1968 Tour de France

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1968 Tour de France
Race details
Dates June 27–July 21, 1968
Stages 22 + prologue, including three split stages
Distance 4,684 km (2,911 mi)
Winning time 133h 49' 42" (34.894 km/h or 21.682 mph)
Winner  Jan Janssen (Netherlands) (Netherlands)
Second  Herman Van Springel (Belgium) (Belgium A)
Third  Ferdinand Bracke (Belgium) (Belgium B)

Points  Franco Bitossi (Italy) (Italy)
Mountains  Aurelio González (Spain) (Spain)
Combination  Franco Bitossi (Italy) (Italy)
Team Spain

The 1968 Tour de France was the 55th Tour de France, taking place June 27 to July 21, 1968. It consisted of 22 stages over 4684.8 km, ridden at an average speed of 34.894 km/h.[1] Eleven national teams of 10 riders competed, with three French teams, two Belgian teams and one from Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, and a combined Swiss/Luxembourgian team.

The 1968 Tour marked the first time the race end at the Vélodrome de Vincennes taking over for the now-defunct Parc des Princes Velodrome, which served as the final stop from 1904 to 1967.

The general classification was won by Jan Janssen, who overtook Herman Van Springel in the final time trial.

It was the last edition in which the cyclists participated in national teams; from 1969 on, commercial teams were used.

Changes from the 1967 Tour de France[edit]

The jersey for the points classification leader was red in 1968, unlike all other years since its introduction in 1953, when it was green. In 1968, the combination classification was introduced. The leader was identified by a "macaron" on his jersey.[2] This was won by Franco Bitossi, who also won the points classification.[3]

The leader of the mountains classification, which had been calculated since 1933 but had never had a jersey, also became identifiable by a "macaron" on his jersey.[2]


The 1968 Tour started with 110 cyclists, divided into 11 teams of 10 cyclists:[3]

  • France A
  • France B
  • France C
  • Germany
  • Belgium A
  • Belgium B
  • Spain
  • Great Britain
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland/Luxembourg (combined)

Race details[edit]

In the fifteenth stage, Raymond Poulidor was hit by a motor and had to give up. The Tour ended with a time trial, and before the time trial, Herman Van Springel was leading, followed by San Miguel at 12 seconds, Janssen at 16 seconds and Bitossi at 58 seconds. Janssen won the final time trial, with Van Springel in second place, but the margin was large enough for Janssen to win the Tour.[3]


The 1968 Tour de France started on 27 June, and had two rest days, in Royan and Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via.[4]

Stage results[3][5]
Stage Date Route Terrain Length Winner
1a 27 June Vittel Individual time trial 6.1 km (3.8 mi)  Charly Grosskost (FRA)
1b 28 June Vittel – Esch-sur-Alzette Plain stage 189 km (117 mi)  Charly Grosskost (FRA)
2 29 June ArlonForest Plain stage 210.5 km (130.8 mi)  Eric de Vlaeminck (BEL)
3A 30 June Forest Team time trial 22 km (14 mi)  Belgium A
3B Forest – Roubaix Plain stage 112 km (70 mi)  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
4 1 July Roubaix -– Rouen Plain stage 238 km (148 mi)  Georges Chappe (FRA)
5A 2 July Rouen – Bagnoles-de-l'Orne Plain stage 165 km (103 mi)  André Desvages (FRA)
5B Bagnoles-de-l'Orne – Dinard Plain stage 154.5 km (96.0 mi)  Jean Dumont (FRA)
6 3 July Dinard – Lorient Plain stage 188 km (117 mi)  Aurelio González Puente (ESP)
7 4 July Lorient – Nantes Plain stage 190 km (120 mi)  Franco Bitossi (ITA)
8 5 July Nantes – Royan Plain stage 223 km (139 mi)  Daniel van Ryckeghem (BEL)
9 7 July Royan – Bordeaux Plain stage 137.5 km (85.4 mi)  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
10 8 July Bordeaux – Bayonne Plain stage 202.5 km (125.8 mi)  Gilbert Bellone (FRA)
11 9 July Bayonne – Pau Plain stage 183.5 km (114.0 mi)  Daniel van Ryckeghem (BEL)
12 10 July Pau – Saint-Gaudens Stage with mountain(s) 226.5 km (140.7 mi)  Georges Pintens (BEL)
13 11 July Saint-Gaudens – La Seu d'Urgell Stage with mountain(s) 208.5 km (129.6 mi)  Herman van Springel (BEL)
14 12 July La Seu d'Urgell – Perpignan Stage with mountain(s) 231.5 km (143.8 mi)  Jan Janssen (NED)
15 14 July Font-Romeu-Odeillo-ViaAlbi Plain stage 250.5 km (155.7 mi)  Roger Pingeon (FRA)
16 15 July Albi – Aurillac Plain stage 199 km (124 mi)  Franco Bitossi (ITA)
17 16 July Aurillac – Saint-Étienne Stage with mountain(s) 236.5 km (147.0 mi)  Jean-Pierre Genet (FRA)
18 17 July Saint-Étienne – Grenoble Stage with mountain(s) 235 km (146 mi)  Roger Pingeon (FRA)
19 18 July Grenoble – Sallanches Stage with mountain(s) 200 km (120 mi)  Barry Hoban (GBR)
20 19 July Sallanches – Besançon Stage with mountain(s) 242.5 km (150.7 mi)  Jozef Huysmans (BEL)
21 20 July Besançon – Auxerre Plain stage 242 km (150 mi)  Eric Leman (BEL)
22A 21 July Auxerre – Melun Plain stage 136 km (85 mi)  Maurice Izier (FRA)
22B Melun – Paris Individual time trial 55.2 km (34.3 mi)  Jan Janssen (NED)

Classification leadership[edit]

Stage General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification Combination classification Team classification
1a  Charly Grosskost (FRA)  Charly Grosskost (FRA) no award no award  France B
1b  Eric Leman (BEL)  Italo Zilioli (ITA)  France A
2  Eric De Vlaeminck (BEL)
3a  Herman Van Springel (BEL)  Belgium A
4  Jean-Pierre Genet (FRA)  France A
5a  Georges Vandenberghe (BEL)  Georges Vandenberghe (BEL)  Georges Vandenberghe (BEL)
5b  Franco Bitossi (ITA)
7  Franco Bitossi (ITA)
9  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
10  Franco Bitossi (ITA)
11  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
12  Andrés Gandarias (ESP)  Spain
13  Aurelio González (ESP)  Franco Bitossi (ITA)
14  Georges Vandenberghe (BEL)
16  Rolf Wolfshohl (FRG)  Franco Bitossi (ITA)  Franco Bitossi (ITA)
17  Aurelio González (ESP)
18  Gregorio San Miguel (ESP)
19  Herman Van Springel (BEL)  Franco Bitossi (ITA)
22b  Jan Janssen (NED)
Final  Jan Janssen (NED)  Franco Bitossi (ITA)  Aurelio González (ESP)  Franco Bitossi (ITA)  Spain


There were several classifications in the 1968 Tour de France, two of them awarding jerseys to their leaders. The most important was the general classification, calculated by adding each cyclist's finishing times on each stage. The cyclist with the least accumulated time was the race leader, identified by the yellow jersey; the winner of this classification is considered the winner of the Tour.[6]

Additionally, there was a points classification. In the points classification, cyclists got points for finishing among the best in a stage finish, or in intermediate sprints. The cyclist with the most points lead the classification.[6] In other years, this cyclist is identified by a green jersey, but in 1968 it was a red jersey.[2]

There was also a mountains classification. The organisation had categorized some climbs as either first, second, third, or fourth-category; points for this classification were won by the first cyclists that reached the top of these climbs first, with more points available for the higher-categorized climbs. The cyclist with the most points lead the classification, but was not identified with a jersey in 1968.[6]

A newly introduced classification was the combination classification. This classification was calculated as a combination of the other classifications. The leader was not identified by a jersey, but wore a patch on his regular jersey.[7]

The fifth individual classification was the intermediate sprints classification. This classification had similar rules as the points classification, but only points were awarded on intermediate sprints. In 1968, this classification had no associated jersey.[8]

For the team classification, the times of the best three cyclists per team on each stage were added; the leading team was the team with the lowest total time. The riders in the team that lead this classification wore yellow caps.[9]

General classification[edit]

