___Race Snippets


79th Tour de France 1992


By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian













The Spaniard is More Than a Climber

Spanish giant Miguel “Big Mig” Indurain shed his role as a support rider during the 1991 Tour de France to become a dominating champion.  Big Mig cruised to a victory in the Giro d’Italia and came to France with great racing fitness.

SPECIAL NOTE: Three time champion Greg LeMond arrived late at the start in San Sebastian (Spa) after a lengthy and very tiring trip from his home in Belgium. His drive through France was slowed by a trucker’s strike, whose protest put French highways into grid lock. By the time he reached San Sebastian he had lost valuable training, and proper sleep. The tired American struggled in the early stages to gain his racing form.

The start host City of San Sebastian, capital of the Basque region of Spain, was only a few kilometers from defending champion Miguel Indurain’s home.  Inspired by his countryman, Indurain beat both prologue specialist Thierry Marie and Swiss time trialer Alex Zulle to gain the stage win and keep the Maillot Jaune (race leader’s Yellow Jersey). 

The Tour returned to France from San Sebastian on stage 2. Young, French climber Richard Virenque broke away with Javier Murguialday (Spa) on the 255 km stage to Pau. The pair rode steadily away and built a lead of nearly 6 minutes midway through the stage. They rode into Pau with a 5’05” time margin on the apathetic peloton. Virenque’s strong ride and second place finish was enough to take the overall lead, 4’35” ahead of Indurain.

Indurain was trailing by over 4 minutes when the time the Tour reached Luxembourg on stage 9. The stage was a 65 km individual time trial (ITT) and gave the powerful Spaniard his first chance to gain valuable time. The undulating roads of Luxembourg served Indurain very well. He devastated the field by averaging more than 49 km/hour and gaining 3’41” on main rival Gianni Bugno. Indurain vaulted into second place overall, trailing by only 1’27”.

The classic stage to Alpe d’Huez has become a very prestigious race to win. The race route always includes a very tough series of climbs prior to the final climb. This year the race included the ascents of the category 2 Montgenevre, the hors category (beyond category) Col du Galibier (offering the Souvenir Henri Desgranges prize) and the hors category Croix de Fer. 

SPECIAL NOTE: Sadly for three time champion Greg LeMond, the pace on the first climb of the day was too fast for the struggling American. By the summit of the Croix de Fer, LeMond trailed by 25 minutes. For the first time in his brilliant career he abandoned the Tour. 

When the small elite pack reached the lower slopes of the final climb in Bourg d’Oisans, Andy Hampsten launched an attack and broke away from the leaders.  Steadily, Hampsten moved away through the early switchback turns. He rode solo to the finish to win the coveted stage to Alpe d’Huez. Indurain finished glued to a tired Claudio Chiappucci’s wheel 3’15” behind Hampsten.

Miguel Indurain consolidated his hold on the General Classification with an ITT stage win in Blois. Big Mig rode onto the Champes Elysees in Paris to claim his second TdF victory. He also added his name to a very elite list of riders, who accomplished the very difficult “Giro/Tour double." 

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Prologue SAN SEBASTIAN (Spa), 8 km ITT Miguel Indurain (Spa)  Miguel Indurain (Spa)
Stage 1 SAN SEBASTIAN (Spa)-SAN SEB. (Spa), 194 km Dominique Arnould (Fra)  Alex Zulle (Sui)
Stage 2 SAN SEBASTIAN (Spa)-PAU, 255 km Javier Murguialday (Spa)  Richard Virenque (Fra)
Stage 3 PAU-BORDEAUX, 210 km Rob Harmeling (Ned)  Pascal Lino (Fra)
Stage 5  NOGENT SUR OISE-WASQUEHAL, 196 km Guido Bontempi (Ita)  Pascal Lino (Fra)
Stage 6 ROUBAIX-BRUSSELS (Bel), 167 km Laurent Jalabert (Fra)  Pascal Lino (Fra)
Stage 7 BRUSSELS (Bel)-VALKENBURG (Ned), 196 km Gilles Delion (Fra)  Pascal Lino (Fra)
Stage 8 VALKENBURG (Ned)-KOBLENZ (Ger), 206 km Jan Nevens (Bel) Pascal Lino (Fra)
Stage 9 LUXEMBOURG (Lux)-LUXEMBOURG, 65 km ITT Miguel Indurain (Spa)  Pascal Lino (Fra)
Stage 10 LUXEMBOURG (Lux)-STRASBOURG, 217 km Jean-Paul Van Poppel (Ned)  Pascal Lino (Fra)
Stage 11 STRASBOURG-MULHOUSE, 249 km Laurent Fignon (Fra)  Pascal Lino (Fra)
Stage 12  DOLE-ST GERVAIS, 267 km Rolf Jaermann (Sui)  Pascal Lino (Fra)
Stage 13 ST GERVAIS-SESTRIERE (Ita), 254 km Claudio Chiappucci (Ita)  Miguel Indurain (Spa)
Stage 14 SESTRIERE (Ita)-ALPE D'HUEZ, 186 km Andrew Hampsten (USA)  Miguel Indurain (Spa)
Stage 15 BOURG D'OISANS-ST ETIENNE, 198 km Franco Chioccioli (Ita)  Miguel Indurain (Spa)
Stage 16 ST ETIENNE-LA BOURBOULE, 212 km Stephen Roche (Ire) Miguel Indurain (Spa)
Stage 17 LA BOURBOULE-MONTLUCON, 189 km Jean-Claude Colotti (Fra)  Miguel Indurain (Spa)
Stage 18 MONTLUCON-TOURS, 212 km Thierry Marie (Fra)  Miguel Indurain (Spa)
Stage 19  TOURS-BLOIS, 64 km ITT Miguel Indurain (Spa)  Miguel Indurain (Spa)
Stage 20 BLOIS-NANTERRE, 222 km Peter De Clercq (Bel)  Miguel Indurain (Spa)
Stage 21 LA DEFENSE-PARIS/Champs Elysees, 141 km Olaf Ludwig (Ger)  Miguel Indurain (Spa)


PDJ Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) 


GJ Laurent Jalabert (Fra)


TdF July 4-July 26, 1992
3,979 Km

1. Miguel INDURAIN (Spa) 100h49'30"

2. Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) +4'35"

3. Gianni Bugno (Ita) +10'47"

Starters: 198
Finishers: 130
Average Speed: 39.504 km/h

TdF 1991

TdF 1993

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