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About the 1956 Tour
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Introduction
The Teams
The Route

Introduction

The 1956 Tour de France is notable for its lack of a previous winner. Victorious in the last 3 editions, Louison Bobet pulled out due to what the French call furoncles. Saddle sores. It sounds better in French. He even feared they had turned cancerous, but it hadn’t stopped him from winning Paris-Roubaix in April.

Hugo Koblet had continued his decline, Ferdy Kübler had confirmed his own decline last year on Mont Ventoux, and Coppi was riding his last few races. With no winner, then, the Tour was blown wide open. Every man for himself.

It was run during the period in which trade teams were banned. So national teams competed alongside régionales, in other words, regional teams from around France. This gave lesser French riders, as well as young up-and-coming starlets, the opportunity to ride the Tour. A bit like Cofidis, but with the occasional victory.

The Teams

France

Blue, White & Red shirts

Pierre BARBOTIN, Gilbert BAUVIN, Louis BERGAUD, André DARRIGADE, Jean FORESTIER, Raphaël GEMINIANI, François MAHE, Jean MALLEJAC, René PRIVAT, Antonin ROLLAND

Technical Director: Marcel BIDOT

Italy

Red, White & Green shirts

Pierino BAFFI, Agostino COLETTO, Angelo CONTERNO, Nino DEFILIPPIS, Allesandro FANTINI, Pasquale FORNARA, Pietro GIUDICI, Bruno MONTI, Gastone NENCINI, Arrigo PADOVAN

Technical Director: Alfredo BINDA

Belgium

Light Blue shirts with Black, Yellow & Red Band

Jean ADRIAENSSENS, Jean BRANKART, Alex CLOSE, Alfred DE BRUYNE, Gilbert DESMET, Raymond IMPANIS, Marcel JANSSENS, Stan OCKERS, Richard VAN GENECHTEN, André VLAEYEN

Technical Director: Sylvère MAES

Holland

Orange shirts with Red, White & Blue Band

Daan DE GROOT, Joseph HINSON, Jef LAHAYE, Jean NOLTEN, Wies STOLKER, Piet VAN DE BREKEL, Arie VAN DER PLUYM, Wiel VAN DONGEN, Gerrit VOORTING, Wout WAGTMANS

Technical Director: Kees PELLENAERS

Spain

Grey shirt, Red, Yellow and Red Band

Federico BAHAMONTES, Salvador BOTELLA, Miguel BOVER, Miguel CHACON, Jesus LORENO, René MARIGIL, Carmelo MORALES, Miguel POBLET, Bernado RUIZ, José SERRA

Technical Director: Luis Puig ESTEVE

Switzerland

Red Shirt, White cross

Werner ARNOLD, Jack BOVAY, Claude FREI, Jean-Claude GRET, Hans HOLLENSTEIN, Fausto LURATTI, Rémo PIANEZZI, Fritz SCHAER, Max SCHELLEMBERG, Ernst TRAXEL

Technical Director: Alex BURTIN

LUXEMBOURG (MIXED)

Red Shirts with White & Light Blue Band

Antonio BARBOSA, Aldo BOLZAN, Marcel ERNZER, Charly GAUL, Edmond JACOBS, Willy KEMP, Nicolas MORN, Brian ROBINSON, Jean SCHMIT, Jean-Pierre SCHMITZ

Technical Director: Nicolas FRANTZ

North-East-Centre (Nord-Est-Centre)

Violet shirts, two white bands

Ugo ANZILE, Mano BERTOLO, Roger CHUPIN, Adolphe DELEDDA, Camille HUYGHE, Pierre PARDOEN, Raymond REISSER, Gilbert SCODELLER, Pierre SCRIBANTE, Roger WALKOWIAK

Technical Director: Sauveur Ducazeaux

South-East (Sud-Est)

Royal Blue, two gold bands

Roger CHAUSSABEL, Jean DOTTO, Raymond ELENA, José GIL, Nello LAUREDI, Jean LERDA, Raymond MEYZENQ, Joseph MIRANDO, Vinvent VITETTA

Technical Director: Marius GUIRAMAND

West (Ouest)

White shirts with two blue bands

Armand AUDAIRE, Arthur BIHANNIC, Roger HASSENFORDER, Louis CAPUT, Claude LE BER, Eugène LETENDRE, Joseph MORVAN, Fernand PICOT, Maurice QUENTIN, Joseph THOMIN

Technical Director: Léon LE CALVEZ

Ile-de-France

Red shirts with two white bands

Nicolas BARONE, Stanislas BOBER, Seamus ELLIOTT, René FOURNIER, Raymond HOORELBEKE, Jean LE GUILLY, Francis SIGUENZA, Jean SKERL, Alfred TOMELLO

Technical Director: Jean PRUNIER

South-West (Sud-Ouest)

Havana shirts, green band

Philippe AGUT, Pierre BEUFFEUIL, Albert DOHLATS, Georges GAY, Robert GIBANEL, Marcel GUITARD, Valentin HUOT, Maurice LAMPRE, Tino SABBADINI, Jacques VIVIER

Technical Director: Paul MAYE

The Route

  1. Reims to Liège – 223km
  2. Liège to Lille – 217km
  3. Lille to Rouen – 225km
  4. a) Time trial, b) Rouen to Caen – 125km
  5. Caen to Saint Malo – 189km
  6. Saint-Malo to Lorient – 192km
  7. Lorient to Angers – 244km
  8. Angers to La Rochelle – 180km
  9. La Rochelle to Bordeaux – 219km
  10. Bordeaux to Bayonne – 201km
  11. Bayonne to Pau – 255km
  12. Pau to Luchon – 126km
  13. Luchon to Toulouse – 176km
  14. Toulouse to Montpellier – 231km
  15. Montpellier to Aix-en-Provence – 204km
  16. Aix-en-Provence to Gap – 203km
  17. Gap to Turin – 234km
  18. Turn to Grenoble – 250km
  19. Grenoble to Saint-Etienne – 173km
  20. Saint-Etienne to Lyon (time trial) – 74km
  21. Lyon to Montluçon – 237km
  22. Montluçon to Paris – 331km


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