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The Grand Prix des Nations was an individual time trial (against the clock) for both professional and amateur racing cyclists. Held annually in Cannes, France, it was instituted in 1932 and often regarded as the unofficial time trial championship of the world and as a Classic cycle race. The race was the idea of a Parisian newspaper editor called Gaston Bénac. The beret-wearing sports editor was looking for a race to make a name for Paris-Soir, the biggest French evening paper before the war.

Grand Prix des Nations
English nameGrand Prix of the Nations
Local name(s)Grand Prix des Nations ‹See Tfd›(in French)
TypeIndividual time-trial
First edition1932 (1932)
Final edition2004
First winnerFrance Maurice Archambaud
Most winsFrance Jacques Anquetil ( 9 wins)
Final winnerGermany Michael Rich

He and his colleague Albert Baker d'Isy had been inspired by the world road race championship in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1931. That, unusually, had been run as a time trial, and the two were impressed and also, they said, aware that a time-trial cost less to organise than a conventional road race. Baker d'Isy decided the name Grand Prix des Nations.

There is a dispute over who devised the first route. The American-French writer René de Latour said in the UK magazine Sporting Cyclist that he did; Baker d'Isy says that he did. The route started near the Versailles château and ran round a triangle through Rambouillet, Maulette, Saint-Rémy-les-Chevreuse, Versailles and Boulogne to finish on the Vélodrome Buffalo where the founder of the Tour de France, Henri Desgrange, had become the world's first hour record holder in 1893. There were three hills, one in the first 100 km, plenty of cobbles, and the last 40 km went through the woods of the Vallée de Chevreuse, a popular area for bike riders. The distance was 142 km.

The introduction of an official time trial champion at the UCI Road World Championships in 1994 and an Olympic individual time trial championship (1996) reduced its importance. With the introduction of the UCI ProTour in 2005, the event was removed from the calendar.


Race distances have varied. Until 1955, it was approximately 140 km; six years later, the distance was 100 km; from 1965 onwards the distance rarely exceeded 90 km, with many events run of around 75 km. The events were in the Vallée de Chevreuse in the Paris area, then near Cannes on the French Riviera; for five years from 1993, it was held at the Madine Lake in the Meuse; from 1998, it has taken place in Seine-Maritime département, two circuits of 35 km around Dieppe.

The roll of honour includes cycling's greatest time trialists, but the event's history was dominated by two Frenchmen: Jacques Anquetil won nine times, Bernard Hinault five.

British amateur woman Beryl Burton competed in 1968, finishing only minutes behind her male rivals.

Winners (professionals)Edit

Rider Team
1932   Maurice Archambaud (FRA)
1933   Raymond Louviot (FRA)
1934   Antonin Magne (FRA)
1935   Antonin Magne (FRA)
1936   Antonin Magne (FRA)
1937   Pierre Cogan (FRA)
1938   Louis Aimar (FRA)
1941   Jules Rossi (ITA) (victory shared with Louis Aimar)
1941   Louis Aimar (FRA) (victory shared with Jules Rossi)
1942   Jean Marie Goasmat (FRA) (victory shared with Emile Idee)
1942   Emile Idee (FRA) (victory shared with Jean Marie Goasmat)
1943   Jozef Somers (BEL)
1944   Emile Carrara (FRA)
1945   Eloi Tassin (FRA)
1946   Fausto Coppi (ITA)
1947   Fausto Coppi (ITA)
1948   René Berton (FRA)
1949   Charles Coste (FRA)
1950   Maurice Blomme (BEL)
1951   Hugo Koblet (SUI)
1952   Louison Bobet (FRA) Stella Huret Dunlop
1953   Jacques Anquetil (FRA) La Francaise Dunlop
1954   Jacques Anquetil (FRA) La Perle Hutchinson
1955   Jacques Anquetil (FRA) La Perle Hutchinson
1956   Jacques Anquetil (FRA) Helyett Potin
1957   Jacques Anquetil (FRA) Helyett Potin
1958   Jacques Anquetil (FRA) Helyett Potin
1959   Aldo Moser (ITA) EMI Guerra
1960   Ercole Baldini (ITA) Ignis
1961   Jacques Anquetil (FRA) Helyett Fynsec
1962   Ferdinand Bracke (BEL) Peugeot
1963   Raymond Poulidor (FRA) Mercier BP
1964   Walter Boucquet (BEL) Flandria-Faema
1965   Jacques Anquetil (FRA) Ford-Gitane
1966   Jacques Anquetil (FRA) Ford-Hutchinson
1967   Felice Gimondi (ITA) Salvarani
1968   Felice Gimondi (ITA) Salvarani
1969   Herman van Springel (BEL) Mann-Grundig
1970   Herman van Springel (BEL) Mann-Grundig
1971   Luis Ocaña (ESP) Bic
1972   Roger Swerts (BEL) Molteni
1973   Eddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1974   Roy Schuiten (NED) TI–Raleigh
1975   Roy Schuiten (NED) TI–Raleigh
1976   Freddy Maertens (BEL) Flandria Velda
1977   Bernard Hinault (FRA) Gitane-Campagnolo
1978   Bernard Hinault (FRA) Renault-Elf-Gitane
1979   Bernard Hinault (FRA) Renault-Elf-Gitane
1980   Jean Luc Vandenbroucke (BEL) La Redoute Motobecane
1981   Daniel Gisiger (SUI) Gilo-Aufina
1982   Bernard Hinault (FRA) Renault-Elf
1983   Daniel Gisiger (SUI) Malvor Bottecchia
1984   Bernard Hinault (FRA) La Vie Claire
1985   Charly Mottet (FRA) Renault-Elf-Gitane
1986   Sean Kelly (IRL) Kas
1987   Charly Mottet (FRA) Systeme U-Gitane
1988   Charly Mottet (FRA) Systeme U-Gitane
1989   Laurent Fignon (FRA) Super U-Raleigh-Fiat
1990   Thomas Wegmüller (SUI) Weinn SMM
1991   Tony Rominger (SUI) Toshiba
1992   Johan Bruyneel (BEL) ONCE
1993   Armand de Las Cuevas (FRA) Banesto-Pinarello
1994   Tony Rominger (SUI) Mapei–CLAS
1995 No race
1996   Chris Boardman (GBR) GAN
1997   Uwe Peschel (GER) Cantina Tollo–Carrier
1998   Francisque Teyssier (FRA) Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne
1999   Serhiy Honchar (UKR) Vini Caldirola
2000 Result Void[1][2]
2001   Jens Voigt (GER) Crédit Agricole
2002   Uwe Peschel (GER) Gerolsteiner
2003   Michael Rich (GER) Gerolsteiner
2004   Michael Rich (GER) Gerolsteiner


  1. ^ "Lance Armstrong: Governing body strips American of Tour wins". BBC News. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Union Cycliste Internationale".