The history of the Tour de France

Year 1970

THE STORY

  • Eddy Merckx quickly proved that his incredible 1969 Tour victory was no fluke. By winning the Prologue, he took immediate control of the race. In fact, throughout the whole three-week event, the only other rider to get a chance to fit into the yellow jersey was Merckx's own teammate, the Italian Italo Zilioli. But by Stage 7 Merckx was back in yellow. And this time for good, as he easily cruised to his second consecutive Tour victory.

  • In suffocating the 1970 race, Eddy Merckx won no less than eight stages, including time trials, mountain stages and flat stages. But this year he did come up short in one category, the points award. In 1969 he won the overall classification, plus the best-climber and points award. In 1970, however, he only managed to win the overall and climbing categories. Picking up Merckx's crumbs was his Belgian countryman Walter Godefroot who claimed the points award.

  • Bernard Thévenet reveals himself by winning in La Mongie. Merckx’s commentary: "The Frenchman had been distanced in the Aspin descent, but he came back at the foot of the Tourmalet and he distanced us. For a 22-year-old rider, it’s pretty good. He’ll Il ira loin". Last rider: Hoogerhelde (100th), 3 h 52 min. 12 sec. behind.

  • Merckx’s supremacy. Two towns host the Tour for the first time.

  • The Concorde airliner beats the speed of sound; ex-French President Charles De Gaulle dies; the U.S. invades Cambodia.

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