Tour De France Individual Classification Essay


 1968   »   55th Tour de France

General Classification

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RnkRiderTeamPntAvgTime
1 Janssen JanNetherlands National Team1003,362.6951:20:091:20:09
2Van Springel HermanBelgium A703,323.9880:560:56
3 Pingeon RogerFrance A503,309.7011:171:17
4 Bracke FerdinandBelgium B403,305.6421:231:23
5 Wolfshohl RolfWest-germany323,287.4971:501:50
6Den Hartog ArieNetherlands National Team263,271.5362:142:14
7 Pintens GeorgesBelgium A223,245.2742:542:54
8 Grosskost CharlyFrance B183,235.5343:093:09
9San Miguel GregorioSpain143,234.2403:113:11
10 Aimar LucienFrance B103,227.1403:223:22
11 Colombo UgoItaly National Team83,216.2293:393:39
12 Gandarias AndrèsSpain63,197.1534:094:09
13 Bitossi FrancoItaly National Team43,192.1044:174:17
14 Brands FransBelgium A23,177.6774:404:40
15 Gómez AntonioSpain13,172.0674:494:49
16 González AurelioSpain3,146.1485:315:31
17 Guyot BernardFrance A3,139.4295:425:42
18 Schiavon SilvanoItaly National Team3,138.2115:445:44
19 Bayssiere AndréFrance C3,138.211,,5:44
20 Echevarria CarlosSpain3,126.6826:036:03
21 Chappe GeorgesFrance B3,114.0386:246:24
22 Chiappano CarloItaly National Team3,085.5187:127:12
23 Grain MichelFrance B3,079.0567:237:23
24 Hoban BarryGreat-Brittain National Team3,075.5427:297:29
25 Godefroot WalterBelgium B3,070.2877:387:38
26 Bolley SergeFrance B3,069.7047:397:39
27 Poppe AndréBelgium A3,066.2127:457:45
28 Puschel DieterWest-germany3,066.212,,7:45
29 Dumont JeanFrance C3,065.0497:477:47
30 Leblanc Jean-marieFrance B3,059.2517:577:57
31 Vicentini FlavianoItaly National Team3,056.9388:018:01
32 Genet Jean-pierreFrance A3,046.5718:198:19
33 Bellone GilbertFrance B3,044.8508:228:22
34 Beugels EddyNetherlands National Team3,031.7218:458:45
35 Monteyne JeanBelgium B3,031.721,,8:45
36 Houbrechts Antoine3,028.3158:518:51
37 Vandenberghe GeorgesBelgium B3,028.315,,8:51
38 Elorza SebastianSpain3,025.4828:568:56
39 Lopez VicenteSpain3,024.9168:578:57
40 Novak AnatoleFrance A3,023.7858:598:59
41 Huysmans JosBelgium A2,986.37110:0610:06
42 Spuhler WillySuisse / Luxemburg National Team2,983.61610:1110:11
43 Passuello AdrianoItaly National Team2,983.616,,10:11
44 Jiménez JulioSpain2,975.92910:2510:25
45 Ducasse Jean-pierreFrance B2,952.02611:0911:09
46Van Vreckom RemyBelgium B2,935.94811:3911:39
47 Wright MichaelGreat-Brittain National Team2,933.28511:4411:44
48 Raymond ChristianFrance A2,921.09812:0712:07
49 Denson VicGreat-Brittain National Team2,915.83112:1712:17
50Van Rijckeghem DanielBelgium A2,911.10712:2612:26

Tour de France, the world’s most prestigious and most difficult bicycle race. Of the three foremost races (the others being the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España), the Tour de France attracts the world’s best riders. Staged for three weeks each July—usually in some 20 daylong stages—the Tour typically comprises 20 professional teams of 9 riders each and covers some 3,600 km (2,235 miles), mainly in France, with occasional and brief visits to such countries as Belgium, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Although the race may start outside France—as was the case in 2007, when England hosted the opening stage for the first time—it always heads there quickly; the Tour is France’s premier annual sporting event and has deep cultural roots. It is watched by huge crowds from the roadside and is televised around the world as one of the supreme tests of athletic endurance. Part of the difficulty cyclists face in the Tour is that it is divided among time-trial racing and racing stages covering both flat land and great stretches of mountainous inclines. It is a rare cyclist who can perform well at both time trials and climbing, and those who can usually wear the yellow jersey (maillot jaune) of victory at the end of the race in Paris.

Established in 1903 by Henri Desgrange (1865–1940), a French cyclist and journalist, the race has been run every year except during the World Wars. Desgrange’s newspaper, L’Auto (now L’Equipe), sponsored the Tour to boost circulation. Two events sparked spectator interest in the race: in 1910 the riders were sent, for the first time, over the treacherous “circle of death” in mountain passes in the Pyrenees; and 1919 marked the introduction of the yellow jersey—yellow being the colour of paper on which L’Auto was printed. The yellow jersey is an honour accorded to the cyclist who has the lowest cumulative time for the race at the end of each day. (A racer might well win a stage of a race on any given day but will not necessarily be given a yellow jersey, as that depends on the lowest overall time.) Three other types of jerseys are awarded during the Tour. Bonus sprints, awarding both points and a deduction of overall elapsed time, are held at several sites along the route each day during the race, and points are also awarded and time deducted for the first three finishers of each stage; the winner of the most points receives a green jersey. A polka-dotted jersey is given to the “king of the mountains,” the rider who has the most points in the climbing stages, racing over small hills as well as steep mountains. The white jersey is awarded to the rider age 25 and under who has the lowest cumulative time. Riders usually have three types of bicycles: one for time trials, one for flat road stages, and a very light bicycle for the mountain-climbing stages of the race. All bicycles must meet the standards of the International Cycling Union (Union Cycliste Internationale, UCI). They may be specially engineered for speed for the time trials, but those used for the road stages of the race must be “standard design.”

Early teams were sponsored mainly by bicycle manufacturers until 1930, when national and regional teams were introduced. In 1962 trade teams returned, and, except in 1967 and 1968, years that again featured national teams, trade teams have continued, with sponsors now including banks, insurance companies, and manufacturers of household goods. The team aspect of the Tour is important because, although only one rider is awarded the win, lead riders are dependent on their team members in order to succeed. Teammates help their leader with tactics such as letting him ride (draft) behind them to protect him from the wind, giving him one of their wheels when his bicycle has a flat, setting a strong pace for him in the mountains, and chasing down and blocking any major rivals who have accelerated away from the main group in an attempt to gain time. Thus, the Tour, and bicycle racing in general, is often referred to as an individual sport practiced by teams. The rewards for a selfless teammate include a share of prizes won by his leader as well as a continuation of the teammate’s job into the next annual racing season.

The use of performance-enhancing drugs—especially erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone that increases the level of red blood cells and thus the flow of oxygen to muscles—has become a major problem of the Tour de France. Amid frequent drug testing, doping scandals have threatened to overshadow the race itself. In 1998 one of the leading teams (Festina) was expelled due to allegations of drug use, and the 2006 winner, American Floyd Landis, tested positive for testosterone and was stripped of his title after an arbitration panel in 2007 upheld the drug-test results. In 2007 several teams withdrew from the Tour after their riders failed drug tests. That year also saw Bjarne Riis of Denmark, the 1996 victor, dropped from the Tour’s list of winners after he admitted using EPO during his race; however, due to time limits for sanctions, his title could not be officially revoked. The most infamous Tour doping scandal came in 2012 when seven-time winner (1999–2005) Lance Armstrong of the United States was stripped of his titles after an investigation revealed that he had been the central figure in a doping conspiracy during the years in which he won his titles.

Four riders have won five Tours each: Jacques Anquetil of France (1957 and 1961–64), Eddy Merckx of Belgium (1969–72 and 1974), Bernard Hinault of France (1978–79, 1981–82, and 1985), and Miguel Indurain of Spain (1991–95).

A list of Tour de France winners is provided in the table.

Tour de France
1903Maurice Garin (France)2,428
1904Henri Cornet (France)2,388
1905Louis Trousselier (France)2,975
1906René Pottier (France)4,637
1907Lucien Petit-Breton (France)4,488
1908Lucien Petit-Breton (France)4,487
1909François Faber (Lux.)4,507
1910Octave Lapize (France)4,474
1911Gustave Garrigou (France)5,344
1912Odile Defraye (Belg.)5,319
1913Philippe Thys (Belg.)5,387
1914Philippe Thys (Belg.)5,405
1915–18not held
1919Firmin Lambot (Belg.)5,560
1920Philippe Thys (Belg.)5,519
1921Léon Seieur (Belg.)5,484
1922Firmin Lambot (Belg.)5,375
1923Henri Pélissier (France)5,386
1924Ottavio Bottecchia (Italy)5,425
1925Ottavio Bottecchia (Italy)5,430
1926Lucien Buysse (Belg.)5,745
1927Nicolas Frantz (Lux.)5,341
1928Nicolas Frantz (Lux.)5,377
1929Maurice De Waele (Belg.)5,286
1930André Leducq (France)4,818
1931Antonin Magne (France)5,095
1932André Leducq (France)4,520
1933Georges Speicher (France)4,395
1934Antonin Magne (France)4,363
1935Romain Maes (Belg.)4,338
1936Sylvère Maes (Belg.)4,442
1937Roger Lapébie (France)4,415
1938Gino Bartali (Italy)4,694
1939Sylvère Maes (Belg.)4,224
1940–46not held
1947Jean Robic (France)4,640
1948Gino Bartali (Italy)4,922
1949Fausto Coppi (Italy)4,808
1950Ferdinand Kubler (Switz.)4,775
1951Hugo Koblet (Switz.)4,697
1952Fausto Coppi (Italy)4,807
1953Louison Bobet (France)4,479
1954Louison Bobet (France)4,469
1955Louison Bobet (France)4,855
1956Roger Walkowiak (France)4,496
1957Jacques Anquetil (France)4,686
1958Charly Gaul (Lux.)4,319
1959Federico Bahamontes (Spain)4,355
1960Gastone Nencini (Italy)4,173
1961Jacques Anquetil (France)4,397
1962Jacques Anquetil (France)4,274
1963Jacques Anquetil (France)4,137
1964Jacques Anquetil (France)4,504
1965Felice Gimondi (Italy)4,183
1966Lucien Aimar (France)4,303
1967Roger Pingeon (France)4,780
1968Jan Janssen (Neth.)4,662
1969Eddy Merckx (Belg.)4,110
1970Eddy Merckx (Belg.)4,366
1971Eddy Merckx (Belg.)3,689
1972Eddy Merckx (Belg.)3,846
1973Luis Ocaña (Spain)4,140
1974Eddy Merckx (Belg.)4,098
1975Bernard Thévenet (France)4,000
1976Lucien Van Impe (Belg.)4,050
1977Bernard Thévenet (France)4,098
1978Bernard Hinault (France)3,920
1979Bernard Hinault (France)3,719
1980Joop Zoetemelk (Neth.)3,948
1981Bernard Hinault (France)3,765
1982Bernard Hinault (France)3,489
1983Laurent Fignon (France)3,568
1984Laurent Fignon (France)3,880
1985Bernard Hinault (France)4,100
1986Greg LeMond (U.S.)4,091
1987Stephen Roche (Ire.)4,100
1988Pedro Delgado (Spain)3,300
1989Greg LeMond (U.S.)3,215
1990Greg LeMond (U.S.)3,399
1991Miguel Indurain (Spain)3,935
1992Miguel Indurain (Spain)3,983
1993Miguel Indurain (Spain)3,700
1994Miguel Indurain (Spain)3,978
1995Miguel Indurain (Spain)3,635
1996Bjarne Riis (Den.)*3,907
1997Jan Ullrich (Ger.)3,944
1998Marco Pantani (Italy)3,831
1999Lance Armstrong (U.S.)**3,687
2000Lance Armstrong (U.S.)**3,663
2001Lance Armstrong (U.S.)**3,454
2002Lance Armstrong (U.S.)**3,272
2003Lance Armstrong (U.S.)**3,428
2004Lance Armstrong (U.S.)**3,390
2005Lance Armstrong (U.S.)**3,608
2006Óscar Pereiro (Spain)***3,657
2007Alberto Contador (Spain)3,550
2008Carlos Sastre (Spain)3,554
2009Alberto Contador (Spain)3,460
2010Andy Schleck (Lux.)***3,642
2011Cadel Evans (Austl.)3,430
2012Bradley Wiggins (U.K.)3,497
2013Christopher Froome (U.K.)3,404
2014Vincenzo Nibali (Italy)3,664
2015Christopher Froome (U.K.)3,360
2016Christopher Froome (U.K.)3,529
2017Christopher Froome (U.K.)3,540

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