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1937 Tour de France

June 30- July 25

Results, stages with running GC, video, photos and history

1936 Tour | 1938 Tour | Tour de France Database | 1937 Tour Quick Facts | 1937 Tour de France Final GC | Stage results with running GC | The Story of the 1937 Tour de France | Video of the 1937 Tour |


1937 Tour Quick Facts:

4,415 km raced at an average speed of 31.768 km/hr divided into 20 stages with an additional incredible 11 half-stages.

98 starters aligned on national teams or as independent riders with 46 classified finishers.

Gino Bartali was leading but had to withdraw after crashing and becoming ill. Belgian Sylvère Maes was then leading, but convinced that biased officials were working to hand the race to a Frenchman, Roger Lapébie, Maes and the entire Belgian team abandoned.

This was the first Tour to allow derailleurs. Mario Vicini's second place is the highest placing ever for an independent Tour rider.

Time bonuses: 90 and 45 seconds for the first and second places in each stage in the case of a sprint. If the victory was solo, the bonus was the winner's lead, up to 4 minutes.


1937 Tour de France Complete Final General Classification:

  1. Roger Lapébie (France): 138hr 58min 31sec
  2. Mario Vicini (independent) @ 7min 17sec
  3. Léo Amberg (Switzerland) @ 26min 13sec
  4. Francesco Camusso (Italy) @ 26min 53sec
  5. Sylvain Marcaillou (France) @ 35min 36sec
  6. Edward Vissers (independent) @ 38min 13sec
  7. Paul Chocque (France) @ 1hr 5min 19sec
  8. Pierre Gallien (independent) @ 1hr 6min 33sec
  9. Erich Bautz (Germany) @ 1hr 6min 41sec
  10. Jean Fréchaut (independent) @ 1hr 24min 34sec
  11. Hubert Muller (independent) @ 1hr 26min 51sec
  12. Raymond Passat (independent) @ 1hr 27min 58sec
  13. Marcel Laurent (independent) @ 1hr 31min 57sec
  14. Oskar Thierbach (Germany) @ 1hr 34min 27sec
  15. Julian Berrendero (Spain) @ 1hr 24min 48sec
  16. Gustaaf Deloor (independent) @ 1hr 36min 3sec
  17. Victor Cosson (independent) @ 1hr 38min 55sec
  18. Jean-Marie Goasmat (independent) @ 1hr 39min 36sec
  19. Sauveur Ducazeaux (independent) @ 1hr 41min 21sec
  20. Robert Oubron (independent) @ 1hr 46min 9sec
  21. Robert Tanneveau (France) @ 1hr 47min 3sec
  22. Aldolf Braeckeveldt (independent) @ 1hr 52min 29sec
  23. Henri Puppo (independent) @ 1hr 56min 38sec
  24. Giuseppe Martano (Italy) @ 1hr 58min 33sec
  25. Fabien Galateau (independent) @ 2hr 4min 20sec
  26. Augusto Introzzi (Italy) @ 2hr 9min 49sec
  27. Arsène Mersch (Luxembourg) @ 2hr 15min 43sec
  28. Ludwig Geyer (Germany) @ 2hr 16min 31sec
  29. Paul Egli (Switzerland) @ 2hr 27min 54sec
  30. Mariano Cañardo (Spain) @ 2hr 35min 11sec
  31. Robert Zimmermann (Switzerland) @ 2hr 44min 23sec
  32. Pierre Cloarec (France) @ 2hr 46min 5sec
  33. Antoon Van Schendel (Holland) @ 2hr 53min 14sec
  34. Gabriel Dubois (independent) @ 3hr 11min 32sec
  35. Jean Goujon (independent) @ 3hr 19min 16sec
  36. Carlo Romanatti (Italy) @ 3hr 19min 29sec
  37. Heinz Wengler (Germany) @ 3hr 28min 4se
  38. François Neuens (Luxembourg) @ 3hr 32min 10sec
  39. René Pedroli (Switzerland) @ 4hr 2min 48sec
  40. Raymond Lemarie (independent) @ 4hr 8min 12sec
  41. Otto Weckerling (Germany) @ 4hr 19min 8sec
  42. Bruno Carini (independent) @ 4hr 27min 42sec
  43. Hubert Hauswald (Germany) @ 5hr 3min 9sec
  44. Emile Gamard (France) @ 5hr 52min 42sec
  45. Reinhold Wendel (Germany) @ 6hr 15min 29sec
  46. Aloïs Klensch (Luxembourg) @ 6hr 39min 25sec

Climbers' Competition:

A rider need not finish the Tour in 1937 to win the climber's comeptition

  1. Félicen Vervaecke (Belgium): 114 points
  2. Mario Vicini (independent): 96
  3. Sylvère Maes (Belgium): 60

1937 Tour stage results with running GC:

Stage 1: Wednesday, June 30, Paris - Lille, 263 km

  1. Jean Majerus: 6hr 57min 38sec
  2. Arsène Mersch @ 57sec
  3. Adolphe Braeckeveldt s.t.
  4. Oskar Thierbach @ 1min 6sec
  5. Hubert Deltour @ 1min 46sec
  6. Albertin Disseaux s.t.
  7. Pierre Clemens @ 2min 23sec
  8. Paul Egli s.t.
  9. Herbert Muller s.t.
  10. Marcel Kint s.t.

GC after Stage 1: I have no GC time, but Majerus should have been awarded a 90-second bonus for winning the stage and Mersch 45 seconds for his second-place.

