The history of the Tour de France

Year 1987

THE STORY

  • Greg LeMond, shot tragically in a hunting accident over the winter, cannot defend his Tour title. Bernard Hinault has since retired and Laurent Fignon is still not 100%. As a result, the 1987 Tour is wide open. Nevertheless there is a fierce fight for the yellow jersey between Spain's Pedro Delgado and Ireland's Stephen Roche. Delgado is slightly superior in the mountains, but Roche tops the Spaniard in the time trials to become the first Irishman to win the Tour.

  • When Bernard Hinault retired, he proclaimed that a certain Jean-François Bernard would be his heir to French Tour glory. Bernard, responded forcefully in the 1987 Tour with stunning wins in the Mount Ventoux time trial and the final Dijon time trial. He even wore the yellow jersey for a day. But alas, that would be the only yellow jersey he ever wore, as injuries would plague the rest of his career and compromise his chances.

  • Pilgrimage in Karlsruhe, the bicycle’s cradle. First Polish yellow jersey: Piasecki. Last rider: Hermans (135th), 4 h 23 min. 30 sec. behind.

  • Jean-François Bernard, in top shape, loses any chances of being a real threat after a puncture in the Valréas - Villard-de-Lans stage. Tour start in Berlin, Germany; five towns host the Tour for the first time.

  • Fred Astaire dies; the stock market plummets on Wall Street; Van Gogh's "Irises" sells for $53,900,000; Wim Wenders directs the lyrical film "Wings of Desire."

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