1936 Tour de France

The 1936 Tour de France was the 30th edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 7 July to 2 August. It was composed of 21 stages with a total length of 4,442 km (2,760 mi). Because of health problems, Henri Desgrange stopped as Tour director, and was succeeded by Jacques Goddet.

1936 Tour de France
Route of the 1936 Tour de France followed clockwise, starting in Paris
Route of the 1936 Tour de France followed clockwise, starting in Paris
Race details
Dates7 July – 2 August
Stages21, including five split stages
Distance4,442 km (2,760 mi)
Winning time142h 47' 32"
Winner  Sylvère Maes (BEL) (Belgium)
  Second  Antonin Magne (FRA) (France)
  Third  Félicien Vervaecke (BEL) (Belgium)

  Mountains  Julián Berrendero (ESP) (Spain/Luxembourg)
  Team Belgium
← 1935
1937 →

The race was won by Belgian cyclist Sylvère Maes. In the early stages, he battled with French Maurice Archambaud, until Archambaud lost many minutes on the eighth stage. Maes was then able to create a large margin with his new closest competitor Magne and teammate Vervaecke.[1]

The team classification was won by the Belgian team, and Spanish cyclist Julián Berrendero won the mountains classification. There was also a one-time classification, based on points, that was won by Sylvère Maes.

Innovations and changesEdit

For the first time, a stage was divided into three parts.[2] The race director at the start of the race was still Henri Desgrange, who had been race director since the first Tour de France in 1903. Desgrange, who was already 71 years old, had had kidney surgery weeks before the start of the Tour, but was determined to follow the Tour, and rode in a car full of cushions.[3] After the second stage, he stopped, and made Jacques Goddet director.[4] The individuals category which had been used in 1935 was not used in 1936.

The introduction of the summer holiday in France in 1936 meant that the number of spectators on the roadside increased.[5]

The bonification system was the same as in 1935.[2] This meant that the winner of a stage received 90 seconds, and the second cyclist 45 seconds. In addition, the winner received a bonification equal to the margin between him and the second cyclist, with a maximum of 2 minutes. The last bonification system was also used for the first cyclist to reach a mountain top that counted for the mountains classification.


The riders were divided into two categories: the national teams and the touriste-routiers.[4] There were four big national teams with 10 cyclists each: the Belgian team, the German team, the Spanish/Luxembourgian team and the French team. There were also five small teams of 4 cyclists each: the Swiss team, the Dutch team, the Yugoslavian team, the Romanian team and the Austrian team.[6] For the Dutch, Yugoslavian and Romanian teams, it was the first participation ever.[7] The Italian team was absent for political reasons (the Second Italo-Abyssinian War).[4] An Italian team consisting of Italians living in France had been allowed to the race and even had jersey numbers designated, but finally the Tour organisers changed their minds.[3]

The teams entering the race were:

  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • Spain/Luxembourg
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • Yugoslavia
  • Romania
  • Austria

Route and stagesEdit

Stages 13b, 14b, 18b, 19b and 20b were all run in the team-time-trial format. The highest point of elevation in the race was 2,556 m (8,386 ft) at the summit tunnel of the Col du Galibier mountain pass on stage 7.[8][9]

