1947 Tour de France

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1947 Tour de France
Route of the 1947 Tour de France followed clockwise, starting and finishing in Paris
Route of the 1947 Tour de France followed clockwise, starting and finishing in Paris
Race details
Dates25 June – 20 July
Distance4,642 km (2,884 mi)
Winning time148h 11' 25"
Winner  Jean Robic (FRA) (West)
  Second  Édouard Fachleitner (FRA) (France)
  Third  Pierre Brambilla (ITA) (Italy)

  Mountains  Pierre Brambilla (ITA) (Italy)
  Team Italy
← 1939
1948 →

The 1947 Tour de France was the 34th edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 25 June to 20 July. The total race distance was 21 stages over 4,642 km (2,884 mi). It was the first Tour since 1939, having been cancelled during World War II, although some Tour de France-like races had been held during World War II.

Because the previous races had been canceled, there was no real favourite for the final victory. When René Vietto, the runner-up of 1939, captured the yellow jersey after his victory on the second stage, many thought he could remain first until the last day. Vietto, a climber, was less optimistic and lost his first place to Italian Pierre Brambilla after the time trial in stage 19. With only two stages to go, many now believed that Brambilla would win the race. On the last stage, there was an unexpected attack, and little-known French cyclist Jean Robic captured the lead. Robic had won the Tour de France without ever wearing the yellow jersey during the race, the first time that happened. (In 1953 Robic would lead the race for one more day).


After the 1939 Tour de France, the Second World War had made it impossible to organise a big cycling event in France, although some attempts had been taken. The rights on the Tour de France, previously owned by l'Auto, had been transferred to the French government. There were two newspapers interested in taking over these rights, so they both organised cycling events. The event organised by l'Équipe, "La Course du Tour de France", was more successful, and l'Équipe was given the right to organise the 1947 Tour de France.


Dutch riders after stage one

The national teams format, which had been in use before the Second World War, was used again in 1947. The German team was not invited, and the Italian team was made up of Franco-Italians living in France, [1] as the peace treaty between France and Italy was not yet official, so the countries were technically still at war.[2]

The Tour organisers invited ten teams of ten cyclists each. Besides the Italian team, there was also a French team and a Belgian team, and a combined Swiss/Luxembourgian team.[3] The plan was to have a joint Dutch-British team, but the Dutch cyclists protested because the British cyclists were too inexperienced, and the British cyclists were replaced by "French strangers".[4] There were also five French regional teams: Île-de-France, West, North-East, Centre/South-West and South-East.[3] Of the 100 cyclists, 53 finished the race.[5]

The teams entering the race were:[3]

  • Belgium
  • Netherlands/Strangers of France
  • Italy
  • Switzerland/Luxembourg
  • France
  • Île-de-France
  • West
  • North-East
  • Centre/South-West
  • South-East

Route and stages[edit]

The 1947 Tour de France started on 25 June, and had five rest days, in Besançon, Briançon, Nice, Luchon and Vannes.[6] The highest point of elevation in the race was 2,556 m (8,386 ft) at the summit tunnel of the Col du Galibier mountain pass on stage 8.[7][8]

