The Birth of the Tour de France, 110 Years Ago

The Birth of the Tour de France, 110 Years Ago


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On July 1, 1903, 60 men mounted their bicycles outside the Café au Reveil Matin in the Parisian suburb of Montgeron. The five-dozen riders were mostly French, with just a sprinkle of Belgians, Swiss, Germans and Italians. A third were professionals sponsored by bicycle manufacturers, the others simply devotees of the sport. All 60 wheelmen, however, were united by the challenge of embarking on an unprecedented test of endurance—not to mention the 20,000 francs in prize money—in the inaugural Tour de France.

At 3:16 p.m., the cyclists turned the pedals of their bicycles and raced into the unknown.

Nothing like the Tour de France had ever been attempted before. Journalist Geo Lefevre had dreamt up the fanciful race as a stunt to boost the circulation of his struggling daily sports newspaper, L’Auto. Henri Desgrange, the director-editor of L’Auto and a former champion cyclist himself, loved the idea of turning France into one giant velodrome. They developed a 1,500-mile clockwise loop of the country running from Paris to Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes before returning to the French capital. There were no Alpine climbs and only six stages—as opposed to the 21 stages in the 2013 Tour— but the distances covered in each of them were monstrous, an average of 250 miles. (No single stage in the 2013 Tour tops 150 miles.) Between one and three rest days were scheduled between stages for recovery.

The first stage of the epic race was particularly dastardly. The route from Paris to Lyon stretched nearly 300 miles. No doubt several of the riders who wheeled away from Paris worried not about winning the race—but surviving it.

Unlike today’s riders, the cyclists in 1903 rode over unpaved roads without helmets. They rode as individuals, not team members. Riders could receive no help. They could not glide in the slipstream of fellow riders or vehicles of any kind. They rode without support cars. Cyclists were responsible for making their own repairs. They even rode with spare tires and tubes wrapped around their torsos in case they developed flats.

And unlike modern-day riders, the cyclists in the 1903 Tour de France, forced to cover enormous swathes of land, spent much of the race riding through the night with moonlight the only guide and stars the only spectators. During the early morning hours of the first stage, race officials came across many competitors “riding like sleepwalkers.”

Hour after hour through the night, riders abandoned the race. One of the favorites, Hippolyte Aucouturier, quit after developing stomach cramps, perhaps from the swigs of red wine he took as an early 1900s version of a performance enhancer.

Twenty-three riders abandoned the first stage of the race, but the one man who barreled through the night faster than anyone else was another pre-race favorite, 32-year-old professional Maurice Garin. The mustachioed French national worked as a chimney sweep as a teenager before becoming one of France’s leading cyclists. Caked in mud, the diminutive Garin crossed the finish line in Lyon a little more than 17 hours after the start outside Paris. In spite of the race’s length, he won by only one minute.

“The Little Chimney Sweep” built his lead as the race progressed. By the fifth stage, Garin had a two-hour advantage. When his nearest competitor suffered two flat tires and fell asleep while resting on the side of the road, Garin captured the stage and the Tour was all but won.

The sixth and final stage, the race’s longest, began in Nantes at 9 p.m. on July 18, so that spectators could watch the riders arrive in Paris late the following afternoon. Garin strapped on a green armband to signify his position as race leader. (The famed yellow jersey worn by the race leader was not introduced until 1919.) A crowd of 20,000 in the Parc des Princes velodrome cheered as Garin won the stage and the first Tour de France. He bested butcher trainee Lucien Pothier by nearly three hours in what remains the greatest winning margin in the Tour’s history. Garin had spent more than 95 hours in the saddle and averaged 15 miles per hour. In all, 21 of the 60 riders completed the Tour, with the last-place rider more than 64 hours behind Garin.

For Desgrange, the race was an unqualified success. Newspaper circulation soared six-fold during the race. However, a chronic problem that would perpetually plague the Tour de France was already present in the inaugural race—cheating. The rule breaking started in the very first stage when Jean Fischer illegally used a car to pace him. Another rider was disqualified in a subsequent stage for riding in a car’s slipstream.

That paled in comparison, however, to the nefarious activity the following year in the 1904 Tour de France. As Garin and a fellow rider pedaled through St. Etienne, fans of hometown rider Antoine Faure formed a human blockade and beat the men until Lefevre arrived and fired a pistol to break up the melee. Later in the race, fans protesting the disqualification of a local rider placed tacks and broken glass on the course. Riders acted little better. They hitched rides in cars during the dark and illegally took help from outsiders. Garin himself was accused of illegally obtaining food during a portion of one stage. The race was so plagued by scandal that four months later Desgrange disqualified Garin and the three other top finishers. It, of course, wouldn’t be the last time a Tour winner was stripped of his title.


10 Tour De France Facts You (Probably) Didn't Know That Will Send You Into A Spin

Life is a numbers game. We&rsquore not talking Henry Hill and Goodfellas here, the mob-run racket that got you whacked for daring to miss a payment. No. The point here is that life actually does come down to numbers. Whether you win or lose, succeed or fail, the numbers never lie. We will be defined by the numbers that make up our life.

Take the founder of the Tour de France, Henri Desgrange. He dreamt up the idea of creating a race to raise the profile of L&rsquoAuto, the newspapers he edited at the time. The first event kicked off in 1903 and hasn&rsquot stopped since. This year's competition will run from June 26 (this Saturday) to July 18.

In honour of Monsieur Desgrange, and his life&rsquos work, we give you the stunning stats you (probably) didn&rsquot know about the Tour de France&hellip

For starters, an estimated 12 million spectators are estimated to line up along the route every single year, but the figure pales in comparison to the television viewing figures. An incredible 3.5 billion people tuned into the Tour de France in 2018. Only two sporting events worldwide beat it, the 2018 World Cup, with 3.6 billion views and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, out in front with a whopping 4.7 billion viewers. But they only happen every four years, so Tour De France wins by default. Our decision is final.

The race, also known as La Grande Boucle, includes 21 stages and covers 3,470 kilometers (2156 miles) - the equivalent of riding from London to Syria. Just think about that when you next hear someone boast about their gentle evening bike ride.

They may look like lean, mean, cycling machines, but you would need to power through 482 Big Macs across the three weeks to pedal to the finish-line. Or 217 bottles of champagne - when in France, right? - for those who prefer their calories in liquid form. The average Tour de France contestant has to consume a gargantuan 123,900 calories over the course of the three weeks, and each cyclist will burn between 4,000 and 5,000 calories during each stage of the race. Burn baby, burn.

Around 790 tyres will be used by each team, and 405,000 pedal strokes will be executed by each individual rider. That&rsquos taking pedal power to a whole new level. And with all that pedalling comes sweat, a hell of a lot of it. 130 litres of perspiration per rider to be exact, each will sweat enough to fill two baths, or flush a toilet 39 times as they parade around La République Française (and a tiny bit of Spain). Take the bath, you need it!

Last year, Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia was crowned the second-youngest winner of the Tour. He was 21, but two years older than the competition's youngest ever winner.

Henri Cornet set the standard way back in the Tour&rsquos sophomore season in 1904, and 116 years later he remains the youngest cyclist ever to win the Tour de France. Which begs the question - what had you achieved by 19? The oldest winner of the competition was Firmin Lambot in 1922, achieving the feat aged 36 years and four months old.

It took 16 years for the world famous yellow jersey, awarded to each stage winner in the classification, to be introduced into the race, making its debut in 1919. The chosen colour is likely due to L&rsquoAuto newspaper being printed on distinctive yellow paper. That canny Monsieur Desgrange never missed a trick! Since the competition began, there have been 2,163 stages and five-time champion, Eddy Merdyx, has worn the maillot jaune a record 96 times.

So you&rsquove got your yellow jersey. Any old average Joe with no knowledge of the Tour knows that. If that&rsquos all you want to know, get on Tipping Point. But there&rsquos also the green, white and polka dot jerseys. This is the kosher knowledge you&rsquoll need to beat Kevin on Eggheads. And who doesn&rsquot want to beat Kevin on Eggheads? The Polka Dot, or the &lsquomaillot à pois rouge&rsquo if you want to impress your mates, is worn by the cyclist with the best accumulated time in the mountain segments, the Green, &lsquomaillot vert&rsquo, is worn by the points (awarded for intermediate and final sprints on flat terrain) classification leader. And finally, there&rsquos the &lsquomaillot blanc&rsquo, (no need for Google Translate on this one), the White Jersey worn by the Tour's best rider aged 25 and younger.

Americans dominate the global sports scene. They&rsquore top of the pack at the Olympics when the Games roll around, and their athletes are perhaps the most celebrated and decorated of any nation. But only one American has ever won the Tour de France. The triple-champion Greg LeMond was literally on top of Le Monde after steaming to victory three times in four years between 1986 and 1990. Of course, you know where this is leading: Lance Armstrong&rsquos turns-out-it-was-actually-impossible seven consecutive titles (1999 - 2005) have been scrapped from the record books, as has his compatriot Floyd Landis (2006). Naughty!

The first winner of the Tour de France was Maurice Garin. Bon, Garin, bon. Unsatisfied with his victory, nor as the proud owner of moustache of the century, he won again in 1904. However, it wasn&rsquot to last, as Garin was disqualified for cheating. There weren't any performance-enhancing drugs involved in this scam though. Instead of cycling his way to the win, Garin had been caught taking the train.


Contents

Prehistory and antiquity Edit

The origin of the name Corsica is subject to much debate and remains a mystery. To the Ancient Greeks it was known as Kalliste, Corsis, Cyrnos, Cernealis, or Cirné. The last three variations derive from the most ancient Greek name of the island, " Σειρηνούσσαι " ("Seirinoussai", meaning of the Sirens) — the very same Sirens mentioned in Homer's Odyssey.

Corsica has been occupied continuously since the Mesolithic era. Its population was influential in the Mediterranean during its long prehistory.

After a brief occupation by the Carthaginians, colonization by the ancient Greeks, and an only slightly longer occupation by the Etruscans, it was incorporated by the Roman Republic at the end of the First Punic War and, with Sardinia, in 238 BC became a province of the Roman Republic. [1] The Romans, who built a colony in Aléria, considered Corsica as one of the most backward regions of the Roman world. The island produced sheep, honey, resin and wax, and exported many slaves, not well considered because of their fierce and rebellious character. [1] Moreover, it was known for its cheap wines, exported to Rome, and was used as a place of relegation, one of the most famous exiles being the Roman philosopher Seneca. [2] Administratively, the island was divided into pagi, which in the Middle Ages became the pievi, the basic administrative units of the island until 1768. [1] During the diffusion of Christianity, which arrived quite early from Rome and the Tuscan harbors, Corsica was home to many martyrs and saints: among them, the most important are Saint Devota and Saint Julia, both patrons of the island. Corsica was integrated into Roman Italy by Emperor Diocletian ( r . 284–305 ).

Middle Ages and early-modern era Edit

In the 5th century, the western half of the Roman Empire collapsed, and the island was invaded by the Vandals and the Ostrogoths. [1] Briefly recovered by the Byzantines, it soon became part of the Kingdom of the Lombards. This made it a dependency of the March of Tuscany, which used it as an outpost against the Saracens. [3] Pepin the Short, king of the Franks and Charlemagne's father, expelled the Lombards and nominally granted Corsica to Pope Stephen II. [3] In the first quarter of the 11th century, Pisa and Genoa together freed the island from the threat of Arab invasion. [3] After that, the island came under the influence of the republic of Pisa. [3] To this period belong the many polychrome churches which adorn the island, and Corsica also experienced a massive immigration from Tuscany, which gave to the island its present toponymy and rendered the language spoken in the northern two-thirds of the island very close to the Tuscan dialect. [3] Due to that, then began also the traditional division of Corsica in two parts, along the main chain of mountains roughly going from Calvi to Porto-Vecchio: the eastern Banda di dentro, or Cismonte, more populated, evolved and open to the commerce with Italy, and the western Banda di fuori, or Pomonte, almost deserted, wild and remote. [3]

The crushing defeat experienced by Pisa in 1284 in the Battle of Meloria against Genoa had among its consequences the end of the Pisan rule and the beginning of the Genoese influence in Corsica: [3] this was contested initially by the King of Aragon, who in 1296 had received from the Pope the investiture over Sardinia and Corsica. [4] A popular revolution against this and the feudal lords, led by Sambucuccio d'Alando, got the aid of Genoa. After that, the Cismonte was ruled as a league of comuni and churches, after the Italian experience. [4] The following 150 years were a period of conflict, when the Genoese rule was contested by Aragon, the local lords, the comuni and the Pope: finally, in 1450 Genoa ceded the administration of the island to its main bank, the Bank of Saint George, which brought peace. [5]

In the 16th century, the island entered into the fight between Spain and France for the supremacy in Italy. [5] In 1553, a Franco-Ottoman fleet occupied Corsica, but the reaction of Spain and Genoa, led by Andrea Doria, reestablished the Genoese supremacy on the island, confirmed by the Peace of Cateau-Cambresis. [6] The unlucky protagonist of this episode was Sampiero di Bastelica, who would later come to be considered a hero of the island. Their power reinstated, the Genoese did not allow the Corsican nobility to share in the government of the island, and oppressed the inhabitants with a heavy tax burden. On the other hand, they introduced the chestnut tree on a large scale, improving the diet of the population, and built a chain of towers along the coast to defend Corsica from the attacks of the Barbary pirates from North Africa. [7] The period of peace lasted until 1729, when the refusal to pay taxes by a peasant sparked the general insurrection of the island against Genoa. [8]

The island became known for the large number of mercenary soldiers and officers it produced. In 1743, over 4,600 Corsicans, or 4% of the entire population of the island, were serving as soldiers in various armies (predominantly those of Genoa, Venice, and Spain), making it one of the most militarized societies in Europe. [9]

Rise and annexation of the Corsican Republic Edit

In 1729 the Corsican Revolution for independence from Genoa began, first led by Luiggi Giafferi and Giacinto Paoli, and later by Paoli's son, Pasquale Paoli. After 26 years of struggle against the Republic of Genoa (plus an ephemeral attempt to proclaim in 1736 an independent Kingdom of Corsica under the German adventurer Theodor von Neuhoff), the independent Corsican Republic was proclaimed in 1755 under the leadership of Pasquale Paoli and remained sovereign until 1769, when the island was conquered by France. The first Corsican Constitution was written in Italian (the language of culture in Corsica until the middle of the 19th century) by Paoli.

The Corsican Republic was unable to eject the Genoese from the major coastal fortresses (Calvi and Bonifacio). After the Corsican conquest of Capraia, a small island of the Tuscan Archipelago, in 1767, the Republic of Genoa, exhausted by forty years of fighting, decided to sell the island to France which, after its defeat in the Seven Years' War, was trying to reinforce its position in the Mediterranean. In 1768, with the Treaty of Versailles, the Genoese republic conceded the region to the French troops to subdue the rebels and Genoa had to pay for the costs, the French though remained in forts and never seriously faced the rebellion in order to make the expenditure costs of the army levitate and induce the Genoese to not being able to afford to pay the debt, later French reclaimed so rights to occupy the island but that was never actually ceded or approved by the Republic of Genoa. After an initial successful resistance culminating with the victory at Borgo, the Corsican republic was crushed by a large French army led by the Count of Vaux at the Battle of Ponte Novu. This marked the end of Corsican sovereignty. Despite triggering the Corsican Crisis in Britain, whose government gave secret aid, no foreign military support came for the Corsicans. However, nationalist feelings still ran high. Despite the conquest, Corsica was not incorporated into the French state until 1789.

Following the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, Pasquale Paoli was able to return to Corsica from exile in Britain. In 1794, he invited British forces under Lord Hood to intervene to free Corsica from French rule. Anglo-Corsican forces drove the French from the island and established an Anglo-Corsican Kingdom. Following Spain's entry into the war, the British decided to withdraw from Corsica in 1796. Corsica returned to French rule.

19th century Edit

Despite being the birthplace of the Emperor, who had supported Paoli in his youth, the island was neglected by Napoleon's government. [10] In 1814, near the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Corsica was briefly occupied again by British troops. The Treaty of Bastia gave the British crown sovereignty over the island, but it was later repudiated by Lord Castlereagh who insisted that the island should be returned to a restored French monarchy.

After the restoration, the island was further neglected by the French state. Despite the presence of a middle class in Bastia and Ajaccio, Corsica remained an otherwise primitive place, whose economy consisted mainly of a subsistence agriculture, and whose population constituted a pastoral society, dominated by clans and the rules of vendetta. The code of vendetta required Corsicans to seek deadly revenge for offences against their family's honor. Between 1821 and 1852, no fewer than 4,300 murders were perpetrated in Corsica. [11] During the first half of the century, the people of Corsica were still immersed in the Italian cultural world: the bourgeoisie sent children to Pisa to study, official acts were enacted in Italian and most books were printed in Italian. [12] Moreover, many islanders sympathised with the national struggle which was taking place in nearby Italy in those years: several political refugees from the peninsula, like Niccolò Tommaseo, spent years in the island, while some Corsicans, like Count Leonetto Cipriani [fr] , took active part in the fights for Italian independence.

