1954 Tour de France

The 1954 Tour de France was the 41st edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 8 July to 1 August 1954. It consisted of 23 stages over 4,656 km (2,893 mi). The race was won by Louison Bobet, the second of his three consecutive wins.

1954 Tour de France
Route of the 1954 Tour de France followed counterclockwise, starting in Amsterdam and finishing in Paris
Route of the 1954 Tour de France followed counterclockwise, starting in Amsterdam and finishing in Paris
Race details
Dates8 July – 1 August 1954
Distance4,656 km (2,893 mi)
Winning time140h 06' 05"
Winner  Louison Bobet (FRA) (France)
  Second  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) (Switzerland)
  Third  Fritz Schär (SUI) (Switzerland)

Points  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) (Switzerland)
  Mountains  Federico Bahamontes (ESP) (Spain)
  Combativity  Lucien Lazaridès (FRA)
 François Mahé (FRA)
  Team Switzerland
← 1953
1955 →


The French team at the start of stage one

As was the custom since the 1930 Tour de France, the 1954 Tour de France was contested by national and regional teams. Seven national teams were sent, with 10 cyclists each from France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and Luxembourg/Austria (the latter a combined team). France additionally sent five regional teams from 10 cyclists each, divided into North-East/Centre, West, South-East, Île-de-France and South-West. The combined team Luxembourg/Austria consisted of six Luxembourger cyclists, three Austrian cyclists and one from Liechtenstein. In total, 110 cyclists started the race.[1]

Notable absents were the Italian cyclists. In Italy, new sponsors had entered the market, named "extra-sportives" because they did not sell a product directly related to the sport. During the 1954 Giro d'Italia, this caused a strike, the Bernina strike. After this, the Italian federation decided not to send a team to the 1954 Tour de France.[2][3] In May, Italian Cycling Federation head Adriano Rodoni announced Italian riders would not participate in the Tour.[4]

The teams entering the race were:[1]

  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Luxembourg/Austria
  • North-East/Centre
  • West
  • South-East
  • Île-de-France
  • South-West

Route and stagesEdit

The 1954 Tour de France was the first time that the Tour had started outside France, as it started in Amsterdam.[5] Also new was the team time trial. Although around 1930 the Tour had seen stages in which the teams started separately, in 1954 the team time trial format was reintroduced in a way that only the team time counted. Also the split stages were reintroduced. Stage 4 was divided into two parts: the team time trial of 10.4 km (part A), and a regular stage of 131 km (part B), both run on the same day. Similarly, stage 21 was divided into a regular stage of 134 km (part A) and an individual time trial of 72 km (part B), also both run on the same day. There were two rest days, in Bordeaux and Lyon.[5] 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 19.[6][7]

Stage characteristics and winners[8][5][9][10]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
1 8 July Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Brasschaat (Belgium) 216 km (134 mi)   Plain stage   Wout Wagtmans (NED)
2 9 July Beveren (Belgium) to Lille 255 km (158 mi)   Plain stage   Louison Bobet (FRA)
3 10 July Lille to Rouen 219 km (136 mi)   Plain stage   Marcel Dussault (FRA)
4a 11 July Rouen to Circuit des Essarts 10.4 km (6 mi)   Team time trial  Switzerland
4b Rouen to Caen 131 km (81 mi)   Plain stage   Wim van Est (NED)
5 12 July Caen to Saint-Brieuc 224 km (139 mi)   Plain stage   Ferdinand Kübler (SUI)
6 13 July Saint-Brieuc to Brest 179 km (111 mi)   Plain stage   Dominique Forlini (FRA)
7 14 July Brest to Vannes 211 km (131 mi)   Plain stage   Jacques Vivier (FRA)
8 15 July Vannes to Angers 190 km (118 mi)   Plain stage   Fred De Bruyne (BEL)
9 16 July Angers to Bordeaux 343 km (213 mi)   Plain stage   Henk Faanhof (NED)
17 July Bordeaux Rest day
10 18 July Bordeaux to Bayonne 202 km (126 mi)   Plain stage   Gilbert Bauvin (FRA)
11 19 July Bayonne to Pau 241 km (150 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Stan Ockers (BEL)
12 20 July Pau to Luchon 161 km (100 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Gilbert Bauvin (FRA)
13 21 July Luchon to Toulouse 203 km (126 mi)   Plain stage   Fred De Bruyne (BEL)
14 22 July Toulouse to Millau 225 km (140 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Ferdinand Kübler (SUI)
15 23 July Millau to Le Puy 197 km (122 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Dominique Forlini (FRA)
16 24 July Le Puy to Lyon 194 km (121 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Jean Forestier (FRA)
25 July Lyon Rest day
17 26 July Lyon to Grenoble 182 km (113 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Lucien Lazaridès (FRA)
18 27 July Grenoble to Briançon 216 km (134 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Louison Bobet (FRA)
19 28 July Briançon to Aix-les-Bains 221 km (137 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Jean Dotto (FRA)
20 29 July Aix les Bains to Besançon 243 km (151 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Lucien Teisseire (FRA)
21a 30 July Besançon to Épinal 134 km (83 mi)   Plain stage   François Mahé (FRA)
21b Epinal to Nancy 72 km (45 mi)   Individual time trial   Louison Bobet (FRA)
22 31 July Nancy to Troyes 216 km (134 mi)   Plain stage   Fred De Bruyne (BEL)
23 1 August Troyes to Paris 180 km (112 mi)   Plain stage   Robert Varnajo (FRA)
Total 4,656 km (2,893 mi)[11]

