___Race Snippets

 

36th Tour de France 1949

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Classic Coppi-Bartali Battle

CR rates this Tour as #8 on the TOP 25 TOURS of ALL TIMES.

Cycling in post-WW2 Italy was huge and growing. The sport of cycling seemed to give Italians a diversion from the political and economic struggles of the time. Two grand cycling champions arose from the war torn country:

  • The an ageless wonder Gino Bartali, who won the 1938 and 1948 Tour de France.

  • The 1949 Giro d'Italia winner Fausto Coppi , who won all the major races in Europe except the Tour de France.

The 1949 Tour was a showdown between these two giants of cycling.

The opening stages in 1949 were not kind to Coppi. Crashes and mechanical breakdowns cost him valuable time and places in the overall classification. Coppi wanted to abandon the Tour. Somehow Binda was able to convince Coppi that his Tour chances were not done.

The first individual time trial (ITT) was on stage 7 from Les Sables d'Olonne to La Rochelle . A rejuvenated Coppi regained the fire. He won the stage by 4 minutes and 31 seconds on archrival Bartali. The time gain was not as important as the psychological gains for the talented Italian.

Coppi was still trailing race leader Fiorenzo Magni (Italy B team) by 30 minutes going into the brutal stage 11 from Pau to Luchon. The stage featured the ascents of the Col d'Aspin, Col de Soulor, Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Aubisque, and Col du Peyresoude. Race leader Fiorenzo Magni (Italy B) finished over 15 minute behind Coppi. As t he Tour left the Pyrenees and headed for the Alps , Coppi's time gap to the overall leader had dropped to 14'46”.

The classic Alpine climbs would be the backdrop for a great TdF battle. Stage 16 featured the ascents of the Col d'Allos, Col de Vars, and Col d'Izoard. It was this stage that Gino Bartali dominated in 1938 and 1948, and in 1949 Bartali broke away again. He was quickly joined by teammate Coppi and the two rode away from the fading peloton. They rode together into Briancon, with their winning breakaway gaining more than 20 minutes on race leader Magni. Defending champion Gino Bartali won the stage and took the race lead. Fausto Coppi shot into second place in the overall classification, 1 minute and 22 seconds behind his teammate.

The battle continued on the next stage. The two Italian superstars left the peloton behind as the Tour headed into Italy . Bartali punctured with just 40 km to go and Coppi waited patiently. Several kilometers later Bartali crashed heavily on the slippery rocks of the descent and was slow to recover. Coppi again waited, but anxiously this time. As the seconds ticked off, word came from team manager Binda, “Let Coppi ride for himself.” Instantly, he was away. At the finish he had an almost 5 minute lead on the injured Bartali and over 10 minutes on the main contenders. The stage win put Coppi in the race lead.

Coppi put his final stamp on the race with a dominating performance on the 137 km individual time trial. He beat his second place teammate Bartali by 7 minutes and 2 seconds. The Tour de France victory was his.

After almost abandoning after his stage 5 mishap, Fausto Coppi rode into Paris for a grand victory. The Italian “campionissimo” became the first rider to win the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in the same year. In addition to the victory in the overall classification, Coppi became the third rider to win both the Maillot Jaune and the Best Climber Prize in the same year.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 PARIS-REIMS, 182 km

Marcel Dussault (Fra)

Marcel Dussault (Fra)

Stage 2 REIMS-BRUXELLES, (Bel), 273 km

Roger Lambrecht (Bel)

Roger Lambrecht (Bel)

Stage 3 BRUXELLES (Bel)- BOULOGNE SUR MER, 211 km

Norbert Callens (Bel)

Norbert Callens (Bel)

Stage 4 BOULOGNE SUR MER-ROUEN, 185 km

Lucien Teisseire (Fra)

Jacques Marinelli (Fra)

Stage 5 ROUEN-SAINT MALO, 293 km

Ferdi Kubler (Sui)

Jacques Marinelli (Fra)

Stage 6 SAINT-MALO-LES SABLES D'OLONNE, 305 km

Adolphe Deledda (Fra)

Jacques Marinelli (Fra)

Stage 7 LES SABLES D'OLONNE-LA ROCHELLE, 92 km ITT

Fausto Coppi (Ita)

Jacques Marinelli (Fra)

Stage 8 LA ROCHELLE-BORDEAUX, 262 km

Guy Lapebie (Fra)

Jacques Marinelli (Fra)

Stage 9 BORDEAUX-SAN SEBASTIAN (Spa), 228 km

Louis Caput (Fra)

Jacques Marinelli (Fra)

Stage 10 SAN SEBASTIAN (Spa)- PAU, 192 km

Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Stage 11 PAU-LUCHON, 193 km

Jean Robic (Fra)

Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Stage 12 LUCHON-TOULOUSE, 134 km

Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel)

Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Stage 13 TOULOUSE-NIMES, 289 km

Emile Idee (Fra)

Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Stage 14 NIMES-MARSEILLE, 199 km

Jean Goldschmit (Lux)

Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Stage 15 MARSEILLE-CANNES, 215 km

Desire Keteleer (Bel)

Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Stage 16 CANNES-BRIANCON, 275 km

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Gino Bartali (Ita)

Stage 17 BRIANCON-AOSTA (Ita), 257 km

Fausto Coppi (Ita)

Fausto Coppi (Ita)

Stage 18 AOSTA (Ita)- LAUSANNE (Sui), 265 km

Vincenzo Rossello (Ita)

Fausto Coppi (Ita)

Stage 19 LAUSANNE (Sui)- COLMAR , 283 km

Raphael Geminiani (Fra)

Fausto Coppi (Ita)

Stage 20 COLMAR-NANCY, 137 km ITT

Fausto Coppi (Ita)

Fausto Coppi (Ita)

Stage 21 NANCY-PARIS, 340 km

Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel)

Fausto Coppi (Ita)

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE
Fausto Coppi (Ita)

 

TdF June 30-July 24, 1949
4,810 Km

1. Fausto COPPI (Ita) 149h40'49"

2. Gino Bartali (Ita) +10'55"

3. Jacques Marinelli (Fra) +25'13"

Starters: 120
Finishers: 55
Average Speed: 32.121 km/h

 

 

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