12th Vuelta a Espana 1957


By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian













Spanish Climbers Battle

The international appeal of the Vuelta a Espana (VaE) continued to grow in 1957. The Italians presented a very talented team despite the absence of defending champion Angelo Conterno. The Spanish National team, led by Federico Bahamontes, Salvador Botella, and Jesus Lorono, came with great climbers. The Vuelta's mountainous parcours in 1957 provided a great battleground for two epic Spanish riders.

When the race entered Stage 3 the real battle began. Spanish teammates Salvador Botella and Bahamontes broke cleanly away from the peloton. Bahamontes climbed steadily away and rode solo to the stage win. The Eagle of Toledo earned his first Amarillo Jersey. The Vuelta was only 3 stages into the race but most of the favorites were in a deep hole. Lorono lost 12'54 and Raphael Geminiani (Fra) 14'08.

After losing the race lead on Stage 6 it took brilliant climbing on Stage 8 to return the Amarillo Jersey to Bahamontes. Jesus Lorono remained a distant 15'54 behind in the General Classification.

The race exploded during Stage 10 from Valencia to Tortosa. Early in the 192 km stage Lorono slipped into a strong breakaway group. Passively the peloton watched as the breakaway built over a 21-minute lead. With no real chase the final time gainfor the breakaway in Tortosa was 21'59. Jesus Lorono erased a 15'54 deficit to Bahamontes and gained his first race lead.

Lorono, fourth overall in 1955 and second in 1956, cemented his race lead with a victory on the Stage 13 individual time trial. After some heated words with teammate Bahamontes, race leader Lorono rode to the stage win and gained another 1'06 on his angry teammate.

The last stage between San Sebastian and Bilbao the wildly supportive Basques fans sang the praises of their champion. Jesus Lorono, one of the great figures in the history of Spanish cycling, achieved the Vuelta victory in 1957 beating Federico Bahamontes. The rivalry between these two greats of Spanish cycling was of epic proportions, since Bahamontes was never able to win La Vuelta a Espana and Lorono did it in 1957.

Stage and Distance Stage Winner Race Leader

Stage 1 Bilbao-Vitoria, 158 km

Miguel Chacon (Spa)

Miguel Chacon (Spa)

Stage 2 Vitoria-Santander, 220 km

Carmelo Morales (Spa)

Camelo Morales (Spa)

Stage 3 Santander-Mieres, 259 km

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Stage 4 Mieres-Leon Cancelled

Stage Stopped (falling snow)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Stage 5 Leon-Valladolid, 172 km

Roger Hassendorfer (Fra)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Stage 6 Valladolid-Madrid, 212 km

Miguel Chacon (Spa)

Salvador Botella (Ita)

Stage 7 Madrid-Madrid, 200 km

Jan Adriaensens (Bel)

Francisco Moreno (Spa)

Stage 8 Madrid-Cuenca, 159 km

Roger Walkowiak (Fra)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Stage 9 Cuenca-Valencia, 249 km

Rino Benedetti (Ita)

Federico Bahamontes (Spa)

Stage 10 Valencia-Tortosa, 192 km

Bruno Tognaccini (Ita)

Jesus Lorono (Spa)

Stage 11 Tortosa-Barcelona, 199 km

Gilbert Bauvin (Fra)

Jesus Lorono (Spa)

Stage 12 Barcelona-Zaragoza, 229 km

Mario Baroni (Ita)

Jesus Lorono (Spa)

Stage 13 Zaragoza-Huesca, 85 km ITT

Jesus Lorono (Spa)

Jesus Lorono (Spa)

Stage 14 Huesca-Bayonne, 249 km

Antonio Ferraz (Spa)

Jesus Lorono (Spa)

Stage 15 Bayonne-San Sebastian, 199 km

Roger Baens (Bel)

Jesus Lorono (Spa)

Stage 16 San Sebastian-Bilbao, 193 km

Antonio Suarez (Spa)

Jesus Lorono (Spa)



Federico Bahamontes (Spa)


Vicente Iturat (Spa)


VaE April 26 - May 12, 1957
2,975 Km

1. Jesus LORONO (Spa) 84h44'06"

2. Federico Bahamontes (Spa) +8'11"

3. Bernardo Ruiz (Spa) +9'34"

Starters: 90
Finishers: 54
Average Speed: 35.107 km/h

VaE 1956

VaE 1958

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