Race overviewEdit

Dutch news reel about the 1954 Tour de France

In the first stage, Wout Wagtmans won the sprint, and took the yellow jersey. He would remain the leader until the team time trial in stage 4, when the French team won back enough time on the Dutch team for Bobet to take over the lead.[3] In that time trial, over 10.4 km, the winning team was decided by adding the times of the three best cyclists per team. For the general classification, every cyclist got added his individual time.[12] In the second part of the fourth stage, former winner Jean Robic hit a photographer during the sprint, fell down and had to give up.[3]

In the eighth stage, Wagtmans had joined a breakaway, which won enough time on Bobet for Wagtmans to take back the yellow jersey.[3] Wagtmans fell down in the eleventh stage,[13] and although he managed to keep his lead until the start of the twelfth stage, he continued without morale.[3] In the twelfth stage in the Pyrenees, three important riders attacked: Bauvin, Bahamontes and Malléjac. They stayed ahead, and Bauvin jumped to the first position in the general classification. Bobet was not far behind these three, and moved into the second place.[14] In that twelfth stage, Hugo Koblet had fallen down, and lost 27 minutes, and his chances to win the Tour de France a second time.[15] In the next stage, Koblet gave up.[16]

In the fourteenth stage, the Swiss cyclists were fighting back. They were riding as fast as they could, and the leading group was getting smaller. Bauvin also could not keep up with that group, partly because he had a flat tire, and finished 8 minutes behind, losing the leading position. Bobet however could keep up with the Swiss pace,[2] and took over the yellow jersey as leader of the general classification.[14]

In the sixteenth stage, Bauvin lost another 20 minutes, and dropped to sixth place.[2] The Swiss cyclists had attacked Bobet where they could, but were unable to gain time on him. They had moved into second and third place of the general classification.[14] In the eighteenth stage, Bobet dominated, and dropped all of the other contenders. He won by a margin of one minute and 49 seconds, and his margin in the general classification was 12 minutes 49 seconds, which would normally be large enough for the victory.[14] Bobet also won the individual time trial, and thereby increased his margin even more.[3]

The Swiss cyclists could not attack Bobet anymore in the last stages, so Bobet won his second Tour de France. The Swiss team had performed well though, capturing the second and third place in the general classification, winning the team classification and having Kübler win the points classification.

Classification leadership and minor prizesEdit

Ferdinand Kübler won the points classification in the 1954 Tour de France.

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.[17] Of the 110 cyclists that started the 1954 Tour de France, 69 finished the race.

The points classification was calculated in the same way as in 1953, following the calculation method from the Tours de France from 1905 to 1912. Points were given according to the ranking of the stage: the winner received one points, the next cyclist two points, and so on. These points were added, and the cyclist with the fewest points was the leader of the points classification. In 1954, this was won by Ferdinand Kübler.[8]

Points for the mountains classification were earned by reaching the mountain tops first.[18] The system was almost the same as in 1953: there were two types of mountain tops: the hardest ones, in category 1, gave 10 points to the first cyclist, the easier ones, in category 2, gave 6 points to the first cyclist, and the easiest ones, in category 3, gave 3 points. Federico Bahamontes won this classification.[8]

The team classification was calculated as the sum of the daily team classifications, and the daily team classification was calculated by adding the times in the stage result of the best three cyclists per team.[19] It was won by the Swiss team.[5]

