1928 Tour de France
|Route of the 1928 Tour de France
Followed counterclockwise, starting in Paris
|Dates||17 June–15 July 1928|
|Distance||5,476 km (3,403 mi)|
|Winning time||198h 16' 42" (28.4 km/h or 17.6 mph)|
|Winner||Nicolas Frantz (Luxembourg)||(Alcyon–Dunlop)|
|Second||André Leducq (France)||(Alcyon–Dunlop)|
|Third||Maurice De Waele (Belgium)||(Alcyon–Dunlop)|
The 1928 Tour de France was the 22nd Tour de France, taking place June 17 to July 15, 1928. It consisted of 22 stages over 5,476 km, ridden at an average speed of 28.4 km/h. Altogether, 162 cyclists started the race, at that time a new record.
The second win by Nicolas Frantz, he held the yellow jersey from beginning to end despite an obstacle in three days before the end of the tour. Frantz had a mechanical failure between Metz and Charleville and had to finish 100 km of race on an undersized women's bicycle resulting in a loss of 28 minutes. Regardless, Frantz won the tour, showing the superiority of his team, Alcyon, which gained the team trophy, and also had second best man André Leducq.
Tour director Henri Desgrange allowed teams to replace exhausted or injured cyclist by new cyclists, to give the weaker teams a fairer chance. However, the effects were opposite, so the concept was quickly abandoned.
Changes from the 1927 Tour de France
In the 1927 Tour de France, the team time trial format had been introduced, where teams started 15 minutes separated. This was done to make the flat stages more competitive. Although in 1927 this had not been successful, the formula was repeated in 1928; this time the teams started 10 minutes from each other.
The team time trial format had been an advantage to the strong teams; therefore the tour organisation invented a new rule, aimed to help the weak teams: the teams were allowed to replace cyclists in the beginning of stage 12, halfway through the competition. They were not eligible for the general classification.
Another new rule thing were the regional teams. The riders were separated in three groups: there were 8 trade teams, 9 regional teams of five riders and the touriste-routiers, without teams.
In other years, the mountain stages, especially in the Pyrénées, had decided the race. To reduce the importance of these stages, the Tour organisation had changed the route of the first mountain stage, that had been the same since 1913. Two mountains, the Aspin and the Peyresourde, were left out of the stage.
The tour also saw the introduction of the Australian/New Zealand team, sponsored by Ravat. It was headed by Hubert Opperman, who had been the Australian cycling champion for a few years. After the Melbourne Herald had a campaign to send Opperman to the Tour de France, a team was made. The plan was to add six experienced European cyclists to the team, but this did not happen. Opperman rode some races in Europe and could compete with the European top cyclists, but the rest of his team could not. Because a major part of the race was in the team time trial format, Opperman had no chance to win the Tour.
In the first team-time-trial like stages, the Alcyon team emerged the best. The individual Touriste-routiers could not compete to the professional teams. The Alcyon team finished first in five of the eight stages. Nicolas Frantz, the winner of the previous tour, crossed the finish line first in the first stage, and was leading the classification, and kept the lead during these stages. After the first eight stages, Frantz was leading the race, followed by his team mate Maurice De Waele in 99 seconds. Julien Vervaecke, the Belgian from the Armor team, followed in third place, 225 seconds behind.
In stage 9, the first mountain stage, Frantz did not crush the competition as he had done on previous year. Instead, Victor Fontan, who was more than one and a half hour behind in the general classification, was allowed to escape and win the stage. Frantz still finished second, seven minutes behind, and extended his lead on his direct competitors, and was now leading by more than 40 minutes. In the tenth stage, the Alcyon team-mates Leducq, Frantz and De Waele finished first, and they now had the first three places in the general classification.
Next came the alps. Here, Frantz increased his lead. Behind him, De Waele gained time on Leducq, and was now in second place. After the alps, the three Alcyon cyclists still held the first three places in the general classification, with Frantz comfortably leading by more than 75 minutes. In the 19th stage, Frantz bicycle frame broke, when he rode over a railroad track. His sponsor, Alcyon, did not like the bad publicity, and wanted Frantz to go to an Alcyon dealer and get a replacement bike. The team manager from Alcyon was against this idea, because this would cause a major time loss, and maybe even the loss of the Tour de France. According to some sources, they found a bicycle shop that only had one bicycle left, an undersized women's bicycle, and they decided to take it. Other sources say that when they were thinking what to do, Frantz spotted a woman with a bicycle, and persuaded her to give him her bike. Frantz rode the last 100 km on this undersized women's bicycle, and did this with 27 km/h, whereas the winner of the stage had 34 km/h. His lead dropped with 30 minutes, but he was still leading the race.
