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1986 Tour de France

73rd edition: July 4 - July 27, 1986

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

1985 Tour | 1987 Tour | Tour de France Database | 1986 Tour Quick Facts | 1986 Tour de France Final GC | Stage results with running GC | The Story of the 1986 Tour de France by Bill & Carol McGann | The 1986 Tour by Owen Mulholland | Video

1986 Tour de France map

Map of the 1986 Tour de France route

Plato's Crito

Plato's Crito is available as an audiobook here.

1986 Tour de France quick facts:

210 riders started the 4,083 kilometer race, 132 finished.

The 23 stages were ridden at an average speed of 37.020 km/hr.

Greg LeMond's 1986 Tour de France victory was the first by an American and the first of three Tour wins by LeMond.

At the end of the 1985 Tour Bernard Hinault had promised to help LeMond win the Tour in 1986.

Hinault reneged on the promise and constantly attacked LeMond.

To this day Hinault insists he was helping LeMond win the Tour.

Complete Final 1986 Tour de France General Classification:

  1. Greg LeMond (La Vie Claire) 110hr 35min 19sec
  2. Bernard Hinault (La Vie Claire) @ 3min 10sec
  3. Urs Zimmermann (Carrera) @ 10min 54sec
  4. Andrew Hampsten (La Vie Claire) @ 18min 44sec
  5. Claude Criquielion (Hitachi) @ 24min 36sec
  6. Ronan Pensec (Peugeot) @ 25min 59sec
  7. Niki Rutimann (La Vie Claire) @ 30min 52sec
  8. Alvaro Pino (ZOR) @ 33min
  9. Steven Rooks (PDM) @ 33min 22sec
  10. Yvon Madiot (Système U) @ 33min 27sec
  11. Samuel Cabrera (Reynolds) @ 35min 28sec
  12. Jean-François Bernard (La Vie Vlaire) @ 35min 45sec
  13. Pascal Simon (Peugeot) @ 37min 44sec
  14. Eduardo Chozas (Teka) @ 38min 48sec
  15. Reynel Montoya (Postobon) @ 45min 36sec
  16. Charly Mottet (Système U) @ 45min 58sec
  17. Thierry Claveyrolat (RMO) @ 46min 0sec
  18. Marino Lejaretta (Seat-Orbea) @ 49min 9sec
  19. Jean-Claude Bagot (Fagor) @ 51min 38sec
  20. Eric Caritoux (Fagor) @ 52min 39sec
  21. José Patrocinio Jiménez (Cafe de Colombia) @ 55min 42sec
  22. Luis Alberto Herrera (Cafe de Colombia) @ 56min 0sec
  23. Steve Bauer (La Vie Claire) @ 56min 2sec
  24. Joop Zoetemelk (Kwantum Hallen) @ 57min 4sec
  25. Jesus Blanco (Teka) @ 1hr 3min 16sec
  26. Jean-René Bernaudeau (Fagor) @ 1hr 3min 56sec
  27. Alfonso Florez (Cafe de Colombia) @ 1hr 5min 54sec
  28. Bernard Gavillet (Système U) @ 1hr 8min 17sec
  29. Peter Stevenhaagen (PDM) @ 1hr 10min 40sec
  30. Jokin Mujika (Seat-Orbea) @ 1hr 11min 1sec
  31. Anselmo Fuerte (Zor-BH) @ 1hr 12min 13sec
  32. Primoz Cerin (Malvor-Bottecchia) @ 1hr 14min 40sec
  33. José Anselmo Agudelo (Teka) @ 1hr 15min 13sec
  34. Dag Otto Lauritzen (Peugeot) @ 1hr 15min 47sec
  35. Robert Forest (Peugeot) @ 1hr 16min 19sec
  36. Pello Ruiz (Seat-Orbea) @ 1hr 16min 22sec
  37. Eddy Schepers (Carrera) @ 1hr 18min 20sec
  38. Federico Echave (Teka) @ 1hr 18min 53sec
  39. Phil Anderson (Panasonic) @ 1hr 19min 41sec
  40. Jesús Rodríguez (Zor-BH) @ 1hr 20min 9sec
  41. Silvano Contini (Gis Gelati) @ 1hr 22min 18sec
  42. Martin Alonso Ramirez (Fagor) @ 1hr 22min 26sec
  43. Hendrik Devos (Hitachi-Marc) @ 1hr 24min 43sec
  44. Charly Berard (La Vie Claire) @ 1hr 29min 2sec
  45. Dominique Garde (KAS) @ 1hr 29min 11sec
  46. Martin Earley (Fagor) @ 1hr 30min 30sec
  47. Gilles Mas (RMO) @ 1hr 31min 56sec
  48. Stephen Roche (Carrera) @ 1hr 32min 30sec
  49. Erich Mächler (Carrera) @ 1hr 32min 45sec
  50. Heriberto Uran (Postobon) @ 1hr 36min 35sec
  51. Jan Nevens (Joker) @ 1hr 37min 15sec
  52. Johan van der Velde (Panasonic) @ 1hr 37min 55sec
  53. Carlos Hernández (Reynolds) @ 1hr 38min 13sec
  54. Guy Nulens (Panasonic) @ 1hr 39min 8sec
  55. Carlos Jamrillo (Postobon) @ 1hr 39min 48sec
  56. Jean-Claude Leclercq (KAS) @ 1hr 40min 43sec
  57. Jean-Claude Garde (KAS) @ 1hr 40min 57sec
  58. Jean-Philippe Vandenbrande (Hitachi-Marc) @ 1hr 41min 23sec
  59. Juan Carlos Rozas (Zor-BH) @ qhr 41min 51sec
  60. Enrique Aja (Teka) @ 1hr 42min 32sec
  61. Gerard Veldscholten (PDM) @ 1hr 42min 57sec
  62. Bernard Vallet (RMO) @ 1hr 43min 12sec
  63. Bob Roll (7-Eleven) @ 1hr 43min 26sec
  64. Dirk De Wolf (Hitachi-Marc) @ 1hr 44min 17sec
  65. Twan Poels (Kwantum Hallen) @ 1hr 44min 17sec
  66. Ennio Vanotti (Gis Gelati) @ 1hr 45min 20sec
  67. Paul Haghedooren (Joker) @ 1hr 47min 59sec
  68. François Lemarchand (Fagor) @ 1hr 49min 5sec
  69. Ludo Peeters (Kwantum Hallen) @ 1hr 49min 11sec
  70. Nico Emonds (Kwantum Hallen) @ 1hr 49min 19sec
  71. Manuel Cardenas (Teka) @ 1hr 50min 11sec
  72. Guido Van Calster (Zor-BH) @ 1hr 50min 42sec
  73. Bruno Leali (Carrera) @ 1hr 51min 49sec
  74. Beat Breu (Carrera) @ 1hr 51min 54sec
  75. Iñaki Gaston (KAS) @ 1hr 52min 35sec
  76. Dominique Arnaud (Reynolds) @ 1hr 53min 54sec
  77. Jørgen V. Pedersen (Carrera) @ 1hr 54min 32sec
  78. Jos Haex (Hitachi-Marc) @ 1hr 54min 38sec
  79. Julian Gorospe (Reynolds) @ 1hr 56min 11sec
  80. Jeff Pierce (7-Eleven) @ 1hr 56min 57sec
  81. Maarten Ducrot (Kwantum Hallen) @ 1hr 56min 2sec
  82. Acácio da Silva (Malvor-Bottecchia) @ 1hr 58min 5sec
  83. Nestor Oswaldo Mora (Postobon) @ 1hr 58 26sec
  84. Gerrie Knetemann (PDM) @ 1hr 58min 28sec
  85. Dominique Gaigne (Système U) @ 1hr 59min 27sec
  86. Marco Antonio Leon (Cafe de Colombia) @ 2hr 0min 49sec
  87. Vicente-Juan Ridaura (Seat-Orbea) @ 2hr 0min 59sec
  88. Christophe Lavainne (Système U) @ 2hr 1min 0sec
  89. Eric van Lancker (Panasonic) @ 2hr 1min 53sec
  90. Jan van Wijk (PDM) @ 2hr 2min 35sec
  91. Alessandro Ponzzi (Gis Gelati) @ 2hr 3min 39sec
  92. Guido Bontempi (Carrera) @ 2hr 3min 39sec
  93. Régis Simon (RMO) @ 2hr 5min 6sec
  94. Francisco-José Antequera (Zor-BH) @ 2hr 5min 8sec
  95. Alain Vigneron (La Vie Claire) @ 2hr 5min 8sec
  96. Ron Kiefel (7-Eleven) @ 2hr 6min 38sec
  97. Philippe Leleu (La Vie Claire) @ 2hr 7min 3sec
  98. Eric Boyer (Systéme U) @ 2hr 7min 27sec
  99. Jörg Müller (KAS) @ 2hr 7min 46sec
  100. Frédéric Vichot (KAS) @ 2hr 8min 15sec
  101. Gerrit Solleveld (Kwantum Hallen) @ 2hr 9min 0sec
  102. Willem van Eynde (Joker) @ 2hr 10min 46sec
  103. Luc Roosen (Kwantum Hallen) @ 2hr 10min 46sec
  104. Rudy Rogiers (Hitachi-Marc) @ 2hr 11min 9sec
  105. Jan Wynants (Hitachi-Marc) @ 2hr 11min 14sec
  106. Israel Corredor (Postobon) @ 2hr 12min 4sec
  107. Frédéric Brun (Peugeot) @ 2hr 13min 11sec
  108. Thierry Marie (Système U) @ 2hr 13min 24sec
  109. Francesco Rossignoli (Carrera) @ 2hr 13min 56sec
  110. Adrie van der Poel (Kwantum Hallen) @ 2hr 14min 20sec
  111. Eric Louvel (Peugeot) @ 2hr 14min 41sec
  112. Sean Yates (Peugeot) @ 2hr 15min 20sec
  113. Michael Dernies (Joker) @ 2hr 15min 29sec
  114. Raúl Alcalá (&-Eleven) @ 2hr 15min 53sec
  115. Jaime Vilamajo (Seat-Orbea) @ 2hr 16min 41sec
  116. Frank Hoste (Fagor) @ 2hr 17min 6sec
  117. Jesús Hernández (Reynolds) @ 2hr 17min 26sec
  118. André Chappuis (RMO) @ 2hr 17min 36sec
  119. Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke (KAS) @ 2hr 17min 58sec
  120. Alex Stieda (&-Eleven) @ 2hr 19min 47sec
  121. José Luis Laguia (Reynolds) @ 2hr 19min 49sec
  122. Rudy Dhaenens (Hitachi-Marc) @ 2hr 19min 58sec
  123. Marc Gomez (Reynolds) @ 2hr 21min 13sec
  124. Alain Bondue (Systéme U) @ 2hr 22min 3sec
  125. Eric Vanderaerden (Panasonic) @ 2hr 22min 30sec
  126. Antonio Esparza (Seat-Orbea) @ 2hr 22min 45sec
  127. Guido Winterberg (La Vie Claire) @ 2hr 27min 26sec
  128. Pierangelo Bincoletto (Malvor-Bottecchia) @ 2hr 27min 28sec
  129. Jozef Lieckens (Joker) @ 2hr 29min 21sec
  130. Francis Castaing (RMO) @ 2hr 41min 56sec
  131. Paul kimmage (RMO) @ 2hr 44min 6sec
  132. Ennio Salvador (Gis Gelati) @ 2hr 55min 51sec

