1990 Tour de France

77th edition: june 30 to july 22, 1990, results, stages with running gc, map, photos and history.

1989 Tour | 1991 Tour | Tour de France database | 1990 Tour Quick Facts | Race summary | Team GC | Points | Climber (Mountains Grand Prix or KOM) | Most Aggressive Rider | Best Young Rider | Stages with running GC | 1990 Tour complete GC | The Story of the 1990 Tour de France

Map of the 1990 Tour de France

Cycling's World Championships

Les Woodland's book Cycling's World Championships: The Inside Story is available as an audiobook here .

1990 Tour Quick Facts

198 starters, 156 finishers.

3,403.8 km raced at an average speed of 37.52 km/hr

Greg LeMond won his third Tour in 1990. It was his first time to race the Tour with a powerful team unified behind him.

In the first stage a powerful break that included LeMond's teammate Ronan Pensac arrived at the finish over 9 minutes ahead of the pack.

In that break was Claudio Chiappucci, who proved to be a tenacious holder of the Yellow Jersey.

LeMond ate away at the time gap stage after stage until he captured the lead in the stage 20 individual time trial.

1990 Tour de France Final Individual Classification

Results Summary

Final Team Classification

Points (Green Jersey or Sprinter)

Mountains Grand Prix (Climber or KOM)

Most Aggressive

Best Young Rider (under 25)

Melanoma: It started with a freckle

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Stages with running GC

TDF volume 1

Prologue: Saturday, June 30, Futuroscope 6.3 km Individual Time Trial. Stage and GC times and places are the same.

  • Thierry Marie: 7min 49sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 4sec
  • Raul Alcala s.t.
  • Francis Moreau @ 10sec
  • Eric Vanderaerden @ 12sec
  • Viatcheslav Ekimov @ 13sec
  • Pello Ruiz-Cabestany @ 17sec
  • Miguel Indurain s.t.
  • Jelle Nijdam @ 18sec
  • Stephen Roche s.t.

Stage 1: Monday, July 2, Furturoscope - Futuroscope, 138.5 km

  • Frans Maassen: 3hr 19min 1sec
  • Ronan Pensec s.t.
  • Claudio Chiappucci s.t.
  • Steve Bauer s.t.
  • John Carlsen @ 8min 36sec
  • Guido Winterberg @ 9min 24sec
  • Olaf Ludwig @ 10min 35sec
  • Jean-Paul Van Poppel s.t.
  • Giovanni Fidanza s.t.
  • Djamolidine Abdoujaparov s.t.

GC after Stage 1:

  • Steve Bauer: 3hr 27min 1sec
  • Frans Maassen @ 2sec
  • Claudio Chiappucci @ 9sec
  • Ronan Pensec @ 21sec
  • John Carlsen @ 9min 3sec
  • Guido Winterberg @ 9min 44sec
  • Thierry marie @ 10min 24sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 10min 28sec
  • Francis Moreau @ 10min 34sec

Stage 2: Monday, July 2, Futuroscope 44.5 km Team Time Trial. Rules limited a rider's time loss to 5 minutes.

  • Panasonic: 53min 24sec
  • ONCE @ 22sec
  • Histor-Sigma s.t.
  • Castorama @ 33sec
  • 7-Eleven @ 48sec
  • Buckler @ 56sec
  • Helvetia @ 1min 15sec
  • Weinmann @ 1min 18sec

GC after stage 2:

  • Steve Bauer: 4hr 21min 13sec
  • Frans Maassen @ 10sec
  • Ronan Pensec @ 26sec
  • Claudio Chiappucci @ 50sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 9min 47sec
  • Viatcheslav Ekimov @ 9min 49sec
  • Steven Rooks @ 10min 1sec
  • Sean Kelly s.t.
  • Eric Van Lancker @ 10min 3sec
  • Alan Peiper s.t.

Stage 3: Tuesday, July 3, Poitiers - Nantes, 233 km

  • Moreno Argentin: 5hr 46min 13sec
  • Christophe Lavainne @ 2min 29sec
  • Uwe Raab s.t.
  • Olaf Ludwig s.t.
  • Johan Capiot s.t.
  • Jelle Nijdam s.t.
  • Soren Lilholt s.t.
  • Asiate Saitov s.t.
  • Marc Sergeant s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

  • Steve Bauer: 10hr 9min 55sec
  • Frans Maassen @ 8sec
  • Moreno Argentin @ 8min 23sec

Stage 4: Wednesday, July 4, Nantes - Mont St. Michel, 203 km

  • Johan Museeuw: 5hr 23min 33sec
  • Guido Bontempi s.t.
  • Davis Phinney s.t.
  • Adriano Baffi s.t.
  • Etienne De Wilde s.t.
  • Martin Schalkers s.t.

GC after stage 4:

  • Steve Bauer: 15hr 33min 24sec
  • Ronan Pensec @ 30sec
  • Frans Maassen @ 33sec
  • Claudio Chiappucci @ 1min 1sec
  • Moreno Argentin @ 8min 27sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 9min 58sec
  • Steven Rooks @ 10min 5sec
  • Eric Van Lancker @ 10min 4sec

Stage 5: Thursday, July 5, Avranches - Rouen, 301 km

  • Gerrit Solleveld: 7hr 43min 7sec
  • Johan Museeuw @ 4min 27sec
  • Olaf Ludwig @ 4min 30sec
  • Eric Vanderaerden s.t.
  • Adri Van Der Poel s.t.

GC after stage 5:

  • Steve Bauer: 23hr 20min 57sec
  • Ronan Pensec @ 34sec
  • Frans Maassen @ 37sec
  • Claudio Chiappucci @ 1min 5sec
  • Gerrit Solleveld @ 7min 26sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 10min 2sec
  • Sean Kelly @ 10min 3sec
  • Steven Rooks @ 10min 9sec
  • Alan Peiper @ 10min 16sec
  • Guy Nulens @ 10min 18sec

Stage 6: Friday, July 6, Sarrebourg - Vittel, 202.5 km

  • Jelle Nijdam: 5hr 23min 56sec
  • Jesper Skibby s.t.
  • Johan Museeuw s.t.
  • Viatcheslav Ekimov s.t.
  • Guy Nulens @ 3sec
  • Adriano Baffi @ 8sec

GC after Stage 6:

  • Steve Bauer: 28hr 45min 1sec
  • Raul Alacala @ 10min 2sec
  • Guy Nulens @ 10min 11sec

Stage 7: Saturday, July 7, Vittel - Epinal 61.5 km Individual Time Trial

  • Raul Alcala: 1hr 17min 5sec
  • Miguel Indurain @ 1min 24sec
  • Gianni Bugno @ 1min 47sec
  • Pedro Delgado @ 2min 5sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 2min 11sec
  • Jean-François Bernard @ 2min 26sec
  • Uwe Ampler @ 2min 30sec
  • Tony Rominger @ 2min 32sec
  • Gerrit Solleveld @ 2min 40sec

GC after Stage 7:

  • Steve Bauer: 30hr 4min 49sec
  • Ronan Pensec @ 17sec
  • Claudio Chiappucci @ 1min 11sec
  • Frans Maassen @ 1min 16sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 7min 19sec
  • Gerrit Solleveld @ 7min 23sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 10min 9sec
  • Uwe Ampler @ 10min 14sec
  • Sean Kelly @ 10min 15sec
  • Viatcheslav Ekimov @ 10min 26sec

Stage 8 , Sunday, July 8: Epinal - Besançon, 181.5 km.

  • Olaf Ludwig: 4hr 26min 53sec
  • Ron Kiefel s.t.
  • Jean-Claude Colotti s.t.
  • Andréas Kappes s.t.
  • Christophe Lavainne s.t.
  • Guido Winterberg s.t.
  • Massimo Ghirotto s.t.
  • Pascal Lance s.t.
  • Patrick Jacobs s.t.

