1969 Tour de France

1969 Tour de France
Route of the 1969 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 28 June – 20 July
Stages 22 + Prologue, including three split stages
Distance 4,117 km (2,558 mi)
Winning time 116h 16' 02"
Winner  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (Faema)
Second  Roger Pingeon (FRA) (Peugeot–BP–Michelin)
Third  Raymond Poulidor (FRA) (Mercier–BP–Hutchinson)

Points  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (Faema)
Mountains  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (Faema)
Combination  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (Faema)
Team Faema

The 1969 Tour de France was the 56th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It took place between 28 June and 20 July, with 22 stages covering a distance of 4,117 km (2,558 mi). The participant teams were no longer national teams, but were once more commercially sponsored.

The 1969 race is unique in that it is the only time that a single cyclist has won not only the general classification, but the points classification and mountains classification as well. Eddy Merckx rode on the winning team, Faema, won the combination classification and the combativity award. Though not officially contested until 1975, Merckx would also have won the best young rider classification were it awarded, as he was 24 years old at the time of the race.


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1969 Tour de France.

In 1967 and 1968, the Tour was contested by national teams, but in 1969 the commercially sponsored teams were back.[1] The Tour started with 13 teams, each with 10 cyclists:[1] Eddy Merckx had been removed from the 1969 Giro d'Italia in leading position because of a positive doping result, and was initially not allowed to join the 1969 Tour de France, but his suspension was later lifted.[1]

The teams entering the race were:

Route and stages

The 1969 Tour de France started on 28 June, and had no rest days.[2]

Stage characteristics and winners[1][2][3]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 28 June Roubaix 10 km (6.2 mi) Individual time trial  Rudi Altig (GER)
1a 29 June Roubaix to Sint-Pieters-Woluwe (Belgium) 147 km (91 mi) Plain stage  Marino Basso (ITA)
1b Sint-Pieters-Woluwe (Belgium) 16 km (9.9 mi) Team time trial  Faema
2 30 June Sint-Pieters-Woluwe (Belgium) to Maastricht (Netherlands) 182 km (113 mi) Plain stage  Julien Stevens (BEL)
3 1 July Maastricht (Netherlands) to Charleville-Mézières 213 km (132 mi) Plain stage  Eric Leman (BEL)
4 2 July Charleville-Mézières to Nancy 214 km (133 mi) Plain stage  Rik van Looy (BEL)
5 3 July Nancy to Mulhouse 194 km (121 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Joaquim Agostinho (POR)
6 4 July Mulhouse to Ballon d’Alsace 133 km (83 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
7 5 July Belfort to Divonne-les-Bains 241 km (150 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Mariano Diaz (ESP)
8a 6 July Divonne-les-Bains 9 km (5.6 mi) Individual time trial  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
8b Divonne-les-Bains to Thonon-les-Bains 137 km (85 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Michele Dancelli (ITA)
9 7 July Thonon-les-Bains to Chamonix 111 km (69 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Roger Pingeon (FRA)
10 8 July Chamonix to Briançon 221 km (137 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Herman Van Springel (BEL)
11 9 July Briançon to Digne 198 km (123 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
12 10 July Digne to Aubagne 161 km (100 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Felice Gimondi (ITA)
13 11 July Aubagne to La Grande-Motte 196 km (122 mi) Plain stage  Guido Reybrouck (BEL)
14 12 July La Grande-Motte to Revel 234 km (145 mi) Plain stage  Joaquim Agostinho (POR)
15 13 July Revel 19 km (12 mi) Individual time trial  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
16 14 July Castelnaudary to Luchon 199 km (124 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Raymond Delisle (FRA)
17 15 July Luchon to Mourenx 214 km (133 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
18 16 July Mourenx to Bordeaux 201 km (125 mi) Plain stage  Barry Hoban (GBR)
19 17 July Bordeaux to Brive 193 km (120 mi) Plain stage  Barry Hoban (GBR)
20 18 July Brive to Puy de Dôme 198 km (123 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Pierre Matignon (FRA)
21 19 July Clermont-Ferrand to Montargis 329 km (204 mi) Plain stage  Herman Van Springel (BEL)
22a 20 July Montargis to Créteil 111 km (69 mi) Plain stage  Jozef Spruyt (BEL)
22b Créteil to Paris 37 km (23 mi) Individual time trial  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
Total 4,117 km (2,558 mi)[4]

Race overview

Julien Stevens after his win in Maastricht, Netherlands, on stage three

Rudi Altig won the prologue, where Merckx finished second. In the team time trial in the second part of the first stage, Merckx's team won, and this gave Merckx the lead.

In the second stage, a group escaped, with Merckx's team mate Julien Stevens as highest-ranked cyclist. There were no dangerous competitors in the escape, so Merckx did not chase them. The group stayed away, and Stevens took over the lead, with Merckx in second place.

