20th Vuelta a Espana 1965

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

An Over Confident Poulidor Gets 'Crossed' by a Teammate

The overwhelming favorite for the 1965 Vuelta a Espana was defending champion Raymond Poulidor, but a very strong German cyclocrosser named Rolf Wolfshohl would surprise everyone.

The first major test came on stage 4a the 41 km mountainous individual time trial from Mieres to Puerto de Pajares. Raymond Poulidor did not disappoint, he recorded a time of 1h17'38” to gain the stage win and grab the Amarillo Jersey.

SPECIAL NOTE : A stage 5 breakaway completed the race at such a high average speed that 2/3's of the peloton did not make the time cut. To avoid a catastrophe the race officials re-instated the peloton.

With a confident Poulidor in controlling the race began to unravel on stage 8. Poulidor's Mercier-BP teammate Rolf Wolfshohl joined an early 6 rider breakaway. The basically flat stage from Benidorm to Sagunte was not considered a danger stage, but the breakaway steadily gained time. The breakaway finished the stage 13'40” ahead of the peloton and Wolfshohl became the new race leader.

Two stages later Wolfshohl joined another early breakaway with Spanish climber Julio Jimenez. The Spaniard took the stage win, but more importantly Wolfshohl gained another 2'59” on Poulidor. The only question remaining was “could the 4-time World Cyclocross champion withstand the challenge of the high mountains?”

The quintessential stage of this year's Vuelta came on stage 11 from Barcelona to Andora. The stage featured 3 brutal climbs with a finish on the Puerto d'Envalira. Wolfshohl and Poulidor ride side by side and finish the stage in an elite group 5'17” behind stage winner Esteban Martin. Wolfshohl's great form carried him through the mountains, but one final test remained the 61 km ITT only two stages before the finish in Bilboa.

Stage 16 individual time trial from Bayonne, France to San Sebastian gave Poulidor one last chance to win the Vuelta. The Frenchman did what he had to do and posted the time to beat. Wolfshohl performed equally well and finished second on the stage only 33 second behind his teammate. The Vuelta victory was secured.

Rolf Wolfshohl rode into Bilboa to claim the surprise victory 6'36” ahead of his teammate Raymond Poulidor.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 Vigo-Vigo, 168 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Stage 2 Pontevedra-Lugo, 150 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Stage 3 Lugo-Gijon, 247 km

Rudi Altig (Ger)

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Stage 4a Mieres-Puerto de Pajares, 41 km ITT

Raymond Poulidor (Fra)

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Stage 4b Puerto Pajares-Palencia, 189 km

Carlos Echevarria (Spa)

Raymond Poulidor (Fra)

Stage 5 Palencia-Madrid, 238 km

Fernando Manzaneque (Spa)

Raymond Poulidor (Fra)

Stage 6 Madrid-Cuenca, 161 km

Manuel Martin-Pinera (Spa)

Raymond Poulidor (Fra)

Stage 7 Albacete-Benidorm, 212 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Raymond Poulidor (Fra)

Stage 8 Benidorm-Sagunto, 174 km

Jean-Claude Wuillemin (Fra)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Stage 9 Sagunto-Salou, 237 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Stage 10a Salou-Barcelona, 115 km

Frans Melckenbeeck (Bel)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Stage 10b Barcelona-Barcelona, 50 km

Julio Jimenez (Spa)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Stage 11 Barcelona-Andorra, 241 km

Esteban Martin (Spa)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Stage 12 Andorra-Lerida, 158 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Stage 13 Lerida-Zaragoza, 190 km

Jose-Martin Colmenarejo (Spa)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Stage 14 Zaragoza-Pamplona, 193 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Stage 15 Pamplona-Bayonne (Fra), 149 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Stage 16 Bayonne (F)-San Sebastian , 61 km ITT

Raymond Poulidor (Fra)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Stage 17 San Sebastian-Vitoria, 214 km

Rik Van Looy (Bel)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Stage 18 Vitoria-Bilbao, 222 km

Manuel Martin-Pinera (Spa)

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

 

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Julio Jimenez (Spa)
 

POINT'S COMPETITION

Rik Van Looy (Bel)


VaE April 29 - May 16, 1965
3.410 Km

1. Rolf WOLFSHOHL (Ger) 92h36'03"

2. Raymond Poulidor (Fra) +6'36"

3. Rik Van Looy (Bel) +8'55"

Starters: 100
Finishers: 51
Average Speed: 36.954 km/h


 

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