Robic snatches it at the death

By time Brambilla finished, thirteen minutes and five seconds had ticked by: Robic had won the Tour without ever wearing the Yellow Jersey.

Once again René Vietto could count himself unlucky not to win the Tour. It was as if the war hadn't happened when Vietto finished alone into Brussels, and by the end of stage three he had a lead of 1'22" on Aldo Ronconi and no less than 8'01" over third place man Pierre Brambilla. Ronconi briefly snatched the lead in the Alps, but another impressive display at Digne-les-Bains, when only Apo Lazaridès could stay with him, saw Vietto back in the lead. He held the lead all the way through the Pyrenees, where Jean Robic, languishing low down in the general classification, was given his head to win the big Luchon - Pau stage on his own by ten minutes. By Vannes, with just three stages left, Vietto could be forgiven for thinking that finally, his luck was to change. Alas, however, for one of those three stages was a time trial, and no ordinary one at that: the 139km from Vannes to St Brieuc, stand as the longest time trial in Tour history. Raymond Impanis took the victory, but it was Brambilla who took over the Yellow Jersey as Vietto's aging leg failed him as the distance told.

And there it might have ended, except that one man had other ideas. On the final stage, on a small hill called "Bonsecours", Robic sprinted ahead of the bunch, chasing the hilltop prime. Ahead there was a small leading group; had Robic remembered this group, perhaps he wouldn't have sprinted. As it was, at the top, he realised Brambilla had been dropped, and when Lucien Teisseire dropped back from the break, Robic, Edouard Fachleitner and Teisseire started to chase hard. By Paris, Briek Schotte won the stage alone, but the Robic group had been riding flat out all the way. By time Brambilla finished, thirteen minutes and five seconds had ticked by: Robic had won the Tour without ever wearing the Yellow Jersey. Fachleitner took second overall, with poor Brambilla in third, ahead of of Ronconi and the rapidly aging Vietto.

Stage winners

 StageWinnerOverall Leader
Stage 1Paris - Lille, 236kmFerdi KüblerFerdi Kübler
Stage 2Lille - Bruxelles, 182kmRené ViettoRené Vietto
Stage 3Bruxelles - Luxembourg, 314kmAldo RonconiVietto
Stage 4Luxembourg - Strasbourg, 223kmJean RobicVietto
Stage 5Strasbourg - Besançon, 248kmKüblerVietto
Stage 6Besançon - Lyon, 249kmLucien TeisseireVietto
Stage 7Lyon - Grenoble, 172kmRobicAldo Ronconi
Stage 8LGrenoble - Briançon, 185kmFermo CamelliniRonconi
Stage 9Briançon - Digne-les-Bains, 249kmViettoVietto
Stage 10Digne-les-Bains - Nice, 249kmCamelliniVietto
Stage 11Nice - Marseille, 230kmEdouard FachleitnerVietto
Stage 12Marseille - Montpellier, 165kmHenri MassalVietto
Stage 13Montpellier - Carcassone, 172kmTeisseireVietto
Stage 14Carcassone - Luchon, 253kmAlbert BourlonVietto
Stage 15Luchon - Pau, 195kmRobicVietto
Stage 16Pau - Bordeaux, 195kmGiuseppe TaccaVietto
Stage 17Bordeaux - Les Sables d'Olonne, 272kmEloi TassinVietto
Stage 18Les Sables d'Olonne - Vannes, 236kmPietro TarchiniVietto
Stage 19Vannes - St Brieuc, 139km TTRaymond ImpanisPierre Brambilla
Stage 20St Brieuc - Caen, 235kmMaurice DiotBrambilla
Stage 21Caen - Paris, 257kmBriek SchotteJean Robic



1st: Jean Robic, Ouest, 4640km in 148h 11' 25" (31.497km/h)
2nd: Edouard Fachleitner, France, @3' 58"
3rd: Pierre Brambilla, Italy, @10' 07"
4th: Aldo Ronconi, Italy, @11' 00"
5th: René Vietto, France, @15' 23"
6th: Raymond Impanis, Belgium, @18' 14"
7th: Fermo Camellini, Italy (Netherlands - Etrangers de France combined team), @24' 08"
8th: Giordano Cottur, Italy, @1h 06' 03"
9th: Jean-Marie Goasmat, Ouest, @1h 16' 03"
10th: Jean "Apo" Lazaridès, Sud-Est, @1h 18' 44"

(49th: Pietro Tarchini, Italy, @7h 48' 18")


1st: Pierre Brambilla, Italy, 98
2nd: Apo Lazaridès, Sud-Est 88
3rd: Jean Robic, Ouest, 70


1st: Italy 446h 01' 25"
2nd: France @24' 18"
3rd: Ouest @34' 39"