In the 21st stage, Antonin Magne and Francis Bouillet had escaped together, and it was Bouillet who won the sprint. This was a problem for the Tour organisation, as Bouillet had already left the race in stage 9, to start again as a replacement in stage 12. Hence, he was no longer eligible for the general classification, and could not be the winner of a stage. The Tour organisation solved the problem by giving Bouillet the best time and proclaiming him the moral winner of the stage, and making Magne the official winner of the stage.
In stages 1 to 8 and 15 to 21, the cyclists started in teams. The cyclist who reached the finish fastest was the winner of the stage. In the other stages, all cyclists started together. The time that each cyclist required to finish the stage was recorded. For the general classification, these times were added up; the cyclist with the least accumulated time was the race leader, identified by the yellow jersey.
Nicolas Frantz wore the yellow jersey from the start of the race to the end of the race. Since the introduction of the yellow jersey in 1919, this has only happened in 1924, 1928 and 1935. As the winner of the previous year, Frantz also wore the yellow jersey during the first stage; he is the only cyclist to wear the yellow jersey during an entire Tour de France.
|Stage||Date||Route||Terrain[Notes 1]||Length||Winner (team)||Race leader|
|1||17 June||Paris – Caen||Team time trial||207 km (129 mi)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX) (Alcyon–Dunlop)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|2||18 June||Caen – Cherbourg||Team time trial||140 km (87 mi)||André Leducq (FRA) (Alcyon–Dunlop)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|3||19 June||Cherbourg – Dinan||Team time trial||199 km (124 mi)||Gaston Rebry (BEL) (Alcyon–Dunlop)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|4||20 June||Dinan – Brest||Team time trial||206 km (128 mi)||Pé Verhaegen (BEL) (J.B. Louvet)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|5||21 June||Brest – Vannes||Team time trial||208 km (129 mi)||Marcel Bidot (FRA) (Alleluia–Wolber)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|6||22 June||Vannes – Les Sables d'Olonne||Team time trial||204 km (127 mi)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX) (Alcyon–Dunlop)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|7||23 June||Les Sables d'Olonne – Bordeaux||Team time trial||285 km (177 mi)||Victor Fontan (FRA) (Elvish–Wolber)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|8||24 June||Bordeaux – Hendaye||Team time trial||225 km (140 mi)||Maurice Dewaele (BEL) (Alcyon–Dunlop)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|9||26 June||Hendaye – Luchon||Stage with mountain(s)||387 km (240 mi)||Victor Fontan (FRA)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|10||28 June||Luchon – Perpignan||Stage with mountain(s)||323 km (201 mi)||André Leducq (FRA)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|11||30 June||Perpignan – Marseille||Plain stage||363 km (226 mi)||André Leducq (FRA)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|12||2 July||Marseille – Nice||Stage with mountain(s)||330 km (210 mi)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|13||4 July||Nice – Grenoble||Stage with mountain(s)||333 km (207 mi)||Antonin Magne (FRA)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|14||6 July||Grenoble – Evian||Stage with mountain(s)||329 km (204 mi)||Julien Moineau (FRA)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|15||8 July||Evian – Pontarlier||Team time trial||213 km (132 mi)||Pierre Magne (FRA) (Alleluia–Wolber)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|16||9 July||Pontarlier – Belfort||Team time trial||119 km (74 mi)||André Leducq (FRA) (Alcyon–Dunlop)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|17||10 July||Belfort – Strasbourg||Team time trial||145 km (90 mi)||Joseph Mauclair (FRA) (Armor–Dunlop)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|18||11 July||Strasbouurg – Metz||Team time trial||165 km (103 mi)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX) (Alcyon–Dunlop)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|19||12 July||Metz – Charleville||Team time trial||159 km (99 mi)||Marcel Huot (FRA) (Alleluia–Wolber)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|20||13 July||Charleville – Malo-les-Bains||Team time trial||271 km (168 mi)||Maurice Dewaele (BEL) (Alcyon–Dunlop)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|21||14 July||Malo-les-Bains – Dieppe||Team time trial||234 km (145 mi)||Antonin Magne (FRA) (Alleluia–Wolber)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
|22||15 July||Dieppe – Paris||Plain stage||331 km (206 mi)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)|
The Alcyon team had all the podium positions. Since 1928, it has never happened again that one team had all the podium positions.
