The history of the Tour de France

Year 1931

THE STORY

  • Sprinters Charles Pélissier of France and Italy's Raphaële Di Paco spent the first week of the 1931 Tour wrestling for control of the yellow jersey. On the Pyrénées mountain stage to Luchon, however, French star Antonin Magne came to the forefront and took over the race’s lead. And despite a strong late challenge from Belgium's Jef Demuysère, Magne held the jersey all the way back to Paris.

  • Antonin Magne, who'd broken away with Belgium's Rebry and Demuysère, resists their attacks along the paved route from Charleville to Malo-les-Bains. Sprinters rarely steal the show in the Tour de France, but that’s exactly what French legend Charles Pélissier and Italy's Raphaële Di Paco did in 1931. Throughout the race the two played leap frog for stage wins. Pélissier won stages five and eight, Di Paco captured 10 and 11, Pélissier came back to win stage 13 and 16, and Di Paco responded with victory in stages 19, 21 and 22. Finally, Pélissier got the last word by winning stage 24, the final stage into Paris. Both riders came away from the 1931 Tour de France with five stage wins, an even draw.

  • The eventful fight between the individuals Ch. Pelissier and Di Paco, who end up with five stage victories each. Last rider: Lamb (35th) at 5 h 29 min. 5 sec.

  • Antonin Magne takes over from Leducq. The number of rest days on the Tour is reduced to three.

  • Charlie Chaplin stars in "City Lights;" Spain becomes a republic; the Girl Scouts become an official organization in the United States.

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