GC after Stage 8:

  • Steve Bauer: 34hr 32min 3sec
  • Ronen Pensec @ 17sec
  • Claudio Chiappucci @ 1min 7sec
  • Frans Massen @ 1min 16sec
  • Guido Winterberg @ 10min 26sec

Stage 9 , Monday, July 9: Besançon - Geneva, 196 km

  • Massimo Ghirotto: 4hr 46min 7sec
  • Eduardo Chozas s.t.
  • Christophe Lavainne @ 16sec
  • Brian Holm @ 19sec
  • Philippe Louviot s.t.
  • Jörg Muller s.t.
  • Gilles Delion @ 25sec
  • Giuseppe Calcaterra @ 27sec
  • Bjarne Riis s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

  • Steve Bauer: 39hr 18min 47sec
  • Frans Maassen @ 1min 6sec

Stage 10 , Tuesday, July 10: Geneva - St. Gervaix (Mont Blanc). 118.5 km

  • Thierry Claveyrolat: 3hr 24min 31sec
  • Uwe Ampler @ 1min 54sec
  • Charly Mottet s.t.
  • Reynel Montoya @ 2min 10sec
  • Marino Lejaretta s.t.
  • Eric Boyer s.t.
  • Pedro Delgado s.t.
  • Guido Winterberg @ 2min 11sec
  • Roberto Conti @ 2min 24sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 2min 29sec

GC after Stage 10:

  • Ronan Pensec: 42hr 46min 4sec
  • Steve Bauer @ 1min 21sec
  • Frans Maassen @ 2min 27sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 7min 2sec
  • Uwe Ampler @ 9min 22sec
  • Guido Winterberg @ 9min 51sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 9min 52sec
  • Sean Kelly @ 9min 58sec
  • Erik Breukink @ 10min 15sec

Stage 11 , Wednesday, July 11, St. Gervais - L'Alpe d'Huez . 182.5 km

  • Gianni Bugno: 5hr 37min 51sec
  • Greg LeMond s.t.
  • Erik Breukink @ 1sec
  • Thierry Claveyrolat @ 4sec
  • Fabio Parra @ 6sec
  • Abelardo Rondon @ 40sec
  • Andy Hampsten s.t.
  • Claude Criquielion @ 47sec
  • Ronan Pensec @ 48sec

GC after Stage 11:

  • Ronan Pensec: 48hr 24min 43sec
  • Claudio Chiappucci @ 1min 28sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 9min 4sec
  • Erik Breukink @ 9min 28sec
  • Gianni Bugno @ 10min 39sec
  • Pedro Delgado @ 11min 5sec
  • Claude Criquielion @ 11min 29sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 11min 55sec
  • Andy Hampsten @ 13min 45sec
  • Fabrice Philipot @ 13min 49sec

Stage 12 , Thursday, July 12: Fontaine to Villard de Lans. 33.5 km individual time trial

37.46 average speed for winner Breukink

Claudio Chiappucci took the yellow jersey from Ronan Pensec, freeing teammate Greg LeMond to ride his own race. Chiappucci was the first Italian to wear yellow since Moser, 15 years before.

  • Erik Breukink: 56min 52sec
  • Pedro Delgado @ 30sec
  • Miguel Indurain @ 43sec
  • Marino Lejaretta @ 54sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 56sec
  • Fabio Parra @ 58sec
  • William Palacio @ 59sec
  • Johan Bruyneel @ 1min 17sec
  • Reynel Montoya s.t.

GC after Stage 12:

  • Claudio Chiappucci: 49hr 24min 8sec
  • Ronan Pensec @ 1min 17sec
  • Erik Breukink @ 6min 55sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 7min 27sec
  • Pedro Delgado @ 9min 2sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 10min 44sec
  • Gianni Bugno @ 10min 48sec
  • Claude Criquielion @ 11min 23sec
  • Marino Lejaretta @ 12min 46sec
  • Andy Hampsten @ 13min 58sec

Stage 13 , Saturday, July 14: Villard-de-Lans - St. Etienne. 149 km.

LeMond sent teammate Ronan Pensac ahead. Chiappucci and the Carrera team chased. LeMond and Breukink counterattacked fiercely when Pensac was caught and left Chiappucci behind, who lost almost 5 minutes.

  • Eduardo Chozas: 3hr 20min 12sec
  • Erik Breukink s.t.
  • Roberto Conti s.t.
  • Marino Lejaretta @ 30sec
  • Gianni Bugno s.t.
  • Miguel Indurain @ 36sec
  • Dimitri Konyshev @ 3min 8sec

35. Claudio Chiappucci @ 4min 35sec

GC after Stage 13:

  • Claudio Chiappucci: 52hr 49min 13sec
  • Erik Breukink @ 2min 2sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 2min 34sec
  • Ronan Pensec @ 4min 11sec
  • Pedro Delgado @ 4min 39sec
  • Gianni Bugno @ 6min 25sec
  • Marino Lejaretta @ 8min 23sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 9min
  • Andy Hampsten @ 9min 5sec
  • Claude Criquielion @ 9min 39sec

Stage 14 , Sunday, July 15: Le Puy en Velay- Milau (Causse Noir). 205 km.

Marino Lejaretta broke clear 2 km from the top of the final hill-top finish at Millau.

  • Marino Lejaretta: 5hr 12min 3sec
  • Miguel Indurain @ 24sec
  • Gianni Bugno @ 25sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 33sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 34sec
  • Claude Criquielion s.t.
  • William Palacio s.t.
  • Gilles Delion s.t.
  • Fabio Parra s.t.
  • Roberto Conti @ 42sec
  • Claudio Chiappucci @ 47sec

GC after Stage 14:

  • Claudio Chiappucci: 58hr 2min 3sec
  • Erik Breukink @ 1min 49sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 2min 21sec
  • Pedro Delgado @ 4min 26sec
  • Ronan Pensec @ 4min 55sec
  • Gianni Bugno @ 6min 3sec
  • Marino Lejaretta @ 7min 36sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 8min 46sec
  • Claude Criquielion @ 9min 26sec
  • Andy Hampsten @ 9min 43sec

Stage 15 : Monday, July 16, Milau - Revel, 170 km

Charly Mottet rode the final 31 km alone.

  • Charly Mottet: 4hr 13min 56sec
  • Giuseppe Calcaterra @ 2min 2sec
  • Viatscheslav Ekimov s.t.
  • Edwig Van Hooydonck s.t.
  • Thierry Claveyrolat s.t.
  • Davide Cassani s.t.
  • Atle Kvalsvoll s.t.
  • Luc Leblanc s.t.
  • Oscar de Jésus Vargas s.t.
  • Bruno Cornillet s.t.

GC after Stage 15:

  • Claudio Chiappucci: 62hr 20min 47sec
  • Erik Breukink @ 1min 52sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 2min 24sec
  • Pedro Delgado @ 4min 29sec
  • Ronan Pensec @ 4min 58sec
  • Gianni Bugno @ 6min 6sec
  • Marino Lejaretta @ 7min 39sec
  • Eduardo Chozas @ 8min 14sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 8min 49sec
  • Claude Criquielion @ 9min 29sec

Stage 16 : Tuesday, July 17, Blagnac- Luz-Ardiden. 215 km

  • Miguel Indurain: 7hr 4min 38sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 6sec
  • Marino Lejaretta @ 15sec
  • Juan Martinez-Torres @ 59sec
  • Fabio Parra @ 1min 18sec
  • Roberto Conti @ 1min 24sec
  • Claude Criquielion @ 1min 36sec
  • Pedro Delgado @ 1min 38sec
  • Gilles Delion @ 2min

GC after Stage 16:

  • Claudio Chiappucci: 69hr 27min 50sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 5sec
  • Pedro Delgado @ 3min 42sec
  • Erik Breukink @ 3min 49sec
  • Marino Lejaretta @ 5min 29sec
  • Gianni Bugno @ 7min 48sec
  • Eduardo Chozas @ 7min 49sec
  • Claude Criquielion @ 8min 40sec
  • Andy Hampsten @ 9min 34sec
  • Ronan Pensec @ 11min 21sec

Stage 17 : Wednesday, July 18, Lourdes - Pau. 150 km.