Climbers' Competition:

  1. Bernard Hinault (La Vie Claire): 351 points
  2. Luis Herrera (Cafe de Colombia): 270
  3. Greg LeMond (La Vie Claire): 265
  4. Urs Zimmermann (Carrera): 191
  5. Eduardo Chozas (Teka): 172
  6. Samuel Cabrera (Reynolds): 162
  7. Ronan Pensec (Peugeot): 139
  8. Andrew Hampsten (La Vie Claire): 133
  9. Claude Criquielion (Hitachi-Marc): 123
  10. Jean-François Bernard (La Vie Claire)

Points Competition:

  1. Eric Vanderaerden (Panasonic): 277 points
  2. Jozef Lieckens (Joker): 232
  3. Bernard Hinault (La Vie Claire): 210
  4. Greg LeMond (La Vie Claire): 210
  5. Guido Bontempi (Carrera): 166

Team Classification:

  1. La Vie Claire: 331hr 35min 48sec
  2. Peugeot @ 1hr 51min 50sec
  3. Système U @ 2hr 0min 50sec
  4. PDM @ 2hr 23min 50sec
  5. Carrera @ 2hr 26min 36sec
  6. Fagor @ 2hr 28min 52sec
  7. Teka @ 2hr 43min 36sec
  8. Zor-BH @ 2hr 43min 36sec
  9. Cafe de Colombia @ 2hr 55min 45sec

Team Points:

  1. Panasonic: 1,523 points
  2. La Vie Claire: 1,674
  3. KAS: 1,869

Best New Rider:

  1. Andrew Hampsten (La Vie Claire): 110hr 54min 3sec
  2. Ronan Pensec (Peugeot) @ 7min 15sec
  3. Jean-François Bernard @ 17min 1sec
  4. Jesus Blanco (Teka) @ 44min 32sec
  5. Peter Stevenhaagen (PDM) @ 51min 56sec

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Individual stage results with principal climbs and running GC

Prologue: Friday, July 4, Boulogne-Billancourt, 4.6 km. GC and stage times are the same.

1. Thierry Marie: 5min 21sec
2. Eric Vaneraerden s.t.
3. Bernard Hinault @ 2sec
4. Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke @ 3sec
5. Jelle Nijdam s.t.
6. Dominique Gaigne s.t.
7. Laurent Fignon @ 4sec
8. Greg LeMond s.t.
9. Erich Maechler @ 5sec
10. Jesus Blanco-Villar @ 5sec


Stage 1: Saturday, July 5, Nanterre - Sceaux, 85 km

1. Pol Verschuere: 1hr 58min 33sec
2. Michel Dernies @ 2sec
3. Gerrit Solleveld @ 3sec
4. Phil Anderson @ 9sec
5. Alex Stieda s.t.
6. Eric Guyot s.t.
7. Wim Arras @ 11sec
8. Eddy Planckaert s.t.
9. Eric McKenzie s.t.
10. Joel Pelier s.t.


GC after Stage 1:

1. Alex Steida: 2hr 3min 39sec
2. Eric Vanderaerden @ 8sec
3. Steve Bauer @ 22sec
4. Thierry Marie @ 26sec
5. Gerrit Solleveld s.t.
6. Bernard Hinault @ 28sec
7. Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke @ 29sec
8. Jelle Nijdam s.t.
9. Dominique Gaigne s.t.
10. Laurent Fignon @ 30sec
11. Greg LeMond s.t.


Stage 2: Saturday, July 5, Meudon - St. Quentin en Yveline 56 km Team Time Trial

1. Systeme U: 1hr 10min 27sec
2. Carrera Jeans @ 38sec
3. Panasonic @ 1min 2sec
4. KAS-Mavic @ 1min 42sec
5. La Vie Claire @ 1min 55sec
6. Peugeot @ 2min 4sec
7. Hitachi @ 2min 17sec
8. GIS Gelati @ 2min 58sec
9. Kwantum Hallen @ 3min 19sec
10. PDM @ 3min 33sec


GC after Stage 2:

1. Thierry Marie: 3hr 14min 32sec
2. Dominique Gaigne @ 3sec
3. Laurent Fignon @ 4sec
4. Alain Bondue @ 7sec
5. Yvon Madiot @ 17sec
6. Charly Mottet s.t.
7. Erich Maechler @ 43sec
9. Stephen Roche @ 48sec
10. Bruno Leali @ 53sec


Stage 3: Sunday, July 6, Levallois Perret - Liévin, 214 km

1. Davis Phinney: 5hr 45min 31sec
2. Henk Boeve s.t.
3. Robert Dill-Bundi s.t.
4. Charly Mottet s.t.
5. Willem Van Eynde s.t.
6. Dag-Otto Lauritzen s.t.
7. Jean-Claude Garde s.t.
8. Laurent Biondi @ 3sec
9. François Lemarchand s.t.
10. Eric Vanderaerden @ 5sec


GC after Stage 3:

1. Thierry Marie: 9hr 8sec
2. Charly Mottet s.t.
3. Dominique Gaigne @ 3sec
4. Laurent Fignon @ 4sec
5. Alain Bondue @ 7sec
6. Yvon Madiot @ 17sec
7. Eric Boyer @ 20sec
8. Erich Maechler @ 43sec
9. Eric Vanderaerden @ 44sec
10. Stephen Roche @ 48sec


Stage 4: Monday, July 7, Liévin - Evreux, 243 km

1. Pello Ruiz-Cabestany: 6hr 57min 5sec
2. Eric Vanderaerden @ 2sec
3. Mathieu Hermans s.t.
4. Jozef Liekens s.t.
5. Frank Hoste s.t.
6. Jean-Philippe Vandenbrande s.t.
7. Jorg Muller s.t.
8. Marc Gomez s.t.
9. Francesco Rossignoli s.t.
10. Peter Stevenhaagen s.t.


