Louison Bobet grabbed the yellow jersey in the opening stages, but lost it to Belgian Wout Watgams on the stage from Vannes to Angers. The Swiss team led by Ferdi Kubler, Hugo Koblet and Fritz Schaer provided constant pressure. Little-known regional rider Gilbert Bauvins then took the jersey in the Pyrénées, but finally on the stage to Millau, Bobet got the yellow shirt back. And as in 1953, he slaughtered his rivals on the Izoard climb and cemented his second consecutive Tour victory.
For some the famed Izoard climb is synonymous with French champion Louison Bobet. The mythic Alpine climb was crucial to his first two Tour victories. So convincing was he in 1954, that he left his Swiss rival Ferdi Kubler 12 minutes behind.
Disagreement between the Tours organizers and the Italian riders, who have accepted announcers that dont have anything to do with sports.
Last rider: Dierkens (69th) at 6 h 7 min. 29 sec.
Bobet at his peak, and the absence of the Italian riders. Amsterdam hosts the first foreign start.
Vietnam War begins; Ernest Hemingway wins the Nobel Prize; the Supreme Court abolishes racial segregation in the schools in the United States; The Louis Pasteur Institute announces the discovery of the polio vaccine.