  • Dimitri Konyshev: 4hr 8min 25sec
  • Johan Bruyneel @ 1sec
  • Steve Bauer @ 11sec
  • Jean-Claude Colotti @ 32sec
  • Pascal Simon @ 34sec
  • Dominique Arnaud @ 53sec
  • Laurent Biondi @ 2min 59sec
  • Peter Declercq @ 3min 38sec

GC after Stage 17:

  • Claudio Chiappucci: 73hr 41min 46sec
  • Fabio Parra @ 11min 30sec

Stage 18 : Thursday, July 19, Pau - Bordeaux. 202 km

  • Gianni Bugno: 5hr 41min 33sec
  • Roberto Gusmeroli @ 3sec
  • Giovanni Fidanza @ 19sec

GC after Stage 18:

  • Claudio Chiappucci: 79hr 23min 38sec
  • Erik Breukink @ 3min 31sec
  • Gianni Bugno @ 7min 29sec

Stage 19 : Friday, July 20, Castillon La Bataille - Limoges. 182.5 km

  • Guido Bontempi: 5hr 16min 4sec
  • Dag-Otto Lauritzen @ 1min 28sec
  • Peter Roes s.t.
  • Robert Gusmeroli @ 1min 32sec
  • Jelle Nijdam @ 2min 6sec
  • Maarten Ducrot @ 2min 15sec
  • Edwig Van Hooyndonck @ 2min 44sec

GC after stage 19:

  • Claudio Chiappucci: 84hr 45min 46sec

Stage 20 : Saturday, July 21, Lac de Vassivère 45.5 km individual time trial.

  • Erik Breukink: 1hr 2min 40sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 28sec
  • Marino Lejaretta @ 38sec
  • Miguel Indurain @ 40sec
  • Greg LeMond @ 57sec
  • Pello Ruiz-Cabestany @ 1min 28sec
  • Dag-Otto Lauritzen @ 2min 1sec
  • Pedro Delgado @ 2min 21sec
  • Philippe Louviot @ 2min 26sec
  • Luc Leblanc @ 2min 27sec

GC after Stage 20:

  • Greg LeMond: 85hr 49min 28sec
  • Claudio Chiappucci @ 2min 16sec
  • Erik Breukink @ 2min 29sec
  • Pedro Delgado @ 5min 1sec
  • Marino Lejaretta @ 5min 5sec
  • Eduardo Chozas @ 9min 14sec
  • Gianni Bugno @ 9min 39sec
  • Raul Alcala @ 11min 14sec
  • Claude Criquielion @ 12min 4sec
  • Miguel Indurain @ 12min 47sec

Stage 21 : Sunday, July 21, Bretigny sur Orge - Paris, 182.5 km

  • Johan Museeuw: 4hr 53min 52sec
  • Phil Anderson s.t.

1990 Tour de France complete final General Classification

The Story of the 1990 Tour de France

This excerpt is from "The Story of the Tour de France", Volume 2. If you enjoy them we hope you will consider purchasing the book, either print, eBook or audiobook. The Amazon link here will make the purchase easy.

LeMond had always made it clear that he did not think that the European professional cycling culture of year-round asceticism was right for him. He felt that a life was to be lived. In the off season this could manifest itself in a visible loss of form. At the start of the 1990 season LeMond was noticeably overweight. The situation was not improved when he had a bout of mononucleosis (Brits call it glandular fever).

On the plus side, for the first time in his career, LeMond had a strong team that was dedicated to him. There were no split loyalties of the sort both he and Stephen Roche had been forced to deal with in earlier years. And unlike his 1989 ADR team, his new team, sponsored by a children's clothing company "Z", had riders who could assist him during the entire Tour. His "Z" helpers included climber Robert Millar, and all-around strongmen Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (a future 2-time Paris–Roubaix winner) and Ronan Pensec. These were good men to have on one's side.

While there may have been justifiable worries about LeMond's fitness to contest the Tour de France, these fears were almost immediately put to rest with the Prologue time trial. Thierry Marie, who made a habit of winning these mini-time trials, won this one. LeMond was second at only 4 seconds. Raul Alcala scored third with just about the same time. Fignon was fifteenth at 19 seconds.

The first stage was one of those dopey stages in which a break of good riders, generally thought to be General Classification non-threats, was allowed to get away. The pack must have had a day of non compos mentis because this was a group of good racers

Claudio Chiappucci, who never had any regard for conservative tactics, took off when the first stage was only 6 kilometers old. Steve Bauer, Ronan Pensec and Frans Maassen quickly joined him. For the first 30 kilometers the quartet was only able to squeeze out a 30-second lead. Then, as is often the case, the peloton relented in its chase, perhaps slowed by a crash that took Pedro Delgado down. The lead increased and by the end of the stage the pack was 10 minutes, 35 seconds behind the 4 speedy adventurers. All of these riders except Chiappucci were well known quantities. Bauer was fourth in the 1988 Tour. Pensec had a sixth and a seventh in his past Tours. They were tough riders who would probably surrender their time in the high mountains only after a tough fight. But Chiappucci?

So far, Chiappucci had shown himself to be a competent but unspectacular racer. The previous year he was forty-sixth in the Giro and eighty-first in the Tour. He did manage to win the Giro del Piemonte and score a second in the hilly Giro del Trentino. This year he had improved, with a seventh in Paris–Nice and a commendable twelfth in the Giro. This did not seem to be the stuff of a Tour contender on the level of Fignon or Delgado. But wait, Chiappucci was King of the Mountains in this year's Giro. Hmmm…

Bauer was in Yellow yet again. The General Classification now stood thus:

As the Tour went clockwise across northern France and then headed south for the Alps, the general situation remained unchanged, with the stage 1 breakaway quartet sitting on top of the leader board and Bauer in Yellow. A crash in stage 4 cost Robert Millar over 9 minutes and effectively eliminated this winner of the 1990 Dauphiné from contention.

Raul Alcala blistered the stage 7 time trial with Miguel Indurain second to him at a distant 1 minute, 24 seconds. LeMond picked up some time on the 4 breakaways, he was now 10 minutes, 9 seconds behind Bauer. Fignon, again unable to ride well, abandoned. The important news of the time trial was that the 4 stage-1 breakaways had ridden credible time trials. The closest rider to the top 4 was Raul Alcala and he was still over 7 minutes behind Bauer.

Stage 10, with its finish at the Le Bettex ski station, saw the first casualty of the Gang of Four. Bauer finished fiftieth, 4 minutes, 7 seconds behind stage winner Thierry Claveyrolat who had taken off early in search of Hot Spot sprint points and then stayed away to the finish. Behind, on the final climb, an aggressive Delgado blew up the chasing group but wasn't able to gain more than 19 seconds on the other contenders. More importantly for the moment, Bauer had come in behind Pensec and Chiappucci. The pair finished in the LeMond group which included Rooks, Alcala, Gianni Bugno, Miguel Indurain and Andy Hampsten. The Yellow Jersey was now the property of LeMond's teammate Ronan Pensec.

LeMond continued to chew away at the deficit in little bites. Stage 11 crossed the Glandon, the Madeleine and finished atop L'Alpe d'Huez. Gianni Bugno and LeMond finished with the same time, with Erik Breukink just off their wheels. Pensec lost 48 seconds and Chiappucci lost 1 minute, 48 seconds. Pensec was still in Yellow with an increased lead over Chiappucci.

