1936 Tour de France

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1936 Tour de France
Tour de France 1936.png
Route of the 1936 Tour de France
Followed clockwise, starting in Paris
Race details
Dates 7 July–2 August 1936
Stages 21 (27 including split stages)
Distance 4,418 km (2,745 mi)
Winning time 142h 47' 32" (31.108 km/h or 19.330 mph)
Winner  Sylvère Maes (Belgium) (Belgium)
Second  Antonin Magne (France) (France)
Third  Félicien Vervaecke (Belgium) (Belgium)

Mountains  Julián Berrendero (Spain) (Spain/Luxembourg)
Team Belgium

The 1936 Tour de France was the 30th Tour de France, taking place July 7 to August 2, 1936. It was composed of 21 stages with a total length of 4,418 kilometres (2,745 mi), ridden at an average speed of 31.108 kilometres per hour (19.330 mph).[1] Because of health problems, Henri Desgrange stopped as Tour director, and was succeeded by Jacques Goddet.

The race was won by Belgian cyclist Sylvère Maes. In the early stages, he battled with French Maurice Archambaud, until Archambaud lost many minutes on the eighth stage. Maes was then able to create a large margin with his new closest competitor Magne and team mate Vervaecke.[2]

The team classification was won by the Belgian team, and Spanish cyclist Julián Berrendero won the mountains classification. There was also a one-time classification, based on points, that was won by Sylvère Maes.

Changes from the 1935 Tour de France[edit]

For the first time, a stage was divided into three parts.[3] The race director at the start of the race was still Henri Desgrange, who had been race director since the first Tour de France in 1903. Desgrange, who was already 71 years old, had had kidney surgery weeks before the start of the Tour, but was determined to follow the Tour, and rode in a car full of cushions.[4] After the second stage, he stopped, and made Jacques Goddet director.[5] The individuals category which had been used in 1935 was not used in 1936.

The introduction of the summer holiday in France in 1936 meant that the number of spectators on the roadside increased.[6]

The bonification system was the same as in 1935.[3] This meant that the winner of a stage received 90 seconds, and the second cyclist 45 seconds. In addition, the winner received a bonification equal to the margin between him and the second cyclist, with a maximum of 2 minutes. The last bonification system was also used for the first cyclist to reach a mountain top that counted for the mountains classification.


The riders were divided into two categories: the national teams and the touriste-routiers.[5] There were four big national teams with 10 cyclists each: the Belgian team, the German team, the Spanish/Luxembourgian team and the French team. There were also five small teams of 4 cyclists each: the Swiss team, the Dutch team, the Yugoslavian team, the Romanian team and the Austrian team.[3] For the Dutch, Yugoslavian and Romanian teams, it was the first participation ever.[7] The Italian team was absent for political reasons (the Second Italo-Abyssinian War).[5] An Italian team consisting of Italians living in France had been allowed to the race and even had jersey numbers designated, but finally the Tour organisers changed their minds.[4]

Race details[edit]

Swiss Paul Egli won the first stage, and thereby became the first Swiss cyclist to lead the general classification in the Tour de France.[5] That first stage was run in terrible rain.[4] In the second stage, the cyclists were split in two parts, and Egli was in the second part. Archambaud then took over the lead.[4] Archambaud lost it to Luxembourgian Mersch in the next stage, but recaptured the lead when he won the fourth stage.

Five persons posing while holding one bicycle
Theo Middelkamp, the first Dutch cyclist to win a Tour de France stage.

The competition really started in the mountains of the seventh stage. Belgian Romain Maes, the winner of the 1935 Tour, was first over the first mountain, but then gave up, a victim of chronic bronchitis.[4] On the next climb, Georges Speicher, winner of the 1930 Tour, gave up. Archambaud was still in the lead after that stage. The stage was won by Theo Middelkamp, who became the first Dutch cyclist to win a Tour stage. Before the 1936 Tour, Middelkamp had never seen a mountain in his life.[8]

In the eighth stage, Archambaud could not follow anymore, and Sylvère Maes took over the lead. In third place was Antonin Magne, who had a good chance to win the race.[4] Magne attacked on the next stage, but could not drop Maes. Later, Magne had to let the leading group get away, and lost a minute to Maes.[4]

The stages between the Alps and the Pyrénées were partly run as team time trials. The Belgian team was superior here, and Magne lost more time. When it was time for the Pyrénées, he was eight minutes behind Maes.[4]

In stage 15, the podium did not change, so it had to happen in stage 16, the last mountain stage. Magne attacked, but was unable to win back time. Maes was better, and including time bonuses Maes won eighteen minutes on Magne in that stage.[4]

In that stage, Belgian Félicien Vervaecke had borrowed a bicycle with derailleur. It was allowed for touriste-routiers, but not for national team members, and he was fined with ten minutes penalty time in the general classification. Magne also got 10 minutes penalty time, for having received food when it was not allowed.[4] Due to this penalty, Vervaecke lost his second place in the general classification, which Magne took over.[3]

In the last part of the race, Maes extended his lead thanks to the team time trials, although the French team was finally also able to win one.


