The history of the Tour de France

Year 1990

THE STORY

  • After an early breakaway gained nearly a 10-minute advantage, the 1990 Tour took on another dimension. Defending champion Greg LeMond spent much of the three-weeks chasing the little-known Italian Claudio Chiappucci. He only finally wrestled the yellow jersey from Chiappucci's shoulders in the final time trial around Lac de Vassivière. Although he only wore the jersey for a day, it was on the final day, and LeMond inked his name in the record books as a three-time Tour winner.

  • Raul Alcala’s Vittel time trial victory, at an average of 47,900 km/h. Alcala had been the first Mexican national to win a stage, the year before, in Francorchamps. In his sixth Tour participation, a certain Miguel Indurain was opening some eyes. His final 10th-place finish, however, did not justly reflect his true potential. On several stages, Indurain had to wait for his ailing leader Pedro Delgado and lost valuable time. The following year, the tables would be turned. Indurain would be the designated leader on the Banesto team, and the results would be different as well.

  • A Soviet journalist, Alexandre Vladkin, gets sent by the "Sovietski Sport" to cover the whole race. The caravan: 3500 persons, 635 journalists, 140 photographers from 25 countries representing 348 newspapers and 20 TV stations. Last rider: Massi (156th), 3 h 16 min. 26 sec behind.

  • The Chiappucci episode and LeMond’s third win. The presence of riders from Eastern Europe. First Soviet victory, Konishev in Pau. Ludwig gets the green jersey. Return to three distinctive jerseys--yellow, green and polka dot.

  • Germany reunifies after 45 years; Iraq annexes Kuwait; British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher resigns; Ivana Trump sues Donald Trump for one billion dollars; Nelson Mandela is liberated; Greta Garbo dies.

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