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, whod 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.