In the fourth stage, Rik Van Looy escaped, because he wanted to show himself, such that he would be selected for the Belgian squad for the 1969 UCI Road World Championships.[5] Van Looy quickly took several minutes, and became the virtual leader of the race. With less than 40 km to go, Stevens tried to defend his lead by attacking. He was followed by a group of cyclists, including René Pijnen, one of Van Looy's team mates. Pijnen was trying to stop the chase, and this angered the other cyclists in the group. The group nonetheless was able to reduce the margin to less than a minute, and Stevens conserved his lead.[5]

In the fifth stage, Stevens was not able to stay in the first group. Désiré Letort, who had joined Stevens in the chase the previous stage, became the new leader, 9 seconds ahead of Merckx.

The first mountains showed up in the sixth stage, with a mountain finish on the Ballon d’Alsace. Merckx won convincingly: Galera was second after 55 seconds, Altig after almost two minutes, and the next cyclist came after more than four minutes. Because Letort was more than seven minutes behind, Merckx was now the leader, with Altig in second place, more than two minutes behind.

Merckx won the short time trial in stage 8, but only gained two seconds on Altig. In the ninth stage, Roger Pingeon and Merckx were away, with Pingeon winning the sprint. Altig lost almost eight minutes, and was out of contention. The second place was now taken by Pingeon, more than five minutes behind.

Merckx added some time in the eleventh stage, which he won, and the twelfth stage, where he finished in the first group. After the twelfth stage, Merckx was leading by more than seven minutes. After he won the time trial in stage fifteen, it was more than eight minutes.

By then, his victory was almost sure, he just had to make sure that he stayed with his competitors. But in the seventeenth stage, Merckx did more than that, and got away alone, going solo for more than 140 km. By the finish, he had a margin of almost eight minutes on a group of seven cyclists, and the next cyclists were almost fifteen minutes away. Merckx had increased his margin to more than sixteen minutes. By winning the final time trial, he increased it to almost eighteen minutes.


After the doping-incident with Merckx in the 1969 Giro, the rules for doping offences were changed: riders were no longer removed from the race, but were given a penalty of fifteen minutes in the general classification.[6]

After every stage in the 1969 Tour, three cyclists were tested. These were either the first three of the stage, the first three in the general classification, or three randomly selected cyclists.[6]

Five riders tested positive:[7][8]

Nijdam, Timmerman and Altig requested their B samples to be tested, but they also returned positive. Altig, Guyot and Matignon were given the time penalty of fifteen minutes; Nijdam and Timmerman had already left the race when the results came out.[8]

Classification leadership

There were several classifications in the 1969 Tour de France, three of them awarding jerseys to their leaders. 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.[9]

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.[9]

There was also a mountains classification. The organisation had categorized some climbs as either 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, but was not identified with a jersey in 1969.[9]

Another classification was the combination classification. This classification was calculated as a combination of the other classifications, its leader wore the white jersey.[10]

The fifth individual classification was the intermediate sprints classification. This classification had similar rules as the points classification, but only points were awarded on intermediate sprints. In 1969, this classification had no associated jersey.[11]

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.[12]

The combativity award was given to Eddy Merckx.[2]

Classification leadership by stage
Stage Winner General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification Combination classification
Team classification
P Rudi Altig Rudi Altig Rudi Altig no award no award Salvarani
1a Marino Basso Marino Basso Roger De Vlaeminck Eddy Merckx
1b Faema Eddy Merckx Faema
2 Julien Stevens Julien Stevens
3 Eric Leman
4 Rik van Looy
5 Joaquim Agostinho Désiré Letort Salvarani
6 Eddy Merckx Eddy Merckx Eddy Merckx Eddy Merckx
7 Mariano Diaz Roger De Vlaeminck Joaquim Galera
8a Eddy Merckx
8b Michele Dancelli
9 Roger Pingeon Eddy Merckx Eddy Merckx
10 Herman Van Springel Faema
11 Eddy Merckx Fagor
12 Felice Gimondi Kas–Kaskol
13 Guido Reybrouck
14 Joaquim Agostinho
15 Eddy Merckx Faema
16 Raymond Delisle Kas–Kaskol
17 Eddy Merckx Faema
18 Barry Hoban
19 Barry Hoban
20 Pierre Matignon
21 Herman Van Springel
22a Jozef Spruyt
22b Eddy Merckx
Final Eddy Merckx Eddy Merckx Eddy Merckx Eddy Merckx Faema

Final standings

A yellow jersey. Denotes the winner of the general classification A green jersey. Denotes the winner of the points classification
A white jersey. Denotes the winner of the combination classification

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[1]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Eddy Merckx (BEL) A yellow jersey. A green jersey. A white jersey. Faema 116h 16' 02"
2  Roger Pingeon (FRA) Peugeot–BP–Michelin + 17' 54"
3  Raymond Poulidor (FRA) Mercier–BP–Hutchinson + 22' 13"
4  Felice Gimondi (ITA) Salvarani + 29' 24"
5  Andrés Gandarias (ESP) Kas–Kaskol + 33' 04"
6  Marinus Wagtmans (NED) Willem II–Gazelle + 33' 57"
7  Pierfranco Vianelli (ITA) Molteni + 42' 40"
8  Joaquim Agostinho (POR) Frimatic–De Gribaldy–Viva–Wolber + 51' 24"
9  Désiré Letort (FRA) Peugeot–BP–Michelin + 51' 41"
10  Jan Janssen (NED) Bic + 52' 56"

Points classification

Final points classification (1–10)[1][13]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Eddy Merckx (BEL) A yellow jersey. A green jersey. A white jersey. Faema 244
2  Jan Janssen (NED) Bic 150
3  Marinus Wagtmans (NED) Willem II–Gazelle 136
4  Roger Pingeon (FRA) Peugeot–BP–Michelin 131
5  Felice Gimondi (ITA) Salvarani 108
6  Raymond Poulidor (FRA) Mercier–BP–Hutchinson 99
7  Michele Dancelli (ITA) Molteni 95
8  Joaquim Agostinho (POR) Frimatic–De Gribaldy–Viva–Wolber 91
9  Andrés Gandarias (ESP) Kas–Kaskol 89
10  Harm Ottenbros (NED) Willem II–Gazelle 82

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–10)[1][13]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Eddy Merckx (BEL) A yellow jersey. A green jersey. A white jersey. Faema 155
2  Roger Pingeon (FRA) Peugeot–BP–Michelin 94
3  Joaquim Galera (ESP) Fagor 80
4  Paul Gutty (FRA) Frimatic–De Gribaldy–Viva–Wolber 68
5  Andrés Gandarias (ESP) Kas–Kaskol 54
6  Felice Gimondi (ITA) Salvarani 51
7  Raymond Poulidor (FRA) Mercier–BP–Hutchinson 48
8  Martin Vandenbossche (BEL) Faema 36
9  Raymond Delisle (FRA) Peugeot–BP–Michelin 29
10  Wladimiro Panizza (ITA) Salvarani 28

Combination classification

Final combination classification (1–5)[14][15]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Eddy Merckx (BEL) A yellow jersey. A green jersey. A white jersey. Faema 3
2  Roger Pingeon (FRA) Peugeot–BP–Michelin 8
3  Felice Gimondi (ITA) Salvarani 15
4  Raymond Poulidor (FRA) Mercier–BP–Hutchinson 16
5  Andrés Gandarias (ESP) Kas–Kaskol 19

Intermediate sprints classification

Final intermediate sprints classification (1–5)[15]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Eric Leman (BEL) Flandria–De Clerck–Kruger 53
2  Michael Wright (GBR) Bic 46
3  Raymond Riotte (FRA) Mercier–BP–Hutchinson 43
4  Domingo Perurena (ESP) Fagor 20
5  Stéphane Abrahamian (FRA) Sonolor–Lejeune–Wolber 17

Team classification

Final team classification (1–10)[13]
Rank Team Time
1Faema 351h 50' 56"
2Peugeot–BP–Michelin + 14' 53"
3Kas–Kaskol + 1h 01' 42"
4Fagor + 1h 17' 46"
5Frimatic–De Gribaldy–Viva–Wolber + 1h 28' 20"
6Salvarani + 1h 32' 30"
7Mercier–BP–Hutchinson + 1h 38' 03"
8Molteni + 1h 41' 38"
9Sonolor–Lejeune–Wolber + 1h 41' 41"
10Bic + 3h 07' 22"

Combativity award

Final combativity award classification (1–5)[15]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Eddy Merckx (BEL) A yellow jersey. A green jersey. A white jersey. Faema 419
2  Joaquim Agostinho (POR) Frimatic–De Gribaldy–Viva–Wolber 320
3  Michele Dancelli (ITA) Molteni 178
3  Felice Gimondi (ITA) Salvarani 178
5  Andrés Gandarias (ESP) Kas–Kaskol 159


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "56ème Tour de France 1969" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2 January 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 Historical guide 2016, p. 60.
  3. Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
  4. Historical guide 2016, p. 109.
  5. 1 2 "56ème Tour de France 1969 - 4ème étape" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  6. 1 2 "Kwartier straf in Tour voor doping". Het vrije volk (in Dutch). Koninklijke Bibliotheek. 28 June 1969. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  7. "Cyclists guilty of doping". Eugine Register-Guard. Google News. 13 July 1969. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  8. 1 2 "Vijf renners 'gesnapt' - Triest slot voor Nijdam". Het vrije volk (in Dutch). Koninklijke Bibliotheek. 14 July 1969. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  9. 1 2 3 Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  10. Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Other Classifications & Awards". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  11. Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Intermediate Sprints Classification". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  12. Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0679729364. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  13. 1 2 3 "Clasificaciones". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 21 July 1969. p. 17. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  14. Planas, Narciso (22 July 1969). "Eddy Merckx se impuso en todos los frentes: General, montaño, regularidad. combinada. combatividad y equipos" (PDF). Los Sitios de Gerona (in Spanish). Ajuntament de Girona. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  15. 1 2 3 "Otras clasificaciones" (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 21 July 1969. p. 22. Retrieved 28 April 2012.


External links

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