Stage characteristics and winners[2][4][10][11]
Stage Date Course Distance Type[a] Winner
1 7 July Paris to Lille 258 km (160 mi)   Plain stage   Paul Egli (SUI)
2 8 July Lille to Charleville 192 km (119 mi)   Plain stage   Robert Wierinckx (BEL)
3 9 July Charleville to Metz 161 km (100 mi)   Plain stage   Mathias Clemens (LUX)
4 10 July Metz to Belfort 220 km (140 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Maurice Archambaud (FRA)
5 11 July Belfort to Évian-les-Bains 298 km (185 mi)   Plain stage   René Le Grèves (FRA)
12 July Évian-les-Bains Rest day
6 13 July Évian-les-Bains to Aix-les-Bains 212 km (132 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Éloi Meulenberg (BEL)
7 14 July Aix-les-Bains to Grenoble 230 km (140 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Theo Middelkamp (NED)
8 15 July Grenoble to Briançon 194 km (121 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Jean-Marie Goasmat (FRA)
9 16 July Briançon to Digne 220 km (140 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Léon Level (FRA)
17 July Digne Rest day
10 18 July Digne to Nice 156 km (97 mi)   Plain stage   Paul Maye (FRA)
11 19 July Nice to Cannes 126 km (78 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Federico Ezquerra (ESP)
20 July Cannes Rest day
12 21 July Cannes to Marseille 195 km (121 mi)   Plain stage   René Le Grevès (FRA)
13a 22 July Marseille to Nîmes 112 km (70 mi)   Plain stage   René Le Grevès (FRA)
13b Nîmes to Montpellier 52 km (32 mi)   Individual time trial   Sylvère Maes (BEL)
14a 23 July Montpellier to Narbonne 103 km (64 mi)   Plain stage   René Le Grevès (FRA)
14b Narbonne to Perpignan 63 km (39 mi)   Individual time trial   Sylvère Maes (BEL)
24 July Perpignan Rest day
15 25 July Perpignan to Luchon 325 km (202 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Sauveur Ducazeaux (FRA)
14 July Luchon Rest day
16 27 July Luchon to Pau 194 km (121 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Sylvère Maes (BEL)
28 July Pau Rest day
17 29 July Pau to Bordeaux 229 km (142 mi)   Plain stage   René Le Grevès (FRA)
18a 30 July Bordeaux to Saintes 117 km (73 mi)   Plain stage   Éloi Meulenberg (BEL)
18b Saintes to La Rochelle 75 km (47 mi)   Individual time trial   Sylvère Maes (BEL)
19a 31 July La Rochelle to La Roche-sur-Yon 81 km (50 mi)   Plain stage   Marcel Kint (BEL)
19b La Roche-sur-Yon to Cholet 65 km (40 mi)   Individual time trial   Félicien Vervaecke (BEL)
19c Cholet to Angers 67 km (42 mi)   Plain stage   Paul Maye (FRA)
20a 1 August Angers to Vire 204 km (127 mi)   Plain stage   René Le Grevès (FRA)
20b Vire to Caen 55 km (34 mi)   Individual time trial   Antonin Magne (FRA)
21 2 August Caen to Paris 234 km (145 mi)   Plain stage   Arsène Mersch (LUX)
Total 4,442 km (2,760 mi)[12]

Race overviewEdit

Swiss Paul Egli won the first stage, and thereby became the first Swiss cyclist to lead the general classification in the Tour de France.[4] That first stage was run in terrible rain.[3] In the second stage, the cyclists were split in two parts, and Egli was in the second part. Archambaud then took over the lead.[3] Archambaud lost it to Luxembourgian Mersch in the next stage, but recaptured the lead when he won the fourth stage.

On stage seven, Theo Middelkamp became the first Dutch cyclist to win a Tour de France stage

The competition really started in the mountains of the seventh stage. Belgian Romain Maes, the winner of the 1935 Tour, was first over the first mountain, but then gave up, a victim of chronic bronchitis.[3] On the next climb, Georges Speicher, winner of the 1930 Tour, gave up. Archambaud was still in the lead after that stage. The stage was won by Theo Middelkamp, who became the first Dutch cyclist to win a Tour stage. Before the 1936 Tour, Middelkamp had never seen a mountain in his life.[13]

In the eighth stage, Archambaud could not follow anymore, and Sylvère Maes took over the lead. In third place was Antonin Magne, who had a good chance to win the race.[3] Magne attacked on the next stage, but could not drop Maes. Later, Magne had to let the leading group get away, and lost a minute to Maes.[3]

The stages between the Alps and the Pyrenees were partly run as team time trials. The Belgian team was superior here, and Magne lost more time. When it was time for the Pyrenees, he was eight minutes behind Maes.[3]

In stage 15, the podium did not change, so it had to happen in stage 16, the last mountain stage. Magne attacked, but was unable to win back time. Maes was better, and including time bonuses Maes won eighteen minutes on Magne in that stage.[3]

In that stage, Belgian Félicien Vervaecke had borrowed a bicycle with derailleur. It was allowed for touriste-routiers, but not for national team members, and he was fined with ten minutes penalty time in the general classification. Magne also got 10 minutes penalty time, for having received food when it was not allowed.[3] Due to this penalty, Vervaecke lost his second place in the general classification, which Magne took over.[2]

In the last part of the race, Maes extended his lead thanks to the team time trials, although the French team was finally also able to win one.

