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1990 Tour de France

The 1990 Tour de France was the 77th edition of the Tour de France, taking place between 30 June and 22 July. The total race distance was 21 stages over 3,504 km (2,177 mi). American Greg LeMond repeated his 1989 victory in the overall competition, becoming a three-time winner despite not winning an individual stage, something which has happened only twice since, in the 2006 and 2017 Tour de France. The surprise of the Tour was Claudio Chiappucci, who won ten minutes in the first stage, and was still leading the race two days before the end.

1990 Tour de France
Map of France with the route of the 1990 Tour de France
Route of the 1990 Tour de France
Race details
Dates30 June – 22 July
Stages21 + Prologue
Distance3,504 km (2,177 mi)
Winning time87h 38' 35"
Winner  Greg LeMond (USA) (Z–Tomasso)
  Second  Claudio Chiappucci (ITA) (Carrera Jeans–Vagabond)
  Third  Erik Breukink (NED) (PDM–Concorde)

Points  Olaf Ludwig (DDR) (Panasonic–Sportlife)
Mountains  Thierry Claveyrolat (FRA) (RMO)
  Youth  Gilles Delion (FRA) (Helvetia–La Suisse)
  Combativity  Eduardo Chozas (ESP) (ONCE)
  Team Z–Tomasso
← 1989
1991 →

The points classification was won by Olaf Ludwig, while the mountains classification was won by Thierry Claveyrolat.


The 1990 Tour started with 198 cyclists, divided into 22 teams of 9 cyclists:[1] Sixteen teams qualified based on the FICP team ranking,[2] while six teams were given wildcards.[3] The Alfa Lum team was made out of Soviet cyclists.[4]

The teams entering the race were:

Qualified teams

Invited teams

Pre-race favouritesEdit

Greg LeMond (left) and Laurent Fignon (right) were considered the favourites for overall victory, having finished the 1989 Tour in first and second respectively.

Defending Tour winner Greg LeMond (Z–Tomasso) returned to defend his title. After winning the Tour in 1989 and the World Championship road race, LeMond had not taken another victory. He had finished Paris–Nice more than eight minutes behind the winner[5] and struggled at the Giro d'Italia, where he placed 105th.[6] He was considered overweight due to lack of training[7] and had been suffering from mononucleosis.[4] Encouraging signs came during the Tour de Suisse, just weeks before the start of the Tour de France, where he finished tenth.[6]

The organising newspaper L'Équipe was expecting a close battle between LeMond and Laurent Fignon, who had finished in second place in 1989, only eight seconds behind LeMond.[8]

Pedro Delgado, the winner of 1988, was part of the strong Banesto team, with Miguel Induráin to help him in the mountains. The fourth favourite was Erik Breukink.[8] Stephen Roche (Histor–Sigma), winner of the 1987 edition, was on the start line, but still troubled by recurring knee pain, which saw him not counted among the pre-race favourites.[9]

Gert-Jan Theunisse (Panasonic–Sportlife), fourth the previous year and winner of the mountains classification, did not start due to two positive doping tests earlier in the season.[10][11]

Route and stagesEdit

The 1990 Tour de France started on 30 June, and had two rest days. On the first rest day, the cyclists were transferred from Rouen to Strasbourg, on the second rest day the cyclists were in Villard-de-Lans.[12]

Stage characteristics and winners[1][12][13]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 30 June Futuroscope 6.3 km (3.9 mi)   Individual time trial   Thierry Marie (FRA)
1 1 July Futuroscope 138.5 km (86.1 mi)   Plain stage   Frans Maassen (NED)
2 1 July Futuroscope 44.5 km (27.7 mi)   Team time trial  Panasonic–Sportlife
3 2 July Poitiers to Nantes 233.0 km (144.8 mi)   Plain stage   Moreno Argentin (ITA)
4 3 July Nantes to Mont Saint-Michel 203.0 km (126.1 mi)   Plain stage   Johan Museeuw (BEL)
5 4 July Avranches to Rouen 301.0 km (187.0 mi)   Plain stage   Gerrit Solleveld (NED)
5 July Rouen Rest day
6 6 July Sarrebourg to Vittel 202.5 km (125.8 mi)   Plain stage   Jelle Nijdam (NED)
7 7 July Vittel to Épinal 61.5 km (38.2 mi)   Individual time trial   Raúl Alcalá (MEX)
8 8 July Épinal to Besançon 181.5 km (112.8 mi)   Plain stage   Olaf Ludwig (GDR)
9 9 July Besançon to Geneva (Switzerland) 196.0 km (121.8 mi)   Hilly stage   Massimo Ghirotto (ITA)
10 10 July Geneva (Switzerland) to Saint-Gervais 118.5 km (73.6 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Thierry Claveyrolat (FRA)
11 11 July Saint-Gervais to Alpe d'Huez 182.5 km (113.4 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Gianni Bugno (ITA)
12 12 July Fontaine to Villard-de-Lans 33.5 km (20.8 mi)   Mountain time trial   Erik Breukink (NED)
13 July Villard-de-Lans Rest day
13 14 July Villard-de-Lans to Saint-Étienne 149.0 km (92.6 mi)   Hilly stage   Eduardo Chozas (ESP)
14 15 July Le Puy-en-Velay to Millau 205.0 km (127.4 mi)   Hilly stage   Marino Lejarreta (ESP)
15 16 July Millau to Revel 170.0 km (105.6 mi)   Plain stage   Charly Mottet (FRA)
16 17 July Blagnac to Luz Ardiden 215.0 km (133.6 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Miguel Induráin (ESP)
17 18 July Lourdes to Pau 150.0 km (93.2 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Dmitri Konychev (URS)
18 19 July Pau to Bordeaux 202.0 km (125.5 mi)   Plain stage   Gianni Bugno (ITA)
19 20 July Castillon-la-Bataille to Limoges 182.5 km (113.4 mi)   Plain stage   Guido Bontempi (ITA)
20 21 July Lac de Vassivière to Lac de Vassivière 45.5 km (28.3 mi)   Individual time trial   Erik Breukink (NED)
21 22 July Brétigny-sur-Orge to Paris (Champs-Élysées) 182.5 km (113.4 mi)   Plain stage   Johan Museeuw (BEL)
Total 3,504 km (2,177 mi)[14]

Race overviewEdit

Greg LeMond in the final stage, wearing the yellow jersey as leader of the general classification

In the prologue, LeMond showed that he was in good shape by finishing second, behind specialist Thierry Marie.[4] The first and the second stage were run on the same day, the second stage in the team time trial format. Most cyclists wanted to save energy in the first stage, and Steve Bauer saw this as an opportunity to escape and win enough time to lead the general classification, as he had done in 1988. Similarly, Claudio Chiappucci, who had won the mountains classification in the Giro d'Italia earlier that year, saw it as an opportunity to gain points for the mountains classification, so he could wear the polka-dot jersey as leader for this classification for a few stages, and enjoy the accompanied publicity.[8]

Chiappucci and Bauer escaped early in the stage, and were joined by Ronan Pensec and Frans Maassen. The rest of the peloton allowed them to stay away, so the group finished more than ten minutes ahead of the other cyclists. These four were not considered real favourites for the overall victory, although Bauer and Pensec had already finished in the top ten of the Tour before. Maassen won the stage, and Bauer became the leader of the general classification.[4]

In the next few stages, the four men in the breakaway remained on top of the general classification. In the fourth stage, Robert Millar crashed, and lost nine minutes, putting him out of contention for the overall victory.[4] The time trial of stage 7 was won by Raul Alcala, with Miguel Induráin in second place. The four men from the breakaway all finished in the top 25, and were still minutes ahead of the rest in the general classification.[4]

In stage ten in the Alps, Thierry Claveyrolat escaped to win points for the mountains classification, and stayed away to the finish, to win the stage. Behind him, Pensec and Chiappucci finished together with the big names, while Bauer and Maassen lost some time. Pensec became the new leader of the general classification.[4] The eleventh stage was also in the Alps, and the big favourites showed themselves. Bugno won the stage before LeMond and Breukink, but Pensec was only 48 seconds behind, and Chiappucci 86 seconds. Bauer and Maassen lost more than 20 minutes, so after this stage Pensec was leading the general classification, almost one and a half minute before Chiappucci, with LeMond in third place, still more than nine minutes behind.[4] This was followed by an individual time trial in stage twelve. Pensec could not set a good time, but Chiappucci finished in eighth place, and became the new leader. The winner of the time trial, Breukink, jumped to third place, seven minutes behind Chiappucci, with LeMond now in fourth place, at seven and a half minutes.[4]

In the thirteenth stage, Pensec escaped early in the stage, forcing Chiappucci's team to chase him. When they had finally caught him, LeMond attacked, with Breukink and Delgado following him.[8] Chiappucci's teammates could not help him anymore, Chiappucci was not helped by other teams, and lost almost five minutes. He was still leading the general classification, but now only with a margin of two minutes on Breukink.[4] Chiappucci understood that he had a chance to win the Tour, but that he would have to show something special. In the sixteenth stage, he escaped, hoping to win time on LeMond and Breukink. Breukink had a bad day, and lost considerable time,[8] but LeMond was able to get back to Chiappucci just before the final climb. At that climb, LeMond left Chiappucci behind. The stage was won by Induráin with LeMond in second place. In the general classification, Chiappucci kept a slim lead of five seconds on LeMond, but a time trial still due, which was LeMond's specialty.[4]

In the seventeenth stage, LeMond punctured. Chiappucci and his teammates then increased their speeds (breaking the unwritten rules of not attacking when others have mechanical failures). Some of LeMond's teammates were in a break-away, and they were ordered to wait for LeMond so they could help him. They were not allowed to turn around and ride towards LeMond, so they had to wait for seven minutes until LeMond was with them. The worked together and were able to get LeMond back to Chiappucci, but LeMond was angry at Chiappucci's tactics.[8] The stage was won by Dimitri Konyshev, the first Soviet rider to win a Tour de France stage.[15] In the last time trial in stage twenty, Breukink won, and as expected LeMond gained enough time on Chiappucci to win the Tour.[4]

Classification leadershipEdit

There were several classifications in the 1990 Tour de France.[16] The most important was the general classification, calculated by adding each cyclist's finishing times on each stage. The cyclist with the least accumulated time was the race leader, identified by the yellow jersey; the winner of this classification is considered the winner of the Tour.[17]

The points classification was calculated in another way: the first cyclists to finish in a stage received points, based on their rank and the type of stage. All stages (except time trials) also had one or more intermediate sprints, where some points could be won. The cyclist with the most points lead the classification, and was identified with a green jersey.[18]

Additionally, there was the mountains classification. The organisation had categorised some climbs into categories; points for this classification were won by the first cyclists that reached the top of these climbs first. The cyclist with the most points lead the classification, and wore a white jersey with red polka dots.[19]

There was also the young rider classification. This was decided the same way as the general classification, but only riders born after 1 January 1966 were eligible.[20]

The 1989 Tour de France included the Combination classification and the Intermediate sprints classification. The 1990 Tour, however, did not feature these classifications.[20] For the combativity classification, a jury gave points after each stage to the cyclists they considered most combative. The cyclist with the most votes in all stages lead the classification.[21]

For the team classification, the times of the best three cyclists per team on each stage were added; the leading team was the team with the lowest total time. The riders in the team that led this classification wore yellow caps.[21]

In addition, there was a combativity award given after each mass-start stage to the cyclist considered most combative. The decision was made by a jury composed of journalists who gave points. The cyclist with the most points from votes in all stages led the combativity classification.[22] Eduardo Chozas won this classification, and was given overall the super-combativity award.[12]

Classification leadership by stage[23][24]
Stage Winner General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification
Young rider classification[n 1] Team classification Combativity
Award Classification
P Thierry Marie Thierry Marie Thierry Marie no award Viatcheslav Ekimov PDM–Concorde no award
1 Frans Maassen Steve Bauer Frans Maassen Claudio Chiappucci Buckler–Colnago–Decca Steve Bauer Steve Bauer
2 PDM–Concorde Z–Tomasso no award
3 Moreno Argentin Olaf Ludwig Moreno Argentin Moreno Argentin
4 Johan Museeuw Søren Lilholt Søren Lilholt
5 Gerrit Solleveld Buckler–Colnago–Decca Gerrit Solleveld Gerrit Solleveld
6 Jelle Nijdam Dimitri Konyshev Jesper Skibby Søren Lilholt
7 Raúl Alcalá no award
8 Olaf Ludwig Michel Vermote Michel Vermote
9 Massimo Ghirotto Eduardo Chozas
10 Thierry Claveyrolat Ronan Pensec Thierry Claveyrolat Gilles Delion Z–Tomasso Thierry Claveyrolat
11 Gianni Bugno Thierry Claveyrolat Thierry Claveyrolat
12 Erik Breukink Claudio Chiappucci no award
13 Eduardo Chozas Greg LeMond
14 Jean-Claude Bagot Charly Mottet
15 Charly Mottet Marino Lejarreta Eduardo Chozas
16 Miguel Induráin Claudio Chiappucci
17 Dmitri Konychev Óscar Vargas
18 Gianni Bugno Phil Anderson
19 Guido Bontempi Guido Bontempi
20 Erik Breukink Greg LeMond no award
21 Johan Museeuw Thomas Wegmüller
Final Greg LeMond Olaf Ludwig Thierry Claveyrolat Gilles Delion Z–Tomasso Eduardo Chozas

Final standingsEdit

  Denotes the winner of the general classification   Denotes the winner of the points classification
  Denotes the winner of the mountains classification

General classificationEdit

Final general classification (1–10)[1]
Rank Rider Team Time
1   Greg LeMond (USA)   Z–Tomasso 90h 43' 20"
2   Claudio Chiappucci (ITA) Carrera Jeans–Vagabond + 2' 16"
3   Erik Breukink (NED) PDM–Concorde + 2' 29"
4   Pedro Delgado (ESP) Banesto + 5' 01"
5   Marino Lejarreta (ESP) ONCE + 5' 05"
6   Eduardo Chozas (ESP) ONCE + 9' 14"
7   Gianni Bugno (ITA) Chateau d'Ax–Salotti + 9' 39"
8   Raúl Alcalá (MEX) PDM–Concorde + 11' 14"
9   Claude Criquielion (BEL) Lotto–Superclub + 12' 04"
10   Miguel Induráin (ESP) Banesto + 12' 47"

Points classificationEdit

Final points classification (1–10)[25]
Rank Rider Team Points
1   Olaf Ludwig (DDR)   Panasonic–Sportlife 256
2   Johan Museeuw (BEL) Lotto–Superclub 221
3   Erik Breukink (NED) PDM–Concorde 118
4   Jean-Claude Colotti (FRA) RMO 117
5   Sean Kelly (IRE) PDM–Concorde 116
6   Greg LeMond (USA)   Z–Tomasso 108
7   Giovanni Fidanza (ITA) Chateau d'Ax–Salotti 108
8   Adriano Baffi (ITA) Ariostea 107
9   Adrie van der Poel (NED) Weinmann–SMM–Uster 105
10   Davis Phinney (USA) 7-Eleven 87

Mountains classificationEdit

Final mountains classification (1–10)[25]
Rank Rider Team Points
1   Thierry Claveyrolat (FRA)   RMO 321
2   Claudio Chiappucci (ITA) Carrera Jeans–Vagabond 179
3   Roberto Conti (ITA) Ariostea 160
4   Miguel Induráin (ESP) Banesto 153
5   Greg LeMond (USA)   Z–Tomasso 135
6   Johan Bruyneel (BEL) Lotto–Superclub 124
7   Dmitri Konychev (URS) Alfa Lum 118
8   Reynel Montoya (COL) Postobón–Manzana–Ryalcao 105
9   Marino Lejarreta (ESP) ONCE 94
10   Eduardo Chozas (ESP) ONCE 90

Young rider classificationEdit

Final young rider classification (1–10)[25]
Rank Rider Team Time
1   Gilles Delion (FRA) Helvetia–La Suisse 91h 00' 17"
2   Pascal Lino (FRA) RMO + 13' 41"
3   Dmitri Konychev (URS) Alfa Lum + 14' 14"
4   Miguel Angel Martinez (ESP) ONCE + 21' 42"
5   Alvaro Mejia (COL) Postobón–Manzana–Ryalcao + 48' 07"
6   Viatcheslav Ekimov (URS) Panasonic–Sportlife + 57' 35"
7   Gerrit de Vries (NED) Buckler–Colnago–Decca + 1h 06' 57"
8   Luc Leblanc (FRA) Castorama + 1h 14' 16"
9   Roberto Gusmeroli (ITA) Chateau d'Ax–Salotti + 1h 16' 10"
10   Melchor Mauri (ESP) ONCE + 1h 16' 43"

Team classificationEdit

Final team classification (1–10)[25]
Rank Team Time
1 Z–Tomasso 272h 21' 21"
2 ONCE + 16"
3 Banesto + 23' 44"
4 PDM–Concorde + 33' 05"
5 RMO + 56' 31"
6 Postobón–Manzana–Ryalcao + 1h 09' 36"
7 Lotto–Superclub + 1h 15' 09"
8 Castorama + 1h 43' 47"
9 7-Eleven + 1h 48' 31"
10 Helvetia–La Suisse + 2h 02' 30"

Combativity classificationEdit

Final combativity classification (1–10)[25]
Rank Rider Team Points
1   Eduardo Chozas (ESP) ONCE 37
2   Thierry Claveyrolat (FRA)   RMO 30
3   Dmitri Konychev (URS) Alfa Lum 27
4   Claudio Chiappucci (ITA) Carrera Jeans–Vagabond 24
5   Jean-Claude Colotti (FRA) RMO 23
6   Charly Mottet (FRA) RMO 22
7   Michel Vermote (BEL) RMO 21
8   Greg LeMond (USA)   Z–Tomasso 19
9   Søren Lilholt (DEN) Histor–Sigma 19
10   Phil Anderson (AUS) TVM 17


  1. ^ A white jersey was not awarded to the leader of the young rider classification between 1989 and 1999.[20]


  1. ^ a b c "77ème Tour de France 1990" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 13 August 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Trois équipes" (in French). Le soir. 18 May 1990. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Ploeg Priem naar de Tour". Leidse Courant (in Dutch). Regionaal Archief Leiden. 14 June 1990. p. 13. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l McGann & McGann 2008, pp. 191–197.
  5. ^ Abt 1991, p. 57.
  6. ^ a b Abt 1991, p. 64.
  7. ^ Abt, Samuel (30 June 1990). "LeMond Riding On Confidence". The New York Times. p. 45. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Birnie, Lionel. "Classic races: 1990 Tour de France". Cyclesport. IPC Media. Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  9. ^ "De moed van Roche begint op te raken". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). 30 June 1990. p. 47. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Gert Jan Theunisse weer positief". Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (in Dutch). Futuroscope. 30 June 1990. p. 23. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  11. ^ "De Tour wil van Sodom en Gomorra-image af". Trouw (in Dutch). Jaunay-Clan. 30 June 1990. p. 19. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Augendre 2016, p. 81.
  13. ^ Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC top ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  14. ^ Augendre 2016, p. 110.
  15. ^ "TOUR DE FRANCE : LeMond Has Flat as Konyshev Wins 17th Stage". Los Angeles Times. 18 July 1990.
  16. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, pp. 452–455.
  17. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, pp. 452–453.
  18. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, pp. 453–454.
  19. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, p. 454.
  20. ^ a b c Nauright & Parrish 2012, pp. 454–455.
  21. ^ a b Nauright & Parrish 2012, p. 455.
  22. ^ van den Akker 2018, pp. 211–216.
  23. ^ "Tour de France 1990 – Leaders overview". ProCyclingStats. Archived from the original on 16 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  24. ^ van den Akker, Pieter. "Informatie over de Tour de France van 1990" [Information about the Tour de France from 1990]. (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  25. ^ a b c d e McGann, Bill. "1990 Tour de France". Bike race info. Retrieved 11 April 2012.


External linksEdit

  Media related to 1990 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons