___Race Snippets

 

28th Tour de France 1934

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“ Rio ” Rene's Regal Sacrifice

The 1934 Grand Boucle came as a welcome diversion from the political tensions and gave France a much needed morale boost.

Defending Tour champion Georges Speicher and Antonin Magne were selected to lead a very strong French National team. Slight controversy arose when the selection committee named 20-year-old Tour rookie Rene Vietto to the French team. Prior to the appointment, he had won only small regional races. The criticisms grew louder after Vietto struggle and lost over 11 minutes on the first stage. From that point forward the story of “ Rio Rene” Vietto began to blossom.

Young climber Rene Vietto began to battle back into contention. Vietto excelled in the Alps , winning stage 9 in Digne. By the time the Tour reached his hometown of Cannes , Vietto was in third place and riding very well. All of France was beginning to recognize the exploits of the young Vietto.

The Tour's next challenge came in the Pyrenees Mountain stages. Climbing well, Vietto and Magne controlled the lead group over the top of the Col du Puymorens. As the breakaway group descended the Puymorens race leader Magne hit a pothole and broke his front wheel. Rene came to the rescue, giving his team leader his wheel. Magne rejoined the leaders and Vietto waited for the team support. Rene had lost 5 minutes in Ax-les-Thermes, but had saved his team leader's Maillot Jaune. The French fans had great appreciation this act of sacrifice for the team.

The story of “ Rio Rene” became legend on the next stage. There were 3 major climbs with Vietto and Magne again controlling the lead pack. Vietto won the first climb of the day the Col de Port and was winning the climb of the Portet d'Aspet, when Magne smashed another front wheel. This time Vietto turned around and rode down the mountain to rescue his team leader. Magne was able to regain the lead group and finish third on the stage. Rene was forced to emotionally wait for the team support vehicle to get up the mountain.

(L) Wheel change with Magne, (C) Magne remounts, (R) Vietto tearfully waiting for team support (Photos from Archive)

Rene Vietto gained hero status and was given the nickname “ Rio Rene” (King Rene) because of his selfless sacrifices.

The mishaps dropped Vietto from contention in the overall classification. A lesser rider would have cracked, but young, talented Rene Vietto battled back. He won the 172 km stage 18 from Tarbes to Pau by 6 minutes. In Paris the resilient Frenchman “ Rio Rene” Vietto battled into fifth place and won the Best Climber Prize . Grand French champion Antonin Magne rode magnificently throughout the entire 1934 Tour and benefited greatly from team support. He rode proudly into Parc des Princes Velodrome for second TdF victory and France 's fifth in a row.

The relative unknown at the start, Rene Vietto became the sentimental winner of the Tour by the end. The question will always remain, “If the double mishap had not happened, could Vietto have won the 1934 Tour?” We will never know the answer, but “ Rio Rene” fans steadfastly swear he would have won the race easily.

 

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 PARIS-LILLE, 262 km

Georges Speicher (Fra)

Georges Speicher (Fra)

Stage 2 LILLE-CHARLEVILLE, 192 km

Rene Le Greves (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 3 CHARLEVILLE-METZ, 161 km

Roger Lapebie (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 4 METZ-BELFORT, 220 km

Roger Lapebie (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 5 BELFORT-EVIAN, 293 km

Rene Le Greves (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 6 EVIAN-AIX LES BAINS, 207 km

Georges Speicher (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 7 AIX LES BAINS-GRENOBLE, 229 km

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 8 GRENOBLE-GAP, 102 km

Giuseppe Martano (Ita)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 9 GAP-DIGNE, 227 km

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 10 DIGNE-NICE, 156 km

Rene Le Greves (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 11 NICE-CANNES, 126 km

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 12 CANNES-MARSEILLE, 195 km

Roger Lapebie (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 13 MARSEILLE-MONTPELLIER, 172 km

Georges Speicher (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 14 MONTPELLIER-PERPIGNAN, 177 km

Roger Lapebie (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 15 PERPIGNAN-AX LES THERMES, 158 km

Roger Lapebie (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 16 AX LES THERMES-LUCHON, 165 km

Adriano Vignoli

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 17 LUCHON-TARBES, 91 km

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 18 TARBES-PAU, 172 km

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 19 PAU-BORDEAUX, 215 km

Ettore Meini (Ita)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 20 BORDEAUX-LA ROCHELLE, 183 km

Georges Speicher (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 21a LA ROCHELLE-LA ROCHE sur YON, 81km

Rene Le Greves (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 21b LA ROCHE SUR YON-NANTES, 90 km ITT

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 22 NANTES-CAEN, 275 km

Raymond Louviot

Antonin Magne (Fra)

Stage 23 CAEN-PARIS/Parc des Princes, 221 km

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

Antonin Magne (Fra)

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Rene Vietto (Fra)

 

TdF July 3-July 29, 1934
4,370 Km

1. Antonin MAGNE (Fra) 147h13'58"

2. Giuseppe Martano (Ita) +27'31"

3. Roger Lapebie (Fra) +52'15"

Starters: 60
Finishers: 39
Average Speed: 30.360 km/h

 

 

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