  1. Jean Majerus
  2. Arsène Mersch
  3. Adolphe Braeckeveldt

Stage 2: Thursday, July 1, Lille - Charleville, 192 km

Places 6 - 32 awarded the same time and place

  1. Maurice Archambaud: 5hr 18min 31sec
  2. Robert Godard s.t.
  3. Adolphe Braeckeveldt @ 1min 7sec
  4. Gustaaf Deloor s.t.
  5. Marcel Kint s.t.
  6. André Auville, Victor Cosson, Sauveur Ducazeaux, Jean Fréchaut, Sylvain Marcaillou, etc. @ 1min 31sec

GC after stage 2:

  1. Jean Majerus: 12hr 15min 23sec
  2. Maurice Archambaud @ 1min 49sec
  3. Arsène Mersch @ 2min 39sec

Stage 3: Friday, July 2, Charleville - Metz, 161 km

  1. Walter Generati: 4hr 13min 2sec
  2. Jean Fréchaut @ 34sec
  3. Marcel Kint s.t.
  4. Paul Chocque s.t.
  5. Albert Van Schendel s.t.
  6. Robert Godard s.t.
  7. Robert Zimmermann s.t.
  8. Robert Tanneveau s.t.
  9. Mario Vicini s.t.
  10. Henri Puppo @ 4min 16sec

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Marcel Kint: 16hr 33min 25sec
  2. Jean Majerus @ 2min 50sec
  3. Maurice Archambaud @ 2min 54sec

Stage 4: Saturday, July 3, Metz - Belfort, 220 km

Places 9 - 16 awarded same time and place

Major ascent: Ballon d'Alsace

  1. Erich Bautz: 6hr 28min 56sec
  2. Gino Bartali @ 3min 45sec
  3. Léo Amberg @ 4min 29sec
  4. Maurice Archambaud s.t.
  5. Paul Egli s.t.
  6. Fabien Galateau @ 4min 39sec
  7. Edward Vissers @ 5min 36sec
  8. Jules Lowie @ 6min 7sec
  9. Oskar Thierbach, Francesco Camusso, etc. @ 6min 35sec

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Erich Bautz: 23hr 3min 22sec
  2. Maurice Archambaud @ 6min 22sec
  3. Gino Bartali @ 10min 6sec

Stage 5A: Sunday, July 4, Belfort - Lons le Saunier, 175 km

  1. Henri Puppo: 5hr 36min 15sec
  2. Julian Berrendero s.t.
  3. Jules Rossi @ 40sec
  4. Fabien Galateau s.t.
  5. Raymond Lemarie s.t.
  6. Francesco Camusso s.t.
  7. Rafael Ramos s.t.
  8. Oskar Thierbach s.t.
  9. Guy Lapébie s.t.
  10. Gustave Danneels @ 1min 46sec

GC after Stage 5A:

  1. Erich Bautz: 28hr 41min 23sec
  2. Maurice Archambaud @ 6min 22sec
  3. Gino Bartali @ 10min 6sec

Stage 5B: Sunday, July 4, Lons le Saunier - Champagnole 34 km Team Time Trial

  1. Sylvère Maes (Belgium): 55min 33sec
  2. Albert Hendrickx s.t.
  3. Gustave Danneels
  4. Jules Lowie s.t.
  5. Marcel Kint s.t.
  6. Albertin Disseaux s.t.
  7. Paul Choque (France) @ 30sec
  8. Maurice Archambaud s.t.
  9. Roger Lapébie s.t.
  10. René Le Greves
  11. Pierre-Marie Cloarec s.t.
  12. Georges Speicher s.t.
  13. Robert Tanneveau s.t.
  14. Sylvain Marvaillou s.t.
  15. Louis Thiétard s.t.
  16. Jules Rossi (Italy) @ 37sec
  17. Francesco Camusso s.t.
  18. Gino Bartali s.t.
  19. Carlo Romanatti s.t.
  20. Giuseppe Martano s.t.
  21. Augisto Introzzi s.t.
  22. Léo Amberg (Switzerland) @ 43sec

GC after Stage 5B:

  1. Erich Bautz: 29hr 37min 51sec
  2. Maurice Archambaud @ 5min 57sec
  3. Gino Bartali @ 9min 48sec

Stage 5C: Sunday, July 4, Champagnole - Geneva, 93 km

  1. Léo Amberg: 2hr 28min 29sec
  2. Robert Zimmermann @ 1min 45sec
  3. Georges Speicher @ 2min 24sec
  4. Erich Bautz s.t.
  5. Edward Vissers s.t.
  6. Pierre Gallien s.t.
  7. Victor Cosson s.t.
  8. Jean-Marie Goasmat s.t.
  9. Francesco Camusso s.t.
  10. Adolphe Braeckeveldt s.t.

GC after Stage 5C:

  1. Erich Bautz: 32hr 8min 44sec
  2. Maurice Archambaud @ 8min 12sec
  3. Léo Amberg @ 10min 57sec

Stage 6: Tuesday, July 6, Geneva - Ais les Bains, 180 km

Major ascents: Aravis, Tamié

Places 3 - 26 awarded same time and place

  1. Gustaaf Deloor: 5hr 26min 25sec
  2. Sylvain Marcaillou s.t.
  3. Henri Puppo, Georges Speicher, Fédérico Ezquerra, Pierre Gallien, Pierre Clemens, Léo Amberg, Adolphe Braeckeveldt, Herbert Muller, etc. s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Erich Bautz: 37hr 35min 9sec
  2. Léo Amberg @ 10min 57sec
  3. Gino Bartali @ 12min 3sec

