With a surprise attack on the stage into Liège, Belgium, Miguel Indurain got the upper hand early on his Tour rivals. And the next day in the Huy time trial, he took over the yellow jersey. Riding strongly in the Alps, Indurain again appeared unstoppable. But France's Laurent Jalabert had his own surprise, and with an early attack on the stage to Mende, Jalabert nearly took over the lead. But in the end, Indurain recuperated and finished strongly to record an unprecedented fifth consecutive Tour victory.
Pantanis two wins (Alpe d'Huez-Guzet Neige) and Jalaberts long breakaway and win in Mende.
The Tour had only just entered the Pyrénées. But on the first stage after the second rest day, tragedy struck. Italian rider and Olympic champion Fabio Casartelli crashed on the descent of the Portet d'Aspet and died. The following stage, the last in the mountains, was neutralized as the Tour riders paid homage to one of their own. Several stages later Casartelli's American teammate Lance Armstrong soloed off for a symbolic stage win into Limoges. "I felt like I was riding for two today," Armstrong said afterwards.
The bonus-sprint in Saint-Meen-le-Grand, where Louison Bobet was born, allows Laurent Jalabert to wear his first yellow jersey.
Last rider: Cornillet (115th), 3 h 36 min. 26 sec. behind.
Italys Fabio Casartellis deathly fall in the Portet d'Aspet descent and the following days sympathy ride (Tarbes-Pau stage).
10 towns host the Tour for the first time.
Centennial of the birth of the cinema; Austria, Finland and Sweden join the European Union; O.J. Simpson is acquitted of murder charges; Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated; Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley marry.