The history of the Tour de France

Year 1966


  • Again all eyes were Raymond Poulidor at the start of the 1966 Tour, and when he beat Jacques Anquetil in the time trial at Vals-les-Bans he finally seemed destined for Tour victory. But instead, Poulidor made a fatal tactical mistake. Eyeing his arch rival Anquetil on the mountainous stage from Briançon to Turin, Poulidor failed to react when Anquetil's teammate Lucien Aimar raced up the road. Only after Aimar was covered in the yellow jersey, did Poulidor understand the magnitude of his error. But by then it was too late, and Aimar came home the surprise winner.

  • Poulidor’s attack in la Forclaz and his success over Anquetil in the Vals-les-Bains time trial. Although five-time Tour winner Jacques Anquetil showed up at the start of the 1966 Tour, he was not the Anquetil of old. After losing the first time trial to Poulidor, "Master Jacques" struggled in the mountains. Suffering from a cold, he stopped mid-way through Stage 19 to Saint-Etienne and bid farewell to the Tour.

  • Riders go on strike Gradignan to protest a surprise drug testing in Bordeaux. First rider "visited," Poulidor. Anquetil stands firm in the Limousin. Lucien Aimar experiments a new gear ratio of 55 x 13. Last rider: Manucci (82th) at 2 h 5 min. 26 sec.

  • Jacques Anquetil withdraws, hurt, in Chamonix - Saint-Etienne stage (19) and says good bye to the Tour de France. Five towns host the Tour for the first time.

  • The Cultural Revolution in China begins; Walt Disney dies; French President Charles De Gaulle presides over a nuclear test in French Polynesia.

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