Stages 13B, 14B, 18B, 19B and 20B were all run in the team-time-trial format.

Stage results[3][5][9]
Stage Date Route Terrain[Notes 1] Length Winner
1 7 July Paris – Lille Plain stage 258 km (160 mi)  Paul Egli (SUI)
2 8 July Lille – Charleville Plain stage 192 km (119 mi)  Robert Wierinckx (BEL)
3 9 July Charleville – Metz Plain stage 161 km (100 mi)  Mathias Clemens (LUX)
4 10 July Metz – Belfort Stage with mountain(s) 220 km (140 mi)  Maurice Archambaud (FRA)
5 11 July Belfort – Évian-les-Bains Plain stage 298 km (185 mi)  René Le Grèves (FRA)
6 13 July Évian-les-Bains – Aix-les-Bains Stage with mountain(s) 212 km (132 mi)  Éloi Meulenberg (BEL)
7 14 July Aix-les-Bains – Grenoble Stage with mountain(s) 230 km (140 mi)  Theo Middelkamp (NED)
8 15 July Grenoble – Briançon Stage with mountain(s) 194 km (121 mi)  Jean-Marie Goasmat (FRA)
9 16 July Briançon – Digne Stage with mountain(s) 220 km (140 mi)  Léon Level (FRA)
10 18 July Digne – Nice Plain stage 156 km (97 mi)  Paul Maye (FRA)
11 19 July Nice – Cannes Stage with mountain(s) 126 km (78 mi)  Federico Ezquerra (ESP)
12 21 July Cannes – Marseille Plain stage 195 km (121 mi)  René Le Grevès (FRA)
13A 22 July Marseille – Nîmes Plain stage 112 km (70 mi)  René Le Grevès (FRA)
13B Nîmes – Montpellier Team Individual time trial 52 km (32 mi)  Sylvère Maes (BEL)
14A 23 July Montpellier – Narbonne Plain stage 103 km (64 mi)  René Le Grevès (FRA)
14B Narbonne – Perpignan Team Individual time trial 63 km (39 mi)  Sylvère Maes (BEL)
15 25 July Perpignan – Luchon Stage with mountain(s) 325 km (202 mi)  Sauveur Ducazeaux (FRA)
16 27 July Luchon – Pau Stage with mountain(s) 194 km (121 mi)  Sylvère Maes (BEL)
17 29 July Pau – Bordeaux Plain stage 229 km (142 mi)  René Le Grevès (FRA)
18A 30 July Bordeaux – Saintes Plain stage 117 km (73 mi)  Éloi Meulenberg (BEL)
18B Saintes – La Rochelle Team Individual time trial 75 km (47 mi)  Sylvère Maes (BEL)
19A 31 July La Rochelle – La Roche-sur-Yon Plain stage 81 km (50 mi)  Marcel Kint (BEL)
19B La Roche-sur-Yon – Cholet Team Individual time trial 65 km (40 mi)  Félicien Vervaecke (BEL)
19C Cholet – Angers Plain stage 67 km (42 mi)  Paul Maye (FRA)
20A 1 August Angers – Vire Plain stage 204 km (127 mi)  René Le Grevès (FRA)
20B Vire – Caen Team Individual time trial 55 km (34 mi)  Antonin Magne (FRA)
21 2 August Caen – Paris Plain stage 234 km (145 mi)  Arsène Mersch (LUX)

Classification leadership[edit]

Stage General classification
Jersey yellow.svg
Mountains classification Classification for touriste-routiers Team classification
1  Paul Egli (SUI) no award  Décimo Bettini (FRA)  France
2  Maurice Archambaud (FRA)  Belgium
3  Arsène Mersch (LUX)  Yvan Marie (FRA)
4  Maurice Archambaud (FRA)  Federico Ezquerra (ESP)
5  Sylvain Marcaillou (FRA)
6  Yvan Marie (FRA)
8  Sylvère Maes (BEL)  Jean-Marie Goasmat (FRA)
9  Julián Berrendero (ESP)  Léon Level (FRA) Luxembourg/Spain Luxembourg/Spain
11  Federico Ezquerra (ESP)
12  Belgium
15  Julián Berrendero (ESP)
Final  Sylvère Maes (BEL)  Julián Berrendero (ESP)  Léon Level (FRA)  Belgium


Final general classification[edit]

One men holding another men, on the right a man walking with a bicycle
Sylvère Maes, winner of the 1936 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.