Stage 7: Wednesday, July 7, Aix kes Bains - Grenoble, 228 km

Major ascents: Télégraphe, Galibier

  1. Gino Bartali: 8hr 2min 57sec
  2. Francesco Camusso @ 1min 53sec
  3. Roger Lapébie @ 2min 38sec
  4. Sylvain Marcaillou s.t.
  5. Marcel Laurent s.t.
  6. Pierre Gallien s.t.
  7. Jean Fréchaut s.t.
  8. Edward Vissers s.t.
  9. Fabien Galateau s.t.
  10. Settimo Simonini @ 4min 47sec
  11. Mario Vicini @ 6min 35sec
  12. Félicien Vervaecke @ 7min 17sec

GC after Stage 7

  1. Gino Bartali: 45hr 45min 32sec
  2. Edward Vissers @ 9min 18sec
  3. Erich Bautz @ 9min 55sec

Stage 8: Thursday, July 8, Grenoble - Briançon, 194 km

Major ascents: Côte de Laffrey, Bayard

  1. Otto Weckerling: 5hr 55min 45sec
  2. Léo Amberg @ 29sec
  3. Mario Vicini s.t.
  4. Adolphe Braeckeveldt s.t.
  5. Sylvère Maes s.t.
  6. Erich Bautz s.t.
  7. Sylvain Marcaillou s.t.
  8. Victor Cosson s.t.
  9. Oskar Thierbach s.t.
  10. Herbert Muller s.t.
  11. Roger Lapébie s.t.
  12. Albertin Disseaux s.t.

33. Gino Bartali @ 9min 29sec (crashed)

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Gino Bartali: 51hr 49min 36sec
  2. Erich Bautz @ 2min 5sec
  3. Léo Amberg @ 5min 17sec

Stage 9: Friday, July 9, Briançon - Digne, 220 km

Major ascents: Izoard, Vars, Allos

  1. Roger Lapébie: 7hr 27min 43sec
  2. Félicien Vervaecke @ 2min 47sec
  3. Pierre Gallien s.t.
  4. Jules Lowie @ 3min 16sec
  5. Mario Vicini @ 3min 28sec
  6. Edward Vissers s.t.
  7. Albertin Disseaux s.t.
  8. Sylvère Maes s.t.
  9. Henri Puppo @ 11min 2sec
  10. Arsène Mersch s.t.

16. Gino Bartali @ 22min 33sec

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 59hr 29min 32sec
  2. Mario Vicini @ 35sec
  3. Roger Lapébie @ 1min 22sec

Stage 10: Sunday, July 11, Digne - Nice, 251 km

Major ascents: Braus, La Turbie

  1. Félicien Vervaecke: 8hr 29min 19sec
  2. Bruno Carini @ 36sec
  3. Fédérico Ezquerra @ 1min 27sec
  4. Gino Bartali @ 1min 46sec
  5. Mario Vicini s.t.
  6. Roger Lapébie s.t.
  7. Fabien Galateau s.t.
  8. Mariano Canardo s.t.
  9. Pierre Gallien s.t.
  10. Marcel Laurent s.t.
  11. Edward Vissers s.t.
  12. Sylvère Maes s.t.

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 68hr 0min 37sec
  2. Mario Vicini @ 35sec
  3. Guy Lapébie @ 1min 22sec

Stage 11A: Tuesday, July 13, Nice - Toulon, 169 km

Places 11 - 48 given same time and place

  1. Eloi Meulenberg: 5hr 25min 14sec
  2. Gustaaf Deloor s.t.
  3. Heinz Wengler s.t.
  4. Raymond Lemarie @ 28sec
  5. Alphonse Antoine s.t.
  6. Victor Cosson s.t.
  7. Herbert Muller @ 1min 3sec
  8. Gustave Danneels @ 1min 49sec
  9. Robert Wierinckx s.t.
  10. Adolphe Braeckeveldt s.t.
  11. Charles Holland, Paul Egli, etc. s.t.

GC after Stage 11A:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 73hr 27min 42sec
  2. Mario Vicini @ 35sec
  3. Roger Lapébie @ 1min 22sec

Stage 11B: Tuesday, July 13, Toulon - Marseille 65 km Team Time Trial

Mario Vicini, riding as an independent, was placed on a team of like classified Belgians for this stage and lost a lost of time.

  1. Gustave Danneels: 1hr 41min 9sec
  2. Sylvère Maes s.t.
  3. Félicien Vaervaecke s.t.
  4. Juyles Lowie s.t.
  5. Albertin Disseaux s.t.
  6. Léo Amberg @ 1min 31sec
  7. Roger Lapébie s.t.
  8. Erich Bautz @ 4min 24sec
  9. Julian Berrendero s.t.
  10. Mariano Canardo s.t.
  11. Oskar Thierbach s.t.
  12. Gino Bartali @ 4min 39sec
  13. Charles Holland s.t.
  14. Arsène Mersch s.t.
  15. Francesco Camusso s.t.

30. Mario Vicini @ 5min 13sec

GC after Stage 11B:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 75hr 8min 51sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 2min 53sec
  3. Albertin Disseaux @ 5min 17sec

Stage 12A: Wednesday, July 14, Marseille - Nîmes, 112 km

Places 12 - 53 got same time and place

  1. Alphonse Antoine: 3hr 39min 37sec
  2. Sylvain Marcaillou s.t.
  3. Antoon Van Schendel s.t.
  4. Augusto Introzzi s.t.
  5. Robert Zimmermann s.t.
  6. Jules Lowie s.t.
  7. Erich Bautz @ 9min 53sec
  8. Giuseppe Martano s.t.
  9. Hubert Deltour s.t.
  10. Emile Gamard s.t.
  11. Charles Holland s.t.
  12. Aloïs Klensch s.t.

