1947 Tour de France

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1947 Tour de France
Tour de France 1947.png
Route of the 1947 Tour de France
Followed clockwise, starting and finishing in Paris
Race details
Dates 25 June–20 July 1947
Stages 21
Distance 4,640 km (2,883 mi)
Winning time 148h 11' 25" (31.412 km/h or 19.519 mph)
Winner  Jean Robic (France) (West)
Second  Édouard Fachleitner (France) (France)
Third  Pierre Brambilla (Italy) (Italy)

Mountains  Pierre Brambilla (Italy) (Italy)
Team Italy

The 1947 Tour de France was the 34th Tour de France, taking place from 25 June to 20 July 1947. The total race distance was 21 stages over 4,640 km, ridden at an average speed of 31.412 km/h.[1] 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 WWII.

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 very 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).

Tour de France during the Second World War[edit]

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 organized cycling events. The event organized by l'Équipe, "La Course du Tour de France", was more successful, and l'Équipe was given the right to organize the 1947 Tour de France.


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 out of Franco-Italians living in France,[2] as the peace treaty between France and Italy was not yet official, so the countries were technically still in war.[3] 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. 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: Ile de France, West France, North East France, Center/South West France and South East France.[5]

There were 58 French cyclists, 13 Italian, 11 Belgian, 6 Dutch, 6 Swiss, 4 Luxembourg, 1 Polish and 1 Algerian cyclist. Of the 100 cyclists, 53 finished the race.[6]

Race details[edit]

After Ferdi 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.[7]

In the seventh stage, when the Alps mountains were climbed, Ronconi took over the lead, but two stages later Vietto took back the lead.

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.[1]

In the fifteenth stage, Jean 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.[2] In the general classification, Robic rose to fifth place.[8] With only three stages to go in the Tour, Vietto was still in the lead, 94 seconds ahead of Pierre Brambilla. The eighteenth stage was an individual time trial, the longest in Tour history.[7] In that stage, Vietto lost considerable time, and Brambilla took over the lead in the general classification.[7] 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.[9]

Before the last stage, the top five in the general classification was as follows:

General classification before stage 21[10]
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.[11] In the 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.[7] 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:

When they reached Paris, they had won 13 minutes on them, enough to make Robic the winner of the Tour de France.[7]


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.

Additionally, there was the mountains classification, which did not have a jersey associated with it in 1947.

The team classification was calculated by adding up the times in the general classification of the three highest ranking cyclists per team; the team with the least time was the winner.

Stage results[edit]

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

Classification leadership[edit]

Stage General classification
Mountains classification Team classification
1  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) no award  France-West
2  René Vietto (FRA)  Belgium
3  Italy
7  Aldo Ronconi (ITA)  ?
8  Fermo Camellini (ITA)
9  René Vietto (FRA)  ?
13  France
15  Pierre Brambilla (ITA)
16  Italy
19  Pierre Brambilla (ITA)
21  Jean Robic (FRA)
Final  Jean Robic (FRA)  Pierre Brambilla (ITA)  Italy

General classification[edit]

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.[13]

Final general classification (1–10)[5]
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 +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]

For the mountains classification, 16 mountains were selected by the Tour organisation, divided in two classes.[5]

Mountains in the 1947 mountains classification[5]
Stage Name Height Mountain range[14] 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) Pyrénées 2 Albert Bourlon
14 Portet d'Aspet 1,069 metres (3,507 ft) Pyrénées 2 Albert Bourlon
15 Peyresourde 1,569 metres (5,148 ft) Pyrénées 1 Jean Robic
15 Aspin 1,489 metres (4,885 ft) Pyrénées 1 Jean Robic
15 Tourmalet 2,115 metres (6,939 ft) Pyrénées 1 Jean Robic
15 Aubisque 1,709 metres (5,607 ft) Pyrénées 1 Jean Robic

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.

Final mountains classification (1–10)[15]
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 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]

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.

Final team classification (1–6)[15]
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, because he only became leader in the final stage. Only Jan Janssen has repeated that, in the 1968 Tour de France.[11]


  1. ^ a b Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 2009-10-03. Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  2. ^ a b McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2006). The Story of the Tour De France. Dog ear publishing. pp. 151–156. ISBN 978-1-59858-180-5. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  3. ^ Maso, Benjo (2003). Wij waren allemaal goden (in Dutch). AmstelSport. p. 12. ISBN 978-90-482-0003-0. 
  4. ^ Turgis, Dominique (23 October 2010). "Bulletin du Tour 1947" (in French). Memoire du Cyclisme. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "34ème Tour de France 1947" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 14 October 2009. 
  6. ^ Lonkhuyzen, Michiel van. "Tour-Giro-Vuelta". www.tour-giro-vuelta.net. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d e James, Tom (15 August 2003). "1947: Robic snatches it at the death". Veloarchive. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "34ème Tour de France 1947 - 15ème étape" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  9. ^ Amaury Sport Organisation. "The Tour - Year 1947". Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "34ème Tour de France 1947 - 20éme ètape" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c "34ème Tour de France 1947 - 21ème étape" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  12. ^ Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  13. ^ "Sport: Derby on Wheels". Time. 4 August 1947. Retrieved 14 October 2009. 
  14. ^ Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique, part 8" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  15. ^ a b "1947: 34e editie" (in Dutch). Tourdefrance.nl. 30 December 2003. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 

External links[edit]

Media related to 1947 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons