Challenge Martini - 1956 Tour de France - Jean Brankart
by Matthias Van Milders on 17 June 2021
Jean Brankart set off for the 1956 Tour de France along with his teammates Stan Ockers and Fred De Bruyne. The man of few words from Liège performed outstandingly the year before, when his final position was in second place. This performance was not repeated in 1956, when Brankart came in 39th. He did not go home empty-handed, however. The Tour de France was still a competition for national teams at that time, so there was also a national ranking, the Challenge Martini. Although twice as many French riders reached the top 20, the Belgian side won all the same. The French rode to a scattered pattern. Apart from the national team, some of the French regional teams were also competing. Surprise winner Roger Walkowiak, for example, rode for the Northeast and Central France team. Belgium won the Challenge Martini ahead of Italy and the Netherlands.