The standings after the major Alpine climbing was finished:

Stage 12 is where it starts to get really interesting. The 33.5-kilometer individual time trial included a second category climb and ended Ronan Pensec's hopes of taking the Yellow Jersey to Paris. Erik Breukink continued to display his fine form by winning the stage with Delgado only 30 seconds back. LeMond was fifth at 56 seconds. Chiappucci showed he was made of stern stuff with an eighth place, 1 minute, 5 seconds behind Breukink and only 9 seconds slower then LeMond. Pensec was forty-ninth at 3 minutes, 50 seconds. That at least ended any split ambitions in the team. Pensec was now riding for LeMond.

The General Classification at this point:

Chiappucci had the Yellow Jersey and the Tour had a day of rest. Keeping the Yellow Jersey would be a real challenge as Breukink, Delgado, LeMond, Hampsten and the others with high General Classification ambitions continued their bellicosity when the race resumed. The very next day into the Massif Central, stage 13, Chiappucci missed the crucial break that included LeMond, Breukink, and Delgado, and lost almost 5 minutes. Doing a lot of the chasing himself, Chiappucci had at one point closed to within 33 seconds. But getting almost no help from the other teams, making contact with the talented riders ahead of him was an almost impossible task. Well, he was the Yellow Jersey and it wasn't the job of the other teams to defend it for him.

Breukink, who was having the Tour of his life, had pulled within 2 minutes, 2 seconds of Chiappucci, and LeMond was just a tad further back at 2 minutes, 34 seconds. If LeMond wanted the win, he had to get by both Chiappucci and a beautifully riding Erik Breukink.

In stage 14 Breukink and LeMond took a small bite out of Chiappucci, about 10 seconds. If they could keep up the pressure, the small Italian would just bleed little dabs of time all over France. Would Chiappucci run out of Tour before he ran out of time?

Stage 16 to Luz Ardiden with the Aspin and the Tourmalet in the middle decided the Tour and showed that both LeMond and Chiappucci were athletes worthy of admiration.

Chiappucci decided on a gigantic roll of the dice. He couldn't let LeMond and Breukink continue to ride their race, forcing him to give up time each stage. He attacked as soon as the race hit the first major climb, the Aspin, taking 6 others with him. Again Chiappucci was stuck, being forced to do all the work. He took off and was first over the summit, 34 seconds ahead of the first group. Chiappucci pressed on and by the time he was halfway up the Tourmalet he had extended his lead to 3 minutes, 20 seconds. LeMond grew alarmed. If Chiappucci held this much lead by the end of the day he would probably be able to withstand any assault LeMond could mount with only 1 mountain stage and 1 time trial left.

LeMond dropped all but Delgado and Indurain as he attacked to get back on terms with the small, tough Italian. By distancing himself from Breukink at this point, he potentially eliminated his only other real threat.

LeMond did a kamikaze descent, making up a whole minute, and closed the gap to Chiappucci. There was now a small group in the lead that included Indurain, Fabio Parra and Marino Lejarreta. On the final climb to Luz Ardiden, after riding hard at the front as long as he could, Chiappucci had to surrender when Fabio Parra attacked. LeMond and Indurain were among the small group who went with Parra. Near the finish Indurain attacked and LeMond had to let him go.

Indurain won the stage with LeMond only 6 seconds back. Chiappucci came in fourteenth, 2 minutes, 25 seconds behind Indurain. That left Chiappucci with only a 5-second lead, a very slim hold on the Yellow Jersey with a time trial coming up.

The last stage in the mountains with the Aubisque and the Marie-Blanque changed nothing at the top of the standings. Breukink, LeMond and Chiappucci finished with the same time. LeMond had a scare, however. On the Marie-Blanque Chiappucci and Delgado attacked. Seconds later LeMond flatted. He got a slow wheel change and then had to change his bike. With the 2 challengers up the road, LeMond chased with a surprising fury. His descent down the mountain was frighteningly fast. LeMond was a truly skilled descender and this time he put those abilities to use. The race marshal on the motor bike said that he had never seen a descent like LeMond's that day. Up ahead Chiappucci had 4 Carrera teammates helping him while further back the 4 "Z" riders who were with LeMond could mostly just hang on while the World Champion blasted down the road. Eventually contact was made and LeMond made known his displeasure with the others that their forcing an attack while he was getting a repair was not sportsmanlike. Later LeMond said that he truly feared at that moment that the race was lost.

With some good fortune and some smart riding, LeMond had things where he wanted them. He was to face a man with a 5-second lead who never shown any special flair for riding against the clock.

The stage 20 45.5-kilometer individual time trial played out exactly as LeMond had hoped and Chiappucci had dreaded.

LeMond had won his third Tour, this time without ever winning a stage.

The final 1990 Tour de France General Classification:

Climbers' Competition:

Points Competition:

There was an interesting addition to this Tour. A team of Soviet riders sponsored by Alfa-Lum came and did very well. Dmitri Konyshev won stage 17. Two other riders on this team would make a serious impression on the European pro circuit over time: Piotr Ugrumov and Djamolodine Abdoujaparov. East German Olaf Ludwig, riding for Panasonic, won the Green Jersey. Alcala's stage 7 time trial victory was the first Tour stage win by a Mexican. Times were changing.

More than one writer at the time speculated that if Miguel Indurain had ridden for himself instead of for Delgado, he probably would have won the Tour. Who knows?

© McGann Publishing

1990 Tour de France (Q827936)

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Prologue (Futuroscope - Futuroscope, 6.3 km in Individual Time Trial)

Stage 1 (Futuroscope - Futuroscope, 138.5 km)

Stage 2 (Futuroscope - Futuroscope, 44.5 km in Team Time Trial)

Stage 3 (Poitiers - Nantes, 233 km)

Stage 4 (Nantes - Mont St Michel, 203 km)

Stage 5 (Avranches - Rouen, 301 km)

Stage 6 (Sarrebourg - Vittel, 202.5 km)

Stage 7 (Vittel - Epinal, 61.5 km in Individual Time Trial)

Stage 8 (Epinal - Besançon, 181.5 km)

Stage 9 (Besançon - Genève, 196 km)

Stage 10 (Genève - St Gervais/Mont Blanc, 118.5 km)

Stage 11 (St Gervais - Alpe d'Huez, 182.5 km)

Stage 12 (Fontaine - Villard de Lans, 33.5 km in Individual Time Trial)

Stage 13 (Villard de Lans - St Etienne, 149 km)

Stage 14 (Le Puy en Velay - Millau/Causse noir, 205 km)

Stage 15 (Millau - Revel, 170 km)

Stage 16 (Blagnac - Luz Ardiden, 215 km)

Stage 17 (Lourdes - Pau, 150 km)

Stage 18 (Pau - Bordeaux, 202 km)

Stage 19 (Castillon la Bataille - Limoges, 182.5 km)

Stage 20 (Lac de Vassivière - Lac de Vassivière, 45.5 km in Individual Time Trial)

Stage 21 (Brétigny - Paris/Champs Elysées, 182.5 km)

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Category : Tour de France 1990


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77th edition 30 June 1990 - 22 July 1990
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Greg Lemond Tour de France 1990

30 June 1990 77th Tour de France Prologue : Futuroscope - Futuroscope 2nd : LEMOND Greg (USA) Z Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA / Slide

An early escape turned the 1990 Tour into a three-week game of catch-up for reigning champ Greg LeMond. Would he recapture last year’s triumph or had he left it too late?

Words Lionel Birnie Photos: Graham Watson, Yuzuru Sunada Additional interviews: Edward Pickering, Chris Sidwells, Gregor Brown

No one was expecting a repeat of the drama of the previous year, when the Tour de France was decided in the final metres on the Champs-Elysées. But the 1990 Tour was just as gripping, albeit in a different way.

Instead of a final-day showdown, there was a three-week pursuit around France. And all because the contenders wanted to save their legs on the first Sunday. With a team time trial to come in the afternoon, four riders gained 10 minutes during the morning’s road stage. And it took almost three weeks to get that time back.

Uncertain future

The Tour began at Futuroscope, a futuristic theme park near Poitiers, intended to showcase French technology and innovation. This being a late-1980s vision of the future, it had a surreal feel that wasn’t eased by the fact it was out in the middle of nowhere.

Futuroscope had hosted a time trial in the 1987 Tour de France, shortly after the park opened. Now the owners had paid £500,000 to stage the opening weekend. “It was like something from space,” says Frans Maassen, the Dutch rider with the Buckler team. “It was strange and there were bits of it that were still like a building site.”

Before the race, French newspaper L’Equipe was anticipating another showdown between Greg LeMond and Laurent Fignon, the two men separated by just eight seconds in Paris the year before. LeMond, the reigning world champion, had not won a race since taking the rainbow jersey in Chambéry the previous August, while Fignon was horribly out of form. The two had been sniping at one another. Fignon said: “Greg’s tactics don’t change. He always bases his race on following the most dangerous rider on general classification, never attacks, and saves himself for the time trials.”

The other two firm favourites for the race were 1988 champion Pedro Delgado, and Erik Breukink of Holland.

Thierry Marie, a team-mate of Fignon’s on the Castorama squad, won the prologue. The favourites just wanted to settle down and negotiate the dangers of a flat, potentially windy opening week before the first serious battle came in the time trial at Epinal. As it turned out, the race was to take an unusual twist perfectly in keeping with the alien surroundings of the prologue.

Opinion split

On the first Sunday there were two stages, as was common at the time. In the morning was a 138-kilometre loop, followed by a 45-kilometre team time trial in the afternoon. Most of the riders disliked the split stages because there was very little time to recover before having to ride in a hard, specialist discipline. For Steve Bauer, this presented an opportunity.

“When you have a team time trial in the afternoon, you don’t have the same commitment from the teams in the morning,” said the Canadian, who rode for 7-Eleven. “Everyone knows that if you have a bad team time trial you can lose a couple of minutes, so no one really wants to go into it feeling tired already. My tactic was simple: attack and hope that there wasn’t the stomach for a big chase. I did exactly the same thing in 1988 when I attacked in the morning stage, won and got the yellow jersey. I wanted to use it to my advantage again. I told myself that I had to be in every break. You don’t want to miss the one that eventually goes.”

Claudio Chiappucci, a 27-year-old Italian rider with the Carrera team, was virtually unknown outside his home country but, after a solid Giro d’Italia, he had his eyes on an early spell in the King of the Mountains jersey.

“We planned the escape,” he says. “When we arrived in France we examined the [route] book and I saw there was a chance to get away, win the points for the King of Mountains and get on the podium on the first day.”

As soon as the flag dropped at the end of the neutralised zone, the attacks started. Even with the team time trial looming, everyone was eager and fresh. Bauer had positioned himself right at the front on the start line so he could see everything happening in front of him. There’s a touch of alchemy in the way a successful break forms. It takes boldness, persistence and a stroke of luck to be in the right place at the right time. But not until the combination of riders and circumstances is perfect will the break turn to gold.

Chiappucci and Bauer were joined by Maassen and Frenchman Ronan Pensec, a team-mate of LeMond’s in the Z squad. The gap was small to start with, just 30 seconds or so, and it stayed like that for 20 or 30 kilometres. The bunch could see the riders ahead but couldn’t bring them back.

Maassen rode for Buckler, run by Jan Raas. “We did the Tour of Sweden just before the Tour,” says Maassen. “We won four stages but we made a silly tactical mistake and lost the race overall to an amateur rider [Dimitri Zhdanov of Russia]. Raas was angry about that. He was often angry about things. Sweden was not a really important race so maybe he was angry about it to motivate us for the Tour. Before the race he kept saying how important it was for us to have a good start. We had a new sponsor [Buckler, a non-alcoholic beer] and Raas wanted to impress them.”

The chase was disorganised and the gap was just big enough to discourage anyone from trying to bridge across, the effect of which would have been to drag the whole peloton up. In the escape, no one dared look back for fear of seeing the bunch upon them. It became a case of willpower. Could the escapees keep the pace up until the bunch sat up?

“We were drilling it but we knew in our minds we couldn’t keep that pace up for ever,” says Bauer. “It became a case of who was going to break first? Us, or the peloton? We didn’t want to give up but it was getting to the point where we were pushing very hard and getting nowhere. I don’t know what was happening behind but eventually they stopped chasing and suddenly, boom, we had five, six, seven minutes.”

Back in the bunch, no one wanted to work for fear of compromising their team time trial. LeMond’s Z team had the perfect excuse — they had Pensec in the lead. Castorama, who were supposed to be defending Marie’s yellow jersey, had their minds on the afternoon stage. Panasonic, run by Peter Post, who was Raas’ nemesis, hated the fact a Buckler rider was up the road. But they, too, were saving themselves. That left PDM, who had Breukink and Raul Alcala as their leaders. They took on the bulk of the work but only once the gap had reached 15 minutes, by which time it was damage-limitation time.

“I was really worried Panasonic would chase,” says Maassen.

“I was sure they wouldn’t let me get away because we always had big bells [ding-dong battles] with them. In those days it was always Post against Raas. It cost me a lot of races. I heard from some guys afterwards that Post was very angry with them that I had been allowed to get away.”

Chiappucci achieved his goal, winning both of the climbs to take the lead in the King of the Mountains competition. Bauer knew he had ridden the best prologue time trial of the four. However, Maassen won the time bonus at the first intermediate sprint and Bauer knew that if the Dutchman won the stage, he’d also take the yellow jersey.

“I made sure I won the last bonus sprint because then I just had to finish with Maassen and I’d get the jersey,” he says. “My main goal was to get the yellow jersey but once I’d made pretty sure of it I did start to think about the stage as well.”

On the run-in, Pensec stopped working. Even for Z the lead had grown a little uncomfortable. By now Maassen felt the pressure to win. “I was worried about Bauer,” he says. “Chiappucci I knew nothing about. I hadn’t heard of him but I thought ‘well, he’s Italian, he’s a little guy, I think I’m going to be faster’.”

Bauer and Maassen had a chat — each was most worried about the other.

“I felt Maassen was the strongest,” says Bauer. “I didn’t think Pensec was going to try to pull a sprint after he’d sat on the back for the last bit. I said to Frans that if he attacked I wouldn’t chase him.” Bauer hoped that Maassen would attack first, forcing Chiappucci to close the gap and giving him the chance to spring past. It didn’t quite work out. Instead, the crafty Maassen waited, forcing Bauer to lead it out, and then the Dutchman came past to win the stage.

The bunch came in 10 minutes and 35 seconds later.

It was a huge gap and however much the likes of LeMond tried to play it down, it was to shape the entire race.

“People these days wonder why we let a four-man break with Chiappucci and the rest go up the road,” says Delgado. “But, frankly, things like that happened all the time in the Tour in those days. It wasn’t so finely calculated as it is now. Also, in 1990, there wasn’t a clear ‘patron’. We all sat around, as it were, waiting for somebody else to start doing the hard work. And nobody did.”

Bauer, fourth overall in 1988, was suddenly being talked of as a contender. He certainly wasn’t the sort of rider you could allow such a head start to. Pensec was also a danger. He was a reasonable climber, and had been sixth overall in 1986, and seventh in 1988. Maassen was not a danger. He couldn’t climb or time trial well enough. But no one paid much heed to Chiappucci. Just a small name. An Italian rider on a Carrera team that had seen better days.

No one suspected it would take the best part of three weeks to reel him in.

Tiny advantage

As he tried to recover for the afternoon’s time trial, Bauer was concerned that the tiny, two-second advantage he held over Maassen would not be enough. On paper, Buckler should have been faster than 7-Eleven. Like the other Dutch teams, Panasonic and PDM, they had made team time trialling a speciality. “I was convinced I would take the yellow jersey in the afternoon,” says Maassen. “The gap was only two seconds. I knew 7-Eleven were strong but I thought we were stronger.”

Powered by Sean Yates, 7-Eleven finished sixth, eight seconds in front of Buckler. “Sean could go toe-to-toe with anyone in the world in the team time trial,” says Bauer. “I certainly didn’t have the full sharpness after the morning stage but I am not one to skip turns. The inspiration of riding in the yellow jersey and knowing you have to go very fast otherwise someone is going to take it meant we gave it everything we had.”

Maassen was devastated. “That evening I didn’t celebrate at all. No Champagne, nothing. It was special to be in the break and win the stage but at the time I was so upset not to get the yellow jersey. You know the chance to wear it maybe comes only once in your career. That was my chance.”

To make matters worse, Panasonic won the team time trial. You could say the match ended one-one between Panasonic and Buckler but for Raas it felt like they’d led for 90 minutes before conceding a last-minute equaliser.

Fignon floored

The first week was long and difficult. Fignon crashed on the stage to Nantes, prompting Robert Millar to say: “He’s going badly. He’s always at the back when it gets hard. First possible excuse he gets, he’ll pack.”

There were crashes on the run-in to the stage to Mont Saint Michel, off the coast of Normandy, and then the riders braced themselves for a 301-kilometre stage from Avranches to Rouen. In the rain. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Fignon. He went home.

At Epinal, LeMond did not do as well as expected. Raul Alcala, the Mexican, won the 61-kilometre time trial by almost a minute-and-a-half from Miguel Indurain. It was an immense performance and had people touting him as the man to beat. LeMond was only fifth, just 15 seconds quicker than his team-mate Pensec.

“I was surprised how well Pensec did,” says Bauer, who retained the yellow jersey by just 17 seconds. “He did a brilliant ride. After I’d finished I was a bit disappointed. I was a bit too conservative that day. I wasn’t really super, certainly not as good as I was in 1988, but I felt I could have squeezed a bit more out of myself.”

Alcala may have been more than seven minutes behind Bauer, but he was now 2-50 ahead of LeMond. However, suddenly being in such a strong position may have been his downfall. Alcala liked to be the underdog, and his position as the outright favourite began to weigh heavily on him.

As the race reached the Alps, Bauer faded. “Maybe the mountains were too tall for me that year,” he says. “Holding the jersey for so long definitely took some snap out of me. I wasn’t following the best guys. I’m not like a top, top climber.

I could hold my own when I was absolutely super but I wasn’t quite there.”

At Mont Blanc, Bauer was dropped and saw the lead pass to Pensec. “I found it most interesting, that shift of attention when you’ve lost the jersey, it’s quite dramatic,” he says. “People always ask what wearing the yellow jersey is like and it’s incredible but I don’t think you realise what it means until you lose it. It’s an icon and people are drawn to it. When you have it, you have no time to yourself. Everyone wants a photo or an interview but the morning after you’ve lost it you can cruise around the start village and no one gives a shit. I remember really reflecting on that difference very vividly.”

Pensec took the yellow jersey on his 27th birthday but was under no illusions that he was the Z team’s best chance of winning the Tour, despite what the French press said.

“It was a thrill but I also knew my place. I knew I could never win and that Greg was the team leader,” he says. However, for a couple of days, the Z team had split responsibilities. Most of the team remained assigned to LeMond, but Robert Millar looked after Pensec, pacing him on Alpe d’Huez to defend the jersey. “He worked especially hard for me that day, encouraging me, and I hope he knows how much that means to me.”

As those who knew him suspected he might, Alcala blew up spectacularly on Alpe d’Huez. A dangerous move went clear on the Col du Glandon. LeMond, Delgado, Miguel Indurain and Gianni Bugno broke away and PDM missed it. They gave chase on the descent and then Sean Kelly dragged Alcala and Breukink to within striking distance of the leaders. Breukink remained calm, whereas Alcala was all fidgety and nervous, worrying that his chance to win the Tour was slipping away. When it came to the lower slopes of the Alpe, Alcala was spent and he lost more than five minutes.

“In a way it helped me that we were behind,” says Breukink. “I knew the leaders were not too far ahead and I didn’t panic. It meant I could ride the climb at my own rhythm. I was passing people all the way and that gives you a lot more confidence.”

When Breukink won the mountain time trial to Villard de Lans the following day, he became the favourite. “The climb was good for me, not too steep, and I was climbing well. When I won, I thought I could win the Tour, especially when I saw that I’d beaten LeMond by a minute.”

The ride of the day was by Chiappucci, who finished just nine seconds behind LeMond and took yellow. Time was running out for Breukink and LeMond to close the seven-minute gap.

Cracking Chiappucci

No one could guarantee Chiappucci would crack. While it was true he was an unknown quantity, he had shown in the Alps that he could limit his losses effectively. There was just one summit finish remaining, at Luz-Ardiden in the Pyrenees, and the final time trial at Lac de Vassivière, on a very demanding course that LeMond knew well, having won there in 1985.

Even if LeMond and Breukink could be confident of taking three minutes in the time trial — and that was far from a certainty — it still left a lot of time to make up, and few opportunities to do it.

After the rest day came the 13th stage, from Villard de Lans to St Etienne. It was not long, just 149 kilometres, and it featured just a second-category climb, the Col de la Croix de Chaubouret, but LeMond and his team-mates decided to pile pressure on Chiappucci and hope to catch him cold.

“The stage is one I feel goes unnoticed when people write about the 1990 Tour,” says Pensec, who was now second overall. “I attacked straight away and got a breakaway going which meant that Chiappucci’s team had to chase the whole time.”

It wasn’t until the foot of the Col de la Croix de Chaubouret that Pensec’s group was caught. Chiappucci’s team were tired and the Italian was left exposed. He’d been worked over good and proper.

“I lacked experience and friends in the peloton,” he says. LeMond attacked, Breukink and a few others followed and they quickly gained time. For long spells Chiappucci was all by himself. At the finish Eduardo Chozas of Spain won the stage but Breukink and LeMond were more interested in the time gap. By the time Chiappucci arrived in a group of a dozen or so riders, almost five minutes had elapsed.

“That was a super-fast stage,” says Breukink. “I knew I had to be aware because LeMond’s team were attacking from the start, including LeMond himself. People say LeMond was a defensive rider, that he didn’t attack, but he was very intelligent. He was strong but he didn’t waste it. Instead he waited for the moment. The stages around

St Etienne are always hard, especially when it’s hot. Chiappucci would have been expecting an attack in the Pyrenees but we had to try to get some time when he wasn’t expecting it.”

Delgado says: “LeMond was a great strategist. He just waited and waited for his moment throughout the entire Tour and then pounced. His rivals were far less experienced than him, or plain unlucky, like I was. Bugno and Indurain were on the point of breaking into the big time but hadn’t quite made it. Breukink couldn’t handle the heat.

At the same time, LeMond had all the luck in the world. If it hadn’t been for that stage to St Etienne, I’m still convinced Chiappucci would have won the Tour.

It was a good attack but I sat there, waiting for Chiappucci to go for it. And he didn’t react. I couldn’t understand it. That was the beginning of the end — he missed a move he shouldn’t have.”

Still fighting

Although severely compromised, Chiappucci refused to lie down. The crucial stage was going to be a Pyrenean monster, 215 kilometres from Blagnac to Luz-Ardiden, crossing the Aspin and the Tourmalet. With just two minutes’ lead, he was now vulnerable. More or less everyone now accepted that the Tour was either LeMond’s or Breukink’s. It would be close but there was no way Chiappucci would defend that lead in the time trial.

So Chiappucci decided to attack on the Col d’Aspin, breaking clear with a group and turning the spotlight on LeMond instead. It was insouciant riding and the French fans were delighted.

Breukink suffered a disastrous day. He punctured before the Aspin and had to change his bike twice. Because of the aggressive racing up ahead, he struggled to get back in touch and then, five kilometres from the top of the Tourmalet, he blew.

By now Chiappucci was becoming more than a minor irritation to LeMond. Although the gap was never more than two minutes, it was seriously harming LeMond’s chances. It wasn’t until the town of Luz St Sauveur, at the foot of Luz-Ardiden, that LeMond’s group caught Chiappucci’s. LeMond and Indurain went clear and the American seemed, at long last, deep into the final week, to be on his way to into yellow.

However, Chiappucci clung on to the lead by his fingertips. It had taken 15 stages for LeMond to recover 10 minutes. He now had five days to get the final five seconds.

Never give up

LeMond was now clearly on course for his third Tour de France title but Chiappucci prolonged the suspense. Even with his lead hacked away to almost nothing, he was still upbeat.

Max Sciandri, his team-mate, was riding his first Tour. “Every night we were having champagne and people said ‘Hey, it’s not always like this, you know’. For me, it was strange. I was just trying to survive the Tour and although

I tried to help him where I could, there was a limit to what I could do. People love it when the yellow jersey attacks, and he was a very optimistic guy. He probably knew he wasn’t going to win, but he wasn’t going to give up.”

However, during the final stage in the Pyrenees, Chiappucci angered LeMond with a piece of riding that was a violation of the unwritten rules.

Even though it wasn’t strictly necessary, with the time trial still to come, LeMond wanted to gain some more time and take the yellow jersey if possible. The 17th stage from Lourdes to Pau went over the Aubisque and the Marie Blanque but there was a long descent and flat run-in to the finish.

The plan was to put a couple of Z riders — Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle and Atle Kvalsvoll — in the early break, then for LeMond to attack Chiappucci on the climb, make contact with his team-mates and pull out some more time on the flat.

As they reached the Marie Blanque, Duclos-Lassalle and Kvalsvoll were in a group that was more than seven minutes ahead. They were over the top and on the way down the other side when LeMond punctured on the climb. At that moment, Chiappucci, with several Carrera team-mates, accelerated.

LeMond had just two men with him — Eric Boyer and Jerome Simon — so Roger Legeay, the Z manager in the team car behind LeMond radioed ahead to Serge Beucherie, who was following the lead group and told him to get Duclos-Lassalle and Kvalsvoll to stop and wait.

“At first we turned round and started to ride back up the course, but they stopped us from doing that because it was against the rules,” says the Norwegian Kvalsvoll. “So we had to wait, for seven minutes. We saw Chiappucci’s group come past and then a minute-and-a-half later Greg was approaching. There were five of us chasing and we all worked, including Greg. It took us quite a while to catch them and I’d never seen Greg so mad. When we caught them, he wanted to attack straight away but we managed to calm him down.”

LeMond was livid that Chiappucci had sought to exploit his misfortune although Breukink is willing to give the Italian the benefit of the doubt. “Maybe Claudio already had it in his mind to attack at that moment,” he says. “It was the last difficult mountain of the race and even though there were still 50 kilometres to go he was entitled to attack if that was his plan, I guess.”

Would Breukink have done the same?

“I don’t think I’d want to win the Tour like that. I knew LeMond had punctured. Of course there was no way we were going to wait with LeMond, we had to follow Chiappucci, but we didn’t work.”

Cutting the deficit

Greg LeMond became the first rider to win the Tour without taking a stage since Lucien Aimar in 1966. Some cited that as evidence of the negative riding Fignon talked about but for three weeks, he was racing to catch up with someone who had been allowed a 10-minute lead.

Breukink won the Lac de Vassivière time trial to take third place. “Maybe I could have won but the big break changed everything in the race. Instead of racing against LeMond and Delgado and the others, we were always calculating how to catch them, first Pensec, then Chiappucci. It’s annoying to finish third when I was the second best in the Tour. We gave Chiappucci a present of 10 minutes. That’s what it was, a present.”

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1990 tour de france participants

Last update 01/11/2023 - cyclisme-dopage.com

The table below establishes, team by team, the count of the riders who have been or will be subsequently "pinned" in doping cases.

Pinned : Number of riders who violated the anti-doping rules. Included in this category: riders who have been tested positive (including refuse to submit to doping control or hematocrit> 50%), having acknowledged having doped, having been sanctioned (by the justice, their federation or their team). Not included (for example) : those whose sample B was negative. Top 10 : number of riders present in the top 10 of the final general classification. Podium : number of riders present in the first 3 of the final general classification.

Other data :

  • Route : Furturoscope - Paris
  • Stages : 21
  • Riders : 198
  • Finishers : 156
  • Distance : 3504 km
  • Winning time : 90h 43'20"
  • Average speed of the winner : 38,621 km/h
  • Difference between winner and second rider : 2'16" ie 0,04 %
  • Difference between winner and last rider : 3:16'26" ie 3,61 %
  • Number of doping cases : 0

1990 tour de france participants

The official ranking

Ranking source : http://www.memoire-du-cyclisme.net (31/01/2008)

  • Lemond Greg in 90h43'20''

Red card

  • Breukink Erik at 0h02'29''

Yellow card

  • Chozas Eduardo at 0h09'14''

Red card

  • Alcala Gallegos Raul at 0h11'14''

Yellow card

  • Hampsten Andrew at 0h12'54''
  • Ruiz Cabestany Pello at 0h13'39''
  • Parra Fabio at 0h14'35''
  • Philipot Fabrice at 0h15'49''
  • Delion Gilles at 0h16'57''
  • Palacios Navarro William De Jesus at 0h19'43''

Red card

  • Pensec Ronan at 0h22'54''

Yellow card

  • Simon J�r�me at 0h27'23''

Red card

  • Fuerte Abelenda Anselmo at 0h31'18''
  • Konyshev Dimitri at 0h31'21''
  • Kvalsvoll Atle at 0h32'03''
  • Bauer Steve at 0h34'05''
  • Rondon Vasquez Abelardo at 0h35'37''
  • Martinez Torres Miguel-angel at 0h38'39''

Red card

  • Rodriguez Nelson at 0h39'56''

Yellow card

  • Robeet Patrick at 0h46'59''

Yellow card

  • Cornillet Bruno at 0h53'00''
  • Moncada Guiza Gerardo at 0h53'36''
  • Rodriguez Magro Jesus at 0h53'44''

Red card

  • Hernandez Riano Omar-pablo at 1h02'46''
  • Louviot Philippe at 1h03'18''

Red card

  • Colotti Jean-claude at 1h08'31''
  • Lance Pascal at 1h09'37''
  • Bagot Jean-claude at 1h10'21''
  • Jaramillo Meza Carlos-maria at 1h10'47''
  • Nulens Guy at 1h10'53''
  • Ekimov Viatcheslav at 1h14'32''
  • Lauritzen Dag-otto at 1h15'25''

Yellow card

  • Dernies Michel at 1h17'44''
  • Arnaud Dominique at 1h18'28''

Yellow card

  • Ridaura Sebastian Vicente-juan at 1h21'38''
  • Maassen Frans at 1h22'14''

Yellow card

  • De Vries Gerrit at 1h23'54''

Red card

  • Giannelli Alessandro at 1h25'12''
  • Pulido Diaz William at 1h29'36''

Red card

  • Gusmeroli Roberto at 1h33'16''
  • Roux Denis at 1h33'30''
  • Mauri Melchior at 1h33'40''
  • Castillo Ramirez Juan-carlos at 1h34'19''
  • Cassani Davide at 1h34'21''

Red card

  • Kiefel Ron at 1h39'11''

Red card

  • Mora Zarate Nestor at 1h40'50''

Yellow card

  • Diaz Zabala Herminio at 1h43'18''
  • Brun Fr�d�ric at 1h43'52''
  • Rodriguez Garcia Jos� at 1h44'16''
  • Roes Peter at 1h45'22''
  • Steinmann Kurt at 1h45'44''
  • Ghirotto Massimo at 1h46'57''
  • Alonso Marino at 1h47'19''
  • Van Eynde Willem at 1h47'48''
  • Martinez Oliver Juan at 1h48'34''

Yellow card

  • Van Lancker Eric at 1h50'11''
  • Van Hooydonck Edwig at 1h53'05''

Yellow card

  • Pillon Laurent at 1h53'58''
  • Lemarchand Fran�ois at 1h54'12''
  • Schur Jan at 1h54'13''

Yellow card

  • Piva Valerio at 1h57'31''
  • Bomans Carlo at 1h58'24''

Red card

  • Wegmuller Thomas at 1h59'03''
  • Manders Henri at 1h59'15''
  • Goessens Jan at 2h01'19''
  • Poels Twan at 2h02'28''

Yellow card

  • Solleveld Gerrit at 2h04'50''

Yellow card

  • Peeters Wilfried at 2h05'43''
  • Marie Thierry at 2h06'58''

Red card

  • Tolhoek Patrick at 2h08'10''
  • Moreno Rebollo Pablo at 2h08'58''
  • Van Aert Jos at 2h09'31''
  • Troubine Alexandre at 1h11'01''
  • Nijdam Jelle at 2h11'12''
  • Schalkers Martin at 2h12'32''
  • Verschueren Patrick at 2h13'06''
  • Maechler Erich at 2h13'58''

Red card

  • Roll Bob at 2h14'50''
  • Barteau Vincent at 2h17'41''
  • Baffi Adriano at 2h18'39''
  • Sarrapio Angel-jos� at 2h20'22''

Red card

  • De Clercq Peter at 2h21'26''
  • Diaz Rodriguez Antonio-miguel at 2h22'37''
  • Leclercq Jean-claude at 2h23'36''

Red card

  • Alvis Norman at 2h26'41''
  • Siemons Jan at 2h27'30''
  • Vermote Michel at 2h32'12''

Red card

  • Van Poppel Jean-paul at 2h34'55''
  • Fidanza Giovanni at 2h35'11''
  • Jdanov Vassili at 2h42'53''
  • Chaubet Christian at 2h43'40''
  • Redant Hendrik at 2h47'53''
  • Golovatenko Nikolai at 2h49'08''
  • Rosado Jesus at 2h56'11''
  • Phinney Davis at 2h59'29''

Yellow card

  • Espejo Antonio at 3h13'27''

Red card

The alternative ranking

The ranking as it would be if we excluded all racers "pinned" in doping cases during their career.

  • Lemond Greg
  • Breukink Erik
  • Chozas Eduardo
  • Alcala Gallegos Raul
  • Hampsten Andrew
  • Ruiz Cabestany Pello
  • Parra Fabio
  • Philipot Fabrice
  • Delion Gilles
  • Palacios Navarro William De Jesus
  • Pensec Ronan
  • Fuerte Abelenda Anselmo
  • Konyshev Dimitri
  • Kvalsvoll Atle
  • Bauer Steve
  • Rondon Vasquez Abelardo
  • Martinez Torres Miguel-angel
  • Rodriguez Nelson
  • Robeet Patrick
  • Cornillet Bruno
  • Moncada Guiza Gerardo
  • Rodriguez Magro Jesus
  • Hernandez Riano Omar-pablo
  • Louviot Philippe
  • Colotti Jean-claude
  • Lance Pascal
  • Bagot Jean-claude
  • Jaramillo Meza Carlos-maria
  • Ekimov Viatcheslav
  • Lauritzen Dag-otto
  • Dernies Michel
  • Arnaud Dominique
  • Ridaura Sebastian Vicente-juan
  • Maassen Frans
  • De Vries Gerrit
  • Giannelli Alessandro
  • Pulido Diaz William
  • Gusmeroli Roberto
  • Mauri Melchior
  • Castillo Ramirez Juan-carlos
  • Cassani Davide
  • Mora Zarate Nestor
  • Diaz Zabala Herminio
  • Brun Fr�d�ric
  • Rodriguez Garcia Jos�
  • Steinmann Kurt
  • Ghirotto Massimo
  • Alonso Marino
  • Van Eynde Willem
  • Martinez Oliver Juan
  • Van Lancker Eric
  • Van Hooydonck Edwig
  • Pillon Laurent
  • Lemarchand Fran�ois
  • Piva Valerio
  • Bomans Carlo
  • Wegmuller Thomas
  • Manders Henri
  • Goessens Jan
  • Solleveld Gerrit
  • Peeters Wilfried
  • Marie Thierry
  • Tolhoek Patrick
  • Moreno Rebollo Pablo
  • Van Aert Jos
  • Troubine Alexandre
  • Nijdam Jelle
  • Schalkers Martin
  • Verschueren Patrick
  • Maechler Erich
  • Barteau Vincent
  • Baffi Adriano
  • Sarrapio Angel-jos�
  • De Clercq Peter
  • Diaz Rodriguez Antonio-miguel
  • Leclercq Jean-claude
  • Alvis Norman
  • Siemons Jan
  • Vermote Michel
  • Van Poppel Jean-paul
  • Fidanza Giovanni
  • Jdanov Vassili
  • Chaubet Christian
  • Redant Hendrik
  • Golovatenko Nikolai
  • Rosado Jesus
  • Phinney Davis
  • Espejo Antonio

The list of participants

The list of participants by team

Red card


24 years of existence, 21 cases, ie 0,88 per year

Red card

44 years of existence, 29 cases, ie 0,66 per year

Red card

7 years of existence, 16 cases, ie 2,29 per year

Red card

18 years of existence, 19 cases, ie 1,06 per year

Yellow card


20 years of existence, 9 cases, ie 0,45 per year

Red card


7 eleven-hoonved.

16 years of existence, 4 cases, ie 0,25 per year

24 years of existence, 6 cases, ie 0,25 per year

Yellow card


Yellow card


5 years of existence, 0 cases, ie 0 per year



6 years of existence, 6 cases, ie 1 per year

Yellow card


25 years of existence, 30 cases, ie 1,2 per year

Yellow card


21 years of existence, 10 cases, ie 0,48 per year

Red card

10 years of existence, 2 cases, ie 0,2 per year


Yellow card

8 years of existence, 1 case, ie 0,13 per year

  • The real numbers of doping (fr)


  • The doping cases on the Tour de France (fr)

1990 tour de france participants

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Race information

1990 tour de france participants

  • Date: 22 July 1990
  • Start time: -
  • Avg. speed winner: 37.26 km/h
  • Race category: ME - Men Elite
  • Distance: 182.5 km
  • Points scale: GT.A.Stage
  • Parcours type:
  • ProfileScore: 13
  • Vert. meters: 1285
  • Departure: Brétigny-sur-Orge
  • Arrival: Paris
  • Race ranking: 0
  • Startlist quality score: 1959
  • Won how: Sprint of large group
  • Avg. temperature:

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Vintage Clothing Online from Dorothy Zudora

1990 Tour de France – Participant Medal

$ 149.00

Authentic 1990 Tour de France Participants Medal.

Fantastic early 1990’s style in the lettering.

This beautiful medal has a wonderful raised full stage by stage map on one side along with fantastic early 90’s stylized lettering on the other. The map on this medal has wonderful details.  Be sure to look closely to see the planes and trains the peloton utilized to make stage transfers.

1990, the year of the 77th Tour de France, saw  Greg Lemond continue his dominance of cycling’s marquee event when he took his 3rd, and final, Tour de France victory.

Participants medals are awarded to all members of each Tour team.

Size: 3 1/2 inches  (9 cm)

This is a one of a kind item, please look carefully at the photos to determine condition.

Out of stock


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