The history of the Tour de France

Year 1983

THE STORY

  • With four-time winner Bernard Hinault bypassing the race due to injury, the 1983 Tour was an open event. Little-known Pascal Simon surprised by grabbing the yellow jersey early in the race. But injury forced him to drop out. Another little-known rider Laurent Fignon then took over the coveted shirt. But more impressively, he managed to fend off the climbers in the Alps and bring it back to Paris.

  • Pascal Simon provided the surprise sensation in the Pyrénées when he grabbed the yellow jersey in Luchon. With an impressive four and a half minute advantage, he also took out a solid lease on overall victory. But when he fell and broke his shoulder blade on the next stage everything suddenly changed. In what turned out to be a virtual death march across southern France, Simon slowly lost time each day until he was finally forced to drop out on the stage to Alpe d'Huez.

  • 32 journalists from Columbia cover the Tour. Unprecedented decision: Lubberding, who’d broken away with Michel Laurent, pushes him 40 yards from the finish line. Michel Laurent finishes seventh, but is made the winner of the Issoire - Saint-Etienne stage. Last rider: Laurens (88th), 4 h 2 min. 46 sec. behind.

  • Fignon wins on his first try. The Tour experiments with an open pro-am formula as it invites the Colombian national team.

  • Polish activist Lech Walesa wins the Nobel Peace Prize; Chicago elects Harold Washington as its first black mayor; surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel dies.

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