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1954 – Marcel Bidot’s French team in Aube Stadium

On 31th July 1954, the sixty survivors of the Tour had to complete a penultimate stage between Nancy and Troyes. Already winner of the Tour 1953, Louison Bobet was sure to win. The Troyen Marcel Bidot succeeded his brother, Jean, as Technical Director of the French team. His chauffeur was his friend William Odin. Marcel Bidot had a prestigious team: Bobet, Darrigade, Géminiani, Rolland …
The finish was judged on the track of Stade de l’Aube. An American-style curtain-raising race allowed the best local cyclists to compete. The UVCAT pair Tamburlini – Ottavi prevailed. The caravan then presented itself, before Yvette Horner and her accordion took part in the festivities.
On the race side, Belgian De Bruyne and Swiss Croci-Torti escaped to Piney. Teisseire and Darrigade couldn’t reattach to the escapees. Croci-Torti came first on the Stadium and while he was about to win, De Bruyne came back and tightened him in the final corner. By this perilous maneuver, he crossed the line and won his third victory. In a whirlwind of dust, the platoon crossed the line twenty seconds later.
Maurice Quentin, from Saint-André-les-Vergers, was expected as “regional stage”. He finished in the middle of the pack, already happy to complete the 4656 kilometers of race.
Many aubois cheered Marcel Bidot and Louison Bobet. Frédérico Bahamontès, the revelation of this tour, kept his jersey of best climber.
The next day, the riders met in front of the Municipal Circus. Troyens crowded to admire the convicts of the road and their chrome machines. Jacques Goddet, director of the Tour, gave the start of the final stage that joined Paris. The French Varnajo prevailed in front of De Bruyne.