In addition, there was a combativity award given after each stage to the cyclist considered most combative. The split stages each had a combined winner. The decision was made by a jury composed of journalists who gave points. The cyclist with the most points from votes in all stages led the combativity classification. At the end of the Tour de France, Lucien Lazaridès and François Mahé were leading this classification with equal points and shared the overall super-combativity award.[20] The Souvenir Henri Desgrange was given to the first rider to pass the memorial to Tour founder Henri Desgrange near the summit of the Col du Galibier on stage 19. This prize was won by Federico Bahamontes.[21]

Classification leadership by stage[22][23]
Stage Winner General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification[a] Team classification Combativity Bad luck award
Award Classification
1 Wout Wagtmans Wout Wagtmans Wout Wagtmans no award Netherlands Hugo Koblet Hugo Koblet Ferdi Kübler
2 Louison Bobet Gilbert Bauvin France Lucien Lazaridès Lucien Lazaridès Charly Gaul
3 Marcel Dussault Richard Van Genechten Hein van Breenen
4a Switzerland Louison Bobet Charly Gaul
4b Wim van Est
5 Ferdinand Kübler Vincent Vitetta Rolf Graf
6 Dominique Forlini Ferdinand Kübler Switzerland René De Smet Albert Bouvet
7 Jacques Vivier Émile Guérinel Gilbert Bauvin
8 Fred De Bruyne Wout Wagtmans Jean Le Guilly Alfons Van den Brande
9 Henk Faanhof François Mahé Vincent Vitetta
10 Gilbert Bauvin Jean Stablinski Jean Stablinski Hugo Koblet
11 Stan Ockers Federico Bahamontes Valentin Huot Nicolas Morn
12 Gilbert Bauvin Gilbert Bauvin Federico Bahamontes François Mahé Richard Van Genechten
13 Fred De Bruyne René Privat Valentin Huot
14 Ferdinand Kübler Louison Bobet Lucien Lazaridès Lucien Lazaridès Gilbert Bauvin
15 Dominique Forlini Gerrit Voorting Emile Guérinel
16 Jean Forestier Robert Varnajo Lucien Lazaridès
17 Lucien Lazaridès Jean Le Guilly Jean Le Guilly
18 Louison Bobet Louison Bobet Wim van Est
19 Jean Dotto Jean Dotto Antonin Rolland
20 Lucien Teisseire François Mahé Robert Varnajo
21a François Mahé Louison Bobet Jean Stablinski
21b Louison Bobet
22 Fred De Bruyne Fred De Bruyne Jos Suijkerbuijk
23 Robert Varnajo Fred De Bruyne Federico Bahamontes
Final Louison Bobet Ferdinand Kübler Federico Bahamontes Switzerland Lucien Lazaridès and François Mahé

Final standingsEdit

General classificationEdit

Final general classification (1–10)[24]
Rank Rider Team Time
1   Louison Bobet (FRA) France 140h 06' 05"
2   Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) Switzerland + 15' 49"
3   Fritz Schär (SUI) Switzerland + 21' 46"
4   Jean Dotto (FRA) South-East + 28' 21"
5   Jean Malléjac (FRA) West + 31' 38"
6   Stan Ockers (BEL) Belgium + 36' 02"
7   Louis Bergaud (FRA) South-West + 37' 55"
8   Vincent Vitetta (FRA) South-East + 41' 14"
9   Jean Brankart (BEL) Belgium + 42' 08"
10   Gilbert Bauvin (FRA) North-East/Centre + 42' 21"

Points classificationEdit

Final points classification (1–10)[25]
Rank Rider Team Points
1   Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) Switzerland 215.5
2   Stan Ockers (BEL) Belgium 284.5
3   Fritz Schär (SUI) Switzerland 286.5
4   Wim van Est (NED) Netherlands 502.5
5   Louison Bobet (FRA) France 513
6   Gilbert Bauvin (FRA) North-East/Centre 615
7   Dominique Forlini (FRA) Île-de-France 618
8   Vincent Vitetta (FRA) South-East 653
9   Richard Van Genechten (BEL) Belgium 660
10   Jean Malléjac (FRA) West 675

Mountains classificationEdit

Final mountains classification (1–10)[26][27]
Rank Rider Team Points
1   Federico Bahamontes (ESP) Spain 95
2   Louison Bobet (FRA) France 53
3   Richard Van Genechten (BEL) Belgium 45
4   Jean Le Guilly (FRA) Île-de-France 38
5   Jean Dotto (FRA) South-East 33
6   Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) Switzerland 31
7   Jean Malléjac (FRA) West 23
8   Stan Ockers (BEL) Belgium 20
  Robert Varnajo (FRA) West
10   Bernardo Ruiz (ESP) Spain 16