GC after Stage 4:

1. Dominique Gaigne: 15hr 57min 6sec
2. Thierry Marie @ 6sec
3. Charly Mottet @ 9min
4. Laurent Fignon @ 13sec
5. Yvon Madiot @ 26sec
6. Eric Boyer @ 52sec
7. Erich Maechler @ 52sec
8. Eric Vanderaerden @ 53sec
9. Stephen Roche @ 57sec
10. Bruno Leali @ 1min 2sec


Stage 5: Tuesday, July 8, Evreux - Villers sur Mer, 124.5 km

1. Johan Van der Velde: 3hr 4min 5sec
2. Joel Pelier @ 2sec
3. Eddy Planckaert @ 39sec
4. Miguel Indurain @ 40sec
5. Alfonso Gutierrez @ 1min 15sec
6. Eric Vanderaerden @ 40sec
7. Jozef Liekens s.t.
8. Mathieu Hermans s.t.
9. Eric McKenzie s.t.
10. Guido Bontempi s.t.


GC after Stage 5:

1. Johan Van der Velde: 19hr 1min 50sec
2. Dominique Gaigne @ 42sec
3. Thierry Marie @ 42sec
4. Charly Mottet @ 45sec
5. Laurent Fignon @ 49sec
6. Joel Pelier @ 56sec
7. Yvon Madiot @ 1min 2sec
8. Eric Boyer @ 1min 5sec
9. Erich Maechler @ 1min 28sec
10. Eric Vanderaerden @ 1min 29sec
11. Stephen Roche @ 1min 33sec
12. Bruno Leali @ 1min 38sec


Stage 6: Wednesday, July 9, Villers sur Mer - Cherbourg, 200 km

1. Guido Bontemp: 4hr 47min 1sec
2. Roberto Pagnin @ 2sec
3. Jean-René Bernaudeau s.t.
4. Marc Sergeant s.t.
5. Jean-Claude Garde @ 12sec
6. Jozef Liekens @ 56sec
7. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.
8. Mathieu Hermans s.t.
9. Peter Stevenhaagen s.t.
10. Francis Castaing s.t.


GC after Stage 6:

1. Johan Van der Velde: 23hr 49min 47sec
2. Dominique Gaigne @ 36sec
3. Guido Bontempi @ 37sec
4. Thierry Marie @ 42sec
5. Charly Mottet @ 45sec
6. Laurent Fignon @ 49sec
7. Joel Pelier @ 56sec
8. Yvon Madiot @ 1min 2sec
9. Eric Boyer @ 1min 5sec
10. Erich Maechler @ 1min 28sec


Stage 7: Thursday, July 7, Cherbourg - St. Hilaire du Harcouët, 201 klm

1. Ludo Peeters: 4hr 57min
2. Ron Kiefel s.t.
3. Miguel Indurain s.t.
4. Jorgen Pedersen s.t.
5. Jesus Blanco-Villar s.t.
6. Peter Stevenhaagen s.t.
7. Eric Caritoux s.t.
8. Antonio Esparza s.t.
9. Paul Kimmage s.t.
10. Dirk De Wolf s.t.
Most of peloton @ 2min 3sec


GC after Stage 7:

1. Jorgen Pedersen: 28hr 48min 36sec
2. Johan Van der Velde @ 11sec
3. Guido Bontempi @ 27sec
4. Laurent Fignon @ 45sec
5. Dominique Gaigne @ 50sec
6. Thierry Marie @ 56sec
7. Charly Mottet @ 59sec
8. Joel Pelier @ 1min 10sec
9. Yvon Madiot @ 59sec
10. Bruno Cornillet @ 1min 24sec


Stage 8: Friday, July 11, St Hilaire du Harcouët - Nantes, 204 km

1. Eddy Planckaert: 4hr 39min 55sec
2. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.
3. Jozef Liekens s.t.
4. Bomans s.t.
5. Guido Bontempi s.t.
6. Cees Priem s.t.
7. Alex Stieda s.t.
8. Francis Castaing s.t.
9. Jean-Philippe Ven den Brande s.t.
10. Mathieu Hermans s.t.


GC after Stage 8:

1. Jorgen Pedersen: 33hr 28min 31sec
2. Johan Van der Velde @ 8sec
3. Guido Bontempi @ 27sec
4. Dominique Gaigne @ 44sec
5. Laurent Fignon @ 45sec
6. Thierry Marie @ 56sec
7. Charly Mottet @ 59sec
8. Eric Boyer @ 1min 7sec
9. Bruno Cornillet @ 1min 9sec
10. Joel Pelier @ 1min 10sec


Stage 9: Saturday, July 12, Nantes 61.5 km Individual Time Trial

1. Bernard Hinault: 1hr 18min 46sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 44sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 1min 1sec
4. Julian Gorospe @ 1min 24sec
5. Urs Zimmermann @ 1min 42sec
6. Jorgen Pedersen @ 1min 43sec
7. Joel Pelier @ @ 1min 48sec
8. Silvano Contini @ 1min 58sec
9. Robert Millar @ 2min
10. Jean-François Bernard @ 2min 6sec


GC after Stage 9:

1. Jorgen Pedersen: 34hr 49min
2. Stephen Roche @ 1min 5sec
3. Bernard Hinault @ 1min 10sec
4. Joel Pelier @ 1min 15sec
5. Thierry Marie @ 1min 24sec
6. Charly Mottet @ 1min 43sec
7. Urs Zimmermann @ 1min 53sec
8. Greg LeMond @ 1min 59sec
9. Eric Vanderaerden @ 2min 26sec
10. Robert Millar @ 2min 34sec


Stage 10: Sunday, July 13, Nantes - Futuroscope, 183 km

1. Angel-José Sarrapio: 4hr 27min 16sec
2. Jean-Claude Bagot @ 1sec
3. Eric Vanderaerden @ 2min 42sec
4. Frank Hoste s.t.
5. Jozef Liekens s.t.
6. Johan Van der Velde s.t. s.t.
7. Jean-Louis Gauthier s.t.
8. Francis Castaing s.t.
9. Jean-Philippe Van den Brande s.t.
10. Mathieu Hermans s.t.


GC after Stage 10:

1. Jorgen Pedersen: 39hr 18min 58sec
2. Joel Pelier @ 1min 3sec
3. Stephen Roche @ 1min 5sec
4. Bernard Hinault @ 1min 10sec
5. Thierry Marie @ 1min 24sec
6. Charly Mottet @ 1min 43sec
7. Urs Zimmermann @ 1min 53sec
8. Greg LeMond @ 1min 59sec
9. Eric Vanderaerden @ 2mi 26sec
10. Robert Millar @ 2min 34sec


Stage 11: Monday, July 14, Poitiers - Bordeaux, 258.3 km

1. Rudy Dhaenens: 6hr 12min 40sec
2. Mathieu Hermans s.t.
3. Laurent Biondi @ 2sec
4. Sean Yates @ 9sec
5. Philippe Leleu s.t.
6. Guy Nulens s.t.
7. Nico Emonds s.t.
8. Claude Criquielion s.t.
9. Martin Early s.t.
10. Jésus Rodriguez-Magro s.t.


