1925 Tour de France

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1925 Tour de France
File:Tour de France 1925.png
Route of the 1925 Tour de France
Followed counterclockwise, starting in Paris
Race details
Dates 21 June–19 July 1925
Stages 18
Distance 5,430 km (3,374 mi)
Winning time 219h 10' 18"
Winner  Ottavio Bottecchia (Italy) (Automoto)
Second  Lucien Buysse (Belgium) (Automoto)
Third  Bartoloméo Aymo (Italy) (Alcyon)

The 1925 Tour de France was the 19th edition and was held from June 21 to July 19, 1925 over 5430 kilometers in 18 stages.[1] Italian cyclist Ottavio Bottecchia successfully defended his 1924 victory to win his second consecutive Tour de France. Only 49 of the 130 participants finished the course.

Changes from the 1924 Tour de France

In 1919 to 1924, the sponsored teams had been away because of the economic impact of World War I. In 1925, the teams returned.[2]

For the first time, the Tour de France started outside Paris, in le Vésinet.[3] The number of stages increased from 15, which had been used since 1910, to 18, thereby decreasing the average stage length.[4]

The time bonus, given to the winner of a stage, was removed.[4]

After Henri Pélissier had created a controversy by quitting the 1924 Tour de France and complaining on the toughness of the race to a journalist, the Tour organisation made a new rule that said that any rider that harmed the Tour's image would be banned for the next years.[5]


The participants were divided into two groups: 39 cyclists were riding in sponsored teams, and 91 rode as touriste-routiers. The teams did not have equal size; the largest team, J.B. Louvet, consisted of eight cyclists, while the smallest team, J.Alavoine-Dunlop, had only one cyclists, Jean Alavoine himself. There were 57 French, 34 Belgian, 28 Italian, 5 Swiss, 5 Luxembourgian and 1 Spanish cyclists.[3]

Race details

File:Aangereden door een auto - Hit by a car.jpg
In the 13th stage, Felix Sellier was hit by a car. He continued without injuries, but can be seen angry in this photo.

Bottecchia, who had won the previous Tour de France, started by winning the first stage. In 1924, he had had no difficulty in defending his lead, but in 1925 there was Adelin Benoit, who surprisingly took over the lead in the third stage.[2][6] Bottecchia was however only eight seconds behind in the general classification.[4]

In the fourth stage, Henri Pélissier, the winner of the 1923 Tour de France, left the race. In previous years, Pélissier had left the race after a fight with tour organiser Henri Desgrange, but this time it was because of knee problems.[6] In the sixth stage, Benoit punctured, and Bottechia's Automoto team rode as fast as they could to get away from Benoit. Bottecchia won the stage, and after he won the next stage too, he took over the lead.[6]

In the eighth stage, Adelin Benoit won back eleven minutes in the first Pyrénées stage, in what used to be Bottecchia's specialty.[2] In the ninth stage, Bottecchia took back the lead in the rain, and this decided the race.[3] Bottecchia did not win the stage, but his Automoto team mates had helped him to win 45 minutes on Benoit.[2] After that stage, Nicolas Frantz was number two, more than 13 minutes behind.

In the next stages, Bottecchia was helped by his team mate Lucien Buysse. In return, Bottecchia allowed Buysse to win the eleventh and twelfth stage.[4] In the twelfth stage, Bottecchia and Buysse failed to sign in at a control post, and were fined with 10 minutes penalty time.[2][7] Nonetheless, the margin with runner-up Frantz had increased to 27 minutes.

In the fourteenth stage, Frantz had a flat tyre, and the Automoto team raced away from him.[6] Frantz lost more than 37 minutes. This took Frantz completely out of contention for the victory, and Bottecchia's victory seemed secure.[2] Italian Aimo was the new runner-up, with a margin of more than 55 minutes.[8] Lucien Buysse was only three minutes behind Aimo, and in the sixteenth stage, Buysse took off, trying to win back time on Aimo. Nicolas Frantz, Albert Dejonghe and Hector Martin followed him, but Aimo missed that move, and lost five minutes. Buysse was now in second place, with Frantz only three seconds behind him.[4] In the seventeenth stage, Frantz missed the deciding escape, and Buysse and Aimo finished in the leading group, so Aimo was back in third place.[3] Bottecchia made his Tour victory complete by winning the last stage.[4]


In each stage, all cyclists started together. The cyclist who reached the finish first, was the winner of the stage. The time that each cyclist required to finish the stage was recorded. For the general classification, these times were added up; the cyclist with the least accumulated time was the race leader, identified by the yellow jersey.

Stage winners

Stage results[3][9]
Stage Date[10] Route Terrain[Notes 1] Length Winner Race leader
1 21 June ParisLe Havre Plain stage 340 km (210 mi)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
2 23 June Le Havre – Cherbourg Plain stage 371 km (231 mi)  Romain Bellenger (FRA)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
3 25 June Cherbourg – Brest Plain stage 405 km (252 mi)  Louis Mottiat (BEL)  Adelin Benoît (BEL)
4 26 June Brest – Vannes Plain stage 208 km (129 mi)  Nicolas Frantz (LUX)  Adelin Benoît (BEL)
5 27 June Vannes – Les Sables-d'Olonne Plain stage 204 km (127 mi)  Nicolas Frantz (LUX)  Adelin Benoît (BEL)
6 28 June Les Sables-d'Olonne – Bordeaux Plain stage 293 km (182 mi)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)  Adelin Benoît (BEL)
7 29 June Bordeaux – Bayonne Plain stage 189 km (117 mi)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
8 1 July Bayonne – Luchon Stage with mountain(s) 326 km (203 mi)  Adelin Benoît (BEL)  Adelin Benoît (BEL)
9 3 July Luchon – Perpignan Stage with mountain(s) 323 km (201 mi)  Nicolas Frantz (LUX)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
10 4 July Perpignan – Nîmes Plain stage 215 km (134 mi)  Theophile Beeckman (BEL)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
11 5 July Nîmes – Toulon Plain stage 215 km (134 mi)  Lucien Buysse (BEL)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
12 7 July Toulon – Nice Stage with mountain(s) 280 km (170 mi)  Lucien Buysse (BEL)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
13 9 July Nice – Briançon Stage with mountain(s) 275 km (171 mi)  Bartolomeo Aimo (ITA)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
14 11 July Briançon – Evian Stage with mountain(s) 303 km (188 mi)  Hector Martin (BEL)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
15 13 July Evian – Mulhouse Stage with mountain(s) 373 km (232 mi)  Nicolas Frantz (LUX)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
16 15 July Mulhouse – Metz Plain stage 334 km (208 mi)  Hector Martin (BEL)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
17 17 July Metz – Dunkerque Plain stage 433 km (269 mi)  Hector Martin (BEL)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)
18 19 July Dunkerque – Paris Plain stage 343 km (213 mi)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)

General classification

In 1925, no French cyclist finished in the top ten. For the first time, two of the three riders on the podium were Italian.[4]

Final general classification (1–10)[3]
Rank Rider Sponsor Time
1  Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA) Automoto 219h 10' 18"
2  Lucien Buysse (BEL) Automoto +54' 20"
3  Bartolomeo Aimo (ITA) Alcyon +56' 37"
4  Nicolas Frantz (LUX) Alcyon +1h 11' 24"
5  Albert Dejonghe (BEL) J.B. Louvet +1h 27' 42"
6  Théophile Beeckman (BEL) Thomann +2h 24' 43"
7  Omer Huyse (BEL) Armor +2h 33' 38"
8  Auguste Verdyck (BEL) Christophe +2h 44' 36"
9  Félix Sellier (BEL) Alcyon +2h 45' 59"
10  Federico Gay (ITA) Meteore +4h 06' 03"

Other classifications

The race for touriste-routiers, cyclists who did not belong to a team and were allowed no assistance, was won by Despontin.[11]

The organing newspaper, l'Auto named a meilleur grimpeur (best climber), an unofficial precursor to the modern King of the Mountains competition. This award was won by Bottecchia.[12]


The 1925 Tour de France was Bottecchia's latest big victory. In 1926 he started again, but withdrew in the Pyrénées. When he was training in 1927, he was found bleeding at the side of the road close to his house, and he died some hours later.[2]

The champion of the 1923 Tour de France, Henri Pélissier, rode his last Tour de France in 1925.[4]

During the race, Bottecchia had promised Lucien Buysse half his earnings, because he needed help. Buysse was content with this deal, and did not try to win the Tour himself. After the race ended, Buysse told his relatives that he was happy with how things went, but that the next year he would try and win the race, which he did.[13]

Further reading


  1. There was no distinction in the rules between plain stages and mountain stages; the icons shown here indicate which stages included mountains.


  1. Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 2 October 2009. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 James, Tom (15 August 2003). "1925: Once again Bottecchia". Veloarchive. Archived from the original on 2009-07-20. Retrieved 2 July 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "19ème Tour de France 1925" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2009-07-20. Retrieved 1 July 2009. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 McGann, Bill; Mcgann, Carol (2006). The Story of the Tour De France Volume 1:1903-1964. Dog Ear Publishing. pp. 76–80. ISBN 1-59858-180-5. Retrieved 29 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Dauncey, Hugh; Hare, Geoff (2003). The Tour de France, 1903-2003: a century of sporting structures, meanings, and values. Routledge. p. 96. ISBN 0-7146-5362-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "1925: Ottavio Bottecchia wint dankzij Lucien Buysse voor tweede maal" (in Dutch). tourdefrance.nl. 19 March 2003. Retrieved 2 July 2009. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "19ème Tour de France 1925 - 12ème étape" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2009-07-20. Retrieved 2 July 2009. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "19ème Tour de France 1925 - 14ème étape" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 2 July 2009. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 1 July 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Le Tour de France cycliste". Le Petit Parisien (in French). Gallica Bibliothèque Numérique. 20 June 1925. Retrieved 28 July 2010. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "l'Historique du Tour - Année 1925" (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 29 January 2010. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Tour-giro-vuelta". Retrieved 29 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Sierksma, Pieter (27 June 2006). "Tour de France / De zwaarste etappe ooit". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 September 2010. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>