The history of the Tour de France

Year 1979


  • Bernard Hinault and Joop Zoetemelk again dominated the race for the yellow jersey. Hinault won the Stage 3 time trial in Super-Bagnères and quickly found himself in yellow. But as the race moved north, Zoetemelk continued to apply pressure. Thwarted with mishaps on the cobblestones to Roubaix, Hinault lost the jersey to his Dutch rival. But when Hinault won the time trials in Brussels and Avoriaz, the jersey was once again his. By the time the race returned to Paris, the French champion picked up no less than seven stage wins, and along with the yellow jersey, he also took home the green points jersey.

  • After grabbing the yellow jersey easily in the 1979 Tour, Bernard Hinault seemed destined to defend his Tour title. Things suddenly took a turn for the worse on kilometer 94 of Stage 9 to Roubaix, however, when Hinault flatted. Attacks followed immediately and the yellow jersey found himself chasing madly. Another flat slowed his progress once again and he eventually finished over three minutes down. Hinault was furious and warned, "there are some riders who will suffer plenty after what happened today." Five-time winner Jacques Anquetil put Hinault's setback into perspective, "Hinault definitely won the Tour today. Others in his situation would have lost a quarter of an hour." Both turned out to be right. Hinault put the hurt on plenty of riders in the 1979 Tour, and he definitely won the race.

  • Agostinho is on the podium at 37. Last rider: Schombacher (90th) at 4 h 19 min. 21 sec.

  • Hinault and Zoetemelk, respectively first and second, go clear at the Champs-Elysées finish. The Tour climbs Alpe d'Huez twice in two days.

  • John Wayne dies; Mother Theresa wins the Nobel Peace Prize; Margaret Thatcher is elected prime minister of Britain; Bjorn Borg wins his fourth victory at Wimbledon.

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