1954 Tour de France

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1954 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 8 July–1 August 1954
Stages 23
Distance 4,656 km (2,893 mi)
Winning time 140h 06' 05"
Winner  Louison Bobet (France) (France)
Second  Ferdi Kübler (Switzerland) (Switzerland)
Third  Fritz Schär (Switzerland) (Switzerland)

Points  Ferdi Kübler (Switzerland) (Switzerland)
Mountains  Federico Bahamontes (Spain) (Spain)
Team Switzerland
Dutch news reel about the 1954 Tour de France

The 1954 Tour de France was the 41st Tour de France, taking place from July 8 to August 1, 1954. It consisted of 23 stages over 4656 km, ridden at an average speed of 33.229 km/h.[1]

The race was won by Louison Bobet, the second of his three consecutive wins.

Changes from the 1953 Tour de France[edit]

The 1954 Tour de France was the first time that the Tour de France started outside France, as it started in Amsterdam.[2]

Also new was the team time trial. Although around 1930 the Tour had seen stages in which the teams started separately, in 1954 the team time trial format was reintroduced in a way that only the team time counted.

Also the split stages were reintroduced. Stage 4 was divided into two parts: the team time trial of 10.4 km (part A), and a regular stage of 131 km (part B), both run on the same day. Similarly, stage 21 was divided into a regular stage of 134 km (part A) and an individual time trial of 72 km (part B), also both run on the same day.


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1954 Tour de France.

As was the custom since the 1930 Tour de France, the 1954 Tour de France was contested by national and regional teams. Seven national teams were sent, with 10 cyclists each from France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and Luxembourg/Austria (the latter a combined team). France additionally sent five regional teams from 10 cyclists each, divided into Center-North East France, West France, South East France, Ile de France and South West France.[3] The combined team Luxembourg/Austria consisted of six Luxembourgian cyclists, three Austrian cyclists and one from Liechtenstein.[4] In total, 110 cyclists started the race.[3]

Notable absents were the Italian cyclists. In Italy, new sponsors had entered the market, named "extra-sportives" because they did not sell a product directly related to the sport. During the 1954 Giro d'Italia, this caused a strike, the Bernina strike. After this, the Italian federation decided not to send a team to the 1954 Tour de France.[5][6]

Race details[edit]

In the first stage, Wout Wagtmans won the sprint, and took the yellow jersey. He would remain the leader until the team time trial in stage 4, when the French team won back enough time on the Dutch team for Bobet to take over the lead.[6] In that time trial, over 10.4 km, the winning team was decided by adding the times of the three best cyclists per team. For the general classification, every cyclist got added his individual time.[7] In the second part of the fourth stage, former winner Jean Robic hit a photographer during the sprint, fell down and had to give up.[6]

In the eighth stage, Wagtmans had joined a breakaway, which won enough time on Bobet for Wagtmans to take back the yellow jersey.[6]

Black-and-white image of a man in a shirt with a cross.
Hugo Koblet, a pre-race favourite, had to give up after he had fallen down.

Wagtmans fell down in the eleventh stage,[8] and although he managed to keep his lead until the start of the twelfth stage, he continued without morale.[6] In the twelfth stage in the Pyrénées, three important riders attacked: Bauvin, Bahamontes and Malléjac. They stayed ahead, and Bauvin jumped to the first position in the general classification. Bobet was not far behind these three, and moved into the second place.[9] In that twelfth stage, Hugo Koblet had fallen down, and lost 27 minutes, and his chances to win the Tour de France a second time.[10] In the next stage, Koblet gave up.[11]

Black and white image of a smiling man.
Louison Bobet, the winner of the 1954 Tour de France.

In the fourteenth stage, the Swiss cyclists were fighting back. They were riding as fast as they could, and the leading group was getting smaller. Bauvin also could not keep up with that group, partly because he had a flat tire, and finished 8 minutes behind, losing the leading position. Bobet however could keep up with the Swiss pace,[5] and took over the yellow jersey as leader of the general classification.[9]

In the sixteenth stage, Bauvin lost another 20 minutes, and dropped to sixth place.[5] The Swiss cyclists had attacked Bobet where they could, but were unable to gain time on him. They had moved into second and third place of the general classification.[9] In the eighteenth stage, Bobet dominated, and dropped all of the other contenders. He won by a margin of one minute and 49 seconds, and his margin in the general classification was 12 minutes 49 seconds, which would normally be large enough for the victory.[9] Bobet also won the individual time trial, and thereby increased his margin even more.[6]

The Swiss cyclists could not attack Bobet anymore in the last stages, so Bobet won his second Tour de France. The Swiss team had performed well though, capturing the second and third place in the general classification, winning the team classification and having Kübler win the points classification.


