Suffering from a saddle sore, many were pessimistic about the chances of Louison Bobet to win his third consecutive Tour de France. Young Luxembourg climber Charly Gaul grabbed plenty of headlines by winning Bobet's sacred stage to Briançon. But Bobet bounced back by destroying his competition on the feared Mount Ventoux after a long solo victory. It proved to be the key to his third Tour victory.
Bobet's victory on the Mount Ventoux is remembered as one of the legendary moments in Tour history. At the start of the stage, Bobet is still more than 11 minutes down to the unheralded Antonin Rolland. At the foot of the 21-kilometer climb Swiss champ attacked with Raphäel Geminiani and no one could follow. But the Swiss misjudged the difficulty of the climb and faded badly. Bobet, who understood the true menace of the famed mountain, bided his time. But in the final six kilometers, above the tree line in under the blazing sun, Bobet caught and passed the leaders. Nobody could follow his driving pace. At the summit Kubler was already 20 minutes down and by the finish in Avignon, Bobet was alone.
Victim of a non-stop race, Jean Bobet (French team) is not able to repair a punctured tire until the end on the road to Zurich. He loses 9 minutes and his 3rd place general classification.
Last rider: Hoar (69th) at 6 h 6 min.
Antonin Rollands offensive gives him the yellow jersey from Briançon to Toulouse, which modifies the French national teams strategy.
First photo finish employed.
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