1980 Tour de France

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1980 Tour de France
Route of the 1980 Tour de France.png
Route of the 1980 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 26 June–20 July 1980
Stages 22+Prologue, including two split stages
Distance 3,945.5 km (2,452 mi)
Winning time 109h 19' 14"
Winner  Joop Zoetemelk (Netherlands) (TI-Raleigh)
Second  Hennie Kuiper (Netherlands) (Peugeot)
Third  Raymond Martin (France) (Miko-Mercier)

Points  Rudy Pevenage (Belgium) (Ijsboerke)
Mountains  Raymond Martin (France) (Miko-Mercier)
Youth  Johan van der Velde (Netherlands) (TI-Raleigh)
Combination  Ludo Peeters (Belgium) (Ijsboerke)
Sprints  Rudy Pevenage (Belgium) (Ijsboerke)
Team Miko-Mercier
Team Points TI-Raleigh

The 1980 Tour de France was the 67th Tour de France. The total distance was 3945.5 km over 22 stages, the average speed of the riders was 35.317 km/h.[1] In the first half of the race, Bernard Hinault started out strong by winning the prologue and two stages. However, knee problems forced Hinault to abandon the race before the Pyrenees, while still in the lead. Joop Zoetemelk became the new leader, and defended that position successfully. It was his first Tour victory in his tenth attempt, after already having finished second in five editions.[2] The points classification was won by Rudy Pevenage, who also won the intermediate sprints classification. The mountains classification was won by Raymond Martin, and Johan van der Velde won the young rider classification.

Changes from the 1979 Tour de France[edit]

A new competition was introduced in 1980, sponsored by the French television station TF1, therefore named "Grand Prix TF1".[3] It was calculated from the results in the other classifications, and therefore seen as a successor of the combination classification that was calculated from 1968 to 1974. There was no jersey associated with the Grand Prix TF1. The Belgian Ludo Peeters won this classification.

In the 1979 Tour de France, Gerhard Schönbacher and Philippe Tesnière had both been trying to finish last, which had received attention from the press. The Tour organisation wanted to the press to focus on the winners, so they added the rule that after the 14th to 20th stage, the last-ranked cyclist in the general classification be removed.[4][5]


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1980 Tour de France.

Two weeks before the Tour would start, there were been only twelve teams interested in starting the Tour.[6] The teams with Italian and Spanish sponsors were focussed on the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España, and thought their cyclists were not able to compete in two grand tours in one year. This prevented Giovanni Battaglin, the winner of the mountains classification of 1979, from defending his title. Francesco Moser, who had left the 1980 Giro d'Italia injured, was the only Italian cyclist on the initial starting list,[7] but he was not able to start, so the 1980 Tour was without Italian cyclists.

One more team was added to the starting list, so the Tour 1980 started with thirteen teams, each with ten cyclists:[4][8]

  • IJsboerke-Warncke Eis-Koga Miyata
  • Boston-Mavic-Amis du Tour
  • Teka
  • Kelme

The Boston-Mavic-Amis du Tour team was a combination of the Belgian Boston-Mavic team and French cyclists without a contract, combined into the "Amis du Tour" team.[6]

The three most important favourites for the victory were Bernard Hinault, Joop Zoetemelk and Hennie Kuiper. Hinault was the winner of the two last editions, and had earlier that year won the 1980 Giro d'Italia. Zoetemelk, the runner-up of the last two editions, had switched teams to the Ti Raleigh team, which was considered one of the strongest teams. Kuiper had left the Ti Raleigh team and moved to the Peugeot team. The manager of that team, Maurice De Muer, had already managed Bernard Thévenet to a Tour win, and this made Kuiper confident.[9]

Route criticism[edit]

Before the race, Hinault expressed dissatisfaction with the cobbled sections in stages five and six. In the 1979 Tour, Hinault had lost time in these sections, and he considered to organise a strike,[10] Even though no strike was held, the route was still changed: after the fifth stage, tour organiser Felix Levitan decided to change the first 20 kilometres (12 mi) of the stage, to avoid the worst cobbled sections.[11]

Race details[edit]

The prologue was won by Hinault, who remained the leader until the first team time trial, won by the Ti Raleigh team, whose Gerrie Knetemann became the new leader. In the next stage, Rudy Pevenage, Yvon Bertin and Pierre Bazzo escaped and won by ten minutes. Of those three, Bertin, a team mate of Hinault, was the best ranked, and became the new leader. When Bertin lost many minutes in the third stage, Pevenage became the new leader.[9]

Hinault won the fourth stage, a time trial, but Pevenage remained leader. In the next stage, run in terrible weather, Hinault escaped together with Kuiper, won the stage and gained won 2 minutes on the rest. Many riders experienced tendinitis problems, including Hinault.[9][12]

The Ti Raleigh team won the team time trial in stage seven, and Hinault's problems were showing, as he could not do his part of the workload. Hinault spent the next few stages at the back of the peloton, talking with his team manager of the tour doctor.[9]

In the time trial in stage 11, won by Zoetemelk, Hinault finished fifth, which was enough to become the new race leader, but with Zoetemelk only 21 seconds behind. Normally, Hinault was the better time trialist, so Zoetemelk's stage victory made him confident that he had the chance to win the Tour.[9]

On the evening before stage 13, which included mountains of the highest category, Hinault decided to withdraw. Zoetemelk, until that moment second in the general classification, became the new leader, but refused to wear the yellow jersey, in the tradition of Eddy Merckx who refused to don the yellow jersey in the 1971 Tour de France after Luis Ocaña left the race as leader.[9][12]

In that thirteenth stage, Zoetemelk rode conservatively. He allowed Raymond Martin to escape, as he was no threat in the general classification, but kept close to Kuiper, who was his main rival for the overall victory. Zoetemelk remained leader after that stage, with Kuiper in second place, 1'10" behind him, while Martin climbed to third place.[9]

Zoetemelk kept following this defensive tactic for the rest of the race. In the sixteenth stage, one of Zoetemelk's team mates Johan van der Velde slipped and made Zoetemelk crash, injuring his thigh and arm. Zoetemelk quickly remounted and continued the race.[9] Zoetemelk was able to get back to Kuiper, losing no time to him.[12]

The fall in the sixteenth stage did affect Zoetemelk's performance in the seventeenth stage, as Zoetemelk had to let others go on the first climb.[12] Helped by his team mates, he was able to stay close to his competitors, and the only riders that escaped were the ones that were no threat for the overall victory. In the eighteenth stage, Ludo Loos escaped and crossed all the cols first, finishing more than five minutes ahead of the rest. But Loos was already far behind in the general classification, and Zoetemelk finished in the second group, some minutes ahead of Kuiper, thus building his lead to more than five minutes.[9]

Zoetemelk won the time trial in stage 20, and improved his margin to almost seven minutes, and thus won the 1980 Tour.


The 1980 Tour de France started on 26 June, and had two rest days, in Saint Malo and Morzine.[13]

Stage results[4][14]
Stage Date Route Terrain Length Winner
P 26 June Frankfurt Individual time trial 8 km (5.0 mi)  Bernard Hinault (FRA)
1A 27 June Frankfurt – Wiesbaden Plain stage 133 km (83 mi)  Jan Raas (NED)
1B Wiesbaden – Frankfurt Team time trial 46 km (29 mi) Raleigh
2 28 June Frankfurt – Metz Plain stage 276 km (171 mi)  Rudy Pevenage (BEL)
3 29 June Metz – Liège Plain stage 282 km (175 mi)  Henk Lubberding (NED)
4 30 June Spa Individual time trial 35 km (22 mi)  Bernard Hinault (FRA)
5 1 July Liège – Lille Plain stage 249 km (155 mi)  Bernard Hinault (FRA)
6 2 July Lille – Compiegne Plain stage 216 km (134 mi)  Jean-Louis Gauthier (FRA)
7A 3 July Compiegne – Beauvais Team time trial 65 km (40 mi) Raleigh
7B Beauvais – Rouen Plain stage 92 km (57 mi)  Jan Raas (NED)
8 4 July FlersSt Malo Plain stage 164 km (102 mi)  Bert Oosterbosch (NED)
9 6 July St Malo – Nantes Plain stage 205 km (127 mi)  Jan Raas (NED)
10 7 July RochefortBordeaux Plain stage 163 km (101 mi)  Cees Priem (NED)
11 8 July DamazanLaplume Individual time trial 52 km (32 mi)  Joop Zoetemelk (NED)
12 9 July AgenPau Plain stage 194 km (121 mi)  Gerrie Knetemann (NED)
13 10 July Pau – Bagneres de Luchon Stage with mountain(s) 200 km (120 mi)  Raymond Martin (FRA)
14 11 July Lézignan-CorbièresMontpellier Plain stage 189 km (117 mi)  Ludo Peeters (BEL)
15 12 July Montpellier – Martigues Plain stage 160 km (99 mi)  Bernard Vallet (FRA)
16 13 July TretsPra Loup Stage with mountain(s) 209 km (130 mi)  Jos De Schoenmaecker (BEL)
17 14 July Serre ChevalierMorzine Stage with mountain(s) 242 km (150 mi)  Mariano Martínez (FRA)
18 16 July Morzine – Prapoutel les Sept Aux Stage with mountain(s) 199 km (124 mi)  Ludo Loos (BEL)
19 17 July VoreppeSt Etienne Hilly stage 140 km (87 mi)  Sean Kelly (IRE)
20 18 July St Etienne Individual time trial 34 km (21 mi)  Joop Zoetemelk (NED)
21 19 July AuxerreFontenay-sous-Bois Plain stage 208 km (129 mi)  Sean Kelly (IRE)
22 20 July Fontenay-sous-Bois – Paris (Champs-Élysées) Plain stage 186 km (116 mi)  Pol Verschuere (BEL)

The 25 stages were won by riders from only four countries. In this year's edition of the Tour, the last rider in the General Classification after the consecutives mountain stages (16-19) was eliminated.


There were several classifications in the 1980 Tour de France, four 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.[15]

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.[15]

There was also a mountains classification. The organisation had categorized some climbs as either hors catégorie, 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, and was identified with a polkadot jersey.[15]

Another classification was the young rider classification. This was decided the same way as the general classification, but only cyclists younger than 24 were eligible, and the leader wore a white jersey.[16]

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 1980, this classification had no associated jersey.[17]

A combination classification was also calculated; this was done by adding the points for the points classification, mountains classification, intermediate sprints classification and combativity award.[18]

For the team classification, the times of the best four 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.[19] There was also a team points classification. After each stage, the stage rankings of the best three cyclists per team were added, and the team with the least total lead this classification, and were identified by green caps.[20]

General classification[edit]

Final general classification (1–10)[4]
Rank Name Team Time
1  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) TI-Raleigh 109h 19' 14"
2  Hennie Kuiper (NED) Peugeot-Esso-Michelin +6' 55"
3  Raymond Martin (FRA) Miko-Mercier +7' 56"
4  Johan De Muynck (BEL) Splendor +12' 24"
5  Joaquim Agostinho (POR) Puch-Sem +15' 37"
6  Christian Seznec (FRA) Miko-Mercier +16' 16"
7  Sven-Åke Nilsson (SWE) Miko-Mercier +16' 33"
8  Ludo Peeters (BEL) IJsboerke-Warncke +20' 45"
9  Pierre Bazzo (FRA) La Redoute-Motobecane +21' 03"
10  Henk Lubberding (NED) TI-Raleigh +21' 10"

Doping cases[edit]

Shortly before the start of the Tour, it was announced that Dietrich Thurau had tested positive in his national championship. He was allowed to start the Tour while his B-sample was being tested.[24] His B-sample gave a negative result, so he could continue the Tour.[25]

On the day of the final time trial, when it was all but clear that Zoetemelk would be the winner, tour director Jacques Goddet wrote in the newspaper l'Équipe that the only thing that could keep Zoetemelk away from a Tour victory was the drug tests for anabolic products after the eighteenth stage. As the director, Goddet was well-informed about drug tests, and many journalists speculated that his comments meant that Zoetemelk's A-sample had returned positive. Zoetemelk had tested positive for anabolic products before, in the 1978 Tour de France, and was not happy about the insinuations. Tour co-director Félix Lévitan apologized for Goddet's choice of words.[26]

At the end of the Tour, it was announced that all doping tests had returned negative.[27]


After it was said that Zoetemelk only won because Hinault abandoned, Zoetemelk replied "Surely winning the Tour is a question of health and robustness? If Hinault does not have that health and robustness and I have, that makes me a valid winner."[9] Hinault agreed to that, saying that it was the absent rider (Hinault) who is at fault, not the one who replaces him.[9]

Hinault's knee problems were solved before the 1980 UCI Road World Championships, which he won.[9]


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  3. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra - Other Classifications & Awards". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d "67ème Tour de France 1980" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Ander gevecht om laatste plaats". Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (in Dutch). De Krant van Toen. 10 October 1979. p. 35. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
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  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2008). The Story of the Tour De France: 1965-2007. Dog Ear Publishing. pp. 122–129. ISBN 1-59858-608-4. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
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  11. ^ "Levitan weigert parcours". Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (in Dutch) (De Krant van Toen). 2 July 1980. p. 25. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c d Boyce, Barry (2010). "Zoetemelk’s Shinning Moment". Cycling Revealed. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 15 Aug 2011. 
  15. ^ a b c Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  16. ^ "TDF guides: White jersey". TeamSky.com. BSkyB. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  17. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Intermediate Sprints Classification". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  18. ^ "Wat is er te winnen...". Het vrije volk (in Dutch) (De Arbeiderspers). 26 June 1980. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
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  20. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Other Classifications & Awards". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Clasificaciones". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 21 July 1980. p. 32. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  22. ^ a b "Tourteller". Limburgsch dagblad (in Dutch) (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). 21 July 1980. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  23. ^ a b c "Laatste Touruitslagen". Leeuwarder Courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 21 July 1980. p. 13. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  24. ^ "Thurau positief". Leidsche Courant (in Dutch) (Regionaal Archief Leiden). 27 June 1980. p. 15. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Thurau: toch negatief". Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch) (Regionaal Archief Leiden). 4 July 1980. p. 13. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  26. ^ "Joop Zoetemelk: "Goddet braakt pure onzin uit"". Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch) (Regionaal Archief Leiden). 19 July 1980. p. 10. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Geen doping ontdekt in de Tour". Nieuwe Leidsche Courant (in Dutch) (Regionaal Archief Leiden). 21 July 1980. p. 9. Retrieved 16 July 2013.