Stage characteristics and winners[9][6][10][11]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
1 25 June Paris to Lille 236 km (147 mi) Plain stage  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI)
2 26 June Lille to Brussels (Belgium) 182 km (113 mi) Plain stage  René Vietto (FRA)
3 27 June Brussels (Belgium) to Luxembourg City (Luxembourg) 314 km (195 mi) Plain stage  Aldo Ronconi (ITA)
4 28 June Luxembourg City (Luxembourg) to Strasbourg 223 km (139 mi) Plain stage  Jean Robic (FRA)
5 29 June Strasbourg to Besançon 248 km (154 mi) Plain stage  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI)
30 June Besançon Rest day
6 1 July Besançon to Lyon 249 km (155 mi) Plain stage  Lucien Teisseire (FRA)
7 2 July Lyon to Grenoble 172 km (107 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Jean Robic (FRA)
8 3 July Grenoble to Briançon 185 km (115 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Fermo Camellini (ITA)
4 July Briançon Rest day
9 5 July Briançon to Digne 217 km (135 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  René Vietto (FRA)
10 6 July Digne to Nice 255 km (158 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Fermo Camellini (ITA)
7 July Nice Rest day
11 8 July Nice to Marseille 230 km (143 mi) Plain stage  Édouard Fachleitner (FRA)
12 9 July Marseille to Montpellier 165 km (103 mi) Plain stage  Henri Massal (FRA)
13 10 July Montpellier to Carcassonne 172 km (107 mi) Plain stage  Lucien Teisseire (FRA)
14 11 July Carcassonne to Luchon 253 km (157 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Albert Bourlon (FRA)
12 July Luchon Rest day
15 13 July Luchon to Pau 195 km (121 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Jean Robic (FRA)
16 14 July Pau to Bordeaux 195 km (121 mi) Plain stage  Giuseppe Tacca (ITA)
17 15 July Bordeaux to Les Sables-d'Olonne 272 km (169 mi) Plain stage  Éloi Tassin (FRA)
18 16 July Les Sables-d'Olonne to Vannes 236 km (147 mi) Plain stage  Pietro Tarchini (SUI)
17 July Vannes Rest day
19 18 July Vannes to Saint-Brieuc 139 km (86 mi) Individual time trial  Raymond Impanis (BEL)
20 19 July Saint-Brieuc to Caen 235 km (146 mi) Plain stage  Maurice Diot (FRA)
21 20 July Caen to Paris 257 km (160 mi) Plain stage  Briek Schotte (BEL)
Total 4,642 km (2,884 mi)[12]

Race overview[edit]

Ferdinand Kübler crossing the finish line in Lille ahead of André Mahé to win the opening stage

After Ferdinand Kübler had won the first stage, René Vietto took the lead by winning the second stage. After the third stage only Aldo Ronconi was within 90 seconds of Vietto, and the third man in the general classification was already more than eight minutes behind.[13]

In the seventh stage, when the Alps mountains were climbed, Ronconi took over the lead, but two stages later Vietto took back the lead, helped by Apo Lazarides.[14]

Jean Robic had lost six minutes in that ninth stage, and lost more time in the tenth stage. He was already more than 25 minutes behind, and was no longer considered a favourite, but Robic was convinced that he would win the Tour.[15]

In the fourteenth stage, Albert Bourlon escaped directly after the start. He stayed away until the end of the stage, 253 km (157 mi) later. This is the longest escape in the Tour de France after the second World War.[12]

In the fifteenth stage, Robic escaped in the Pyrénees, and beat the other by more than ten minutes. Because of the time bonuses for reaching the mountain tops first, he even won back more than fifteen minutes.[1] In the general classification, Robic rose to fifth place.[16] With only three stages to go in the Tour, Vietto was still in the lead, 94 seconds ahead of Pierre Brambilla. The nineteenth stage was an individual time trial, the longest in Tour history.[13] In that stage, Vietto lost considerable time, and Brambilla took over the lead in the general classification.[13] Vietto performed worse than expected; there was speculation about why he performed so badly, and some said it was because of the motorcycle accident of a friend, while others said it was because he drank a bottle of cider during the time trial.[17]

General classification before stage 21[18]
Rank Cyclist Team Time
1  Pierre Brambilla (ITA) Italy 140h 44' 38"
2  Aldo Ronconi (ITA) Italy + 53"
3  Jean Robic (FRA) West + 2' 58"
4  René Vietto (FRA) France + 5' 16"
5  Édouard Fachleitner (FRA) France + 6' 56"

The last stage was flat, which makes it hard for escapers to win time.[19] In that last stage, there was a hilltop prime, where money could be won by the first cyclist that passed. Although a group had already passed that hill, Robic was not aware of this, and sprinted for this prime.[13] When he reached the top, Brambilla had been dropped. Robic and Fachleitner, fifth in the general classification, started to work together, and left Brambilla and Ronconi minutes behind. Around 140 km before the finish, they were three minutes ahead of Brambilla, which made Robic the virtual leader of the race. At that point Robic told Fachleitner: "You can not win the Tour, because I will not let you escape. If you ride with me, I will pay you 100.000 Francs."[19]

When they reached Paris, they had won 13 minutes on them, enough to make Robic the winner of the Tour de France.[13]