GC after Stage 11:

1. Jorgen Pedersen: 45hr 32min 8sec
2. Joel Pelier @ 1min
3. Stephen Roche @ 1min 5sec
4. Bernard Hinault @ 1min 10sec
5. Thierry Marie @ 1min 24sec
6. Charly Mottet @ 1min 43sec
7. Urs Zimmermann @ 1min 53sec
8. Greg LeMond s.t.
9. Eric Vanderaerden @ 2min 23sec
10. Robert Millar @ 2min 34sec


Stage 12: Tuesday, July 15, Bayonne - Pau, 217.5 km

Major Ascents: Burdincurutcheta, Bargargui, Ichère, Marie-Blanque

1. Pedro Delgado: 6hr 3min 18sec
2. Bernard Hinault @ 1sec
3. Greg LeMond @ 4min 37sec
4. Luis Herrera @ 4min 38sec
5. Steve Bauer @ 5min 10sec
6. Claude Criquielion @ 5min 31sec
7. Steven Rooks s.t.
8. Andy Hampsten s.t.
9. Peter Winnen @ 5min 32sec
10. Urs Zimmermann s.t.


GC after Stage 12:

1. Bernard Hinault: 51hr 36min 29sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 5min 25sec
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 6min 22sec
4. Pedro Delgado @ 6min 57sec
5. Robert Millar @ 7min 3sec
6. Jean-François Bernard @ 7min 47sec
7. Steve Bauer @ 7min 49sec
8. Yvon Madiot @ 8min 42sec
9. Claude Criquielion @ 9min 55sec
10. Peter Winnen @ 10min 36sec
11. Andy Hampsten @ 10min 47sec


Stage 13: Wednesday, July 16, Pau-Superbagnères 186 km

Major Ascents: Tourmalet, Aspin, Peyresourde, Superbagnères

1. Greg LeMond: 6hr 6min 37sec
2. Robert Millar @ 1min 12sec
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 1min 15sec
4. Luis Herrera @ 1min 51sec
5. Andy Hampsten @ 2min 20sec
6. Thierry Claveyrolat @ 3min 43sec
7. Steven Rooks @ 3min 47sec
8. Alvaro Pino @ 3min 55sec
9. Samuel Cabrera @ 4min 5sec
10. Pedro Delgado @ 4min 30sec
11. Bernard Hinault @ 4min 39sec
12. Alexei Grewel @ 4min 57sec


GC after Stage 13:

1. Bernard Hinault: 57hr 47min 45sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 40sec
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 2min 58sec
4. Robert Millar @ 3min 32sec
5. Pedro Delgado @ 6min 48sec
6. Andy Hampsten @ 8min 26sec
7. Luis Herrera @ 9min 8sec
8. Steven Rooks @ 12min 58sec
9. Claude Criquielion @ 13min
10. Peter Winnen @ 15min 19sec


Stage 14: Thursday, July 17, Luchon - Blagnac, 154 km

1. Niki Ruttimann: 3hr 47min 44sec
2. Christophe Lavainne @ 32sec
3. Twan Poels s.t.
4. Paul Haghedooren @ 33sec
5. Hendrik Devos @ 7min 17sec
6. Marino Polini s.t.
7. Eric Vanderaerden @ 8min 2sec
8. Carlo Bomans s.t.
9. Jean-Philippe Van den Brande s.t.
10. Guido Bontempi s.t.


GC after Stage 14:

1. Bernard Hinault: 61hr 43min 31sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 34sec
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 2min 58sec
4. Robert Millar @ 3min 32sec
5. Pedro Delgado @ 6min 48sec
6. Andy Hampsten @ 8min 26sec
7. Luis Herrera @ 9minn 8sec
8. Niki Ruttimann @ 10min 25sec
9. Steven Rooks @ 12min 58sec
10. Claude Criquielion @ 13min


Stage 15: Friday, July 18, Carcassonne - Nîmes, 225.5 km

1. Frank Hoste: 5hr 52min 31sec
2. Silvano Contini s.t.
3. Ronny Van Holen @ 6sec
4. Mathieu Hermans @ 8sec
5. Thierry Marie s.t.
6. Carlo Bomans s.t.
7. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.
9. Federico Echave s.t.
10. Inaki Gaston s.t.


GC after Stage 15:

1. Bermard Hinault: 67hr 38min 10sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 34sec
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 2min 58sec
4. Robert Millar @ 3min 32sec
5. Pedro Delgado @ 7min 37sec
6. Andy Hampsten @ 8min 26sec
7. Luis Herrera @ 9min 57sec
8. Niki Ruttimann @ 10min 25sec
9. Steven Rooks @ 12min 58sec
10. Claude Criquielion @ 13min


Stage 16: Saturday, July 19, Nîmes - Gap, 246.5 km

Major Ascent: Espreaux

1. Jean-François Bernard: 7hr 39min 54sec
2. Jozef Liekens @ 3min 2sec
3. Dominique Garde s.t.
4. Philippe Leleu s.t.
5. Jean-Claude Bagot s.t.
6. Peter Winnen s.t.
7. Dominique Gaigne s.t.
8. Charly Berard s.t.
9. Ronan Pensec s.t.
10. Bernard Vallet s.t.


GC after Stage 16:

1. Bernard Hinault: 75hr 24min 20sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 34sec
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 2min 58sec
4. Robert Millar @ 3min 32sec
5. Pedro Delgado @ 7min 37sec
6. Andy Hamptsen @ 8min 26sec
7. Luis Herrera @ 9min 57sec
8. Peter Winnen @ 10min 1sec
9. Niki Ruttimann @ 10min 25sec
10. Ronan Pensec @ 11min 25sec


Stage 17: Sunday, July 20, Gap - Serre Chevalier, 190 km

Major Ascents: Vars, Izoard, Granon. Chozas was first to the top of all three.

1. Eduardo Chozas: 5hr 52min 52sec
2. Urs Zimmermann @ 6min 26sec
3. Greg LeMond s.t.
4. Samuel Carbrera @ 6min 35sec
5. Pedro Delgado @ 7min 23sec
6. Anselmo Fuerte @ 8min 52sec
7. Andy Hampsten @ 8min 53sec
8. Claude Criquielion @ 9min 33sec
9. Yvon Madiot @ 9min 35sec
10. Charly Mottet @ 9min 39sec


GC after Stage 17:

1. Greg LeMond: 81hr 24min 12sec
2. Urs Zimmermann @ 2min 24sec
3. Bernard Hinault @ 2min 47sec
4. Robert Miller @ 6min 19sec
5. Pedro Delgado @ 8min
6. Andy Hampsten @ 10min 20sec
7. Ronan Pensec @ 15min 4sec
8. Claude Criquielin @ 15min 33sec
9. Niki Ruttimann @ 16min 29sec
10. Steven Rooks @ 17min 11sec


Stage 18: Monday, July 21, Briançon - L'Alpe d'Huez, 162.5 km

Major Ascents: Galibier, Croix de Fer, L'Alpe d'Huez

1. Bernard Hinault: 5hr 3min 3sec
2. Greg LeMond s.t.
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 5min 15sec
4. Reynel Montoya @ 6min 6sec
5. Yvon Madiot @ 6min 21sec
6. Andy Hampsten @ 6min 22sec
7. Ronan Pensec @ 6min 26sec
8. Samuel Cabrera @ 6min 34sec
9. Pascal Simon @ 6min 45sec
10. Alvaro Pino @ 6min 48sec


GC after stage 18:

1. Greg LeMond: 86hr 27min 11sec
2. Bernard Hinault @ 2min 45sec
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 7min 41sec
4. Andy Hampsten @ 16min 46sec
5. Ronan Pensec @ 21min 34sec
6. Claude Criquielion @ 22min 27sec
7. Niki Ruttimann @ 22min 37sec
8. Robert Millar @ 26min
9. Steven Rooks @ 26min 30sec
10. Alvaro Pino @ 27min 46sec


Stage 19: Wednesday, July 23, Villard de Lans - St. Etienne, 179.5 km

Major Ascents: Notre Dame, L'Oeillon

1. Julian Gorospe: 5hr 6min 10sec
2. Phil Anderson @ 2min 4sec
3. Dominique Garde @ 2min 12sec
4. Willem Van Eynde @ 2min 25sec
5. Steve Bauer @ 2min 26sec
6. Bernard Hinault @ 2min 27sec
7. Guido Van Calster s.t.
8. Greg LeMond s.t.
9. Peter Stevenhaagen s.t.
10. Federico Echave s.t.


GC after Stage 19:

1. Greg LeMond: 91hr 35min 48sec
2. Bernard Hinault @ 2min 43sec
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 7min 41sec
4. Andy Hampsten @ 16min 46sec
5. Ronan Pensec @ 21min 32sec
6. Claude Criquielion @ 22min 15sec
7. Niki Ruttimann @ 23min 37sec
8. Steven Rooks @ 25min 30sec
9. Alvaro Pino @ 27min 46sec
10. Samuel Cabrera @ 28min 32sec


Stage 20: Thursday, July 24, St. Etienne 58 km Individual Time Trial

1. Bernard Hinault: 1hr 15min 36sec
2. Greg LeMond @ 25sec
3. Julian Gorospe @ 2min 1sec
4. Jean-François Bernard @ 2min 5sec
5. Marino Lejaretta @ 2min 31sec
6. Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke @ 2min 35sec
7. Peter Stevenhaagen @ 2min 56sec
8. Urs Zimmermann @ 2min 59sec
9. Claude Criquielion @ 3min 3sec
10. Andy Hampsten @ 3min 12sec


GC after Stage 20:

1. Greg LeMond: 92hr 51min 49sec
2. Bernard Hinault @ 2min 18sec
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 10min 15sec
4. Andy Hampsten @ 19min 33sec
5. Claude Criquielion @ 24min 53sec
6. Ronan Pensec @ 25min 31sec
7. Niki Ruttimann @ 28min 17sec
8. Alvaro Pino @ 32min 32sec
9. Steven Rooks @ 33min 32sec
10. Yvon Madiot @ 34min 5sec


Stage 21: Friday, July 25, St. Etienne - Puy de Dôme, 190 km

Major Ascents: La Croix de l'Homme Mort, Les Forches, Toutée, Nadaillat, Puy de Dôme

1. Erich Maechler: 5hr 32min 40sec
2. Ludo Peeters @ 34sec
3. Guido Van Calster @ 56sec
4. Martin Early @ 1min 22sec
5. Hendrik Devos @ 1min 55sec
6. Charly Mottet @ 2min 8sec
7. Martin Ramirez @ 4min 8sec
8. Andy Hampsten @ 5min 17sec
9. Yvon Madiot @ 5min 22sec
10. Reynel Montoya @ 5min 37sec
17. Greg LeMond @ 6min
32. Urs Zimmermann @ 6min 39sec
34. Bernard Hinault @ 6min 52sec


GC after Stage 21:

1. Greg LeMond: 98hr 30min 29sec
2. Bernard Hinault @ 3min 10sec
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 10min 54sec
4. Andy Hampsten @ 18min 50sec
5. Claude Criquielion @ 24min 36sec
6. Ronan Pensec @ 25min 59sec
7. Niki Ruttimann @ 30min 52sec
8. Alvaro Pino @ 33min
9. Steven Rooks @ 33min 24sec
10. Yvon Madiot @ 33min 27sec


Stage 22: Saturday, July 26, Clermont Ferrand - Nevers, 194 km

1. Guido Bontempi: 5hr 12min 55sec
2. Frank Hoste s.t.
3. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.
4. Adri Van der Poel s.t.
5. Guido Van Calster s.t.
6. Jozef Liekens s.t.
7. Jean-Philippe Van den Brande s.t.
8. Bernard Hinault s.t.
9. Peter Steenhaagen s.t.
10. Steve Bauer s.t.


GC after Stage 22:

1. Greg LeMond: 103hr 43min 24sec
2. Bernard Hinault @ 3min 10sec
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 10min 54sec
4. Andy Hampsten @ 18min 44sec
5. Claude Criquielion @ 24min 36sec
6. Ronan Pensec @ 25min 59sec
7. Niki Ruttimann @ 30min 52sec
8. Alvaro Pino @ 33min
9. Steven Rooks @ 33min 24sec
10. Yvon Madiot @ 33min 27sec


23rd and Final Stage: Sunday, July 27, Cosne sur Loire - Paris (Champs Elysées) 255 km

1. Guido Bontempi: 6hr 51min 55sec
2. Jozef Liekens s.t.
3. Eric Vanderaerden s.t.
4. Bernard Hinault s.t.
5. Frank Hoste s.t.
6. Steve Bauer s.t.
7. Régis Simon s.t.
8. Nico Emonds s.t.
9. Guido Van Calster s.t.
10. Francis Castaing s.t.

Complete Final GC after Stage 23

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The Story of the 1986 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.

Hinault had said to LeMond, "In '86 the Tour will be for you. I'll be there to help you." So easy to say in the heat of a moment when a teammate had made the sacrifice of a lifetime to let him win the 1985 Tour. Now, would Hinault have the character to fulfill his promise when he can taste immortality with six Tour wins?

This year saw not only the entry of American Greg LeMond with his ace climbing friend Andy Hampsten and Canadian Steve Bauer but also the entry of the first American team. 7-Eleven-Hoonved was entered with Bob Roll, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Alexei Grewal, Chris Carmichael, Eric Heiden, Alex Stieda, Jeff Pierce, Raul Alcala, Davis Phinney, Doug Shapiro (who had ridden on Joop Zoetemelk's Kwantum-Decosol Tour team in 1985) and Ron Kieffel. After the riders on La Vie Claire, they were the cream of the North American crop. I'll spoil one bit of the story right here. Bob Roll, who does analysis of bike racing on the Versus television network, was the highest placed 7-Eleven rider in Paris, despite getting sick mid-way though the 1986 Tour. Bob Roll was a very good rider.

If the politics and complicated jockeying amidst the tension of the La Vie Claire intra-team rivalry were tough in 1985, 1986 was even more difficult.

LeMond's spring had been good, but not spectacular:

Second Milano–San Remo
Third Paris–Nice
Fourth Giro d'Italia (a crash had cost him important time)
Third Tour of Switzerland


LeMond's La Vie Claire teammate Andy Hampsten established his bona fides as a racer of the first rank when he won the Tour of Switzerland only a few short weeks before the start of the Tour. Hinault used that win as fodder for his psychological war against LeMond when he announced that Hampsten's Swiss victory made Hampsten, not LeMond, his real heir. How charming.

Hinault's spring was rather quiet with no top placings in important races.

Laurent Fignon, riding the colors of his team's new sponsor Systeme U, was working on his comeback after surgery on his Achilles tendon. He must have found some rather good form because he won the Flèche Wallonne in the spring.

Thierry Marie began the first of his 3 Prologue victories at the kickoff of the 1986 Tour. Hinault was third at 2 seconds, LeMond and Fignon were seventh and eighth at 4 seconds.

Stage 1, a short 85-kilometer race run in the outskirts of Paris saw 7-Eleven rider Alex Stieda take off at the 40-kilometer mark. He was eventually joined by 5 other riders, but not until Stieda had collected the intermediate sprint bonuses. The group of 6 managed to stay away from the charging field by only meters when they crossed the line. With the time bonuses Stieda had collected on his early solo effort, he was now the shock owner of the Yellow Jersey.

That same Saturday afternoon the teams lined up for a 56-kilometer team time trial. The 7-Eleven team was game to try to keep the Yellow Jersey but its efforts came apart when Eric Heiden crashed. Several other 7-Eleven riders scraped the curb to avoid following Heiden to the ground. That weakened the casings of their tires, causing several flat tires. Stieda, exhausted from his morning effort, ran out of gas. Carmichael and Pierce had to drop back and bring Stieda home making sure they got him there in time to avoid having him eliminated by missing the time cutoff. Stieda made it to the finish in time, but his tenure in Yellow was over.

Fignon's Systeme U squad won the stage. La Vie Claire had a bad day, losing almost 2 minutes. Thierry Marie, being a Systeme U rider, was back in Yellow with his teammates occupying the top 7 places in the General Classification.

