Remembering the Tour in Ventoux in 1950-1967

The Tour de France crossed Mont-Ventoux for the first time in 1951, passing over the Giant of Provence no less than four times in the 1950s.

In the 1960s, Poulidor can be seen at the arrival of the stage on 6 July 1965.


Select the dates of passage of the Tour de France to find out the history::
The 2000s (2000 - 2002 - 2009)
The 70s to the 90s (1970 - 1972 - 1974 - 1987 - 1994)
The 50s and 60s (1951 - 1952 - 1955 - 1958 - 1965 - 1967)

 

 

The 50s

1951 - Sunday 22 July Montpellier - Mont Ventoux / Avignon (224 km)

 

The Tour approaches Mont Ventoux via the north face. 2 km from the summit, Lucien Lazaridès breaks away to become the 1st rider in the history of the Tour to reach the summit of Mont Ventoux. He is caught up on the plain and loses the stage to Louison Bobet, who is first over the finish line on the Allées de l’Oulle in Avignon. The Swiss Hugo Koblet is overall winner of the Tour de France.

 

 

1952 - Wednesday 9 July Aix-en-Provence - Mont Ventoux / Avignon (178 km)

 

Jean Robic takes advantage of Fausto Coppi’s puncture to take the lead on the ascent of Mont Ventoux. He is first to reach the summit with a 2 min 36 sec lead. He manages to maintain these precious minutes on the descent and then across the plain to win the stage in Avignon. Fausto Coppi, however, proves he is the real leader of the peloton and wins his second Tour de France (1949, 1952).

 

 

1955 - Monday 18 July - Marseille / Mont Ventoux / Avignon (198 km)

 

This stage is marked by severe problems caused by the heatwave. Jean Malléjac suffers sunstroke, collapses to the ground and passes out. Ferdi Kubler falls twice on the descent and arrives in Avignon exhausted. In a repeat of his 1951 feat, Louison Bobet reaches the summit of Ventoux in the lead and wins the stage again in Avignon. A few days later, he wins the Tour de France for the 3rd year running (1953, 1954 and 1955).

 

 

1958 - Sunday 13 July - Bedoin / Mont Ventoux (21,6 km)

 

This stage is a first for the Tour. The Luxembourg rider Charly Gaul, nicknamed “the Angel of the Mountains” wins in 1 h 02 min 09 sec, at an average speed of over 20km/h, the first time trial in the mountains in the history of the Tour de France.

The Spaniard Federico Bahamontès finishes second, 31 seconds behind, and is the only real threat to Gaul as all his other rivals are almost 3 minutes behind.

Raphaël Géminiani has a successful day and takes the yellow jersey. However, he loses it a few days later to Charly Gaul, who goes on to win this edition of the Tour de France.

 

The 60s

1965 - Tuesday 6 July - Montpellier / Mont Ventoux (173 km)

 

After seven years’ absence the Tour returns to Mont Ventoux and for the first time, the summit is the venue for a stage finish. In the absence of Jacques Anquetil, Raymond Poulidor is the big favourite. On the approach to the Col des Tempêtes, Poulidor breaks aways on his own to cross the finish line at the summit first with only a 6 second lead over Julio Jiminez.

Felice Gimondi, riding his first Tour, manages a stage 4th and keeps the yellow jersey. A few days later he wins the Tour ahead of Raymond Poulidor.

 

 

1967 - Thursday 13 July - Marseille / Mont Ventoux / Carpentras (211 km)

 

Less than 2 km from the summit, a monument erected in memory of the English rider Tom Simpson is a reminder of the tragedy which took place on 13 July 1967.

 

In an exceptional heat, the 1965 world road race champion manages to stay with the leaders from some time. However, two kilometres from the summit he starts to sway then falls, never to get up again. He is transported by helicopter to hospital in Avignon but passes away shortly after his arrival.

 

As for the stage, Julio Jimenez reaches the summit of Ventoux in the lead but is overtaken by Jan Janssen in the sprint to the finish in Carpentras, capital of the Venaissin Comtat. This edition of the Tour de France is won by the Frenchman Roger Pingeon.

 

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