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de France facts and figures
|Facts and figures of cycling's
Tour de France:
Last year's result:
1. Marco Pantani (Italy)
2. Jan Ullrich (Germany) 3 min 21 sec behind
3. Bobby Julich (U.S.) 4:08
4. Christophe Rinero (France) 9:16
5. Michael Boogerd (Netherlands) 11:26
1998 - Marco Pantani (Italy)
1997 - Jan Ullrich (Germany)
1996 - Bjarne Riis (Denmark)
1995 - Miguel Indurain (Spain)
1994 - Indurain
1993 - Indurain
1992 - Indurain
1991 - Indurain
1990 - Greg LeMond (U.S.)
1989 - LeMond
1988 - Pedro Delgado (Spain)
1987 - Stephen Roche (Ireland)
1986 - LeMond
1985 - Bernard Hinault (France)
1984 - Laurent Fignon (France)
1983 - Fignon
1982 - Hinault
1981 - Hinault
1980 - Zoetemelk
1979 - Hinault
King of the Mountains:
1998 - Christophe Rinero (France)
1997 - Richard Virenque (France)
1996 - Virenque
1995 - Virenque
1994 - Virenque
1993 - Tony Rominger (Switzerland)
1992 - Claudio Chiappucci (Italy)
1991 - Chiappucci
1990 - Thierry Claveyrolat (France)
1989 - Gert-Jan Theunisse (Netherlands)
1998 - Erik Zabel (Germany)
1997 - Zabel
1996 - Zabel
1995 - Laurent Jalabert (France)
1994 - Djamolidin Abdoujaparov (Uzbekistan)
1993 - Abdoujaparov
1992 - Jalabert
1991 - Abdoujaparov
1990 - Olaf Ludwig (Germany)
1989 - Sean Kelly (Ireland)
5 - Jacques Anquetil (France) 1957, 1961, 1962, 1963,
Eddy Merckx (Belgium) 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974
Bernard Hinault (France) 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985
Miguel Indurain (Spain) 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
Most victories by country:
France - 36 (last winner Hinault in 1985)
Belgium - 18 (Lucien Van Impe 76)
Italy - 9 (Pantani 98)
Spain - 8 (Indurain 95)
Luxembourg - 4 (Charly Gaul 58)
United States - 3 (LeMond 90)
Switzerland - 2 (Hugo Koblet 51)
Netherlands - 2 (Joop Zoetemelk 80)
Ireland - 1 (Stephen Roche 87)
Denmark - 1 (Riis 96)
Germany 1 - (Ullrich 97)
Most stage victories:
34 - Merckx
28 - Hinault
25 - Andre Leducq (France)
22 - Andre Darrigade (France)
20 - Nicolas Frantz (Luxembourg)
Most Tours started:
16 - Zoetemelk
15 - Van Impe, Guy Nulens (Belgium)
14 - Darrigade, Raymond Poulidor (France), Kelly
13 - Phil Anderson (Australia), Joachim Agostinho (Portugal),
Knetemann (Netherlands), Henk Lubberding (Netherlands),
(France), Jean-Pierre Genet (France), Francois Mahe (France),
Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (France).
OLN & CBS - Tour
de France 2001
Stamford, Connecticut, July 29, 1999 (Bloomberg)
-- Cable television's Outdoor Life Network said it bought
the rights to show the Tour de France in the U.S. in a multimillion-dollar
Outdoor Life outbid Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, which has carried
the bicycle race nine of the past ten years, for the contract
that gives it exclusive television rights beginning in 2001.
Outdoor Life is owned by Comcast Corporation, Cox Communications
Inc., News Corp.'s Fox and MediaOne Group Inc.
The company wouldn't say how long the contract is for or how
much it's paying.
Outdoor Life plans to show six hours of Tour coverage a day,
including live morning coverage and highlights on FOX Sports
Net. The channel will also provide footage for three-hour
Tour specials on the CBS television network.
This year's Tour made headlines in the U.S. as Lance Armstrong
became the second American to win the event. The race's finish
Sunday drew a 2.7 overnight rating, and the Tour's biggest
American TV audience since 1993.
Outdoor Life is a 24-hour channel that covers outdoors events
including alpine sports and cycling.
cures doping plague
By Francois Thomazeau
PARIS, July 25 (Reuters) - Cycling, on
the verge of collapse only a year ago, could not have dreamt
of a better saviour than Lance Armstrong, who became only
the second American to win the Tour de France on Sunday.
``What better symbol can we have for our
sport than a born-again rider winning the Tour,'' said French
Cycling Federation president Daniel Baal, who was charged
then cleared in the Festina doping scandal which rocked last
Cycling has been trying hard this summer
to cure the disease which had plagued it for years -- doping.
Last year's Festina scandal so stunned
the world of cycling that Armstrong's feats raised doubts
and suspicions. Minute traces of corticoids were found in
the Texan's urine during a dope test on this Tour but doping
allegations were quickly dismissed.
``I'm afraid it (doping allegations) is
a burden all Tour winners in years to come will have to bear,''
Last year, doctors made headlines on the
Tour for the wrong reasons. Doctors of the Festina, ONCE and
TVM teams were held on doping charges.
The role of medicine this year was a much
more positive one.
``My victory is a miracle, a miracle of
medicine,'' said Armstrong who has famously recovered from
Close friends said Armstrong had always
been a gifted rider and his cancer had only delayed his rise
to the top.
``Lance is unique and his mental strength
is what makes the difference,'' said Johan Bruyneel, director
of Armstrong's U.S. Postal team.
American Frankie Andreu, Armstrong's team
mate since the start of his career six years ago, said his
strong character had helped him to get over cancer and also
win the Tour.
Armstrong's victories in the three time
trials and his impressive performance in the mountains with
a superb stage win in Sestriere placed the American alongside
some of the greatest athletes in the sport, such as Miguel
Indurain and Bernard Hinault.
An obvious comparison has been made with
Greg LeMond, the first American to win cycling's showcase
event in 1986.
LeMond returned from a near-fatal hunting
accident in 1987 to win two more Tours in 1989 and 1990.
It is impossible to know whether Armstrong
is strong enough to win more Tours but cycling fans will be
eager to see him compete in years to come with Italian Marco
Pantani and German Jan Ullrich, the two previous Tour winners,
who both missed the race this year.
Armstrong had little opposition in this
Tour, even though second-placed Swiss Alex Zuelle and Spanish
climber Fernando Escartin, who was third, completed an ideal
podium for the organizers.
By finishing second, as in 1995, Zuelle
completed his comeback after he was kicked out of last year's
race with the rest of the Festina team for doping.
This year, the former Vuelta winner said
he was feeling even stronger since he had stopped taking banned
Escartin is a typical example of a hard-working,
softspoken rider, long overshadowed by more glamorous leaders,
who was at last allowed to come to the limelight.
Frenchman Richard Virenque was allowed
to compete by the International Cycling Union (UCI) against
the will of the organizers and won a record fifth King of
the mountains title, finishing fifth overall.
Throughout the race, cheering French crowds
showed they had forgiven Virenque, who had become a symbol
of doping in cycling as last year's Festina team leader.
win to ``cancer community''
By Francois Thomazeau
FUTUROSCOPE, France, July 24 (Reuters)
- American Lance Armstrong, within sight of victory in the
Tour de France, dedicated his probable success to the ``cancer
community'' on Saturday.
``I always said that 50 percent of what
I achieved would go to the cancer community -- survivors,
doctors, researchers,'' he said after winning the penultimate
stage of the most famous cycle race in the world.
``Twenty five percent is for myself and
my team and 25 goes to the people who did not believe in me''
added the 27-year-old Texan, who fought off a near-fatal cancer
of the testicles two years ago.
Armstrong, who was the youngest professional
road world champion in 1993, returned a stronger rider after
his disease and he said cancer had helped him in a way.
``The illness was a good thing for me.
Of course I wouldn't want to get back there. But in a way
I would not change a thing,'' he said. ``The illness made
me come back with a new perspective.''
When he returned last year after about
18 months out of action, he was a changed rider.
Before his cancer, the American was simply
gifted, winning effortlessly like in Oslo in 1993 or when
he finished second of his first World Cup race, the Clasica
San Sebastian in 1992.
``Before, I trained hard and I tried to
be professional but I did not deserve a 100 mark,'' he said.
``After the illness, I did make it back
and I trained much harder than before and I eliminated distractions
and watched my diet,'' he added.
Extra motivation also came from those
who did not believe he could make it back. When his cancer
was discovered, Armstrong had just signed with French team
Cofidis, who did not renew his contract a year later.
``When I was in the middle of my illness,
three months later, they tried to break the contract,'' he
``I thought about the teams who did not
believe I could make it back, I can tell you I thought about
them in the last three weeks, and I can tell them now that
I won the Tour,'' he added.
When Greg LeMond won his second Tour in
1989 on return to competition after a serious hunting accident,
he also had to find a team, Belgian outfit Agrigel, after
the major squads let him down.
``The only team I want to name is U.S.
Postal, because they took me on and it's very special to be
able to share this victory with them,'' Armstrong said.
The American, who has signed for U.S.
Postal until 2001, also fired a shot at those who claimed
his comeback had been aided by illegal drugs.
``I didn't expect to win the Tour de France,''
he said. ``I'm happy now, and the speculation and innuendo
that has been going on is minor.
``The speculation touched maybe a million
people but what Lance Armstrong did is going to give hope
to a hundred million people,'' he added.
``I did the hard work and whether they
believe me or not, I'm a happy man,'' added the American who
started a foundation which bears his name to help cancer research.
set for lap of honor
By Francois Thomazeau
July 23 - Tour de France organisers could hardly dream of
a more fitting climax to their last race before the year 2000
than a rider using the very latest high-tech equipment winning
a time trial in the Futuroscope science theme park near Poitiers.
Lance Armstrong, who
calls himself a "miracle of medicine", is clear
favourite for the last significant stage on Saturday -- a
57 km solo ride against the clock.
The American, who
has fought off cancer, leads Spanish climber Fernando Escartin
by six minutes 15 seconds heading into the trial, to be held
on a flat and easy course.
The gap should be
even wider after the 19th and penultimate test as Escartin
has never been at his best in such events.
of the two individual time trials in this year's Tour -- the
prologue and a hilly 56 km stage in Metz two weeks ago --
His one slight concern
might be that this is the only course he has not inspected
Although past races
have often visited Futuroscope, Armstrong has never raced
there. The last time trial to take place around it, in 1987,
was won by eventual winner Stephen Roche of Ireland.
With a 7:28 advantage
over third-placed Swiss Alex Zuelle, the closest time trial
specialist to him in the overall standings, the American could
choose to take it easy on Saturday.
For Zuelle, winning
the last trial of the Tour would be some consolation, especially
as he looks strong enough to bridge his 1:13 deficit on Escartin.
If he did, the Banesto
team leader would be second for the second time since 1995,
when he was runner-up to Spain's Miguel Indurain.
Zuelle would also
make some amends for last year when he and his Festina team
were kicked out of the Tour in the drugs scandal.
says he was persecuted by press
PAU, France, July
21 - Tour de France leader Lance Armstrong, cleared of doping
allegations by the International Cycling Union (UCI) on Wednesday,
said he had been persecuted by "vulture journalists".
The American said
he had used a cream containing a banned corticoid to cure
a skin allergy and that he had a medical prescription to do
"I was using
a cream which showed minute traces in my urine, so minute
that they were not there on day one," said Armstrong,
replying to a report by French daily Le Monde that corticoid
traces were found in his urine.
Le Monde said the
test took place after the first stage on July 4. The Texan
was also tested after winning the prologue a day before.
"If Le Monde
wants to call it a doping story they can but it is not a doping
story," the 27-year-old said.
He added that there
were more journalists than usual on the Tour this year because
they were chasing doping stories after last year's scandal,
which brought cycling's showcase event close to collapse.
journalism, it's desperate journalism. I've been persecuted,"
"The traces were
so small that it has nothing to do with enhancing performances.
It's bad for cycling, it's bad for the Tour de France,"
In its report, Le
Monde accused Armstrong of lying because he repeatedly said
he was not taking any products, banned or not.
"I was asked
if I had been given an exception by the UCI to take anything
and I said no.
"When I think
of taking something, I think of pills, injections. Quite honestly,
I did not consider a skin cream to be taking something,"
Armstrong, who is
set to win the Tour only two years after cancer threatened
not only his career but his life, said the controversy had
given him extra motivation.
"What they (the
press) wanted was for me to crack on the bike, I was not going
to do that for them," he said.
The UCI earlier confirmed
that corticoid traces were found in Armstrong's urine on July
But the governing
body added he had a medical prescription to use the cream
for a skin allergy. The cream contains the banned corticoid
"We can confirm
that all dope tests made during the Tour de France until July
19 were negative," the UCI said in a statement.
Normally, when a test
is negative or when an athlete produces a prescription for
corticoid, the results of the test are not published.
"But at the request
of Lance Armstrong and his team and because of the exceptional
situation created by some media, the UCI wishes to make an
exception and to confirm that the rider has used Cemalyt cream
(which contains triamcinolone) to cure an allergic dermatitis,"
the UCI said.
The UCI added that
the use of the cream was "authorized by the rules and
can not be considered a doping practice".