In the 1934 Tour de France, Vietto, a relative unknown, got wings on the mountains. This was not a surprise, because he had won the Grand Prix Wolber. He was prepared for the Alps and won easily on the steepest terrain. After he won the two major Alpine stages, journalists reported that this ‘boy’ could be the purest mountain climber that France knew.
During the 1934 Tour, he was poised to be race leader after his team leader Antonin Magne crashed during stage 16. Vietto was unaware of Magne’s situation; his advantage gave him the virtual race lead. A marshal on a motorcycle caught Vietto to inform him his captain was on the side of the road, with team-mate Lapébie ahead, and the other team-mates behind the yellow jersey. Vietto turned and rode back up the mountain into the descending riders (at the time, reversing course was legal, but is no longer so), to give Magne his bike. Magne mounted Vietto’s bike and with Lapébie closed the gap to preserve his overall lead and win the Tour. A photograph shows Vietto sitting on a stone wall as the race passes.