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1963 – A National Day in the colors of the 50th anniversary of the Tour

The 50th Tour devoted Jacques Anquetil for the 4th time. With this success, he set a record of victories on the Tour de France. Raymond Poulidor was just 8th.
It was under heavy rain that the peloton springed from Besançon, this Saturday 13th July, for 233 kilometers.
The Troyen Committee had programmed a race reserved for the best cadets on the finish circuit. Then came the runners of the Tour de l’Avenir.
Under the rain, Jacques Anquetil’s team-mates controled the race. Spectators gathered along the course to encourage the Giants of the Road: Anquetil, Bahamontès, Darrigade, Van Looy or Poulidor. Alan Ramsbottom, the “local stage” was also expected. This UVA Englishman was in the 16th place overall.
Near Troyes, Van Geneugden started. Derboven and De Breuker joined him. Uniting their efforts, the three Belgians resisted the return of the peloton. On the damp pavement of Bd Jules Guesde, De Breuker made the effort and beat the sprint his compatriots. Ramsbottom finished in the middle of the pack.
Drenched and exhausted, riders took refuge in vehicles to reach their hotels. A security service had been set up at the Hotel de France where Anquetil slept. He declared: “I would stay here in a good room … if they brought me the Parc des Princes in Troyes! “.
The next day, the rain stopped for this National Day. Troyens crowded along the Bd Gambetta to approach the runners. Before the start, Marcel Bidot poses with Ramsbottom who is warmly applauded. Rik Van Looy won the sprint stage at the Parc des Princes.