___Race Snippets

 

53rd Tour de France 1966

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Pou Pou” Gets Surprised… Again!

The Italian stars, Felice Gimondi (defending champion), Vittorio Adorni, and Gianni Motta (1966 Giro d'Italia champion), choose not to participate in the 1966 Tour de France. This fact automatically shifted the focus to the very popular Raymond “Pou Pou” Poulidor for the 1966 Tour. With the return of the 1964 TdF champion, Jacques Anquetil, a great French battle for the overall classification was anticipated.

SPECIAL NOTE: DOPING! The dark side of the Tour reared its ugly head again in 1966. Race official, who started discussions on drug use in the peloton during the 1965 Tour, carried out a surprise drug test after stage 8 in Bordeaux . The time for discussion was over and the French Federation of Cycling needed to do something. The drug tests were just the first step in a long process. Unhappy with the unexpected anti-doping control of the race officials and French Federation , the riders stopped the race just after the start of stage 9. Following the protest and rider negotiations, the race did continue and the stage was finished.

Stage 10 marked the start of the climbing in the Pyrenees Mountains . A small group of riders slipped away from the contenders on the climb of the Col d'Aubisque and gain a 7-minute lead. Anquetil and Poulidor were so focused on watching each other; they both missed the opportunity to join the breakaway. A cagey Anquetil claimed to have been working for his teammate in the breakaway. The breakaway group included the relatively unknown Italian De Pra, overall contender Jan Janssen (Hol) and Jacques Anquetil's teammate Lucien Aimar. The best-placed rider in the breakaway was De Pra. He was reward with the Maillot Jaune. The race was still a long distance from Paris and Poulidor felt very confident that the two remaining individual time trials (ITT) and the climbing stages in the Alps would be his springboard to the Tour victory.

When the race reached Val les Bains for the 20 km ITT, Poulidor rode brilliantly and beat Anquetil by 7 seconds. He also gained 47 seconds on Aimar.

The aggressive racing in the Alps continued on stage 17 from Briancon to Torino (Ita). An 8-rider group broke away at the foot of the final climb of the day, the Col de Coletta. Poulidor, chasing hard, managed to slip away in another group of 5 in pursuit of the leaders. Overall leader Janssen, along with Aimar and Anquetil, were the odd men out. Anquetil took over the pace making at the front of the third pack and stubbornly brought back the Poulidor group. Once the connection was made, Anquetil signaled to Aimar to counter-attack. At the finish in Torino , Lucien Aimar crossed the line eighth place, but gained 2'02” on Janssen. The time gain gave Aimar the Maillot Jaune for the first time. Only after the stage did Poulidor realize the seriousness of his error. His strategy to steadfastly stay with Anquetil backfired and the Maillot Jaune escaped his grasp again.

SPECIAL NOTE: Anquetil was riding well during the 1966 Tour, but he was clearly off his normal level of fitness. Suffering from a bout with bronchitis in the Alps, grand champion Jacques Anquetil, at the 212 km point of stage 19, rolls slowly to a halt and dismounts his bike. He had stayed in the race long enough to help his teammate Lucien Aimar gain a commanding lead in the race. Once his work was done, Maitre Jacques bid his final farewell to the TdF.

Poulidor continued to attack the race leader through the final 4 stages but could not gain time on Aimar. In Paris on Bastille Day, a jubilant Frenchman Lucien Aimar rolls across the finish line for a grand but surprise victory.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 NANCY-CHARLEVILLE, 203 km

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 2 CHARLEVILLE-TOURNAI (Bel), 198 km

Guido Reybroeck (Bel)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 3b TOURNAI (Bel)-DUNKERQUE, 131 km

Gerben Karstens (Hol)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 4 DUNKERQUE-DIEPPE, 205 km

Willy Planckaert (Bel)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 5 DIEPPE-CAEN, 179 km

Franco Bitossi (Ita)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 6 CAEN-ANGERS, 216 km

Edward Sels (Bel)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 7 ANGERS-ROYAN, 253 km

Albert Van Vlierberghe (Bel)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 8 ROYAN-BORDEAUX, 137 km

Willy Planckaert (Bel)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 9 BORDEAUX-BAYONNE, 201 km

Gerben Karstens (Hol)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 10 BAYONNE-PAU, 235 km

Tommaso De Pra (Ita)

Tommaso De Pra (Ita)

Stage 11 PAU-LUCHON, 188 km

Marcello Mugnaini (Ita)

Jean-Claude Lebaube (Fra)

Stage 12 LUCHON-REVEL, 218 km

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Karl-Heinz Kunde (Ger)

Stage 13 REVEL-SETE, 191 km

Georges Vandenberghe (Bel)

Karl-Heinz Kunde (Ger)

Stage 14a MONTPELLIER-VALS LES BAINS, 144 km

Jo De Roo (Hol)

Karl-Heinz Kunde (Ger)

Stage 14b VALS LES BAINS, 20 km ITT

Raymond Poulidor (Fra)

Karl-Heinz Kunde (Ger)

Stage 15 PRIVAS-BOURG D'OISANS, 204 km

Luis Otano (Spa)

Karl-Heinz Kunde (Ger)

Stage 16 BOURG D'OISANS-BRIANCON, 148 km

Julio Jimenez (Spa)

Jan Janssen (Hol)

Stage 17 BRIANCON-TORINO (Ita), 160 km

Franco Bitossi (Ita)

Lucien Aimar (Fra)

Stage 18 IVREA (Ita)- CHAMONIX , 188 km

Eddy Schutz (Lux)

Lucien Aimar (Fra)

Stage 19 CHAMONIX-ST ETIENNE, 264 km

Ferdinand Bracke (Bel)

Lucien Aimar (Fra)

Stage 20 ST. ETIENNE-MONTLUCON, 224 km

Henk Nijdam (Hol)

Lucien Aimar (Fra)

Stage 21 MONTLUCON-ORLEANS, 232 km

Pierre Beuffeuil (Fra)

Lucien Aimar (Fra)

Stage 22a ORLEANS-RAMBOUILLET, 111 km

Edward Sels (Bel)

Lucien Aimar (Fra)

Stage 22b RAMBOUILLET-PARIS, 51 km ITT

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Lucien Aimar (Fra)

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Julio Jiminez (Spa)

POINT'S COMPETITION

Willy Planckaert (Bel)



TdF June 21 - July 14, 1966
4,322 Km

1. Lucien AIMAR (Fra) 117h34'21"

2. Jan Janssen (Hol) +1'07"

3. Raymond Poulidor (Fra) +2'02"

Starters: 130
Finishers: 82
Average Speed: 36.760 km/h

 

 

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