Grand Prix des Nations

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Grand Prix des Nations
Race details
English nameGrand Prix of the Nations
Local name(s)Grand Prix des Nations (in French)
TypeIndividual time-trial
First edition1932 (1932)
Final edition2004
First winnerFrance Maurice Archambaud
Most winsFrance Jacques Anquetil ( 9 wins)
Final winnerGermany Michael Rich

The Grand Prix des Nations was an individual time trial (against the clock) for both professional and amateur racing cyclists.[1] Held annually in Cannes, France, it was instituted in 1932 and often regarded as the unofficial time trial championship of the world and as a Classic cycle race. The race was the idea of a Parisian newspaper editor called Gaston Bénac. The beret-wearing sports editor was looking for a race to make a name for Paris-Soir, the biggest French evening paper before the war.

He and his colleague Albert Baker d'Isy had been inspired by the world road race championship in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1931. That, unusually, had been run as a time trial, and the two were impressed and also, they said, aware that a time-trial cost less to organise than a conventional road race. Baker d'Isy decided the name Grand Prix des Nations.[2]

There is a dispute over who devised the first route. The American-French writer René de Latour said in the UK magazine Sporting Cyclist that he did; Baker d'Isy says that he did. The route started near the Versailles château and ran round a triangle through Rambouillet, Maulette, Saint-Rémy-les-Chevreuse, Versailles and Boulogne to finish on the Vélodrome Buffalo where the founder of the Tour de France, Henri Desgrange, had become the world's first hour record holder in 1893. There were three hills, one in the first 100 km, plenty of cobbles, and the last 40 km went through the woods of the Vallée de Chevreuse, a popular area for bike riders. The distance was 142 km.[3]

The introduction of an official time trial champion at the UCI Road World Championships in 1994 and an Olympic individual time trial championship (1996) reduced its importance. With the introduction of the UCI ProTour in 2005, the event was removed from the calendar.


Race distances have varied. Until 1955, it was approximately 140 km; six years later, the distance was 100 km; from 1965 onwards the distance rarely exceeded 90 km, with many events run of around 75 km. The events were in the Vallée de Chevreuse in the Paris area, then near Cannes on the French Riviera; for five years from 1993, it was held at the Madine Lake in the Meuse; from 1998, it has taken place in Seine-Maritime département, two circuits of 35 km around Dieppe.

The roll of honour includes cycling's greatest time trialists, but the event's history was dominated by two Frenchmen: Jacques Anquetil won nine times, Bernard Hinault five.[4]

British amateur woman Beryl Burton competed in 1968, finishing only minutes behind her male rivals.

Winners (professionals)[edit]

Year Country Rider Team
1932  France Maurice Archambaud
1933  France Raymond Louviot
1934  France Antonin Magne
1935  France Antonin Magne
1936  France Antonin Magne
1937  France Pierre Cogan
1938  France Louis Aimar
1941  Italy Jules Rossi (victory shared with Louis Aimar)
1941  France Louis Aimar (victory shared with Jules Rossi)
1942  France Jean-Marie Goasmat (victory shared with Émile Idée)
1942  France Émile Idée (victory shared with Jean-Marie Goasmat)
1943  Belgium Jozef Somers
1944  France Émile Carrara
1945  France Eloi Tassin
1946  Italy Fausto Coppi
1947  Italy Fausto Coppi
1948  France René Berton
1949  France Charles Coste
1950  Belgium Maurice Blomme
1951   Switzerland Hugo Koblet
1952  France Louison Bobet Stella Huret Dunlop
1953  France Jacques Anquetil La Française–Dunlop
1954  France Jacques Anquetil La Perle–Hutchinson
1955  France Jacques Anquetil La Perle Hutchinson
1956  France Jacques Anquetil Helyett Potin
1957  France Jacques Anquetil Helyett Potin
1958  France Jacques Anquetil Helyett Potin
1959  Italy Aldo Moser EMI Guerra
1960  Italy Ercole Baldini Ignis
1961  France Jacques Anquetil Helyett Fynsec
1962  Belgium Ferdinand Bracke Peugeot
1963  France Raymond Poulidor Mercier–BP
1964  Belgium Walter Boucquet Flandria–Faema
1965  France Jacques Anquetil Ford–Gitane
1966  France Jacques Anquetil Ford-Hutchinson
1967  Italy Felice Gimondi Salvarani
1968  Italy Felice Gimondi Salvarani
1969  Belgium Herman van Springel Mann–Grundig
1970  Belgium Herman van Springel Mann–Grundig
1971  Spain Luis Ocaña Bic
1972  Belgium Roger Swerts Molteni
1973  Belgium Eddy Merckx Molteni
1974  Netherlands Roy Schuiten TI–Raleigh
1975  Netherlands Roy Schuiten TI–Raleigh
1976  Belgium Freddy Maertens Flandria Velda
1977  France Bernard Hinault Gitane–Campagnolo
1978  France Bernard Hinault Renault–Elf–Gitane
1979  France Bernard Hinault Renault–Elf–Gitane
1980  Belgium Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke La Redoute–Motobécane
1981   Switzerland Daniel Gisiger Cilo–Aufina
1982  France Bernard Hinault Renault–Elf
1983   Switzerland Daniel Gisiger Malvor Bottecchia
1984  France Bernard Hinault La Vie Claire
1985  France Charly Mottet Renault–Elf–Gitane
1986  Ireland Sean Kelly Kas
1987  France Charly Mottet Système U–Gitane
1988  France Charly Mottet Système U–Gitane
1989  France Laurent Fignon Super U–Raleigh–Fiat
1990   Switzerland Thomas Wegmüller Weinn SMM
1991   Switzerland Tony Rominger Toshiba
1992  Belgium Johan Bruyneel ONCE
1993  France Armand de Las Cuevas Banesto–Pinarello
1994   Switzerland Tony Rominger Mapei–CLAS
1995 No race
1996  Great Britain Chris Boardman GAN
1997  Germany Uwe Peschel Cantina Tollo–Carrier
1998  France Francisque Teyssier Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne
1999  Ukraine Serhiy Honchar Vini Caldirola
2000 Result Void[5][6]
2001  Germany Jens Voigt Crédit Agricole
2002  Germany Uwe Peschel Gerolsteiner
2003  Germany Michael Rich Gerolsteiner
2004  Germany Michael Rich Gerolsteiner


  1. ^ "Grand Prix des Nations". 24 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Verdwenen koersen: de GP des Nations" [Disappeared races: the GP des Nations]. (in Dutch). 8 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Grand Prix des Nations(1.1)". ProcyclingStats. 24 September 2023.
  4. ^ "Grand Prix des Nations (Fra) - Ex". (in French). Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  5. ^ "Lance Armstrong: Governing body strips American of Tour wins". BBC News. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Union Cycliste Internationale".[permanent dead link]