The history of the Tour de France

Year 1988

THE STORY

  • Defending champion Stephen Roche could not start due to injury and Greg LeMond was still on the comeback road from his hunting accident. Instead, 1987 runner-up Pedro Delgado took over. Canada's Steve Bauer controlled the yellow jersey through the flat stages, but once in the mountains, Delgado took over. The Dutch duo of Steven Rooks and Gert-Jan Theunisse took turns attacking, but they were no match for the Spaniard, who followed in the footsteps of his countrymen Federico Bahamontès and Luis Ocaña by winning the Tour.

  • Spanish outsider Martinez-Oliver’s victory in the Santenay time trial. Pedro Delgado's Tour victory almost did not occur when news of a his positive drug test broke in Bordeaux. Although the substance (Promencide) was on the banned list by the International Olympic Committee, it would not be on the list of the International Cycling Union until August. Thus, due to a technicality, Delgado saved his yellow shirt, although his victory remained tarnished.

  • During the preliminary stage in La Baule, Bontempi wins the one-kilometer race in 1'14"11 (a 48,576 km/h average). Last rider: Wayenberg (151st), 3 h 28 min. 41 sec. behind.

  • The Delgado affair. He tests positive for Probénicide, but is cleared because it doesn’t figure in the U.C.I. list. Start village is introduced; organizers experiment with a Preface instead of a Prologue(it only lasts one year).

  • Soviet Union withdraws its troops from Afghanistan; 50,000 Vietnamese leave Cambodia; George Bush elected U.S. President.

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