With five-time winner Jacques Anquetil opting to sit-out the 1965 Tour, all eyes were on rising star Raymond Poulidor, runner-up the year before. Poulidor, however, would once again have to settle for second, as he was surprised by Italian neophyte Felice Gimondi. Gimondi grabbed the yellow jersey on Stage 3, temporarily lost it in Western France, and then regained it for good in the Pyrénées. Despite closing to within 34 seconds of Gimondi on the Mount Ventoux, Poulidor could not make up the time in the remaining stages.
D-Day in the 1965 Tour came on the Giant of Provence, the famed Mount Ventoux. Eternal challenger Raymond Poulidor knew it would be an all or nothing day for him and he attacked hard hoping to claim Felice Gimondi's yellow jersey. Only Spaniard Julio Jimenez managed to stay with the Frenchman, and the duo succeeded in dropping Gimondi. In winning the stage Poulidor took back 1 minute 38 seconds from the Italian. But it wasn't enough and 34 seconds still separated Poulidor from the yellow jersey. Alas, the popular French rider never would wear the yellow jersey, even for a day.
Poulidors fair-play: "Gimondi won because he was better."
Last rider: J. Groussard (96th) at 2 h 37 min. 39 sec.
The authority of Gimondi (23), who was competing in his first Tour, and Poulidors new failure, second again. The Italian had won the Tour de l'Avenir in 1964.
Tour starts in Cologne, Germany; the start ramp is used in time trials for the first time.
Malcolm X is assassinated; The Watts riots explode in Los Angeles; ex-British Prime Minister Winston Churchill dies; the birth control pill is introduced.