The history of the Tour de France

Year 1938

THE STORY

  • In 1937, Italy’s Gino Bartali was already a Tour sensation, but a crash prevented him from winning that year. He returned in 1938 seeking revenge. He was so focused that he bypassed his native Tour of Italy to concentrate on the Tour de France. When the race started, he wasted little time getting down to business. In the Pyrénées he was the strongest rider in the peloton, and when his domination continued in the Alps, it was clear that the yellow jersey was his for good.

  • Bartali digs a 2'45-gap in l'Izoard and wins with a 5-minute advantage in Briançon. French heroes André Leducq and Antonin Magne were well past their prime in 1938, but that didn't stop them from having one last hurrah. Waiting until the closing kilometers of the last stage, the pair of two-time Tour winners broke free of the pack and raced into Paris together. Crossing the line arm-in-arm, they had the crowd on their feet as they bid farewell to the Tour de France.

  • Saying goodbye to the Tour, André Leducq and Antonin Magne break away in Vallangoujard, finishing in the Parc des Princes stadium holding each other by the shoulder. Commissioners hesitate before declaring it a tie. Other strange tie: 26 years after his father, Emile Masson wins the Besançon - Strasbourg stage, but has to share first place with Weckerling. Last rider: Hellemans (55th) at 5 h 2 min. 34 sec.

  • The Bartali - Vervaecke duel and Leducq's "presense," with the yellow jersey in Pau. The Iseran climb joins the Tour’s itinerary; two French teams start the race; the independent category is abolished.

  • Germany annexes Austria; DuPont de Nemours discovers nylon; Bob Feller strikes out 18 batters in one baseball game

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