The history of the Tour de France

Year 1948

THE STORY

  • A young French rider named Louison Bobet stole the yellow jersey early in the 1948 race, but Italian veteran Gino Bartali returned with a vengeance when the race hit the Alps. Flying over the Izoard climb, he closed in on Bobet’s overall lead, and by the end of the race he had convincingly won his second Tour de France title--ten years after his first.

  • At the finish of stage 11 in San Remo, the yellow jersey of Louison Bobet was in serious trouble. After fainting at the finish, the young Frenchman wanted to abandon. But with a meal, a massage and a good night's sleep, Bobet changed his mind. Good thing: on the next day’s race to Cannes, Bobet was again the stage winner (though he would eventually lose the overall title to Gino Bartali).

  • Alfredo Binda, the Italian team's coach: "If I had coached Bobet, he would have won." Last rider: Seghezzi (44th) at 4 h 26 min. 43 sec.

  • Bartali's second win, 10 years after his first one. Bobet's popularity increases and he becomes "Louison." A special prize for the best regional rider is introduced; the last-placed rider in the overall standings from stages three to 18 is disqualified; two categories of climbs are established for the best climber award.

  • India's popular leader, Mohandas Gandhi, is assassinated; the state of Israel is created; Citroen introduces the 2CV; T.S. Eliot wins the Nobel Prize in literature.

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