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1961 Tour de France
Route of the 1961 Tour de France followed clockwise, starting in Rouen and finishing in Paris
|Dates||25 June – 16 July|
|Stages||21, including one split stage|
|Distance||4,397 km (2,732 mi)|
|Winning time||122h 01' 33"|
The 1961 Tour de France was the 48th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It took place between 25 June and 16 July, with 21 stages covering a distance of 4,397 km (2,732 mi). Out of the 132 riders who started the tour, 72 managed to complete the tour's tough course. Throughout the 1961 Tour de France, two of the French national team's riders, André Darrigade and Jacques Anquetil held the yellow jersey for the entirety 21 stages. There was a great deal of excitement between the second and third places, concluding with Guido Carlesi stealing Charly Gaul's second place position on the last day by two seconds.
- West Germany
- Great Britain
Since Jacques Anquetil had won the 1957 Tour de France, he was unable to repeat it, due to illness, tiredness and struggle within the French team. For 1961, he asked the team captain Marcel Bidot to make a team that would only ride for him, and Bidot agreed. Anquetil announced before the race that he would take the yellow jersey as leader of the general classification on the first day, and wear it until the end of the race in Paris.
Gastone Nencini, who won the previous edition, did not enter in 1961, but Graziano Battistini, his teammate and runner-up of 1960, started the race as leader of the Italian team. If the French team would again have internal struggles, the Italian team could emerge as the winner.
The Spanish team had two outsiders, José Pérez Francés and Fernando Manzaneque. The last outsider was Charly Gaul, winner of the 1958 Tour de France, who rode in the mixed Luxembourg/Swiss team. He considered his teammates so weak that he did not seek their help, and rode the race on his own. Raymond Poulidor was convinced by his team manager Antonin Magne that it would be better to skip the Tour, because the national team format would undermine his commercial value.
Route and stages
The 1961 Tour de France started on 25 June in Rouen, and had one rest day, in Montpellier. For the first time the finish on top of the Superbagnères was included to the race. The highest point of elevation in the race was 2,115 m (6,939 ft) at the summit of the Col du Tourmalet mountain pass on stage 17.
|1a||25 June||Rouen to Versailles||136.5 km (84.8 mi)||Plain stage||André Darrigade (FRA)|
|1b||Versailles||28.5 km (17.7 mi)||Individual time trial||Jacques Anquetil (FRA)|
|2||26 June||Pontoise to Roubaix||230.5 km (143.2 mi)||Plain stage||André Darrigade (FRA)|
|3||27 June||Roubaix to Charleroi (Belgium)||197.5 km (122.7 mi)||Plain stage||Emile Daems (BEL)|
|4||28 June||Charleroi (Belgium) to Metz||237.5 km (147.6 mi)||Plain stage||Anatole Novak (FRA)|
|5||29 June||Metz to Strasbourg||221 km (137 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Louis Bergaud (FRA)|
|6||30 June||Strasbourg to Belfort||180.5 km (112.2 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Jozef Planckaert (BEL)|
|7||1 July||Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saône||214.5 km (133.3 mi)||Plain stage||Jean Stablinski (FRA)|
|8||2 July||Chalon-sur-Saône to Saint-Étienne||240.5 km (149.4 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Jean Forestier (FRA)|
|9||3 July||Saint-Étienne to Grenoble||230 km (140 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Charly Gaul (LUX)|
|10||4 July||Grenoble to Turin (Italy)||250.5 km (155.7 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Guy Ignolin (FRA)|
|11||5 July||Turin (Italy) to Antibes||225 km (140 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Guido Carlesi (ITA)|
|12||6 July||Antibes to Aix-en-Provence||199.0 km (123.7 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Michel Van Aerde (BEL)|
|13||7 July||Aix-en-Provence to Montpellier||177.5 km (110.3 mi)||Plain stage||André Darrigade (FRA)|
|8 July||Montpellier||Rest day|
|14||9 July||Montpellier to Perpignan||174 km (108 mi)||Plain stage||Eddy Pauwels (BEL)|
|15||10 July||Perpignan to Toulouse||206 km (128 mi)||Plain stage||Guido Carlesi (ITA)|
|16||11 July||Toulouse to Superbagnères||208 km (129 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Imerio Massignan (ITA)|
|17||12 July||Luchon to Pau||197 km (122 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Eddy Pauwels (BEL)|
|18||13 July||Pau to Bordeaux||207 km (129 mi)||Plain stage||Martin Van Geneugden (BEL)|
|19||14 July||Bergerac to Périgueux||74.5 km (46.3 mi)||Individual time trial||Jacques Anquetil (FRA)|
|20||15 July||Périgueux to Tours||309.5 km (192.3 mi)||Plain stage||André Darrigade (FRA)|
|21||16 July||Tours to Paris||252.5 km (156.9 mi)||Plain stage||Robert Cazala (FRA)|
|Total||4,397 km (2,732 mi)|
André Darrigade won the opening stage, and it became the fifth time that he won the opening stage. Darrigade had been in a small group that broke away, which included Anquetil. Other competitors, such as Gaul and Battistini, already lost more than 5 minutes. After that, there was a time trial, won by Jacques Anquetil. Anquetil became the leader of the race, with his teammate Joseph Groussard in second place, almost five minutes behind him.
