1997 Tour de France

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1997 Tour de France
Route of the 1997 Tour de France.png
Route of the 1997 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 5–27 July 1997
Stages 21+Prologue
Distance 3,943.8 km (2,451 mi)
Winning time 100h 30' 35"
Winner  Jan Ullrich (Germany) (Team Telekom)
Second  Richard Virenque (France) (Festina)
Third  Marco Pantani (Italy) (Mercatone Uno)

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

The 1997 Tour de France was the 84th Tour de France and took place between 5 July and 27 July 1997. Jan Ullrich's victory margin, of 9' 09" was the largest margin of victory since Laurent Fignon won the 1984 Tour de France by 10' 32".[1] Ullrich's simultaneous victories in both the general classification and the young riders' classification marked the first time the same rider had won both categories in the same Tour since Laurent Fignon in 1983. The points classification was won by Ullrich's team mate Erik Zabel, for the second time, and their team Team Telekom also won the team classification. The mountains classification was won by Richard Virenque for the fourth time.


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1997 Tour de France.

198 riders in 22 teams commenced the 1997 Tour de France. 139 riders finished.[2] The 16 teams with the highest UCI ranking at the start of 1997 were automatically qualified.[3]

These were:[4]

Wilcards were given to:[4][5]


Stage results[2][6]
Stage Date Route Terrain Length Winner
P 5 July Rouen Individual time trial 7.3 km (4.5 mi)  Chris Boardman (GBR)
1 6 July RouenForges-les-Eaux Plain stage 192.0 km (119.3 mi)  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
2 7 July Saint-Valery-en-CauxVire Plain stage 262.0 km (162.8 mi)  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
3 8 July VirePlumelec Plain stage 224.0 km (139.2 mi)  Erik Zabel (GER)
4 9 July PlumelecLe Puy du Fou Plain stage 223.0 km (138.6 mi)  Nicola Minali (ITA)
5 10 July ChantonnayLa Châtre Plain stage 261.5 km (162.5 mi)  Cédric Vasseur (FRA)
6 11 July Le BlancMarennes Plain stage 217.5 km (135.1 mi)  Jeroen Blijlevens (NED)
7 12 July MarennesBordeaux Plain stage 194.0 km (120.5 mi)  Erik Zabel (GER)
8 13 July SauternesPau Plain stage 161.5 km (100.4 mi)  Erik Zabel (GER)
9 14 July PauLoudenvielle Stage with mountain(s) 182.0 km (113.1 mi)  Laurent Brochard (FRA)
10 15 July LuchonAndorra Arcalis Stage with mountain(s) 252.5 km (156.9 mi)  Jan Ullrich (GER)
11 16 July Andorra ArcalisPerpignan Hilly stage 192.0 km (119.3 mi)  Laurent Desbiens (FRA)
12 18 July Saint-ÉtienneSaint-Étienne Individual time trial 55.0 km (34.2 mi)  Jan Ullrich (GER)
13 19 July Saint-ÉtienneAlpe d'Huez Stage with mountain(s) 203.5 km (126.4 mi)  Marco Pantani (ITA)
14 20 July Le Bourg-d'OisansCourchevel Stage with mountain(s) 148.0 km (92.0 mi)  Richard Virenque (FRA)
15 21 July CourchevelMorzine Stage with mountain(s) 208.5 km (129.6 mi)  Marco Pantani (ITA)
16 22 July MorzineFribourg Hilly stage 181.0 km (112.5 mi)  Christophe Mengin (FRA)
17 23 July FribourgColmar Plain stage 218.5 km (135.8 mi)  Neil Stephens (AUS)
18 24 July ColmarMontbéliard Hilly stage 175.5 km (109.1 mi)  Didier Rous (FRA)
19 25 July MontbéliardDijon Plain stage 172.0 km (106.9 mi)  Mario Traversoni (ITA)
20 26 July Disneyland ParisDisneyland Paris Individual time trial 63.0 km (39.1 mi)  Abraham Olano (ESP)
21 27 July Disneyland ParisParis (Champs-Élysées) Plain stage 149.5 km (92.9 mi)  Nicola Minali (ITA)

Race details[edit]

Chris Boardman won the prologue, and was the first leader of the race. Then, sprinter Mario Cipollini took over the lead thanks to time bonuses.[7] Cédric Vasseur took the lead in the fifth stage after a successful attack, and kept leading the race until the Pyrenées.

Ullrich took the lead in the tenth stage, which he won by more than a minute, beating his team leader, Bjarne Riis by over three minutes and assuming team leadership as well as the overall lead. He became the first German cyclist since 1978 to wear the yellow jersey.[8] he extended his lead by winning stage 12, an individual time trial in Saint-Étienne. In the fourteenth stage, Richard Virenque made an attack to win back time on Ullrich, helped by his entire team. The margin was never more than two minutes, and Ullrich was able to get back to Virenque before the final climb. Virenque won the stage, but Ullrich finished in the same time.[9]

In the rest of the race, Ullrich consolidated his lead, and won with a margin of almost ten minutes.

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 Chris Boardman Chris Boardman Cyril Saugrain Jan Ullrich Jan Ullrich Team Telekom
1 Mario Cipollini Mario Cipollini Artūras Kasputis Mario Cipollini
2 Mario Cipollini Laurent Brochard
3 Erik Zabel Erik Zabel
4 Nicola Minali
5 Cédric Vasseur Cédric Vasseur GAN
6 Jeroen Blijlevens
7 Erik Zabel
8 Erik Zabel
9 Laurent Brochard Team Telekom
10 Jan Ullrich Jan Ullrich Richard Virenque Festina
11 Laurent Desbiens
12 Jan Ullrich Team Telekom
13 Marco Pantani
14 Richard Virenque
15 Marco Pantani
16 Christophe Mengin
17 Neil Stephens
18 Didier Rous
19 Mario Traversoni
20 Abraham Olano
21 Nicola Minali
Final Jan Ullrich Richard Virenque Erik Zabel Jan Ullrich Team Telekom 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.


There were several classifications in the 1997 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.[10]

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.[10]

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.[10]

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.[10]

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.[11]

General classification[edit]

Final general classification (1–10)[2][12]
Rank Name Team Time
1  Jan Ullrich (GER) Telekom 100h 30' 35"
2  Richard Virenque (FRA) Festina +9' 09"
3  Marco Pantani (ITA) Mercatone Uno +14' 03"
4  Abraham Olano (ESP) Banesto +15' 55"
5  Fernando Escartín (ESP) Kelme +20' 32"
6  Francesco Casagrande (ITA) Saeco +22' 47"
7  Bjarne Riis (DEN) Telekom +26' 34"
8  José Maria Jimenez (ESP) Banesto +31' 17"
9  Laurent Dufaux (SUI) Festina +31' 55"
10  Roberto Conti (ITA) Mercatone Uno +32' 26"

Points classification[edit]

Final points classification (1–10)[2][12]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Erik Zabel (GER) Team Telekom 350
2  Frédéric Moncassin (FRA) GAN 223
3  Mario Traversoni (ITA) Mercatone Uno 198
4  Jeroen Blijlevens (NED) TVM–Farm Frites 192
5  Nicola Minali (ITA) Batik-Del Monte 156
6  Jan Ullrich (GER) Team Telekom 154
7  Robbie McEwen (AUS) Rabobank 151
8  Richard Virenque (FRA) Festina–Lotus 151
9  François Simon (FRA) GAN 145
10  Adriano Baffi (ITA) U.S. Postal Service 131

Mountains classification[edit]

Final mountains classification (1–10)[2][12]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Richard Virenque (FRA) Festina–Lotus 579
2  Jan Ullrich (GER) Team Telekom 328
3  Francesco Casagrande (ITA) Saeco 309
4  Marco Pantani (ITA) Mercatone Uno 269
5  Laurent Brochard (FRA) Festina–Lotus 241
6  Laurent Dufaux (SWI) Festina–Lotus 212
7  Pascal Herve (FRA) Festina–Lotus 176
8  Fernando Escartin (ESP) Kelme–Costa Blanca 141
9  Bjarne Riis (DEN) Team Telekom 139
10  Jose Maria Jimenez (ESP) Banesto 136

Team classification[edit]

Final team classification (1–10)[2][12]
Rank Team Time
1 Team Telekom 310h 51' 30"
2 Mercatone Uno +31' 56"
3 Festina–Lotus +47' 52"
4 Banesto +1h 05' 15"
5 Kelme–Costa Blanca +2h 20' 22"
6 Mapei–GB +2h 28' 14"
7 Rabobank +2h 40' 30"
8 Saeco +4h 06' 13"
9 Française des Jeux +4h 15' 59"
10 U.S. Postal Service +4h26' 19"

Young rider classification[edit]

Final young rider classification (1–3)[2]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Jan Ullrich (GER) Telekom 100h 30' 35"
2  Peter Luttenberger (AUT) Rabobank +45' 39"
3  Michael Boogerd (NED) Rabobank +1h 00' 33"


After Ullrich's domination of the 1997 Tour de France at his young age, it was believed that Ullrich would dominate the Tour de France for the next years.[13] However, Ullrich would never win the Tour again, although he did reach the podium five more times.


  1. ^ Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 2009-10-09. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "84ème Tour de France 1997" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Second Edition News for December 12, 1996, UCI Team Rankings -- Prospects for 1997". Cyclingnews. Future Publishing Limited. 12 December 1997. Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Startt, James (18 June 1997). "News for June 18, 1997: Final Tour Team list". Cyclingnews. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  5. ^ Startt, James (17 June 1997). "Second Edition News for June 18, 1997: Reaction to the Wild Cards". Cyclingnews. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  6. ^ Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 15 Aug 2011. 
  7. ^ "The history of the Tour de France, Year 1997: Ullrich admitted doping". Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ullrich stamps his authority on Tour de France". HÜrriyet Daily News. 17 July 1997. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ullrich withstands Virenque". Deseret News. 21 July 1997. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0679729364. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Tour de France 1997 - Stage 21, Disneyland (Paris) to Champs Elysses (Paris), 149.5 kms". Cyclingnews. 1997. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Abt, Samuel (28 July 1997). "A New Dynasty Begins at the Tour de France". New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2013.