Super Prestige Pernod International
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The Super Prestige Pernod International was a season-long competition in road bicycle racing between 1958 and 1988.
Disagreements between the organisers of the similar Challenge Desgrange-Colombo led to its demise and a gap in season-long competitions. In 1958, the publicity division of Pernod offered a trophy for the best French rider of the year. The competition was known as the Prestige Pernod. It was a rival to Challenge Yellow, run by the chain company Sedis since 1931.
The following year, Pernod added the Super Prestige Pernod, for the best rider of the year, assessed on points attributed to the biggest races. At the same time it introduced Promotion Pernod, for the best French rider under 25. The Super Prestige Pernod became an unofficial world points championship.
A fourth class, Promotion Internationale, appeared in 1983 but that and the Promotion Pernod vanished the following year to create a single Super Prestige Pernod International. A women's competition was added in 1985. Both were abandoned at the end of 1987 when France banned drinks advertising in sport.
The Super Prestige Pernod International was won by some of the greatest names in professional cycle racing. They included Jacques Anquetil, who won four times, Eddy Merckx won a record seven times (1969–1975); Bernard Hinault equalled Anquetil's total with his fourth consecutive victory in 1982; while the final four years were dominated by Ireland: Sean Kelly won three times (1984–1986) and Stephen Roche won in 1987.
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