The Tour de France has started on this date three times - 1932, 1991 and 2002.
21 stages, 4,479km.
The number of stages and overall distance was reduced. Henri Desgrange was still concerned that the sprinters suffered more in the mountains than the climbers did on the plain stages, so the bonification system was overhauled once again - whereas the previous year the winner had received a bonus of three minutes, now he would receive four minutes plus an extra three if he finished more than three minutes ahead of second place, while second place earned two minutes and third one minute. This had been done largely because Degrange felt that Charles Pélissier deserved a chance at winning a Tour. Pélissier was a sprinter who had won fourteen stages over the course of the last three years, including an incredible eight in 1930 (a record that would not be equaled until Merckx managed to do it in 1970, and which has never been bettered - though Merckx did it again in 1974) and Desgrange seems to have liked him tremendously (not so Charles' brother, 1923 Tour winner Henri, with whom Desgrange had a long feud and hated; though he would admit that he was a great rider) - the era of specialist riders such as modern-day sprinter Mark Cavendish who knows he'll never win a Tour had not yet arrived.
|In the mountains, 1932|
|1932 wasn't the only time Leducq got a helpful push from a|
team mate - he's seen here in 1933 receiving assistance from
Top Ten Final General Classification
1 André Leducq (FRA) France 154h 11' 49"
2 Kurt Stöpel (GER) Germany/Austria +24' 03"
3 Francesco Camusso (ITA) Italy +26' 21"
4 Antonio Pesenti (ITA) Italy +37' 08"
5 Georges Ronsse (BEL) Belgium +41' 04"
6 Frans Bonduel (BEL) Belgium +45' 13"
7 Oskar Thierbach (GER) Germany/Austria +58' 44"
8 Jef Demuysere (BEL) Belgium +1h 03' 24"
9 Luigi Barral (ITA) Touriste-routier +1h 06' 57"
10 Georges Speicher (FRA) France +1h 08' 37"
22 stages (Stages 1 and 2 held on the same day) + prologue, 3,914.4km.
Stage 8, the first of two individual time trials, was expected to the where the General Classifications contenders would begin their assualts on overall victory and this proved to be the case: all of them (with the exception of Claudio Chiappucci who, if he was going to win, would do so in the mountains) fought hard for good times. Miguel Indurain used his enormous physical strength to win, but Lemond came in just 8" slower and became race leader with an advantage of 1'13". That remained the same the next day, then dropped 4" after Stage 10, the stage in which the PDM's team Tour came to a premature end: Nico Verhoeven and Uwe Raab were both unable to start due to a fever, then three of their team mates abandoned later that day. On Stage 11, the remaining four PDM riders also left the race; which immediately led to allegations of doping. However, no proof was ever found; we must, therefore, accept the official line that their illness was caused by an injection of a contaminated but legal food supplement.
|Indurain on his way home, with trophy|
Top Ten Final General Classificiation
1 Miguel Indurain (ESP) Banesto 101h 01' 20"
2 Gianni Bugno (ITA) Gatorade-Chateau d'Ax +3' 36"
3 Claudio Chiappucci (ITA) Carrera +5' 56"
4 Charly Mottet (FRA) RMO +7' 37"
5 Luc Leblanc (FRA) Castorama +10' 10"
6 Laurent Fignon (FRA) Castorama +11' 27"
7 Greg LeMond (USA) Z +13' 13"
8 Andrew Hampsten (USA) Motorola +13' 40"
9 Pedro Delgado (ESP) Banesto +20' 10"
10 Gerard Rué (FRA) Helvetia +20' 13"
20 stages + prologue, 3,277.5km.
The Saeco team's wildcard invite was revoked shortly before the race began when news emerged that Gilberto Simoni, who had won the Giro d'Italia in 2001, had tested positive for cocaine on two occasions; Jean Delatour being invited in their place.
He won both, taking back the yellow jersey on the first day and soaring past Laurent Jalabert and Richard Virenque on the final climbs as they fought one another in their own private battle for King of the Mountains. The peloton had seriously understimated him - Lance wasn't finished, he was just getting started.
Armstrong would, in 2012, be stripped of this victory and his six other Tour wins following a USADA investigation into doping at the US Postal team. Levi Leipheimer gave evidence against him and, in doing so, admitted that he too had doped.
Top Ten Overall General Classification
1 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 82h 05' 12" (disqualified)
2 Joseba Beloki (ESP) ONCE +7' 17"
3 Raimondas Rumsas (LIT) Lampre +8' 17"
4 Santiago Botero (COL) Kelme +13' 10"
5 Igor González (ESP) ONCE +13' 54"
6 José Azevedo (POR) ONCE +15' 44"
7 Francisco Mancebo (ESP) iBanesto.com +16' 05"
8 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank +17' 11" (disqualified)
9 Roberto Heras (ESP) US Postal Service +17' 12"
10 Carlos Sastre (ESP) Team CSC +19' 05"
Cyclists born on this day:Tiffany Cromwell (Australia, 1988); Tea Vikstedt-Nyman (Finland, 1959 Jeremy Yates (New Zealand, 1982); Henry Anglade (France, 1933); Jeremy Yates (New Zealand, 1982); Fortunato Baliani (Italy, 1974); René Le Grèves (France, 1910); Phạm Văn Sau (South Vietnam, 1939); Marcin Karczyński (Poland, 1978); Tiemen Groen (Netherlands, 1946); Son Hui-Jeong (South Korea, 1987); Adam Laurent (USA, 1971); Fitzroy Hoyte (Trinidad and Tobago, 1940, died 2008); Joseph Geurts (Belgium, 1939); Luis Laverde (Colombia, 1979); Al Sellinger (USA, 1914, died 1986).