Despite all that, during those years the Corsicans began to feel a stronger and stronger attachment to France. The reasons for that are manifold: the knowledge of the French language, which thanks to the mandatory primary school started to penetrate among the local youth, the high prestige of French culture, the awareness of being part of a big, powerful state, the possibility of well-paid jobs as civil servants, both in the island, in the mainland and in the colonies, the prospect of serving the French army during the wars for the conquest of the colonial empire, the introduction of steamboats, which reduced the travel time between mainland France from the island drastically, and — last but not least — Napoleon himself, whose existence alone constituted an indissoluble link between France and Corsica. Thanks to all these factors by around 1870 Corsica had landed in the French cultural world. [12]

From the 19th century into the mid-20th century, Corsicans also grew closer to the French nation through participation in the French Empire. Compared to much of Metropolitan France, Corsica was poor and many Corsicans emigrated. While Corsicans emigrated globally, especially to many South American countries, many chose to move within the French Empire which acted as a conduit for emigration and eventual return, as many young Corsican men could find better job opportunities in the far corners of the Empire where many other French hesitated to go. In many parts of the Empire, Corsicans were strongly represented, such as in Saigon where in 1926 12% of European were from Corsica. [13] Across the French Empire, many Corsicans retained a sense of community by establishing organizations where they would meet regularly, keep one another informed of developments in Corsica, and come to one anothers’ aid in times of need. [14]

Modern Corsica Edit

Corsica paid a high price for the French victory in the First World War: agriculture was disrupted by the years-long absence of almost all of the young workers, and the percentage of dead or wounded Corsicans in the conflict was double that of those from mainland France. Moreover, the protectionist policies of the French government, started in the 1880s and never stopped, had ruined the Corsican export of wine and olive oil, and forced many young Corsicans to emigrate to mainland France or to the Americas. As reaction to these conditions, a nationalist movement was born in the 1920s around the newspaper A Muvra, having as its objective the autonomy of the island from France. In the 1930s, many exponents of this movement became irredentist, seeing annexation of the island to fascist Italy as the only solution to its problems. Under Benito Mussolini annexation of Corsica had become one of the main goals of Italy's unification policy.

After the collapse of France to the German Wehrmacht in 1940, Corsica came under the rule of the Vichy French regime, which was collaborating with Nazi Germany. [15] In November 1942 the island was occupied by Italian and German forces following the Anglo-American landings in North Africa. After the Italian armistice in September 1943, Italian and Free French Forces pushed the Germans out of the island, making Corsica the first French Department to be freed. [16] Subsequently, the US military established 17 airfields, nicknamed "USS Corsica", which served as bases for attacks on targets in German-occupied Italy.

The Corsicans who promoted the ideal of Corsican irredentism published mainly in Italy, because of the persecutions from the French regime in the island in the first half of the 20th century. Many Corsicans, notably Petru Giovacchini, Simon Petru Cristofini and Marco Angeli di Sartèna, supported Italian irredentism on the island. Cristofini was executed by the French authorities Angeli and Giovacchini were also condemned to death, but they escaped in Italy.

During the May 1958 crisis, the French military command in Algeria mutinied against the French Fourth Republic and on 24 May occupied the island in an action called Opération Corse that led to the collapse of the government the second phase of the coup attempt, occupying Paris, was cancelled following the establishment of a transitional government under Charles de Gaulle. [17]

Between the late fifties and the seventies, proposals to conduct underground nuclear tests in the mines of Argentella, the immigration of 18,000 former settlers from Algeria ("Pieds-Noirs") in the eastern plains, and continuing chemical pollution (Fanghi Rossi) from mainland Italy increased tensions between the indigenous inhabitants and the French government. Tensions escalated until an armed police assault on a pieds-noirs-owned wine cellar in Aleria, occupied by Corsican nationalists on 23 August 1975. This marked the beginning of the Corsican conflict, an armed nationalist struggle against the French government. Ever since, Corsican nationalism has been a feature of the island's politics, with calls for greater autonomy and protection for Corsican culture and the Corsican language, or even full independence. Some also support the union of Corsica to Italy. [18] Some groups supporting independence, such as the National Liberation Front of Corsica, have carried out a violent campaign that includes bombings and assassinations targeting buildings and officials representing the French government periodic flare-ups of raids and killings culminated in the assassination of Prefect Claude Érignac in 1998.

In 2013, Corsica hosted the first three stages of the 100th Tour de France, which passed through the island for the first time in the event's 110-year history. [ citation needed ]

Murder rate in Europe Edit

In 2013, Corsica had the highest murder rate in Europe which were the result of family feuds between clans on the island and vendettas or revenge actions against insults against the honor of a family. [19] Corsica still had the highest murder rate in 2020. The most common victims of gun murders are prominent business people or local mayors. [20]


The Tour to the power of 10

At the turn of each decade, the Tour de France has gone through organisational changes and backstage struggles that have variously turned out to be decisive or utterly inconsequential. Our journey back in time begins in 1910 with journalist-organiser Alphonse Steinès, who was tasked with reconnoitring the course before the riders were sent on their first high-mountain challenge, in the Pyrenees. He was the first winner on the Tourmalet!

110 years ago, the organisers of the Tour de France were already looking for new ways of spicing up the race, be it with rule changes or with gruelling new courses. At the office of the newspaper L'Auto, the most audacious and creative of these visionaries was Alphonse Steinès, Henri Desgrange's odd-job man. He was the one who had first come up with the idea of letting the riders cross swords on the highest roads of the Pyrenees, at a time when the Tour de France had never gone higher than the 1,326 m Col de Porte and sporadic visits to Col Bayard (1,264 m), the Ballon d'Alsace (1,178 m) and Col de la République (1,161 m). The course of the 1910 edition spelled double trouble for the peloton, featuring a mountain stage from Perpignan to Luchon and an even more fearsome one from Luchon to Bayonne. Desgrange, every bit as reluctant as he had been a few years earlier when Géo Lefèvre had first suggested organising the Tour de France, decided to send Steinès to find out first-hand just how ridiculous his idea was. According to Desgrange, wanting to climb the Tourmalet was insane, not to mention the fact that the road was impassable.

Steinès, not one to give up easily or pass up the opportunity to go on a trip, took Desgrange at his word, jumped behind the wheel of his trusted Dietrich and headed to the Pyrenees. Although Steinès hit the road in late June, the previous winter had been harsh and long in the region, and snow had been reported at high altitude only two weeks earlier. Our very special correspondent found that the Tourmalet lived up to its ominous name (bad detour), seeing only a few bears and the occasional intrepid shepherd. The recce quickly deteriorated into an adventure and then into a nightmare after leaving Sainte-Marie-de-Campan. Steinès was forced to abandon his car and spend hours marching towards Barèges, on the other side of the massif. Once there, he wired Desgrange a reassuring message: "Crossed Tourmalet&hellip STOP&hellip Perfectly passable&hellip STOP."

"Keep in mind that going over the mountain passes,

even when rehabilitated, will be no child's play.

It will require the biggest effort that any rider has ever made."

It was just a bluff. He knew his boss was right to be concerned, as he freely admitted when recounting the ascent, which he described as an odyssey, in his column in L'Auto of 1 July: "Even if I lived to the ripe old age of 100, I would never forget the adventure of my struggle against the mountain, the snow, the ice, the clouds, the ravines, hunger, thirst&hellip against everything. Trying to go over the pass in its current condition would be madness. My reckless gamble almost cost me my life. No more, no less." Quite the dramatic account. Steinès explained how, after covering the last two kilometres of the ascent on foot with a shepherd as a guide, he tackled the descent alone in the dark, got lost in a snow drift and fell into a freezing river, which he used to find the direction of the valley.

After this brief introduction, which cast our hero from Luxembourg as the earliest predecessor of climbers such as Charly Gaul and the Schleck Bros., the piece set out Steinès's rationale on the feasibility of sending the riders into such inhospitable terrain. "The Col du Tourmalet and Aubisque are still not smoother than the concrete of the Parc des Princes, but based on what I saw, they will be passable once rehabilitated. What the hell, the Tour de France is no walk in the park! Keep in mind that going over the mountain passes, even when rehabilitated, will be no child's play. It will require the biggest effort that any rider has ever made." In somewhat different words, Octave Lapize confirmed this assessment three weeks later when he became the first rider to reach the top of the Tourmalet, albeit on foot. Coming across Victor Breyer &mdashone of Steinès's colleagues in L'Auto&mdash at the summit, the man who would go on to win the stage did not mince his words: "You are murderers! No-one can ask men to make an effort like this." Since the Giant of the Pyrenees made its debut in 1910, the peloton of the Tour de France has climbed it no fewer than 84 times &mdashand Thibaut Pinot certainly looked much happier than "Tatave" when he crested the mountain last summer.


Contents

Origins Edit

The Tour de France was created in 1903. The roots of the Tour de France trace back to the emergence of two rival sports newspapers in the country. On one hand was Le Vélo, the first and the largest daily sports newspaper in France, [13] which sold 80,000 copies a day [14] on the other was L'Auto, which had been set up by journalists and businesspeople including Comte Jules-Albert de Dion, Adolphe Clément, and Édouard Michelin in 1899. The rival paper emerged following disagreements over the Dreyfus Affair, a cause célèbre (in which the 'anti-Dreyfusard' de Dion was implicated) that divided France at the end of the 19th century over the innocence of Alfred Dreyfus, a French army officer convicted—though later exonerated—of selling military secrets to the Germans. [n 1] The new newspaper appointed Henri Desgrange as the editor. He was a prominent cyclist and owner with Victor Goddet of the velodrome at the Parc des Princes. [15] De Dion knew him through his cycling reputation, through the books and cycling articles that he had written, and through press articles he had written for the Clément tyre company.

L'Auto was not the success its backers wanted. Stagnating sales lower than the rival it was intended to surpass led to a crisis meeting on 20 November 1902 on the middle floor of L'Auto's office at 10 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, Paris. The last to speak was the most junior there, the chief cycling journalist, a 26-year-old named Géo Lefèvre. [16] Desgrange had poached him from Giffard's paper. [17] Lefèvre suggested a six-day race of the sort popular on the track but all around France. [17] Long-distance cycle races were a popular means to sell more newspapers, but nothing of the length that Lefèvre suggested had been attempted. [n 2] If it succeeded, it would help L'Auto match its rival and perhaps put it out of business. [18] It could, as Desgrange said, "nail Giffard's beak shut." [19] [20] Desgrange and Lefèvre discussed it after lunch. Desgrange was doubtful, but the paper's financial director, Victor Goddet, was enthusiastic. He handed Desgrange the keys to the company safe and said: "Take whatever you need." [21] L'Auto announced the race on 19 January 1903.

The first Tour de France (1903) Edit

The first Tour de France was staged in 1903. The plan was a five-stage race from 31 May to 5 July, starting in Paris and stopping in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Nantes before returning to Paris. Toulouse was added later to break the long haul across southern France from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Stages would go through the night and finish next afternoon, with rest days before riders set off again. But this proved too daunting and the costs too great for most [23] and only 15 competitors had entered. Desgrange had never been wholly convinced and he came close to dropping the idea. [24] Instead, he cut the length to 19 days, changed the dates to 1 to 19 July, and offered a daily allowance to those who averaged at least 20 kilometres per hour (12 mph) on all the stages, [25] equivalent to what a rider would have expected to earn each day had he worked in a factory. [26] He also cut the entry fee from 20 to 10 francs and set the first prize at 12,000 francs and the prize for each day's winner at 3,000 francs. The winner would thereby win six times what most workers earned in a year. [26] That attracted between 60 and 80 entrants – the higher number may have included serious inquiries and some who dropped out – among them not just professionals but amateurs, some unemployed, and some simply adventurous. [16]

Desgrange seems not to have forgotten the Dreyfus Affair that launched his race and raised the passions of his backers. He announced his new race on 1 July 1903 by citing the writer Émile Zola, whose open letter J'Accuse…! led to Dreyfus's acquittal, establishing the florid style he used henceforth. [27] [28] [29]

The first Tour de France started almost outside the Café Reveil-Matin at the junction of the Melun and Corbeil roads in the village of Montgeron. It was waved away by the starter, Georges Abran, at 3:16 p.m. on 1 July 1903. L'Auto hadn't featured the race on its front page that morning. [n 3] [30] [31]

Among the competitors were the eventual winner, Maurice Garin, his well-built rival Hippolyte Aucouturier, the German favourite Josef Fischer, and a collection of adventurers, including one competing as "Samson". [n 4]

Many riders dropped out of the race after completing the initial stages, as the physical effort the tour required was just too much. Only a mere 24 entrants remained at the end of the fourth stage. [32] The race finished on the edge of Paris at Ville d'Avray, outside the Restaurant du Père Auto, before a ceremonial ride into Paris and several laps of the Parc des Princes. Garin dominated the race, winning the first and last two stages, at 25.68 kilometres per hour (15.96 mph). The last rider, Millocheau, finished 64h 47m 22s behind him.

L'Auto's mission was accomplished, as circulation of the publication doubled throughout the race, making the race something much larger than Desgrange had ever hoped for.

1904–1939 Edit

Such was the passion that the first Tour created in spectators and riders that Desgrange said the 1904 Tour de France would be the last. Cheating was rife, and riders were beaten up by rival fans as they neared the top of the col de la République, sometimes called the col du Grand Bois, outside St-Étienne. [33] The leading riders, including the winner Maurice Garin, were disqualified, though it took the Union Vélocipèdique de France until 30 November to make the decision. [34] McGann says the UVF waited so long ". well aware of the passions aroused by the race." [35] Desgrange's opinion of the fighting and cheating showed in the headline of his reaction in L'Auto: THE END. [36] Desgrange's despair did not last. By the following spring, he was planning another Tour—longer, at 11 stages rather than 6—and this time all in daylight to make any cheating more obvious. [37] Stages in 1905 began between 3 am and 7:30 am. [38] The race captured the imagination. L'Auto's circulation swelled from 25,000 to 65,000 [16] by 1908, it was a quarter of a million. The Tour returned after its suspension during World War I and continued to grow, with circulation of L'Auto reaching 500,000 by 1923. The record claimed by Desgrange was 854,000 during the 1933 Tour. [39] Le Vélo, meanwhile, went out of business in 1904.

Desgrange and his Tour invented bicycle stage racing. [40] Desgrange experimented with different ways of judging the winner. Initially he used total accumulated time (as used in the modern Tour de France) [28] but from 1906 to 1912 by points for placings each day. [38] [n 5] Desgrange saw problems in judging both by time and by points. By time, a rider coping with a mechanical problem—which the rules insisted he repair alone—could lose so much time that it cost him the race. Equally, riders could finish so separated that time gained or lost on one or two days could decide the whole race. Judging the race by points removed over-influential time differences but discouraged competitors from riding hard. It made no difference whether they finished fast or slow or separated by seconds or hours, so they were inclined to ride together at a relaxed pace until close to the line, only then disputing the final placings that would give them points. [38]

The format changed over time. The Tour originally ran around the perimeter of France. Cycling was an endurance sport, and the organisers realised the sales they would achieve by creating supermen of the competitors. Night riding was dropped after the second Tour in 1904, when there had been persistent cheating when judges could not see riders. [41] That reduced the daily and overall distance, but the emphasis remained on endurance. Desgrange said his ideal race would be so hard that only one rider would make it to Paris. [42] The first mountain stages (in the Pyrenees) appeared in 1910. Early tours had long multi-day stages, with the format settling on 15 stages from 1910 until 1924. After this, stages were gradually shortened, such that by 1936 there were as many as three stages in a single day. [43] Desgrange initially preferred to see the Tour as a race of individuals. The first Tours were open to whoever wanted to compete. Most riders were in teams that looked after them. The private entrants were called touriste-routiers—tourists of the road—from 1923 [44] and were allowed to take part provided they make no demands on the organisers. Some of the Tour's most colourful characters have been touriste-routiers. One finished each day's race and then performed acrobatic tricks in the street to raise the price of a hotel. Until 1925, Desgrange forbade team members from pacing each other. [45] The 1927 and 1928 Tours, however, consisted mainly of team time-trials, an unsuccessful experiment which sought to avoid a proliferation of sprint finishes on flat stages. [46] Desgrange was a traditionalist with equipment. Until 1930, he demanded that riders mend their bicycles without help and that they use the same bicycle from start to end. Exchanging a damaged bicycle for another was allowed only in 1923. [44] Desgrange stood against the use of multiple gears, and for many years insisted riders use wooden rims, fearing the heat of braking while coming down mountains would melt the glue that held the tires on metal rims (however, they were finally allowed in 1937). [47]

By the end of the 1920s, Desgrange believed he could not beat what he believed were the underhand tactics of bike factories. [48] [49] When in 1929 the Alcyon team contrived to get Maurice De Waele to win even though he was sick, [50] he said, "My race has been won by a corpse". [50] [51] In 1930, Desgrange again attempted to take control of the Tour from teams, insisting competitors enter in national teams rather than trade teams and that competitors ride plain yellow bicycles that he would provide, without a maker's name. [50] There was no place for individuals in the post-1930s teams, and so Desgrange created regional teams, generally from France, to take in riders who would not otherwise have qualified. The original touriste-routiers mostly disappeared, but some were absorbed into regional teams. In 1936, Desgrange had a prostate operation. At the time, two operations were needed the Tour de France was due to fall between them. Desgrange persuaded his surgeon to let him follow the race. [52] The second day proved too much, and, in a fever at Charleville, he retired to his château at Beauvallon. Desgrange died at home on the Mediterranean coast on 16 August 1940. [52] The race was taken over by his deputy, Jacques Goddet. [53] The Tour was again disrupted by War after 1939, and did not return until 1947.

1947–1969 Edit

In 1944, L'Auto was closed—its doors nailed shut—and its belongings, including the Tour, sequestrated by the state for publishing articles too close to the Germans. [54] Rights to the Tour were therefore owned by the government. Jacques Goddet was allowed to publish another daily sports paper, L'Équipe, but there was a rival candidate to run the Tour: a consortium of Sports and Miroir Sprint. Each organised a candidate race. L'Équipe and Le Parisien Libéré had La Course du Tour de France, [55] while Sports and Miroir Sprint had La Ronde de France. Both were five stages, the longest the government would allow because of shortages. [56] L'Équipe's race was better organised and appealed more to the public because it featured national teams that had been successful before the war, when French cycling was at a high. L'Équipe was given the right to organise the 1947 Tour de France. [52] However, L'Équipe's finances were never sound, and Goddet accepted an advance by Émilion Amaury, who had supported his bid to run the postwar Tour. [52] Amaury was a newspaper magnate whose sole condition was that his sports editor, Félix Lévitan, should join Goddet for the Tour. [52] The two worked together—with Goddet running the sporting side, and Lévitan the financial.