Final general classification (1–10)[3][10]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Sylvère Maes (BEL) Belgium 142h 47' 32"
2  Antonin Magne (FRA) France +26' 55"
3  Félicien Vervaecke (BEL) Belgium +27' 53"
4  Pierre Clemens (LUX) Spain/Luxembourg +42' 42"
5  Arsène Mersch (LUX) Spain/Luxembourg +52' 52"
6  Mariano Cañardo (ESP) Spain/Luxembourg +1h 03' 04"
7  Mathias Clemens (LUX) Spain/Luxembourg +1h 10' 44"
8  Leo Amberg (SUI) Switzerland +1h 19' 13"
9  Marcel Kint (BEL) Belgium +1h 22' 25"
10  Léon Level (FRA) Touriste-routier +1h 27' 57"

Final team classification[edit]

The team classification was calculated in 1936 by adding up the times of the best three cyclists of a team; the team with the least time was the winner.

Team classification (1–5)[10][11]
Rank Team Time
1  Belgium 430h 12' 54"
2  Spain/ Luxembourg +48' 20"
3  France +2h 19' 40"
4  Netherlands +5h 23' 28"
5   Switzerland +9h 54' 01"

The other teams that started the race, the German, Swiss, Yugoslavian, Romanian and Austrian teams, did not finish with the minimum three cyclists to be eligible for the team classification.[3]

Mountains classification[edit]

For the mountain classification, 16 mountains were selected by the Tour organisation:

Mountains in the 1936 mountains classification[3]
Stage Name Height Mountain range[5] Winner
4 Ballon d'Alsace 1,178 metres (3,865 ft) Vosges Federico Ezquerra
6 Aravis 1,498 metres (4,915 ft) Alps Federico Ezquerra
7 Galibier 2,556 metres (8,386 ft) Alps Federico Ezquerra
8 Côte de Laffrey 900 metres (3,000 ft) Alps Julián Berrendero
9 Izoard 2,361 metres (7,746 ft) Alps Sylvère Maes
9 Vars 2,110 metres (6,920 ft) Alps Julián Berrendero
9 Allos 2,250 metres (7,380 ft) Alps Julián Berrendero
11 Braus 1,002 metres (3,287 ft) Alps-Maritimes Félicien Vervaecke
11 La Turbie 555 metres (1,821 ft) Alps-Maritimes Federico Ezquerra
15 Puymorens 1,920 metres (6,300 ft) Pyrénées Federico Ezquerra
15 Port 1,249 metres (4,098 ft) Pyrénées Félicien Vervaecke
15 Portet d'Aspet 1,069 metres (3,507 ft) Pyrénées Sauveur Ducazeaux
16 Peyresourde 1,569 metres (5,148 ft) Pyrénées Julián Berrendero
16 Aspin 1,489 metres (4,885 ft) Pyrénées Yvan Marie
16 Tourmalet 2,115 metres (6,939 ft) Pyrénées Sylvère Maes
16 Aubisque 1,709 metres (5,607 ft) Pyrénées Sylvère Maes

On the top of these mountains, ten points were given for the first cyclist to pass, nine points to the second cyclist, and so on, until the tenth cyclist who got one point.

Mountains classification (1–5)[3][7]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Julián Berrendero (ESP) Spain/Luxembourg 132
2  Sylvère Maes (BEL) Belgium 112
3  Federico Ezquerra (ESP) Spain/Luxembourg 99
4  Félicien Vervaecke (BEL) Belgium 95
5  Antonin Magne (FRA) France 65

Classification for 100.000 francs[edit]

There was also a points classification, for which the winner received 100.000 French Francs.[12]

Final standings (1–3)
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Sylvère Maes (BEL) Belgium 11
2  Federico Ezquerra (ESP) Spain/Luxembourg 8
2  Jean-Marie Goasmat (FRA) Touriste-routier 8


The stage victory of the Dutch team convinced the Tour organisation to invite them in 1937 again.


  1. ^ The icons shown here indicate whether the stage was run as a team time trial, the stage was flat or the stage included mountains that counted for the mountains classifications.


  1. ^ Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique, part 6" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 2009-10-03. Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  2. ^ Barry Boyce (2004). "Belgian Team Strength – Sylvere Wins!". Cycling revealed. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "30ème Tour de France 1936" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2009-10-04. Retrieved 5 October 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2006). The Story of the Tour De France. dog ear publishing. pp. 120–125. ISBN 978-1-59858-180-5. Retrieved 2010-01-11. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique, part 3" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Dauncey, Hugh; Hare, Geoff (2003). The Tour de France, 1903-2003: a century of sporting structures, meanings, and values. Routledge. p. 169. ISBN 0-7146-5362-4. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Michiel van Lonkhuyzen. "Tour-giro-vuelta". Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "Theo Middelkamp". Tourdefrance.nl. 22 March 2006. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Arian Zwegers. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  10. ^ a b "La Vuelta a Francia desde M. Garin, 1903, a Sylvere Maes" (in Spanish). El mundo deportivo. 5 August 1936. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  11. ^ Tom James (15 August 2003). "1936: Sylvère takes over where Romain left off". Retrieved 5 October 2009. 
  12. ^ "Clasificación para la prima de los 100.000 francos" (in Spanish). El mundo deportivo. 3 July 1935. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 

Externals links[edit]

Media related to 1936 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons