17th Vuelta a Espana 1962

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

Big German Answers Every Attack

French superstar Jacques Anquetil was at the top of the cycling world. He had two Tour de France victories and one Giro d'Italia win, and came to Spain for the missing piece of his Grand Tour puzzle. Anquetil came to Spain with a very powerful team. One late addition was his big German teammate Rudi Altig. Team director Raphael Geminiani wanted Altig to get some hard training before the Tour de France.

Anquetil's Saint Raphael-Helyet team controlled the race and answered every attack. Anquetil teammates Seamus Elliott and Rudi Altig traded the race lead until a stage 7 when an Altig breakaway and stage win put the German in the race lead and 4'51” ahead of his French team leader.

The rivalry between the two stars burst on stage 9. Anquetil broke away and gained 1'18”. Altig was relegated to the peloton. Late in the stage Belgian Marcel Janssens with Altig in tow caught Anquetil and saved his race lead.

It was now time for the 82 km individual time trial between Bayonne and San Sebastian, which included the climb of the category 2 Alto de Ibardin. Jacques Anquetil anticipated himself in the golden jersey after this stage. But the French champion and his director Raphael Géminiani feared Altig. Before the stage Altig was asked if Anquetil would win the race, the German rider answered emphatically "I will be the winner". Anquetil took the time trial lead in 2h17'08" with Jose Pérez-Francés third in 2h18'12".

Suddenly Altig headed down the finishing straight and all observers consulted their stopwatches. Altig crossed the line in a time of 2h17'07", one second better than his team leader. Altig remained the leader in the overall classification with Anquetil second placed +4'52" and Pérez-Francés in third +7'14".

There remained two mountain stages and the hope for Spanish victory fell to Pérez-Francés, “can he take advantage of the five climb stage 16?”

At the start of stage 16 rumors increased around Anquetil. The French champion fell ill, suffering from gastritis during stage 16 from San Sebastian to Vitoria. The French press wrote: "Anquetil est mort" (Anquetil is mortal) as the French champion abandoned after the stage.

One stage from the finish the now second placed Spanish rider Jose Pérez-Francés tried very hard to breakaway. Rudi Altig answered all his attempts.

In Bilboa the big German Rudi Altig climbed onto the top step of the podium. The victory was sweet and he achieved some measure of revenge on his team director Raphael Géminiani, who had left the 22 year old German off the Saint Raphael-Helyet Tour de France team. He was considered too young and inexperienced.

Stage and Distance Stage Winner Race Leader

Stage 1 Barcelona/Montjuich, 90 km

Antonio Barrutia (Spa)

Antonio Barrutia (Spa)

Stage 2 Barcelona-Tortosa, 185 km

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 3 Tortosa-Valencia, 188 km

Nino Defilippis (Ita)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 4 Valencia-Benidorm, 141 km

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 5 Benidorm-Benidorm, 21 km TTT

SAINT RAPHAEL

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 6 Benidorm-Cartagena, 152 km

Jean Graczyk (Fra)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 7 Murcia-Almeria, 223 km

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 8 Almeria-Malaga, 220 km

Jean-Claude Annaert (Fra)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 9 Malaga-Cordoba, 193 km

Antonio Gomez del Moral (Spa)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 10 Valdepenas-Madrid, 210 km

Albertus Geldermans (Hol)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 11 Madrid-Valladolid, 189 km

Jean Stablinski (Fra)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 12 Valladolid-Logrono, 232 km

Ernesto Bono (Ita)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 13 Logrono-Pamplona, 191 km

Jean Graczyk (Fra)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 14 Pamplona-Bayonne, 149 km

Jean Graczyk (Fra)

Seamus Elliott (Ire)

Stage 15 Bayonne-San Sebastian, 82 km ITT

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 16 San Sebastian-Vitoria, 177 km

Jean Graczyk (Fra)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Stage 17 Vitoria-Bilbao, 171 km

Jose Segu (Spa)

Rudi Altig (Ger)

 

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Antonio Karmany (Spa)
 

POINT'S COMPETITION

Rudi Altig (Ger)


VaE April 27 - May 13, 1962
2.814 Km

1. Rudi ALTIG (Ger) 78h35'27"

2. Jose Perez-Frances (Spa) +7'14"

3. Seamus Elliott (Ire) +7'17"

Starters: 90
Finishers: 48
Average Speed: 36.174 km/h

 


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