1985 Tour de France

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1985 Tour de France
Route of the 1985 Tour de France.png
Route of the 1985 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 28 June–21 July 1985
Stages 22+Prologue, including one split stage
Distance 4,109 km (2,553 mi)
Winning time 113h 24' 23"
Winner  Bernard Hinault (France) (La Vie Claire)
Second  Greg LeMond (United States) (La Vie Claire)
Third  Stephen Roche (Ireland) (La Redoute)

Points  Sean Kelly (Ireland) (Skil)
Mountains  Luis Herrera (Colombia) (Cafe de Colombia)
Youth  Fabio Parra (Colombia) (Cafe de Colombia)
Combination  Greg LeMond (United States) (La Vie Claire)
Sprints  Jozef Lieckens (Belgium) (Lotto)
Team La Vie Claire
Team Points La Vie Claire

The 1985 Tour de France was the 72nd Tour de France, taking place June 28 to July 21, 1985, over 4109 km in 22 stages and a prologue.[1]

Bernard Hinault would attempt to equal the records of Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx who had each won the Tour de France five times. Hinault was unable to compete due to tendinitis in 1983. In 1984 Hinault had finished second to Laurent Fignon, and was threatened by Greg LeMond who ended in third position on the final podium. In order to ensure the best support, Hinault's La Vie Claire team recruited LeMond for the 1985 tour. In return for his support, Hinault promised on television that he would support LeMond the following year in the 1986 Tour de France.

Despite crashing on a fast descent and riding with black eyes due to his injuries, Hinault won and publicly again stated his promise to help LeMond the following year.

Differences from the 1984 Tour de France[edit]

The combination jersey for the combination classification was introduced in 1985. The points system for the mountains classification was changed: mountains in the toughest categories gave more points, to reduce the influence of the minor hills on this classification. The system for the points classification was also changed: in previous years, more points were earned in flat stages than in mountain stages, which gave sprinters an advantage in this classification; in 1984 all stages gave 25 points for the winner.[2]


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1985 Tour de France.

In June 1985, 21 teams had requested to start in the 1985 Tour.[3] Three Italian teams, (Gis, Alpilatte and Malvor) withdrew, so the 1985 Tour started with 18 teams. Each team had 10 cyclists, so the 1985 Tour started with 180 cyclists. The 18 teams were:[4]

  • Zor-Novotel
  • Lotto
  • Verandalux-Nissan
  • Seat-Orbea
  • Santini-Selle Italia
  • Tonissteiner

Laurent Fignon, the winner of the 1984 Tour de France was injured, and could not defend his title. Riding for the La Vie Claire team, Bernard Hinault, who already had won the Tour de France four times, and finished second in the previous two editions, was the main pre-race favourite.[5]

Greg LeMond had finished in third place in 1984 as a team mate of Fignon, and was also considered capable of winning the Tour. LeMond had however changed teams, and was now a team mate of Hinault. There was no clear team leader decided before the Tour; their team decided that they would ride for whoever was showing the best results.[5]

Race details[edit]

Hinault won the prologue, with LeMond in fifth place. Hinault lost the lead in the next stage to Eric Vanderaerden because of time bonuses, but the relative margin to LeMond stayed the same.[5]

The La Vie Claire team showed that they were dominant by winning the team time trial in stage 3. Vanderaerden kept his lead, but places 2 to 9 in the general classification were taken by riders from the La Vie Claire team, with Hinault in second place and LeMond in fourth place.

In the fourth stage, Kim Andersen from the La Vie Claire team was part of a successful breakaway, and became the new leader.[5] LeMond collected some time bonuses in the fifth and sixth stage, which put him two seconds ahead of Hinault in the general classification. In the sixth stage, he initially finished fourth, but initial winner Vanderaerden and second-placed Sean Kelly were relegated for not sprinting according to the rules, making Francis Castaing the stage winner.[5]

Hinault was a time trial expert, which he showed in the individual time trial of stage 8. He beat al the other cyclists by more than two minutes, and became the new leader in the general classification. In that time trial, Dietrich Thurau was penalized for drafting to close to another cyclist. At the start of the next stage, Thurau was still angry and attacked a race official, and was removed from the race.[5]

The next challenge for the general classification was in the first mountain stage, stage eleven. Hinault attacked early in the stage, together with Luis Herrera. Herrera was already far behind in the general classification, but was interested in the mountains classification. Hinault and Herrera worked together: Hinault was only interested in the time gains, and Herrera was only interested in reaching the mountain tops first. Herrera won the stage, with Hinault seven seconds back. LeMond had to stay in the next group, because team tactics did not allow him to attack his team mate.[5]

Stage thirteen was run as an individual time trial. Hinault was not so strong anymore, and did not win the stage, but still won time on LeMond, who was now in second place in the general classification, more than five minutes behind Hinault.[5]

In stage fourteen, Herrera attacked early again to win points for the mountain classification. He was followed by a group of eight cyclists, including LeMond but not Hinault. Herrera won the stage, with the LeMond group reaching the finish one minute later. One minute after that, the group with Hinault reached the finish, but less than one kilometer from the finish, Hinault and five other cyclists crashed. The rules of the Tour says that time losses due to crashes in the last kilometer are not counted, but a cyclists has to reach the finish on his own strengths. Hinault, still on the ground, was checked by the Tour doctor for some minutes, but was able to get back on his bike and finish the stage, his face all covered with blood. His nose was broken, and breathing was more difficult than normal.[5]

Hinault survived the next two flat stages, but ran into problems in the seventeenth stage, with the Col d'Aspin, the Col du Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden. On the Tourmalet, Hinault had to let LeMond, Stephen Roche and Pedro Delgado go. Delgado then left on his own, with Roche chasing him, and LeMond staying close to Roche, who was the biggest threat in the general classification. LeMond felt that he was stronger, and asked his team director Paul Koechli permission to attack. Koechli refused that, and told LeMond to stay with Roche. LeMond stayed with Roche while some other cyclists caught up and Herrera and Fabio Parra went clear of the group. At the end of the stage, LeMond finished almost three minutes behind Delgado, with Hinault a further minute behind. In the general classification, Hinault remained in front, with LeMond 2 minutes 25 seconds behind.[5]

LeMond was frustrated after the stage, because he felt that he could have won the stage, and could have led the general classification for a few days. Hinault, who knew that his Tour victory was now certain only because LeMond had been waiting for him, promised that in the next edition, he would help LeMond to win the Tour.[5]

In the remaining stages, Hinaults lead was not seriously challenged. LeMond was able to win the individual time trial in stage 21, his first Tour stage victory.[6]


The 1985 Tour de France started on 28 June, and had one rest day, in Villard-de-Lans.[7]

Stage results[4][8]
Stage Date Route Terrain Length Winner
P 28 June Plumelec Individual time trial 6 km (3.7 mi)  Bernard Hinault (FRA)
1 29 June VannesLanester Plain stage 256 km (159 mi)  Rudy Matthijs (BEL)
2 30 June LorientVitre Plain stage 242 km (150 mi)  Rudy Matthijs (BEL)
3 1 July Vitre – Fougères Team time trial 73 km (45 mi) La Vie Claire
4 2 July Fougères – Pont-Audemer Plain stage 239 km (149 mi)  Gerrit Solleveld (NED)
5 3 July Neufchâtel-en-BrayRoubaix Plain stage 224 km (139 mi)  Henri Manders (NED)
6 4 July Roubaix – Reims Plain stage 222 km (138 mi)  Francis Castaing (FRA)
7 5 July Reims – Nancy Plain stage 217 km (135 mi)  Ludwig Wijnants (BEL)
8 6 July SarrebourgStrasbourg Individual time trial 75 km (47 mi)  Bernard Hinault (FRA)
9 7 July Strasbourg – Épinal Hilly stage 174 km (108 mi)  Maarten Ducrot (NED)
10 8 July Épinal – Pontarlier Hilly stage 204 km (127 mi)  Jørgen V. Pedersen (DEN)
11 9 July Pontarlier – Morzine Avoriaz Stage with mountain(s) 195 km (121 mi)  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL)
12 10 July Morzine Avoriaz – Lans-en-Vercors Stage with mountain(s) 269 km (167 mi)  Fabio Enrique Parra (COL)
13 11 July Villard-de-Lans Individual time trial 32 km (20 mi)  Eric Vanderaerden (BEL)
14 13 July AutransSaint-Étienne Hilly stage 179 km (111 mi)  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL)
15 14 July Saint-Étienne – Aurillac Plain stage 238 km (148 mi)  Eduardo Chozas (ESP)
16 15 July Aurillac – Toulouse Plain stage 247 km (153 mi)  Frédéric Vichot (FRA)
17 16 July Toulouse – Luz Ardiden Stage with mountain(s) 209 km (130 mi)  Pedro Delgado (ESP)
18A 17 July Luz-Saint-SauveurAubisque Stage with mountain(s) 53 km (33 mi)  Stephen Roche (IRE)
18B LarunsPau Stage with mountain(s) 83 km (52 mi)  Régis Simon (FRA)
19 18 July Pau – Bordeaux Plain stage 203 km (126 mi)  Eric Vanderaerden (BEL)
20 19 July Montpon-MénestérolLimoges Plain stage 225 km (140 mi)  Johan Lammerts (NED)
21 20 July Lac de Vassivière Individual time trial 46 km (29 mi)  Greg LeMond (USA)
22 21 July OrléansParis (Champs-Élysées) Plain stage 196 km (122 mi)  Rudy Matthijs (BEL)


There were several classifications in the 1985 Tour de France, six 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.[9]

Additionally, there was a points classification, where cyclists were given 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.[9]

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.[9]

There was also a combination classification. This classification was calculated as a combination of the other classifications, its leader wore the combination jersey.[10]

Another classification was the debutant classification. This was decided the same way as the general classification, but only riders that rode the Tour for the first time were eligible, and the leader wore a white jersey.[9]

The sixth individual classification was the intermediate sprints classification. This classification had similar rules as the points classification, but only points were awarded on intermediate sprints. Its leader wore a red jersey.[11]

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.[12]

General classification[edit]

Final general classification (1–10)[4][13][14]
Rank Name Team Time
1  Bernard Hinault (FRA) La Vie Claire 113h 24' 23"
2  Greg LeMond (USA) La Vie Claire +1' 42"
3  Stephen Roche (IRE) La Redoute +4' 29"
4  Sean Kelly (IRE) Skil-Sem-Kas +6' 26"
5  Phil Anderson (AUS) Panasonic +7' 44"
6  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Orbea +11' 53"
7  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL) Cafe de Colombia-Varta-Mavic +12' 53"
8  Fabio Enrique Parra (COL) Cafe de Colombia-Varta-Mavic +13' 35"
9  Eduardo Chozas (ESP) Reynolds-T.S Batteries +13' 56"
10  Steve Bauer (CAN) La Vie Claire +14' 57"

Points classification[edit]

Final points classification (1–7)[13][14]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Sean Kelly (IRE) Skil-Sem-Kas 434
2  Greg LeMond (USA) La Vie Claire 332
3  Stephen Roche (IRE) La Redoute 279
4  Bernard Hinault (FRA) La Vie Claire 266
5  Eric Vanderaerden (BEL) Panasonic 258
6  Phil Anderson (AUS) Panasonic 244
7  Adrie van der Poel (NED) Kwantum 199

Mountains classification[edit]

Final mountains classification (1–6)[13]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL) Cafe de Colombia-Varta-Mavic 440
2  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Orbea 274
3  Robert Millar (GBR) Peugeot 270
4  Greg LeMond (USA) La Vie Claire 214
5  Reynel Montoya (COL) Cafe de Colombia-Varta-Mavic 190
6  Bernard Hinault (FRA) La Vie Claire 165

Team classification[edit]

Final team classification (1–5)[13]
Rank Team Time
1 La Vie Claire 340h 21' 09"
2 Panasonic +27' 10"
3 Peugeot +40' 54"
4 Skil +46' 51"
5 La Redoute +53' 57"

Combination classification[edit]

Final combination classification (1–7)[13]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Greg LeMond (USA) La Vie Claire 91
2  Sean Kelly (IRE) Skil-Sem-Kas 85
3  Bernard Hinault (FRA) La Vie Claire 76
4  Stephen Roche (IRE) La Redoute 63
5  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL) Cafe de Colombia-Varta-Mavic 62
6  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Orbea 60
7  Eduardo Chozas (ESP) Reynolds-T.S Batteries 57

Debutant classification[edit]

Debutant classification (1–5)[13][14]
Rank Name Team Time
1  Fabio Enrique Parra (COL) Cafe de Colombia-Varta-Mavic 113h 37' 58"
2  Eduardo Chozas (ESP) Reynolds-T.S Batteries +21"
3  Steve Bauer (CAN) La Vie Claire +1' 22"
4  Robert Forest (FRA) Peugeot +4' 10"
5  Álvaro Pino (ESP) Zor +8' 00"

Intermediate sprints classification[edit]

Intermediate sprints classification (1–5)[13][14]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Jozef Lieckens (BEL) Lotto-Eddy Merckx-Campagnolo 162
2  Eduardo Chozas (ESP) Reynolds-T.S Batteries 67
3  Sean Kelly (IRE) Skil-Sem-Kas 59
4  Steve Bauer (CAN) La Vie Claire 54
5  Greg LeMond (USA) La Vie Claire 51


In previous years, cyclists tied their shoes to their pedals with toe-clips, allowing them to not only push the pedals down but also pull them up. In 1985, Hinault had used clip-ins (clipless pedals), which allowed the shoes to snap into the pedal. His victory in this Tour made these clip-ins popular.[15]

There was some criticism that the time trials were too important. If the time trials would have not counted towards the general classification, the result would have been as follows:[16]

Rank Name Team Time gap
1  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL) Cafe de Colombia-Varta-Mavic
2  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Orbea +16"
3  Greg LeMond (USA) La Vie Claire +2' 28"
4  Fabio Enrique Parra (COL) Cafe de Colombia-Varta-Mavic +2' 52"
5  Stephen Roche (IRE) La Redoute +4' 22"
6  Eduardo Chozas (ESP) Reynolds-T.S Batteries +4' 27"
7  Sean Kelly (IRE) Skil-Sem-Kas +4' 32"
8  Bernard Hinault (FRA) La Vie Claire +4' 47"
9  Robert Millar (GBR) Peugeot +6' 21"
10  Peter Winnen (NED) Panasonic +6' 55"

The total length of the time trials reduced from 223 kilometres (139 mi) in 1985 to 180 kilometres (110 mi) in 1986.[17] Tour director Levitan felt after the 1985 Tour de France that the race had been too easy, and made the course in 1986 extra difficult, including more mountain climbs than before.[18]

After every stage, around four cyclists had been selected for the doping controls. None of these cyclists tested positive for doping.[19]


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  2. ^ "Ruim ton voor winnaar". Het Vrije Volk (in Dutch) (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). 28 June 1985. p. 21. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Record-aantal ploegen in Tour". Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (in Dutch) (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). 15 June 1985. p. 23. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "72ème Tour de France 1985" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2008). The Story of the Tour de France: 1965–2007. Dog Ear Publishering. ISBN 1-59858-608-4. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "1985 Tour de France". Bikeraceinfo.com. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 15 Aug 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Other Classifications & Awards". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Intermediate Sprints Classification". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0679729364. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "Clasificaciones oficiales". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 22 July 1985. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Tour in cijfers". Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch) (Regionaal Archief Leiden). 22 July 1985. p. 10. 
  15. ^ Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill (2011). Historical Dictionary of Cycling. Historical Dictionaries of Sports. Scarecrow Press. p. 157. ISBN 0810871750. 
  16. ^ Nelissen, Jean (22 July 1985). "Hinault populairder dan ooit". Leidsche Courant (in Dutch) (Regionaal Archief Leiden). p. 9. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "73ème Tour de France 1986" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  18. ^ "Hinault boos op Tourbaas Levitan". Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch) (Regionaal archief Leiden). 9 October 1985. p. 15. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Geen nieuws van het dopingfront". Leidsche Courant (in Dutch) (Regionaal Archief Leiden). 22 July 1985. p. 22. Retrieved 29 April 2012.