On the Tour's return, the format of the race settled on between 20–25 stages. Most stages would last one day, but the scheduling of 'split' stages continued well into the 1980s. 1953 saw the introduction of the Green Jersey 'Points' competition. National teams contested the Tour until 1961. [57] The teams were of different sizes. Some nations had more than one team, and some were mixed in with others to make up the number. National teams caught the public imagination but had a snag: that riders might normally have been in rival trade teams the rest of the season. The loyalty of riders was sometimes questionable, within and between teams. Sponsors were always unhappy about releasing their riders into anonymity for the biggest race of the year, as riders in national teams wore the colours of their country and a small cloth panel on their chest that named the team for which they normally rode. The situation became critical at the start of the 1960s. Sales of bicycles had fallen, and bicycle factories were closing. [58] There was a risk, the trade said, that the industry would die if factories were not allowed the publicity of the Tour de France. The Tour returned to trade teams in 1962. [57] In the same year, Émilion Amaury, owner of le Parisien Libéré, became financially involved in the Tour. He made Félix Lévitan co-organizer of the Tour, and it was decided that Levitan would focus on the financial issues, while Jacques Goddet was put in charge of sporting issues. [59] The Tour de France was meant for professional cyclists, but in 1961 the organisation started the Tour de l'Avenir, the amateur version. [60]

Doping had become a serious problem, culminating in the death of Tom Simpson in 1967, after which riders went on strike, [61] [62] although the organisers suspected sponsors provoked them. The Union Cycliste Internationale introduced limits to daily and overall distances, imposed rest days, and tests were introduced for riders. It was then impossible to follow the frontiers, and the Tour increasingly zig-zagged across the country, sometimes with unconnected days' races linked by train, while still maintaining some sort of loop. The Tour returned to national teams for 1967 and 1968 [63] as "an experiment". [64] The Tour returned to trade teams in 1969 [65][./Tour_de_France#cite_note-FOOTNOTEAugendre199662-70 [65] ] with a suggestion that national teams could come back every few years, but this has not happened since.

1969–1987 Edit

In the early 1970s, the race was dominated by Eddy Merckx, who won the General Classification five times, the Mountains Classification twice, the Points Classification three times, and posted a still-standing record of 34 stage victories. [66] Merckx's dominating style earned him the nickname "The Cannibal". In 1969, he already had a commanding lead when he launched a long-distance solo attack in the mountains which none of the other elite riders could answer, resulting in an eventual winning margin of nearly eighteen minutes. In 1973 he did not win because he did not enter the Tour and his winning streak only truly came to an end when he finished 2nd to Bernard Thevenet in 1975.

During this era, race director Felix Lévitan began to recruit additional sponsors, sometimes accepting prizes in kind if he could not get cash. In 1975, the polka-dot jersey was introduced for the winner of the Mountains Classification. [67] [68] This same year Levitan also introduced the finish of the Tour at the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Since then, this stage has been largely ceremonial and is generally only contested as a prestigious sprinters' stage. (See 'Notable Stages' below for examples of non-ceremonial finishes to this stage.) Occasionally, a rider will be given the honor of leading the rest of the peloton onto the circuit finish in their final Tour, as was the case for Jens Voigt and Sylvain Chavanel, among others.

From the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, the Tour was dominated by Frenchman Bernard Hinault, who would become the third rider to win five times. Hinault was defeated by Joop Zoetemelk in 1980 when he withdrew, and by his own teammate Greg LeMond in 1986, but he was in contention during both of these Tours. Only once in his Tour de France career was he soundly defeated, and this was by Laurent Fignon in 1984. The 1987 edition was more uncertain than past editions, as previous winners Hinault and Zoetemelk had retired, LeMond was absent, and Fignon was suffering from a lingering injury. As such, the race was highly competitive, and the lead changed hands eight times before Stephen Roche won. When Roche won the World Championship later in the season, he became only the second rider (after Merckx) to win cycling's Triple Crown, which meant winning the Giro d'Italia, the Tour and the Road World Cycling Championship in one calendar year.

Levitan helped drive an internationalization of the Tour de France, and cycling in general. [67] Roche was the first winner from Ireland however, in the years leading up to his victory, cyclists from numerous other countries began joining the ranks of the peloton. In 1982, Sean Kelly of Ireland (points) and Phil Anderson of Australia (young rider) became the first winners of any Tour classifications from outside cycling's Continental Europe heartlands, while Lévitan was influential in facilitating the participation in the 1983 Tour by amateur riders from the Eastern Bloc and Colombia. [67] In 1984, for the first time, the Société du Tour de France organized the Tour de France Féminin, a version for women. [n 6] It was run in the same weeks as the men's version, and it was won by Marianne Martin. [69] In the 1986 race, Greg LeMond of the United States became the first non-European winner.

While the global awareness and popularity of the Tour grew during this time, its finances became stretched. [70] Goddet and Lévitan continued to clash over the running of the race. [70] Lévitan launched the Tour of America as a precursor to his plans to take the Tour de France to the US. [70] The Tour of America lost a lot of money, and it appeared to have been cross-financed by the Tour de France. [52] In the years before 1987, Lévitan's position had always been protected by Émilien Amaury, the then owner of ASO, but Émilien Amaury would soon retire and leave son Philippe Amaury responsible. When Lévitan arrived at his office on 17 March 1987, he found that his doors were locked and he was fired. The organisation of the 1987 Tour de France was taken over by Jean-François Naquet-Radiguet. [71] He was not successful in acquiring more funds, and was fired within one year. [72]

Since 1988 Edit

Months before the start of the 1988 Tour, director Jean-François Naquet-Radiguet was replaced by Xavier Louy. [73] In 1988, the Tour was organised by Jean-Pierre Courcol, the director of L'Équipe, then in 1989 by Jean-Pierre Carenso and then by Jean-Marie Leblanc, who in 1989 had been race director. The former television presenter Christian Prudhomme—he commentated on the Tour among other events—replaced Leblanc in 2007, having been assistant director for three years. In 1993 ownership of L'Équipe moved to the Amaury Group, which formed Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) to oversee its sports operations, although the Tour itself is operated by its subsidiary the Société du Tour de France. [74]

1988 onward was arguably the beginning of what can be referred to as the doping era, as a new drug which drug tests were not able to detect began being used known as erythropoietin (EPO). Pedro Delgado won the 1988 Tour de France by a considerable margin, and in 1989 and 1990 Lemond returned from injury and won back-to-back Tours, with the 1989 edition still standing as the closest two-way battle in TDF history, with Lemond claiming an 8-second victory on the final time trial to best Laurent Fignon. The early 1990s was dominated by Spaniard Miguel Indurain, who became such an exceptional time-trialist that it didn't even matter that many top-level riders were experimenting with EPO. He won the time trials by such dominating margins that virtually nobody could compete with him, and as a result he became the first rider to win five Tours in a row. The influx of more international riders continued through this period, as in 1996 and 1997 the race was won for the first time by a rider from Denmark, Bjarne Riis, and a German rider called Jan Ullrich, respectively. During the 1998 Tour de France, a doping scandal known as the Festina Affair shook the sport to its core when it became apparent that there was systematic doping going on in the sport. Numerous riders and a handful of teams were either thrown out of the race, or left of their own free will, and in the end Marco Pantani survived to win his lone Tour in a decimated main field. The 1999 Tour de France was billed as the ‘Tour of Renewal’ as the sport tried to clean up its image following the doping fiasco of the previous year. Initially it seemed to be a Cinderella-type story when cancer survivor Lance Armstrong stole the show on Sestriere and kept on riding to the first of his astonishing seven consecutive Tour de France victories however, in retrospect, 1999 was just the beginning of the doping problem getting much, much worse. Following Armstrong's retirement in 2005, the 2006 edition saw his former teammate Floyd Landis finally get the chance he worked so hard for with a stunning and improbable solo breakaway on Stage 17 in which he set himself up to win the Tour in the final time trial, which he then did. Not long after the Tour was over, however, Landis was accused of doping and had his Tour win revoked. [75]

Over the next few years, a new star in Alberto Contador came onto the scene [76] however, during the 2007 edition, a veteran Danish rider, Michael Rasmussen, was in the Maillot Jaune late in the Tour, in position to win, when his own team sacked him for a possible doping infraction [77] this allowed the rising star Contador to ride mistake-free for the remaining stages to win his first. 2008 saw a Tour where so many riders were doping that, when it went ten days without a single doping incident, it became news. [78] It was during this Tour that a UCI official was quoted as saying, "These guys are crazy, and the sooner they start learning, the better." [79] Roger Legeay, a Directeur Sportif for one of the teams noted how riders were secretly and anonymously buying doping products on the internet. Like Greg LeMond at the beginning of the EPO era, 2008 winner Carlos Sastre was a rider who went his entire career without a single doping incident and between approximately 1994 and 2011 this was the only Tour to have a winner with a clear biological passport. [80] 2009 saw the return of Lance Armstrong and, strangely, after Contador was able to defeat his teammate, the Danish National Anthem was mistakenly played. No Danish rider was in contention in 2009, and Rasmussen, the only Danish rider capable of winning the Tour during this era, was not even in the race. Another rider absent was Floyd Landis, who had asked Armstrong to get him back on a team to ride the Tour once more, but Armstrong refused because Landis was a convicted doper. Landis joined OUCH, an American continental team, and not long after this initiated contact with USADA to discuss Armstrong.

In 2011, Cadel Evans became the first Australian to win the Tour after coming up just short several times in the previous few editions. [81] Very early in his career while making the transition from mountain biking to pro cycling, Evans met with Armstrong's doctor Michele Ferrari one time, but he never again had professional contact with him. [82] The 2012 Tour de France was won by the first British rider to ever win the Tour, Bradley Wiggins, while finishing on the podium just behind him was Chris Froome, who along with Contador became the next big stars to attempt to contest the giants of Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, Indurain and Armstrong. Overshadowing the entire sport at this time, however, was the Lance Armstrong doping case, which finally revealed much of the truth about doping in cycling. [83] As a result, the UCI decided that each of Armstrong's seven wins would be revoked. This decision cleared the names of many people, including lesser-known riders, reporters, team medical staff, and even the wife of a rider who had their reputations tarnished or had been forced from the sport by challenging the Armstrong machine. Much of this only became possible after Floyd Landis came forward to USADA. Also around this time, an investigation by the French government into doping in cycling revealed that way back during the 1998 Tour, close to 90% of the riders who were tested, retroactively tested positive for EPO. [84] The end result of these doping scandals being that in the case of Landis in 2006, and Contador in 2010, new winners were declared in Oscar Pereiro and Andy Schleck, respectively however, in the case of the seven Tours revoked from Armstrong, there was no alternate winner named, as much of Armstrong's competition was just as guilty as he was, and the sport at this point was trying to set the right example for the future generation of riders. The generation from the mid-2010s and beyond seems to be competing on a level playing field without having to make the decision so many riders of the previous generation had to make: to give in and start doping to be competetive, or give up on their dreams.

In 2014, Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali won in one of the most convincing fashions seen in years, making him only the second Italian rider to win the race since the 1960s. Beginning in 2012, and only being interrupted by Nibali's performance in 2014, Team Sky would dominate the peloton for years in an extended manner not seen since Armstrong at US Postal. Froome would win three tours in a row, followed by the first person born in the British Isles to win in Geraint Thomas (Wiggins was born in Belgium and Froome was born in Kenya) followed by the first Colombian to win the Tour in Egan Bernal. It wasn't until 2020 that it became clear that this streak would be broken when the pace set by Team Jumbo-Visma riders Van Aert, Kuss, Roglič and Tom Dumoulin broke their GC favourite in defending champ Egan Bernal on stage 15, he would quit the race soon thereafter. Their string of victories was officially broken by Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates after an impressive effort on the final Individual Time Trial that made him the second rider from Slovenia to wear the Yellow Jersey after Primož Roglič that same year, and the first to win it. [85]

The 2020 Tour was postponed to commence on 29 August, following the French government's extension of a ban on mass gatherings after the COVID-19 outbreak. [86] This was the first time since the end of World War II that the Tour de France was not held in the month of July. [87]

In the local towns and cities that the Tour visits for stage starts and finishes, it is a spectacle that usually shuts these towns down for the day, resulting in a very festive atmosphere, and these events usually require months of planning and preparation. ASO employs around 70 people full-time, in an office facing—but not connected to—L'Équipe in the Issy-les-Moulineaux area of outer western Paris. That number expands to about 220 during the race itself, not including the 500-odd contractors employed to move barriers, erect stages, signpost the route, and other work. [88] ASO now also operates several other major bike races throughout the year.

The oldest and main competition in the Tour de France is known as the "general classification", for which the yellow jersey is awarded the winner of this is said to have won the race. [89] A few riders from each team aim to win overall, but there are three further competitions to draw riders of all specialties: points, mountains, and a classification for young riders with general classification aspirations. [89] The leader of each of the aforementioned classifications wears a distinctive jersey, with riders leading multiple classifications wearing the jersey of the most prestigious that he leads. [89] In addition to these four classifications, there are several minor and discontinued classifications that are competed for during the race. [89]


Contents

The courses of the Tour de France in 1907, 1908 and 1909 had been nearly identical. In 1910, the Pyrenees were included, an initiative from Adolphe Steinès, who had drawn the course for the Tour de France since the first Tour in 1903. [2] Compared to the 1907, 1908 and 1909 Tours, the stages Nîmes-Toulouse and Toulouse-Bayonne were replaced by three stages, Nîmes–Perpignan, Perpignan–Luchon and Luchon–Bayonne. [3]

Tour organiser Henri Desgrange at first refused the inclusion of the Pyrenees, [4] but later gave in and sent Steinès to the Pyrenees to see if it was possible to send cyclists up the mountains. Steinès encountered many difficulties. He went there at 27 January 1910, and asked an innkeeper for directions over the Tourmalet. The innkeeper replied that it is barely crossable in July, so practically impossible in January. Steinès hired a car anyway and rode up the mountain. Close to the top, there was so much snow that the car could not go further, and he continued on foot. Steinès walked during the night, and fell down a ravine. [4] At 3 a.m. he was found by a search party. He quickly got some food and a hot bath. [5] The next morning, he sent a positive telegram to Desgrange: "Have crossed the Tourmalet on foot STOP Road passable to vehicles STOP No snow STOP". [6]

When it was announced that the Pyrenees were included in the race, 136 cyclists had entered the race. After the news, 26 cyclists removed themselves from the starting list. [7] Other newspapers reacted to the Tour's route as "dangerous" and "bizarre". [5]

Also new in 1910 was the broom wagon, to pick up the cyclists that abandoned during the race. [3] This was a reaction of the Tour organisers to the criticism of the cyclists, many cycling independently with no team support, [8] on the difficult mountains. [4] It was designed to prevent riders from cheating, by using other forms of transport. [8] In the tenth stage, over the four mountains in the Pyrenees, cyclists were allowed to finish the stage in the broom wagon and still start the next stage. [4] [8]

What had not changed was the points system. A cyclist received points, based on their rankings. As in 1909, the points system was "cleaned up" two times: after the 9th stage and after the 14th stage. Cyclists who had abandoned the race were removed from the rankings of the previous stages, and the classification was recalculated. [3]

Although cyclist were in 1909 able to register for the Tour with a sponsor, they were still considered to be riding as individuals in 1910 they competed for the first time in teams. [9]

The cyclists were not so enthusiastic about the inclusion of the Pyrenées, and there were fewer participants: 110 instead of 150 in 1909. [2] There were three teams with 10 cyclists each, [10] including all the favourites for the overall victory: Alcyon, Le Globe and Legnano. The French team "La Française" decided not to join, but allowed their cyclists to ride for the Italian Legnano team. [11] The other 80 cyclists rode as individuals, this was called the "isolés" category. [3]

The first stage, from Paris to Roubaix, was won by Charles Crupelandt. In the second stage, François Faber showed his strengths, and won the stage, and took the lead. [2]

On the rest day between the sixth and seventh stage in Nice, cyclist Adolphe Hélière died whilst swimming. He was the first victim of the Tour de France. [3] In the ninth stage, four mountains were climbed, and Desgrange saw how much trouble the cyclists had on these mountains. The tenth stage would include the Pyrenees mountains, so Desgrange left the race and made Victor Breyer the director of the stage. [12] In that tenth stage, the Tourmalet was climbed, the highest point of the 1910 Tour de France. Octave Lapize reached the top first, followed by Gustave Garrigou. Garrigou was the only cyclist who reached the top without dismounting, and received an extra prize of 100 francs for that. [3] The next climb was the Aubisque. Lapize struggled there, and regional rider François Lafourcade lead the race. The organisers had a car standing in top, and when Lafourcade passed them, they did not recognize him, and when they found out it was Lafourcade, they were surprised that such an unknown rider had been able to pass all the 'cracks'. [13] When Lapize passed the organiser's car (15 minutes later), [8] he screamed "Assassins!", [14] and announced that he would give up during the descent. [13] Downhill, he refound his strength and was able to catch up to Lafourcade, and even win the stage. [14] By the end of the stage, ten riders had officially completed the stage on bike. [8]

After the 12th stage, Faber was leading the race by only one point. [15] In that stage to Brest, Faber punctured, [2] and Lapize took over the lead, helped by Garrigou. [2]

In the 14th stage, Faber sped away almost from the start in what could be his last chance to win the Tour de France. It seemed that he had a chance, until a flat tyre caused him to lose time, and Lapize could get back to him, again aided by Garrigou. [2] Lapize improved his lead by winning the stage, and had a six-point margin before the last stage. In that last stage, it was Lapize who suffered from a flat tyre, shortly after the start. [2] Faber raced away, but could not pull off the stunt: he had a flat tyre. [2] He still finished ahead of Lapize, but won back only two points, so the 1910 Tour de France was won by Lapize.

The Alcyon team was dominant in the 1910 Tour de France, winning 9 out of 15 stages. [3]

Stage results Edit

Stage characteristics and winners [3] [16] [17] [18]
Stage Date Course Distance Type [a] Winner Race leader
1 3 July Paris to Roubaix 269 km (167 mi) Plain stage Charles Crupelandt (FRA ) Charles Crupelandt (FRA )
2 5 July Roubaix to Metz 398 km (247 mi) Plain stage François Faber (LUX ) François Faber (LUX )
3 7 July Metz to Belfort 259 km (161 mi) Stage with mountain(s) Emile Georget (FRA ) François Faber (LUX )
4 9 July Belfort to Lyon 309 km (192 mi) Stage with mountain(s) François Faber (LUX ) François Faber (LUX )
5 11 July Lyon to Grenoble 311 km (193 mi) Stage with mountain(s) Octave Lapize (FRA ) François Faber (LUX )
6 13 July Grenoble to Nice 345 km (214 mi) Stage with mountain(s) Julien Maitron (FRA ) François Faber (LUX )
7 15 July Nice to Nîmes 345 km (214 mi) Plain stage François Faber (LUX ) François Faber (LUX )
8 17 July Nîmes to Perpignan 216 km (134 mi) Plain stage Georges Paulmier (FRA ) François Faber (LUX )
9 19 July Perpignan to Luchon 289 km (180 mi) Stage with mountain(s) Octave Lapize (FRA ) François Faber (LUX )
10 21 July Luchon to Bayonne 326 km (203 mi) Stage with mountain(s) Octave Lapize (FRA ) François Faber (LUX )
11 23 July Bayonne to Bordeaux 269 km (167 mi) Plain stage Ernest Paul (FRA ) François Faber (LUX )
12 25 July Bordeaux to Nantes 391 km (243 mi) Plain stage Louis Trousselier (FRA ) François Faber (LUX )
13 27 July Nantes to Brest 321 km (199 mi) Plain stage Gustave Garrigou (FRA ) Octave Lapize (FRA )
14 29 July Brest to Caen 424 km (263 mi) Plain stage Octave Lapize (FRA ) Octave Lapize (FRA )
15 31 July Caen to Paris 262 km (163 mi) Plain stage Ernesto Azzini (ITA ) Octave Lapize (FRA )
Total 4,734 km (2,942 mi) [1]

General classification Edit

Of the 110 starting cyclists, 41 finished. The winner, Octave Lapize, received 5000 francs for his victory. [14] In total, he earned 7525 francs during the race the average daily wages were around 5 to 7 francs. [19]

Final general classification (1–10) [20]
Rank Rider Team Points
1 Octave Lapize (FRA ) Alcyon 63
2 François Faber (LUX ) Alcyon 67
3 Gustave Garrigou (FRA ) Alcyon 86
4 Cyrille van Hauwaert (BEL ) Alcyon 97
5 Charles Cruchon (FRA ) 119
6 Charles Crupelandt (FRA ) Le Globe 148
7 Ernest Paul (FRA ) 154
8 André Blaise (BEL ) Alcyon 166
9 Julien Maitron (FRA ) Le Globe 171
10 Aldo Bettini (ITA ) Alcyon 175
Final general classification (11–41) [20]
Rank Rider Sponsor Points
11 Pierre Albini (ITA ) Legnano 176
12 Georges Paulmier (FRA ) Le Globe 182
13 Ernesto Azzini (ITA ) Legnano 194
14 François Lafourcade (FRA ) Legnano 205
15 Henri Cornet (FRA ) Le Globe 215
16 Jules Deloffre (FRA ) Le Globe 216
17 Constant Ménager (FRA ) Legnano 219
18 Luigi Azzini (ITA ) Legnano 220
19 Augustin Ringeval (FRA ) 243
20 Frédéric Saillot (FRA ) Le Globe 257
21 Maurice Pardon (FRA ) 316
22 Joseph Leblanc (FRA ) 346
23 Georges Fleury (FRA ) 357
24 Joseph Habierre (FRA ) 381
25 François Riou (FRA ) 398
26 Auguste Guyon (SUI ) 402
27 Jean Bouillet (FRA ) 406
28 Lucien Pothier (FRA ) 410
29 Maurice Decaup (FRA ) Legnano 428
30 Lucien Leman (FRA ) 433
31 Gabriel Mathonat (FRA ) 443
32 Robert Chopard (SUI ) 447
33 Pietro Ghislotti (ITA ) 592
34 Lucien Rocquebert (FRA ) 502
35 Georges Cauvry (FRA ) 510
36 Camille Bière (FRA ) 519
37 Auguste Dufour (FRA ) 525
38 Louis Jouin (FRA ) 532
39 René Chaudé (FRA ) 549
40 Louis Picard (FRA ) 568
41 Constant Collet (FRA ) 580

Other classifications Edit

Fifth-placed Charles Cruchon became the winner of the "isolés" category. [21] The organising newspaper l'Auto named Octave Lapize the meilleur grimpeur. This unofficial title is the precursor to the mountains classification. [22]


2019 Tour de France

Caleb Ewan gets his third stage win in his first-ever Tour.

  • Km 24: Côte de Saint-Rémy-les-Chevreuse, 1.3 km @ 6.1%. Cat 4
  • Km 38: Cô de Châteaufort, 0.9km @ 4.9%. Cat. 4

Weather at Paris at 5:40 PM, local time: 24C (76F), mostly cloudy, with the wind from the west-northwest at 18 km/hr (11 mph). No rain is forecast.

The race: 155 riders began the 2019 Tour's final stage at 6:12. The stage started slowly with the riders chatting and sipping champagne before the pack hit the Champs Élysées.

Points leader Peter Sagan and GC leader Egan Bernal as the 2019 Tour final stage begins. Mountains classification leader Romain Bardet in his polka-dot jersey can be seen in the background. Photo: ASO/Alex Broadway

Here's the race organizer's stage summery:

It&rsquos youth on power for the 100 years of the yellow jersey as Australian Tour de France debutant Caleb Ewan claimed his third stage win on the Champs-Elysées and 22 year old Egan Bernal became the first ever Colombian winner.

155 riders took the start of stage 21 in Rambouillet. Yellow jersey holder Egan Bernal had his taste of Champagne at the back of the peloton in front of the cameras as per tradition. The peloton covered 34.4km in the first hour. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) and Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) successively passed the côte de St-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse and the côte de Châteaufort in first position with the acceptance of the rest of the field.

Team Ineos led the peloton as they entered Paris for the grand finale in front of the most prestigious monuments and the Champs-Elysées. Omar Fraile (Astana) and Tom Scully (EF Education First) were the first two riders to go clear off the peloton.

Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida) and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) caught up with the two attackers. With 40km to go, the advantage of the leading quartet didn&rsquot exceed 20&rsquo&rsquo as sprinters&rsquo teams Lotto-Soudal, Deceuninck-Quick Step and Jumbo-Visma got organised early.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas (Ineos) had a flat tyre with 35km remaining and made it back to the pack quickly. Fraile, Scully, Politt and Tratnik forged on and extended their lead to 25&rsquo&rsquo with 25km to go. 15km before the end, only Scully and Tratnik stayed away. Tratnik was last to surrender with the peloton to have 12km to cover while his team-mate Sonny Colbrelli was chasing to come across to the pack with the help of Vincenzo Nibali after a puncture. Michael Matthews (Sunweb) also had a mechanical but got back on with 5km to go.

Earlier achievers Daryl Impey and Julian Alaphilippe, both stage winners, respectively led the pack with 3km to go and under the flamme rouge of the last kilometre at the service of Matteo Trentin and Elia Viviani but it was eventually Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) to launch the sprint from far out.

Niccolo Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie) found an open gap and sped up but it came down to a duel between Dylan Groenewegen and Caleb Ewan. The Dutchman on left hand side of road was pipped by the Australian on right hand side. The last Australian to win on the Champs-Elysées was Robbie McEwen in 2002. The last debutant to win on the Champs-Elysées was Tom Boonen on 2004.

The last debutant to win three stages at the Tour was Peter Sagan in 2012. Egan Bernal is the youngest ever winner of the Tour de France since the inception of the yellow jersey 100 years ago.

Complete results:

128 kilometers raced at an average speed of 41.709 km/hr

1 CALEB EWAN LOTTO SOUDAL 3hr 4min 8sec
2 DYLAN GROENEWEGEN JUMBO-VISMA s.t.
3 NICCOLÒ BONIFAZIO TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE s.t.
4 MAXIMILIANO RICHEZE DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP s.t.
5 EDVALD BOASSON HAGEN DIMENSION DATA s.t.
6 ANDRÉ GREIPEL ARKEA-SAMSIC s.t.
7 MATTEO TRENTIN MITCHELTON-SCOTT s.t.
8 JASPER STUYVEN TREK-SEGAFREDO s.t.
9 NIKIAS ARNDT TEAM SUNWEB s.t.
10 PETER SAGAN BORA-HANSGROHE s.t.
11 SONNY COLBRELLI BAHRAIN-MERIDA s.t.
12 MARCO HALLER KATUSHA ALPECIN s.t.
13 ANDREA PASQUALON WANTY-GOBERT s.t.
14 JULIEN SIMON COFIDIS s.t.
15 HUGO HOULE ASTANA s.t.
16 JENS DEBUSSCHERE KATUSHA ALPECIN s.t.
17 ALEJANDRO VALVERDE MOVISTAR s.t.
18 ELIA VIVIANI DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP s.t.
19 WILLIAM BONNET GROUPAMA-FDJ s.t.
20 SVEN ERIK BYSTRØM UAE TEAM EMIRATES s.t.
21 IVAN GARCIA BAHRAIN-MERIDA s.t.
22 GUILLAUME MARTIN WANTY-GOBERT s.t.
23 TOMS SKUJINS TREK-SEGAFREDO s.t.
24 FREDERIK BACKAERT WANTY-GOBERT s.t.
25 STEFAN KÜNG GROUPAMA-FDJ s.t.
26 PIERRE LUC PERICHON COFIDIS s.t.
27 MIKE TEUNISSEN JUMBO-VISMA s.t.
28 MICHAEL MATTHEWS TEAM SUNWEB s.t.
29 EGAN BERNAL TEAM INEOS s.t.
30 GERAINT THOMAS TEAM INEOS s.t.
31 JONATHAN CASTROVIEJO TEAM INEOS s.t.
32 KOEN DE KORT TREK-SEGAFREDO s.t.
33 MICHAEL MØRKØV DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP s.t.
34 XANDRO MEURISSE WANTY-GOBERT s.t.
35 SEBASTIAN LANGEVELD EF EDUCATION FIRST s.t.
36 STEVEN KRUIJSWIJK JUMBO-VISMA s.t.
37 GORKA IZAGUIRRE ASTANA s.t.
38 NAIRO QUINTANA MOVISTAR s.t.
39 SIMON CLARKE EF EDUCATION FIRST s.t.
40 RIGOBERTO URAN EF EDUCATION FIRST s.t.
41 WARREN BARGUIL ARKEA-SAMSIC s.t.
42 FABIEN GRELLIER TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE s.t.
43 BENJAMIN KING DIMENSION DATA s.t.
44 LAURENS DE PLUS JUMBO-VISMA s.t.
45 ANTHONY ROUX GROUPAMA-FDJ s.t.
46 GREGOR MÜHLBERGER BORA-HANSGROHE s.t.
47 EMANUEL BUCHMANN BORA-HANSGROHE s.t.
48 REINARDT VAN RENSBURG DIMENSION DATA s.t.
49 AMUND JANSEN JUMBO-VISMA s.t.
50 MIKEL LANDA MOVISTAR s.t.
51 IMANOL ERVITI MOVISTAR s.t.
52 JULIEN BERNARD TREK-SEGAFREDO s.t.
53 YVES LAMPAERT DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP s.t.
54 MIKAEL CHEREL AG2R LA MONDIALE @ 19sec
55 ROMAN KREUZIGER DIMENSION DATA 20''
56 ROGER KLUGE LOTTO SOUDAL s.t.
57 WOUT POELS TEAM INEOS s.t.
58 ALBERTO BETTIOL EF EDUCATION FIRST s.t.
59 MICHAEL SCHÄR CCC TEAM s.t.
60 RUDY MOLARD GROUPAMA-FDJ s.t.
61 FLORIAN VACHON ARKEA-SAMSIC s.t.
62 ALEXEY LUTSENKO ASTANA s.t.
63 JASPER DE BUYST LOTTO SOUDAL s.t.
64 AIME DE GENDT WANTY-GOBERT s.t.
65 ANTHONY DELAPLACE ARKEA-SAMSIC s.t.
66 MICHAEL WOODS EF EDUCATION FIRST s.t.
67 JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP s.t.
68 TANEL KANGERT EF EDUCATION FIRST s.t.
69 SERGIO LUIS HENAO UAE TEAM EMIRATES 28''
70 GIULIO CICCONE TREK-SEGAFREDO 29''
71 ANTHONY TURGIS TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE s.t.
72 LILIAN CALMEJANE TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE s.t.
73 ELIE GESBERT ARKEA-SAMSIC s.t.
74 NATNAEL BERHANE COFIDIS s.t.
75 THOMAS DE GENDT LOTTO SOUDAL s.t.
76 DYLAN TEUNS BAHRAIN-MERIDA s.t.
77 ODD CHRISTIAN EIKING WANTY-GOBERT s.t.
78 KEVIN VAN MELSEN WANTY-GOBERT s.t.
79 VEGARD STAKE LAENGEN UAE TEAM EMIRATES s.t.
80 LUKASZ WISNIOWSKI CCC TEAM s.t.
81 JOSEPH ROSSKOPF CCC TEAM s.t.
82 DAVID GAUDU GROUPAMA-FDJ 34''
83 TIESJ BENOOT LOTTO SOUDAL s.t.
84 ROMAIN BARDET AG2R LA MONDIALE s.t.
85 ALEXIS VUILLERMOZ AG2R LA MONDIALE s.t.
86 FABIO ARU UAE TEAM EMIRATES s.t.
87 GIANNI MOSCON TEAM INEOS 37''
88 DYLAN VAN BAARLE TEAM INEOS 38''
89 LARS BAK YTTING DIMENSION DATA s.t.
90 RICHIE PORTE TREK-SEGAFREDO s.t.
91 VINCENZO NIBALI BAHRAIN-MERIDA 41''
92 MATEJ MOHORIC BAHRAIN-MERIDA s.t.
93 NELSON OLIVEIRA MOVISTAR s.t.
94 ADAM YATES MITCHELTON-SCOTT s.t.
95 PELLO BILBAO ASTANA s.t.
96 JESUS HERRADA COFIDIS s.t.
97 ENRIC MAS DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 45''
98 GREG VAN AVERMAET CCC TEAM s.t.
99 JACK HAIG MITCHELTON-SCOTT s.t.
100 RUI COSTA UAE TEAM EMIRATES s.t.
101 KEVIN LEDANOIS ARKEA-SAMSIC s.t.
102 MAXIME BOUET ARKEA-SAMSIC s.t.
103 DANIEL OSS BORA-HANSGROHE 46''
104 DAMIANO CARUSO BAHRAIN-MERIDA s.t.
105 MATTHIEU LADAGNOUS GROUPAMA-FDJ 48''
106 SÉBASTIEN REICHENBACH GROUPAMA-FDJ s.t.
107 FABIO FELLINE TREK-SEGAFREDO s.t.
108 KASPER ASGREEN DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP s.t.
109 DANIEL MARTIN UAE TEAM EMIRATES 51''
110 MICHAEL VALGREN DIMENSION DATA s.t.
111 ALEXANDER KRISTOFF UAE TEAM EMIRATES s.t.
112 SIMON GESCHKE CCC TEAM s.t.
113 SERGE PAUWELS CCC TEAM s.t.
114 MAXIME MONFORT LOTTO SOUDAL s.t.
115 ROMAIN SICARD TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE s.t.
116 PAUL OURSELIN TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE s.t.
117 ANTHONY PEREZ COFIDIS s.t.
118 STÉPHANE ROSSETTO COFIDIS s.t.
119 ALEX DOWSETT KATUSHA ALPECIN s.t.
120 NILS POLITT KATUSHA ALPECIN s.t.
121 SIMON YATES MITCHELTON-SCOTT s.t.
122 AMAEL MOINARD ARKEA-SAMSIC 58''
123 CHAD HAGA TEAM SUNWEB 1' 03''
124 JOSÉ GONÇALVES KATUSHA ALPECIN 1' 04''
125 DARYL IMPEY MITCHELTON-SCOTT 1' 06''
126 OMAR FRAILE ASTANA 1' 18''
127 ANDREY AMADOR MOVISTAR 1' 20''
128 LENNARD KÄMNA TEAM SUNWEB 1' 24''
129 MARCUS BURGHARDT BORA-HANSGROHE s.t.
130 ILNUR ZAKARIN KATUSHA ALPECIN s.t.
131 REIN TAARAMÄE TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE s.t.
132 MATHIAS FRANK AG2R LA MONDIALE 1' 36''
133 ALEXIS GOUGEARD AG2R LA MONDIALE s.t.
134 BENOIT COSNEFROY AG2R LA MONDIALE s.t.
135 CARLOS VERONA MOVISTAR 1' 42''
136 MARC SOLER MOVISTAR s.t.
137 NICOLAS ROCHE TEAM SUNWEB s.t.
138 STEPHEN CUMMINGS DIMENSION DATA s.t.
139 MAGNUS CORT NIELSEN ASTANA s.t.
140 BAUKE MOLLEMA TREK-SEGAFREDO s.t.
141 MICHAEL HEPBURN MITCHELTON-SCOTT 1' 46''
142 LUKE DURBRIDGE MITCHELTON-SCOTT s.t.
143 CHRISTOPHER JUUL JENSEN MITCHELTON-SCOTT s.t.
144 TIM WELLENS LOTTO SOUDAL 1' 48''
145 DRIES DEVENYNS DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 1' 52''
146 YOANN OFFREDO WANTY-GOBERT 1' 53''
147 PATRICK KONRAD BORA-HANSGROHE s.t.
148 JENS KEUKELEIRE LOTTO SOUDAL 2' 18''
149 TONY GALLOPIN AG2R LA MONDIALE 2' 21''
150 MICHAL KWIATKOWSKI TEAM INEOS 2' 30''
151 GEORGE BENNETT JUMBO-VISMA s.t.
152 TOM SCULLY EF EDUCATION FIRST s.t.
153 OLIVER NAESEN AG2R LA MONDIALE s.t.
154 JAN TRATNIK BAHRAIN-MERIDA 3' 00''
155 MADS WÜRTZ KATUSHA ALPECIN 3' 33''