Stage results[3][12]
Stage Date Route Terrain Length Winner
1 8 July Amsterdam – Brasschaat Plain stage 216 km (134 mi)  Wout Wagtmans (NED)
2 9 July BeverenLille Plain stage 255 km (158 mi)  Louison Bobet (FRA)
3 10 July Lille – Rouen Plain stage 219 km (136 mi)  Marcel Dussault (FRA)
4a 11 July Rouen – Circuit des Essarts Time Trial.svg Team time trial 10.4 km (6 mi)   Switzerland
4b Rouen – Caen Plain stage 131 km (81 mi)  Wim van Est (NED)
5 12 July Caen – Saint-Brieuc Plain stage 224 km (139 mi)  Ferdi Kübler (SUI)
6 13 July Saint-BrieucBrest Plain stage 179 km (111 mi)  Dominique Forlini (FRA)
7 14 July Brest – Vannes Plain stage 211 km (131 mi)  Jacques Vivier (FRA)
8 15 July Vannes – Angers Plain stage 190 km (118 mi)  Fred De Bruyne (BEL)
9 16 July Angers – Bordeaux Plain stage 343 km (213 mi)  Henk Faanhof (NED)
10 18 July Bordeaux – Bayonne Plain stage 202 km (126 mi)  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA)
11 19 July Bayonne – Pau Stage with mountain(s) 241 km (150 mi)  Stan Ockers (BEL)
12 20 July Pau – Luchon Stage with mountain(s) 161 km (100 mi)  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA)
13 21 July Luchon – Toulouse Plain stage 203 km (126 mi)  Fred De Bruyne (BEL)
14 22 July Toulouse – Millau Stage with mountain(s) 225 km (140 mi)  Ferdi Kübler (SUI)
15 23 July Millau – Le Puy Stage with mountain(s) 197 km (122 mi)  Dominique Forlini (FRA)
16 24 July Le Puy – Lyon Stage with mountain(s) 194 km (121 mi)  Jean Forestier (FRA)
17 26 July Lyon – Grenoble Stage with mountain(s) 182 km (113 mi)  Lucien Lazaridès (FRA)
18 27 July Grenoble – Briançon Stage with mountain(s) 216 km (134 mi)  Louison Bobet (FRA)
19 28 July Briançon – Aix-les-Bains Stage with mountain(s) 221 km (137 mi)  Jean Dotto (FRA)
20 29 July Aix les Bains – Besançon Stage with mountain(s) 243 km (151 mi)  Lucien Teisseire (FRA)
21a 30 July Besançon – Épinal Plain stage 134 km (83 mi)  François Mahé (FRA)
21b Epinal – Nancy Individual time trial 72 km (45 mi)  Louison Bobet (FRA)
22 31 July Nancy – Troyes Plain stage 216 km (134 mi)  Fred De Bruyne (BEL)
23 1 August Troyes – Paris Plain stage 180 km (112 mi)  Robert Varnajo (FRA)

Classification leadership[edit]

Stage General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification Team classification
1  Wout Wagtmans (NED)  Wout Wagtmans (NED) no award  Netherlands
2  France
3  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA)
4A  Louison Bobet (FRA)
6  Ferdi Kübler (SUI)   Switzerland
8  Wout Wagtmans (NED)
11  Federico Bahamontes (ESP)
12  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA)
14  Louison Bobet (FRA)
Final  Louison Bobet (FRA)  Ferdi Kübler (SUI)  Federico Bahamontes (ESP)   Switzerland


General classification[edit]

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. Of the 110 cyclists that started the 1954 Tour de France, 69 finished the race.

Final general classification (1–10)[3]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Louison Bobet (FRA) France 140h 06' 05"
2  Ferdi Kübler (SUI) Switzerland +15' 49"
3  Fritz Schär (SUI) Switzerland +21' 46"
4  Jean Dotto (FRA) South East +28' 21"
5  Jean Malléjac (FRA) West +31' 38"
6  Stan Ockers (BEL) Belgium +36' 02"
7  Louis Bergaud (FRA) South West +37' 55"
8  Vincent Vitetta (FRA) South East +41' 14"
9  Jean Brankart (BEL) Belgium +42' 08"
10  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA) Center-North East +42' 21"

Points classification[edit]

Black-and-white image of a man in a shirt with a cross.
Ferdi Kübler won the points classification in the 1954 Tour de France.

The points classification was calculated in the same way as in 1953, following the calculation method from the Tours de France from 1905 to 1912. Points were given according to the ranking of the stage: the winner received one points, the next cyclist two points, and so on. These points were added, and the cyclist with the least points was the leader of the points classification. In 1954, this was won by Ferdi Kübler.[3]

Final points classification (1–10)[13]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Ferdi Kübler (SUI) Switzerland 215.5
2  Stan Ockers (BEL) Belgium 284.5
3  Fritz Schär (SUI) Switzerland 286.5
4  Wim van Est (NED) Netherlands 502.5
5  Louison Bobet (FRA) France 513
6  Gilbert Bauvin (FRA) Center-North East 615
7  Dominique Forlini (FRA) Île-de-France 618
8  Vincent Vitetta (FRA) South East 653
9  Richard Van Genechten (BEL) Belgium 660.5
10  Jean Malléjac (FRA) West 675

Mountains classification[edit]

Points for the mountains classification were earned by reaching the mountain tops first. The system was almost the same as in 1953: there were two types of mountain tops: the hardest ones, in category 1, gave 10 points to the first cyclist, the easier ones, in category 2, gave 6 points to the first cyclist, and the easiest ones, in category 3, gave 3 points. Federico Bahamontes won this classification.[3]

Final mountains classification (1–10)[13][4][14]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Federico Bahamontes (ESP) Spain 95
2  Louison Bobet (FRA) France 53
3  Richard Van Genechten (BEL) Belgium 45
4  Jean Le Guilly (FRA) Île-de-France 38
5  Jean Dotto (FRA) South East 33
6  Ferdi Kübler (SUI) Switzerland 31
7  Jean Malléjac (FRA) West 23
8  Stan Ockers (BEL) Belgium 20
8  Robert Varnajo (FRA) West 20
10  Bernardo Ruiz (ESP) Spain 16

Team classification[edit]

The team classification was calculated as the sum of the daily team classifications, and the daily team classification was calculated by adding the times in the stage result of the best three cyclists per team. It was won by the Swiss team.

Final team classification[13][15]
Rank Team Time
1 Switzerland 420h 29' 57"
2 France +18' 27"
3 Belgium +32' 19"
4 Netherlands +1h 09' 00"
5 South East +1h 13' 37"
6 Spain +2h 26' 08"
7 West +2h 42' 58"
8 Center-North East +3h 50' 16"
9 South West +4h 08' 31"
10 Île-de-France +4h 27' 52"
11 Luxembourg-Austria +10h 20' 27"

Combativity classification[edit]

In every stage, a jury gave points for the most combative cyclist. These votes were added in the combativity classification. At the end of the Tour de France, Lucien Lazaridès and François Mahé were leading this classification with 20 votes each.

Final combativity classification (1–5)[15]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Lucien Lazaridès (FRA) South East 20
1  François Mahé (FRA) West 20
3  Louison Bobet (FRA) France 18
3  Fred De Bruyne (BEL) Belgium 18
5  Robert Varnajo (FRA) West 11

Lucien Lazaridès is regarded as the winner of this classification.[1]


After he won the Tour de France, Bobet would later win the 1954 UCI Road World Championships.[5] The next year he would win the 1955 Tour de France, thereby becoming the first cyclist to win three Tours in a row.


  1. ^ a b Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 2009-10-03. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "41ème Tour de France 1954" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Tour-Giro-Vuelta". www.tour-giro-vuelta.net. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2006). The Story of the Tour de France Volume 1: 1903-1964. Dog Ear Publishing. pp. 198–206. ISBN 1-59858-180-5. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Amels, Wim (1984). De geschiedenis van de Tour de France 1903–1984 (in Dutch). Sport-Express. pp. 71–72. ISBN 90-70763-05-2. 
  7. ^ "41ème Tour de France 1954 - 4ème étape (a)" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "Nolten stijgt weer in het klassement" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 20 July 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c d Barry Boyce (2004). "Bobet Excels Again". Cycling Revealed. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  10. ^ "Nolten rukt op, thans zevende" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 21 July 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "De Bruyne wint voor de tweede keer een etappe" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 21 July 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  12. ^ Arian Zwegers. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c "1954: 41e editie". Tourdefrance.nl. 30 December 2003. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  14. ^ "Bobet toont in de tijdrit zijn grote klasse" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 31 July 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  15. ^ a b "Bobet onbetwist winnaar van de Tour de France" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 2 August 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 

External links[edit]

Media related to 1954 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons