2003 Tour de France

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2003 Tour de France
Route of the 2003 Tour de France.png
Route of the 2003 Tour de France
Race details
Dates July 5–July 27, 2003
Stages 20+Prologue
Distance 3,427.5 km (2,130 mi)
Winning time 83h 41' 12"
Winner none
Second  Jan Ullrich (Germany) (Team Bianchi)
Third  Alexander Vinokourov (Kazakhstan) (Team Telekom)

Points  Baden Cooke (Australia) (FDJeux.com)
Mountains  Richard Virenque (France) (Quick-Step–Davitamon)
Youth  Denis Menchov (Russia) (iBanesto.com)
Team Team CSC

The 2003 Tour de France was a multiple stage bicycle race held from 5 July to 27 July 2003, and the 90th edition of the Tour de France. It has no overall winner—although American cyclist Lance Armstrong originally won the event, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced in August 2012 that they had disqualified Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his seven Tour de France wins from 19992005; the Union Cycliste Internationale has confirmed this verdict.

The event started and ended in Paris, covering 3,427.5 km (2129.75 mi),[1] proceeding clockwise in twenty stages around France, including six major mountain stages. Due to the centennial celebration, this edition of the tour was raced entirely in France and did not enter neighboring countries.

In the centenary year of the race the route recreated, in part, that of 1903. There was a special Centenaire Classement prize for the best-placed in each of the six stage finishes which match the 1903 tour - Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes and Paris. It was won by Stuart O'Grady, with Thor Hushovd in second place. The 2003 Tour was honored with the Prince of Asturias Award for Sport.

Of the 198 riders the favorite was again Armstrong, aiming for a record equalling fifth win. Before the race, it was believed that his main rivals would include Iban Mayo, Aitor González, Tyler Hamilton, Ivan Basso, Gilberto Simoni, Jan Ullrich, and Joseba Beloki but Armstrong was the odds-on favorite. Though he did go on to win the race, it is statistically, and by Armstrong's own admission,[2] his weakest Tour from his seven-year period of dominance over the race.


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 2003 Tour de France.

The team selection was done in three rounds: in November 2002, the fourteen highest-ranking UCI teams would automatically qualify; four wildcards were given in January 2003, and four wildcards in mid-May.[3]

dagger: wildcard given in January.
double-dagger: wildcard given in May.

Some notable cyclists excluded from the race were Mario Cipollini and Marco Pantani, whose teams Domina Vacanze–Elitron and Mercatone Uno–Scanavino were not selected.[4] Especially the absence of Cipollini, the reigning world champion, came as a surprise. The Tour organisation gave the reason that Cipollini had never been able to finish the race.[5]

In the first round, the Coast team had been selected to compete, and in January 2003 they signed Jan Ullrich. Financial problems then almost prevented the team from starting, but after Bianchi stepped in as a new sponsor, Team Bianchi was allowed to take the place of Team Coast.


The Tour proved to be one more hotly contested than the previous years. Tyler Hamilton and Levi Leipheimer were involved in a crash early in the Tour. Leipheimer dropped out, Hamilton continued and got fourth place in the end while riding with a broken collarbone.

In the Alps, Gilberto Simoni and Stefano Garzelli, first and second in the Giro d'Italia earlier the same year, could not keep up with Lance Armstrong and the other favorites. The same held for last year's number 4, Santiago Botero. Joseba Beloki could, and was in second-place overall (just 40 seconds behind Armstrong) when he crashed on a fast descent from the Cote de La Rochette, shortly after passing the Col de Manse into Gap.[6] The crash was a result of a locked brake, caused by a lack of traction from melting tar on the road, which led to the tyre coming off the rim.[7] Beloki broke his right femur, elbow and wrist, and had to leave the Tour.[8] Armstrong made a detour through the field beside the road to avoid the fallen Beloki. Armstrong was in yellow, but Jan Ullrich won the first time trial by one minute and 36 seconds. He and Alexander Vinokourov were both within very short distance from Armstrong.


Stage results[9][10]
Stage Date Route Terrain Length Winner
P 5 July Paris Individual time trial 6.5 km (4.0 mi)  Bradley McGee (AUS)
1 6 July Saint-DenisMeaux Plain stage 168.0 km (104.4 mi)  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)
2 7 July La Ferté-sous-JouarreSedan Plain stage 204.5 km (127.1 mi)  Baden Cooke (AUS)
3 8 July Charleville-MézièresSaint-Dizier Plain stage 167.5 km (104.1 mi)  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)
4 9 July JoinvilleSaint-Dizier Team time trial 69.0 km (42.9 mi)  U.S. Postal Service (USA)
5 10 July TroyesNevers Plain stage 196.5 km (122.1 mi)  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)
6 11 July NeversLyon Plain stage 230.0 km (142.9 mi)  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)
7 12 July LyonMorzine Stage with mountain(s) 230.5 km (143.2 mi)  Richard Virenque (FRA)
8 13 July SallanchesAlpe d'Huez Stage with mountain(s) 219.0 km (136.1 mi)  Iban Mayo (ESP)
9 14 July Le Bourg-d'OisansGap Stage with mountain(s) 184.5 km (114.6 mi)  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ)
10 15 July GapMarseille Plain stage 219.5 km (136.4 mi)  Jakob Piil (DEN)
11 17 July NarbonneToulouse Plain stage 153.5 km (95.4 mi)  Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP)
12 18 July GaillacCap Découverte Individual time trial 47.0 km (29.2 mi)  Jan Ullrich (GER)
13 19 July ToulouseAx 3 Domaines Stage with mountain(s) 197.5 km (122.7 mi)  Carlos Sastre (ESP)
14 20 July Saint-GironsLoudenvielle Stage with mountain(s) 191.5 km (119.0 mi)  Gilberto Simoni (ITA)
15 21 July Bagnères-de-BigorreLuz Ardiden Stage with mountain(s) 159.5 km (99.1 mi)  Lance Armstrong (USA)
16 23 July PauBayonne Stage with mountain(s) 197.5 km (122.7 mi)  Tyler Hamilton (USA)
17 24 July DaxBordeaux Plain stage 181.0 km (112.5 mi)  Servais Knaven (NED)
18 25 July BordeauxSaint-Maixent-l'École Plain stage 203.5 km (126.4 mi)  Pablo Lastras (ESP)
19 26 July PornicNantes Individual time trial 49.0 km (30.4 mi)  David Millar (GBR)
20 27 July Ville-d'AvrayParis (Champs-Élysées) Plain stage 152.0 km (94.4 mi)  Jean-Patrick Nazon (FRA)

Classification leadership[edit]

Stage Winner General classification
Yellow jersey
Points classification
Green jersey
Mountains classification
Polkadot jersey
Young rider classification
White jersey
Team classification
Jersey with yellow number
Combativity award
P Bradley McGee Bradley McGee Bradley McGee N/A Vladimir Karpets U.S. Postal Service N/A
1 Alessandro Petacchi Robbie McEwen Christophe Mengin Andy Flickinger Andy Flickinger
2 Baden Cooke Baden Cooke Frédéric Finot
3 Alessandro Petacchi Jean-Patrick Nazon Anthony Geslin
4 U.S. Postal Service Víctor Hugo Peña Vladimir Karpets N/A
5 Alessandro Petacchi Frédéric Finot Frédéric Finot
6 Alessandro Petacchi Alessandro Petacchi Christophe Mengin René Andrle
7 Richard Virenque Richard Virenque Baden Cooke Richard Virenque Denis Menchov Quick-Step–Davitamon Richard Virenque
8 Iban Mayo Lance Armstrong Euskaltel–Euskadi Nicolas Portal
9 Alexander Vinokourov Jörg Jaksche
10 Jakob Piil Team CSC José Gutiérrez
11 Juan Antonio Flecha Juan Antonio Flecha
12 Jan Ullrich iBanesto.com N/A
13 Carlos Sastre Team CSC Carlos Sastre
14 Gilberto Simoni Laurent Dufaux
15 Lance Armstrong Sylvain Chavanel
16 Tyler Hamilton Tyler Hamilton
17 Servais Knaven Servais Knaven
18 Pablo Lastras Robbie McEwen Andy Flickinger
19 David Millar N/A
20 Jean-Patrick Nazon Baden Cooke Bram de Groot
Final Lance Armstrong Baden Cooke Richard Virenque Denis Menchov Team CSC Alexander Vinokourov
Jersey wearers when one rider is leading two or more competitions


On 24 August 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that they had disqualified Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his victory in the 2003 Tour de France. The Union Cycliste Internationale, responsible for the international cycling, confirmed this verdict on 22 October 2012.

In this classification positions from six stages involving cities (Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, Paris) visited during 1903 were combined.

Centenaire classification[11]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Stuart O'Grady (AUS) Crédit Agricole 82
2  Thor Hushovd (NOR) Crédit Agricole 86
3  Fabrizio Guidi (ITA) Team Bianchi 103
4  Luca Paolini (ITA) Quick-Step–Davitamon 118
5  Gerrit Glomser (AUT) Saeco Macchine per Caffè 123


  1. ^ Jacques Augendre (2009). "Guide Historique" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 2009-10-09. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  2. ^ "Maillot jaune Lance Armstrong speaks, July 24, 2004". Cycling News. 2004-07-24. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  3. ^ "Tour de France - July 5-27, 2003". Cyclingnews. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Cameron, Gordan (19 May 2003). "Tour De France Wildcards: No Cipo'!". Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Jones, Jeff (19 May 2003). "Tour selection leaves Cipollini in the cold". Cyclingnews. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Gilmour, Rod (19 July 2011). "Tour de France 2011, stage 16". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Samuel Abt (30 May 2004). "Effects of a Crash Landing Are Still Hampering Beloki". New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Chris Henry (17 November 2003). "Change and challenge for Joseba Beloki". Cycling News. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "90ème Tour de France 2003" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  10. ^ Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 15 Aug 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "90th Tour de France - July 5–27, 2003". Cyclingnews. 2003. Archived from the original on 2009-10-09. Retrieved 7 October 2009. 

External links[edit]