14th Vuelta a Espana 1959

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Very Animated Spanish Grand Tour

Organizers of the 14th edition of the Vuelta a Espana presented a major change in 1959. After the in-fighting of Spanish national team in 1958 the Vuelta changed to a trade team format. Federico Bahamontes and Jesus Loroño were now free to race for themselves.

The early stages were controlled by Bahamontes's KAS teammate Antonio Karmany. After stage 6 Karmany had solid control of the GC and led Rik Van Looy (Bel) by 5'44” and Antonio Suarez (Spa) by 6'13”.

The race began to unravel for the contenders on stage 7 from Alicante to Castillon. A lethargic peloton allowed a group of 11 riders to escape and gain significant time (20+ minutes). Team Boxing's Antonio Barrutia (Spa) won the breakaway sprint for the stage win. The best place rider in the breakaway was Josef Vloebergh (Bel) and he assumed the race lead. Karmany now trailed by 23'16", Bahamontes 24'11", Suarez 25'03", Rik Van Looy 27'08", Roger Riviere 28'30", and aging superstar Fausto Coppi 40'48". This was a disaster for the contenders!

The race turned on stage 10 and 11. After an aggressive stage 10, which saw Antonio Suarez gain nearly 15 minutes on the race leader, Suarez attacked again. A six rider breakaway formed and gained another 13'23” for Suarez. Rik Van Looy won the stage after two untimely punctures by talented Frenchman Roger Riviere. A late in the race time gain allowed Jose Segu to obtain the Amarillo Jersey with Suarez 3'20” behind in second place.

The ultimate test came on the stage 14 individual time trial. Roger Riviere won the stage but could only gain 1'54” on the Suarez. The Spaniard easily took the race lead.

The final stage presented a brutal profile with six categorized climbs. A tired Suarez, who lost 4'30” on stage 16, needed an exceptional effort to get the victory. Over the first 5 climbs of the day Suarez matched rivals ‘pedal stroke for pedal stroke'. For Suarez the only thing left to decide was the “ King of the Mountains ” classification.

Belgian Richard Van Genechten held a 3 point lead over Antonio Karmany and a 4 point lead over Suarez with only the category 1 climb of the Sollube remaining. Fernando Manzaneque, a Suarez Team Licor 43 teammate, chased an escaped group and brought the tired race leader to the top of the Sollube. Suarez distanced Van Genechten and Karmany and scored enough points to win the “King of the Mountains” prize.

In Bilbao Manzaneque won the final stage and helped Antonio Suarez achieve the 1959 Vuelta a Espana victory.

Stage and Distance Stage Winner Race Leader

Stage 1a Madrid/Circ. Retiro, 9 km TTT

SAINT RAPHAEL

Stage 1b Madrid-Toledo, 114 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Stage 2 Manzanares-Cordoba, 228 km

Antonio Karmany (Spa)

Antonio Karmany (Spa)

Stage 3 Cordoba-Sevilla, 140 km

Vicente Iturat (Spa)

Antonio Karmany (Spa)

Stage 4 Sevilla-Granada, 240 km

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Antonio Karmany (Spa)

Stage 5 Guadix-Murcia, 225 km

Antonio Suarez (Spa)

Antonio Karmany (Spa)

Stage 6 Murcia-Alicante, 173 km

Gabriel Mas (Spa)

Antonio Karmany (Spa)

Stage 7 Alicante-Castellon, 233 km

Antonio Barrutia (Spa)

Josef Vloebergh (Bel)

Stage 8 Castellon-Tortosa, 130 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Pierre Everaert (Fra)

Stage 9 Tortosa-Barcelona, 196 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Pierre Everaert (Fra)

Stage 10 GranolLers-Lerida, 183 km

Antonio Suarez (Spa)

Pierre Everaert (Fra)

Stage 11 Lerida-Pamplona, 242 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Jose Segu (Spa)

Stage 12 Pamplona-San Sebastian, 210 km

Jose Sousa-Cardoso (Spa)

Jose Segu (Spa)

Stage 13 San Sebastian , 9 km TTT

SAINT-RAPHAEL

Jose Segu (Spa)

Stage 14 Eibar-Vitoria, 62 km ITT

Roger Riviere (Fra)

Antonio Suarez (Spa)

Stage 15 Vitoria-Santander, 230 km

Julio San Emeterio (Spa)

Antonio Suarez (Spa)

Stage 16 Santander-Bilbao, 187 km

Roger Riviere (Fra)

Antonio Suarez (Spa)

Stage 17 Bilbao-Bilbao, 222 km

Fernando Manzaneque (Spa)

Antonio Suarez (Spa)

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Antonio Suarez (Spa)

POINT'S COMPETITION

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

 

VaE April 24 - May 10, 1959
3,033 Km

1. Antonio SUAREZ (Spa) 84h36'20"

2. Jose Segu (Spa) +1'06"

3. Rik Van Looy (Bel) +7'00"

Starters: 90
Finishers: 41
Average Speed: 35.858 km/h

 

 

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