___Race Snippets

 

33rd Tour de France 1939

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Looms Large, But The Tour Goes On!

The already hot political atmosphere in Europe was speeding toward the boiling point. The inevitability of another world war loomed large on the horizon, but the fear did not diminish the massive enthusiasm of the Tour de France (TdF) fans. Author Henri Troyat wrote, “I'm so glad that now that summer is approaching we have an event that makes us forget the dark political events that are taking place. The Tour de France is something of an armistice of the heart.”

To the delight of the French fans, Rene Vietto got off to his best start in years. He took the Maillot Jaune on stage 4 and bravely fought off the challenge of Sylvere Maes during the Pyrenees Mountain stages. Fighting the effects of a cold, Vietto held the lead across the mid section of France and to the base of the Alps .

Stage 15 from Digne to Briancon featured the dramatic climbs of the Col d'Allos, Col du Vars, and mighty Col d'Izoard. In 1938, this was the stage that saw Italian Gino Bartali demolish the field and win the Tour. Sylvere Maes remembered the move and initiated his own attack in 1939. Slowly he pulled away from the ailing race leader. As the altitude got higher the more labored Vietto's breathing became. By Briancon, Maes had beaten Vietto by over 18 minutes and destroyed the popular Frenchman's change at the overall classification.

Maes rode into Paris with a grand Tour victory. His dominating performance also gave him the climber's King of the Mountain (KoM) prize. Rene Vietto did struggle into Paris, but did manage to hold onto second place overall.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 PARIS-CAEN, 215 km

Amedee Fournier (Fra)

Amedee Fournier (Fra)

Stage 2a CAEN-VIRE, 63.5 km ITT

Romain Maes (Bel)

Romain Maes (Bel)

Stage 2b VIRE-RENNES, 119 km

Eloi Tassin (Fra)

Jean Fontenay (Fra)

Stage 3 RENNES-BREST, 244 km

Pierre Cloarec (Fra)

Jean Fontenay (Fra)

Stage 4 BREST-LORIENT, 174 km

Raymond Louviot (Fra)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 5 LORIENT-NANTES, 207 km

Amedee Fournier (Fra)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 6a NANTES-LA ROCHELLE, 144 km

Lucien Storme (Bel)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 6b LA ROCHELLE-ROYAN, 107 km

Edmond Pages (Fra)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 7 ROYAN-BORDEAUX, 198 km

Raymond Passat (Fra)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 8a BORDEAUX-SALIES DE BEARN , 211 km

Marcel Kint (Bel)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 8b SALIES DE BEARN-PAU, 68 km ITT

Karl Litschi (Sui)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 9 PAU-TOULOUSE, 311 km

Edward Vissers (Bel)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 10a TOULOUSE-NARBONNE, 148 km

Pierre Jaminet (Fra)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 10b NARBONNE-BEZIERS, 27 km

Maurice Archambaud (Fra)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 10c BEZIERS-MONTPELLIER, 71 km

Maurice Archambaud (Fra)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 11 MONTPELLIER-MARSEILLE, 212 km

Fabien Galateau (Fra)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 12a MARSEILLE-ST RAPHAEL, 157 km

Francois Neuens (Lux)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 12b ST RAPHAEL-MONACO, 101 km

Maurice Archambaud (Fra)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 13 MONACO-MONACO, 101 km

Pierre Gallien (Fra)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 14 MONACO-DIGNE, 175 km

Pierre Cloarec (Fra)

Rene Vietto (Fra)

Stage 15 DIGNE-BRIANCON, 219 km

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

Stage 16a BRIANCON-BRIANCON, 126 km

Pierre Jaminet (Fra)

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

Stage 16b BONNEVAL-BOURG ST MAURICE, 64 km ITT

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

Stage 16c BOURG ST MAURICE-ANNECY, 103 km

Antoon Van Schendel (Ned)

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

Stage 17a ANNECY-DOLE, 226 km

Francois Neuens (Lux)

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

Stage 17b ANNECY-DIJON, 59 km ITT

Maurice Archambaud (Fra)

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

Stage 18a DIJON-TROYES, 151 km

Rene Le Greves (Fra)

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

Stage 18b TROYES-PARIS/Parc des Princes, 201 km

Marcel Kint (Bel)

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Sylvere Maes (Bel)

 

TdF July 10-July 30, 1939
4,226 Km

1. Sylvere MAES (Bel) 132h03'17"

2. Rene Vietto (Fra) +30'38"

3. Lucien Vlaemynck (Bel) +32'08"

Starters: 79
Finishers: 49
Average Speed: 31.986 km/h

 

 

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