The history of the Tour de France

Year 1950

THE STORY

  • Frenchman Bernard Gauthier and Luxembourg's Jean Goldshmit dominated the early stages of the 1950 Tour only to be usurped by the Italian duo of Gino Bartali and Fiorenzo Magni once the race hit the Pyrénées. The entire Italian contingent, however, abandoned the race in protest when unruly fans compromised their safety. Without the Italians, Switzerland's Ferdi Kubler gladly took charge of the lead, and held it all the way to Paris.

  • As soon as the 1950 Tour de France entered the mountains, the Italians looked set to grab their third consecutive overall win. Two-time winner Gino Bartali was again in the thick of the action, and along with French climber Jean Robic, he dropped the field on the stage to St. Gaudens in the Pyrénées. On the Aspin pass, however, aggressive fans caused Robic and Bartali to fall, and as Bartali continued his quest for the stage victory, he was continually harassed. Outraged, Bartali announced he was quitting the Tour, and to show their support, the entire Italian team, including the current yellow jersey holder, Fiorenzo Magni, followed suit.

  • Orson Welles gives the start the Tour de France. Marcel Molinès, who’s from Algiers, wins in Nîmes while Zaaf, his teammate, withdraws. The misfortunes of the latter still eclipse the successes of the former. Consequence of the Italian withdrawal: the stage originally scheduled for San Remo is replaced by a stage in Menton. Last rider: Zbinden (51th) at 4 h 6 min. 47 sec.

  • Withdrawral of two Italian teams at Saint-Gaudens, where Magni is the leader of this move and Bartali won the stage. Attacked by spectator in le col d'Aspin, Gino packs his bags.nt-Gaudens, alors que Magni est leader de l'épreuve et que Bartali a gagné l'étape. Time cut-offs are diminished.

  • "The Diary of Anne Frank" is published; Senator Joseph McCarthy begins the anti-Communist "witch hunts" in the United States; the Korean War begins.

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