The history of the Tour de France

Year 1958

THE STORY

  • Legendary French national team rider Raphaël Geminiani rode for the modest Central Midi regional team this year. But he wanted to prove he was not over the hill. When he grabbed the yellow jersey in Pau, his rivals knew that "Gem" still had his spark. Eventually though he could not fend off the incessant attacks in the mountains and he lost his yellow shirt in Aix-les-Bains. The most consistent rider of the 1958 Tour proved to be Luxembourg climber Charly Gaul who won the mountainous stage to Aix-les-Bains as well as the Tour's three time trials.

  • Certainly Raphaël Geminiani believed in his chances to finally bring home a Tour victory. After defending his lead throughout for over a week, he finally lost it with only three days remaining. "Gem" was visibly crushed. In his eyes the French team--the team he had slaved for over the years--had become his "Judas." For it was their constant attacks that finally broke him.

  • Bahamontès gets his first stage victory in Luchon on his 30th birthday. When he gets off his bike in Aix-les-Bains, Geminiani accuses the French National team’s riders of treason. Last rider: Favre (78th) at 3 h 49 min. 28 sec.

  • The dramatic Briançon - Aix-les-Bains stage, won by Gaul in freezing rain. The climber from Luxemburg wins the Tour 30 years after Nicolas Frantz. Tour starts in Brussels; time trial up the Mount Ventoux.

  • First stereo records are issued; Nautilus submarine cruises under the North Pole; Mies van der Rohe designs the Seagram's building in New York.

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