Classification leadership and minor prizesEdit

Sylvère Maes (pictured on stage eight) won the general classification

The time that each cyclist required to finish each stage was recorded, and these times were added together for the general classification. If a cyclist had received a time bonus, it was subtracted from this total; all time penalties were added to this total. The cyclist with the least accumulated time was the race leader, identified by the yellow jersey.

For the mountain classification, 16 mountains were selected by the Tour organisation. On the top of these mountains, ten points were given for the first cyclist to pass, nine points to the second cyclist, and so on, until the tenth cyclist who got one point.

There was also a points classification, for which the winner received 100.000 French Francs.[14]

The team classification was calculated in 1936 by adding up the times of the best three cyclists of a team; the team with the least time was the winner. The other teams that started the race, the German, Swiss, Yugoslavian, Romanian and Austrian teams, did not finish with the minimum three cyclists to be eligible for the team classification.[2]

Classification leadership by stage[15]
Stage Winner General classification
Mountains classification[b] Classification for touriste-routiers Team classification
1 Paul Egli Paul Egli no award Décimo Bettini France
2 Robert Wierinckx Maurice Archambaud Belgium
3 Mathias Clemens Arsène Mersch Yvan Marie
4 Maurice Archambaud Maurice Archambaud Federico Ezquerra
5 René Le Grèves Sylvain Marcaillou
6 Éloi Meulenberg Yvan Marie
7 Theo Middelkamp
8 Jean-Marie Goasmat Sylvère Maes Jean-Marie Goasmat
9 Léon Level Julián Berrendero Léon Level Luxembourg/Spain
10 Paul Maye
11 Federico Ezquerra Federico Ezquerra
12 René Le Grevès Belgium
13a René Le Grevès
13b Sylvère Maes
14a René Le Grevès
14b Sylvère Maes
15 Sauveur Ducazeaux Julián Berrendero
16 Sylvère Maes
17 René Le Grevès
18a Éloi Meulenberg
18b Sylvère Maes
19a Marcel Kint
19b Félicien Vervaecke
19c Paul Maye
20a René Le Grevès
20b Antonin Magne
21 Arsène Mersch
Final Sylvère Maes Julián Berrendero Léon Level Belgium

Final standingsEdit

General classificationEdit

Final general classification (1–10)[17]
Rank Rider Team Time
1   Sylvère Maes (BEL) Belgium 142h 47' 32"
2   Antonin Magne (FRA) France + 26' 55"
3   Félicien Vervaecke (BEL) Belgium + 27' 53"
4   Pierre Clemens (LUX) Spain/Luxembourg + 42' 42"
5   Arsène Mersch (LUX) Spain/Luxembourg + 52' 52"
6   Mariano Cañardo (ESP) Spain/Luxembourg + 1h 03' 04"
7   Mathias Clemens (LUX) Spain/Luxembourg + 1h 10' 44"
8   Leo Amberg (SUI) Switzerland + 1h 19' 13"
9   Marcel Kint (BEL) Belgium + 1h 22' 25"
10   Léon Level (FRA) Touriste-routier + 1h 27' 57"

Mountains classificationEdit

Mountains in the mountains classification[2][18]
Stage Rider Height Mountain range Winner
4 Ballon d'Alsace 1,178 metres (3,865 ft) Vosges Federico Ezquerra
6 Aravis 1,498 metres (4,915 ft) Alps Federico Ezquerra
7 Galibier 2,556 metres (8,386 ft) Alps Federico Ezquerra
8 Côte de Laffrey 900 metres (3,000 ft) Alps Julián Berrendero
9 Izoard 2,361 metres (7,746 ft) Alps Sylvère Maes
9 Vars 2,110 metres (6,920 ft) Alps Julián Berrendero
9 Allos 2,250 metres (7,380 ft) Alps Julián Berrendero
11 Braus 1,002 metres (3,287 ft) Alps-Maritimes Félicien Vervaecke
11 La Turbie 555 metres (1,821 ft) Alps-Maritimes Federico Ezquerra
15 Puymorens 1,920 metres (6,300 ft) Pyrenees Federico Ezquerra
15 Port 1,249 metres (4,098 ft) Pyrenees Félicien Vervaecke
15 Portet d'Aspet 1,069 metres (3,507 ft) Pyrenees Sauveur Ducazeaux
16 Peyresourde 1,569 metres (5,148 ft) Pyrenees Julián Berrendero
16 Aspin 1,489 metres (4,885 ft) Pyrenees Yvan Marie
16 Tourmalet 2,115 metres (6,939 ft) Pyrenees Sylvère Maes
16 Aubisque 1,709 metres (5,607 ft) Pyrenees Sylvère Maes
Final mountains classification (1–5)[2][7]
Rank Rider Team Points
1   Julián Berrendero (ESP) Spain/Luxembourg 132
2   Sylvère Maes (BEL) Belgium 112
3   Federico Ezquerra (ESP) Spain/Luxembourg 99
4   Félicien Vervaecke (BEL) Belgium 95
5   Antonin Magne (FRA) France 65

Classification for 100.000 francsEdit

Final standings (1–3)
Rank Rider Team Points
1   Sylvère Maes (BEL) Belgium 11
2   Federico Ezquerra (ESP) Spain/Luxembourg 8
2   Jean-Marie Goasmat (FRA) Touriste-routier 8

Team classificationEdit

Final team classification (1–5)[19][20]
Rank Team Time
1 Belgium 430h 12' 54"
2 Spain/Luxembourg + 48' 20"
3 France + 2h 19' 40"
4 Netherlands + 5h 23' 28"
5 Switzerland + 9h 54' 01"


The stage victory of the Dutch team convinced the Tour organisation to invite them in 1937 again.


  1. ^ The icons shown here indicate whether the stage was run as a team time trial, the stage was flat or the stage included mountains that counted for the mountains classifications.
  2. ^ No jersey was awarded to the leader of the mountains classification until a white jersey with red polka dots was introduced in 1975.[16]


  1. ^ Barry Boyce (2004). "Belgian Team Strength – Sylvere Wins!". Cycling revealed. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "30ème Tour de France 1936" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 9 July 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j McGann & McGann 2006, pp. 120–125.
  4. ^ a b c d e Augendre 2016, p. 34.
  5. ^ Dauncey & Hare 2003, p. 169.
  6. ^ "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1936 – The starters". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  7. ^ a b Michiel van Lonkhuyzen. "Tour-giro-vuelta". Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  8. ^ Augendre 2016, pp. 177–178.
  9. ^ "De Ronde van Frankrijk" [The Tour de France]. Limburger Koerier (in Dutch). 17 July 1936. p. 3 – via Delpher.
  10. ^ Arian Zwegers. "Tour de France GC top ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
  11. ^ "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1936 – The stage winners". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  12. ^ Augendre 2016, p. 108.
  13. ^ "Theo Middelkamp". Tourdefrance.nl. 22 March 2006. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
  14. ^ "Clasificación para la prima de los 100.000 francos" (in Spanish). El mundo deportivo. 3 July 1935. p. 1. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
  15. ^ van den Akker, Pieter. "Informatie over de Tour de France van 1936" [Information about the Tour de France from 1936]. TourDeFranceStatistieken.nl (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  16. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, p. 454.
  17. ^ a b "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1936 – Stage 21 Caen > Paris". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 2 April 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  18. ^ Augendre 2016, pp. 175–192.
  19. ^ "La Vuelta a Francia desde M. Garin, 1903, a Sylvere Maes" (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 5 August 1936. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 July 2012.
  20. ^ Tom James (15 August 2003). "1936: Sylvère takes over where Romain left off". Retrieved 5 October 2009.


External linksEdit

  Media related to 1936 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons