Rudi Altig


Rudi Altig : biography

18 March 1937 –

Altig took three stages in that year’s Tour, finishing 12th place overall, and two more in the Giro d’Italia, in which he came 13th.

The second and final classic win came in the 1968 Milan – San Remo. He also took two stages of that year’s Vuelta, finishing 18th overall. In 1969 he finished 9th in the Giro, and won the prologue individual time trial of the Tour de France.

Jacques Anquetil

Altig rode his first Tour as a domestique and as team sprinter for Jacques Anquetil. The two developed a rocky relationship in the Tour of Spain that hardened when Altig took the yellow jersey early in the Tour de France. Anquetil criticised him because his team would have to ride at the front and chase every attack to protect a rider too heavy to keep his lead through the mountains. The two never became close until they rode for different teams.

That same year the two were paired for the Trofeo Baracchi, a 111 km two-man time-trial in Italy. The writer René de Latour wrote:

Generally in a race of the Barrachi type, the changes are very rapid, with stints of no more than 300 yards. Altig was at the front when I started the check – and he was still there a minute later. Something must be wrong. Altig wasn’t even swinging aside to invite Anquetil through… Suddenly, on a flat road, Anquetil lost contact and a gap of three lengths appeared between the two partners. There followed one of the most sensational things I have ever seen in any form of cycle racing during my 35 years’ association with the sport – something which I consider as great a physical performance as a world hour record or a classic road race win. Altig was riding at 30mph at the front – and had been doing so for 15 minutes. When Anquetil lost contact, he had to ease the pace, wait for his partner to go by, push him powerfully in the back, sprint to the front again after losing 10 yards in the process, and again settle down to a 30mph stint at the front. Altig did not this just once but dozens of times.

Anquetil reached the stadium where the race finished and hit a pole. He was helped away with staring eyes and with blood streaming from a cut to his head. The couple nevertheless won by nine seconds. Altig said: "Jacques wasn’t happy [during the race], it didn’t please him at all, but I wanted us to win. So I got him by the saddle, I got him by the shorts, and hop!."

Road race victories

Round of Aix
Vuelta a España

20pxWinner overall classification
Winner stages 2, 7 and 15
G.P of Cannes
Manx Trophy
Trofeo Baracchi (with Jacques Anquetil)
Critérium of the Aces
Tour de France

31 place overall classification
Winner stages 1, 3 and 17
20pxWinner green jersey
Wearing yellow jersey during 5 days
La Bastide d’Armagnac
German road race Championship
Tour of Flanders
Tour of Dortmund
G.P Parisian (chrono by teams)
8th stage (b) of Paris–Nice
Tour de France

12th place overall classification
Winner 4th stage
Wearing yellow jersey during 4 days
Vuelta a España: 1st stage
World road race champion
Tour of Piedmont
Tour of Tuscany
Critérium de Wengen
Bol d’Or des Monédières
Tour de France

12th place overall classification
Winner stages 1, 12 and 22B
Wearing yellow jersey during 9 days
Giro d’Italia

13 place overall classification
Winner stages 7 and 11