Grand Prix des Nations

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
Race details
English nameGrand Prix of the Nations
Local name(s)Grand Prix des Nations (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

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


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