The history of the Tour de France

Year 1994

THE STORY

  • British sensation Chris Boardman grabbed the yellow jersey in the Prologue, but lost it in the team time trial just before the race visited England. Again Miguel Indurain used the first time trial in Périgieux to take control of the race. With the yellow jersey on his shoulders, Indurain was again unstoppable. Dropping nearly all his challengers on the Hautacam climb, the first mountain-top finish of the 1994 Tour, the Spanish champion even consolidated his lead. Nevertheless, a batch climbers--Marco Pantani, Richard Virenque, Luc Leblanc, Piotr Ugrumov--all managed to win spectacular stages.

  • Leblanc’s win in Hautacam, in front of Indurain, and Virenque’s breakaway in the Pyrénées. Ugrumov’s success over Pantini and Indurain in Avoriaz. Italy's Eros Poli is anything but a climber. At 1.94 meters tall and 85 kilograms Poli is one of the peloton's powerful locomotives. He is many things, but absolutely not a climber. Thus on the 231-kilometer stage over the Mount Ventoux, Poli knew his only chance would be with an early attack. So with 171 kilometers remaining, Poli took off. And under the hot Provincial sun he built up over a 20-minute lead. His gap was large enough that he managed to make it up the 21-kilometer climb before the leaders. And after bombing down the descent to Carpentras, one of the most prestigious stage victories was his.

  • Germany’s Ludwig wins the Mémorial bonus in Saint-Lô, while American LeMond gives up. 46 years after Bartali, another fervent catholic, Luc Leblanc, wins in Lourdes. The field’s giant, Eros Poli (1,94 - 85 kg), wins at the top of the Ventoux and in Carpentras, after a 171-km solitary breakaway. Last rider: Talen (117th), 3 h 39 min. 3 sec behind.

  • Miguel Indurain’s fourth consecutive victory. The Armentières fall, which eliminated Jalabert and Nelissen as early as the first stage. Two stages in England with train transfer through the Chunnel; 11 towns host the Tour for the first time; first mountain-top finish on the Hautacam(Pau).

  • Civil War breaks rages in Rwanda; Nelson Mandela is elected President of South Africa; Russia invades breakaway republic of Chechnya; Richard Nixon dies; Chunnel between France and England is opened.

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