|1||Nicolas Frantz (LUX)||Alcyon–Dunlop||192h 48' 58"|
|2||André Leducq (FRA)||Alcyon–Dunlop||+50' 07"|
|3||Maurice De Waele (BEL)||Alcyon–Dunlop||+56' 16"|
|4||Jan Mertens (BEL)||Thomann–Dunlop||+1h 19' 18"|
|5||Julien Vervaecke (BEL)||Armor–Dunlop||+1h 53' 32"|
|6||Antonin Magne (FRA)||Alleluia–Wolber||+2h 14' 02"|
|7||Victor Fontan (FRA)||Elvish–Wolber||+5h 07' 47"|
|8||Marcel Bidot (FRA)||Alleluia–Wolber||+5h 18' 28"|
|9||Marcel Huot (FRA)||Alleluia–Wolber||+5h 37' 33"|
|10||Pierre Magne (FRA)||Alleluia–Wolber||+5h 41' 20"|
|Final general classification (11–41)|
|11||Joseph Mauclair (FRA)||Armor–Dunlop||+5h 44' 01"|
|12||Gaston Rebry (BEL)||Alcyon–Dunlop||+5h 53' 44"|
|13||Louis Delannoy (BEL)||Armor–Dunlop||+6h 11' 35"|
|14||Camille Van de Casteele (BEL)||J.B. Louvet-Hutchinson||+6h 52' 55"|
|15||Salvador Cardona (ESP)||Elvish–Wolber||+7h 33' 47"|
|16||Pé Verhaegen (BEL)||J.B. Louvet-Hutchinson||+7h 39' 56"|
|17||Julien Moineau (FRA)||Alleluia–Wolber||+8h 03' 23"|
|18||Hubert Opperman (AUS)||Ravat-Wonder-Dunlop||+8h 34' 25"|
|19||Désiré Louesse (BEL)||Alcyon–Dunlop||+9h 27' 21"|
|20||Odiel Taillieu (BEL)||J.B. Louvet-Hutchinson||+10h 23' 18"|
|21||Jean Mouveroux (FRA)||Fontan-Wolber||+10h 49' 53"|
|22||Jean Bidot (FRA)||Alleluia–Wolber||+10h 56' 30"|
|23||Marcel Autaa (FRA)||Fontan-Wolber||+11h 42' 40"|
|24||Raymond Decorte (BEL)||J.B. Louvet-Hutchinson||+12h 27' 02"|
|25||Paul Filliat (FRA)||South-East France||+15h 51' 56"|
|26||Raphael Calmette (FRA)||Fontan-Wolber||+15h 55' 08"|
|27||Maurice Arnoult (FRA)||Normandy||+16h 25' 04"|
|28||Harry Watson (NZL)||Ravat-Wonder-Dunlop||+16h 53' 32"|
|29||Lucien Laval (FRA)||Elvish–Wolber||+16h 53' 55"|
|30||Marcel Colleu (FRA)||Alsace-Lorraine||+17h 04' 01"|
|31||Amand Goubert (FRA)||North France||+18h 50' 20"|
|32||René Hamel (FRA)||J.B. Louvet-Hutchinson||+19h 10' 18"|
|33||Paul Delbart (FRA)||Champagne||+19h 51' 17"|
|34||Henri François (FRA)||Champagne||+20h 02' 46"|
|35||Fernand Moulet (FRA)||Champagne||+20h 10' 21"|
|36||Raphael Dupau (FRA)||Fontan-Wolber||+20h 47' 54"|
|37||François Menta (FRA)||Côte d'Azur||+21h 05' 32"|
|38||Perry Osborne (AUS)||Ravat-Wonder-Dunlop||+22h 01' 49"|
|39||Fernand Fayolle (FRA)||Côte d'Azur||+24h 02' 10"|
|40||Lucien Lange (FRA)||Alsace-Lorraine||+25h 30' 57"|
|41||Edouard Persin (FRA)||Champagne||+26h 56' 19"|
There was also a team trophee. The team trophee for teams was won by Alcyon, the Champagne-regional team won the team trophee for regional teams. This team trophee was not the same as the team classification that has been run since 1930.
The team time trial method had not given the desired result; in the 1929 Tour de France it was only used if the previous stage had been too slow, and after 1929 it disappeared. The rule with replaced cyclists did not even make it until the next year.
Some riders had been grouped in regional teams; this was considered successful; in 1930 the system would change to the national team system, where riders were grouped in national or regional teams.
- The flat stages, 1 to 8 and 15 to 21, indicated by the clock icon, were run as team time trials. The other stages, indicated by the other icons, were run individually, and the icons show whether the stage included mountains.
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