Stage 3, in the northern roads of France, ended near the Belgian border. And there the freshman 7-Eleven team had another major success. Davis Phinney won the sprint by inches even after having been in a break for a lot of that day. As far as the real General Classification contenders were concerned, this was just another day to stay out of trouble.

It stayed that way until stage 9, a 61.5-kilometer individual time trial at Nantes. Now the Tour de France started in earnest. The stage results:

1. Bernard Hinault
2. Greg LeMond @ 44 seconds
3. Stephen Roche @ 1 minute 1 second
32. Laurent Fignon @ 3 minutes 42 seconds

LeMond's performance was far better than his time showed. He flatted and it is estimated he lost almost a minute. It was clear that Fignon hadn't found his 1985 form yet.

General Classification:

1. Jorgen Pedersen
2. Stephen Roche @ 1 minute 5 seconds
3. Bernard Hinault @ 1 minute 10 seconds
8. Greg LeMond @ 1 minute 59 seconds


Stage 12 was the first day in the Pyrenees with four highly rated climbs. The final climb was the first category Col de Marie-Blanque, followed by 45 kilometers of descent and flat before the finish at Pau.

The first major climb was the first category Burdincurutcheta at kilometer 80. Several groups of riders detached themselves. Notably, Hinault with Luis Herrera and Claude Criquielion were moving up from the second group to the leaders. Over the second climb, the Bargargui, Eduardo Chozas broke away on the descent. Hinault with teammates LeMond, Hampsten and Jean-François Bernard along with several other riders gave chase. After Chozas was caught, Hinault and Bernard attacked and got away. Pedro Delgado bridged up to them. They eventually spit out Chozas as the now 3 riders worked hard to put real distance on the racers behind them. LeMond was stuck. He could not chase his 2 teammates (Hinault and Bernard) up the road. Hinault and Delgado tore up the road, gaining scads of time on him as LeMond sat in the chasing group. Finally LeMond was able to extricate himself, taking along only Herrera. Hinault let Delgado have the stage, he had enough booty when LeMond came in 4 minutes, 37 seconds later. This was helping LeMond win the Tour? Hinault knew that if he were on the attack and in the lead, he would neutralize LeMond.

The General Classification at this point:

1. Bernard Hinault
2. Greg LeMond @ 5 minutes 25 seconds
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 6 minutes and 22 seconds
4. Pedro Delgado @ 6 minutes 57 seconds
15. Laurent Fignon @ 12 minutes 43 seconds


The stage was so tough and the pace so hot, 17 riders abandoned. The next morning 2 more quit, including Fignon.

Stage 13 only got harder with 4 major climbs: the Tourmalet, the Aspin, the Peyresourde and the final Hors Category climb to Superbagnères. On the descent of the Tourmalet Hinault attacked and got away. At the bottom he had a lead of 1 minute, 43 seconds. Again LeMond was stuck, unable to race. He had to let the others do the chasing. By the bottom of the Aspin, the gap between Hinault and about 30 chasers was 2 minutes, 54 seconds.

On the Peyresourde, Hinault started to show signs of fatigue. A much reduced chase group of Zimmermann, LeMond, Hampsten, Millar and Herrera had cut the lead to 25 seconds. On the descent of the Peyresourde, Hinault was caught.

The final climb to the ski station of Superbagnères is 16 kilometers of Hors Category work. Hinault rode with the group that had caught him, totaling 9 riders. On the climb he attacked again and got away. Now it was just Hampsten, LeMond, Zimmermann, Millar and Herrera chasing and with 10 kilometers to go, Hinault was caught.

With 7 kilometers to go Hampsten attacked and took LeMond with him. Hampsten pounded up the mountain for all he was worth, while LeMond still hesitated, sitting on Hampsten's wheel. Then, as Hampsten could no longer keep up the infernal pace, he yelled at LeMond to take off and win the stage. LeMond finally shed his hesitancy and raced up the mountain for a great stage win as Hinault was being passed by rider after rider further down the mountain. LeMond's gain on Hinault that day was 4 minutes, 39 seconds, almost the same amount of time he lost the day before. Hinault was in Yellow but LeMond had shown that he had the ability to win the Tour, sitting only 40 seconds behind the fading leader.

The stages after the Pyrenees that went across southern France heading towards the Alps changed nothing in the General Classification.

Stage 17, the first Alpine stage, was the scene of the denouement of this story, with crossings of the Col de Vars, Col d'Izoard and a hilltop finish at the top of the Col de Granon. The first climb was rated first category and the final 2 were Hors Category.

Stage 17: Zimmermann with an attentive LeMond on his wheel.

Various groups attacked and riders were scattered all over the mountains. The story that matters to us is on the descent of the Izoard. Zimmermann, sitting in third place in the General Classification, got a gap. LeMond, acting as an attentive domestique, latched onto his wheel. Hinault was about 90 seconds behind them. On the Granon, LeMond, ever dutiful, sat on Zimmermann as the Swiss rider poured on the gas. Hinault, now aware of the situation attacked hard but Zimmermann with LeMond in tow was gaining time with every pedal stroke. Eduardo Chozas, never in contention for the overall, had been off the front and won the stage, but that didn't matter to LeMond. He was in Yellow.

Stage 17: Meanwhile, back down the mountain Hinault is in trouble. He finished the day almost 3 minutes behind LeMond and Zimmermann.

The next day was no easier with the Galibier and its little brother the Télégraphe, followed by the Croix de Fer and a hilltop finish at L'Alpe d'Huez.

On the descent of the Galibier Hinault attacked with Bauer on his wheel. LeMond, Zimmermann and Pello Ruiz-Cabestany caught him as they continued the descent. On the short ascent up the Télégraphe Hinault made another attempt to get away, this time making it stick for 15 kilometers. LeMond, Bauer and Ruiz-Cabestany managed to hook up with Hinault without bringing Zimmermann, who was sitting ahead of Hinault in the General Classification. The quartet put down their collective heads and started to work. The pace was too hot for Bauer and Ruiz-Cabestany and on the first category Croix de Fer it was just Hinault and LeMond.

This was the day Zimmermann saw his chances for winning the Tour disappear. 7 kilometers from the top of the Croix de Fer Zimmermann was in a group that included Hampsten, Pascal Simon and Joop Zoetemelk. They were 3 minutes, 10 seconds behind LeMond and Hinault. Zimmerman dug deep and attacked, trying to get up to the duo. He closed the gap a little, being 2 minutes, 50 seconds behind at the top.

On the descent Hinault and LeMond flew. Both were superb bike handlers. Years ago former 7-Eleven rider Jeff Pierce and I were talking about this stage and I remember the one thing Pierce wanted to make sure that I understood: LeMond could descend and descend extremely fast. At the beginning of the Alpe, in Bourg d'Oisans, LeMond and Hinault were 4 minutes, 50 seconds ahead of Zimmermann. LeMond and Hinault continued to throw high heat on the mountain until Hinault conceded and asked LeMond to back off, his words being, "Stay with me". Generously LeMond joined hands with his tormentor and pushed Hinault ahead a bit so that he could take the stage victory. LeMond had survived another test from his little French helper. Hinault had buried Zimmermann and had claimed second place in the General Classification. The gift of the stage win was nice of LeMond, but I'd have completely dropped Hinault and left him for dead as far down the mountain as possible to make sure he couldn't try something later. Hinault never gave up, and would take any advantage that opportunity or his own talents presented. To prove my point, in a post-stage interview Hinault said, "The race isn't over." You can imagine LeMond's dismay.

The General Classification after L'Alpe d'Huez:

1. Greg LeMond
2. Bernard Hinault @ 2 minutes 45 seconds
3. Urs Zimmermann @ 7 minutes 41 seconds
4. Andy Hampsten @ 16 minutes 46 seconds


Owen Mulholland, who was the first American journalist to ride in the Tour's press caravan, sent me these comments regarding stage 17: "As you note, Hinault attacked on the short 2-kilometer climb out of Valloire that serves as the southern slope of the Col de Télégraphe. I'm not sure why Greg was caught napping so often by these surprise attacks. It's impossible to imagine, say, Merckx, missing such moves time after time. Anyway, once again Hinault was gone and Greg was stuck. However the descent of the Télégraphe is extremely sinuous and was made for Greg's fabulous descending skills. I remember his talking (laughing) to Hinault later about how he'd gotten rid of Zimmermann on that descent. It seems Zimmermann skidded across a corner trying to hang onto Greg's wheel and that's the last anyone up front ever saw of the poor Swiss that day! I believe (but am not absolutely certain) Bauer was already away, but in any event he was in the front, so when Greg and Bernard hooked up with him and a few others in the flat valley of the Maurienne, Steve lowered his head and motored to the foot of the Croix de Fer. Poor Zimmermann never stood a chance."

