The history of the Tour de France

Year 1961


  • The French national team returned and totally controlled the racing as two of their riders kept the yellow jersey from start to finish. Sprint star André Darrigade wore the yellow jersey throughout the opening stages and then Jacques Anquetil took over after winning the first time trial. Eager to win his second Tour, he maintained the lead all the way back to Paris.

  • It could be said that André Darrigade had a fetish for the opening stage of the Tour. Winning it always put him in the right frame of mind for the rest of the race. And in 1961, "Dedé" sprinted to victory in stage 1 for an unprecedented fifth time.

  • Carlesi takes second place from Gaul, the last day, for two seconds. Last rider: Geneste (72th) at 4 h 13 min. 56 sec.

  • When he wins the first day’s time trial, Anquetil makes the yellow jersey his until the finish in Paris. First mountain top finish to Superbagnères.

  • Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin is the first man to go into space; East Germany erects the Berlin Wall dividing the city of Berlin; the Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba undermines the Kennedy administration; Roger Maris hits 61 home runs.

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