10th Vuelta a Espana 1955

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return of a Grand Event

After a 4-year interruption in the schedule of this grand event, the 1955 Vuelta a Espana returned under the new direction of Bilboa's leading newspaper El Correo Español-El Pueblo Vasco. The 10th edition will mark the beginning of the resurgence of the Vuelta. Slowly over time the race organization will lift this grand event to a level equal to the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, and will become one of the Big 3 Grand National Tours.

For the return edition, the organizers designed a shorter race route covering 2,776 km over 15 stages and transferred the organization to the Basque Country in Bilbao . The departure and finish of the race, becomes Bilboa. This emphasis established this area as the capital of the Spanish cyclisme.

The fierce fight for the overall classification began on stage 1, which included the ascension of 4 mountain-passes (Puerto de Altube, Elgeta, Azcarate, Vidania). Gilbert Bauvin (Fra) launched an attack and escaped the peloton. At the finish in San Sebastian Gilbert Bauvin's breakaway succeeded, but by only 34 second on second place and 1'18 on the peloton.

The Puerto de Velata on stage 3 dooms the French leader. A 5-rider breakaway, Antonio Gelabert (Spa), Raphael Geminiani (Fra), Jesus Lorono (Spa), Gabriel Company (Spa) & Giuseppe Buratti (Ita), rode away from the tiring race leader. Bauvin lost over 5 minutes and handed the race leader's jersey to Jesus Lorono.

Lorono, under continued attacks on stage 4, relinquished the race lead to Frenchman Raphael Geminiani. This was only the beginning of a confusing time in the race. On stage 5 the French team destroyed the peloton as small groups formed. The relentless French attacks send the Spanish team into a tailspin. After the stage Spanish team director Julian Berrendero faced critical questions about his race tactics and team members quarreled.

Geminiani remained in control of the race until stage 8, when the Spanish mahanged to mount an attack of their own. Four riders escape the peloton to win the stage and gain over 12 minutes on Geminiani. Young Rene Marigil (Spa) retook the race leader's jersey for Spain .

The homogenous French team battle back on stage 10. Jean Dotto (Fra) broke away with 3 others and finished 3 rd on the stage, but gained enough time to reclaim the race lead for France . The lead would not change hands again. Dotto rode into Bilboa to become the first French winner of the Vuelta a Espana. Italian Fiorenzo Magni won the points classification and fellow countryman Giuseppe Buratti took the climbing prize.

Stage and Distance Stage Winner Race Leader

Stage 1 Bilbao-San Sebastian, 240 km

Gilbert Bauvin (Fra)

Gilbert Bauvin (Fra)

Stage 2 San Sebastian-Bayonne, 211 km

Gilbert Bauvin (Fra)

Gilbert Bauvin (Fra)

Stage 3 Bayonne-Pamplona, 157 km

Antonio Gelabert (Spa)

Jesus Lorono (Spa)

Stage 4 Pamplona-Zaragoza, 229 km

Jesus Galdeano (Spa)

Jesus Lorono (Spa)

Stage 5 Zaragoza-Lerida, 195 km

Gabriel Company (Spa)

Raphael Geminiani (Fra)

Stage 6 Lerida-Barcelona, 230 km

Pierino Baffi (Ita)

Raphael Geminiani (Fra)

Stage 7 Barcelona/Montjuich, 29 km ITT

Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Raphael Geminiani (Fra)

Stage 8 Barcelona-Tortosa, 213 km

Vicente Iturat (Spa)

Rene Marigil (Spa)

Stage 9 Tortosa-Valencia, 190 km

Pierino Baffi (Ita)

Rene Marigil (Spa)

Stage 10 Valencia-Cuenca, 222 km

Antonio Uliana (Ita)

Jean Dotto (Fra)

Stage 11 Cuenca-Madrid, 168 km

Donato Piazza (Ita)

Jean Dotto (Fra)

Stage 12 Madrid 15 km TTT

ITALY

Jean Dotto (Fra)

Stage 13 Madrid-Valladolid, 222 km

Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Jean Dotto (Fra)

Stage 14 Valladolid-Bilbao, 308 km

Donato Piazza (Ita)

Jean Dotto (Fra)

Stg 15 Bilbao/Circuito Santo Domingo , 147 km

Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Jean Dotto (Fra)

 
Mountain Prize
Giuseppe Buratti (Ita)
 
Points Competition
Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

 

VaE April 23 - May 8, 1955
2,776 Km

1. Jean DOTTO (Fra) 81h04'02"

2. Antonio Jimenez-Quilez (Spa) +3'06"

3. Raphael Geminiani (Fra) +5'05"

Starters: 106
Finishers: 63
Average Speed: 34.232 km/h

 

 

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