1989 Tour de France

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1989 Tour de France
Map of France with the route of the 1989 Tour de France
Route of the 1989 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 1–23 July
Stages 21 + Prologue
Distance 3,285 km (2,041 mi)
Winning time 87h 38' 35"
Winner  Greg LeMond (USA) (AD Renting–W-Cup–Bottecchia)
  Second  Laurent Fignon (FRA) (Super U–Raleigh–Fiat)
  Third  Pedro Delgado (ESP) (Reynolds)

Points  Sean Kelly (IRE) (PDM–Concorde)
Mountains  Gert-Jan Theunisse (NED) (PDM–Concorde)
  Youth  Fabrice Philipot (FRA) (Toshiba)
Combination  Steven Rooks (NED) (PDM–Concorde)
Sprints  Sean Kelly (IRE) (PDM–Concorde)
  Combativity  Laurent Fignon (FRA) (Super U–Raleigh–Fiat)
  Team PDM–Concorde
← 1988
1990 →

The 1989 Tour de France was the 76th edition of the Tour de France, a race of 21 stages and a prologue, over 3,285 km (2,041 mi).

All of the decisive racing took place in the time trials and mountain stages. There was no significant changes among the genuine contenders in the plain stages. In the four individual races against the clock, Fignon managed no better against LeMond than matching his time in the prologue. In the other three individual time trials LeMond gained time on his principal rival. In the closest tour in history, 1986 Tour champion Greg LeMond was trailing two-time champion Laurent Fignon by fifty seconds at the start of the final stage, a time trial into Paris. LeMond rode for an average speed of 54.55 km/h (34.093 mph), the second fastest time trial ever ridden in the Tour de France, and won the stage. Fignon's time in the stage was fifty-eight seconds slower than LeMond's, costing him the victory and giving LeMond his second Tour title. The final margin of victory was only eight seconds. From stage 5 onwards, LeMond and Fignon were the only two men to lead the race. The two men were never separated by more than 53 seconds throughout the 1989 Tour. Defending Tour winner Pedro Delgado finished third to join LeMond and Fignon on the podium.

The strength of the PDM team was reflected by not only winning the team classification and having four cyclists in the top ten of the general classification, but also by winning four of the five secondary individual classifications: Sean Kelly won both the points and intermediate sprints classifications, Gert-Jan Theunisse won the mountains classification and Steven Rooks won the combination classification. The young rider classification was won by French Fabrice Philipot from the Toshiba team.


The Tour organisation invited 22 teams to the Tour, with 9 cyclists each.[1] Three additional wildcards were given.[2]

The teams entering the race were:[1]

Qualified teams

Invited teams

Pre-race favourites[edit]

Defending champion Pedro Delgado (pictured in 2016) was considered the strongest favourite for victory.

Before the 1989 Tour began, Pedro Delgado (Reynolds), the defending champion, was considered the strongest favourite to win the race. He had taken the title the previous year in convincing fashion, with a lead of over seven minutes. Prior to the Tour, Delgado had also won the 1989 Vuelta a España, and was therefore considered to be in good form. However, controversy around a failed doping test during the 1988 Tour put a cloud of suspicion over the reigning champion.[3]

Behind Delgado, the next-best chances of overall victory were given to Laurent Fignon (Super U–Raleigh–Fiat). The Frenchman had won the Tour in 1983 and 1984, but his form in subsequent years had been inconsistent. In 1989 however, a victory at Milan–San Remo and more importantly, the three-week Grand Tour in Italy, the Giro d'Italia had propelled Fignon back into the spotlight. A strong Super U team surrounding him were also named in his favour.[4]

Stephen Roche (Fagor–MBK) had won the Tour in 1987 ahead of Delgado. However, a knee injury had forced him to miss the race in 1988. A strong spring season with victory at the Tour of the Basque Country, second place at Paris–Nice and a top-ten placing at the Giro d'Italia made it seem that Roche was starting to refind his form.[5]

Several other riders were named as being favourites for a high place in the general classification. Charly Mottet (RMO), fourth overall in 1987, had won the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré shortly before the Tour started and was ranked number one in the UCI Road World Rankings. This position had previously been held by Sean Kelly (PDM–Concorde) for five straight years. However, Kelly had never been a strong contender for the general classification, bar an overall victory at the 1988 Vuelta a España. Next to targeting a high place in the overall rankings, Kelly hoped to secure a record-breaking fourth win in the points classification. Kelly's PDM squad also had two talented Dutch riders in their ranks with hopes of a high finish: Steven Rooks, second the year before and Gert-Jan Theunisse. Since PDM had elected not to start both the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España earlier in the season, the team hoped that their riders, without an additional three-week race in their legs, would be fresher than their rivals.[6] Additional favourites included Erik Breukink (Panasonic–Isostar), Andy Hampsten (7-Eleven), Steve Bauer (Helvetia–La Suisse), Fabio Parra (Kelme) and Robert Millar (Z–Peugeot).[7][a]

According to Sports Illustrated, Greg LeMond's "name was never mentioned among the pre-race favorites".[9] LeMond had finished every Tour he had entered up to this point on the podium, including the first-ever victory for an American rider in 1986. A hunting accident on Easter of 1987 severely interrupted his career. He was accidentally shot by his brother-in-law, with about 60 pellets hitting his body. An emergency surgery saved his life, but LeMond struggled to return to professional cycling, leaving the successful PDM team at the end of 1988 and joining the relatively small ADR team. His team was not considered strong enough to help him during stage races. Furthermore, LeMond had not been paid by his team over the course of 1989 before the Tour started. Even the fee for a wildcard entry into the Tour itself was secured only when LeMond himself arranged additional sponsorship. With poor performances at both the inaugural Tour de Trump and the Giro d'Italia, LeMond's chances at the Tour de France looked slim.[10] However, he had placed second in the final time trial at the Giro, taking more than a minute out of eventual winner Fignon. This led to Super U's team manager Cyrille Guimard commenting to Fignon: "LeMond will be dangerous at the Tour."[11]

There were also two future winners in the line-up who had not yet won the race at that point in their careers. Future five-times winner Miguel Indurain (Indurain's 25th birthday was during the '89 Tour) was riding his fifth tour. At this point, he rode as a support rider for Delgado. Bjarne Riis, aged 25, rode the 1989 tour supporting his teammate, Laurent Fignon. Riis won the 1996 Tour de France, the year after the last of Indurain's wins.

Route and stages[edit]

The route of the 1989 Tour was unveiled in October of 1988. With a distance of 3,285 km (2,041 mi), it was the shortest edition of the race for more than eighty years.[12] The race started on 1 July with a prologue time trial, followed by 21 stages. The race lasted 23 days, including two rest days. On the second day of the race, two stages were held, a plain road stage followed by a team time trial.[1] There were two transfers. The first was from Wasquehal to Dinard on a rest day in between stages 4 and 5. The second was between L'Isle d'Abeau and Versailles after the finish of the penultimate stage. The second rest day was after the mountain time trial stage 15. The race ended on July 23.[1]

The race started outside France, specifically in Luxembourg before then transiting through the Wallonia region of Belgium. The route then took an anti-clockwise circuit through France visiting the Pyrenees prior to the Alps. The race consisted of seven mountain stages, two Pyrenean and five Alpine. In total there were five time trials including the prologue.[1] Unusually, the last of the time trials was held on the last stage of the race, finishing on the Champs-Élysées. This had been the idea of former race director Jean-François Naquet-Radiguet, who had taken over the position from Jacques Goddet and Félix Lévitan in May of 1987. Naquet-Radiguet was unpopular in France and was replaced by Jean-Marie Leblanc before the 1989 route was announced, yet the final-day time trial remained. It was the first time that the Tour ended with a time trial since 1968, when Jan Janssen overcame a 16-second deficit to Herman Van Springel to win the Tour by 38 seconds, the smallest margin up to 1989.[13]

Stage characteristics and winners[1][14]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 1 July Luxembourg City (Luxembourg) 7.8 km (4.8 mi) Individual time trial  Erik Breukink (NED)
1 2 July Luxembourg City (Luxembourg) 135.5 km (84.2 mi) Plain stage  Acácio da Silva (POR)
2 Luxembourg City (Luxembourg) 46 km (29 mi) Team time trial  Super U–Raleigh–Fiat
3 3 July Luxembourg City (Luxembourg) to Spa (Belgium) 241 km (150 mi) Plain stage  Raúl Alcalá (MEX)
4 4 July Liège (Belgium) to Wasquehal 255 km (158 mi) Flat cobblestone stage  Jelle Nijdam (NED)
5 July Dinard Rest day
5 6 July Dinard to Rennes 73 km (45 mi) Individual time trial  Greg LeMond (USA)
6 7 July Rennes to Futuroscope 259 km (161 mi) Plain stage  Joël Pelier (FRA)
7 8 July Poitiers to Bordeaux 258.5 km (160.6 mi) Plain stage  Etienne De Wilde (BEL)
8 9 July Labastide-d'Armagnac to Pau 157 km (98 mi) Plain stage  Martin Earley (IRE)
9 10 July Pau to Cauterets 147 km (91 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Miguel Induráin (ESP)
10 11 July Cauterets to Superbagnères 136 km (85 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Robert Millar (GBR)
11 12 July Luchon to Blagnac 158.5 km (98.5 mi) Plain stage  Mathieu Hermans (NED)
12 13 July Toulouse to Montpellier 242 km (150 mi) Plain stage  Valerio Tebaldi (ITA)
13 14 July Montpellier to Marseille 179 km (111 mi) Plain stage  Vincent Barteau (FRA)
14 15 July Marseille to Gap 240 km (150 mi) Hilly stage  Jelle Nijdam (NED)
15 16 July Gap to Orcières-Merlette 39 km (24 mi) Mountain time trial  Steven Rooks (NED)
17 July Orcières-Merlette Rest day
16 18 July Gap to Briançon 175 km (109 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Pascal Richard (SUI)
17 19 July Briançon to Alpe d'Huez 165 km (103 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Gert-Jan Theunisse (NED)
18 20 July Le Bourg-d'Oisans to Villard-de-Lans 91.5 km (56.9 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Laurent Fignon (FRA)
19 21 July Villard-de-Lans to Aix-les-Bains 125 km (78 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Greg LeMond (USA)
20 22 July Aix-les-Bains to L'Isle-d'Abeau 130 km (81 mi) Plain stage  Giovanni Fidanza (ITA)
21 23 July Versailles to Paris (Champs-Élysées) 24.5 km (15.2 mi) Individual time trial  Greg LeMond (USA)
Total 3,285 km (2,041 mi)[15]

Race overview[edit]

Early stages[edit]

Greg LeMond after stage one in Luxembourg City

The opening prologue time trial in Luxembourg City was won by Breukink, with Fignon, Kelly and a surprising LeMond in second to fourth place respectively, all six seconds slower.[16] The dominant story of the day however was defending champion Delgado. Having warmed up away from the crowd a few hundred yards from the start ramp, he missed his start time with his team unable to find him. He eventually left 2:40 minutes after his designated start, with what time he missed being added on. He eventually finished last on the stage, 2:54 minutes down on Breukink.[17] Though he had conceded only a third of his winning margin from the previous year's Tour, and was therefore still not to be counted out,[18] riders such as Laurent Fignon felt that "victory in the Tour was already a distant memory for him" at this stage.[19]

Delgado would lose even more time on the second day of the race. On the first stage, Acácio da Silva (Carrera Jeans–Vagabond) won from a breakaway group to become the first Portuguese rider to wear the yellow jersey. Delgado attacked from the main field (peloton) on the final steep climb before the finish, but his efforts were brought back.[20] In the team time trial in the afternoon, Delgado fell further back, as he struggled to keep up and his Reynolds team finished last on the stage. He was still in last place on the general classification, almost ten minutes behind the yellow jersey. The race lead was retained by da Silva, but the victory went to Fignon's Super U team. He was now in third place, having taken 51 seconds out of LeMond, whose ADR squad finished fifth.[21]

The third stage, finishing at the racing circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, was won by Raúl Alcalá (PDM–Concorde), who got the best of a five-man breakaway group up the climb to the line.[22] Da Silva retained the jersey and would do so the next day as well. The fourth stage, which contained cobbled sections, was won by Jelle Nijdam (Superconfex–Yoko–Opel–Colnago). He rode away from the peloton shortly before the finish and held on with three seconds in hand at the line.[23]

"When you see a rider do a time trial like that over 73 kilometres, you know they are in good form. Everyone noticed."
Sean Kelly commenting on Greg LeMond's victory on stage five.[24]

In the stage 5 time trial, LeMond surprised again by winning it and taking the yellow jersey by five seconds ahead of Fignon. Delgado placed second on the stage, 24 seconds behind with Fignon in third a further 32 seconds behind. LeMond's victory was aided by the use of tribars, formerly seen in triathlon events, which allowed him a more aerodynamic position on the bike. The 7-Eleven team had used them at the Tour de Trump earlier in the year and LeMond adopted their use for the Tour de France to great effect.[25] Fignon and his team director Guimard felt that the tribars were not within the regulations, since they only allowed three support points for the rider on the bike. However, they did not issue a complaint, a fact lamented by Fignon in his 2010 autobiography.[26][b]

Stage 6, the longest of the race, proved unremarkable to the main classifications, but produced a human interest story: French domestique Joël Pelier (BH) had never been watched in his professional career by his mother, who was dedicated to caring for Pelier's severely disabled sibling. Unbeknownst to Pelier, his parents were waiting for him at the finish line, with his brother in a residential home for the week. Pelier, spurred on by his team manager, attacked with 180 km (110 mi) of the windy and wet stage remaining. He held an advantage of up to 25 minutes at one point, but suffered during the later part. Eventually, he won the stage one-and-a-half minutes ahead of the field and had a tear-filled reunion with his parents. It was the then second-longest breakaway in Tour de France history after Albert Bourlon's in 1947, and has since been surpassed by Thierry Marie.[28]

The next two stages were relatively uneventful. Stage 7 was won by Etienne De Wilde (Histor–Sigma) from a group of four riders who were slightly clear of the field.[29] The next day, a four-man breakaway stayed clear of the peloton, with Martin Earley (PDM–Concorde) taking victory. Fignon put in an attack during the stage, but was brought back.[30]


Next followed two stages set in the Pyrenean mountains. On stage 9 from Pau to Cauterets, future five-time Tour winner Miguel Induráin attacked on the bottom of the Col d'Aubisque and led the race for the rest of the day. He was followed by two riders of the BH team, Anselmo Fuerte and Javier Murguialday. At one point more than six minutes ahead of the group containing the race favourites, Induráin slowed during the final ascent at Cauterets, but held on to the stage win ahead of Fuerte by 27 seconds. Behind them, Mottet attacked from the peloton, with Delgado following and soon overtaking him. Delgado finished third on the stage and regained 27 seconds on Fignon and LeMond.[31] It was on this stage that Fignon started to complain about LeMond riding too defensively, accusing him of not putting any work in to counter attacks. He later wrote in his autobiography: "All he did was sit tight and take advantage of the work I put in. To be honest, it was extremely frustrating."[32] LeMond defended his tactics, claiming that as the leader it was not for him to push.[33] Former race winner Stephen Roche hit his already injured knee on his handlebars on the descent of the Col de Marie-Blanque, reaching the finish under extreme pain many minutes behind the other favourites. He was not to start the next stage.[34]

The second Pyrenean stage ended at the ski resort of Superbagnères. Robert Millar and Charly Mottet attacked on the approach to the climb of the Col du Tourmalet. Behind them, Fignon suffered a weak moment on the climb and allegedly held on to a photographer riding on a motorcycle, without the race directors handing out any punishment for the offence.[c] Delgado attacked towards the end of the climb and reached Millar and Mottet after the descent of the Tourmalet. Together, they reached Superbagnères, where Delgado attacked but was recaptured by Millar, who took the stage victory. Mottet was third, 19 seconds down. Rooks and Theunisse led the next group, containing Fignon, into the finish. Fignon had attacked LeMond within the final kilometre of the stage, taking twelve seconds on the overall classification and with it the yellow jersey. The order in the overall standings after the first mountain stages was Fignon ahead of LeMond by seven seconds, followed by Mottet a further 50 seconds behind. Delgado had moved up to fourth, now within three minutes of Fignon.[36]

Transition stages and Bastille Day bicentenary[edit]

Stage 11 from Luchon to Blagnac had a flat profile. Rudy Dhaenens (PDM–Concorde) attacked from a six-man breakaway just as it was caught by the peloton. With just a couple of hundred metres left and the stage win almost certainly in his hands, Dheanens misjudged his speed going through a corner and crashed, allowing the rest of the field to pass him. Mathieu Hermans won the stage for the Paternina team. During the course of the stage, pre-race favourite Fabio Parra abandonded, as did his only remaining teammate, José Roncancio, meaning that the Kelme squad was entirely out of the race.[37] Stage 12 was interrupted by an ecologists' protests against a new waste plant, which aided a breakaway by Valerio Tebaldi (Chateau d'Ax) and Giancarlo Perini (Carrera Jeans–Vagabond). A crash in the peloton, impacting about 30 riders, further hindered the field. Tebaldi won the two-man sprint to take the stage. His 21-minute advantage was the highest ever margin between a stage winner and the main field.[38]

Stage 13 was held on the Bastille Day bicentenary, the two-hundredth anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution and France's main national holiday. The PDM team, on the insistence of their team director, attacked in the feed zone of the stage, thereby violating the unwritten rules of the field. They were brought back, but the acceleration split the peloton into two parts. Fignon attacked from the first group with Charly Mottet. Both stayed out ahead for about an hour before being recaptured. Then, two other riders broke free, Vincent Barteau (Super U–Raleigh–Fiat) and Jean-Claude Colotti (RMO). Barteau left Colotti behind on the hills around the finishing city of Marseille and went on to win the stage. Delgado was handed a ten-second time penalty for illegally accepting food outside the feed zone, while Erik Breukink retired from the race about 30 km (19 mi) from the finish.[39]

The next stage saw a repeat of Jelle Nijdam's exploit from stage 4. He again broke free of the field shortly before the finish line and held off his pursuers to take victory. The day's breakaway, which included Luis Herrera (Café de Colombia), a pre-race favourite who had so far disappointed, was caught within the last 1.5 km (0.93 mi) of the stage.[40]


The following five stage took the riders through the alpine mountains. The first of these, stage 15, was an individual time trial to the ski station at Orcières-Merlette. Induráin set a fast time of 1:11:25 hours, only to be outdone by Rooks, who six minutes later improved his time by 43 seconds. Theunisse was fastest up the second of the two climbs of the course, gathering more points in the King of the Mountains competition to move clear of rival Robert Millar. Of the true contenders for the overall victory, Delgado set the fastest times at all the check points, but slowed on the last climb to eventually finish the stage fourth, 48 seconds down on Rooks. He attributed his time loss to a worsening callus that would influence him for the remainder of the race. Behind Rooks, Marino Lejarreta (Paternina) was second fastest, moving into the top five overall. Greg LeMond meanwhile took back the yellow jersey from Fignon, finishing fifth on the stage, just nine seconds slower than Delgado. His advantage on Fignon at this stage was 40 seconds.[41]

The day after the second rest day, on the stage from Gap to Briançon, the riders faced the climbs of the Col de Vars and the Col d'Izoard. On the first of these climbs, Fignon and Mottet dropped back from the group of favourites, while LeMond stayed close to Delgado. Fignon and Mottet got back to the group on the descent, only for Delgado to attack on the climb of the Izoard. He was joined by LeMond, Theunisse and Mottet, while Fignon fell back once again. LeMond attacked after the descent, but on the slightly rising road towards the finish, Delgado made contact again to finish within the same time. Fignon meanwhile lost 13 seconds on LeMond. The two were now seperated by 53 seconds on the general classification, the widest the margin would be the entire Tour. Up ahead, Pascal Richard (Helvetia–La Suisse) won the stage from a breakaway.[42]

The final straight of Alpe d'Huez, which hosted the finish of stage 17

The stage 17 finish at Alpe d'Huez, well established as the blue riband of the mountain stages, was won this year by a lone breakaway ride by another PDM rider, Gert-Jan Theunisse of the Netherlands. Delgado and Fignon crossed the line together in second and third 1 min 19 secs ahead of fifth placed LeMond for Fignon to regain the yellow jersey with a lead overall of 26 seconds. Delgado, convincing winner the year before, now moved into third at 1 min 55 behind the leader. Also, for the first time in the race he was now within the 2 mins 40 of the yellow jersey that he had lost by missing his starting time on day 1. For Delgado though, this was the last time in the race in which he regained any time on either of the two men ahead of him and represented his high-water mark in the race. While he placed second on three stages in this year's race, he failed to win a Tour de France stage for the first time since 1984 when he had been unable to complete the race. Delgado had won back time in four mountain stages as well as in the stage 5 time trial. While the Spaniard would retain his third place to the race's end, he would lose time on the race leaders twice before the podium to eventually finish 3 mins 34 behind yellow. Theunisse's efforts had him now up to fourth in the GC with Mottet slipping from third to fifth.[1]

Fignon took Stage 18 at Villard-de-Lans extending his lead by a further 24 seconds to 50 seconds with LeMond finishing in the group of five behind Fignon. Delgado lost time on his two main rivals finishing in seventh on the day 12 seconds further back from LeMond. Of the seven mountain stages in the race, this was the only one where Delgado ended the day worse in his challenge to win the yellow jersey than he had been at the start of the stage.[1]

LeMond took the next stage (at Aix-les-Bains) in a mountain stage where the race's top four overall positioned riders plus Spain's Marino Lejarreta broke away from the rest of the field. LeMond outsprinted his rivals at the finish to mark the end of the mountains in that year's race. Fignon finished second in the stage in the same time as LeMond and still in yellow in the overall classification ahead of LeMond. Delgado at the end of his preferred terrain was placed third in the stage and also in the race overall. Theunisse similarly ended with a 4th place in both the stage and the overall placing with Lejarreta another to end the stage in the position that matched his position in the overall classification, in his case fifth. The stage finish order of LeMond, Fignon, Delgado, Theunisse, Lejarreta was also the order in which that year's tour would end.[1][43]


Greg Lemond during the final time trial

As the racers prepared for the final stage, it was learned that leader Fignon had developed saddle sores in stage 19, which gave him pain and made it impossible to sleep at night before the time trial. Although LeMond had been riding spectacular individual time trials throughout the Tour, the amount of time he had to make up was significant. French newspapers had prepared special editions with Fignon on the front page, preparing for his victory. The final stage from Versailles to Paris was billed as a showdown between Fignon and LeMond, but it was agreed that the task facing the 1986 champion was nearly impossible.[44] On the stage, LeMond innovatively used triathlon handlebars while Fignon rode a more conventional timetrial bike with bullhorn handlebars and disc wheels with a smaller wheel in the front. LeMond told his team not to give him his time splits as he wanted to ride all-out.

The final time trial was over a course approximately 25 kilometres (15.5 mi) long, with a net elevation loss of 75 metres (247 ft). The riders had a moderate tailwind. LeMond put his bike into a huge 55 x 12 gear. His effort was the fastest individual time trial for a distance longer than 10 km ever ridden. A November 1989 Bicycling Magazine article, supported by wind-tunnel data, estimated that LeMond may have gained 1 minute on Fignon through the use of the new aerobars.[45] He also could have gained 16 seconds by wearing his aero helmet with a slightly elongated tail section for better aerodynamics, while Fignon rode bare-headed with his ponytail exposed to the wind. Fignon did perhaps gain a 5-second advantage by using a disk front wheel, while LeMond used a 24-spoke bladed radially spoked front wheel. Fignon finished third in the final time trial with an average speed of 53.59 kilometres per hour (33.30 mph). His time was fifty-eight seconds slower than LeMond's, which gave the yellow jersey and the Tour title to the American. LeMond's final margin of victory over Fignon was eight seconds. Another change in the general classification top 10 produced by the time trial was Kelly finishing ninth in the GC overtaking Millar by 21 seconds.[43]

Greg LeMond won the most stages with three, two of which were time trials. Fignon and Barteau each had 2 wins with one of these being in the team trial.[1] The only rider to win more than one individual road race stage was the Dutchman Jelle Nijdam, who won on two long days with no large mountains. The nation with the greatest number of stage wins was Netherlands with six (Breukink, Nijdam x 2, Mathieu Hermans, Rooks and Theunisse) The race team to win the most stages was PDM with four (Alcalá, Martin Earley, Rooks and Theunisse).[1]

Classification leadership[edit]

There were several classifications in the 1989 Tour de France. 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.[46] LeMond won the general classification. Fignon spent the most stages as leader with nine ahead of LeMond's eight. In all during the race the leader changed seven times. The only other two riders to lead the general classification in 1989 were Breukink for 1 day after the prologue and then da Silva for the 4 days subsequent to Breukink.[1] Delgado wore the yellow jersey on the prologue as the winner of the previous edition.[47]

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.[46]

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.[46]

For the last time, there was a combination classification. This classification was calculated as a combination of the other classifications, its leader wore the combination jersey.[48]

Also for the last time, the intermediate sprints classification was calculated. This classification had similar rules as the points classification, but only points were awarded on intermediate sprints. Its leader wore a red jersey.[49]

The sixth individual classification was the young rider classification, which was not marked by a jersey. This was decided the same way as the general classification, but only riders under 25 years were eligible.[46]

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.[50]

The combativity award was given to Laurent Fignon.[1]

Classification leadership by stage
Stage Winner General classification
A yellow jersey.
Points classification
A green jersey
Mountains classification
A white jersey with red polka dots.
Young rider classification[d] Team classification
P Erik Breukink Erik Breukink Erik Breukink no award
1 Acácio da Silva Acácio da Silva Søren Lilholt Roland Le Clerc
2 Super U–Raleigh–Fiat Super U–Raleigh–Fiat
3 Raúl Alcalá Acácio da Silva Thierry Claveyrolat
4 Jelle Nijdam Søren Lilholt
5 Greg LeMond Greg LeMond
6 Joël Pelier
7 Etienne De Wilde Seán Kelly
8 Martin Earley
9 Miguel Indurain Miguel Indurain
10 Robert Millar Laurent Fignon Gert-Jan Theunisse PDM–Concorde
11 Mathieu Hermans
12 Valerio Tebaldi
13 Vincent Barteau Reynolds
14 Jelle Nijdam
15 Steven Rooks Greg LeMond
16 Pascal Richard
17 Gert-Jan Theunisse Laurent Fignon
18 Laurent Fignon PDM–Concorde
19 Greg LeMond
20 Giovanni Fidanza
21 Greg LeMond Greg LeMond Fabrice Philipot
Final Greg LeMond Seán Kelly Gert-Jan Theunisse Fabrice Philipot PDM–Concorde

Final standings[edit]

A yellow jersey. Denotes the winner of the general classification A green jersey. Denotes the winner of the points classification
A white jersey with red polka dots. Denotes the winner of the mountains classification A multi-coloured jersey. Denotes the winner of the combination classification
A red jersey. Denotes the winner of the intermediate sprints classification

General classification[edit]

Final general classification (1–10)[1]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Greg LeMond (USA) AD Renting–W-Cup–Bottecchia 87h 38' 35"
2  Laurent Fignon (FRA) Super U–Raleigh–Fiat + 0' 08"
3  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Reynolds + 3' 34"
4  Gert-Jan Theunisse (NED) PDM–Concorde + 7' 30"
5  Marino Lejarreta (ESP) Paternina + 9' 39"
6  Charly Mottet (FRA) RMO + 10' 06"
7  Steven Rooks (NED) PDM–Concorde + 11' 10"
8  Raúl Alcalá (MEX) PDM–Concorde + 14' 21"
9  Sean Kelly (IRE) PDM–Concorde + 18' 25"
10  Robert Millar (GBR) Z–Peugeot + 18' 46"

Points classification[edit]

Final points classification (1–10)[52][53]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Sean Kelly (IRE) PDM–Concorde 277
2  Etienne De Wilde (BEL) Histor–Sigma 194
3  Steven Rooks (NED) PDM–Concorde 163
4  Giovanni Fidanza (ITA) Chateau d'Ax 149
5  Gert-Jan Theunisse (NED) PDM–Concorde 133
6  Laurent Fignon (FRA) Super U–Raleigh–Fiat 132
7  Greg LeMond (USA) AD Renting–W-Cup–Bottecchia 130
8  Steve Bauer (CAN) Helvetia–La Suisse 122
9  Phil Anderson (AUS) TVM–Ragno 101
10  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Reynolds 95

Mountains classification[edit]

Final mountains classification (1–10)[52][53]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Gert-Jan Theunisse (NED) PDM–Concorde 441
2  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Reynolds 311
3  Steven Rooks (NED) PDM–Concorde 257
4  Robert Millar (GBR) Z–Peugeot 241
5  Laurent Fignon (FRA) Super U–Raleigh–Fiat 219
6  Greg LeMond (USA) AD Renting–W-Cup–Bottecchia 197
7  Marino Lejarreta (ESP) Paternina 164
8  Miguel Indurain (ESP) Reynolds 132
9  Charly Mottet (FRA) RMO 128
10  Luis Herrera (COL) Café de Colombia 116

Combination classification[edit]

Final combination classification (1–6)[53]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Steven Rooks (NED) PDM–Concorde 89
2  Laurent Fignon (FRA) Super U–Raleigh–Fiat 84
3  Sean Kelly (IRE) PDM–Concorde 82
4  Gert-Jan Theunisse (NED) PDM–Concorde 68
5  Greg LeMond (USA) AD Renting–W-Cup–Bottecchia 66
6  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Reynolds 63

Intermediate sprints classification[edit]

Intermediate sprints classification (1–5)[52]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Sean Kelly (IRE) PDM–Concorde 131
2  Steven Rooks (NED) PDM–Concorde 80
3  Valerio Tebaldi (ITA) Chateau d'Ax 80
4  Eddy Schurer (NED) TVM–Ragno 47
5  Dominique Arnaud (FRA) Reynolds 45

Team classification[edit]

Final team classification (1–5)[52]
Rank Team Time
1 PDM–Concorde 263h 19' 48"
2 Reynolds + 1' 19"
3 Z–Peugeot + 44' 22"
4 Super U–Raleigh–Fiat + 51' 26"
5 RMO + 1h 12' 19"


In total, 87 doping tests were performed during the 1989 Tour de France; all of them were negative.[54]


  1. ^ Millar later in life had a gender transition and is now known as Philippa York.[8] For the purpose of this article, her name and gender from 1989 are used.
  2. ^ To his dismay, Fignon was disqualified later in the season at the Grand Prix Eddy Merckx for using the same kind of equipment.[27]
  3. ^ The photographer in question, Graham Watson, denies that he remembers the episode.[35] Fignon does not mention the incident in his autobiography, but claims that his competitors did not notice his moment of weakness.[32] Contrariwise, both LeMond and Hampsten say that they noticed Fignon was suffering and both agree that he held on to the motorbike for about half a minute.[35]
  4. ^ The white jersey was not awarded between 1989 and 1999.[51]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "76ème Tour de France 1989" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Deblander, Bruno (14 June 1989). "Les Vingtdeux Equipes Du Tour" (in French). Lesoir. p. 24. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 8-9.
  4. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 10-11.
  5. ^ Tassell 2017, p. 10.
  6. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 12-14.
  7. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 14-16.
  8. ^ Fotheringham, William (6 July 2017). "Philippa York: 'I've known I was different since I was a five-year-old'". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2018. 
  9. ^ Swift, E.M. (25 December 1989). "Le Grand LeMond". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 30 April 2018. 
  10. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 7-8 & 24-29.
  11. ^ Moore 2014, pp. 324-326.
  12. ^ Tassell 2017, p. 19.
  13. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 17-19.
  14. ^ Augendre 2016, p. 80.
  15. ^ Augendre 2016, p. 110.
  16. ^ Tassell 2017, p. 40.
  17. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 31-40.
  18. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 36-37.
  19. ^ Fignon 2010, p. 6.
  20. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 43-45.
  21. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 46-53.
  22. ^ Tassell 2017, p. 60.
  23. ^ Tassell 2017, p. 66.
  24. ^ Tassell 2017, p. 69.
  25. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 72-80.
  26. ^ Fignon 2010, p. 7.
  27. ^ Fignon 2010, p. 21.
  28. ^ Moore 2014, pp. 52-59.
  29. ^ Tassell 2017, p. 86.
  30. ^ Tassell 2017, p. 90.
  31. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 98-102.
  32. ^ a b Fignon 2010, p. 8.
  33. ^ Tassell 2017, p. 102.
  34. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 104-106.
  35. ^ a b Tassell 2017, pp. 111-112.
  36. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 111-120.
  37. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 121-125.
  38. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 126-130.
  39. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 132-137.
  40. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 137-140.
  41. ^ Tassell 2017, pp. 143-148.
  42. ^ Tassell, pp. 150-155.
  43. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference c4 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  44. ^ Fallon, Clare (31 August 2010). "Tour's shortest final gap deprived Fignon of third win". Reuters. Archived from the original on 3 September 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  45. ^ McGann, p. 191
  46. ^ a b c d Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  47. ^ Tassell 2017, p. 31.
  48. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Other Classifications & Awards". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  49. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Intermediate Sprints Classification". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  50. ^ Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0-679-72936-4. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  51. ^ Mallon, Bill; Heijmans, Jeroen (9 September 2011). Historical Dictionary of Cycling. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-8108-7369-8. 
  52. ^ a b c d "Clasificaciones oficiales". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 24 July 1989. p. 9. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  53. ^ a b c "Tour '89". Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch). Regionaal Archief Leiden. 24 July 1989. p. 14. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  54. ^ "Alle dopingcontroles in de Tour negatief" [All doping tests in the Tour negative]. Provenciaalse Zeeuwse Courant (in Dutch). Krantenbank Zeeland. 25 July 1989. p. 13. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 


External links[edit]

Media related to 1989 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons