René Vietto Photo Gallery
René Vietto (1914 - 1988) is one of the finest pure climbers France has produced. He gained fitness by commuting by bike to his job at a hotel. That led to Vietto's entering and winning races.
In 1932, while working at a hotel, he met the great Alfredo Binda and had the good fortune to ride with the Campionissimo. The advice Binda gave led him to become one of the greatest riders never to win the Tour de France.
Vietto gained fame in the 1934 Tour. He won three stages and looked as if he might actually win. But his team leader, Antonin Magne, crashed and Vietto had to give Magne his front wheel. And then a second time Vietto had to sacrifice his chances by handing over a wheel to Magne. There is a photo below of Vietto weeping by the side of the road after saving Magne's Tour. After all that, Magne did win the 1934 Tour de France.
The story and legendary aspects of the episode are explored in Les Woodland's Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies.
After the war Vietto wore yellow, but because of his weak time-trialing, he was never able to take the yellow jersey to Paris.
- 1934: Tour de France Mountain classification, 3 stage wins; GP Wolber
- 1935: Paris-Nice, 2 Tour de France stage
- 1939: Tour de France 2nd place, wore yellow for 11 days
- 1943: Circuit du Midi
- 1946: Grand Prix de la Républic
- 1937: Tour de France 5th place, wore yellow 15 days, 2 stage wins
- 1933: Oscar Egg, Olympia
- 1935-1944: Helyett-Hutchinson
- 1946-1949: France Sport-Dunlop
- 1950-1951: Helyett-Hutchinson
- 1952: Vietto
- 1953: Vietto-Alessandro
Winner René Vietto at the finish of the GP Wolber in 1934, the race's final edition
The famous photo in the 1934 Tour of Vietto after he gave up his wheel to Magne for a second time. The photo was edited to remove spectaors and a race official to give it greater dramatic impact.
Another photo of Vietto, this time showing an official holding Magne's ruined wheel.
Vietto finishes the 1934 Tour's 11th stage, in the rain.
Vietto on the Tourmalet in stage 18 of the 1934 Tour de France.
Antonin Magne and René Vietto take a lap of honor at the end of the 1934 Tour de France
Vietto doing what he did best, riding away from the field on a climb.
Vietto repairs a tire on the Galibier with Tour boss Henri Desgrange watching. I don't know the year of this photo, but Desgrange became too ill to follow the Tour mid-way through the 1936 edition, turning the reins of the Tour over to Jacques Goddet.
1938 Tour de France, stage 15: René Vietto climbs the Galibier.
1939 Tour de France. Vietto rode for the regional Sud-Est team that year. He is in the dark jersey, 4th from the left. Vietto was second that year to Sylvère Maes, 30min 38sec behind.
Vietto signs an autograph
Vietto climbing (alone, of course), using an early derailleur
Undated photo of Vietto. I guessing it's post-war.
Vietto on the cover the July, 1947 Miroir Sprint.