___Race Snippets

 

57th Tour de France 1970

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cannibal’s Extraordinary Return

Belgian Eddy “the Cannibal” Merckx returned to the 1970 Tour de France as the hot favorite to repeat as champion.  His performance was so dominating in the 1969 TdF, that other riders came to compete for second place. 

Defending champion Eddy Merckx wasted little time taking control of the race.  He gained the first Maillot Jaune (race leader’s Yellow Jersey) of 1970 on the prologue TT.  Merckx gives up the Jersey to a teammate, Italo Zilioli, on stage 2 and re-took control of the race on stage 6.  After taking back the Maillot Jaune, Merckx went on a six stage rampage.  By the end of stage 11 Merckx had a 3-minute lead on Dutch climber Joop Zoetemelk.

The race lead began to expand as Merckx’s mastery continued through the Alps.  A solo breakaway win on stage 12 extended his overall lead on a young Joop Zoetemelk (Ned) to 6’01”. 

The Tour had come to the legendary “Giant of Provence” Mont Ventoux.  Merckx dared to attempt what other had failed to do and attacked at the base of the climb.  Joaquim Agostinho was the only one to stay with the torrid pace, but the Portuguese rider became a victim of Ventoux and faded with 8 km to go.  Alone at the finish Merckx completed the stage with a grand win, but the effort to conquer the entire mountain took its toll.  Surrounded by reports in the finish area, he collapsed with exhaustion.  Mont Ventoux is climb like no other.  Although the win was grand, the physical price paid was great.  An exhausted Merckx welcomed the relatively flat 4 days until the climbing stages of the Pyrenees Mountains.

The finish of stage 18 was at the ski station at Le Mongie/Tourmalet.  The tired race leader rode defensively to neutralize the effort of second placed Joop Zoetemelk.  Twenty-two year old Bernard Thevenet (Fra) took full advantage and rode away from the peloton on the final, foggy climb for the stage win.  Merckx maintained his 9’57” race lead over Zoetemelk. 

Following the Pyrenees stages, the Cannibal won the final two ITT’s (8km in Bordeaux and the final stage 54 km Versailles to Paris).  He arrived in Paris to acquire his second Tour de France victory.  In dominating style he commanded a 12’41” lead.  His dominance included the Maillot Jaune, Best Climber Prize, the Maillot Blanc (combined prize), and second place in the Maillot Vert (Green points Jersey) classification. 

The legend of Eddy “the Cannibal” Merckx continued to grow.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Prologue LIMOGES, 7.4 ITT

Eddy Merckx  (Bel)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 1 LIMOGES-LA ROCHELLE, 224 km

Cyrille Guimard (Fra)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 2 LA ROCHELLE-ANGERS, 200 km

Italo Zilioli  (Ita)

Italo Zilioli (Ita)

Stage 3b ANGERS-RENNES, 140 km

Marino Basso (Ita)

Italo Zilioli (Ita)

Stage 4 RENNES-LISIEUX, 229 km

Walter Godefroot (Bel)

Italo Zilioli (Ita)

Stage 5a LISIEUX-ROUEN, 94 km

Walter Godefroot (Bel)

Italo Zilioli (Ita)

Stage 5b ROUEN-AMIENS, 113 km

Joseph Spruyt (Bel)

Italo Zilioli (Ita)

Stage 6 AMIENS-VALENCIENNES, 135 km

Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 7a VALENCIENNES-FOREST/Vorst, 119 km

Eddy Merckx  (Bel)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 7b FOREST / Vorst, 7 km ITT

J-A Gonzalez-Linares (Spa)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 8 CINEY-FELSBERG, 232 km

Alain Vasseur (Fra)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 9 SAARLOUIS-MULHOUSE, 269 km

Morgens Frey (Den)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 10 BELFORT-DIVONNE LES BAINS, 241 km

Eddy Merckx  (Bel)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 11a DIVONNE LES BAINS, 9 km ITT

Eddy Merckx  (Bel)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 11b DIVONNE LES BAINS-THONON LES BAINS, 139 km

Basso Marino (Ita)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 12  THONON LES BAINS-GRENOBLE, 194 km

Eddy Merckx  (Bel)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 13 GRENOBLE-GAP, 195 km

Primo Mori (Ita)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 14 GAP-MONT VENTOUX, 170 km

Eddy Merckx  (Bel)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 15 CARPENTRAS-MONTPELLIER, 144 km

Marinus Wagtmans (Ned)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 16 MONTPELLIER-TOULOUSE, 259 km

Albert Van Vlierberghe (Bel)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 17 TOULOUSE-SAINT GAUDENS, 190 km

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 18 SAINT GAUDENS-LA MONGIE/Tourmalet, 135 km

Bernard Thevenet (Fra)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 19 BAGNERES DE BIG.-MOURENX, 185 km

Christian Raymond (Fra)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 20a MOURENX-BORDEAUX, 231 km

Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 20b BORDEAUX, 8 km ITT

Eddy Merckx  (Bel)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 21 RUFFEC-TOURS, 191 km

Marino Basso (Ita)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 22a TOURS-VERSAILLES, 238 km

Jean-Pierre Danguillaume (Fra)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 22b VERSAILLES-PARIS, 54 km ITT

Eddy Merckx  (Bel)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Eddy Merckx  (Bel)

  POINT'S COMPETITION

Walter Godefroot (Bel)



TdF June 27 - July 19, 1970
4,366 Km

1. Eddy MERCKX (Bel) 119h31'49"

2. Joop Zoetemelk (Ned) +12'41"

3. Gosta Pettersson (Swe) +15'54"

Starters: 150
Finishers: 100
Average Speed: 35.589 km/h

 

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