The Tour DuPont was a cycling stage race in the United States held between 1991 and 1996. It was intended to become a North American cycling event similar in format and prestige to the Tour de France. The tour's name came from its sponsor, DuPont. The race was held in the Mid-Atlantic States, including areas near DuPont's Wilmington, Delaware headquarters.
The event attracted high-level competitors, including Lance Armstrong and Greg LeMond, and was attended by high profile European based cycling teams. After the sixth running in 1996, however, DuPont dropped its sponsorship and the race has not been run since.
Results and notable moments
The initial race, in 1991, witnessed an exciting finish, as the Netherlands' Erik Breukink of team PDM came from 50 seconds behind despite a flat tire to defeat Atle Kvalsvoll on the streets of Wilmington, Delaware. That year also saw the first occasion in which an American held the overall lead in the nation's premier race, when Greg Oravetz of the Coors Light team took the yellow jersey on a breakaway in Arlington, Virginia. Covered on national television, with video still available, it was the last year that Lance Armstrong raced as an amateur, teamed with other young Americans wearing a Skittles - U.S. National Team jersey, with American Nate Schafer winning the Stage 5 Criterium two places ahead of his teammate Lance.
In 1992, the first American winner of the tour in Tour de France champion Greg LeMond; his teammate Kvalsvoll finished second for the second year running, supporting LeMond over the final three days even though only one second separated the two riders.
1993's tour witnessed the first stirrings of a future cycling star, as Lance Armstrong, riding for team Motorola, challenged team WordPerfect's Raúl Alcalá for the victory; Alcala triumphed after outperforming Armstrong in a 36-mile (59 km) time trial, but the young American finished second.
Another WordPerfect rider, Viatcheslav Ekimov, captured the overall victory in 1994, with Armstrong placing second for a second year running. The American finally broke through to the winner's spot on the podium until 1995, outcompeting Ekimov and Andrea Peron. Armstrong also won the final tour in 1996; France's Pascal Hervé finished second.
|1991||Breukink, ErikErik Breukink (NED)||PDM-Concorde|
|1992||Lemond, GregGreg LeMond (USA)||Z|
|1993||Alcala, RaulRaúl Alcalá (MEX)||WordPerfect|
|1994||Ekimov, ViatcheslavViatcheslav Ekimov (RUS)||WordPerfect|
|1995||Armstrong, LanceLance Armstrong (USA)||Motorola|
|1996||Armstrong, LanceLance Armstrong (USA)||Motorola|
- New York Times articles about the Tour DuPont Retrieved 2011-11-29.