1973 Tour de France

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
1973 Tour de France
Route of the 1973 Tour de France.png
Route of the 1973 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 30 June –22 July 1973
Stages 20+Prologue, including six split stages
Distance 4,140 km (2,572 mi)
Winning time 122h 25' 34"
Winner  Luis Ocaña (Spain) (Bic)
Second  Bernard Thévenet (France) (Peugeot–BP)
Third  José-Manuel Fuente (Spain) (Kas)

Points  Herman Van Springel (Belgium) (Rokado)
Mountains  Pedro Torres (Spain) (La Casera – Bahamontes)
Combination  Joop Zoetemelk (Netherlands) (Gitane–Frigecreme)
Sprints  Marc Demeyer (Belgium) (Carpenter–Shimano–Flandria)
Team Bic
Team Points Gan–Mercier

The 1973 Tour de France was the 60th Tour de France, taking place June 30 to July 22, 1973. It consisted of 20 stages over 4140.4 km, ridden at an average speed of 33.918 km/h.[1] Eddy Merckx, winner of the previous four editions, did not start the 1973 Tour, partly to avoid angry French fans and partly to please his sponsor; instead he rode and won the 1973 Vuelta a España and the 1973 Giro d'Italia. In his absence, Luis Ocaña dominated the race, winning with a margin of more than 15 minutes.

In 1973, a new team classification was added: the team points classification, calculated by adding the three best stage rankings per team; it would be calculated until 1988.

Changes from the 1972 Tour de France[edit]

After the 1972 Tour de France, there were rumours that the 1973 Tour de France would become easier, to suit French cyclist Cyrille Guimard better. However, when the 1973 Tour route was announced in December 1972, the organisation had included three more mountains compared to 1972.[2]


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1973 Tour de France.

The winner of the previous four editions, Eddy Merckx had changed sponsors to the Italian Molteni. His contract said that he had to start in the 1973 Vuelta a España and the 1973 Giro d'Italia, and Merckx thought it was impossible to start in three grand tours in one year, so he stayed away from the Tour. Ocana, who was in great shape, was now the main favourite, with Fuente, Poulidor and Thevenet as his biggest threats.[3] Ocana was not the clear favorite; he had already crashed out of the Tour three times, and he was seen as fragile.[4] Zoetemelk had changed teams, because he did not have the full support of his team leader.[4]

The Italian teams did not join the 1973 Tour de France, because no top French cyclist joined the 1973 Giro d'Italia. This meant that world champion Marino Basso and former Tour winner Felice Gimondi were absent.[5] The Tour started with the following 12 teams, each with 11 cyclists:[3]

Race details[edit]

Zoetemelk won the opening prologue, one second ahead of Poulidor. In the first part of the next stage, Teirlinck won and took over the lead. Ocana and Herman Van Springel fell down when a dog crossed the road, but both suffered no serious damage.[4] In the second part of that stage, Van Springel bridged the gap to Catieau, who had escaped. Van Springel did all the work to stay away, while Catieau did not help his team captain's rival. They stayed away until the end of the stage, where Catieau won the sprint, and Van Springel became the new race leader.[4]

In the third stage, a group with Guimard and Ocana escaped. Van Springel, Zoetemelk, Fuentes, Thevenet and Poulidor were not in that group, and had to chase them. The group stayed away, Guimard won the sprint and Catieau became the race leader. More important for the final result was that Ocana won more than two minutes on Zoetemelk, and more than seven minutes on Fuente.[4][6]

In stage 7, when the first mountains were climbed, Ocana attacked, and only Zoetemelk could follow. A few kilometers from the summit, Zoetemelk had to let Ocana go, and Ocana finished solo. Ocana became the new race leader, almost three minutes ahead of Zoetemelk.[4]

In the eighth stage, Ocana and Fuente both attacked. Ocana and Fuente did not like each other, and when Fuente stopped working, Ocana was angry, especially when Fuente passed him just before the top of the Izoard to steal the points for the mountain classification. When Fuente had a flat tire, Ocana did not wait for him, and left him behind, beating him by one minute at the finish line. All the others were far behind: Thevenet and Martinez followed after seven minutes, the other pre-race favourites after twenty minutes.[4][7]

In the thirteenth stage, Poulidor crashed, and was taken away with a helicopter.[4]

In the sixteenth stage, the cyclists were slower than expected, and finished one hour after the latest time schedule. The train that they should have taken had already left, and they had to use buses.[4]

In the time trial in stage 17, Fuente lost his second place in the general classification to Thevenet. Fuente tried to take it back in the mountain stage 18, but he failed and even lost some time.[4]

Doping cases[edit]

Three cyclists tested positive during the 1973 Tour de France:

All three received a fine of 1000 Swiss Francs, one-month suspension and ten minutes penalty time in the general classification.


The 1973 Tour de France started on 30 June, and had two rest days, in Divonne-les-Bains and Pyrénées 2000.[11]

A man with the text "GITAN? FRIGECREM?"
Joop Zoetemelk, the winner of the prologue.
Stage results[3][12]
Stage Date Route Terrain Length Winner
P 30 June Scheveningen Individual time trial 7.1 km (4.4 mi)  Joop Zoetemelk (NED)
1A 1 July Scheveningen – Rotterdam Plain stage 84 km (52 mi)  Willy Teirlinck (BEL)
1B Rotterdam – Sint-Niklaas Plain stage 137.5 km (85.4 mi)  José Catieau (FRA)
2A 2 July Sint-Niklaas Team time trial 12.4 km (7.7 mi) Watney-Maes
2B Sint-Niklaas – Roubaix Plain stage 138 km (86 mi)  Eddy Verstraeten (BEL)
3 3 July Roubaix – Reims Plain stage 226 km (140 mi)  Cyrille Guimard (FRA)
4 4 July Reims – Nancy Plain stage 214 km (133 mi)  Joop Zoetemelk (NED)
5 5 July Nancy – Mulhouse Stage with mountain(s) 188 km (117 mi)  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
6 6 July Mulhouse – Divonne-les-Bains Stage with mountain(s) 244.5 km (151.9 mi)  Jean-Pierre Danguillaume (FRA)
7A 8 July Divonne les Bains – Gaillard Stage with mountain(s) 86.5 km (53.7 mi)  Luis Ocaña (ESP)
7B Gaillard – Méribel Stage with mountain(s) 150.5 km (93.5 mi)  Bernard Thévenet (FRA)
8 9 July MoutiersLes Orres Stage with mountain(s) 237.5 km (147.6 mi)  Luis Ocaña (ESP)
9 10 July EmbrunNice Stage with mountain(s) 234.5 km (145.7 mi)  Vicente López Carril (ESP)
10 11 July Nice – Aubagne Stage with mountain(s) 222.5 km (138.3 mi)  Michael Wright (GBR)
11 12 July MontpellierArgelès-sur-Mer Plain stage 238 km (148 mi)  Barry Hoban (GBR)
12A 13 July PerpignanThuir Individual time trial 28.3 km (17.6 mi)  Luis Ocaña (ESP)
12B Thuir – Pyrénées 2000 Stage with mountain(s) 76 km (47 mi)  Lucien Van Impe (BEL)
13 15 July Bourg-MadameLuchon Stage with mountain(s) 235 km (146 mi)  Luis Ocaña (ESP)
14 16 July Luchon – Pau Stage with mountain(s) 227.5 km (141.4 mi)  Pedro Torres (ESP)
15 17 July Pau – Fleurance Plain stage 137 km (85 mi)  Wilfried David (BEL)
16A 18 July Fleurance – Bordeaux Plain stage 210 km (130 mi)  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
16B Bordeaux – Lac Individual time trial 12.4 km (7.7 mi)  Joaquim Agostinho (POR)
17 19 July Sainte-Foy-la-GrandeBrive-la-Gaillarde Plain stage 248 km (154 mi)  Claude Tollet (FRA)
18 20 July Brive – Puy de Dôme Stage with mountain(s) 216.5 km (134.5 mi)  Luis Ocaña (ESP)
19 21 July BourgesVersailles Plain stage 233.5 km (145.1 mi)  Barry Hoban (GBR)
20A 22 July Versailles Individual time trial 16 km (9.9 mi)  Luis Ocaña (ESP)
20B Versailles – Paris Plain stage 89 km (55 mi)  Bernard Thévenet (FRA)

Classification leadership[edit]

There were several classifications in the 1973 Tour de France, three 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.[13]

Additionally, there was a points classification, where 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, and was identified with a green jersey.[13]

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 1973.[13]

Another classification was the combination classification. This classification was calculated as a combination of the other classifications, its leader wore the white jersey.[14]

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 1973, this classification had no associated jersey.[15]

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.[16]

Stage General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification Team classification
P  Joop Zoetemelk (NED)  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) no award GAN
1a  Willy Teirlinck (BEL)  Willy De Geest (BEL) Sonolor
1b  Herman Vanspringel (BEL)  Herman Vanspringel (BEL) Bic
2b  Frans Verbeeck (BEL)
3  José Catieau (FRA)  Cyrille Guimardl (FRA)  Willy De Geest (BEL)
4  Herman Vanspringel (BEL)
5  Charly Grosskost (FRA)
6  Pedro Torres (ESP)
7a  Luis Ocaña (ESP)
8  Luis Ocaña (ESP)
9  José Manuel Fuente (ESP)
17  Pedro Torres (ESP)
Final  Luis Ocaña (ESP)  Herman Vanspringel (BEL)  Pedro Torres (ESP) Bic

Final results[edit]

General classification[edit]

Final general classification (1–10)[3]
Rank Name Team Time
1  Luis Ocaña (ESP) Bic 122h 25' 34"
2  Bernard Thévenet (FRA) Peugeot +15' 51"
3  José-Manuel Fuente (ESP) Kas +17' 15"
4  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Gitane +26' 22"
5  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) Sonolor +30' 20"
6  Herman Van Springel (BEL) Rokado +32' 01"
7  Michel Périn (FRA) Gan +33' 02"
8  Joaquim Agostinho (POR) Bic +35' 51"
9  Vicente López Carril (ESP) Kas +36' 18"
10  Régis Ovion (FRA) Peugeot +36' 59"

Points classification[edit]

Final points classification (1–10)[3][17]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Herman Van Springel (BEL) Rokado 187
2  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Gitane 168
3  Luis Ocaña (ESP) Bic 145
4  Bernard Thévenet (FRA) Peugeot 139
5  Walter Godefroot (BEL) Flandria 139
6  Barry Hoban (GBR) Gan 110
7  Gerard Vianen (NED) Gitane 110
8  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) Sonolor 109
9  Mariano Martínez (FRA) Gan 89
10  Jacques Esclassan (FRA) Peugeot 89

Mountains classification[edit]

Final mountains classification (1–10)[3][17]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Pedro Torres (ESP) La Casera 225
2  José-Manuel Fuente (ESP) Kas 216
3  Luis Ocaña (ESP) Bic 192
4  Bernard Thévenet (FRA) Peugeot 119
5  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) Sonolor 107
6  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Gitane 83
7  Vicente López Carril (ESP) Kas 80
8  Joaquim Agostinho (POR) Bic 46
9  Francisco Galdos (ESP) Kas 46
10  Mariano Martínez (FRA) Gan 38

Team classification[edit]

Final team classification[17]
Rank Team Time
1 Bic 369h 31' 55"
2 Peugeot +20' 23"
3 Kas +20' 42"
4 Mercier +23' 04"
5 Rokado +1h 40' 42"
6 Sonolor +1h 45' 56"
7 Gitane +1h 58' 57"
8 La Casera +2h 01' 50"
9 Flandria +2h 09' 21"
10 Lejeune +3h 09' 21"
11 Gazelle +3h 09' 21"

Combination classification[edit]

Final combination classification (1–5)[17]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Gitane 20
2  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) Sonolor 26
3  Bernard Thévenet (FRA) Peugeot 33
4  Herman Van Springel (BEL) Rokado 50
5  Fernando Mendes (POR) Flandria 55

Intermediate sprints classification[edit]

Final intermediate sprints classification (1–5)[17]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Marc Demeyer (BEL) Flandria 105
2  Barry Hoban (GBR) Gan 70
3  Willy Teirlinck (BEL) Sonolor 60
4  Raymond Riotte (FRA) Sonolor 28
5  Robert Mintkiewicz (FRA) Sonolor 16

Other classifications[edit]

The combativity award was given to Luis Ocana.[1]


  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. ^ "Tour de France 1973 wordt zwaar karwei". Leeuwarder Courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 14 December 1972. p. 29. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "60ème Tour de France 1973" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2008). The Story of the Tour De France: 1965-2007. Dog Ear Publishing. pp. 73–81. ISBN 1-59858-608-4. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Italianen mijden Tour de France". Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 4 June 1973. p. 21. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Béoutis, Didier (23 November 2008). "Luis Ocaña sur le pavés de Querenaing - Tour de France 1973" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Béoutis, Didier (23 November 2008). "Luis Ocaña écrase le Tour - Tour de France 1973" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Hoban betrapt". Nieuwsblad van het noorden (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 16 July 1973. p. 19. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Tweede dopinggeval in Tour de France". Leeuwarder courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 20 July 1973. p. 19. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "Dopinggeval". Leeuwarder courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 24 July 1973. p. 13. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique, Part 4" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  12. ^ Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  14. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Other Classifications & Awards". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Intermediate Sprints Classification". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  16. ^ Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0-679-72936-4. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "Clasificaciones oficiales". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 23 July 1973. p. 19. Retrieved 18 August 2011.