Final general classification (1–10)[3]
Rank Name Team Time
1  Jan Janssen (NED) Netherlands 133h 49' 42"
2  Herman Van Springel (BEL) Belgium A +38"
3  Ferdinand Bracke (BEL) Belgium B +3' 03"
4  Gregorio San Miguel (ESP) Spain +3' 17"
5  Roger Pingeon (FRA) France A +3' 29"
6  Rolf Wolfshohl (FRG) Germany +3' 46"
7  Lucien Aimar (FRA) France B +4' 44"
8  Franco Bitossi (ITA) Italy +4' 59"
9  Andrés Gandarias (ESP) Spain +5' 05"
10  Ugo Colombo (ITA) Italy +7' 55"

Points classification[edit]

Final points classification (1–10)[3][10]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Franco Bitossi (ITA) Italy 241
2  Walter Godefroot (BEL) Belgium B 219
3  Jan Janssen (NED) Netherlands 200
4  Daniel Van Rijckeghem (BEL) Belgium A 167
5  Georges Vandenberghe (BEL) Belgium B 155
6  Herman Van Springel (BEL) Belgium A 119
7  Barry Hoban (GBR) Great Britain 113
8  Georges Pintens (BEL) Belgium A 95
9  Michael Wright (GBR) Great Britain 92
10  Rolf Wolfshohl (FRG) Germany 89

Mountains classification[edit]

Final mountains classification (1–10)[3][10]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Aurelio González (ESP) Spain 96
2  Franco Bitossi (ITA) Italy 84
3  Julio Jiménez (ESP) Spain 72
4  Roger Pingeon (FRA) France A 65
5  Andrés Gandarias (ESP) Spain 57
6  Barry Hoban (GBR) Great Britain 50
7  Gregorio San Miguel (ESP) Spain 30
8  Jean-Pierre Ducasse (FRA) France B 28
9  Arie Den Hartog (NED) Netherlands 26
10  Silvano Schiavon (ITA) Italy 25

Team classification[edit]

Final team classification[10]
Rank Team Time
1 Spain 403h 47' 51"
2 Belgium A +12' 12"
3 France B +21' 45"
4 Italia +25' 01"
5 Belgium B +25' 16"
6 France A +44' 27"
7 France C +46' 39"
8 Netherlands +49' 11"
9 Germany +49' 11"
10 Great Britain +1h 53' 52"

The Switzerland/Luxembourg team finished with only two cyclists.

Combination classification[edit]

Final combination classification (1–5)[10]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Franco Bitossi (ITA) Italy 11
2  Jan Janssen (NED) Netherlands 18.5
3  Roger Pingeon (FRA) France A 20
4  Herman Van Springel (BEL) Belgium A 20.5
5  Gregorio San Miguel (ESP) Spain 26

Intermediate sprints classification[edit]

Final intermediate sprints classification (1–5)[10]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Georges Vandenberghe (BEL) Belgium B 59
2  Michael Wright (GBR) Great Britain 45
3  Barry Hoban (GBR) Great Britain 43
4  Eric Leman (BEL) Belgium B 27
5  Serge Bolley (FRA) France B 20

Other classifications[edit]

The combativity award was given to Roger Pingeon.[1]

Final combativity award classification (1–5)[10]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Roger Pingeon (FRA) France A 307
2  Aurelio González (ESP) Spain 243
3  Jean Dumont (FRA) France C 219
4  Barry Hoban (GBR) Great Britain 215
5  Rolf Wolfshohl (FRG) Germany 168

Doping cases[edit]

In the 1968 Tour de France, 163 doping tests were performed.[11] Two returned positive:

Both were removed from the race, suspended for one month and given a fine.


  1. ^ a b Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 2009-10-09. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "Les maillots du Tour de France 1968" (in French). Memoire du Cyclisme. 27 August 2007. Archived from the original on 7 October 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "55ème Tour de France 1968" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique, Part 4" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Other Classifications & Awards". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Intermediate Sprints Classification". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0679729364. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Clasificaciones". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 22 July 1968. p. 21. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "Laatste controles op doping negatief". Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (in Dutch) (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). 23 July 1968. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Fransman Samyn wegens doping uit de Tour". Leeuwarder Courant (in Dutch) (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). 6 July 1968. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Stablinski uit de Tour verbannen". De tijd (in Dutch) (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). 15 July 1968. Retrieved 3 January 2014.