Final GC after stage 21:

  • Final GC leader: Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) Romain Bardet (Ag2r) Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) : Movistar

3,365.8 kilometers raced at an average speed of 40.576 km/hr

1 EGAN BERNAL TEAM INEOS 82hr 57min 0sec
2 GERAINT THOMAS TEAM INEOS @ 1min 11sec
3 STEVEN KRUIJSWIJK JUMBO-VISMA 1' 31''
4 EMANUEL BUCHMANN BORA-HANSGROHE 1' 56''
5 JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 4' 05''
6 MIKEL LANDA MOVISTAR 4' 23''
7 RIGOBERTO URAN EF EDUCATION FIRST 5' 15''
8 NAIRO QUINTANA MOVISTAR 5' 30''
9 ALEJANDRO VALVERDE MOVISTAR 6' 12''
10 WARREN BARGUIL ARKEA-SAMSIC 7' 32''
11 RICHIE PORTE TREK-SEGAFREDO 12' 43''
12 GUILLAUME MARTIN WANTY-GOBERT 22' 08''
13 DAVID GAUDU GROUPAMA-FDJ 24' 03''
14 FABIO ARU UAE TEAM EMIRATES 27' 41''
15 ROMAIN BARDET AG2R LA MONDIALE 30' 28''
16 ROMAN KREUZIGER DIMENSION DATA 36' 09''
17 SÉBASTIEN REICHENBACH GROUPAMA-FDJ 44' 29''
18 DANIEL MARTIN UAE TEAM EMIRATES 45' 21''
19 ALEXEY LUTSENKO ASTANA 48' 52''
20 JESUS HERRADA COFIDIS 51' 57''
21 XANDRO MEURISSE WANTY-GOBERT 56' 47''
22 ENRIC MAS DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 58' 20''
23 LAURENS DE PLUS JUMBO-VISMA 1H 02' 44''
24 GEORGE BENNETT JUMBO-VISMA 1H 04' 40''
25 GREGOR MÜHLBERGER BORA-HANSGROHE 1H 04' 40''
26 WOUT POELS TEAM INEOS 1H 12' 25''
27 TANEL KANGERT EF EDUCATION FIRST 1H 12' 36''
28 BAUKE MOLLEMA TREK-SEGAFREDO 1H 14' 58''
29 ADAM YATES MITCHELTON-SCOTT 1H 16' 50''
30 JULIEN BERNARD TREK-SEGAFREDO 1H 20' 07''
31 GIULIO CICCONE TREK-SEGAFREDO 1H 20' 49''
32 MICHAEL WOODS EF EDUCATION FIRST 1H 21' 00''
33 RUDY MOLARD GROUPAMA-FDJ 1H 21' 17''
34 MIKAEL CHEREL AG2R LA MONDIALE 1H 22' 32''
35 PATRICK KONRAD BORA-HANSGROHE 1H 24' 35''
36 GREG VAN AVERMAET CCC TEAM 1H 27' 56''
37 MARC SOLER MOVISTAR 1H 35' 45''
38 JACK HAIG MITCHELTON-SCOTT 1H 36' 59''
39 VINCENZO NIBALI BAHRAIN-MERIDA 1H 37' 02''
40 LENNARD KÄMNA TEAM SUNWEB 1H 39' 36''
41 ALEXIS VUILLERMOZ AG2R LA MONDIALE 1H 40' 12''
42 GORKA IZAGUIRRE ASTANA 1H 40' 17''
43 JASPER STUYVEN TREK-SEGAFREDO 1H 43' 42''
44 DYLAN TEUNS BAHRAIN-MERIDA 1H 44' 17''
45 NICOLAS ROCHE TEAM SUNWEB 1H 47' 20''
46 DYLAN VAN BAARLE TEAM INEOS 1H 51' 39''
47 SERGIO LUIS HENAO UAE TEAM EMIRATES 1H 52' 37''
48 MATHIAS FRANK AG2R LA MONDIALE 1H 53' 51''
49 SIMON YATES MITCHELTON-SCOTT 1H 53' 54''
50 JONATHAN CASTROVIEJO TEAM INEOS 1H 54' 22''
51 ILNUR ZAKARIN KATUSHA ALPECIN 1H 55' 57''
52 MATTEO TRENTIN MITCHELTON-SCOTT 1H 57' 38''
53 RUI COSTA UAE TEAM EMIRATES 1H 59' 02''
54 PELLO BILBAO ASTANA 1H 59' 10''
55 ANDREY AMADOR MOVISTAR 1H 59' 55''
56 TONY GALLOPIN AG2R LA MONDIALE 2H 03' 00''
57 PIERRE LUC PERICHON COFIDIS 2H 05' 35''
58 DAMIANO CARUSO BAHRAIN-MERIDA 2H 07' 16''
59 TIESJ BENOOT LOTTO SOUDAL 2H 07' 33''
60 THOMAS DE GENDT LOTTO SOUDAL 2H 10' 33''
61 SIMON CLARKE EF EDUCATION FIRST 2H 11' 43''
62 BENJAMIN KING DIMENSION DATA 2H 12' 00''
63 SIMON GESCHKE CCC TEAM 2H 13' 25''
64 NILS POLITT KATUSHA ALPECIN 2H 14' 28''
65 FABIO FELLINE TREK-SEGAFREDO 2H 15' 03''
66 REIN TAARAMÄE TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 2H 15' 42''
67 MICHAEL MATTHEWS TEAM SUNWEB 2H 16' 34''
68 ALBERTO BETTIOL EF EDUCATION FIRST 2H 19' 06''
69 OLIVER NAESEN AG2R LA MONDIALE 2H 19' 13''
70 MICHAEL SCHÄR CCC TEAM 2H 19' 45''
71 OMAR FRAILE ASTANA 2H 19' 52''
72 DARYL IMPEY MITCHELTON-SCOTT 2H 24' 58''
73 JOSEPH ROSSKOPF CCC TEAM 2H 26' 36''
74 MAXIME BOUET ARKEA-SAMSIC 2H 28' 04''
75 MICHAEL VALGREN DIMENSION DATA 2H 28' 07''
76 EDVALD BOASSON HAGEN DIMENSION DATA 2H 28' 19''
77 SERGE PAUWELS CCC TEAM 2H 32' 14''
78 ELIE GESBERT ARKEA-SAMSIC 2H 33' 02''
79 NELSON OLIVEIRA MOVISTAR 2H 35' 51''
80 ROMAIN SICARD TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 2H 38' 26''
81 TOMS SKUJINS TREK-SEGAFREDO 2H 39' 50''
82 PETER SAGAN BORA-HANSGROHE 2H 44' 24''
83 MICHAL KWIATKOWSKI TEAM INEOS 2H 46' 14''
84 GIANNI MOSCON TEAM INEOS 2H 47' 23''
85 SONNY COLBRELLI BAHRAIN-MERIDA 2H 48' 27''
86 NATNAEL BERHANE COFIDIS 2H 49' 25''
87 ANTHONY PEREZ COFIDIS 2H 51' 36''
88 ANDREA PASQUALON WANTY-GOBERT 2H 53' 25''
89 DANIEL OSS BORA-HANSGROHE 2H 54' 57''
90 ANTHONY DELAPLACE ARKEA-SAMSIC 2H 55' 03''
91 HUGO HOULE ASTANA 2H 56' 11''
92 AMAEL MOINARD ARKEA-SAMSIC 2H 59' 17''
93 JAN TRATNIK BAHRAIN-MERIDA 3H 00' 37''
94 TIM WELLENS LOTTO SOUDAL 3H 01' 43''
95 PAUL OURSELIN TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 3H 01' 47''
96 STEFAN KÜNG GROUPAMA-FDJ 3H 02' 38''
97 DRIES DEVENYNS DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 3H 02' 42''
98 JENS KEUKELEIRE LOTTO SOUDAL 3H 03' 49''
99 IMANOL ERVITI MOVISTAR 3H 04' 34''
100 STÉPHANE ROSSETTO COFIDIS 3H 05' 15''
101 MIKE TEUNISSEN JUMBO-VISMA 3H 06' 54''
102 ANTHONY ROUX GROUPAMA-FDJ 3H 08' 49''
103 KEVIN LEDANOIS ARKEA-SAMSIC 3H 12' 17''
104 MAGNUS CORT NIELSEN ASTANA 3H 12' 22''
105 CARLOS VERONA MOVISTAR 3H 13' 05''
106 LILIAN CALMEJANE TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 3H 13' 36''
107 VEGARD STAKE LAENGEN UAE TEAM EMIRATES 3H 15' 24''
108 JULIEN SIMON COFIDIS 3H 17' 08''
109 LUKE DURBRIDGE MITCHELTON-SCOTT 3H 18' 36''
110 SVEN ERIK BYSTRØM UAE TEAM EMIRATES 3H 19' 40''
111 ODD CHRISTIAN EIKING WANTY-GOBERT 3H 19' 58''
112 CHRISTOPHER JUUL JENSEN MITCHELTON-SCOTT 3H 22' 22''
113 BENOIT COSNEFROY AG2R LA MONDIALE 3H 25' 57''
114 IVAN GARCIA BAHRAIN-MERIDA 3H 26' 03''
115 ALEXIS GOUGEARD AG2R LA MONDIALE 3H 27' 10''
116 NIKIAS ARNDT TEAM SUNWEB 3H 27' 43''
117 MADS WÜRTZ KATUSHA ALPECIN 3H 29' 22''
118 JASPER DE BUYST LOTTO SOUDAL 3H 31' 36''
119 MATEJ MOHORIC BAHRAIN-MERIDA 3H 33' 43''
120 FREDERIK BACKAERT WANTY-GOBERT 3H 34' 00''
121 FABIEN GRELLIER TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 3H 35' 12''
122 KASPER ASGREEN DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 3H 38' 18''
123 FLORIAN VACHON ARKEA-SAMSIC 3H 43' 22''
124 REINARDT VAN RENSBURG DIMENSION DATA 3H 44' 10''
125 KOEN DE KORT TREK-SEGAFREDO 3H 44' 48''
126 MATTHIEU LADAGNOUS GROUPAMA-FDJ 3H 45' 11''
127 LUKASZ WISNIOWSKI CCC TEAM 3H 46' 34''
128 JOSÉ GONÇALVES KATUSHA ALPECIN 3H 47' 15''
129 STEPHEN CUMMINGS DIMENSION DATA 3H 49' 45''
130 ELIA VIVIANI DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 3H 52' 37''
131 ANTHONY TURGIS TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 3H 53' 11''
132 CALEB EWAN LOTTO SOUDAL 3H 54' 34''
133 YVES LAMPAERT DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 3H 54' 37''
134 CHAD HAGA TEAM SUNWEB 3H 54' 51''
135 TOM SCULLY EF EDUCATION FIRST 3H 56' 52''
136 AIME DE GENDT WANTY-GOBERT 3H 57' 05''
137 NICCOLÒ BONIFAZIO TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 3H 59' 44''
138 KEVIN VAN MELSEN WANTY-GOBERT 4H 00' 20''
139 ALEXANDER KRISTOFF UAE TEAM EMIRATES 4H 01' 05''
140 AMUND JANSEN JUMBO-VISMA 4H 02' 02''
141 MARCUS BURGHARDT BORA-HANSGROHE 4H 02' 18''
142 MAXIME MONFORT LOTTO SOUDAL 4H 03' 56''
143 WILLIAM BONNET GROUPAMA-FDJ 4H 05' 32''
144 ANDRÉ GREIPEL ARKEA-SAMSIC 4H 07' 00''
145 DYLAN GROENEWEGEN JUMBO-VISMA 4H 07' 10''
146 MICHAEL HEPBURN MITCHELTON-SCOTT 4H 07' 32''
147 LARS BAK YTTING DIMENSION DATA 4H 07' 49''
148 MARCO HALLER KATUSHA ALPECIN 4H 08' 17''
149 MAXIMILIANO RICHEZE DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 4H 10' 05''
150 ROGER KLUGE LOTTO SOUDAL 4H 13' 43''
151 ALEX DOWSETT KATUSHA ALPECIN 4H 14' 39''
152 MICHAEL MØRKØV DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 4H 19' 33''
153 JENS DEBUSSCHERE KATUSHA ALPECIN 4H 29' 07''
154 YOANN OFFREDO WANTY-GOBERT 4H 31' 43''
155 SEBASTIAN LANGEVELD EF EDUCATION FIRST 4H 34' 23''

Final Mountains Classification:

1 ROMAIN BARDET AG2R LA MONDIALE 86 PTS
2 EGAN BERNAL TEAM INEOS 78 PTS
3 TIM WELLENS LOTTO SOUDAL 75 PTS
4 DAMIANO CARUSO BAHRAIN-MERIDA 67 PTS
5 VINCENZO NIBALI BAHRAIN-MERIDA 59 PTS
6 SIMON YATES MITCHELTON-SCOTT 59 PTS
7 NAIRO QUINTANA MOVISTAR 58 PTS
8 ALEXEY LUTSENKO ASTANA 45 PTS
9 STEVEN KRUIJSWIJK JUMBO-VISMA 44 PTS
10 MIKEL LANDA MEANA MOVISTAR 42 PTS
11 EMANUEL BUCHMANN BORA-HANSGROHE 40 PTS
12 THOMAS DE GENDT LOTTO SOUDAL 38 PTS
13 GERAINT THOMAS TEAM INEOS 36 PTS
14 JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 33 PTS
15 MICHAEL WOODS EF EDUCATION FIRST 31 PTS
16 GIULIO CICCONE TREK-SEGAFREDO 30 PTS
17 ALEJANDRO VALVERDE MOVISTAR 30 PTS
18 TIESJ BENOOT LOTTO SOUDAL 28 PTS
19 XANDRO MEURISSE WANTY-GOBERT 27 PTS
20 JULIEN BERNARD TREK-SEGAFREDO 26 PTS
21 WARREN BARGUIL ARKEA-SAMSIC 24 PTS
22 LENNARD KÄMNA TEAM SUNWEB 22 PTS
23 NATNAEL BERHANE COFIDIS 20 PTS
24 RIGOBERTO URAN EF EDUCATION FIRST 20 PTS
25 LAURENS DE PLUS JUMBO-VISMA 20 PTS
26 ADAM YATES MITCHELTON-SCOTT 20 PTS
27 SIMON GESCHKE CCC TEAM 18 PTS
28 SERGE PAUWELS CCC TEAM 17 PTS
29 DYLAN TEUNS BAHRAIN-MERIDA 13 PTS
30 BENJAMIN KING DIMENSION DATA 13 PTS
31 DARYL IMPEY MITCHELTON-SCOTT 10 PTS
32 TOMS SKUJINS TREK-SEGAFREDO 9 PTS
33 GREGOR MÜHLBERGER BORA-HANSGROHE 8 PTS
34 ANTHONY DELAPLACE ARKEA-SAMSIC 8 PTS
35 PELLO BILBAO ASTANA 7 PTS
36 MARC SOLER MOVISTAR 6 PTS
37 SIMON CLARKE EF EDUCATION FIRST 6 PTS
38 ELIE GESBERT ARKEA-SAMSIC 6 PTS
39 ROMAIN SICARD TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 6 PTS
40 LILIAN CALMEJANE TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 6 PTS
41 TONY GALLOPIN AG2R LA MONDIALE 5 PTS
42 OMAR FRAILE ASTANA 5 PTS
43 YOANN OFFREDO WANTY-GOBERT 4 PTS
44 ILNUR ZAKARIN KATUSHA-ALPECIN 4 PTS
45 ANTHONY PEREZ COFIDIS 3 PTS
46 MATTEO TRENTIN MITCHELTON-SCOTT 3 PTS
47 STÉPHANE ROSSETTO COFIDIS 3 PTS
48 ODD CHRISTIAN EIKING WANTY-GOBERT 3 PTS
49 DANIEL MARTIN UAE TEAM EMIRATES 2 PTS
50 GREG VAN AVERMAET CCC TEAM 2 PTS
51 SÉBASTIEN REICHENBACH GROUPAMA-FDJ 2 PTS
52 JESUS HERRADA COFIDIS 2 PTS
53 JASPER DE BUYST LOTTO SOUDAL 2 PTS
54 MICHAEL SCHÄR CCC TEAM 1 PTS
55 LARS BAK YTTING DIMENSION DATA 1 PTS
56 ROMAN KREUZIGER DIMENSION DATA 1 PTS
57 NICOLAS ROCHE TEAM SUNWEB 1 PTS
58 MATHIAS FRANK AG2R LA MONDIALE 1 PTS
59 PIERRE LUC PERICHON COFIDIS 1 PTS
60 CARLOS VERONA MOVISTAR 1 PTS
61 MADS WÜRTZ KATUSHA-ALPECIN 1 PTS
62 KASPER ASGREEN DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 1 PTS
63 AIME DE GENDT WANTY-GOBERT 1 PTS

Final Points Classification:

1 PETER SAGAN BORA-HANSGROHE 316 PTS
2 CALEB EWAN LOTTO SOUDAL 248 PTS
3 ELIA VIVIANI DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 224 PTS
4 SONNY COLBRELLI BAHRAIN-MERIDA 209 PTS
5 MICHAEL MATTHEWS TEAM SUNWEB 201 PTS
6 MATTEO TRENTIN MITCHELTON-SCOTT 192 PTS
7 JASPER STUYVEN TREK-SEGAFREDO 167 PTS
8 GREG VAN AVERMAET CCC TEAM 149 PTS
9 DYLAN GROENEWEGEN JUMBO-VISMA 146 PTS
10 JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 119 PTS
11 THOMAS DE GENDT LOTTO SOUDAL 116 PTS
12 GERAINT THOMAS TEAM INEOS 80 PTS
13 MIKE TEUNISSEN JUMBO-VISMA 78 PTS
14 STÉPHANE ROSSETTO COFIDIS 78 PTS
15 ANDREA PASQUALON WANTY-GOBERT 77 PTS
16 NILS POLITT KATUSHA-ALPECIN 75 PTS
17 TIESJ BENOOT LOTTO SOUDAL 71 PTS
18 ALEXANDER KRISTOFF UAE TEAM EMIRATES 71 PTS
19 EGAN BERNAL TEAM INEOS 68 PTS
20 SIMON CLARKE EF EDUCATION FIRST 66 PTS
21 OLIVER NAESEN AG2R LA MONDIALE 64 PTS
22 SIMON YATES MITCHELTON-SCOTT 60 PTS
23 TIM WELLENS LOTTO SOUDAL 59 PTS
24 EDVALD BOASSON HAGEN DIMENSION DATA 57 PTS
25 VINCENZO NIBALI BAHRAIN-MERIDA 54 PTS
26 XANDRO MEURISSE WANTY-GOBERT 53 PTS
27 DYLAN TEUNS BAHRAIN-MERIDA 51 PTS
28 NAIRO QUINTANA MOVISTAR 49 PTS
29 EMANUEL BUCHMANN BORA-HANSGROHE 49 PTS
30 YOANN OFFREDO WANTY-GOBERT 49 PTS
31 MIKEL LANDA MEANA MOVISTAR 48 PTS
32 JAN TRATNIK BAHRAIN-MERIDA 48 PTS
33 STEVEN KRUIJSWIJK JUMBO-VISMA 47 PTS
34 PELLO BILBAO ASTANA 47 PTS
35 TONY GALLOPIN AG2R LA MONDIALE 47 PTS
36 DANIEL OSS BORA-HANSGROHE 47 PTS
37 MICHAEL SCHÄR CCC TEAM 46 PTS
38 RIGOBERTO URAN EF EDUCATION FIRST 45 PTS
39 NIKIAS ARNDT TEAM SUNWEB 45 PTS
40 NICCOLÒ BONIFAZIO TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 45 PTS
41 ANDRÉ GREIPEL ARKEA-SAMSIC 44 PTS
42 DARYL IMPEY MITCHELTON-SCOTT 43 PTS
43 ALEXEY LUTSENKO ASTANA 42 PTS
44 PAUL OURSELIN TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 41 PTS
45 MADS WÜRTZ KATUSHA-ALPECIN 41 PTS
46 KASPER ASGREEN DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 40 PTS
47 WARREN BARGUIL ARKEA-SAMSIC 37 PTS
48 LENNARD KÄMNA TEAM SUNWEB 35 PTS
49 DAMIANO CARUSO BAHRAIN-MERIDA 35 PTS
50 ANTHONY DELAPLACE ARKEA-SAMSIC 35 PTS
51 MAXIMILIANO RICHEZE DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 35 PTS
52 MICHAEL MØRKØV DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 34 PTS
53 ALEJANDRO VALVERDE MOVISTAR 33 PTS
54 IVAN GARCIA BAHRAIN-MERIDA 32 PTS
55 GIULIO CICCONE TREK-SEGAFREDO 31 PTS
56 ANDREY AMADOR MOVISTAR 31 PTS
57 MARC SOLER MOVISTAR 30 PTS
58 ANTHONY PEREZ COFIDIS 29 PTS
59 GORKA IZAGUIRRE ASTANA 29 PTS
60 LILIAN CALMEJANE TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 28 PTS
61 TOMS SKUJINS TREK-SEGAFREDO 27 PTS
62 JASPER DE BUYST LOTTO SOUDAL 26 PTS
63 JESUS HERRADA COFIDIS 26 PTS
64 GREGOR MÜHLBERGER BORA-HANSGROHE 26 PTS
65 NICOLAS ROCHE TEAM SUNWEB 26 PTS
66 BENJAMIN KING DIMENSION DATA 26 PTS
67 RICHIE PORTE TREK-SEGAFREDO 24 PTS
68 JENS DEBUSSCHERE KATUSHA-ALPECIN 22 PTS
69 BAUKE MOLLEMA TREK-SEGAFREDO 21 PTS
70 ANTHONY TURGIS TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 21 PTS
71 TOM SCULLY EF EDUCATION FIRST 21 PTS
72 ODD CHRISTIAN EIKING WANTY-GOBERT 20 PTS
73 FREDERIK BACKAERT WANTY-GOBERT 20 PTS
74 LARS BAK YTTING DIMENSION DATA 20 PTS
75 MICHAEL WOODS EF EDUCATION FIRST 19 PTS
76 OMAR FRAILE ASTANA 19 PTS
77 MAXIME MONFORT LOTTO SOUDAL 19 PTS
78 PIERRE LUC PERICHON COFIDIS 18 PTS
79 ROMAIN SICARD TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 18 PTS
80 ROMAIN BARDET AG2R LA MONDIALE 17 PTS
81 FABIO FELLINE TREK-SEGAFREDO 17 PTS
82 ELIE GESBERT ARKEA-SAMSIC 17 PTS
83 NATNAEL BERHANE COFIDIS 17 PTS
84 LUKASZ WISNIOWSKI CCC TEAM 17 PTS
85 AIME DE GENDT WANTY-GOBERT 17 PTS
86 JULIEN BERNARD TREK-SEGAFREDO 16 PTS
87 SERGE PAUWELS CCC TEAM 16 PTS
88 ALEXIS GOUGEARD AG2R LA MONDIALE 16 PTS
89 ENRIC MAS DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 14 PTS
90 PATRICK KONRAD BORA-HANSGROHE 14 PTS
91 ALBERTO BETTIOL EF EDUCATION FIRST 14 PTS
92 MICHAL KWIATKOWSKI TEAM INEOS 14 PTS
93 JULIEN SIMON COFIDIS 13 PTS
94 WOUT POELS TEAM INEOS 12 PTS
95 RUI COSTA UAE TEAM EMIRATES 11 PTS
96 DRIES DEVENYNS DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 11 PTS
97 ILNUR ZAKARIN KATUSHA-ALPECIN 10 PTS
98 CHRISTOPHER JUUL JENSEN MITCHELTON-SCOTT 10 PTS
99 LAURENS DE PLUS JUMBO-VISMA 9 PTS
100 MATEJ MOHORIC BAHRAIN-MERIDA 9 PTS
101 FABIEN GRELLIER TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 9 PTS
102 MARCUS BURGHARDT BORA-HANSGROHE 9 PTS
103 GEORGE BENNETT JUMBO-VISMA 8 PTS
104 MATHIAS FRANK AG2R LA MONDIALE 8 PTS
105 NELSON OLIVEIRA MOVISTAR 8 PTS
106 GUILLAUME MARTIN WANTY-GOBERT 6 PTS
107 DYLAN VAN BAARLE TEAM INEOS 6 PTS
108 JOSEPH ROSSKOPF CCC TEAM 6 PTS
109 CARLOS VERONA MOVISTAR 6 PTS
110 DANIEL MARTIN UAE TEAM EMIRATES 5 PTS
111 ADAM YATES MITCHELTON-SCOTT 5 PTS
112 VEGARD STAKE LAENGEN UAE TEAM EMIRATES 5 PTS
113 LUKE DURBRIDGE MITCHELTON-SCOTT 5 PTS
114 MARCO HALLER KATUSHA-ALPECIN 5 PTS
115 SERGIO LUIS HENAO UAE TEAM EMIRATES 4 PTS
116 IMANOL ERVITI MOVISTAR 4 PTS
117 BENOIT COSNEFROY AG2R LA MONDIALE 4 PTS
118 DAVID GAUDU GROUPAMA-FDJ 3 PTS
119 SVEN ERIK BYSTRØM UAE TEAM EMIRATES 3 PTS
120 KOEN DE KORT TREK-SEGAFREDO 3 PTS
121 HUGO HOULE ASTANA 2 PTS
122 FLORIAN VACHON ARKEA-SAMSIC 2 PTS
123 AMUND JANSEN JUMBO-VISMA 2 PTS
124 SIMON GESCHKE CCC TEAM 1 PTS
125 JENS KEUKELEIRE LOTTO SOUDAL 1 PTS
126 WILLIAM BONNET GROUPAMA-FDJ 1 PTS
127 SÉBASTIEN REICHENBACH GROUPAMA-FDJ -3 PTS
128 YVES LAMPAERT DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP -4 PTS
129 MICHAEL HEPBURN MITCHELTON-SCOTT -6 PTS

Best Young Rider Classification:

1 EGAN BERNAL TEAM INEOS 82hr 57min 0sec
2 DAVID GAUDU GROUPAMA-FDJ @ 23min 58sec
3 ENRIC MAS DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 58' 20''
4 LAURENS DE PLUS JUMBO-VISMA 1H 02' 44''
5 GREGOR MÜHLBERGER BORA-HANSGROHE 1H 04' 40''
6 GIULIO CICCONE TREK-SEGAFREDO 1H 20' 49''
7 LENNARD KÄMNA TEAM SUNWEB 1H 39' 36''
8 TIESJ BENOOT LOTTO SOUDAL 2H 07' 28''
9 NILS POLITT KATUSHA-ALPECIN 2H 14' 28''
10 ELIE GESBERT ARKEA-SAMSIC 2H 33' 02''
11 GIANNI MOSCON TEAM INEOS 2H 47' 23''
12 PAUL OURSELIN TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 3H 01' 47''
13 ODD CHRISTIAN EIKING WANTY-GOBERT 3H 19' 58''
14 BENOIT COSNEFROY AG2R LA MONDIALE 3H 25' 57''
15 IVAN GARCIA CORTINA BAHRAIN-MERIDA 3H 26' 03''
16 MADS WÜRTZ KATUSHA-ALPECIN 3H 29' 22''
17 MATEJ MOHORIC BAHRAIN-MERIDA 3H 33' 43''
18 FABIEN GRELLIER TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 3H 35' 12''
19 KASPER ASGREEN DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 3H 38' 18''
20 ANTHONY TURGIS TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 3H 53' 11''
21 CALEB EWAN LOTTO SOUDAL 3H 54' 34''
22 AIME DE GENDT WANTY-GOBERT 3H 57' 05''
23 AMUND JANSEN JUMBO-VISMA 4H 02' 02''

Team Classification:

1 MOVISTAR 248hr 58min 15sec
2 TREK-SEGAFREDO @ 47min 54sec
3 TEAM INEOS 57' 52''
4 EF EDUCATION FIRST 1H 25' 57''
5 BORA-HANSGROHE 1H 29' 30''
6 GROUPAMA-FDJ 1H 42' 29''
7 JUMBO-VISMA 1H 52' 55''
8 AG2R LA MONDIALE 2H 08' 17''
9 UAE TEAM EMIRATES 2H 10' 32''
10 ASTANA 2H 27' 37''
11 MITCHELTON-SCOTT 2H 34' 00''
12 DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP 3H 15' 42''
13 WANTY-GOBERT 3H 49' 46''
14 CCC TEAM 4H 02' 12''
15 BAHRAIN-MERIDA 4H 08' 22''
16 DIMENSION DATA 4H 12' 27''
17 COFIDIS 4H 20' 51''
18 ARKEA-SAMSIC 4H 21' 11''
19 TEAM SUNWEB 4H 45' 01''
20 LOTTO SOUDAL 5H 59' 31''
21 TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE 7H 00' 33''
22 KATUSHA-ALPECIN 7H 32' 21''

Stage 21 map & profile:

Stage 21 photos by Fotoreporter Sirotti:

Caleb Ewan got faster as the Tour progressed. Here he wins the big one, the final stage in Paris.


Contents

Origins Edit

The Tour de France was created in 1903. The roots of the Tour de France trace back to the emergence of two rival sports newspapers in the country. On one hand was Le Vélo, the first and the largest daily sports newspaper in France, [13] which sold 80,000 copies a day [14] on the other was L'Auto, which had been set up by journalists and businesspeople including Comte Jules-Albert de Dion, Adolphe Clément, and Édouard Michelin in 1899. The rival paper emerged following disagreements over the Dreyfus Affair, a cause célèbre (in which the 'anti-Dreyfusard' de Dion was implicated) that divided France at the end of the 19th century over the innocence of Alfred Dreyfus, a French army officer convicted—though later exonerated—of selling military secrets to the Germans. [n 1] The new newspaper appointed Henri Desgrange as the editor. He was a prominent cyclist and owner with Victor Goddet of the velodrome at the Parc des Princes. [15] De Dion knew him through his cycling reputation, through the books and cycling articles that he had written, and through press articles he had written for the Clément tyre company.

L'Auto was not the success its backers wanted. Stagnating sales lower than the rival it was intended to surpass led to a crisis meeting on 20 November 1902 on the middle floor of L'Auto's office at 10 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, Paris. The last to speak was the most junior there, the chief cycling journalist, a 26-year-old named Géo Lefèvre. [16] Desgrange had poached him from Giffard's paper. [17] Lefèvre suggested a six-day race of the sort popular on the track but all around France. [17] Long-distance cycle races were a popular means to sell more newspapers, but nothing of the length that Lefèvre suggested had been attempted. [n 2] If it succeeded, it would help L'Auto match its rival and perhaps put it out of business. [18] It could, as Desgrange said, "nail Giffard's beak shut." [19] [20] Desgrange and Lefèvre discussed it after lunch. Desgrange was doubtful, but the paper's financial director, Victor Goddet, was enthusiastic. He handed Desgrange the keys to the company safe and said: "Take whatever you need." [21] L'Auto announced the race on 19 January 1903.

The first Tour de France (1903) Edit

The first Tour de France was staged in 1903. The plan was a five-stage race from 31 May to 5 July, starting in Paris and stopping in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Nantes before returning to Paris. Toulouse was added later to break the long haul across southern France from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Stages would go through the night and finish next afternoon, with rest days before riders set off again. But this proved too daunting and the costs too great for most [23] and only 15 competitors had entered. Desgrange had never been wholly convinced and he came close to dropping the idea. [24] Instead, he cut the length to 19 days, changed the dates to 1 to 19 July, and offered a daily allowance to those who averaged at least 20 kilometres per hour (12 mph) on all the stages, [25] equivalent to what a rider would have expected to earn each day had he worked in a factory. [26] He also cut the entry fee from 20 to 10 francs and set the first prize at 12,000 francs and the prize for each day's winner at 3,000 francs. The winner would thereby win six times what most workers earned in a year. [26] That attracted between 60 and 80 entrants – the higher number may have included serious inquiries and some who dropped out – among them not just professionals but amateurs, some unemployed, and some simply adventurous. [16]

Desgrange seems not to have forgotten the Dreyfus Affair that launched his race and raised the passions of his backers. He announced his new race on 1 July 1903 by citing the writer Émile Zola, whose open letter J'Accuse…! led to Dreyfus's acquittal, establishing the florid style he used henceforth. [27] [28] [29]

The first Tour de France started almost outside the Café Reveil-Matin at the junction of the Melun and Corbeil roads in the village of Montgeron. It was waved away by the starter, Georges Abran, at 3:16 p.m. on 1 July 1903. L'Auto hadn't featured the race on its front page that morning. [n 3] [30] [31]

Among the competitors were the eventual winner, Maurice Garin, his well-built rival Hippolyte Aucouturier, the German favourite Josef Fischer, and a collection of adventurers, including one competing as "Samson". [n 4]

Many riders dropped out of the race after completing the initial stages, as the physical effort the tour required was just too much. Only a mere 24 entrants remained at the end of the fourth stage. [32] The race finished on the edge of Paris at Ville d'Avray, outside the Restaurant du Père Auto, before a ceremonial ride into Paris and several laps of the Parc des Princes. Garin dominated the race, winning the first and last two stages, at 25.68 kilometres per hour (15.96 mph). The last rider, Millocheau, finished 64h 47m 22s behind him.

L'Auto's mission was accomplished, as circulation of the publication doubled throughout the race, making the race something much larger than Desgrange had ever hoped for.

1904–1939 Edit

Such was the passion that the first Tour created in spectators and riders that Desgrange said the 1904 Tour de France would be the last. Cheating was rife, and riders were beaten up by rival fans as they neared the top of the col de la République, sometimes called the col du Grand Bois, outside St-Étienne. [33] The leading riders, including the winner Maurice Garin, were disqualified, though it took the Union Vélocipèdique de France until 30 November to make the decision. [34] McGann says the UVF waited so long ". well aware of the passions aroused by the race." [35] Desgrange's opinion of the fighting and cheating showed in the headline of his reaction in L'Auto: THE END. [36] Desgrange's despair did not last. By the following spring, he was planning another Tour—longer, at 11 stages rather than 6—and this time all in daylight to make any cheating more obvious. [37] Stages in 1905 began between 3 am and 7:30 am. [38] The race captured the imagination. L'Auto's circulation swelled from 25,000 to 65,000 [16] by 1908, it was a quarter of a million. The Tour returned after its suspension during World War I and continued to grow, with circulation of L'Auto reaching 500,000 by 1923. The record claimed by Desgrange was 854,000 during the 1933 Tour. [39] Le Vélo, meanwhile, went out of business in 1904.

Desgrange and his Tour invented bicycle stage racing. [40] Desgrange experimented with different ways of judging the winner. Initially he used total accumulated time (as used in the modern Tour de France) [28] but from 1906 to 1912 by points for placings each day. [38] [n 5] Desgrange saw problems in judging both by time and by points. By time, a rider coping with a mechanical problem—which the rules insisted he repair alone—could lose so much time that it cost him the race. Equally, riders could finish so separated that time gained or lost on one or two days could decide the whole race. Judging the race by points removed over-influential time differences but discouraged competitors from riding hard. It made no difference whether they finished fast or slow or separated by seconds or hours, so they were inclined to ride together at a relaxed pace until close to the line, only then disputing the final placings that would give them points. [38]

The format changed over time. The Tour originally ran around the perimeter of France. Cycling was an endurance sport, and the organisers realised the sales they would achieve by creating supermen of the competitors. Night riding was dropped after the second Tour in 1904, when there had been persistent cheating when judges could not see riders. [41] That reduced the daily and overall distance, but the emphasis remained on endurance. Desgrange said his ideal race would be so hard that only one rider would make it to Paris. [42] The first mountain stages (in the Pyrenees) appeared in 1910. Early tours had long multi-day stages, with the format settling on 15 stages from 1910 until 1924. After this, stages were gradually shortened, such that by 1936 there were as many as three stages in a single day. [43] Desgrange initially preferred to see the Tour as a race of individuals. The first Tours were open to whoever wanted to compete. Most riders were in teams that looked after them. The private entrants were called touriste-routiers—tourists of the road—from 1923 [44] and were allowed to take part provided they make no demands on the organisers. Some of the Tour's most colourful characters have been touriste-routiers. One finished each day's race and then performed acrobatic tricks in the street to raise the price of a hotel. Until 1925, Desgrange forbade team members from pacing each other. [45] The 1927 and 1928 Tours, however, consisted mainly of team time-trials, an unsuccessful experiment which sought to avoid a proliferation of sprint finishes on flat stages. [46] Desgrange was a traditionalist with equipment. Until 1930, he demanded that riders mend their bicycles without help and that they use the same bicycle from start to end. Exchanging a damaged bicycle for another was allowed only in 1923. [44] Desgrange stood against the use of multiple gears, and for many years insisted riders use wooden rims, fearing the heat of braking while coming down mountains would melt the glue that held the tires on metal rims (however, they were finally allowed in 1937). [47]

By the end of the 1920s, Desgrange believed he could not beat what he believed were the underhand tactics of bike factories. [48] [49] When in 1929 the Alcyon team contrived to get Maurice De Waele to win even though he was sick, [50] he said, "My race has been won by a corpse". [50] [51] In 1930, Desgrange again attempted to take control of the Tour from teams, insisting competitors enter in national teams rather than trade teams and that competitors ride plain yellow bicycles that he would provide, without a maker's name. [50] There was no place for individuals in the post-1930s teams, and so Desgrange created regional teams, generally from France, to take in riders who would not otherwise have qualified. The original touriste-routiers mostly disappeared, but some were absorbed into regional teams. In 1936, Desgrange had a prostate operation. At the time, two operations were needed the Tour de France was due to fall between them. Desgrange persuaded his surgeon to let him follow the race. [52] The second day proved too much, and, in a fever at Charleville, he retired to his château at Beauvallon. Desgrange died at home on the Mediterranean coast on 16 August 1940. [52] The race was taken over by his deputy, Jacques Goddet. [53] The Tour was again disrupted by War after 1939, and did not return until 1947.

1947–1969 Edit

In 1944, L'Auto was closed—its doors nailed shut—and its belongings, including the Tour, sequestrated by the state for publishing articles too close to the Germans. [54] Rights to the Tour were therefore owned by the government. Jacques Goddet was allowed to publish another daily sports paper, L'Équipe, but there was a rival candidate to run the Tour: a consortium of Sports and Miroir Sprint. Each organised a candidate race. L'Équipe and Le Parisien Libéré had La Course du Tour de France, [55] while Sports and Miroir Sprint had La Ronde de France. Both were five stages, the longest the government would allow because of shortages. [56] L'Équipe's race was better organised and appealed more to the public because it featured national teams that had been successful before the war, when French cycling was at a high. L'Équipe was given the right to organise the 1947 Tour de France. [52] However, L'Équipe's finances were never sound, and Goddet accepted an advance by Émilion Amaury, who had supported his bid to run the postwar Tour. [52] Amaury was a newspaper magnate whose sole condition was that his sports editor, Félix Lévitan, should join Goddet for the Tour. [52] The two worked together—with Goddet running the sporting side, and Lévitan the financial.

On the Tour's return, the format of the race settled on between 20–25 stages. Most stages would last one day, but the scheduling of 'split' stages continued well into the 1980s. 1953 saw the introduction of the Green Jersey 'Points' competition. National teams contested the Tour until 1961. [57] The teams were of different sizes. Some nations had more than one team, and some were mixed in with others to make up the number. National teams caught the public imagination but had a snag: that riders might normally have been in rival trade teams the rest of the season. The loyalty of riders was sometimes questionable, within and between teams. Sponsors were always unhappy about releasing their riders into anonymity for the biggest race of the year, as riders in national teams wore the colours of their country and a small cloth panel on their chest that named the team for which they normally rode. The situation became critical at the start of the 1960s. Sales of bicycles had fallen, and bicycle factories were closing. [58] There was a risk, the trade said, that the industry would die if factories were not allowed the publicity of the Tour de France. The Tour returned to trade teams in 1962. [57] In the same year, Émilion Amaury, owner of le Parisien Libéré, became financially involved in the Tour. He made Félix Lévitan co-organizer of the Tour, and it was decided that Levitan would focus on the financial issues, while Jacques Goddet was put in charge of sporting issues. [59] The Tour de France was meant for professional cyclists, but in 1961 the organisation started the Tour de l'Avenir, the amateur version. [60]

Doping had become a serious problem, culminating in the death of Tom Simpson in 1967, after which riders went on strike, [61] [62] although the organisers suspected sponsors provoked them. The Union Cycliste Internationale introduced limits to daily and overall distances, imposed rest days, and tests were introduced for riders. It was then impossible to follow the frontiers, and the Tour increasingly zig-zagged across the country, sometimes with unconnected days' races linked by train, while still maintaining some sort of loop. The Tour returned to national teams for 1967 and 1968 [63] as "an experiment". [64] The Tour returned to trade teams in 1969 [65][./Tour_de_France#cite_note-FOOTNOTEAugendre199662-70 [65] ] with a suggestion that national teams could come back every few years, but this has not happened since.

1969–1987 Edit

In the early 1970s, the race was dominated by Eddy Merckx, who won the General Classification five times, the Mountains Classification twice, the Points Classification three times, and posted a still-standing record of 34 stage victories. [66] Merckx's dominating style earned him the nickname "The Cannibal". In 1969, he already had a commanding lead when he launched a long-distance solo attack in the mountains which none of the other elite riders could answer, resulting in an eventual winning margin of nearly eighteen minutes. In 1973 he did not win because he did not enter the Tour and his winning streak only truly came to an end when he finished 2nd to Bernard Thevenet in 1975.

During this era, race director Felix Lévitan began to recruit additional sponsors, sometimes accepting prizes in kind if he could not get cash. In 1975, the polka-dot jersey was introduced for the winner of the Mountains Classification. [67] [68] This same year Levitan also introduced the finish of the Tour at the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Since then, this stage has been largely ceremonial and is generally only contested as a prestigious sprinters' stage. (See 'Notable Stages' below for examples of non-ceremonial finishes to this stage.) Occasionally, a rider will be given the honor of leading the rest of the peloton onto the circuit finish in their final Tour, as was the case for Jens Voigt and Sylvain Chavanel, among others.

From the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, the Tour was dominated by Frenchman Bernard Hinault, who would become the third rider to win five times. Hinault was defeated by Joop Zoetemelk in 1980 when he withdrew, and by his own teammate Greg LeMond in 1986, but he was in contention during both of these Tours. Only once in his Tour de France career was he soundly defeated, and this was by Laurent Fignon in 1984. The 1987 edition was more uncertain than past editions, as previous winners Hinault and Zoetemelk had retired, LeMond was absent, and Fignon was suffering from a lingering injury. As such, the race was highly competitive, and the lead changed hands eight times before Stephen Roche won. When Roche won the World Championship later in the season, he became only the second rider (after Merckx) to win cycling's Triple Crown, which meant winning the Giro d'Italia, the Tour and the Road World Cycling Championship in one calendar year.

Levitan helped drive an internationalization of the Tour de France, and cycling in general. [67] Roche was the first winner from Ireland however, in the years leading up to his victory, cyclists from numerous other countries began joining the ranks of the peloton. In 1982, Sean Kelly of Ireland (points) and Phil Anderson of Australia (young rider) became the first winners of any Tour classifications from outside cycling's Continental Europe heartlands, while Lévitan was influential in facilitating the participation in the 1983 Tour by amateur riders from the Eastern Bloc and Colombia. [67] In 1984, for the first time, the Société du Tour de France organized the Tour de France Féminin, a version for women. [n 6] It was run in the same weeks as the men's version, and it was won by Marianne Martin. [69] In the 1986 race, Greg LeMond of the United States became the first non-European winner.

While the global awareness and popularity of the Tour grew during this time, its finances became stretched. [70] Goddet and Lévitan continued to clash over the running of the race. [70] Lévitan launched the Tour of America as a precursor to his plans to take the Tour de France to the US. [70] The Tour of America lost a lot of money, and it appeared to have been cross-financed by the Tour de France. [52] In the years before 1987, Lévitan's position had always been protected by Émilien Amaury, the then owner of ASO, but Émilien Amaury would soon retire and leave son Philippe Amaury responsible. When Lévitan arrived at his office on 17 March 1987, he found that his doors were locked and he was fired. The organisation of the 1987 Tour de France was taken over by Jean-François Naquet-Radiguet. [71] He was not successful in acquiring more funds, and was fired within one year. [72]

Since 1988 Edit

Months before the start of the 1988 Tour, director Jean-François Naquet-Radiguet was replaced by Xavier Louy. [73] In 1988, the Tour was organised by Jean-Pierre Courcol, the director of L'Équipe, then in 1989 by Jean-Pierre Carenso and then by Jean-Marie Leblanc, who in 1989 had been race director. The former television presenter Christian Prudhomme—he commentated on the Tour among other events—replaced Leblanc in 2007, having been assistant director for three years. In 1993 ownership of L'Équipe moved to the Amaury Group, which formed Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) to oversee its sports operations, although the Tour itself is operated by its subsidiary the Société du Tour de France. [74]

1988 onward was arguably the beginning of what can be referred to as the doping era, as a new drug which drug tests were not able to detect began being used known as erythropoietin (EPO). Pedro Delgado won the 1988 Tour de France by a considerable margin, and in 1989 and 1990 Lemond returned from injury and won back-to-back Tours, with the 1989 edition still standing as the closest two-way battle in TDF history, with Lemond claiming an 8-second victory on the final time trial to best Laurent Fignon. The early 1990s was dominated by Spaniard Miguel Indurain, who became such an exceptional time-trialist that it didn't even matter that many top-level riders were experimenting with EPO. He won the time trials by such dominating margins that virtually nobody could compete with him, and as a result he became the first rider to win five Tours in a row. The influx of more international riders continued through this period, as in 1996 and 1997 the race was won for the first time by a rider from Denmark, Bjarne Riis, and a German rider called Jan Ullrich, respectively. During the 1998 Tour de France, a doping scandal known as the Festina Affair shook the sport to its core when it became apparent that there was systematic doping going on in the sport. Numerous riders and a handful of teams were either thrown out of the race, or left of their own free will, and in the end Marco Pantani survived to win his lone Tour in a decimated main field. The 1999 Tour de France was billed as the ‘Tour of Renewal’ as the sport tried to clean up its image following the doping fiasco of the previous year. Initially it seemed to be a Cinderella-type story when cancer survivor Lance Armstrong stole the show on Sestriere and kept on riding to the first of his astonishing seven consecutive Tour de France victories however, in retrospect, 1999 was just the beginning of the doping problem getting much, much worse. Following Armstrong's retirement in 2005, the 2006 edition saw his former teammate Floyd Landis finally get the chance he worked so hard for with a stunning and improbable solo breakaway on Stage 17 in which he set himself up to win the Tour in the final time trial, which he then did. Not long after the Tour was over, however, Landis was accused of doping and had his Tour win revoked. [75]

Over the next few years, a new star in Alberto Contador came onto the scene [76] however, during the 2007 edition, a veteran Danish rider, Michael Rasmussen, was in the Maillot Jaune late in the Tour, in position to win, when his own team sacked him for a possible doping infraction [77] this allowed the rising star Contador to ride mistake-free for the remaining stages to win his first. 2008 saw a Tour where so many riders were doping that, when it went ten days without a single doping incident, it became news. [78] It was during this Tour that a UCI official was quoted as saying, "These guys are crazy, and the sooner they start learning, the better." [79] Roger Legeay, a Directeur Sportif for one of the teams noted how riders were secretly and anonymously buying doping products on the internet. Like Greg LeMond at the beginning of the EPO era, 2008 winner Carlos Sastre was a rider who went his entire career without a single doping incident and between approximately 1994 and 2011 this was the only Tour to have a winner with a clear biological passport. [80] 2009 saw the return of Lance Armstrong and, strangely, after Contador was able to defeat his teammate, the Danish National Anthem was mistakenly played. No Danish rider was in contention in 2009, and Rasmussen, the only Danish rider capable of winning the Tour during this era, was not even in the race. Another rider absent was Floyd Landis, who had asked Armstrong to get him back on a team to ride the Tour once more, but Armstrong refused because Landis was a convicted doper. Landis joined OUCH, an American continental team, and not long after this initiated contact with USADA to discuss Armstrong.

In 2011, Cadel Evans became the first Australian to win the Tour after coming up just short several times in the previous few editions. [81] Very early in his career while making the transition from mountain biking to pro cycling, Evans met with Armstrong's doctor Michele Ferrari one time, but he never again had professional contact with him. [82] The 2012 Tour de France was won by the first British rider to ever win the Tour, Bradley Wiggins, while finishing on the podium just behind him was Chris Froome, who along with Contador became the next big stars to attempt to contest the giants of Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, Indurain and Armstrong. Overshadowing the entire sport at this time, however, was the Lance Armstrong doping case, which finally revealed much of the truth about doping in cycling. [83] As a result, the UCI decided that each of Armstrong's seven wins would be revoked. This decision cleared the names of many people, including lesser-known riders, reporters, team medical staff, and even the wife of a rider who had their reputations tarnished or had been forced from the sport by challenging the Armstrong machine. Much of this only became possible after Floyd Landis came forward to USADA. Also around this time, an investigation by the French government into doping in cycling revealed that way back during the 1998 Tour, close to 90% of the riders who were tested, retroactively tested positive for EPO. [84] The end result of these doping scandals being that in the case of Landis in 2006, and Contador in 2010, new winners were declared in Oscar Pereiro and Andy Schleck, respectively however, in the case of the seven Tours revoked from Armstrong, there was no alternate winner named, as much of Armstrong's competition was just as guilty as he was, and the sport at this point was trying to set the right example for the future generation of riders. The generation from the mid-2010s and beyond seems to be competing on a level playing field without having to make the decision so many riders of the previous generation had to make: to give in and start doping to be competetive, or give up on their dreams.

In 2014, Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali won in one of the most convincing fashions seen in years, making him only the second Italian rider to win the race since the 1960s. Beginning in 2012, and only being interrupted by Nibali's performance in 2014, Team Sky would dominate the peloton for years in an extended manner not seen since Armstrong at US Postal. Froome would win three tours in a row, followed by the first person born in the British Isles to win in Geraint Thomas (Wiggins was born in Belgium and Froome was born in Kenya) followed by the first Colombian to win the Tour in Egan Bernal. It wasn't until 2020 that it became clear that this streak would be broken when the pace set by Team Jumbo-Visma riders Van Aert, Kuss, Roglič and Tom Dumoulin broke their GC favourite in defending champ Egan Bernal on stage 15, he would quit the race soon thereafter. Their string of victories was officially broken by Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates after an impressive effort on the final Individual Time Trial that made him the second rider from Slovenia to wear the Yellow Jersey after Primož Roglič that same year, and the first to win it. [85]

The 2020 Tour was postponed to commence on 29 August, following the French government's extension of a ban on mass gatherings after the COVID-19 outbreak. [86] This was the first time since the end of World War II that the Tour de France was not held in the month of July. [87]

In the local towns and cities that the Tour visits for stage starts and finishes, it is a spectacle that usually shuts these towns down for the day, resulting in a very festive atmosphere, and these events usually require months of planning and preparation. ASO employs around 70 people full-time, in an office facing—but not connected to—L'Équipe in the Issy-les-Moulineaux area of outer western Paris. That number expands to about 220 during the race itself, not including the 500-odd contractors employed to move barriers, erect stages, signpost the route, and other work. [88] ASO now also operates several other major bike races throughout the year.

The oldest and main competition in the Tour de France is known as the "general classification", for which the yellow jersey is awarded the winner of this is said to have won the race. [89] A few riders from each team aim to win overall, but there are three further competitions to draw riders of all specialties: points, mountains, and a classification for young riders with general classification aspirations. [89] The leader of each of the aforementioned classifications wears a distinctive jersey, with riders leading multiple classifications wearing the jersey of the most prestigious that he leads. [89] In addition to these four classifications, there are several minor and discontinued classifications that are competed for during the race. [89]


Unpredictable elements crucial to rekindling of Tour de France romance

T he most meaningful touch of the 2019 Tour de France was not the slap Luke Rowe gave Tony Martin after the German had tried to run him into the gutter, leading to the expulsion of both riders from the race. It was the touch of hands between Julian Alaphilippe and Egan Bernal as they rode in the peloton towards Paris, a salute from the man who had brought the race to life to the one who was about to take the spoils: a moment summing up a race that, over the course of three weeks, had rekindled old enthusiasms and enraptured new audiences.

What, someone had asked me as I sat glued to the TV one afternoon in the middle week of the race, do you see in this? I tried to explain how a three-week Grand Tour resembles cricket in its prolonged complexity but with one big difference: imagine a five-day Test, a 50-over one-day match and a Twenty20 game being played simultaneously, with all the different priorities, internal rhythms and contrasting techniques superimposed on each other. And, again as with cricket, the elements play a vital role in ways that are often hard to predict.

Certainly no one had envisaged the storm that cut short last Friday’s stage to Tignes, in which all the narrative strands had been set to explode at once. But, having begun with one set of tears as a torn thigh muscle forced the great French hope Thibaut Pinot to abandon the race in distress, it ended with another as Bernal tried to hide his face from the TV camera after removing the yellow jersey from the shoulders of Alaphilippe, France’s other darling.

The hailstones and the mudslide that halted the race after the riders had crested the giant Col d’Iseran led many to express their disappointment that the promised showdown had been distorted by circumstances outside the riders’ control but really this was just the Tour being the Tour: the riders are pitting themselves against the elements – mountains formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago and the weather systems of a large country – and sometimes the elements answer back.

As this year’s highest point, the Iseran was dedicated to Henri Desgrange, the founder of the race, who saw his creation as an ordeal from which only the strongest would emerge. How would he have reacted? Probably by expecting the riders to wade through the flood and clamber over the mudslide before setting off on the final climb. No such option was available to Christian Prudhomme, his current successor, as the riders raced down towards a series of potentially lethal hazards under the eyes of the worldwide TV audience. If Bernal was the beneficiary, then it was a reward for seizing the initiative in the Iseran’s final kilometres.

Two days later, as the 155 survivors rode up the Champs Élysées into a golden sunset, the former pro David Millar watched from his TV commentary position and mused on the arrival of a new generation. “You feel like something’s happening,” he said. But he wasn’t just welcoming the youngest champion since François Faber in 1909. He meant the feeling that this Tour had been characterised by an approach based on risk-taking and inventiveness, a philosophy embodied by the flair and volonté of Alaphilippe, who had worn the leader’s jersey for 14 days and engaged the affections of spectators around the world before weakening and dropping to fifth place during the final two days in the Alps.

Colombia’s Egan Bernal (right) passes the Arc de Triomphe during the 21st and final stage of the Tour de France. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA

Down at the finish line, Dave Brailsford was stamping on any such suggestion. As he basked in a second one-two finish for riders under his command, the Team Ineos chief expressed a sincere admiration of Alaphilippe and Pinot, who between them had raised hopes of a long-awaited home victory. But his verdict was unequivocal. In the end, he said, “strategy paid out over chaos, and teamwork paid out over individuals”.

While some may prefer chaos, Bernal’s personality made the outcome acceptable even to those who had dreaded yet another crushing demonstration of Brailsford-inspired teamwork. Who could not fail to warm to a young Colombian who arrived in Europe only three years ago but was able to make his podium speech in Paris, without notes, in English, Italian and French as well as his native Spanish, and with such evident modesty?

Two days earlier, having just assumed the race leadership, he had been asked about the pressure of wearing the yellow jersey on behalf of a whole cycling-mad nation. “It’s strange,” he said, “because I don’t feel pressure. I really love to ride the bike. I enjoy the race. I enjoy to be fighting with these guys, the adrenaline, you know – to wait, wait, wait, then attack and go full gas. For some it’s a lot of suffering but I love it. It’s not a space for pressure.”

The sight of a proper flyweight climber winning the Tour de France – in the tradition of Charly Gaul and Marco Pantani – was a rare treat, while the race’s complexity made room for great individual feats by the breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt, the sprinter Caleb Ewan and two other climbers, Simon Yates and Vincenzo Nibali, the latter the 2014 winner whose victory in the final mountain stage revealed another facet of the race: that three weeks is long enough to ride yourself out of a spell of poor form and to regain self-respect.

Whether this was or was not the best Tour de France in history, or whether a great denouement was ruined by the weather, is beside the point. In all of sport, there is no human spectacle like it. And this was the most gloriously human Tour of all.


Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale - 1998-2009

With no ties to the Tour de France since 1989 and excluded from all of ASO's intellectual property surrounding the men's race, Boué was forced to change the name of his women's race to La Grande Boucle in 1998.

It featured 15 stages that year, with three double days. The longest stage was 150km from Le Beausset to Grasse. That year, Lithuania's Edita Pucinskaite won overall, Luperini was second, and Alessandra Cappellotto was third.

Cyclingnews' coverage of the race grew from being one landing page to multiple pages for each stage with full stage and general classification results. The coverage also included special reports from Anna Wilson and Giana Roberge. They sent their stories every few days along the route from nearby email facilities and internet cafes located in the towns where their teams would stop for the night between stages.

The Grande Boucle continued as a significant stage race for women through 2003. During that period, the overall winners were Lithuania's Diana Zilute in 1999, Spain's Joane Somarriba in 2000 and 2001, and Zinaida Stahurskaia from Belarus in 2022, while Somarriba would win a third title in 2003.

Cyclingnews' coverage of the event improved, too, during those years to include start lists and route maps, to go along with an event preview, and full stage, general classification, and points, mountain and team classifications.

The event ranged from 14 to 16 stages, double days, and a rest day. However, there were organisational concerns and criticism from athletes and teams, especially over the long transfers. Boué would later design routes that offered fewer transfers between stages and reduced the overall climbing amount, although the 1999 course included Pierre Saint-Martin, Aspin, Val Louron, and Mont Ventoux.

During the 2000 edition, Cyclingnews began including short race recaps and one or two images to go alongside the daily stage results. And in the 2001 edition, stages included a full report with quotes from stage winners and pictures from AFP.

In 2002, Cyclingnews' Jeff Jones' byline appeared on the previews, while the content also included start lists, preview and route information, and results. In addition, Chris Henry was brought in as a correspondent to provide full race reports to go along with AFP images from the race. There were also live television details on France 2 and France 3, and other broadcast details so that fans could watch the race from home locally.

The Grande Boucle took a one-year hiatus following the 2003 edition after the event's title sponsorship withdrew funding amid accusations that the organisation failed to pay out prize money.

The final editions of the race were held under a new organisation and it was reduced to a 2.2-classed stage race. The race continued under the Grand Boucle banner, and still included challenging terrain but the stages were markedly reduced from 14 stages down to just six.

British riders were successful at the final years of the Grand Boucle with Nicole Cooke winning back-to-back editions in 2006 and 2007, and Emma Pooley winning the final edition in 2009, which by that time was only a four-day race.

As the race downgraded, so did the event&rsquos coverage in the media, and between 2005 and 2007, Cyclingnews provided a main landing page for the race along with start lists, route details and full results. In 2009, coverage of the Grande Boucle include preview information by Bjorn Haake, and intermittent reports, along with photography from WomensCycling.net and Michael Studer, and results.

The 2009 Grande Boucle was the final edition of the race, and had been reduced to just four stages. Marianne Vos won one stage and Pooley won two stages and the overall classification.


The Outer Line: Remembering Greg LeMond’s thrilling victory 30 years later

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Steve Brunner covered the 1989 Tour de France for USA Today, and reported on Greg LeMond and other American cyclists throughout his career.

America is a country rich in sporting tradition, and in the annals of American sports there have been many stories of amazing comebacks – by both individuals and teams. However, perhaps no story is bigger than Greg LeMond’s comeback to win the 1989 Tour de France – exactly 30 years ago today, on July 23, 1989.

LeMond came back from nearly dying in a hunting accident, then doubling down to rally from a 50-second deficit to French great Laurent Fignon on the final day’s relatively short individual time trial, to barely eke out a win in one of world’s most challenging and grueling sporting events.

To understand why Lemond’s win that year should be considered among the greatest comebacks in American sports history, one must reflect on the years leading up to his historic win in Paris that year.

In 1983, as a 22-year-old, LeMond captured the World Championship of road cycling, the biggest one-day event in the sport. Due to his age and the fact he was an American, he was immediately thrust on to the world stage. It was a seminal moment for American cycling.

By the following year, Lemond was battling the best of the sport in the world’s biggest event – the Tour de France. In 1984, LeMond rode in support of winner Fignon. He then changed teams in 1985, to the famed La Vie Claire squad, where he waged an unusual battle with teammate and Frenchman Bernard Hinault. It was a well-documented period of his career, chronicled by ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary “Slaying the Badger” (as well as a book of the same title). During the 1985 Tour de France, LeMond was often held back to help Hinault, in order for the Frenchmen to win his record-tying fifth Tour de France.

By 1986, LeMond was too strong and Hinault had to succumb to the rising star instead of trying to win a historic sixth Tour de France. It was the dawning of LeMond’s reign. He had stormed the sport, becoming the first American to win the Tour, and he was clearly its new darling.

But in 1987, an early-season crash in Europe knocked him out of racing for a few months. He returned to the U.S. to heal up. Following his recuperation period, he took a hunting trip with some relatives, where his brother-in-law mistakenly fired at him in the bush, hitting LeMond, and leaving 60 pellets lodged in his body, including one in the lining of his heart. After coming close to bleeding to death, a flight-for-life helicopter flew him to a trauma center in Sacramento.

“As I laid in the field, I thought I was going to die,” LeMond said.

Fast forward to February 12, 1989. LeMond sat in a Chinese restaurant in Santa Rosa, Calif., north of the Bay Area. Earlier in the day, he had completed a 110-mile ride over hills.

“I honestly think it will take two to three years before I can come back to the level I was at when I won the Tour de France in 1986,” LeMond told me, over a hefty portion of chicken and fried rice. “And, I’m still not sure I can get back to that level, especially in one or two years.

It’s incredibly difficult, and it’s an incredibly difficult sport and incredibly difficult event.”

But later that night, as he left the restaurant, it was evident a cool confidence had re-entered his head space.

“I want everyone to know, I’m not going away,” he said. “I’ve got that feeling again.”

In May of that year, he slogged through America’s biggest race, the 10-day Tour de Trump, a 927-mile race up and down the East Coast. He finished way down in the overall standings and more than a half-hour behind the eventual winner, Norwegian Dag Otto Lauritzen. The race included many of the top riders that would race in the Tour de France later that summer, including Points jersey winner Sean Kelly of Ireland, King of the Mountain jersey winner Gert-Jan Theunisse and Combination Classification jersey winner Steven Rooks, both of The Netherlands.

If America’s premier bike race was an indicator, LeMond was nowhere near the form needed to conquer the 21-day Tour de France six weeks later.

“The one thing about Greg LeMond,” said American Ron Kiefel at the time, “he can get into top form relatively quick.”

LeMond was a physical freak. His multiple recordings of Volume Oxygen intake ratio tests in the low 90s were some of the highest ever recorded. His ability to produce insane “wattage for an extended period without cracking”, as they say in the cycling vernacular, was legendary.

Simply put, LeMond’s freakish physiology meant he could ride longer at the limit than other cyclists while producing a lot of power. This of course transfers into superb strength in both hill climbing and time trialing.

By July, LeMond had slimmed down by putting in extra miles and races. Yet, he entered the Tour de France with many unanswered questions.

LeMond was always a cyclist that could “build into a race,” meaning while many other athletes might start to feel physically decimated going into the third week of the Tour de France,

LeMond was improving. That would be ‘the feeling’ he was talking about back in February.

American great Bobby Julich said LeMond was one of those few riders who actually improved as a grand tour got harder.

“There are riders, and I was one of them, that seemed to feel better in longer stage races, especially as the race went on,” Julich says. “It is a physiological thing as well as psychological thing. LeMond was no doubt in the same boat, and probably a much bigger boat.”

“[Laurent] Fignon congratulated me on my second place the day before but, to myself, I said, ‘You arrogant so and so … You’re gonna lose it,” LeMond said of his battle for yellow in the 1989 Tour. LeMond recounted his victory in the 2016 book Greg Lemond: Yellow Jersey Racer by Guy Andrews. Photo: Offside/l’Equipe courtesy of VeloPress

LeMond built into the 1989 race not knowing how his form would peak over three weeks. He did know the final week featured his favorite climbs in the Alps and an individual time trial, his specialty. LeMond rode well and without mistake or incident the first two weeks and, nearing the end of the three-week race, found himself within striking distance of Fignon and Spain’s Pedro Delgado, another pre-race favorite.

An epic battle ensued going into the final week. Fignon had resurrected a late career push in an attempt to win his third Tour de France. In the process, the French crowd became torn between the two riders. LeMond had been adopted as a French fan favorite because of his brave comeback attempt, aggressive racing style, willingness to speak the native tongue, and perhaps also because of his French-sounding name.

For Fignon, it was bittersweet. He felt somewhat betrayed by the French public, which often seemed more endeared to LeMond. It was evident LeMond’s comeback story was the stuff of legend whether he won or not. He was viewed as a major underdog and the media played it up with voracity.

The 1989 race finished in an unusual manner. The final day of Le Tour is historically reserved for a flat and predictable stage for the sprinters, letting the overall winner and his team enjoy the spoils after a grueling three weeks. But 1989 was different. A 24-kilometer (15 miles) individual time trial (or ‘race against the clock’) took place from Versailles to Paris. Fignon’s 50-second lead was deemed safe, as LeMond would have to make up more than two seconds per kilometer. For Fignon to lose would be like a golfer double-bogeying the final hole while his competitor shot a hole-in-one.

Now 29 months removed from near death, with 60 shot-gun pellets in his body, LeMond began his preparation for the final time trial. Using unfamiliar technological ingenuity at the time, he strapped on an elongated aerodynamic helmet and skinsuit.

He placed on extended aero bars on his bike so he could stretch out into a tuck position for less wind resistance. His back wheel was a disk with no spokes. He would even consider abandoning water, which added more weight, assuming that any drinking in the short stage could cost precious seconds. He attempted to take every possible technological edge provided by his sponsors – Bottecchia bikes, Giro helmets, Mavic wheels and components, and Time shoes and pedals.

Fignon was confident about his ability to hold off the American.

“I am too strong in the mind and in the legs,” Fignon said. “LeMond thinks he can win, but it’s impossible.”

Starting second to last, one spot and two minutes in front of the uber-confident Fignon, LeMond shot off the start ramp looking like a spaceman in a skier’s tuck, his yellow neon colored helmet and skinsuit blazing through the French suburbs en route toward the Eiffel Tower. Commentators and the throng of international journalists took note as the big screens at the finish line projected the image of LeMond streaking through the streets. A noticeable buzz began to be heard in the crowd.

Then came Fignon in the start house. He had no helmet, only his long blonde ponytail. He had no aerobars, rather just the standard drop-down ‘bull horns’. By his brazen appearance, there was a sense he thought he would soon be enjoying a crowning promenade into his hometown of Paris.

As the time checks passed, LeMond’s splits were fast. And as he approached Paris, LeMond’s cadence and speeds got even faster. It was evident, he was feeding off the information coming from race radio that he was gaining ground on Fignon. By the final 500 meters, LeMond was storming down the Champs Ellysees Boulevard toward the finish with demonic fury.

LeMond finished and within 30 meters had stopped and turned around. The media mob was flooding toward him, their cameras clicking. Curse words were heard in maybe ten different languages as the gendarmes began to form a circle around LeMond.

Cameras as well as eyes began to ricochet between the time clock on the finish banner and LeMond. Beyond the finish banner, Fignon remained a speck against the Arc d’Triomphe, silhouetted through the dank summer haze. This was a drama not seen before (or since) on the final day of the Tour de France. The crowd on the Champs-Élysées began to draw to a hush, a weird vibe for 300,000 spectators.

The clock continued to move, ticking from 47 to 48 and then 50 seconds since LeMond crossed the line. Fignon was barreling toward the finish, his bespectacled face grimacing as his long ponytail flayed behind, but he was still 80 meters out.

LeMond, still straddling his bike, water bottle in one hand, grabbed his head, sweat coursing down his cheeks, his jaw dropping while hundreds of cameras moved toward him. A TV motorbike tried to position against the mob scene as the scrum match intensified.

Fignon finished and within 20 meters collapsed to the pave. He seemed more in disbelief than exhausted. He placed his head in his heads and assumed a cradle position. LeMond was still grabbing his head in disbelief. Yet, he was upright and smiling.

The crowd took on a weird mix of whistles (boos in Europe) and cheers. It was difficult to assess whether the cheers were for LeMond or Fignon. Perhaps they were for both. Either way, it was an one of the greatest moments in the history of the sport. In the aftermath of the race, LeMond would eventually see Fignon and embrace him. LeMond’s hug seemed more to console Fignon than to say ‘hey, mate, that was a great race.’”

LeMond’s eight-second win remains the shortest winning margin in the 100-plus years of the Tour de France. He would go on to win the 1990 Tour de France and place 7th overall in 1991. Fignon would ironically place 6th overall in 1991 Tour de France, one place ahead of LeMond. He went on to win one stage in 1992 before retiring in 1993.

In 1992, at a party after the Tour DuPont (LeMond’s last big win), I asked Fignon about the 1989 Tour de France.

“I must be honest. I do not see Greg defeating me that day,” Fignon told me in broken English. “He is a friend. A hero for the sport. A hero for his country. He come back from the dead.”

LeMond and Fignon remained lifelong friends. Fignon died in 2010 following a long battle with cancer. LeMond said Fignon was an incredibly “talented bike rider” and a worthy adversary which made the 1989 that more epic.

As for LeMond, 30 years later he is recognized as one of history’s best ever cyclists. He inspired a whole generation of world-class American cyclists that included Julich.

“Greg LeMond was one of my heroes for sure,” Julich says. “I looked up to Greg my entire career and appreciate what he and the rest of the Americans of his generation did for the future of American cycling. Watching him win the Tour by beating Hinault in 1986 was amazing, but watching him come back from his accident in 1989 and winning on a small team was probably the most inspiring. It would have to be considered one of the biggest comebacks in sports history.”


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