint-Nazaire 201 km (125 mi) Plain stage  Huub Zilverberg (NED)
8a 1 July Saint-Nazaire to Luçon 155 km (96 mi) Plain stage  Mario Minieri (ITA)
8b Luçon to La Rochelle 43 km (27 mi) Individual time trial  Jacques Anquetil (FRA)
9 2 July La Rochelle to Bordeaux 214 km (133 mi) Plain stage  Antonio Bailetti (ITA)
10 3 July Bordeaux to Bayonne 184.5 km (114.6 mi) Plain stage  Willy Vannitsen (BEL)
11 4 July Bayonne to Pau 155.5 km (96.6 mi) Plain stage  Eddy Pauwels (BEL)
12 5 July Pau to Saint-Gaudens 207.5 km (128.9 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Robert Cazala (FRA)
13 6 July Luchon to Superbagnères 18.5 km (11.5 mi) Mountain time trial  Federico Bahamontes (ESP)
14 7 July Luchon to Carcassonne 215 km (134 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Jean Stablinski (FRA)
15 8 July Carcassonne to Montpellier 196.5 km (122.1 mi) Plain stage  Willy Vannitsen (BEL)
16 9 July Montpellier to Aix-en-Provence 185 km (115 mi) Plain stage  Emile Daems (BEL)
17 10 July Aix-en-Provence to Antibes 201 km (125 mi) Plain stage  Rudi Altig (FRG)
18 11 July Antibes to Briançon 241.5 km (150.1 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Emile Daems (BEL)
19 12 July Briançon to Aix-les-Bains 204.5 km (127.1 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Raymond Poulidor (FRA)
20 13 July Bourgoin to Lyon 68 km (42 mi) Individual time trial  Jacques Anquetil (FRA)
21 14 July Lyon to Nevers 232 km (144 mi) Plain stage  Dino Bruni (ITA)
22 15 July Nevers to Paris 271 km (168 mi) Plain stage  Rino Benedetti (ITA)
Total 4,274 km (2,656 mi)[18]

Race overview

The finish of stage 2a in Herentals, Belgium, won by André Darrigade of V.C. XII–Leroux–Gitane–Dunlop

The Tour started in Belgium, and world champion Rik Van Looy wanted to wear the yellow jersey in his own country. In the final, he was in the lead group of 20 cyclists, but Rudi Altig surprised him in the sprint.[11] Pre-race favourites Poulidor and Bahamontes already lost more than eight minutes.[10] The second stage finished in the home town of Van Looy, where he took a wrong turn and lost the chance of winning the stage.[10] André Darrigade took over the lead, but Altig took it back in the third stage.

In the sixth stage, a big group escaped from the peloton. Altig and Anquetil were not there, but they had sent their team mate Ab Geldermans to protect the team's interests. Geldermans was the best-placed man in the break, and their margin was so large that Geldermans became the new leader.[10]

In first part of the eighth stage, another large group escaped, and Darrigade became the new leader. The second part of the eighth stage was a time trial, won by Anquetil.[10]

Because of a successful breakaway in the ninth stage, Darrigade lost the lead to Willy Schroeders. In the eleventh stage, there was a crash involving twenty cyclists, with Van Looy as the main victim. Van Looy's kidney was injured, and he was brought to hospital.[11] Schroeders kept the lead until the first mountain stage in the Pyrenees. In that stage, he could not keep up with the best climbers, and lost the lead to Tom Simpson, who became the first British cyclist to wear the yellow jersey.[10]

On stage twelve, Tom Simpson (pictured in 1966) became the first wearer of the race leader's yellow jersey from an English-speaking country

Simpson lost the lead in the next stage, in a mountain time trial won by Bahamontes. Jozef Planckaert finished in second place, and became the new leader.[10]

In the night after that stage, Hans Junkermann, riding for the Wiel's team, became ill. Junkermann was in seventh place in the general classification, and his team requested the start to be delayed by ten minutes, which the organisation allowed. After that stage, stage 14, had started, Junkermann quickly fell to the back, and had to give up. He was not the only one: twelve riders fell ill and said 'bad fish' was the cause. Tour doctor Pierre Dumas realized they had all been given the same drug by the same soigneur.[19] Fourteen riders abandoned the Tour that day, including the former leader, Willy Schroeder, the 1960 winner Gastone Nencini and a future leader, Karl-Heinz Kunde.[13] Jacques Goddet wrote that he suspected doping but nothing was proven – other than that none of the hotels had served fish the previous night. The newspapers ridiculed the riders, and this made the riders furious. They threatened to strike, but the journalist Jean Bobet, a former cyclist, was able to talk them into continuing,[10] although Jean Bobet was one of the creators of film Vive Le Tour! which ridiculed the riders and their 'bad fish' explanation.

Although Anquetil was not leading the race, he was in a good position to win. He considered Bahamontes as his main threat in the Alps, because Bahamontes was a good climber, and had shown his excellent form in the time trial that he won. Before the Tour reached the alps, in the fourteenth stage, Anquetil lured Bahamontes into spending energy at the wrong time, and Bahamontes lost fifteen minutes in that stage. He was no longer a threat for the general classification, and Anquetil could focus on Planckaert, who still led the general classification.[11]

Important attacks were expected in stage 18 in the alps. Instead, the riders were going slow. In the first 4 hours, they only raced 100 km. Later, some attacks took place, but they failed for flat tires, and the defending tactics of the other riders. So in the end, Emile Daems, who was a sprinter and not a climber, was able to win this mountain stage.[10]

The nineteenth stage followed the same route as the 21st stage in the 1958 Tour de France, where Gaul had won the race. Poulidor's injured hand was better now, and his team manager Antonin Magne told him that the time was ready to attack. Poulidor was almost ten minutes behind in the general classification, so he would probably be allowed some freedom. Poulidor attacked, and stayed away alone, jumping to the third place in the general classification.[1][10] After that nineteenth stage, Belgian Jef Planckaert was still leading the race. In the time trial in stage 20, he lost considerable time, and Anquetil took over the lead.[1] Anquetil remained the leader until the end, and won his third Tour.[10]

Classification leadership

There were three main individual classifications contested in the 1962 Tour, as well as a team competition. Two of them awarded jerseys to their leaders. The most important was the general classification, which was calculated by adding each rider's finishing times on each stage. The rider with the least accumulated time is the race leader, identified by a yellow jersey;[20] the winner of this classification will be considered the winner of the Tour.

In the points classification riders received points for finishing among the highest placed in a stage finish. The classification leader was identified by a green jersey.[20]

For the mountains classification, points were awarded to the riders that reached the top of the most difficult ascents first. The climbs were categorised as either first, second, third, or fourth-category, with more points available for the harder-categorised climbs. The calculation for the mountains classification was changed in 1962, and the fourth category was added.[13] The leader of the classification was not identified by a jersey.[20]

In the team classification, the times of the best three cyclists per team on each stage were added; the team with the lowest time on a stage won one point. The overall team classification was calculated by counting the number points across all the stages. The riders in the team that lead this classification were identified with yellow caps.[21]

After each stage, a jury voted for the most aggressive cyclist of that stage. Those votes were added towards the combativity award,[21][22] which was won by Eddy Pauwels (Wiel's–Groene Leeuw).[12]

Classification leadership by stage
Stage Winner General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification Team classification
1 Rudi Altig Rudi Altig Rudi Altig Jean Selic ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson
2a André Darrigade André Darrigade André Darrigade Angelino Soler
2b Faema–Flandria–Clement
3 Rudi Altig Rudi Altig
4 Willy van den Berghen Rudi Altig
5 Emile Daems Rolf Wolfshohl
6 Robert Cazala Ab Geldermans
7 Huub Zilverberg
8a Mario Minieri André Darrigade
8b Jacques Anquetil
9 Antonio Bailetti Willy Schroeders
10 Willy Vannitsen
11 Eddy Pauwels
12 Robert Cazala Tom Simpson Federico Bahamontes
13 Federico Bahamontes Jef Planckaert
14 Jean Stablinski
15 Willy Vannitsen
16 Emile Daems
17 Rudi Altig
18 Emile Daems
19 Raymond Poulidor
20 Jacques Anquetil Jacques Anquetil
21 Dino Bruni
22 Rino Benedetti
Final Jacques Anquetil Rudi Altig Federico Bahamontes ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson

Final standings

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[9][23]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Jacques Anquetil (FRA) ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson 114h 31' 54"
2  Jozef Planckaert (BEL) Faema–Flandria–Clement + 4' 59"
3  Raymond Poulidor (FRA) Mercier–BP–Hutchinson + 10' 24"
4  Gilbert Desmet (BEL) Carpano + 13' 01"
5  Albertus Geldermans (NED) ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson + 14' 05"
6  Tom Simpson (GBR) V.C. XII–Leroux–Gitane–Dunlop + 17' 09"
7  Imerio Massignan (ITA) Legnano–Pirelli + 17' 50"
8  Ercole Baldini (ITA) Moschettieri–Ignis + 19' 00"
9  Charly Gaul (LUX) G.S. Gazzola + 19' 11"
10  Eddy Pauwels (BEL) Wiel's–Groene Leeuw + 23' 04"

Points classification

Final points classification (1–10)[23]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Rudi Altig (FRG) ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson 173
2  Emile Daems (BEL) G.S Philco 144
3  Jean Graczyk (FRA) ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson 140
4  Rino Benedetti (ITA) Moschettieri–Ignis 135
5  André Darrigade (FRA) V.C. XII–Leroux–Gitane–Dunlop 131
6  Jacques Anquetil (FRA) ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson 99
7  Willy Vannitsen (BEL) Wiel's–Groene Leeuw 83
8  Jozef Planckaert (BEL) Faema–Flandria–Clement 77
9  Gilbert Desmet (BEL) Faema–Flandria–Clement 76
10  Raymond Poulidor (FRA) Mercier–BP–Hutchinson 73

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–10)[23]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Federico Bahamontes (ESP) Margnat–Paloma–d'Alessandro 137
2  Imerio Massignan (ITA) Legnano–Pirelli 77
3  Raymond Poulidor (FRA) Mercier–BP–Hutchinson 70
4  Charly Gaul (LUX) G.S. Gazzola 58
5  Jozef Planckaert (BEL) Faema–Flandria–Clement 37
6  Eddy Pauwels (BEL) Wiel's–Groene Leeuw 35
7  Rolf Wolfshohl (FRG) V.C. XII–Leroux–Gitane–Dunlop 33
8  Juan Campillo (ESP) Margnat–Paloma–d'Alessandro 32
9  Jacques Anquetil (FRA) ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson 31
10  Emile Daems (BEL) G.S Philco 18

Team classification

Final team classification[23]
Rank Team Points
1 ACCB–Saint Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson 6
2 Mercier–BP–Hutchinson 3
2 Faema–Flandria–Clement 3
= Wiel's–Groene Leeuw-Groene Leeuw 3
5 V.C. XII–Leroux–Gitane–Dunlop 2
= G.S. Philco 2
7 Moschettieri–Ignis 1
= G.S. Gazzola–Fiorelli–Hutchinson 1
= Margnat–Paloma–d'Alessandro-Paloma 1


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