Stage 20 was the next real test, a 58-kilometer individual time trial at St. Etienne. LeMond's normal luck continued when he crashed at kilometer 37. He remounted and found his brake rubbing the rim. He had to change bikes, costing him still more time. Hinault rode his time trial perfectly and won the stage, beating the crash-starred LeMond by 25 seconds. Zimmermann was unable to present any challenge and finished almost 3 minutes behind Hinault. While the race tightened a little, there was no real change in the overall standings.

LeMond riding the stage 20 St. Etienne time trial.

There was 1 last day in the mountains of this really tough Tour. Stage 21 went into the Massif Central with several highly rated climbs culminating in a hilltop finish at the famous Puy de Dôme. The contenders had more or less accepted their positions while riders seeking individual glory in the closing days of the race sought their day in the sun. The only real action that could affect things was on the final ascent. LeMond pulled away from Zimmermann who distanced himself slightly from Hinault. LeMond was now 3 minutes, 10 seconds ahead of Hinault and had only 2 more stages to negotiate.

LeMond's luck stuck to him like a bad rumor. Shortly before entering Paris on the final day's stage, LeMond crashed badly enough to need a new bike. Hinault and his La Vie Claire teammates waited for him and motored him safely back into the field. Hinault, ever the tough competitor joined the final field sprint on the Champs Elysées and nailed fourth place. Big Guido Bontempi was the winner.

Paul Kimmage, who rode for the RMO squad, wrote about the final stage in this Tour in his book Rough Ride. Many of the riders were on their last legs by the time the final day in Paris arrived. In 1986, of the 210 riders who started, only 131 finished. The veterans told Kimmage about the blistering speeds of the final kilometers on the Champs Elysées. Fearful of getting dropped while the whole world watched, more than a few took amphetamines to get them over the Tour's final cobblestones. Kimmage asked the others if they weren't afraid of getting caught in the dope controls. No, he was told, only the winner and top finishers are tested after the final stage. They knew they were free to stick the needles in their arms.

The race was finally over and Greg LeMond had fulfilled his promise. When he was 17 he had written down his goal of winning the Tour de France.

Here's the final 1986 Tour de France General Classification:

1. Greg LeMond (La Vie Claire): 110 hours 35 minutes 19 seconds
2. Bernard Hinault (La Vie Claire) @ 3 minutes 10 seconds
3. Urs Zimmermann (Carrera) @ 10 minutes 54 seconds
4. Andy Hampsten (La Vie Claire) @ 18 minutes 44 seconds.
5. Claude Criquielion (Hitachi) @ 24 minutes 36 seconds


Climbers' Competition:

1. Bernard Hinault: 351 points
2. Luis Herrera: 270 points
3. Greg LeMond: 265 points


Points Competition:

1. Eric Vanderaerden: 277 points
2. Josef Lieckens: 232 points
3. Bernard Hinault: 210 points


Hinault won the Polka-Dot climber's jersey and Hampsten earned the white Young Rider's jersey. In addition, La Vie Claire won the team General Classification. This was a dominating performance in a Tour in which the only real question was which of the La Vie Claire riders would actually win.

Over the years the debate about this Tour has grown ever more heated.

Hinault has defended his actions repeatedly, saying that he was really helping LeMond by challenging him and forcing him to earn the Tour. Hinault's answer to his critics, "I'd given my word to Greg LeMond that I'd help him win and that's what I did. A promise is a promise. I tried to wear out rivals to help him but I never attacked him personally…It wasn't my fault that he didn't understand this. When I think of some of the things he has said since the race ended, I wonder whether I was right not to attack him…I've worked for colleagues all my life without having the problems I had with Greg LeMond."

Here's Owen Mulholland's view from his Uphill Battle, discussing Hinault's repeated attacks in the Pyrenees:

"[Hinault] once told me he liked to 'play' with cycling, and doing something this outrageous two days in a row may have been his idea of play. No one will ever know because when he explained himself, Hinault played with words. And when credibility disappears so does reliability. Was this a gamble to win in a super-dominant manner? Was he trying to tire out the opposition so LeMond could go easily into the lead? Was this a bold gesture for the hell of it, a 'playful' gesture? Who can tell because Hinault's actions could be interpreted in myriad ways, and his words, intentionally deceptive, meant nothing. On such a 'solid' basis LeMond had to make decisions."

Of course, Hinault reneged on his promise. His words, that he was trying to toughen LeMond or get him to earn his Tour, are obvious nonsense. Hinault should be as ashamed of uttering such silliness as he should be of failing to honor his promise in a clear-cut, transparent way. Life really isn't all that complicated.

