1996 Tour de France

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1996 Tour de France
Route of the 1996 Tour de France.png
Route of the 1996 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 29 June – 21 July 1996
Stages 21+Prologue
Distance 3,895.4 km (2,420 mi)
Winning time 95h 57' 16"[1]
Winner  Bjarne Riis  (Denmark) (Team Telekom)
Second  Jan Ullrich (Germany) (Team Telekom)
Third  Richard Virenque (France) (Festina)

Points  Erik Zabel  (Germany) (Team Telekom)
Mountains  Richard Virenque (France) (Festina)
Youth  Jan Ullrich (Germany) (Team Telekom)
Team Festina

The 1996 Tour de France was the 83rd Tour de France, starting on 29 June and ending on 21 July, featuring 19 regular stages, 2 individual time trials, a prologue and a rest day (10 July). It was won by Danish rider Bjarne Riis.

This Tour was noted by the "fall" of favorite Miguel Indurain, ending his record run of five consecutive victories. The course included a stage through his home town Villava, however he suffered a bronchitis because of the poor weather in the first week, and was fined and penalised for accepting drinks illegally.[2] Indurain started to lose time in stage 7, and finally ended 11th failing to win a single stage or spend one day in the yellow jersey.

Stage 9 was scheduled to be a 176 kilometer ride from Val-d'Isère to Sestriere. However, due to appalling weather conditions, including snow, the organizers cut the stage to just 46 km. Bjarne Riis won the stage and opened a crucial 44 second gap over Telekom teammate Jan Ullrich. Ullrich, only 22, really broke through in this Tour, and won the individual time trial of stage 20.

Over a decade after the race, several riders with Team Telekom confessed to doping offences around the period of the 1996 tour, including support riders Rolf Aldag, Udo Bölts, Christian Henn[3] and Brian Holm and team masseur Jef d'Hont has admitted in his autobiography that there was organised use of EPO in the team.[4] On 24 May 2007, Erik Zabel admitted to using EPO during the first week of the race. The winner of the Tour, Bjarne Riis, admitted on 25 May 2007 that he also used EPO during the Tour, as a result was asked by the International Cyling Union (UCI) to return the yellow jersey he received.[5][6] So far, runner-up Jan Ullrich, who has been under suspicion of doping as a part of the Operación Puerto doping case, has not commented on allegations that he also used EPO. Third place Richard Virenque and fourth place Laurent Dufaux were implicated in the 1998 Festina scandal.

UCI lawyer Philippe Verbiest stated in 2007 that the statute of limitations for removing Riis as winner of the Tour de France had expired, "you cannot strip him of the title but it possible not to mention it anymore ... Because of what he admitted, he is not the winner of the Tour de France. Riis did not win." At the same time tour spokesman Philippe Sudres stated that: "We consider philosophically that he can no longer claim to have won.".[7] In 2007, Riis' victory was removed from the Tour de France,[8] yet in 2008 they listed Riis as winner of Tour de France 1996, albeit with a remark about his confession.[9]


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1996 Tour de France.

The 18 teams on top of the UCI rankings at the start of 1996 were automatically invited for the Tour. These were:[10]

Four wildcards were given, for a total of 22 teams:[11]


Stage results[11][12]
Stage Date Route Terrain Length Winner
P 29 June 's-Hertogenbosch Individual time trial 9.4 km (5.8 mi)  Alex Zülle (SUI)
1 30 June 's-Hertogenbosch's-Hertogenbosch Plain stage 209.0 km (129.9 mi)  Frédéric Moncassin (FRA)
2 1 July 's-HertogenboschWasquehal Plain stage 247.5 km (153.8 mi)  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
3 2 July WasquehalNogent-sur-Oise Plain stage 195.0 km (121.2 mi)  Erik Zabel (GER)
4 3 July SoissonsLac de Madine Plain stage 232.0 km (144.2 mi)  Cyril Saugrain (FRA)
5 4 July Lac de MadineBesançon Plain stage 242.0 km (150.4 mi)  Jeroen Blijlevens (NED)
6 5 July Arc-et-SenansAix-les-Bains Hilly stage 207.0 km (128.6 mi)  Michael Boogerd (NED)
7 6 July ChambéryLes Arcs Stage with mountain(s) 200.0 km (124.3 mi)  Luc Leblanc (FRA)
8 7 July Bourg-Saint-MauriceVal d'Isère Individual time trial 30.5 km (19.0 mi)  Evgueni Berzin (RUS)
9 8 July Le Monêtier-les-BainsSestrières Stage with mountain(s) 46.0 km (28.6 mi)  Bjarne Riis (DEN)
10 9 July TurinGap Hilly stage 208.5 km (129.6 mi)  Erik Zabel (GER)
11 11 July GapValence Hilly stage 202.0 km (125.5 mi)  José Jaime Gonzalez (COL)
12 12 July ValenceLe Puy-en-Velay Hilly stage 143.5 km (89.2 mi)  Pascal Richard (SUI)
13 13 July Le Puy-en-VelaySuper Besse Hilly stage 177.0 km (110.0 mi)  Rolf Sørensen (DEN)
14 14 July BesseTulle Hilly stage 186.5 km (115.9 mi)  Djamolidine Abduzhaparov (UZB)
15 15 July Brive-la-GaillardeVilleneuve-sur-Lot Plain stage 176.0 km (109.4 mi)  Massimo Podenzana (ITA)
16 16 July AgenHautacam Stage with mountain(s) 199.0 km (123.7 mi)  Bjarne Riis (DEN)
17 17 July Argelès-GazostPamplona Stage with mountain(s) 262.0 km (162.8 mi)  Laurent Dufaux (SUI)
18 18 July PamplonaHendaye Hilly stage 154.5 km (96.0 mi)  Bart Voskamp (NED)
19 19 July HendayeBordeaux Plain stage 226.5 km (140.7 mi)  Frédéric Moncassin (FRA)
20 20 July BordeauxSaint-Émilion Individual time trial 63.5 km (39.5 mi)  Jan Ullrich (GER)
21 21 July PalaiseauParis (Champs-Élysées) Plain stage 147.5 km (91.7 mi)  Fabio Baldato (ITA)


There were several classifications in the 1996 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.[13]

Additionally, there was a points classification, which awarded a green jersey. In the points classification, 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 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.[13]

The fourth 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 26 years were eligible.[13]

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.[14]

For the combativity classification, a jury gave points after each stage to the cyclists they considered most combative. The cyclist with the most votes in all stages lead the classification.

Classification leadership[edit]

Stage Winner General classification
Jersey yellow.svg
Mountains classification
Jersey polkadot.svg
Points classification
Jersey green.svg
Young rider classification Team classification
Jersey yellow number.svg
Combativity award
Jersey red number.svg
P Alex Zülle Alex Zülle N/A Alex Zülle Christophe Moreau ONCE
1 Frédéric Moncassin Ján Svorada Paolo Savoldelli
2 Mario Cipollini Danny Nelissen
3 Erik Zabel Frédéric Moncassin José Luis Rubiera Jeroen Blijlevens
4 Cyril Saugrain Stéphane Heulot Danny Nelissen Frédéric Moncassin Stéphane Heulot GAN
5 Jeroen Blijlevens
6 Michael Boogerd Léon van Bon Rabobank
7 Luc Leblanc Evgeni Berzin Richard Virenque Jan Ullrich Mapei
8 Evgeni Berzin Team Telekom
9 Bjarne Riis Bjarne Riis
10 Erik Zabel Erik Zabel
11 Chepe González Mapei
12 Pascal Richard Rabobank
13 Rolf Sørensen Mapei
14 Djamolidine Abdoujaparov
15 Massimo Podenzana
16 Bjarne Riis
17 Laurent Dufaux Festina
18 Bart Voskamp
19 Frédéric Moncassin
20 Jan Ullrich
21 Fabio Baldato
Final Bjarne Riis Richard Virenque Erik Zabel Jan Ullrich Festina Richard Virenque
Jersey wearers when one rider is leading two or more competitions
Other notes
  • The white jersey wasn't actually awarded between 1989 and 1999 – the white column in this table represents the leader in the youth classification.

General classification[edit]

Final general classification (1–10)[11]
Rank Name Team Time
1  Bjarne Riis (DEN) Telekom 95h 57' 16"
2  Jan Ullrich (GER) Telekom +1' 41"
3  Richard Virenque (FRA) Festina +4' 37"
4  Laurent Dufaux (SUI) Festina +5' 53"
5  Peter Luttenberger (AUT) Carrera +7' 07"
6  Luc Leblanc (FRA) Polti +10' 03"
7  Piotr Ugrumov (LAT) Roslotto-ZG Mobili +10' 04"
8  Fernando Escartín (ESP) Kelme +10' 26"
9  Abraham Olano (ESP) Mapei +11' 00"
10  Toni Rominger (SUI) Mapei +11' 53"

Points classification[edit]

Final points classification (1–5)[11]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Erik Zabel (GER) Telekom 335
2  Frédéric Moncassin (FRA) Gan 284
3  Fabio Baldato (ITA) MG-Technogym 255
4  Djamolidine Abduzhaparov (UZB) Refin 204
5  Jeroen Blijlevens (NED) TVM 158

Mountains classification[edit]

Final mountains classification (1–5)[11]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Richard Virenque (FRA) Festina 383
2  Bjarne Riis (DEN) Telekom 274
3  Laurent Dufaux (SUI) Festina 176
4  Laurent Brochard (FRA) Festina 168
5  Luc Leblanc (FRA) Polti 158

Team classification[edit]

Final team classification (1–5)[11]
Rank Team Time
1 Festina-Lotus 287h 46' 20"
2 Deutsche Telekom +15' 14"
3 Mapei-GB +51' 36"
4 Roslotto +1h 22' 29"
5 ONCE +1h 36' 10"

Young rider classification[edit]

Final young rider classification (1–5)[11]
Rank Name Team Time
1  Jan Ullrich (GER) Telekom 95h 58' 57"
2  Peter Luttenberger (AUT) Carrera +5' 26"
3  Manuel Fernández Ginés (ESP) Mapei +24' 47"
4  Leonardo Piepoli (ITA) Refin +25' 55"
5  Michael Boogerd (NED) Rabobank +1h 12' 04"

Combativity classification[edit]

Final combativity classification (1–3)[11]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Richard Virenque (FRA) Festina 50
2  Bjarne Riis (DEN) Telekom 47
3  Michele Bartoli (ITA) MG-Technogym 47

See also[edit]


double-dagger: The winner Bjarne Riis has admitted to the use of doping during the 1996 Tour de France. Shortly after his confession, the organisers of the Tour de France have said that they did not consider him a winner, but later said that his victory could not be removed because too much time had passed. The same applies for Erik Zabel, the winner of the points classification.


  1. ^ Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 9 October 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  2. ^ [dead link] "Riis overcame climatic chaos to end the reign of Indurain". CNN. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Zabel admits to doping at Telekom". BBC News. 24 May 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  4. ^ flandersnews.be – Belgian book causes upset
  5. ^ http://www.team-csc.com/ny_news.asp?n_id=1337
  6. ^ "Riis told to return yellow jersey". BBC News. 25 May 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  7. ^ "ESPN – Tour no longer lists Riis as champ after doping admission – Cycling". Sports.espn.go.com. 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  8. ^ "Tour Director Christian Prudhomme has erased Bjarne Riis' name from the Tour de France record books...". Autobus.cyclingnews.com. 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  9. ^ "Bjarne Riis Reinstated As Tour Winner". BikeRadar. 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  10. ^ "News for February 8: Teams Qualification Rules for Events". Cyclingnews. Future Publishing Limited. 8 February 1996. Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h "83ème Tour de France 1996" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  12. ^ Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 15 Aug 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  14. ^ Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0679729364. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 

External links[edit]