The second stage, run in bad weather, featured small roads in Northern France. Several cyclists got into problems, and seven cyclists already had to leave the race; the favourites were not harmed. In the sixth stage, West German Horst Oldenburg fell down on the descent of the Col de la Schlucht, and the Dutch team captain Ab Geldermans ran into him. Geldermans was taken to the Belfort hospital by helicopter, and the Dutch team had lost its captain.
Unlike previous years, the French team continued without fights, and won five of the first eight stages. The ninth stage included four major climbs. On the second climb, Gaul escaped. He crashed on the descent of the third mountain, but managed to stay away and win the stage; Anquetil was not far behind and kept the lead. Anquetil had a five-minutes margin on the second-placed rider, which was Manzaneque. In the eleventh stage, Graziano Battistini was hit by a car, and had to leave the race. This situation had not changed when the sixteenth stage started. It was expected that Gaul, in third place more than six minutes behind, would attack, but this did not happen, because Gaul had been injured in his crash in the previous stage.
The last chance for the opposition to win back time on Anquetil was in the seventeenth stage, but Anquetil stayed close to his direct competitors, and only allowed lower classified riders to escape. The press criticized Anquetil's tactics, saying he was riding passively. In the nineteenth stage, an individual time trial, Gaul was on his way to win back a little time on Anquetil, when he crashed heavily, and could not find his pace again. Anquetil won almost three minutes on Gaul and extended his lead to more than ten minutes.
Classification leadership and minor prizes
There were several classifications in the 1961 Tour de France, two of them awarding jerseys to their leaders. The most important was the general classification, calculated by adding each cyclist's finishing times on each stage. The cyclist with the least accumulated time was the race leader, identified by the yellow jersey; the winner of this classification is considered the winner of the Tour.
Additionally, there was a points classification. In the points classification, cyclists got points for finishing among the best in a stage finish, or in intermediate sprints. The cyclist with the most points lead the classification, and was identified with a green jersey.
There was also a mountains classification. Most stages of the race included one or more categorised climbs, in which points were awarded to the riders that reached the summit first. The climbs were categorised as third-, second- or first-category, with the more difficult climbs rated lower. The cyclist with the most points lead the classification, but was not identified with a jersey.
For the team classification The calculation was different from previous years. Before 1961, the classification was based on time, but in 1961, it was based on points; times of the best three cyclists per team on each stage were added; the team with the lowest time on a stage won the team prize for that stage. The overall team classification was calculated by counting the number of team prizes.
In addition, there was a combativity award, in which a jury composed of journalists gave points after each stage to the cyclist they considered most combative. The split stages each had a combined winner. At the conclusion of the Tour, the entire West/South-West team won the overall super-combativity award, also decided by journalists. The Souvenir Henri Desgrange was given in honour of Tour founder Henri Desgrange to the first rider to pass the summit of the Ballon d'Alsace on stage 6. This prize was won by Jef Planckaert.
|1||Jacques Anquetil (FRA)||France||122h 01' 33"|
|2||Guido Carlesi (ITA)||Italy||+12' 14"|
|3||Charly Gaul (LUX)||Switzerland/Luxembourg||+12' 16"|
|4||Imerio Massignan (ITA)||Italy||+15' 59"|
|5||Hans Junkermann (FRG)||West Germany||+16' 09"|
|6||Fernando Manzaneque (ESP)||Spain||+16' 27"|
|7||José Pérez Francés (ESP)||Spain||+20' 41"|
|8||Jean Dotto (FRA)||Centre-Midi||+21' 44"|
|9||Eddy Pauwels (BEL)||Belgium||+26' 57"|
|10||Jan Adriaensens (BEL)||Belgium||+28' 05"|
|Final general classification (11–72)|
|11||Jos Hoevenaers (BEL)||Belgium||+28' 27"|
|12||Alfred Ruegg (SUI)||Switzerland/Luxembourg||+32' 14"|
|13||Michel Van Aerde (BEL)||Belgium||+40' 34"|
|14||Jean Gainche (FRA)||West/South-West||+41' 26"|
|15||Jozef Planckaert (BEL)||Belgium||+41' 53"|
|16||Adriano Zamboni (ITA)||Italy||+43' 26"|
|17||Frans Aerenhouts (BEL)||Belgium||+45' 52"|
|18||Henry Anglade (FRA)||France||+47' 38"|
|19||Raymond Mastrotto (FRA)||France||+53' 19"|
|20||André Foucher (FRA)||West/South-West||+58' 08"|
|21||Marcel Queheille (FRA)||West/South-West||+58' 42"|
|22||Claude Mattio (FRA)||Centre-Midi||+58' 42|
|23||Edouard Bihouee (FRA)||West/South-West||+1h 05' 05"|
|24||Joseph Wasko (FRA)||Paris/North-East||+1h 06' 28"|
|25||Joseph Thomin (FRA)||West/South-West||+1h 06' 45"|
|26||Elio Gerussi (FRA)||Paris/North-East||+1h 07' 33"|
|27||Fernand Picot (FRA)||West/South-West||+1h 17' 41"|
|28||Pierre Beuffeuil (FRA)||West/South-West||+1h 19' 15"|
|29||Stéphan Lach (FRA)||Paris/North-East||+1h 19' 40"|
|30||Georges Groussard (FRA)||West/South-West||+1h 20' 58"|
|31||Louis Rostollan (FRA)||France||+1h 23' 12"|
|32||André Darrigade (FRA)||France||+1h 24' 51"|
|33||Aldo Bolzan (LUX)||Switzerland/Luxembourg||+1h 26' 05"|
|34||Jean Milesi (FRA)||Centre-Midi||+1h 26' 39"|
|35||Jean Forestier (FRA)||France||+1h 28' 11"|
|36||Jean-Baptiste Claes (BEL)||Belgium||+1h 28' 25"|
|37||Marcel Ernzer (LUX)||Switzerland/Luxembourg||+1h 31' 57"|
|38||Luis Otano (ESP)||Spain||+1h 32' 07"|
|39||Valentin Huot (FRA)||Centre-Midi||+1h 34' 50"|
|40||Robert Cazala (FRA)||France||+1h 36' 23"|
|41||Gérard Thielin (FRA)||Centre-Midi||+1h 38' 47"|
|42||Jean Stablinski (FRA)||France||+1h 39' 10"|
|43||Renzo Accordi (ITA)||Italy||+1h 46' 43"|
|44||Mario Minieri (ITA)||Italy||+1h 47' 49"|
|45||Joseph Groussard (FRA)||France||+1h 49' 00"|
|46||Louis Bergaud (FRA)||Centre-Midi||+1h 50' 03"|
|47||Seamus Elliott (IRL)||Great Britain||+1h 51' 05"|
|48||Manuel Busto (FRA)||Centre-Midi||+1h 54' 45"|
|49||Julio San Emeterio (ESP)||Spain||+1h 54' 55"|
|50||Roberto Falaschi (ITA)||Italy||+2h 00' 22"|
|51||Piet Damen (NED)||Netherlands||+2h 03' 12"|
|52||Antoine Abate (FRA)||Centre-Midi||+2h 04' 06"|
|53||Brian Robinson (GBR)||Great Britain||+2h 04' 23"|
|54||Dieter Puschel (FRG)||West Germany||+2h 07' 57"|
|55||Juan Campillo (ESP)||Spain||+2h 09' 46"|
|56||Armando Pellegrini (ITA)||Italy||+2h 10' 22"|
|57||Bernard Viot (FRA)||Paris/North-East||+2h 20' 00"|
|58||Jaap Kersten (NED)||Netherlands||+2h 20' 12"|
|59||Guy Ignolin (FRA)||West/South-West||+2h 22' 04"|
|60||Rolf Graf (SUI)||Switzerland/Luxembourg||+2h 24' 13"|
|61||Martin Van Geneugden (BEL)||Belgium||+2h 26' 24"|
|62||René Marigil (ESP)||Spain||+2h 29' 09"|
|63||Fritz Gallati (SUI)||Switzerland/Luxembourg||+2h 30' 04"|
|64||Antoon Van der Steen (NED)||Netherlands||+2h 31' 35"|
|65||Ken Laidlaw (GBR)||Great Britain||+2h 45' 47"|
|66||Jan Westdorp (NED)||Netherlands||+2h 51' 39"|
|67||Serge Ruchet (SUI)||Switzerland/Luxembourg||+2h 54' 23"|
|68||Pierre Everaert (FRA)||France||+3h 01' 02"|
|69||Vicente Iturat (ESP)||Spain||+3h 08' 02"|
|70||Raymond Hoorelbeke (FRA)||Paris/North-East||+3h 19' 42"|
|71||Jean-Claude Lefebvre (FRA)||Paris/North-East||+3h 47' 49"|
|72||André Geneste (FRA)||Paris/North-East||+4h 12' 56"|
As Anquetil had led the race after every stage, there was not much competitiveness, which organiser Jacques Goddet termed a "fiasco". After the race, the system with national teams was abandoned, and it was announced that the 1962 Tour de France would be run with sponsored teams.
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