Oral History. has been very generous in letting us post their interview of Andy Hampsten conducted by Charlie Melk. You find this talk really gets under the skin of what was going on in La Vie Claire during those tense days of July, 1986.
Charlie Melk: Andy, so you rode with La Vie Claire in '86, probably one of the best cycling teams in the history of the sport. How did your season start out?
Andy Hampsten: Well, I went back to Europe and did the Dauphine Libere - did a pretty good Prologue, but during the third or fourth stage I made the break but then got dropped and was pretty demoralized. So when I started the Tour of Switzerland, hoping that I'd be able to get selected for the Tour de France, I wasn't really sure if they'd take me, because I wasn't really riding extraordinarily well. But I ended up winning the prologue, and also the general classification at that race. So, that got me into the Tour de France (we both laugh).
Charlie Melk: That was a pretty good guarantee, right?
Andy Hampsten: Yeah, and they always wanted me to ride, but it was a super good team, and, you know, they were going to take the fittest riders they had.
CM: Yeah, I remember the '86 La Vie Claire team - it was just phenomenal.
AH: Yeah, they were pretty much the best results from any Tour team that's ever been.
CM: What was your first Tour de France like?
AH: Ah, it was hard (laughter on both ends again, at the typical understatement). I was fourth in it overall, which was a great result for a first Tour. But I think sometimes that the only reason I did so well is that I had no idea how hard it would be, or what it would do to my body - what my body would have to go through. Otherwise, I might've freaked out (more laughter)! But it worked out pretty well.
CM: It must have been a great realization to know that your body could take the stress of a terribly difficult three week race, after finishing so high in the general classification.
AH: Yeah, and that's what I was shooting for. That's what I was really hoping to do.
CM: What stands out in your mind as most memorable from the '86 season?
AH: Ah, certainly the Tour de France. Helping Greg LeMond win, which was the whole team's objective all year. But, of course, Hinault changed his mind during the race and raced for himself. And I can understand that. Certainly winning six would've have been something extraordinary. But he had promised Greg that he would help him. He ended up just making a really good race out of it. It was really hard for Greg - it was hard for me and the other guys on the team, having that fratricide happen within our own team. But on the other hand, Hinault did destroy the entire field, and Greg did only have one guy to ride against - it just happened to be his teammate.
CM: Right, so it was as sharply divided within the team at the '86 Tour as it appeared from the outside?
AH: Yeah, it really was. It was funny - Steve Bauer and I were helping Greg, which, you know, was the original team plan. The two Swiss guys [Niki Ruttimann and Guido Winterberg] were really upset about everything - confused, and didn't want to take sides. Jean-Françoise Bernard was doing all he could to help Hinault. The two older French veterans, Charly Berard and Alain Vigneron - they weren't strong enough to take the race apart, but I seem to recall them groaning, and saying, "Oh my God I'm getting dropped already!" whenever Hinault talked to them - they were pretty smart (laughs). And then there was some other French kid on the team that was kind of in over his head. The situation was really bad.
Steve and I had to chase down Hinault going into St. Etienne, when he broke away with Roche, of all people, and that wasn't any fun. We had to do it, but, you know, it was horrible chasing down your own teammate, and especially one who's our hero. But it worked out pretty well. I thought it was really bad . . . I mean, there was good leadership by Paul Koechli, but it was beyond him what he could do.
And there was an interesting moment, where I got a flat in that last week. We were going along on the rolling hills and it was really, really fast, and I wasn't right at the front, so I didn't see the two Swiss guys. I only saw the French guys on my team going off the back, and I thought, "Well, the team car is pretty close - I'll be able to get back on, but I better not make any mistakes!" So, I get my wheel changed, and I'm chasing back up through the cars, and sure enough, there were Charly Berard and Alain Vigneron, the old veterans had dropped back to help me. They took me straight to the front - they did a really good job. I thanked them after the stage, you know, when I could thank them properly. I went and found them, and said, "Oh gosh, thanks guys . . . it's really bad, because we're racing against each other and I really appreciate you helping me, even though I know that, it seems that Hinault . . . I don't know if he's going to be mad at you guys." And they both just looked at me and said, "Are you crazy?! You're in fourth place! That's 80,000 French Francs!" (laughter on both ends) They had the prize money totally worked out! These guys were so smart - true pros." (laughter continues)
CM: So, the next year you ended up going back to 7-Eleven, right?
AH: Yeah, I just read the writing on the wall that year, and seeing how it would be focused on Jean Francoise Bernard. I decided to leave the team and go to 7-Eleven, which was kind of a big step. But I had a lot of faith. They were bringing in Mike Neel as the coach and I had a really good relationship with him. And, you know, I just knew that I would be really excited. It's not that I thought I learned everything I needed to in one season with La Vie Claire, but I felt confident that I would have everything I needed, and also a good environment, to race with them.
CM: Yeah, it wouldn't be as political . . .
AH: Right, it was a smaller team. We were scraping up, trying to get nine good riders to put in the Giro and the Tour. But it worked out really well. We didn't win year-long but we won a lot of races that were really important to us - races that were important to me too - so, it worked out well.
CM: So you stayed in that same team structure until you went to Banesto, right?
AH: Yeah, and I went to Banesto in '95. And then my final year I rode on Eddie B's US Postal team in '96.
Yeah, that was a good little conclusion to my career. It was nice to back on an American team - it was very similar to the atmosphere on 7-Eleven in '87. It was really nice to be working with young, mostly American riders who were eager, and I was trying to pass on whatever I could to my teammates then. It was definitely a small team. It was a completely different show from what I had been used to for a while.
CM: Shifting the focus a little bit, I just wanted to ask you what it was like riding so closely with some of the legends of the sport - starting out with Greg LeMond. What was it like riding with Greg, and what kind of stuff did you learn from him, directly or indirectly?
AH: He was a lot of fun. We only had one full year together. As a junior, we raced together some, but he was just head and shoulders above me and everyone else. It was more just that he was the fun leader on La Vie Claire. I mean, that should've been such a fun Tour de France, and there was so much intrigue, especially on the team, when Hinault started going for it on his own. But Greg, even when he's under full stress, can't not have fun, and want everyone else to have fun.
I remember in the Pyrenees - I think on the second day, where Hinault almost lost all of the five minutes he had gained the day before. Bernard Tapie, our sponsor, came in. And he was going to settle this big dispute - this politician, larger than life - blah blah blah (laughs). So, he comes in, and of course, he doesn't do anything! He just wants as much television exposure as he can get.
So, he comes down to dinner, and supposedly everything is supposed to be straightened out, and there's this huge tension at the dinner table, which is really the place for the team to get together - have fun and share stories. But if something's not right within the team it's a really tense time.
So, Tapie comes in, wearing two Izod shirts, collars up (laughs) - you know, making small talk. Obviously he's not going to take the situation in hand. And after a little bit of small talk, Greg can't stand it anymore - he has to break the silence. Now, previously, Bernard Tapie was saying to the team, and also publicly, that if Jean Francois Bernard, his protégé, won the White Jersey, he would give him his Porsche 911! So, you know, this was a topic that kept going around.
Well, that day I had done pretty well. I had helped Greg off the front to win the stage, and bonked near the end, but still gained some time on some the others. So, sure enough, I had the White Jersey at the end of the day! And Greg, just to break the ice, yells, "Hey, Tapie! - Now that Andy has the White Jersey, are you going to give him the Porsche?" You could just hear a pin drop in the room! (much laughter on both ends again) Steve and Greg and I just thought it was one of the funniest things we'd ever heard.
And that's just Greg. Yes, it's hard. Yes, it's no fun when everyone's bickering, but we'll have fun in the situation anyway.
CM: Oh, that's great! The flipside of that, probably, would be Hinault, then. What was it like riding with him?
AH: I learned a lot from Hinault. It was his last year. I guess I never told you what I learned from LeMond, and you know, it was fascinating riding with him and for him, but he was so strong that year that he just went whenever he wanted to (laughs)! So, tactically, there wasn't as much going on as with Hinault, who I learned a lot from - mostly in the spring, racing with him.
I remember the first race in Spain. He was second in the prologue, so we were protecting him. It was his last year, and he really didn't want to train so hard - he's getting older - you know, he's grumpier. So, the next day all the Spaniards are just flying - this must have been February, but their Vuelta is in April [the Vuelta only switched to September in recent years], so they're just flying, and we're trying to hang onto them. And I drift back in the pack. I know Hinault's not in front of me, so I drift back and find him, and I start bringing him up.
But since I don't want to totally kill myself, I just use the old technique that, since everyone is single-file, or maybe double-file - you know, I'm trying to get a little bit of a draft in the slight crosswind by riding pretty near the line of riders. It was hard, you know, I wasn't real fit, and Hinault just puts his hand on my hip - nicely - but just pushes me out to the center of the road - and I don't speak a lot of French, but he says, "You don't have to get me all the way to the front, but I don't want to mess with those guys. If you only take me for 100 meters, it's ok - but I want a full draft. I don't want to monkey with those guys."
And it was just great. I mean, he could have gotten to the front on his own, but he knew that I wanted to help him. And after that stage, I said, "Thanks, I really want to help you. You just tell me whatever it is." And he knew that I was sincere about that, so he said, "Ok, I will." And he did.
A couple days later he had a flat when we were in the mountains. There were probably only 20 riders left. I was there, but on the rivet, and I was almost able to pace him back up to the group. But I couldn't quite get him up there before we went down a really tricky descent. After a couple kilometers of this really tricky descent, I chickened out, and just waved him ahead of me, and said, "Hey, I can't do it." He said, "Oh man, just slow down! It's February - we're in Spain! You descend at whatever pace you're comfortable at and we'll get them on the flat."
Sure enough, I could see them - we were only 30 or 40 seconds back - and when we got back to a wider, flatter road, even though the Teka team was going really hard, I got him back up there. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, with him showing me how he wants to be helped, but more importantly, he would help others win races.
He helped Niki Ruttimann win the Tour du Midi-Pyrenees that year, and he was really instrumental in helping me win the Tour of Switzerland. I won the prologue, but then the next day I was silly. It was pouring rain and we were doing these circuits - it wasn't really hard, but you know, it was a long day. Well, I didn't want to put on a rain jacket over my shiny gold leader's jersey (we both laugh). So I start bonking on the last lap, and he comes by, asking, "How are you doing?" And I answer, "Ah, not so good." (laughs) He said, "Ok, you just talk to me."
You know, we were winding up for a sprint, it was bucketing down rain, and he would slide back with me on the uphills, and then on the flats he would sit up with his hands on the tops of the bars, bringing me past everyone to the front, sitting on the front, looking for me. I mean that's Bernard Hinault! At the time I was too tired to say a word. It was amazing. Someone could tell me a thousand times how to pace someone around, but having Hinault do it for me was just a completely different experience. It was fantastic.
Yeah, it was a real honor to have him work for me. And he actually did like it too. He just wanted to get fit, and I learned a lot. You can really get fit and have fun by helping a teammate win a race.

Video of the 1986 Tour de France. A couple of people have posted the CBS coverage of the Tour on YouTube. This one, part 1 of 10, is pretty clean

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