Roger Lapébie

Roger Lapébie
Personal information
Full name Roger Lapébie
Born (1911-01-16)16 January 1911
Bayonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France
Died 12 October 1996(1996-10-12) (aged 85)
Pessac, Gironde, France
Team information
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Professional team(s)
1932-1936 La Française
1937-1939 Mercier
1947 Mercier
Major wins

Grand Tours

Tour de France
General Classification (1937)
9 stages
Infobox last updated on
22 May 2008

Roger Lapébie (pronounced: [ʁɔ.ʒe]; 16 January 1911 – 12 October 1996) was a French racing cyclist who won the 1937 Tour de France. In addition, Lapébie won the 1934 and 1937 editions of the Critérium National. He was born at Bayonne, Aquitaine, and died in Pessac.

1937 Tour de France

Lapébie won the 1937 Tour by riding 4,415 kilometers in 138 hours, 58 minutes and 31 seconds. His victory was controversial as he was the first rider to complete the race using a modern derailleur. This gave him the advantage of shifting gears without having to stop, dismount and flip the wheel as was customary of racing bicycles used at the time.[1] Lapébie was also known to accept outside assistance in violation of the rules and was at one point penalized 90 seconds by race commissaires.[2]

The advantages taken by Lapébie angered his Belgian rival, Sylvère Maes who had won the Tour the previous year. Maes had led the race through the Alps and Pyrenees but decided to quit in protest of Lapébie's tactics and derailleur use after the 16th stage to Bordeaux. Lapébie, in second place, took the yellow jersey in the absence of Maes and kept it until Paris. The victory delighted the French but angered the cycling-proud Belgians.

Following Lapébie's victory derailleurs became standard racing equipment in the Tour peloton.

Career achievements

Major results

Tour de France
Winner stage 12
Circuit du Morbihan
 France National road race Championship
Tour de France
Winner stages 3, 4, 12, 14 and 15
3rd place overall classification
Critérium International
Paris–Nice:Winner stage 2 and 5B
Paris - Saint-Etienne
Paris Routiers, Six Days
Paris, Six Days
Critérium International
Tour de France
Winner overall classification
Winner stages 9, 17C, 18A
Paris - Sedan
1st stage Paris - Nice

Grand Tour results timeline

1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937
Stages won
Mountains classification
Tour 23 29 3 DNF-12 DNE 1
Stages won 1 0 5 0 3
Mountains classification NR NR NR NR NR
Vuelta N/A N/A N/A DNE DNE N/A
Stages won
Mountains classification
1 Winner
2–3 Top three-finish
4–10 Top ten-finish
11– Other finish
DNE Did Not Enter
DNF-x Did Not Finish (retired on stage x)
DNS-x Did Not Start (no started on stage x)
DSQ Disqualified
N/A Race/classification not held
NR Not Ranked in this classification


  1. History of the Tour de France: 1920–1939 - Les Forcats de la Route by Mitch Mueller
  2. The Official Tour de France Centennial 1903-2003, pg. 124
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