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1985 Tour de France

72nd edition: June 28 - July 21, 1985

Results, stages with running GC, map, video, photos and history

1984 Tour | 1986 Tour | Tour de France Database | 1985 Tour Quick Facts | 1985 Tour de France Final GC | Stage results with running GC | The Story of the 1985 Tour de France

1985 Tour de France route

1985 Tour de France route

Plato's Apology

Plato's Apology is available as an audiobook here.

1985 Tour de France quick facts

The 1985 Tour had 23 stages (counting 2 half-stages) plus a prologue that totaled 4127.8 kilometers.

It was ridden at an average speed of 36.215 km/hr.

180 riders started and there were 144 classified finishers.

This was Bernard Hinault's fifth Tour victory. Before, only Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx had won 5.

It was a controversial Tour. Hinault was struggling after he broke his nose in a crash near the end of stage 14.

On the ascent to Luz-Ardiden in stage 17 Greg LeMond was ordered to wait for his teammate, Bernard Hinault.

LeMond was told Hinault was just behind him and would catch him quickly. In fact, Hinault was several minutes back and LeMond lost at least, the chance for an important stage win.

In all likelihood the falsehood LeMond was told cost the gifted young racer the Tour de France itself.

It was also Miguel Indurain's first Tour. He abandoned on stage four.

1985 Tour de France complete final General Classification:

  1. Bernard Hinault (La Vie Claire) 113hr 24min 23sec
  2. Greg LeMond (La Vie Claire) @ 1min 42sec
  3. Stephen Roche (La Redoute) @ 4min 29sec
  4. Sean Kelly (Sil-Sem) @ 6min 26sec
  5. Phil Anderson (Panasonic) @ 7min 44sec
  6. Pedro Delgado (Orbea) @ 11min 53sec
  7. Luis Herrera (Cafe de Colombia) @ 12min 53sec
  8. Fabio Parra (Cafe de Colombia) @ 13min 35sec
  9. Eduardo Chozas (Reynolds) @ 13min 56sec
  10. Steve Bauer (La Vie Claire) @ 14min 57sec
  11. Robert Millar (Peugeot) @ 15min 10sec
  12. Joop Zoetemelk (Kwantum) @ 15min 24sec
  13. Niki Rüttimann (La Vie Claire) @ 16mn 2sec
  14. Eddy Schepers (Lotto-Eddy Merckx) @ 16min 13sec
  15. Peter Winnen (Panasonic) @ 17min 35sec
  16. Robert Forest (Peugeot) @ 17min 45sec
  17. Celestino Prieto (Reynolds) @ 19min 48sec
  18. Claude Criquielion (Hitachi-Sunair) @ 21min 12sec
  19. Alvaro Pino (Zor) @ 21min 35sec
  20. Pascal Simon (Peugeot) @ 23min 30sec
  21. Pierre Bazzo (Fagor) @ 23min 36sec
  22. Dominique Arnaud (La Vie Claire) @ 26min 28sec
  23. Beat Breu (Carrera Jeans-Inoxpran) @ 29min 42sec
  24. Jerome Simon (La Redoute) @ 32min 52sec
  25. Steven Rooks (Panasonic) @ 33min 21sec
  26. Marc Madiot (Renault) @ 33min 58sec
  27. Lucien van Impe (Santini) @ 34min 16sec
  28. Gerard Veldscholten (Panasonic) @ 35min 44sec
  29. Thierry Claveyrolat (La Redoute) @ 39min 16sec
  30. Jesus Rodriguez (Zor) @ 39min 38sec
  31. Frédéric Vichot (Skil-Sem) @ 40min 2sec
  32. Paul Wellens (Tonissteiner) @ 40min 20sec
  33. Paul Haghedooren (Lotto-Eddy Merckx) @ 40min 37sec
  34. Eric Caritoux (Skil-Sem) @ 41min 53sec
  35. Dominique Garde (Skil-Sem) @ 42min 26sec
  36. Charly Mottet (Renault) @ 42min 57sec
  37. Gilles Mas (Skil-Sem) @ 45min 10sec
  38. Iñaki Gaston (Reynolds) @ 45min 53sec
  39. Faustino Rupérez (Zor) @ 46min 12sec
  40. Jean-Philippe Vandenbrande (Hitachi-Sunair) @ 48min 36sec
  41. Reynel Montoya (Cafe de Colombia) @ 48min 46sec
  42. Pascal Poisson (Renault) @ 53min 41sec
  43. Rafael Antonio Acevedo (Cafe de Colombia) @ 54min 12sec
  44. Alain Vigeron (La Vie Claire) @ 55min 45sec
  45. Jokin Mujika (Orbea) @ 55min 54sec
  46. Bernard Vallet (La Vie Claire) @ 59min 50sec
  47. Kim Andersen (La Vie Claire) @ 1hr 0min 32sec
  48. Ludo Peeters (Kwantum) @ 1hr 1min 55sec
  49. Roberto Visentini (Carrera Jeans-Inoxpran) @ 1hr 3min 8sec
  50. Jørgen Pedersen (Carrera Jean-Inoxpran) @ 1hr 5min 42sec
  51. Adrie van der Poel (Kwantum) @ 1hr 7min 29sec
  52. Jan Wynants (Tonissteiner) @ 1hr 8min 23sec
  53. Laurent Biondi (Hitachi-Sunair) @ 1hr 8min 37sec
  54. Pelo Ruiz (Orbea) @ 1hr 12min 6sec
  55. Jacques van Meer (Skil-Sem) @ 1hr 12min 41sec
  56. Denix Roux (Renault) @ 1hr 14min 26sec
  57. Philippe Chevalier (Renault) @ 1hr 15min 19sec
  58. Hendrik Devos (Hitachi-Sunair) @ 1hr 16min 32sec
  59. Marc Sergeant (Lotto-Eddy Merckx) @ 1hr 19min 10sec
  60. Martin Early (Fagor) @ 1hr 20min 36sec
  61. Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle (Peugeot) @ 1hr 20min 56sec
  62. Enrique Aja (Reynolds) @ 1hr 24min 23sec
  63. Ludwig Wijnants (Tonissteiner) @ 1hr 24min 36sec
  64. Marc Durant (Zor) @ 1hr 25min 7sec
  65. Jean-Claude Bagot (Fagor) @ 1hr 25min 37sec
  66. Herman Loaiza (Cafe de Colombia) @ 1hr 26min 42sec
  67. Thierry Marie (Renault) @ 1hr 27min 50sec
  68. Yvan Frebert (Peugeot) @ 1hr 30min 51sec
  69. Jean-Louis Gauthier (La Redoute) @ 1hr 31min 8sec
  70. Rudy Rogiers (Hitachi-Sunair) @ 1hr 33min 38sec
  71. Christian Jourdan (La Vie Claire) @ 1hr 34min 31sec
  72. Yvon Madiot (Renault) @ 1hr 35min 55sec
  73. Carlos Jamarillo (Cafe de Colombia) @ 1hr 38min 52sec
  74. Doug Shapiro (Kwantum) @ 1hr 39min 34sec
  75. Johan Lammerts (Panasonic) @ 1hr 40min 12sec
  76. Carlos Hernandez (Reynolds) @ 1hr 40min 27sec
  77. René Bittinger (Skil-Sem) @ 1hr 40min 32sec
  78. Joël Pelier (Skil-Sem) @ 1hr 43min 33sec
  79. Leo Van Vliet (Kwantum) @ 1hr 44min 10sec
  80. Theo De Rooy (Panasonic) @ 1hr 48min 22sec
  81. François Lemarchand (Fagor) @ 1hr 50min 40sec
  82. Henk Lubberding (Panasonic) @ 1hr 51min 48sec
  83. Anastasio Greciano (Orbea) @ 1hr 53min 27sec
  84. Maarten Ducrot (Kwantum) @ 1hr 53min 57sec
  85. Jesus Hernandez (Reynolds) @ 1hr 54min 13sec
  86. Allan Peiper (Peugeot) @ 1hr 56min 54sec
  87. Eric Vanderaerden (Panasonic) @ 1hr 58min 36sec
  88. Adrie van Houwelingen (Verandalux) @ 1hr 59min 32sec
  89. Czeslaw Lang (Carrera Jeans-Inoxpran) @ 2hr 0min 49sec
  90. Philippe Poissonnier (Skil-Sem) @ 2hr 0min 50sec
  91. Henri Manders (Kwantum) @ 2hr 1min 41sec
  92. Pierre Le Bigaut (La Redoute) @ 2hr 1min 53sec
  93. Willem Van Eynde (Lotto-Eddy Merckx) @ 2hr 1min 55sec
  94. Manuel Murga (Orbea) @ 2hr 2min 13sec
  95. Elio Festa (Santini) @ 2hr 2min 21sec
  96. Michel Dernies (Lotto-Eddy Merckx) @ 2hr 5min 54sec
  97. Claudio Fasolo (Santini) @ 2hr 5min 55sec
  98. Hubert Linard (Peugeot) @ 2hr 6min 57sec
  99. Marc Gomez (La Vie Claire) @ 2hr 7min 6sec
  100. Régis Simon (La Redoute) @ 2hr 9min 3sec
  101. Rudy Dhaenens (Hitachi-Sunair) @ 2hr 9min 23sec
  102. Guy Gallopin (Skil-Sem) @ 2hr 9min 23sec
  103. Aloïs Wouters (Tonissteiner) @ 2hr 9min 36sec
  104. Jan van Houwelingen (Verandalux) @ 2hr 10min 30sec
  105. Giancarlo Perini (Carrera Jean-Inoxpran) @ 2hr 10min 40sec
  106. Ad Wijnands (Kwantum) @ 2hr 11min 8sec
  107. Luis Vicente (Orbea) @ 2hr 12min 0sec
  108. Patrick Toelen (Hitachi-Sunair) @ 2hr 12min 21sec
  109. Anselmo Fuerte (Zor) @ 2hr 12min 22sec
  110. Gerrit Solleveld (Kwantum) @ 2hr 12min 32sec
  111. Rudy Patry (Tonissteiner) @ 2hr 16min 46sec
  112. Guido Bontempi (Carrera Jeans-Inoxpran) @ 2hr 17min 15sec
  113. Guy Nulens (Panasonic) @ 2hr 19min 40sec
  114. Erich Mächler (Carrera Jeans-Inoxpran) @ 2hr 20min 15sec
  115. Jelle Nijdam (Kwantum) @ 2hr 21min 39sec
  116. Dominique Gaigne (Renault) @ 2hr 23min 23sec
  117. Jean-Marie Wampers (Hitachi-Sunair) @ 2hr 24min 59sec
  118. Nestor Oswaldo Moro (Cafe de Colombia) @ 2hr 28min 21sec
  119. Ferdi van den Haute (La Redoute) @ 2hr 28min 54sec
  120. Noël Segers (Tonissteiner) @ 2hr 36min 25sec
  121. Alain Bondue (La Redoute) @ 2hr 37min 6sec
  122. Sean Yates (Peugeot) @ 2hr 37min 36sec
  123. André Lurquin (Tonissteiner) @ 2hr 38min 4sec
  124. Jos Jacobs (Verandalux) @ 2hr 38min 54sec
  125. José del Ramo (Orbea) @ 2hr 39min 40sec
  126. Ludo de Keulenaer (Panasonic) @ 2hr 39min 52sec
  127. Eric McKenzie (Lotto-Eddy Merckx) @ 2hr 40min 41sec
  128. José Salvador Sanchis (Orbea) @ 2hr 41min 38sec
  129. Benny van Brabant (Tonissteiner) @ 2hr 48min 15sec
  130. Jozef Lieckens (Lotto-Eddy Merckx) @ 2hr 48min 15sec
  131. Etienne de Beule (Verandalux) @ 2hr 51min 18sec
  132. Francis Castaing (Peugeot) @ 2hr 57min 8sec
  133. Michel Bibollet (Fagor) @ 3hr 0min 29sec
  134. Frédéric Brun (Peugeot) @ 3hr 1min 30sec
  135. Rudy Matthijs (Hitachi-Sunair) @ 3hr 3min 13sec
  136. Jan Baeyens (Lotto-Eddy Merckx) @ 3hr 9min 36sec
  137. Jan Bogaert (Verandalux) @ 3hr 11min 35sec
  138. Philippe Laureire (Fagor) @ 3hr 15min 0sec
  139. Giuliano Pavanello (Santini) @ 3hr 16min 40sec
  140. Peter Pieters (Zor) @ 3hr 25min 44sec
  141. Paul Sherwin (La Redoute) @ 3hr 28min 13sec
  142. Patrick Onnockx (Lotto-Eddy Merckx) @ 3hr 29min 25sec
  143. Roberto Bressan (Santini) @ 3hr 45min 20sec
  144. Manrico Ronchiato (Santini) @ 4hr 13min 48sec

Climbers Competition:

  1. Luis Herrera (Cafe de Colombia): 440 points
  2. Pedro Delgado (Orbea): 274
  3. Robert Millar (Peugeot): 270
  4. Greg LeMond (La Vie Claire): 214
  5. Reynel Montoya (Cafe de Colombia): 190
  6. Bernard Hinault (La Vie Claire): 165

Points Competition:

  1. Sean Kelly (Skil-Sem): 434 points
  2. Greg LeMond (La Vie Claire): 332
  3. Stephen Roche (La Redoute): 279
  4. Bernard Hinault (La Vie Claire): 266
  5. Eric Vanderaerden (Panasonic): 258
  6. Phil Anderson (Panasonic): 244
  7. Adrie van der Poel (Kwantum): 199

Team Classification:

  1. Le Vie Claire: 340hr 21min 9sec
  2. Panasonic @ 27min 10sec
  3. Peugeot @ 40min 54sec
  4. Skil-Sem @ 1hr 46min 51sec

Best Young Rider:

  1. Fabio Parra (Cafe de Colombia): 113hr 37min 58sec
  2. Eduardo Chozas (Reynolds) @ 21sec
  3. Steve Bauer (La Vie Claire) @ 1min 22sec
  4. Robert Forest (Peugeot) @ 4min 10sec
  5. Alvaro Pino (Zor) @ 8min 0sec

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1985 Tour de France stages and results with running GC

Prologue: Friday, June 28, Plumelec 6.8 km Individual Time Trial. Stage and GC times and places are the same.

1. Bernard Hinault: 8min 47sec
2. Eric Vanderaerden @ 4sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 14sec
4. Phil Anderson @ 19sec
5. Greg LeMond @ 21sec
6. Steve Bauer @ 24sec
7. Alan Peiper s.t.
8. Pello Ruiz-Cabestany @ 25sec
9. Kim Andersen @ 25sec
10. Pascal Poisson @ 27sec


Stage 1: Saturday, June 29, Vannes - Lanester, 256 km

1. Rudy Matthijs: 6hr 32min 52sec
2. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.
3. Sean Kelly s.t.
3. Guido Bontempi s.t.
4. Francis Castaing s.t.
6. Kim Andersen s.t.
7. Jean-Philippe Vandenbrande s.t
8. Eric McKenzie s.t.
9. Adrie Van Der Poel s.t.
10. Charly Mottet s.t.


GC after Stage 1:

1. Eric Vanderaerden: 6hr 41min 7sec
2. Bernard Hinault @ 32sec
3. Steve Bauer @ 43sec
4. Stephen Roche @ 46sec
5. Rudy Matthijs @ 47sec
6. Phil Anderson @ 51sec
7. Pello Ruiz-Cabestany s.t.
8. Greg LeMond @ 53sec
9. Alan Peiper @ 56sec
10. Kim Andersen @ 57sec


Stage 2: Sunday, June 30, Lorient - Vitré, 242 km

1. Rudy Matthijs: 6hr 29min 21sec
2. Sean Kelly s.t.
3. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.
4. Eric Castaing s.t.
5. Guido Bontempi s.t.
6. Michel Dernies s.t.
7. Benny Van Brabant s.t.
8. Philippe Lauraire s.t.
9. Eric McKenzie s.t.
10. Thierry Marie s.t.


GC after Stage 2:

1. Eric Vanderaerden: 13hr 9min 58sec
2. Rudy Matthijs @ 47sec
3. Bernard Hinault @ 1min 2sec
4. Sean Kelly s.t.
5. Steve Bauer @ 1min 13sec
6. Stephen Roche @ 1min 16sec
7. Phil Anderson @ 1min 21sec
8. Pello Ruiz-Cabestany s.t.
9. Greg LeMond @ 1min 23sec
10.Alan Peiper @ 1min 26sec


Stage 3: Monday, July 1, Vitré - Fougères 73 km Team Time Trial

1. La Vie Claire: 1hr 30min 9sec
2. Kwantum @ 1min
3. Panasonic @ 1min 3sec
4. Peugeot @ 1min 12sec
5. Carrera Jeans @ 1min 22sec
6. Renault @ 1min 22sec
7. La Redoute @ 1min 24sec
8. Hitachi @ 2min 10sec
9. Lotto @ 2min 24sec
10. Skil @ 2min 52sec


GC after Stage 3:

1. Eric Vanderaerden: 14hr 40min 37sec
2. Bernard Hinault @ 32sec
3. Steve Bauer @ 43sec
4. Greg LeMond @ 53sec
5. Kim Andersen @ 57sec
6. Bernard Vallet @ 59sec
7. Niki Ruttimann @ 1min 6sec
8. Alain Vigneron @ 1min 7sec
9. Marc Gomez @ 1min 8sec
10. Phil Anderson @ 1min 21sec


Stage 4: Tuesday, July 2, Fougères - Port Audemer, 239.5 km

1. Gerrit Solleveld: 6hr 31min 46sec
2. Bruno Leali s.t.
3. Paul Haghedooren s.t.
4. Hennie Kuiper s.t.
5. Gerard Veldscholten s.t.
6. Luis Herrera s.t.
7. Kim Andersen s.t.
8. Jozef Liekens @ 46sec
9. Sean Kelly s.t.
10. Adrie Van Der Poel s.t.


GC after Stage 4:

1. Kim Andersen: 21hr 12min 40sec
2. Eric Vanderaerden @ 19sec
3. Bernard Hinault @ 1min 1sec
4. Steve Bauer @ 1min 12sec
5. Greg LeMond @ 1min 12sec
6. Gerard Veldscholten @ 1min 25sec
7. Bernard Vallet @ 1min 28sec
8. Niki Turrimann @ 1min 35sec
9. Alain Vigneron @ 1min 36sec
10. Marc Gomez @ 1min 37sec


Stage 5: Wednesday, July 3, Neufchatel en Bray - Roubaix, 224 km

1. Henri Manders: 6hr 27min 25sec
2. Sean Kelly @ 11sec
3. Phil Anderson s.t.
4. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.
5. Bernard Hinauilt s.t.
6. Ad Wijnands s.t.
7. Leo Van Vliet s.t.
8. Alan Peiper s.t.
9. Michel Dernies s.t.
10. Jean-Louis Gauthier s.t.


GC after Stage 5:

1. Kim Andersen: 27hr 40min 16sec
2. Eric Vanderaerden @ 19sec
3. Bernard Hinault @ 1min 1sec
4. Steve Bauer @ 1min 12sec
5. Greg LeMond @ 1min 19sec
6. Gerard Veldscholten @ 1min 22sec
7. Phil Anderson @ 1min 31sec
8. Niki Ruttimann @ 1min 35sec
9. Marc Gomez @ 1min 37sec
10. Sean Kelly @ 1min 49sec


Stage 6: Thursday, July 4, Roubaix - Reims, 221.5 km

1. Francis Castaing: 6hr 29min 34sec
2. Greg LeMond s.t.
3. Benny Van Brabant s.t.
4. Jean-Philippe Vendenbrande s.t.
5. Leo Van Vliet s.t.
6. Jozef Lieckens s.t.
7. Eric McKenzie s.t.
8. Frederic Vichot s.t.
9. Michel Dernies s.t.
10. Ludwig Wijnants s.t.


GC after stage 6:

1. Kim Andersen: 34hr 9min 44sec
2. Eric Vanderaerden @ 40sec
3. Greg LeMond @ 1min 5sec
4. Bernard Hinault @ 1min 7sec
5. Steve Bauer @ 1min 18sec
6. Gerard Veldscholten @ 1min 28sec
7. Phil Anderson @ 1min 37sec
8. Niki Ruttimann @ 1min 41sec
9. Sean Kelly s.t.
10. Marc Gomez @ 1min 43sec


Stage 7: Friday, July 5, Reims - Nancy, 217.5 km

1. Ludwig Wijnants: 5hr 55min 7sec
2. Luis Herrera @ 5sec
3. Peter Winnen s.t.
4. Inaki Gaston s.t.
5. Wim Van Eynde @ 8sec
6. Benny Van Brabant @ 9sec
7. Sean Kelly s.t.
8. Jean-Philippe Vandenbrande s.t.
9. Phil Anderson s.t.
10. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.


GC after Stage 7:

1. Kim Andersen: 40hr 5min
2. Eric Vanderaerden @ 40sec
3. Greg LeMond @ 1min 5sec
4. Bernard Hinault @ 1min 7sec
5. Sean Kelly @ 1min 9sec
6. Steve Bauer @ 1min 18sec
7. Gerard Veldscholten @ 1min 28sec
8. Phil Anderson @ 1min 37sec
9. Niki Ruttimann @ 1min 41sec
10. Marc Gomez @ 1min 43sec


Stage 8: Saturday, July 6, Sarrebourg - Strasbourg 75 km Individual Time Trial

1. Bernard Hinault: 1hr 34min 55sec
2. Stephen Roche @ 2min 20sec
3. Charly Mottet @ 2min 26sec
4. Greg LeMond @ 2min 34sec
5. Pierre Bazzo @ 2min 42sec
6. Alain Vigneron @ 2min 52sec
7. Sean Kelly s.t.
8. Steve Bauer @ 3min 10sec
9. Pascal Simon @ 3min 14sec
10. Phil Anderson s.t.


GC after Stage 8:

1. Bernard Hinault: 41hr 41min 2sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 2min 32sec
3. Sean Kelly @ 2min 54sec
4. Steve Bauer @ 3min 21sec
5. Phil Anderson @ 3min 44sec
6. Stephen Roche s.t.
7. Charly Mottet @ 4min 11sec
8. Pascal Simon @ 4min 23sec
9. Paul Haghedooren @ 4min 49sec
10. Eric Vanderaerden @ 4min 50sec


Stage 9: Sunday, July 7, Strasbourg - Epinal, 173.5 km

Major Ascents: Champ du Feu, Donon

1. Maarten Ducrot: 4hr 13min 40sec
2. Rene Bittinger @ 37sec
3. Yvon Madiot s.t.
4. Theo De Rooy s.t.
5. Niki Ruttiman s.t.
6. Sean Kelly @ 2min 15sec
7. Eric McKenzie s.t.
9. Jean-Philippe Vandenbrande s.t.
10. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.


GC after Stage 9:

1. Bernard Hinault: 45hr 56min 57sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 2min 22sec
3. Sean Kelly @ 2min 51sec
4. Steve Bauer @ 3min 21sec
5. Phil Anderson @ 3min 38sec
6. Stephen Roche @ 3min 44sec
7. Charly Mottet @ 4min 11sec
8. Pascal Simon @ 4min 23sec
9. Eric Vanderaerden @ 4min 40sec
10. Paul Haghedooren @ 4min 49sec


Stage 10: Monday, July 8, Epinal - Pontarlier, 204.5 km

Major Ascents: Côte du Désert, Côte de Larmont

1. Jorgen Pedersen: 5hr 6min 27sec
2. Johan Lammerts s.t.
3. Inaki Gaston @ 2sec
4. Dominique Arnauld s.t.
5. Denis Roux @ 41sec
6. Joel Pelier @ 41sec
7. Jean-Claude Bagot @ 1min
8. Pedro Delgado @ 1min 18sec
9. Adri Van Der Poel @ 1min 27sec
10. Marc Madiot @ 1min 30sec


GC after Stage 10:

1. Bernard Hinault: 51hr 4min 57sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 2min 16sec
3. Sean Kelly @ 2min 42sec
4. Steve Bauer @ 3min 21sec
5. Phil Anderson @ 3min 28sec
6. Stephen Roche @ 3min 44sec
7. Charly Mottet @ 4min 11sec
8. Pascal Simon @ 4min 20sec
9. Niki Ruttimann @ 4min 53sec
10. Paul Haghedooren @ 5min 12sec


Stage 11: Tuesday, July 9, Pontarlier - Morzine Avoriaz, 195 km

Major Ascents: Pas de Morgins, Corbier, Avoriaz

1. Luis Herrera: 5hr 19min 4sec
2. Bernard Hinault @ 7sec
3. Pedro Delgado @ 1min 23sec
4. Fabio Parra @ 1min 41sec
5. Greg LeMond s.t.
6. Stephen Roche 2 2min 5sec
7. Peter Winnen s.t.
8. Robert Millar @ 2min 39sec
9. Celestino Prieto @ 3min 2sec
10. Paul Wellens s.t.


GC after Stage 11:

1. Bernard Hinault: 56hr 23min 58sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 4min
3. Stephen Roche @ 5min 52sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 6min 1sec
5. Phil Anderson @ 6min 33sec
6. Steve Bauer @ 6min 50sec
7. Charly Mottet @ 7min 40sec
8. Niki Ruttimann @ 8min 6sec
9. Joop Zoetemelk @ 8min 25sec
10. Pascal Simon @ 8min 50sec


Stage 12: Wednesday, July 10, Morzine - Lans en Vercors, 269 km

Major Ascents: Colombière. Leschaux, Plainpalais, Granier, Montaud, St. Nizier, Lans en Vercors

1. Fabio Parra: 8hr 25min 31sec
2. Luis Herrera s.t.
3. Sean Kelly @ 38sec
4. Niki Ruttimann s.t.
5. Stephen Roche @ 39sec
6. Rodriguez-Magro s.t.
7. Dominique Arnaud s.t.
8. Pascal Simon s.t.
9. Marc Madiot s.t.
10. Greg LeMond s.t.


GC after Stage 12:

1. Bernard Hinault: 64hr 50min 8sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 4min
3. Stephen Roche @ 5min 52sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 6min
5. Steve Bauer @ 7min 17sec
6. Niki Ruttimann @ 8min 5sec
7. Phil Anderson @ 8min 9sec
8. Joop Zoetemelk @ 8min 25sec
9. Pascal Simon @ 8min 50sec
10. Pierre Bazzo @ 8min 51sec


Stage 13: Thursday, July 11, Villard de Lans 31.8 km Individual Time Trial

1. Eric Vanderaerden: 41min 4sec
2. Bernard Hinault @ 1min 7sec
3. Thierry Marie @ 1min 8sec
4. Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle @ 1min 17sec
5. Marc Sergeant @ 1min 23sec
6. Stephen Roche s.t.
7. Joel Pelier @ 1min 27sec
8. Phil Anderson @ 1min 31sec
9. Inaki Gaston @ 1min 39sec
10. Sean Kelly @ 1min 42sec


GC after Stage 13:

1. Bernard Hinault: 65hr 32min 19sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 5min 23sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 6min 8sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 6min 35sec
5. Steve Bauer @ 8min 23sec
6. Phil Anderson @ 8min 33sec
7. Niki Ruttimann @ 10min 31sec
8. Pascal Simon @ 11min 11sec
9. Joop Zoetemelk @ 11min 14sec
10. Pierre Bazzo @ 12min 39sec


Stage 14: Saturday, July 13, Autrans - St. Etienne, 179 km

Major Ascent: L'Oeillon

1. Luis Herrera: 4hr 56min 32sec
2. Ludo Peeters @ 47sec
3. Greg LeMond s.t.
4. Robert Forest s.t.
5. Eddy Schepers s.t.
6. Paul Wellens s.t.
7. Pedro Delgado s.t.
8. Robert Millar s.t.
9. Fabio Parra @ 49sec
10. Steve Bauer @ 2min 32sec

GC after Stage 14:

1. Bernard Hinault: 70hr 31min 23sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 3min 32sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 6min 14sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 7min 36sec
5. Steve Bauer @ 8min 23sec
6. Steve Anderson @ 8min 33sec
7. Joop Zoetemelk @ 11min 20sec
8. Niki Ruttimann @ 11min 32sec
9. Fabio Parra @ 11min 38sec
10. Robert Millar @ 11min 56sec


Stage 15: Sunday, July 14, St. Etienne - Aurillac, 237.5 km

Major Ascent: Pas de Peyrol

1. Eduardo Chozas: 7hr 8min 42sec
2. Ludo Peeters @ 9min 51sec
3. Sean Kelly @ 9min 54sec
4. Greg LeMond s.t.
5. Jean-Philippe Vandenbrande s.t.
6. Leo Van Vliet s.t.
7. Adri Van Der Poel s.t.
8. Bernard Hinault s.t.
9. Marc Sergeant s.t.
10. Ludwig Wijnants s.t.


GC after stage 15:

1. Bernard Hinault: 77hr 49min 59sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 3min 32sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 6min 14sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 7min 26sec
5. Steve Bauer @ 8min 23sec
6. Phil Anderson @ 8min 33sec
7. Eduardo Chozas @ 8min 55sec
8. Joop Zoetemelk @ 11min 20sec
9. Niki Ruttimann @ 11min 32sec
10. Fabio Parra @ 11min 38sec


Stage 16: Monday, July 15, Aurillac - Toulouse, 247 km

1. Frederic Vichot: 6hr 31min 54sec
2. Charly Mottet @ 3min 12sec
3. Guido Bontempi @ 3min 15sec
4. Jozef Lieckens s.t.
5. Francis Castaing s.t.
6. Sean Kelly s.t.
7. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.
8. Adri Van der Poel s.t.
9. Leo Van Vliet s.t.
10. Stefan Mutter s.t.


GC after Stage 16:

1. Bernard Hinault: 84hr 25min 2sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 3min 38sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 6min 14sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 7min 32sec
5. Steve Bauer @ 8min 26sec
6. Phil Anderson @ 8min 39sec
7. Eduardo Chozas @ 9min 1sec
8. Joop Zoetemelk @ 11min 20sec
9. Niki Ruttimann @ 11min 38sec
10. Fabio Parra @ 11min 44sec


Stage 17: Tuesday, July 16, Toulouse - Luz Ardiden, 209.5 km

Major Ascents: Aspin, Tourmalet, Luz Ardiden

1. Pedro Delgado: 6hr 57min 21sec
2. Luis Herrera @ 25sec
3. Fabio Parra @ 1min 29sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 2min 52sec
5. Greg LeMond s.t.
6. Jesus Rodriguez-Magro @ 2min 54sec
7. Celestino Prieto s.t.
8. Phil Anderson s.t.
9. Eddy Schepers s.t.
10. Peter Winnen s.t.
11. Joop Zoetemelk s.t.
12. Stephe Roche s.t.
13. Rober Millar s.t.
14. Alvaro Pino @ 3min 33sec
15. Thierry Claveyrolat @ 3min 49sec
16. Steven Rooks @ 4min 1sec
17. Niki Ruttimann @ 4min 3sec
18. Bernard Hinault @ 4min 5sec


GC after stage 17:

1. Bernard Hinault: 91hr 26min 28sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 2min 25sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 5min
6. Sean Kelly @ 6min 19sec
7. Luis Herrera @ 8min 42sec
8. Fabio Parra @ 9min 8sec
9. Eduardo Chozas @ 9min 21sec
10. Joop Zoetemelk @ 10min 9sec


Stage 18A:Wednesday, July 17, Luz St.Sauveur - Col d'Aubisque, 52.5 km

Major Ascents: Soulor, Aubisque

1. Stephen Roche: 1hr 39min 19sec
2. Sean Kelly @ 1min 3sec
3. Paul Wellens @ 1min 7sec
4. Luis Herrera @ 1min 15sec
5. Phil Anderson s.t.
6. Pedro Delgado s.t.
7. Greg LeMond s.t.
8. Bernard Hinault @ 1min 30sec
9. Beat Breu s.t.
10. Niki Ruttimann @ 1min 56sec


GC after Stage 18A:

1. Bernard Hinault: 93hr 7min 17sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 2min 10sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 3min 30sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 5min 52sec
5. Phil Anderson @ 7min 13sec
6. Pedro Delgado @ 8min 3sec
7. Luis Herrera @ 8min 27sec
8. Fabio Parra @ 9min 48sec
9. Eduardo Chozas @ 11min 5sec
10. Joop Zoetemelk @ 11min 53sec


Stage 18B: Wednesday, July 17, Lauruns - Pau. 83.5 km

Major Ascent: Aubisque

1. Regis Simon: 2hr 22min 55sec
2. Alvaro Pino s.t.
3. Sean Kelly @ 1min 7sec
4. Adri Van Der Poel s.t.
5. Stephen Roche s.t.
6. Greg LeMond s.t.
7. Phil Anderson s.t.
8. Eddy Schepers s.t.
9. Pello Ruis-Cabestany s.t.
10. Inaki Gaston s.t.


Stage 19: Thursday, July 18, Pau - Bordeaux, 203 km

1. Eric Vanderaerden: 5hr 42min 13sec
2. Sean Kelly s.t.
3. Francis Castaing s.t.
4. Johan Lieckens s.t.
5. Benny Van Brabant s.t.
6. Rudy Matthijs s.t.
7. Eric McKenzie s.t.
8. Greg LeMond s.t.
9. Thierry Marie s.t.
10. Adri Van Der Poel s.t.


GC after Stage 19:

1. Bernard Hinault: 101hr 13min 29sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 2min 13sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 3min 33sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 5min 35sec
5. Phil Anderson @ 7min 16sec
6. Pedro Delgado @ 8min 24sec
7. Luis Herrera @ 8min 48sec
8. Fabio Parra @ 10min 9sec
9. Eduardo Chozas @ 11min 3sec
10. Niki Ruttimann @ 12min 12sec


Stage 20: Friday, July 19, Montpon Menestrel - Limoges, 225 km

1. Johan Lammerts: 5hr 53min 10sec
2. Kim Andersen @ 21sec
3. Ludo Peeters @ 21sec
4. Rudy Dhaenens s.t.
5. Giancarlo Perini s.t.
6. Leo Van Vliet @ 52sec
7. Theo De Rooy s.t.
8. Bernard Hinault s.t.
9. Benny Van Brabant s.t.
10. Thierry Claveyrolat @ 54sec


GC after Stage 20:

1. Bernard Hinault: 107hr 7min 31sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 1min 59sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 3min 35sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 5min 37sec
5. Phil Anderson @ 7in 18sec
6. Pedro Delgado @ 8min 26sec
7. Luis Herrera @ 8min 50sec
8. Fabio Parra @ 10min 11sec
9. Eduardo Chozas @ 10min 50sec
10. Niki Ruttimann @ 12min 14sec


Stage 21: Saturday, July 20, Lac de Vassivière 45.7 km Individual Time Trial

1. Greg LeMond: 1hr 2min 51sec
2. Bernard Hinault @ 5sec
3. Phil Anderson @ 31sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 54sec
5. Stephehn Roche @ 59sec
6. Thierry Marie @ 1min 29sec
7. Steve Bauer @ 1min 43sec
8. Marc Sergeant @ 2min 30sec
9. Joel Pelier @ 2min 35sec
10. Eddy Schepers @ 2min 39sec


GC after Stage 21:

1. Bernard Hinault: 108hr 10min 27sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 1min 54sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 4min 29sec
4. Sean Kelly @ 6min 26sec
5. Phil Anderson @ 7min 44sec
6. Pedro Delgado @ 11min 53sec
7. Luis Herrera @ 12min 53sec
8. Fabio Parra @ 13min 35sec
9. Eduardo Chozas @ 13min 59sec
10. Steve Bauer @ 15min 7sec


22nd and Final Stage: Sunday, July 21, Orléans - Paris (Champs Elysées), 196 km

1. Rudy Matthijs: 5hr 13min 56sec
2. Sean Kelly s.t.
3. Francis Castaing s.t.
4. Guido Bontempi s.t.
5. Steve Bauer s.t.
6. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.
7. Jozef Lickens s.t.
8. Eric McKenzie s.t.
9. Benny Van Brabant s.t.
10. Adri Van Der Poel s.t.

Complete Final 1985 Tour de France General Classification

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The Story of the 1985 Tour de France

This excerpt is from "The Story of the Tour de France", Volume 2. If you enjoy it we hope you will consider purchasing the book, either print, eBook or audiobook. The Amazon link here will make the purchase easy.

Laurent Fignon could not return to defend his title. An inflamed Achilles tendon required surgery, forcing Fignon to sit this one out. So who was there to fill the vacuum? Hinault, of course. He could never be written off in any race he entered. To many, last year's Tour de France third-place Greg LeMond had matured and was the other choice as a possible winner.

The politics of this Tour were as complicated as any and they would have repercussions for both Hinault and LeMond for more than just this Tour. Hinault's La Vie Claire team hired the talent-filled LeMond from Renault. Cynics say that this was to neutralize LeMond, the greatest single threat to an attempt on a fifth Tour win by Hinault.

But why would LeMond go to La Vie Claire, centered around the single most driven racer in the world? What room would there be for LeMond? My understanding is that LeMond took a thoughtful approach to switching teams. He is said to have liked Koechli, the director of La Vie Claire, better than Renault's Guimard. His good friend Steve Bauer was on La Vie Claire, begging LeMond to come on over. And, not knowing that Fignon would drop out of competition in 1985, Hinault seemed to be preferable to the difficult Fignon. In addition, Bernard Tapie, the owner of La Vie Claire, had scads of money and was using it to promote his various companies. LeMond made no secret of his belief that racers were underpaid for the value they brought to their sponsors and deserved a substantial increase in pay. In no small way, over time, LeMond's financial demands elevated the pay of good racers on the other teams as well. The contract with La Vie Claire was said to be for three years and worth a million dollars (actually it was $225,000 the first year, $260,000 the second year and $300,000 the third year). This was big money in those days.

Moreover, LeMond was very unhappy with the way the Renault team and its sponsors had handled the use of his name. Manufacturers who had supplied the Renault team with its racing equipment had used LeMond's name and picture, claiming an endorsement of these products by LeMond. As was the usual practice of the time, they had done this without securing LeMond's explicit permission. LeMond sued several of the suppliers.

Guimard, negotiating with LeMond, believed he was in the driver's seat and told LeMond "You need me. I don't need you…if you don't stay with me you'll never win the Tour," and refused to give in to LeMond's demand to increase his then $125,000 salary. He wasn't asking Guimard to match Tapie's big bag of cash. He says he would have been happy with $150,000. As we shall see, it probably would have been better for both of them to reach an accommodation. For starters, in this Tour with Fignon out, Guimard didn't have a General Classification contender.

I have long held that the single most talented bicycle racer to have ever turned a pedal in the post-Merckx era and probably since Coppi is Greg LeMond. As a junior he won everything and he did it with the natural ease of a born winner. That is not to say he didn't work hard. Lots of racers work hard. The ones who float to the top are the talented winners.

As a junior he went over to Belgium to race. Back in the '70s and '80s many Americans traveled to Belgium to try to make it in the tough, high speed, ultra-competitive arena of the world's most bike-mad country. Almost all faltered or failed, going home broke, tired, sick and miserable. LeMond didn't falter. He thrived. For the week he was there he won or placed second in every single race he entered. Then he won the Junior World Championships. It was always one natural step after another. Winning the World Pro Road Championships in Switzerland at the ripe old age of 22 surprised no one. He was signed by the finest team in the world with the most respected director in the world, Renault and Cyrille Guimard. His freshman Tour yielded a third place amid the blistering war being fought by Hinault and Fignon.

I was in a race with LeMond only once (I can't say I raced him). It was a criterium in the little tourist town of Solvang, California, my last race as a Category 1 racer before I retired. From the gun the race was red hot. Lap after lap had the peloton strung in one long line that extended halfway around the town. I was in the middle of the pack saying my prayers, hoping that I would not be the one who let the string break. Then the pace eased. I knew that probably whatever break had been dangling off the front was either caught or was out of sight. A few laps later a slender rider went right by me, bumping me gently. It was LeMond. He had lapped a field with another rider and was headed for the front for more. He was still a damn junior!

To resume. It was announced that the La Vie Claire riders would ride for whichever of the two showed the best and most likely Tour-winning form. LeMond had helped Hinault win the Giro in the spring. This Tour Hinault was going for his second Giro-Tour double.

Let's follow this Tour in detail because it is fascinating. Hinault used every tool at his disposal to keep LeMond, a man he knew to be at least his equal and possibly his superior, in a subordinate position.

Hinault showed his stuff by winning the Prologue with LeMond suffering a mechanical near the end, coming in fifth, 21 seconds back.

Hinault wins the Prologue.

The first 2 stages were long eastward treks across northwestern France. By virtue of his excellent sprinting ability, Eric Vanderaerden was able to take over the lead. He still had it after the La Vie Claire victory in the stage 3 team time trial. I remember seeing the end of that time trial on TV. Bernard Hinault’s delirious fans ran out to greet their great champion who took terrible fright at the rushing, swarming crowd. He screamed at them to get away and started swinging his fists.

The relative position between Hinault and LeMond (still 21 seconds behind Hinault) had not changed much by the end of the 3 stages. The La Vie Claire team time trial win did put 8 of their riders in the top 10 in the General Classification.

Stage 4 saw La Vie Claire rider Kim Andersen get in a 7-man break that beat the pack to the finish by 46 seconds, thereby earning him the Yellow Jersey. Stage 6 reminded the world that LeMond was a complete rider when, apparently on a lark, he sprinted with the kamikazes into Reims. Kelly and Vanderaerden won the sprint that was far from clean. Vanderaerden, moving up through holes in the peloton that weren't there, came even with Kelly and started to force him into the barriers. Kelly pushed back. Vanderaerden put his arm out against Kelly. The sprint went to Vanderaerden but the 2 carried their argument all the way to the awards podium where Vanderaerden was given the Yellow Jersey. The judges decided to relegate both of them. LeMond, who had crossed the line fourth was moved up to second in the stage and bagged the 20-second time bonus. He was now in third place in the General Classification, 2 seconds ahead of Hinault. This situation was only to last until stage 8.

75 kilometers long, the stage 8 individual time trial through the Vosges started to sort things out. Hinault was by far the best man at the discipline that he had almost made his own. No one came within 2 minutes of him that day. There had been some speculation as to why Hinault had not been chasing time bonuses this Tour as in some years past. Perhaps he had been saving his energy so that he could deliver a smashing time trial and unquestionably demonstrate his superiority. He did indeed establish that superiority. Hinault caught his 2-minute man Sean Kelly, and then, despite's Kelly's efforts to remain close to the Frenchman, Hinault went on to take almost another minute out of him. German rider Didi Thurau was penalized for drafting Charly Mottet. When he assaulted a racing official at the start of the next day's stage Thurau was thrown out of the Tour.

The time trial's results:

1. Bernard Hinault
2. Stephen Roche @ 2 minutes 20 seconds
3. Charly Mottet @ 2 minutes 26 seconds
4. Greg LeMond @ 2 minutes 34 seconds


With only a couple of stages before the Alps, Hinault, back in his familiar Yellow Jersey, led the General Classification. La Vie Claire was putting on an impressive display of force with their Hinault, LeMond and Bauer in the top 4. The General Classification now stood thus:

1. Bernard Hinault
2. Greg LeMond @ 2 minutes 32 seconds
3. Sean Kelly @ 2 minutes 54 seconds
4. Steve Bauer @ 3 minutes 21 seconds
5. Phil Anderson @ 3 minutes 44 seconds
6. Stephen Roche @ same time


The next 2 stages took the Tour south through the Vosges and the Jura. Again, no change in the relative positions of the contenders for the overall lead.

Stage 11 was the first day of heavy climbing, going 195 kilometers from Pontarlier up to Morzine/Avoriaz. The race would climb the first-category Pas de Morgins, the second-category Le Corbier and finally the first-category finish up the Avoriaz to Morzine. It was a classic Hinault performance. He went away early with Luis Herrera, who was too far down in the General Classification to be a threat to Hinault. Hinault made the usual deal, letting Herrera take the summits and the Climbers' points and the stage win while Hinault got the improvement to his overall time. Hinault wasn't interested in anything except gaining that time and doing it in such a way as to leave no doubt who was the leader of the team and the Patron of the Tour. Herrera won the stage with Hinault 7 seconds back. LeMond was blocked. He couldn't chase his teammate but he eventually attached himself to Pedro Delgado and Fabio Parra, another of the Colombians, and finished fifth, losing 1 minute, 41 seconds. He was now 4 minutes behind Hinault. Stephen Roche was 5 minutes, 52 seconds adrift.

The twelfth stage didn't change anything even though it had 3 first and 4 second category climbs. The General Classification at the top was unchanged.

It was clear that the effort was telling on Hinault. The stage 13 time trial was won by Eric Vanderaerden with Hinault about 1 minute slower over the 31.8 kilometers. LeMond, hit yet again with mechanical trouble, lost another minute and a half to Hinault, being 2 minutes, 30 seconds slower than Vanderaerden.

The General Classification now stood thus:

1. Bernard Hinault
2. Greg LeMond @ 5 minutes 23 seconds
3. Stephen Roche @ 6 minutes 8 seconds
4. Sean Kelly @ 6 minutes 35 seconds
5. Steve Bauer @ 8 minutes 23 seconds


The Tour, before it had made it to the Pyrenees, looked to be about wrapped up.

Stage 14 changed everything. It was a little detour through the Massif Central of France with a single first category climb. Again Herrera took off early. LeMond joined Delgado, Millar and 5 others in a hard chase. Back in the peloton Hinault marked Roche and the others, hoping that LeMond would get away and solidify his hold on second place. The strategy worked and the Hinault group came in to the finish 2 minutes behind winner Luis Herrera (who had crashed earlier that day and remounted) and 1 minute behind the LeMond group. With less than a kilometer to go Hinault, Phil Anderson and 4 others crashed badly. The riders were beginning their sprint and touched wheels. Hinault lay there for some minutes being checked over by the Tour's doctor. He climbed back on his bike and rode across the line, his face and particularly his nose a bloody mangle of flesh. That's a scene that gets played over and over again when TV shows want to show something dramatic about the Tour: Hinault determined to finish, blood dripping from his face.

Stage 14: Herrera goes and stays gone. He missed all of the excitement by winning the stage all alone, 47 seconds ahead of the LeMond/Millar group.

When a rider crashes inside the final kilometer as Hinault did, Tour rules say that a rider gets the same time as the group he was in. He lost time on LeMond, but was still well in control of the lead. But more importantly, his nose was broken. Hinault found it difficult to breathe. In addition, his hard work in the Alps had left him showing signs of fatigue.

LeMond was now 3 minutes, 32 seconds behind Hinault with Roche still 6 minutes, 14 seconds off Hinault's pace.

Stage 17 is the stage everyone still talks about. It was a very tough Pyrenean stage from Toulouse to Luz-Ardiden totaling 209.5 kilometers. They had to climb the second-category Aspin followed by the 2 hors category mountains, the Tourmalet and Luz-Ardiden.

On the Tourmalet Hinault's trouble became crystal-clear when he couldn't stay with the leaders. First LeMond, Roche and Delgado dropped him. Then, struggling with bronchitis in the moist air as well as having breathing trouble caused by his broken nose, Hinault also lost contact with his group which contained Herrera, Millar, Kelly, Anderson and several others. On the descent Hinault caught Kelly's group.

Up ahead Delgado was away. Stephen Roche, with LeMond (who had been told to mark Roche), was chasing and feeling good. Roche wanted the stage win. At the base of the road up to Luz-Ardiden a television crew told LeMond that the Hinault group was several minutes back. Roche and LeMond pulled away from those chasing them on the final climb to Luz Ardiden. LeMond could see that he was the stronger of the 2 as Roche lifted the duo further and further away from the chasers.

La Vie Claire Team assistant director Maurice Le Guilloux drove up next to LeMond. LeMond asked for permission to attack Roche and take the stage win. Le Guilloux forwarded the orders of team director Koechli. Koechli, afraid that LeMond would take the lead and the Yellow Jersey, told LeMond to wait for Hinault. LeMond pressed him for the exact time gap. Le Guilloux, a former devoted domestique of Hinault's, was evasive. LeMond pressed him harder and was told that Hinault was only 40 seconds behind. The momentum was coming out of the break as LeMond and Le Guilloux argued. Herrera caught and passed them. LeMond waited some more. Anderson and Kelly arrived but without Hinault.

Hinault was still several minutes back down the mountain. LeMond had acquired a decisive lead that was now melting away. The Tour could have been his right there. No doubt. None whatsoever. LeMond was getting stronger with every passing day of the Tour as Hinault was weakening.

LeMond relates, "Koechli said to me, 'How dare you attack Hinault when he's in difficulty?' " Koechli denies saying this, only that LeMond was not yet strong enough to take on the responsibilities of the leadership of the Tour. The real story was that La Vie Claire, a French company was not yet ready for their young American to be the leader of the Tour and put their beloved Hinault in the shadow. A French La Vie Claire winner served the best commercial interests of the company. Also, international professional racing had not become as cosmopolitan as it is now. English speaking riders often faced resentment and hostility from the teams that hired them and sometimes sabotaged them when they did too well.

Later on when LeMond learned that Koechli had lied to him about the time gap he was furious.

But maybe it wasn't quite that way. Velonews editorial director John Wilcockson talked to Koechli about this in 2005. Koechli denies making LeMond wait, saying that he authorized LeMond to make one attack and that he had to drop Roche. Roche was riding well and too dangerous to play with. So, did Le Guilloux make up the orders? Hard to know at this point.

Wait. Let's let Greg LeMond tell the story. In 1999 Bicyclist Magazine interviewed LeMond about that fateful time.

LeMond: ....[Hinault] was great up until the '85 Tour and even then I didn't really think of him as the fault, it was the team, Bernard Tapie and the coach, because Hinault was just riding as hard as he could the day he got dropped in the '85 Tour.
Bicyclist: And then the coach [Koechli] came up in the car and told you to slow down and wait for Hinault?
LeMond: Yes, but they lied to me. I had about a three to four minute lead on him at that point, but I thought I only had about 45 seconds. Every time I asked them exactly how much time I had they'd evade the answer, telling me Hinault was in the group right behind me. Then when the pack of riders came up with Sean Kelly and Phil Anderson, guys who I climbed much better than, Hinault was still nowhere in sight.
Bicyclist: So you had to wait even longer?
LeMond: Well, what happened from the beginning is that Paul Koechli (my coach) came up and started talking to me, saying 'You cannot ride with Roche, you can't attack. Hinault's coming up. You need to wait for him. We want to insure our first and second place.' We started arguing, me saying, 'Well, how far back is he?' But he wouldn't tell me, and then eventually he said 40 or 45 seconds. And as we're sitting there arguing, Luis Herrera rides up the road. If you look at the results from that year, Herrera wasn't climbing any better than I was. So we keep arguing and finally I decide, okay, I'll wait. By now, all the momentum of our strong break had been lost because of the argument. So I waited. Roche had been sitting there listening to the entire argument, and of course he's more or less the enemy. He was in third and wanted to keep that place secure. I'm thinking, 'Jesus!, we've blown this entire chance!' I wait and I wait and I wait. A group of about 16 or 18 riders comes up, and Hinault's not there. He's still another minute and a half behind that group. By the time I finished the stage, he was still a minute and 15 seconds down and I'd waited minutes for him! It wasn't until that big group came to me that I really got pissed, when I realized Hinault wasn't there and that he was even farther down the climb behind guys that were sprinters!
In a way, Hinault should not have won that Tour. It doesn't matter if he's the strongest the first week, that doesn't make a difference. It's who's the strongest over three weeks. If he had a bad day, that's part of it—he didn't deserve to win the '85 Tour. At the hotel, they made all these promises for the following year, but still said, 'You have to help Hinault the next day.' I wasn't mad at Hinault. I wasn't pissed at him at all. Hinault wasn't telling them what to do. It was Bernard Tapie's and Paul Keochli's conspiracy to make sure Hinault won his fifth Tour.


Robert Millar noted that when Hinault saw he was in trouble, Hinault remained a calm professional and rode in his 25-tooth sprocket at his normal cadence rather than dropping to a bigger gear and ruining his legs for the next day in the mountains.

Stage 17: Delgado rides away from the field while confusion reigns back down the hill.

So there you have it.

The stage results:

1. Pedro Delgado
2. Luis Herrera @ 25 seconds
3. Fabio Parra @ 1 minutes 29 seconds
4. Sean Kelly @ 2 minutes 52 seconds
5. Greg LeMond @ same time
12. Stephan Roche @ same time
18. Bernard Hinault @ 4 minutes 5 seconds


The General Classification after stage 17:

1. Bernard Hinault
2. Greg LeMond @ 2 minutes 25 seconds
3. Stephen Roche @ 5 minutes

William Faulkner once wrote that at least once in his life every Southern boy imagines that it's a hot day in July, referring to Gettysburg and particularly Pickett's Charge. How would he have reacted if he were being misused by General Lee that day and ordered into that inferno? I think the same is true of every cyclist of the right age. We all imagined ourselves on the mountain, climbing to Luz-Ardiden. In our imagination, awaiting us at the top of the mountain is a stage win in the Tour de France and the real possibility of cycling immortality by cinching ownership of the Yellow Jersey. How would we react if Paul Koechli demanded that we slacken our pace for a wounded teammate? When we found that we had been lied to and Hinault was much further down the hill, would we continue to wait? None of us could answer that question. I still can't 20 years later. I do know that one of the greatest injustices in the history of sport was done to LeMond that day.

At the finish of the stage LeMond was in tears, frustrated with rage. Hinault, knowing that he had been handed his fifth Tour on a platter because LeMond had been willing to wait, promised to help him win the Tour next year. Greg had said that his real goal was a stage win and the Yellow Jersey for a few days. He felt that these were legitimate goals which he had the right to expect in this situation.

Regarding Hinault's promise to help LeMond, we'll see in 1986 how much that was worth.

The next stage went over the Soulor and the Aubisque. Roche got his stage win and LeMond, understanding that La Vie Claire had decreed that Hinault was to win the Tour, took only 15 seconds out of Hinault. It should be noted that Roche was flying and if he had taken a lot of time out of Hinault in stage 17 he would have been extremely dangerous in the stage 18 double stage in the mountains. Koechli's concern about Roche was quite rational.

There was the formality of the final time trial. LeMond won it, his first Tour stage win, beating Hinault by only 5 seconds but confirming his ability as a natural stage racer, one who grew stronger during a 3-week race.

The final General Classification of the 1985 Tour de France:

1. Bernard Hinault (La Vie Claire): 113 hours 24 minutes 23 seconds
2. Greg LeMond (La Vie Claire) @ 1 minute 42 seconds
3. Stephen Roche (La Redoute) @ 4 minutes 29 seconds
4. Sean Kelly (Skil) @ 6 minutes 26 seconds
5. Phil Anderson (Panasonic) @ 7 minutes 44 seconds


Climbers' Competition:

1. Luis Herrera: 440 points
2. Pedro Delgado: 274 points
3. Robert Millar: 270 points

Points Competition:

1. Sean Kelly: 434 points
2. Greg LeMond: 332 points
3. Stephen Roche: 279 point


Hinault claimed his fifth Tour joining Anquetil and Merckx in the record books. He also did his second Giro-Tour double. But the win was cheap and could never be held on the same level as those of his 2 predecessors.

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Epilogue to 1985: In the 1987 Giro d'Italia Stephen Roche rode with Roberto Visentini on the Italian Carrera team. Roche had lost the lead to Visentini in a time trial. In the mountains Roche flew while Visentini could not keep up with the leaders. Like Koechli to LeMond in the 1985 Tour, Roche's director told Roche to wait for his faltering leader. Roche told him no, and hammered up the mountain and re-took the lead. Visentini came in many minutes later, completely out of contention for the lead. Roche won the Giro while Visentini later abandoned.

Jacques Goddet, who had taken over management of the Tour when Tour father Henri Desgrange took ill in 1936, retired from active direction of his share of the Tour. Félix Lévitan was left the sole manager of the enterprise. Goddet was responsible for restarting the Tour after World War Two. He oversaw the Tour while the nature of bike racing changed, from the use of 1-speed bikes ridden on long stages that emphasized endurance to the quicker, speedier sport we know today. Goddet worked to preserve Desgrange's original intent of making the Tour "inhuman" in its difficulty. This caused Goddet to be insensitive to the rider's demands that split stages be ended. Yet, he bent when he had to. His legacy to us is the Tour. All sports fans should be grateful for his determination to preserve the Tour's culture and to continue the race we all love the most.