GC after Stage 12A:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 78hr 58min 21sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 2min 53sec
  3. Albertin Disseaux @ 5min 17sec

Stage 12B: Wednesday, July 14, Nîmes - Montpellier, 51 km

Riders 5 - 26 got same time and place

  1. René Pedroli: 1hr 16min 49sec
  2. Heinz Wengler s.t.
  3. Mariano Canardo s.t.
  4. Jean Goujon s.t.
  5. Fédérico Ezquerra, Gustaaf Deloor, Julian Berendero, Paul Chocque, Roger Lapébie, Antoon Van Schendel, Mario Vicini, etc. s.t.

28. Sylvère Maes @ 35sec
29. Albertin Disseaux s.t.

GC after Stage 12B:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 80hr 15min 45sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 2min 18sec
  3. Mario Vicini @ 5min 13sec

Stage 13A: Thursday, July 15, Montpellier - Narbonne, 103 km

Riders 6 - 54 got same time and place

  1. Francesco Camusso: 2hr 32min 39sec
  2. Eloi Meulenberg @ 8min 7sec
  3. Gustave Danneels s.t.
  4. Jean Fréchaut s.t.
  5. Saveur Ducazeaux
  6. Paul Egli, Bruno Carini, Arsène Mersch, René Pedroli, Mario Vicini, etc. s.t.

GC after Stage 13A:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 82hr 56min 31sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 2min 18sec
  3. Mario Vicini @ 5min 13sec

Stage 13B: Thursday, July 15, Narbonne - Perpignan, 63 km

  1. Eloi Meulenberg: 1hr 31min 8sec
  2. Paul Chocque s.t.
  3. Heinz Wengler s.t.
  4. Victor Cosson s.t.
  5. Erich Bautz s.t.
  6. Emile Gamard s.t.
  7. Félicien Vervaecke s.t.
  8. Mariano Canardo @ 51sec
  9. Gistave Danneels @ 53sec
  10. Roger Lapébie s.t.

GC after stage 13B:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 84hr 28min 32sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 2min 18sec
  3. Mario Vicini @ 5min 13sec

Stage 14A: Saturday, July 17, Perpignan - Bourg Madame, 99 km

Riders 4 - 34 given same time and place.

  1. Eloi Meulenberg: 3hr 55min 15sec
  2. Jean Fréchaut s.t.
  3. Mario Vicini s.t.
  4. Antoon Van Schendel, Pierre-Marie Cloarec, Roger Lapébie, Robert Tanneveau, Sylvain Marcaillou, Paul Chocque, etc. s.t.

GC after stage 14A:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 88hr 23min 47sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 2min 18sec
  3. Mario Vicini @ 5min 12sec

Stage 14B: Satuday, July 17, Bourg Madame - Aix les Thermes, 59 km

Places 5 - 53 given same time and place.

Major ascent: Puymorens

  1. Mariano Canardo: 2hr 0min 5sec
  2. Sylvain Marcaillou s.t.
  3. Victor Cosson s.t.
  4. Robert Tanneveau s.t.
  5. Alphonse Antoine, Edward Vissers, Herbert Muller, Gustaaf Deloor, Paul Egli, Léo Amberg, etc. s.t.

GC after Stage 14B:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 90hr 23min 52sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 2min 18sec
  3. Mario Vicini @ 5min 12sec

Stage 14C: Saturday, July 17, Aix les Thermes - Luchon, 167 km

Places 6 - 33 given same time and place

Major ascents: Port, Portet d'Aspet, Ares

  1. Eloi Meulenberg: 6hr 22min 48sec
  2. Gustaaf Deloor s.t.
  3. Jean Fréchaut s.t.
  4. Erich Bautz s.t.
  5. Hubert Deltour s.t.
  6. Jean-Marie Goasmat, Victor Cosson, Robert Tanneveau, Sylvain Marcaillou, Mariano Cañardo s.t.

GC after stage 14C:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 96hr 46min 40sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 2min 18sec
  3. Mario Vicini @ 5min 13sec

Stage 15: Monday, July 19, Luchon - Pau, 194 km

Major ascents: Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet, Aubisque

Lapébie gets a nominal penalty of 1min 30sec for being pushed and holding on to cars

  1. Julian Berrendero: 7hr 1min 1sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 49sec
  3. Jean Fréchaut s.t.
  4. Mario Vicini s.t.
  5. Victor Cosson s.t.
  6. Mariano Canardo s.t.
  7. Sylvère Maes s.t.
  8. Francesco Camusso s.t.
  9. Léo Amberg @ 1min 47sec
  10. Paul Egli @ 3min 27sec

GC after stage 15:

  1. Sylvère Maes: 103hr 48min 30sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 3min 3sec
  3. Mario Vicini @ 4min 57sec

Stage 16: Wednesday, July 21, Pau - Bordeaux, 235 km

Individual riders (therefore not on Maes' Belgian team) Gustaaf Deloor and Adolphe Braeckeveldt waited for Maes when he flatted. Maes is penalized 15 seconds while the other two get a full minute penalty. Plus a level crossing was closed to Maes while he was chasing just after Lapébie had gone through. Belgians are furious.

Places 6 - 25 given same time and place

  1. Paul Chocque: 7hr 56min 50sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 7sec
  3. Heinz Wengler s.t.
  4. Paul Egli s.t.
  5. Jean Fréchaut s.t.
  6. Sylvain Marcaillou, Julian Berrendero, Antoon Van Schendel, Herbert Muller, Mario Vicini, etc. s.t.

