___Race Snippets

 

70th Tour de France 1983

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

Top 25 TdF

 

Tour Rookie Wins

CR Timeline 1983

Defending champion Bernard Hinault suffered from a severe knee injury and did not enter the Tour.  Cyrille Guimard, who directed Hinault to his TdF championships, had a new French star by the name of Laurent Fignon

SPECIAL NOTE: Tour organizers experimented with a new open race format.  For the first time, they opened the competition to an amateur team from “cycling crazy” Columbia.  The invitation generated great interest in the cycling community.  32 enthusiastic Colombian journalists were given TdF press credentials.  The Grand Boucle Mystique was coming to Latin America and the Western Hemisphere.

By the time the Tour reached the Pyrenees Mountains and the “circle of death” on stage 10, no clear favorite had stepped forward. 

Stage 10 from Pau to Bagneres de Luchon became extremely hard when the weather offered stifling heat.  Colombia Patrocinio Jimenez attacked the climb of the Col d’Aubisque and broke away with only Belgian climber Lucien Van Impe and Beat Breu.  Jimenez’s pace and the heat caused problems for the Van Impe and Brau, and they fell off the leader’s wheel on the second climb, the brutal Col du Tourmalet.  A new chase group of three, Robert Millar, Pedro Delgado, and Pascal Simon formed and caught Jimenez on the final climb.  Millar (GBr) attacked the group late and gained the stage win.  He finished 6 seconds ahead Pedro Delgado (Spa), 1’13” in front of the new race leader Pascal Simon (Fra), and 1’30” on original attacker Jimenez.  Laurent Fignon’s strong effort on the final climb gained enough time to jump into second place overall, 4’22” behind Simon.

The Tour moved through the Massif Central region of France. Misfortune struck the race leader the day after taking the Maillot Jaune when Simon crashed hard, fracturing his shoulder blade.  The amazing power of the Maillot Jaune inspired Simon to continue the race.  Slowly over the next few stages Simon began to lose time.  The race for the overall classification headed for a showdown in the Alps.

The final stage before the Alpine climbing was the 16 km ITT up the fabled climb of the Puy de Dome.  The race leader boldly raced up the climb but could not give the effort necessary hold off the changing Fignon.  Simon finished 5’10” behind the stage winner Angel Arroyo (Spa) and 3’22” behind Fignon.  Simon’s race lead was safe but the shoulder pain was growing.

Slowly Simon’s overall lead was slipping away.  The injured shoulder became too painful to sustain the effort.  With the Maillot Jaune on his back, Simon abandoned the Tour on the stage to Alpe d’Huez.

Laurent Fignon, with a 5th place finish on the stage, inherited the race lead at the top of Alpe d’Huez.  Two very hard climbing stages remained in the Alps and full attention to detail was foremost.  Inspired by the Maillot Jaune, the young Frenchman contained the pure climbers and exited the Alps with a 2’35” lead on Peter Winnen (Ned).  The final test before Paris would be the 50 km individual time trial ITT in Dijon.  Fignon carried a 2’55” lead into the stage.

The finish in Paris was a day away and Fignon put any doubt of his superiority to rest.  Flying around the Stage 19 ITT course in Dijon, Fignon gained his first stage win and put the overall lead out of reach.  Fignon rode down the Champs Elysees to claim the Tour de France victory on his first try. 

SPECIAL NOTE: At the age of 22, he became the youngest TdF champion since 20 year old Henri Cornet in 1904. 

 

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Prologue FONTENAY SOUS BOIS, 5.5 km ITT

Eric Vanderaerden (Bel)

Eric Vanderaerden (Bel)

Stage 1 NOGENT SUR MARNE-CRETEIL, 163 km

Frits Pirard (Ned)

Eric Vanderaerden (Bel)

Stage 3 VALENCIENNES-ROUBAIX, 152 km

Rudy Matthijs (Bel)

Kim Andersen (Den)

Stage 4 ROUBAIX-LE HAVRE, 300 km

Serge Demierre (Sui)

Kim Andersen (Den)

Stage 5 LE HAVRE-LE MANS, 257 km

Dominique Gaigne (Fra)

Kim Andersen (Den)

Stage 6 CHATEAUBRIAND-NANTES, 58 km ITT

Bert Oosterbosch (Ned)

Kim Andersen (Den)

Stage 7 NANTES-ILE D'OLERON, 216 km

Ricardo Magrini (Ita)

Kim Andersen (Den)

Stage 8 LA ROCHELLE-BORDEAUX, 222 km

Bert Oosterbosch (Ned)

Kim Andersen (Den)

Stage 9 BORDEAUX-PAU, 207 km

Philippe Chevallier (Fra)

Sean Kelly (Ire)

Stage 10 PAU-BAGNERES DE LUCHON, 201 km

Robert Millar (Gbr)

Pascal Simon (Fra)

Stage 11 BAGNERES DE LUCHON-FLEURANCE, 177 km

Regis Clere (Fra)

Pascal Simon (Fra)

Stage 12 FLEURANCE-ROQUEFORT SUR SOULZON, 261 km

Kim Andersen (Den)

Pascal Simon (Fra)

Stage 13 ROQUEFORT SUR SOULZON-AURILLAC, 210 km

Henk Lubberding (Ned)

Pascal Simon (Fra)

Stage 14 AURILLAC-ISSOIRE, 149 km

Pierre Le Bigault (Fra)

Pascal Simon (Fra)

Stage 15 CLERMONT FERRAND-PUY DE DOME, 16 km ITT

Angel Arroyo (Esp)

Pascal Simon (Fra)

Stage 16 ISSOIRE-ST ETIENNE, 144 km

Michel Laurent (Fra)

Pascal Simon (Fra)

Stage 17 LA TOUR DU PIN-ALPE D'HUEZ, 223 km

Peter Winnen (Ned)

Laurent Fignon (Fra)

Stage 18 BOURG D'OISANS-MORZINE, 247 km

Jacques Michaud (Fra)

Laurent Fignon (Fra)

Stage 19 MORZINE-AVORIAZ, 15 km ITT

Lucien Van Impe (Bel)

Laurent Fignon (Fra)

Stage 20 MORZINE-DIJON, 291 km

Philippe Leleu (Fra)

Laurent Fignon (Fra)

Stage 21 DIJON-DIJON, 50 km ITT

Laurent Fignon (Fra)

Laurent Fignon (Fra)

Stage 22 ALFORTVILLE-PARIS/Champs Elysees, 195 km

Gilbert Glaus (Sui)

YJ Laurent Fignon (Fra)

 

PDJ Lucien Van Impe (Bel)

GJ Sean Kelly (Ire)



TdF July 1 - July 24, 1983
3,859 Km

1. Laurent FIGNON (Fra) 107h31'58"

2. Angel Arroyo (Spa) +4'04"

3. Peter Winnen (Ned) +4'09"

Starters: 140
Finishers: 88
Average Speed: 35.914 km/h

 

 

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