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What is Your Favorite Edition of the Tour de France?

Mar 13, 2009
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Sitting in work bored out of my mind, and an even more boring stage of the TDF currently jogging by, I decided to start this thread.

Many have complained that this tour has been quite boring. While I have found it entertaining, it certainly has not left me completely fulfilled. With that in mind I was curious what editions of the TDF have been your favorites?

I'm only 20 so I haven't been around to experience too many, but I love researching the history of the sport, and it marvelous to see how rich the history actually is.

Two that stick out to me are the 1948 and 1971 editions. 1948-Bartali wins the Tour for the first time since 1938, climbing like an angel, and instantly becoming a national hero. Never before or probably after has a TDF win had such political and social impact on a nation.

1971-Merckx wins after Ocana's devestating crash in stage 13. Ocana was toying with Merckx this year, winning two stages (obliterating Merckx by 8:42 on stage 11). Ocana was certainly on his way to his first Tour de France victory had he not be derailed by such an unfortunate circumstance.

These are two of my favorites, which are yours?
 
A

Anonymous

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The LeMond v. Hinault drama in 1986 was interesting. At the time there was almost no coverage of the race in the USA but I've watched the video of that tour several times....

The 1997 Tour that Ulle won was also good. Bjarne Riis' TT bike throw was worth watching. :D
 
Mar 13, 2009
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perico said:
From the ones that I have witnessed:

1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1998, 2001, 2003

1998 is also a great edition. Pantani completes the double, possibly the last time we ever see that?

1978 was also a very interesting year- Hinault's first TDF victory, Kelly's first TDF stage win (in his grand tour debut), 150km team time trial:eek:, and the first rider protest where they chose to soft pedal a stage, complaining about the hours spent travelling to the startlines before stages.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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The two times I went bonkers watching the Tour were 1988 (Perico Delgado), especially the climbing ITT, and then the dramatics of 1989. Once Perico was out of contention that year, everyone I knew (in Spain) was rooting for Lemond and especially, against Fignon.
 
May 15, 2010
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1997. Definately.
Who is this Ullrich guy:confused:
It was a great year: Pantani on Alpe d'Huez, as others mentioned, the infamous Riis TT bike toss, Tricky Dicky was always sure to entertain (love him or hate him). Another good tour for Zabel.
I notice 97 has been mentioned a lot. Maybe the best year ever??
 
Mar 13, 2009
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markene2 said:
2003

If you havent seen this. Download it, simply amazing!

2003 is the first tour I genuinely remember following. When Iban Mayo won on Alpe d'Huez I instantly became an Euskaltel fan, and haven't stopped since.

I will always remember the 2003 tour that got the ball rolling in my cycling infatuation.
 
nvpacchi said:
2003 is the first tour I genuinely remember following. When Iban Mayo won on Alpe d'Huez I instantly became an Euskaltel fan, and haven't stopped since.

I will always remember the 2003 tour that got the ball rolling in my cycling infatuation.

My favorite tour also. The build up with Armstrong so dominate the year before with basically the same team. People tend to forget that just a month or 2 before the TDF nobody knew if Ullrich even would have a team to ride the tour. He had switch to Team Coast after the T-Mobile fallout, and they foded. Bianchi threw together a team at the last second just to get him the tour.

The famous Mayo attack on Alp D'Huez. He really looked like the next great climber that day. Vino and his constant attacking. Beloki and his spectacular crash. Beloki looked like he was in the best form he ever had that year. The pts jersey was extremely close between Cooke, McEwen and Zabel. VIrenque tying the 6 KOM mark. Also, the fact it was the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the race.

Other Tours that have to be up there would be 1986, 1989, 1998 with Pantani, 1987, 1971, and was it 1967 where Poulidor and Anquentil had the legendary battle including the Puy De Dome??
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Carl0880 said:
My favorite tour also. The build up with Armstrong so dominate the year before with basically the same team. People tend to forget that just a month or 2 before the TDF nobody knew if Ullrich even would have a team to ride the tour. He had switch to Team Coast after the T-Mobile fallout, and they foded. Bianchi threw together a team at the last second just to get him the tour.

The famous Mayo attack on Alp D'Huez. He really looked like the next great climber that day. Vino and his constant attacking. Beloki and his spectacular crash. Beloki looked like he was in the best form he ever had that year. The pts jersey was extremely close between Cooke, McEwen and Zabel. VIrenque tying the 6 KOM mark. Also, the fact it was the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the race.

Other Tours that have to be up there would be 1986, 1989, 1998 with Pantani, 1987, 1971, and was it 1967 where Poulidor and Anquentil had the legendary battle including the Puy De Dome??

I believe the legendary battle was in 1964 (Puy de Dome was included in the 1967 TDF however). I think what some forget about Paulidor and Anquetil's battle is neither of them won the stage. Julio Jimenez won, followed by Bahamontes in 2nd, and Paulidor in 3rd. Anquetil ended up finishing in 5th on the stage 1'39" down to Jimenez.

Puy de Dome has not been in the TDF since 1988. It would great if the organizers decided to bring back that mountain to the race.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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There have been several good ones IMO. Many were during the years when the unmentionables-at least on this forum - were at their most influential.

My all time fave however is 87. I saw bits of the 86 tour and 87 was the first year i actually prepared for by buying Winning in the preceding months. Roche was my tip for glory my fav rider.

The excitment waiting for the Channel four coverage at 5.30pm was almost unbearable for a hormonal 14yr old!
(actually the fact that they compressed each day into about 20-25mins of highlights was probably another reason it seemed so exciting.)

Many people on here castigate Phil and Paul but they will always hold a special place in my heart from those early days.

It was also so long that year! A record number of Yellow jersey wearers and plenty of conroversey- (JFB!)

Finally there was that stage to La Plagne.

Of course it could never be that exciting now as there would be a graphic in the corner of the screen telling us exactly what was happening.

Similarly the final 87KM(!!!) TT: waiting for the next time check to see whether he'd done enough.

I seem to have got carried away! this post is much longer than intended.
 
Mar 13, 2010
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1986 and 1969 - Two Great Tours

Scott SoCal said:
The LeMond v. Hinault drama in 1986 was interesting. At the time there was almost no coverage of the race in the USA but I've watched the video of that tour several times....

The 1997 Tour that Ulle won was also good. Bjarne Riis' TT bike throw was worth watching. :D

I agree that 1986 has got to be one of the great tours - I've just watched 3 hours of old English Channel 4 coverage of its key stages. Unlike commercially available coverage (such as WCP's) it really captures the magnitude of the battle between Hinault (one of the greatest of all time) to that of Lemond (then with the potential to be one of the greatest of all time) and ultimately the changing of the guard as Lemond finally managed to dethrone Hinault.

Of the others I have seen, 1969 was also a stunner. Merckx's first tour victory and what a victory - winning the points classification, KOM classification, combativity award, combination jersey in addition to the GC.

Whilst I also love the 1998 Tour simply because I'm a Pantani fan - that tour was significantly undermined by the Festina scandal.

I'd say that last year's has to be one of the least interesting I have ever seen and I've seen a lot - simply because of the way the course was designed. This year's has been a significant improvement - but would have been much better with the inclusion of an Alpe d'Huez finish or simply by having removed the ridiculously long flat run in to Pau from stage 16 which ruined the tour's most mountainous stage.

Lucky
 
Mar 12, 2010
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it must be 2003 for me... the level of excitement was unbelievable and every stage was different, one day it was Mayo, another day Vino with the awful Beloki fall, then Ullrich had that remarkable ITT and finally unbelievable recovery from LA at Luz Ardiden
 
May 3, 2010
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Signor Corleone

For me, as a long time Tour follower, the1958 Tour was the best and most
exciting. It was won by Charly Gaul of Luxembourg.2nd was Italian Vito
Favero and 3rd, Frenchman Raphael Geminiani. Gaul won all three time trials,
including one up Mont Ventoux, as well as a memorable mountain stage, run
in atrocious freezing cold rain, Charly's favourite racing weather!!
The next man home was Belgian Jean Adriaenssens at 7 minutes plus.
Of course there have been many memorable Tours,but that 1958 race stands
out.
 
Jul 22, 2010
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I haven't seen any of the older ones people are talking about but 2003 was incredible. The main contenders were really laying it all out on the line every mountain stage. Too bad about Beloki, he would have made it even more interesting. But these things happen, like Ocana when he was looking good to beat Merckx.

It's been great this year in the sense of Andy challenging AC, and Sanchez / Menchov just in the wings, but with the exception of 17 you just didn't get the feeling they were laying it out there the way the guys did in 2003. Everyone just seemed to want to be conservative this year.
 
Most of the Tours we have mentioned have either A) constantly aggressive riders and/or B) a monster stage that had an attack before the final climb.

69-Mercks famous stage where he attacked on the first climb of the day

98- Pantani attacked on the Galibier on the stage finishing at Deuz Alpe(Or what it Joux PLane, I can't ever get this right)

58- Didn't Gaul attack on 2 or 3 stages from the opening climb of the stage.

86- Hinault and Lemond attacked on the next to last climb before Alp D'Huez

03- The constant attacks by Vinokourov, including his Gap win on what was viewed as a hill more then a mountain.

The other element was a fantastic 1 on 1 duel, from the bottom of the mountain or the previous mountain for most of the tours mentioned.
 
May 11, 2009
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My favourite was 1996. Mostly because Bjarne Riis won (I'm also a Dane). It was exciting to see Indurain fail at his 6th attempt. Rolf Sørensen also won a stage in that tour in addition to the one of Riis'.