Classification leadership and minor prizes[edit]

The cyclist to reach the finish in the least time was the winner of the stage. The time that each cyclist required to finish the stage was recorded. For the general classification, these times were added together. 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.[20] With his victory, Robic won 500.000 francs. Additionally, future exhibitions and endorsements due to the Tour victory would give him another 3 to 4 million francs.[21]

Additionally, there was the mountains classification, which did not have a jersey associated with it in 1947.[22] Sixteen mountains were selected by the Tour organisation, divided in two classes.[9] In the first-class mountains, the ten first cyclists received points, with 10 points for the first, 9 for the second, and so forth, to 1 point for the tenth. In the second-class mountains, only the first five cyclists received points, 5 for the first one to 1 for the fifth one. The mountains classification was won by Pierre Brambilla.

The team classification was calculated in 1947 by adding up the times of the best three cyclists of a team; the team with the least time was the winner.[23]

The Souvenir Henri Desgrange was given in honour of Tour founder Henri Desgrange to the first rider to pass a point by his final residence, the "Villa Mia" in Beauvallon, Grimaud, on the French Riviera on stage 11. This prize was won by Raymond Impanis.[24][25]

Classification leadership by stage[26]
Stage Winner General classification
Mountains classification[a] Team classification
1 Ferdinand Kübler Ferdinand Kübler no award France-West
2 René Vietto René Vietto Belgium
3 Aldo Ronconi Italy
4 Jean Robic
5 Ferdinand Kübler
6 Lucien Teisseire
7 Jean Robic Aldo Ronconi
8 Fermo Camellini Fermo Camellini
9 René Vietto René Vietto
10 Fermo Camellini
11 Édouard Fachleitner
12 Henri Massal
13 Lucien Teisseire France
14 Albert Bourlon
15 Jean Robic Pierre Brambilla
16 Giuseppe Tacca Italy
17 Éloi Tassin
18 Pietro Tarchini
19 Raymond Impanis Pierre Brambilla
20 Maurice Diot
21 Briek Schotte Jean Robic
Final Jean Robic Pierre Brambilla Italy

Final standings[edit]

General classification[edit]

Final general classification (1–10)[27]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Jean Robic (FRA) West 148h 11' 25"
2  Édouard Fachleitner (FRA) France + 3' 58"
3  Pierre Brambilla (ITA) Italy + 10' 07"
4  Aldo Ronconi (ITA) Italy + 11' 00"
5  René Vietto (FRA) France + 15' 23"
6  Raymond Impanis (BEL) Belgium + 18' 14"
7  Fermo Camellini (ITA) Netherlands/Strangers of France + 24' 08"
8  Giordano Cottur (ITA) Italy + 1h 06' 03"
9  Jean-Marie Goasmat (FRA) West + 1h 16' 03"
10  Apo Lazaridès (FRA) South-East + 1h 18' 44"

Mountains classification[edit]

Mountains in the mountains classification[9]
Stage Rider Height Mountain range[28] Class Winner
7 l'Epine 987 metres (3,238 ft) Alps 2 Apo Lazaridès
7 Granier 1,132 metres (3,714 ft) Alps 1 Pierre Brambilla
8 Croix de Fer 2,066 metres (6,778 ft) Alps 1 Fermo Camellini
8 Télégraphe 1,566 metres (5,138 ft) Alps 1 Fermo Camellini
8 Galibier 2,556 metres (8,386 ft) Alps 1 Fermo Camellini
9 Izoard 2,361 metres (7,746 ft) Alps 1 Jean Robic
9 Vars 2,110 metres (6,920 ft) Alps 1 Jean Robic
9 Allos 2,250 metres (7,380 ft) Alps 1 René Vietto
10 Braus 1,002 metres (3,287 ft) Alps-Maritimes 2 Apo Lazaridès
10 La Turbie 555 metres (1,821 ft) Alps-Maritimes 2 Fermo Camellini
14 Port 1,250 metres (4,100 ft) Pyrenees 2 Albert Bourlon
14 Portet d'Aspet 1,069 metres (3,507 ft) Pyrenees 2 Albert Bourlon
15 Peyresourde 1,569 metres (5,148 ft) Pyrenees 1 Jean Robic
15 Aspin 1,489 metres (4,885 ft) Pyrenees 1 Jean Robic
15 Tourmalet 2,115 metres (6,939 ft) Pyrenees 1 Jean Robic
15 Aubisque 1,709 metres (5,607 ft) Pyrenees 1 Jean Robic
Final mountains classification (1–10)[29]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Pierre Brambilla (ITA) Italy 98
2  Apo Lazaridès (FRA) South-East 89
3  Jean Robic (FRA) West 70
4  Fermo Camellini (ITA) Netherlands/Strangers of France 63
4  Aldo Ronconi (ITA) Italy 63
6  René Vietto (FRA) France 38
7  Édouard Fachleitner (FRA) France 35
8  Jean-Marie Goasmat (FRA) West 27
9  Giordano Cottur (ITA) Italy 25
10  Lucien Teisseire (FRA) France 19

Team classification[edit]

Final team classification (1–6)[29]
Rank Team Time
1 Italy 446h 01' 25"
2 France + 23' 57"
3 West + 1h 33' 48"
4 Belgium + 4h 04' 17"
5 South-East + 5h 10' 44"
6 Switzerland/Luxembourg + 5h 22' 22"


Robic never wore the yellow jersey as leader in the general classification in 1947, because he only became leader in the final stage. Only Jan Janssen has repeated that, in the 1968 Tour de France.[19] Later in his career, Robic wore the yellow jersey for one day in the 1953 Tour de France.[15]


  1. ^ No jersey was awarded to the leader of the mountains classification until a white jersey with red polka dots was introduced in 1975.[22]


  1. ^ a b McGann & McGann 2006, pp. 151–156.
  2. ^ Maso 2003, p. 12.
  3. ^ a b c "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1947 – The starters". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  4. ^ Turgis, Dominique (23 October 2010). "Bulletin du Tour 1947" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  5. ^ Lonkhuyzen, Michiel van. "Tour-Giro-Vuelta". www.tour-giro-vuelta.net. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  6. ^ a b Augendre 2016, p. 38.
  7. ^ Augendre 2016, pp. 177–178.
  8. ^ "Domain inizia la grande vicenda del Giro di Francia" [Tomorrow the great story of the Tour of France begins]. Corriere dello Sport (in Italian). 24 June 1947. p. 1. Archived from the original on 26 February 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "34ème Tour de France 1947" [34th Tour de France 1947]. Mémoire du cyclisme (in French). Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  10. ^ Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC top ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  11. ^ "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1947 – The stage winners". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  12. ^ a b Augendre 2016, p. 108.
  13. ^ a b c d e James, Tom (15 August 2003). "1947: Robic snatches it at the death". Veloarchive. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  14. ^ Amels 1984, p. 54.
  15. ^ a b Dauncey & Hare 2003, p. 54.
  16. ^ "34ème Tour de France 1947 - 15ème étape" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  17. ^ Amaury Sport Organisation. "The Tour - Year 1947". Archived from the original on 17 July 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  18. ^ "34ème Tour de France 1947 - 20éme ètape" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  19. ^ a b c "34ème Tour de France 1947 - 21ème étape" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  20. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, pp. 452–453.
  21. ^ "Sport: Derby on Wheels". Time. 4 August 1947. Archived from the original on 3 February 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
  22. ^ a b Nauright & Parrish 2012, p. 454.
  23. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, p. 455.
  24. ^ "Fachleitner schudde allen van zijn wiel" [Fachleitner shook everyone's wheel]. De Volkskrant (in Dutch). 9 July 1947. p. 2 – via Delpher.
  25. ^ Seray & Lablaine 2006, p. 84.
  26. ^ van den Akker, Pieter. "Informatie over de Tour de France van 1947" [Information about the Tour de France from 1947]. TourDeFranceStatistieken.nl (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  27. ^ a b "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1947 – Stage 21 Caen > Paris". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  28. ^ Augendre, Jacques (2009). Guide Historique, Part 8 (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  29. ^ a b "1947: 34e editie" (in Dutch). Tourdefrance.nl. 30 December 2003. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2010.


External links[edit]

Media related to 1947 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons