___Race Snippets

 

60th Tour de France 1973

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

Talented Spanish Climber Dominates a Climber’s Tour

CR Timeline 1973

The 1973 Tour de France was tailor made for a Spanish climber.  The Tour profile was one of the most mountainous in race history.  Four-time defending champion Eddy Merckx chose not to race because of the riggers of his early season triumphs.  Luis Ocana, winner of the Dauphine Libere, Raymond “Pou Pou” Poulidor, winner of Paris-Nice, and Dutch climber Joop Zoetemelk headed the list challengers for the overall Tour victory.

SPECIAL NOTE: Luis Ocana came to the TdF in 1973 with a new lightweight bicycle material.  After working with aviation engineers, Ocana discovered bicycle tubing made of titanium

In an effort to expand the scope and appeal of the TdF organizers scheduled the start of the race for Scheveningen, Netherlands.  Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk delighted his countrymen with a stage win the prologue time trial. 

With the sprinters controlling the flat stages of the Tour, Luis Ocana got a gift on stage 3.  On the roads between Roubaix and Reims, Ocana joined a breakaway group of 9 riders.  By the finish in Reims, 160 km later, Ocana, 8th on the stage, had a surprising 2’34” time gain on Poulidor, Van Impe, Thevenet and Zoetemelk. 

After the very fast sprinting stages, Ocana continues his move to the top of the overall classification as the Tour enters the main Alpine climbing on stage 7.  The morning of the two-part stage, Ocana attacked his adversaries again.  He arrived alone at the finish in Gaillard with a 53 second lead on the main contenders.  The race lead passed over to Ocana with the afternoon section to come.

The profile of the brutal stage 8 included two category 1 climb (Galibier and Izoard) and two category 2 climb (La Madelaine and Telegraphe) before the finish line at the top of the category 1 Les Orres.  Ocana and Spanish countryman Jose-Manuel Fuente managed to breakaway from the other contenders as they began to turn the lead from seconds into minutes.  On the finishing climb to Les Orres Ocana succeeded in dropping Fuente and won the stage by 58 seconds.  The time loss to the contenders was significant.  Thevenet lost 6’ 59”, Zoetemelk, Van Impe, Agostinho, and Poulidor all lost 20’24”.   

Luis Ocana rode into Paris with a 15’51” lead on second placed Frenchman Bernard Thevenet.  His dominance included six stage wins; control of the Maillot Jaune from stage 7 until the end in Paris.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Prologue SCHEVENINGEN (Hol), 7.1 km ITT

Joop Zoetemelk (Hol)

Joop Zoetemelk (Hol)

Stage 1a SCHEVENINGEN (Hol)-ROTTERDAM (Hol), 84 km

Willy Teirlinck (Bel)

Willy Teirlinck (Bel)

Stage 1b ROTTERDAM (Hol)-ST NIKLAAS (Bel), 137 km

Jose Catieau (Fra)

Herman Van Springel (Bel)

Stage 2b ST NIKLAAS (Bel)-ROUBAIX, 138 km

Eddy Verstraeten (Bel)

Herman Van Springel (Bel)

Stage 3 ROUBAIX-REIMS, 226 km

Cyrille Guimard (Fra)

Jose Catieau (Fra)

Stage 4 REIMS-NANCY, 214 km

Joop Zoetemelk (Hol)

Jose Catieau (Fra)

Stage 5 NANCY-MULHOUSE, 188 km

Walter Godefroot (Bel)

Jose Catieau (Fra)

Stage 6 BELFORT-DIVONNE LES BAINS, 245 km

Jean-Pierre Danguillaume (Fra)

Jose Catieau (Fra)

Stage 7a DIVONNE LES BAINS-GAILLARD, 86 km

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 7b GAILLARD-MERIBEL LES ALLUES, 150 km

Bernard Thevenet (Fra)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 8 MOUTIERS-LES ORRES, 237 km

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 9 EMBRUN-NICE, 234 km

Vicente Lopez-Carril (Spa)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 10 NICE-AUBAGNE, 222 km

Michael Wright (GBr)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 11 MONTPELLIER-ARGELES SUR MER, 238 km

Barry Hoban (GBr)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 12a PERPIGNAN-THUIR, 28 km ITT

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 12b THUIR-PYRENEES 2000, 76 km

Lucien Van Impe (Bel)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 13 BOURG MADAME-LUCHON, 235 km

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 14 LUCHON-PAU, 227 km

Pedro Torres (Spa)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 15 PAU-FLEURANCE, 137 km

Wilfried David (Bel)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 16a FLEURANCE-BORDEAUX, 210 km

Walter Godefroot (Bel)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 16b BORDEAUX LAC, 12 km ITT

Joaquim Agostinho (Por)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 17 STE FOY L’GRANDE-BRIVE L’GAILLARDE, 248 km

Claude Tollet (Fra)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 18 BRIVE-PUY DE DOME, 216 km

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 19 BOURGES-VERSAILLES, 233 km

Barry Hoban (GBr)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 20a VERSAILLES-VERSAILLES, 16 km ITT

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

Stage 20b VERSAILLES-PARIS, 89 km

Bernard Thevenet (Fra)

Luis Ocana (Spa)

BEST CLIMBER PRIZE

Pedro Torres (Spa)

  POINT'S COMPETITION

Herman Van Springel (Bel)



TdF June 30 - July 22, 1973
4,146 Km

1. Luis OCANA (Spa) 122h25'34"

2. Bernard Thevenet (Fra) +15'51"

3. Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa) +17'15"

Starters: 132
Finishers: 87
Average Speed: 33.918 km/h

 

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