26. Sylvére Maes @ 1min 45sec

GC after Stage 16:

  1. Sylvére Maes: 111hr 47min 20sec
  2. Roger Lapébie @ 25sec
  3. Mario Vicini @ 3min 4sec

Stage 17A: Thursday, July 22, Bordeaux - Royan, 123 km

Belgian team (with Sylvère Maes), angry over what they quite reasonably saw as biased officiating in favor of the French team, quits.

  1. Erich Bautz: 3hr 5min 12sec
  2. Roger Lapébie s.t.
  3. Adolphe Braeckeveldt s.t.
  4. Henri Puppo s.t.
  5. Bruno Carini s.t.
  6. Mario Vicini s.t.
  7. Herbert Muller s.t.
  8. Gustaaf Deloor s.t.
  9. Paul Egli s.t.
  10. Léo Amberg s.t.

GC after Stage 17A:

  1. Roger Lapébie: 114hr 52min 42sec
  2. Mario Vicini @ 2min 54sec
  3. Léo Amberg @ 23min 5sec

Stage 17B: Thursday, July 22, Royan - Saintes, 37 km

Braeckeveldt and Wengle cross the line in a tie and are both awarded first place in the stage. Places 8 - 46 are given same place and time.

  1. Adolphe Braeckeveldt: 1hr 6min 27sec
  2. Heinz Wengler s.t.
  3. René Pedroli s.t.
  4. Henri Puppo s.t.
  5. Arsène Mersch s.t.
  6. Pierre-Marie Cloarec s.t.
  7. Paul Egli s.t.
  8. Bruno Carini, Mario Vicini, Edward Vissers, etc. s.t.

GC after Stage 17B:

  1. Roger Lapébie: 115hr 58min 0sec
  2. Mario Vicini @ 2min 54sec
  3. Léo Amberg @ 23min 5sec

Stage 17C: Thursday, July 22, Saintes - La Rochelle, 67 km

Places 7 - 45 given same time and place

  1. Roger Lapébie: 2hr 25min 50sec
  2. Giuseppe Martano s.t.
  3. Adolphe Braeckeveldt s.t.
  4. Jean Fréchaut s.t.
  5. Jean Goujon s.t.
  6. Heinz Wengler s.t.
  7. Rodolphe Muller, Edward Vissers, Gustaaf Deloor, Mario Vicini, etc. s.t.

GC after Stage 17C:

  1. Roger Lapébie: 118hr 22min 59sec
  2. Mario Vicini @ 4min 54sec
  3. Léo Amberg @ 25min 5sec

Stage 18A: Friday, July 23, La Rochelle - La Roche sur Yon, 81 km

Vicini was made a part of the Italian team.

  1. Roger Lapébie: 1hr 59min 10sec
  2. Sylvain Marcaillou s.t.
  3. Paul Chocque s.t.
  4. Robert Tanneveau s.t.
  5. Giuseppe Martano @ 11sec
  6. Augusto Introzzi s.t.
  7. Mario Vicini s.t.
  8. Antoon Van Schendel s.t.
  9. Francesco Camusso s.t.
  10. Carlo Romanatti s.t.

34. Léo Amberg @ 7min 48sec

GC after Stage 18A:

  1. Roger Lapébie: 119hr 22min 9sec
  2. Mario Vicini @ 5min 5sec
  3. Francesco Camusso @ 25min 17sec

Stage 18B: Friday, July 23, La Roche sur Yon - Rennes, 172 km

Places 6 - 44 given same time and place

  1. Paul Chocque: 6hr 6min 14sec
  2. Jean Fréchaut @ 6sec
  3. Henri Puppo s.t.
  4. Pierre Marie Cloarec s.t.
  5. Adolphe Braeckeveldt s.t.
  6. Edward Vissers, Herbert Muller, Gustaaf Deloor, Paul Egli, Léo Amberg, etc. s.t.

GC after Stage 18B:

  1. Roger Lapébie: 126hr 28min 29sec
  2. Mario Vicini @ 5min 5sec
  3. Francesco Camusso @ 25min 17sec

Stage 19A: Saturday, July 24, Rennes - Vire, 114 km

Mario Vicini is penalized 2 minutes because Carlo Romanatti helped him repair a flat tire.

Places 10 - 36 given same time and place

  1. Raymond Passat: 3hr 21min 56sec
  2. Giuseppe Martano @ 11min 55sec
  3. Adolphe Braeckeveldt s.t.
  4. Paul Egli s.t.
  5. Heinz Wengler s.t.
  6. Victor Cosson s.t.
  7. Sauveur Ducazeaux s.t.
  8. Paul Chocque s.t.
  9. Roger Lapébie s.t.
  10. Fabien Galateau s.t.

GC after Stage 19A:

  1. Roger Lapébie: 130hr 2min 20sec
  2. Mario Vicino @ 7min 5sec
  3. Francesco Camusso @ 25min 17sec

Stage 19B: Saturday, July 24, Vire - Caen 59 km Individual Time Trial

  1. Léo Amberg: 1hr 28min 36sec
  2. Erich Bautz @ 2min 29sec
  3. Giuseppe Martano s.t.
  4. Roger Lapébie @ 3min 10sec
  5. Edward Vissers s.t.
  6. Mario Vicini @ 3min 22sec
  7. Robert Zimmermann @ 3min 30sec
  8. Herbert Muller @ 3min 34sec
  9. Sylvain Marcaillou @ 3min 39sec
  10. Gustaaf Deloor @ 3min 46sec

GC after Stage 19B:

  1. Roger Lapébie: 131hr 34min 6sec
  2. Mario Vicini @ 7min 17sec
  3. Léo Amberg @ 26min 13sec

Stage 20 (Final Stage): Sunday, July 25, Caen - Paris, 234 km

Places 6 - 28 given same time and place

  1. Edward Vissers: 7hr 23min 42sec
  2. Henri Puppo @ 43sec
  3. Sauveur Ducazeaux s.t.
  4. Giuseppe Martano s.t.
  5. Gustaaf Deloor s.t.
  6. Antoon Van Schendel, Julian Berrendero, Arsène Mersch, Mariano Cañardo, Léo Amberg, etc. s.t.

Complete Final 1937 Tour de France General Classification


The Story of the 1937 Tour de France

This excerpt is from "The Story of the Tour de France", Volume 1 If you enjoy it we hope you will consider purchasing the book, either print or electronic. The Amazon link here will make either purchase easy.

1937 was Jacques Goddet's first full year of control of the Tour. One of his first moves was to bow to the inevitable march of technological change. Gear changers had been slowly improving in reliability since their introduction by Joanny Panel in the 1912 Tour. Henri Desgrange's reaction at the time to this technical improvement to the bicycle was his usual one. He banned them from the Tour. The truth be told, however, for years the racers shunned gear changers. They felt that a fixed-gear, single-speed bike was far more efficient.

Touriste-routiers and individuels, however, had been allowed to use gear changers for years. The situation grew ever sillier when the individuels began beating the stars to the tops of some mountains. So for 1937, national team members were allowed to ride the Tour with gear changers.

This is a bigger change than just a bit of an improvement to the bike. Until 1937 Tour riders rode bikes with double-sided rear hubs. There were two sprockets on each side of the hub. For the mountains one side might have and 18 and 20 tooth sprockets. The other would have a 22 and 24. A single 44 chainring was the usual front gear. A 50 x 16-20 was mounted for the flatter stages. To change gears a rider had to dismount his bike, loosen the wing nuts and either move the chain to the other rear sprocket or flip the wheel around to get access to the other two cogs.

When to change gears? This was a crucial tactical question in those days. Pick the wrong moment to change gears and a racer could watch the other riders disappear down the road. In the 1920 Tour Firmin Lambot lied to Philippe Thys about the contours of the road up ahead to get Thys to change gears. Once Thys dismounted, Lambot took off. Angered, Thys chased Lambot down and made sure he beat Lambot in the sprint.

With the ability to change gears on the fly, clearly the tactics of mountain racing changed.

The 1937 Tour de France was a demanding monster. Goddet may have relented in the case of the gears, but there was no tendency to soften the cruel, hard character of the race. 31 stages were crammed into the 26 days of the Tour. On 3 separate occasions the riders had to ride 3 stages in a single day. I count 6 other days that had 2 stages each.

The Belgians brought back their 1936 Tour winner, Sylvère Maes. He was amply supported by a strong team that included climbing ace Félicien Vervaecke and Marcel "Black Eagle" Kint. A strong team indeed. Before their dramatic exit from the Tour in stage 17, the Belgians had lost only 1 of their 10 riders.

While political problems kept the Italians out of the 1936 Tour, they came back in 1937 with their hot new rider, Gino Bartali. Bartali had turned pro in 1934 and began winning races in 1935. 1936 was his breakout year with a victory in the Giro d'Italia. He did it with real authority, winning 3 stages as well as the climber's competition. Before coming to the 1937 Tour he again won the Giro as well as the Italian Road Championship. The rest of the Italian team was also strong, having such excellent riders as Francesco Camusso and Giuseppe Martano. Bartali was the odds-on favorite to win this edition of the Tour.

The French team sported several riders from the team's glory years of the early 1930s. Maurice Archambaud, René Le Grevès and Georges Speicher were lined up along with troublesome Roger Lapébie.

Lapébie and Tour Boss Henri Desgrange fought from Lapébie's very first Tour until Desgrange's retirement. These arguments sometimes kept Lapébie off the French team. In 1935 he rode as an individuel but quit the Tour during the twelfth stage. This abandonment caused yet more arguments with Desgrange. Lapébie, who had been third in the 1934 Tour, sat out 1936. With new Tour management for 1937 Lapébie was back in the saddle and part of the French attempt to keep the Belgians from gaining another Tour win. Yet, there were doubts about Lapébie's form. He had undergone back surgery for a lumbar hernia after riding the motorpaced 500-kilometer Bordeaux–Paris race. His entry in the Tour is amazing since Bordeaux–Paris was run on May 30 and the Tour started June 30.

This Tour continued the use of the individuels, a class of riders who rode the Tour on their own, completely responsible for their own food and accommodations. There were several fine riders in this class in the 1937 Tour. The best of them was the Italian Mario Vicini. Indeed, 12 of the top twenty finishers of the 1937 Tour were individuels.

While Gino Bartali may have been the favorite for this clockwise (Alps first) Tour, he let himself lose good chunks of time over the first 3 stages: 6 minutes here, 7 minutes there. Yet, when the race went up for the first time in stage 4 Bartali shone. He wasn't the first over the Ballon d'Alsace nor was he the first into Belfort. But he was second that day and that placing lifted him onto the General Classification podium. He was now sitting in third place, 10 minutes behind German team rider Erich Bautz who had won the stage and the Yellow Jersey. But, it was early yet. The best placed Belgian in that stage was individuel Ward Vissers, who finished seventh, over 5½ minutes behind Bautz.

The first team time trial, stage 5b, let the Belgians shine and show that they still had lots of raw horsepower. Yet, though they won the stage, they couldn't gain any real traction. Over the 34-kilometer stage the French finished only 30 seconds behind the Belgians and the Italians were only another 7 seconds distant.

Before the Alps, the General Classification podium stood thus:

1. Erich Bautz
2. Maurice Archambaud @ 8 minutes 12 seconds
3. Léo Amberg @ 10 minutes 57 seconds

Stage 6 from Geneva to Aix-les-Bains was the first Alpine stage with the Aravis and the Tamié climbs. Bartali was first over the 1498-meter high Aravis but 26 riders came in together for the finish. The only real change was that Maurice Archambaud, the French team veteran who had been such an important part of the French teams of the early 1930s lost his place on the podium. He had won the second stage and had been sitting in second place in the General Classification. Yet, as had happened for the better part of the decade, the high mountains defeated him. The first bite of attrition hit the French team with the abandonment of Louis Thietard.

Stage 7 was another big Alpine stage with the Télégraphe and the Galibier. Bartali took the crest of the Galibier first, over a minute ahead of his immediate chasers and well ahead of the top General Classification men. Bartali won the stage and the Yellow Jersey. The French team was hit with more casualties. They lost former Tour winner Georges Speicher, and Maurice Archambaud abandoned after being struck by a car.

The General Classification stood thus after stage 7:

1. Gino Bartali
2. Ward Vissers @ 9 minutes 18 seconds
3. Erich Bautz @ 9 minutes 55 seconds

This changed drastically in stage 8, a 194-kilometer run from Grenoble to Briançon that included both the Laffrey and the Bayard climbs. While Bartali was crossing a bridge on the wheel of teammate Jules Rossi, Rossi crashed and sent Bartali into the river below. Teammate Francesco Camusso jumped into the river to pull him out. Upon emerging, Bartali was bleeding and covered with mud from the river. A blow to his chest made it hard for him to breathe. Yet Gino "the Pious" Bartali climbed back on his bike and struggled, with lots of pushing from sympathetic spectators, all the way to Briançon. Covered in mud and blood, he thrilled the fans with his determination. While his adventure cost him 10 minutes, he retained the Yellow Jersey.

The overall standings were now:

1. Gino Bartali
2. Erich Bautz @ 2 minutes 5 seconds
3. Leo Amberg @ 5 minutes 17 seconds

Yet Bartali had been hurt. Stage 9 from Briançon to Digne was a ferocious stage. The riders had to climb the Izoard, the Vars and the Allos, all over 2000 meters high. This is the stage where the events of the previous day manifested themselves. The injured Bartali was in no condition to defend his lead. Shepherded by teammate Camusso, Bartali finished 22½ minutes behind the stage winner Roger Lapébie.

The stage results:

1. Roger Lapébie: 7 hours 27 minutes 43 seconds
2. Félicien Vervaecke @ 2 minutes 47 seconds
3. Pierre Gallien @ same time
4. Jules Lowie @ 3 minutes 16 seconds
5. Mario Vicini @ 3 minutes 28 seconds
16. Gino Bartali @ 22 minutes 33 seconds

The new General Classification:

1. Sylvère Maes
2. Mario Vicini @ 35 seconds
3. Roger Lapébie @ 1 minute 22 seconds

The Belgians must have been surprised at their good fortune. Their 1936 winner was in Yellow and the man sitting in second place was an individuel with no team. And the French team had lost yet another rider, René Le Grevès. The French were down to 6 riders. At that point the riders of the French team got together and appointed Lapébie as their team leader. He was the only one on the team with the strength to win and earn the rest of them some prize money.

The final Alpine stage, from Digne to Nice did not affect the standings: Maes remained in Yellow. Bartali abandoned as the riders approached the Pyrenees.

Mario Vicini climbing in the 1937 Tour. Note the gear changing lever near his downtube. Photo from Mario Vicini

Stage 12B: Sylvère Maes (in the Belgian black jersey) goes across a level crossing in front of a train.

The first Pyreneen stage, a little 59-kilometer appetizer with the 1920-meter high Puymorens, didn't affect the race. The General Classification podium remained unchanged. But this was just the second of 3 stages in one day. The third stage of the day, from Ax-les-Thermes to Luchon climbed the Port, the Portet d'Aspet and the Ares. Still the General Classification podium remained:

1. Sylvère Maes
2. Roger Lapébie @ 2 minutes 18 seconds
3. Mario Vicini @ 5 minutes 13 seconds

Maes was unable to finish Lapébie off. Day after day Lapébie had been able to stay with the Belgian and maintain his position.

Stage 14C: Roger Lapébie leads Leo Amberg over the first of the stage's 3 major climbs, the Port.

It was on stage 15 from Luchon to Pau that the entire 1937 Tour de France became complicated with politics and intrigue. The stage had 4 climbs, the Peyresourde, the Aspin, the Tourmalet and finally the Aubisque. All 3 of the General Classification leaders finished the stage together, 49 seconds behind Spanish climber Julian Berrendero.

But let's go back to the beginning of this stage because this stage sowed the seeds of what was to follow and really decided the outcome of the 1937 Tour.

A few minutes before the start of the stage, as Lapébie was warming up, half of his handlebars came off in his hand. The bars had been partially sawn through, sabotaged. With only a little time to get the bike repaired, there was a panic. The stage would start with or without the General Classification second-place rider. A new set was found and mounted on his bike. But, the new set didn't have a water bottle cage. In those days, bottles were not mounted on the frame. Lapébie believed that Belgians had tampered with his bike. There is no particular evidence pointing to anyone. To this day no one knows who did the deed.

Lapébie had to start the stage without water. That fact demoralized him. The strict rules regarding handing up water and food at only specific designated points meant that getting water early could cost him time penalties. He later recounted that he was mentally shattered from the morning's occurrences. Lapébie fought on, but at the top of the Peyresourde Sylvère Maes was 2 minutes ahead. Over the Aspin, Maes had 5 minutes. On the Tourmalet, ready to quit, Lapébie found a mountain spring and revived himself. While Lapébie was undergoing his resurrection, Maes flatted.

The Belgian team waited for their leader. Together again they worked to get him up to the Spaniard Berrendero, who had been first over each of the climbs so far.

Over the top of the Tourmalet Lapébie was almost 7 minutes behind Maes. The Belgians were exhausting themselves chasing the fleeing Spaniard. On the descent of the Tourmalet Lapébie did one of the heroic descents that sometimes make the difference between winning and losing the Tour. Maes was running out of gas and Lapébie was feeling better. Lapébie gained almost 4 minutes on the descent of the Tourmalet. In the next 15 kilometers Lapébie chased and caught Maes. Lapébie went on to win the field sprint. Lapébie at this point, at the end of the stage, should have been just 1½ minutes behind Maes in the General Classification.

So how did Lapébie, who was at one point exhausted and shattered, make it up to Maes and then beat him? On the climbs Lapébie had received lots of pushing from the spectators. The officials told Lapébie, over and over, that he would be penalized if he continued to get pushed up the hills. He replied to the judges that he was asking the crowds not to push him, but he was helpless in the face of their enthusiasm and therefore could not stop them. In fact, he later confessed, he was encouraging his partisans to help him up the mountains. He had been guilty of this in both the earlier Alpine stages and the Pyrenees.

That wasn't all of it. Lapébie had been holding on to cars on the climbs and drafting them on the flats. On the Aubisque, when he was closing in on Maes, he was lifted up the mountain by holding on to one automobile after another.

The officials penalized Lapébie with a firm slap on the wrist: a 1½ minute penalty. The Belgians erupted in fury. Lapébie had cheated his way back into Tour contention and the penalty inflicted left him far better off than if he hadn't cheated and been penalized. The French riders threatened to leave the race if the penalty were increased.

So the General Classification after stage 15:

1. Sylvère Maes
2. Roger Lapébie @ 3 minutes 3 seconds
3. Mario Vicini @ 4 minutes 57 seconds

The next day, Stage 16 from Pau to Bordeaux, things grew ever more interesting. Maes flatted. Lapébie attacked and got a good gap. After getting his bike repaired, Maes chased, trading pace with Gustaaf Deloor. Deloor was a Belgian, but he was riding as an individuel. Not being a member of the Belgian Team, he was not allowed to assist Maes. This was strictly against the rules. As Maes closed in on the Lapébie group, they came to a level train crossing. The signalman lowered the gate just in front of Maes and Deloor right after Lapébie had gone through. Maes dismounted and got his bike under the barrier and continued the chase. He finished the stage 1 minute, 38 seconds behind Lapébie.

Because of the illegal help Maes got from Deloor, the officials penalized Maes 25 seconds. Feeling that the railway man had intentionally acted to delay Maes and angry at the penalty that now put Lapébie now only 25 seconds behind Maes, the Belgians quit the race. Maes, even though he was in Yellow, withdrew from a race he felt was being run in favor of the French.

Lapébie was now the leader of the Tour de France. The major climbing had been completed. The only impediment, besides the possibility of bad fortune, was the individual time trial in the penultimate stage, number 19b. Lapébie was able to extend his lead still more. Leo Amberg, the Swiss rider who had been trading places with Francesco Camusso for the third spot on the podium ever since the withdrawal of Maes, won the time trial and earned third place in the 1937 Tour.

L'Equipe says that Lapébie's greater skill in using his derailleur significantly contributed to his winning margin. Vicini, who was not so adept, was forced to use gearing that at times wasn't optimal. The 1937 derailleur was a far from perfect device. As Lapébie came into the Parc de Princes velodrome for the finish of the final stage, his chain came off. A quick fix and he rode into history.

Does Lapébie's victory smell? It does indeed. He clearly cheated and the officials were obviously working to get a French victory, a rare lapse in Tour de France judging. I'm sure Maes felt that he was better off quitting while in Yellow rather than letting himself get slowly cheated out of it on the road to Paris.

Of the 96 starters, only 46 racers made it to Paris.

1937 Tour de France final General Classification:

1. Roger Lapébie (France) 138 hours 58 minutes 31 seconds
2. Mario Vicini (individuel) @ 7 minutes 17 seconds
3. Leo Amberg (Switzerland) @ 26 minutes 13 seconds
4. Francesco Camusso (Italy) @ 26 minutes 53 seconds
5. Sylvain Marcaillou (France) @ 35 minutes 36 seconds
6. Ward Vissers (individuel) @ 38 minutes 13 seconds

Climber's competition:

1. Félicien Vervaecke: 114 points
2. Mario Vicini: 96 points
3. Sylvère Maes: 90 points

The 1937 Tour's top 6 finishers. From the left, Ward Vissers, Sylvain Marcaillou, Francesco Camusso, Roger Lapébie, Mario Vicini and Leo Amberg. This photo was given to me in the early 1980's by Signor Vicini. I assume it was taken on the final day of the Tour, Sunday, July 25, in Paris. I am particularly indebted to the kind gents of the Wieler Archieven Forum of Belgium, Marcel, Jan Soens and Les Woodland, for identifying the riders.


Video of the 1937 Tour de France