Team classificationEdit

Final team classification[28]
Rank Team Time
1 Switzerland 420h 29' 57"
2 France + 18' 27"
3 Belgium + 32' 19"
4 Netherlands + 1h 09' 00"
5 South-East + 1h 13' 37"
6 Spain + 2h 26' 08"
7 West + 2h 42' 58"
8 North-East/Centre + 3h 50' 16"
9 South-West + 4h 08' 31"
10 Île-de-France + 4h 27' 52"
11 Luxembourg/Austria + 10h 20' 27"

Combativity classificationEdit

Final combativity classification (1–10)[29]
Rank Rider Team Points
1   Lucien Lazaridès (FRA) South-East 20
  François Mahé (FRA) West
3   Louison Bobet (FRA) France 18
  Fred De Bruyne (BEL) Belgium
5   Robert Varnajo (FRA) West 11
6   René Privat (FRA) South-West 10
  Jean Dotto (FRA) South-East
  Jean Le Guilly (FRA) Île-de-France
  Richard Van Genechten (BEL) Belgium
  Vincent Vitetta (FRA) South-East


After he won the Tour de France, Bobet would later win the 1954 UCI Road World Championships.[2] The next year he would win the 1955 Tour de France, thereby becoming the first cyclist to win three Tours in a row.


  1. ^ No jersey was awarded to the leader of the mountains classification until a white jersey with red polka dots was introduced in 1975.[18]


  1. ^ a b "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1954 – The starters". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d McGann & McGann 2006, pp. 198–206.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Amels 1984, pp. 71–72.
  4. ^ "Les Italiens ne participeront pas officiellement au Tour de France" [Italians will not officially participate in the Tour de France] (PDF). Confédéré (in French). 21 May 1954. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 October 2019 – via RERO.
  5. ^ a b c d Augendre 2016, p. 45.
  6. ^ Augendre 2016, pp. 177–178.
  7. ^ "De Ronde van Frankrijk 1954" [The Tour de France 1954]. Het Vrije Volk (in Dutch). 8 July 1954. p. 7 – via Delpher.
  8. ^ a b c "41ème Tour de France 1954" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  9. ^ Arian Zwegers. "Tour de France GC top ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  10. ^ "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1954 – The stage winners". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  11. ^ Augendre 2016, p. 109.
  12. ^ "41ème Tour de France 1954 - 4ème étape (a)" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Nolten stijgt weer in het klassement" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 20 July 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  14. ^ a b c d Barry Boyce (2004). "Bobet Excels Again". Cycling Revealed. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  15. ^ "Nolten rukt op, thans zevende" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 21 July 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  16. ^ "De Bruyne wint voor de tweede keer een etappe" (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 21 July 1954. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  17. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, pp. 452–453.
  18. ^ a b Nauright & Parrish 2012, p. 454.
  19. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, p. 455.
  20. ^ van den Akker 2018, pp. 211–216.
  21. ^ "La Vuelta a Francia" [The Tour de France] (PDF). El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 29 July 1954. p. 3.
  22. ^ "Het Tour panorama 1954" [The Tour panorama 1954]. Gazet van Antwerpen (in Dutch). 3 August 1954. p. 8. Archived from the original on 16 February 2019.
  23. ^ van den Akker, Pieter. "Informatie over de Tour de France van 1954" [Information about the Tour de France from 1954]. TourDeFranceStatistieken.nl (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  24. ^ a b "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1954 – Stage 23 Troyes > Paris". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  25. ^ "Puntenrangschikking" [Points ranking]. Gazet van Antwerpen (in Dutch). 2 August 1954. p. 9. Archived from the original on 3 October 2019.
  26. ^ "Bobet toont in de tijdrit zijn grote klasse" [Bobet shows his great class in the time trial] (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 31 July 1954.
  27. ^ "La Vuelta a Francia" [The Tour of France] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 31 July 1954. p. 5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 October 2019.
  28. ^ "Bobet onbetwist winnaar van de Tour de France" [Bobet undisputed winner of the Tour de France] (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 2 August 1954.
  29. ^ "La Vuelta Ciclista a Francia" [The Cycling Tour of France] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 2 August 1954. p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 September 2019.


External linksEdit

  Media related to 1954 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons