1975 Tour de France

1975 Tour de France
Map of France with the route of the 1975 Tour de France
Route of the 1975 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 26 June – 20 July
Stages 22 + Prologue, including two split stages
Distance 4,000 km (2,485 mi)
Winning time 114h 35' 31"
Winner  Bernard Thévenet (FRA) (Peugeot–BP–Michelin)
Second  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (Molteni)
Third  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) (Gitane)

Points  Rik Van Linden (BEL) (Bianchi–Campagnolo)
Mountains  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) (Gitane)
Youth  Francesco Moser (ITA) (Filotex)
Sprints  Marc Demeyer (BEL) (Carpenter–Confortluxe–Flandria)
Team Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson

The 1975 Tour de France was the 62nd edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It took place between 26 June and 20 July, with 22 stages covering a distance of 4,000 km (2,485 mi). Eddy Merckx was attempting to win his sixth Tour de France, but became a victim of violence. Many Frenchmen were upset that a Belgian might beat the record of five wins set by Frenchman Jacques Anquetil. During stage 14 a spectator leapt from the crowd and punched Merckx in the kidney. Frenchman Bernard Thévenet took covering a distance of the lead, and after Merckx fell and broke his cheekbone, he was unable to take back the lead, and Thevenet became the winner of the race.

Belgian cyclists were successful in the secondary classifications: the points classification was won by Rik Van Linden, mountains classification by Lucien Van Impe, and the intermediate sprints classification by Marc Demeyer. For the first time, there was young rider classification, won by Italian Francesco Moser.


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1975 Tour de France.

There were 14 teams participating, with 10 cyclists each.[1][2][3]

The teams entering the race were:

Pre-race favourites

Five-time winner of the general classification Eddy Merckx (pictured at the 1975 Amstel Gold Race)

Eddy Merckx, who had won all five times that he participated, was again the big favourite. Merckx' first part of the season had been going well, winning Milan–San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and Liège–Bastogne–Liège.[4] If Merckx would win again, he would beat Jacques Anquetil and become the first cyclist to win the Tour six times. Merckx did not care about that record: "The idea doesn't interest me very much because then people would want me to go for a seventh and then an eighth".[4]

A few months before the race, Merckx was unsure if he would start the Tour. His race schedule had been very busy, and he thought riding the Giro and the Tour in the same year would not work. Merckx preferred to ride the Tour, but his Italian team preferred the Giro.[5]

Bernard Thévenet contracted shingles during the 1975 Vuelta a España, but recovered and won the Dauphiné Liberé.[2]

Route and stages

The 1975 Tour de France started on 26 June, and had two rest days, the first in Auch the second after the finish on the Puy de Dôme, during which the cyclists were transferred to Nice.[6] The 1975 Tour de France did not include a team time trial for the first time since 1962. After 1975, it would be included again every year until 1995.[2] The final stage had become more popular over the years, and the Tour organisers therefore moved the finish line from the Vélodrome de Vincennes to the more prestigious Champs-Élysées.[7]

Stage characteristics and winners[1][6][8]
Stage Course Distance Type Winner
P 26 June Charleroi (Belgium) 6 km (3.7 mi) Individual time trial  Francesco Moser (ITA)
1a 27 June Charleroi (Belgium) to Molenbeek (Belgium) 94 km (58 mi) Plain stage  Cees Priem (NED)
1b Molenbeek (Belgium) to Roubaix 109 km (68 mi) Plain stage  Rik Van Linden (BEL)
2 28 June Roubaix to Amiens 121 km (75 mi) Plain stage  Ronald de Witte (BEL)
3 29 June Amiens to Versailles 170 km (110 mi) Plain stage  Karel Rottiers (BEL)
4 30 June Versailles to Le Mans 223 km (139 mi) Plain stage  Jacques Esclassan (FRA)
5 2 July Sablé-sur-Sarthe to Merlin-Plage 222 km (138 mi) Plain stage  Theo Smit (NED)
6 2 July Merlin-Plage 16 km (9.9 mi) Individual time trial  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
7 3 July Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie to Angoulême 236 km (147 mi) Plain stage  Francesco Moser (ITA)
8 4 July Angoulême to Bordeaux 134 km (83 mi) Plain stage  Barry Hoban (GBR)
9a 5 July Langon to Fleurance 131 km (81 mi) Plain stage  Theo Smit (NED)
9b Fleurance to Auch 37 km (23 mi) Individual time trial  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
6 July Auch Rest day
10 7 July Auch to Pau 206 km (128 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Felice Gimondi (ITA)
11 8 July Pau to Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d'Adet 160 km (99 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Joop Zoetemelk (NED)
12 9 July Tarbes to Albi 242 km (150 mi) Plain stage  Gerrie Knetemann (NED)
13 10 July Albi to Super-Lioran 260 km (160 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Michel Pollentier (BEL)
14 11 July Aurillac to Puy de Dôme 174 km (108 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Lucien Van Impe (BEL)
12 July Nice Rest day
15 13 July Nice to Pra Loup 217 km (135 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Bernard Thévenet (FRA)
16 14 July Barcelonnette to Serre Chevalier 107 km (66 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Bernard Thévenet (FRA)
17 15 July Valloire to Morzine Avoriaz 225 km (140 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Vicente Lopez-Carril (ESP)
18 16 July Morzine to Chatel 40 km (25 mi) Individual time trial  Lucien Van Impe (BEL)
19 17 July Thonon-les-Bains to Chalon-sur-Saône 229 km (142 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Rik Van Linden (BEL)
20 18 July Pouilly-en-Auxois to Melun 256 km (159 mi) Plain stage  Giacinto Santambrogio (ITA)
21 19 July Melun to Senlis 220 km (140 mi) Plain stage  Rik Van Linden (BEL)
22 20 July Paris to Paris (Champs-Élysées) 164 km (102 mi) Plain stage  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
Total 4,000 km (2,485 mi)[9]

Race overview

Bernard Thévenet (pictured in 1978), winner of the general classification

Francesco Moser won the prologue, and kept the lead until the first time trial. Merckx started the Tour aggressively, which caused the peloton to split in two groups in the first stage. Merckx and Moser were in the first group, and won a minute on most of their competitors. In the second part of the first stage, the field split again, but this time Thevenet and Poulidor were also in the first group. In stage six, a time trial, Merckx beat Moser and became the leader.[4]

The first climbing was done in the tenth stage, but the favourites stayed together, and the general classification was not changed.[2] The major Pyrenéan mountains were scheduled in stage eleven. In that stage, Bernard Thévenet and Joop Zoetemelk escaped together, while Merckx could not follow them. Zoetemelk won, with Merckx almost one minute behind.[7] Other favourites finished much later, and lost their hopes of winning the Tour.[2] The fourteenth stage had its finish on top of the Puy de Dôme. When Merckx was about to catch Joop Zoetemelk, a French spectator punched Merckx in the stomach.[4]

After the rest day, the fifteenth stage would end in Pra Loup. Merckx was still the leader, and escaped from the rest. But on the final climb, Merckx was out of energy, and Thévenet was able to reach Merckx two kilometers from the finish, leave Merckx behind, and win with a margin of two minutes.[4] During that stage, the team car of Bianchi fell 150 meters down, but the driver survived.[2] Thévenet was the new leader, and improved his margin in the sixteenth stage by winning with more than two minutes on Merckx.

While riding to the start of the seventeenth stage, Merckx collided with Ole Ritter, and broke a cheekbone.[4] Merckx' broken cheekbone gave him problems with eating, and the Tour doctor gave him the advice to abandon the race. Merckx decided to stay in the race, because of the prize money for his team mates that his second place in the general classification and other classifications would earn them.[4]


After every stage in the 1975 Tour de France, the leader of the race, the winner of the stage and the runner-up, and two random cyclists were checked.[10] In total, 110 tests were done, of which three returned positive:[11]

All three were fined with 1000 Swiss Francs, received one month suspended sentence, were set back to the last place in the stage where they tested positive, and received 10 minutes penalty time in the general classification. This meant that Gimondi, who initially finished the Tour in fifth place, was set back to the sixth place.

Classification leadership

There were several classifications in the 1975 Tour de France, four 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.[15] Time bonuses for stage winners were removed for the 1975 Tour.[16]

Additionally, there was a points classification, where 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.[15]

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.[15] 1975 was also the first year that the leader of the classification wore a polka dot jersey.[7]

The combination classification was removed, and the young rider classification was added.[1][7] This was decided the same way as the general classification, but only neo-professionals were eligible, and the leader wore a white jersey.[17]

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 1975, this classification had no associated jersey.[18]

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.[19] There was also a team points classification. After each stage, the stage rankings of the best three cyclists per team were added, and the team with the least total lead this classification, and were identified by green caps.[20]

The combativity award was given to Eddy Merckx.[6]

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 with red polka dots. Denotes the winner of the mountains classification A white jersey. Denotes the winner of the young rider classification

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[1]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Bernard Thévenet (FRA) A yellow jersey. Peugeot–BP–Michelin 114h 35' 31"
2  Eddy Merckx (BEL) A green jersey. Molteni + 2' 47"
3  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) A white jersey with red polka dots. Gitane + 5' 01"
4  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson + 6' 42"
5  Vicente López Carril (ESP) Kas–Kaskol + 19' 29"
6  Felice Gimondi (ITA) Bianchi–Campagnolo + 23' 05"
7  Francesco Moser (ITA) A white jersey. Filotex + 24' 13"
8  Josef Fuchs (SUI) Filotex + 25' 51"
9  Edouard Janssens (BEL) Molteni + 32' 01"
10  Pedro Torres (ESP) Super Ser + 35' 36"

Points classification

Final points classification (1–10)[1][21]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Rik Van Linden (BEL) Bianchi–Campagnolo 342
2  Eddy Merckx (BEL) A green jersey. Molteni 240
3  Francesco Moser (ITA) A white jersey. Filotex 199
4  Walter Godefroot (BEL) Carpenter–Confortluxe–Flandria 190
5  Barry Hoban (GBR) Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson 183
6  Gerben Karstens (NED) Gitane 182
7  Robert Mintkiewicz (FRA) Gitane 155
8  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson 109
9  Bernard Thévenet (FRA) A yellow jersey. Peugeot–BP–Michelin 108
10  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) A white jersey with red polka dots. Gitane 107

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–7)[1][21]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) A white jersey with red polka dots. Gitane 285
2  Eddy Merckx (BEL) A green jersey. Molteni 206
3  Bernard Thévenet (FRA) A yellow jersey. Peugeot–BP–Michelin 166
4  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson 161
5  Felice Gimondi (ITA) Bianchi–Campagnolo 78
6  Pedro Torres (ESP) Super Ser 63
7  Vicente López Carril (ESP) Kas–Kaskol 58

Young rider classification

Final young rider classification (1–5)[21]
Rank Rider Team
1  Francesco Moser (ITA) A white jersey. Filotex
2  Hennie Kuiper (NED) Frisol–G.B.C.
3  André Romero (FRA) Jobo–Sabliere–Wolber
4  Georges Talbourdet (FRA) Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson
5  Fedor Iwan den Hertog (NED) Frisol–G.B.C.

Intermediate sprints classification

Final intermediate sprints classification (1–5)[21]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Marc Demeyer (BEL) Carpenter–Confortluxe–Flandria 77
2  Barry Hoban (GBR) Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson 47
3  Robert Mintkiewicz (FRA) Gitane 35
4  Claude Magni (FRA) Jobo–Sabliere–Wolber 12
5  Francis Campaner (FRA) Sporting–Sotto Mayor–Lejeune 10

Team classification

Final team classification (1–10)[21]
Rank Team Time
1Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson 345h 03' 49"
2Molteni + 8' 28"
3Filotex + 11' 17"
4Gitane + 20' 08"
5Peugeot–BP–Michelin + 28' 47"
6Bianchi–Campagnolo + 41' 13"
7 Kas–Kaskol + 1h 04' 48"
8Super Ser + 1h 05' 22"
9Sporting–Sotto Mayor–Lejeune + 2h 34' 45"
10Frisol–G.B.C. + 2h 37' 19"

Team points classification

Final team points classification (1–5)[21]
Rank Team Points
1Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson 950
2Gitane 1072
3Molteni 1425
4Bianchi–Campagnolo 1538
5Peugeot–BP–Michelin 1633


Later, Merckx said that his decision to stay in the Tour after he broke his cheekbone was stupid. He felt that it cut his career short.[4]

Thevenet later confessed that he had used cortisones in 1975.[22]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "62ème Tour de France 1975" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2008). The Story of the Tour De France: 1965–2007. Dog Ear Publishing. pp. 88–93. ISBN 978-1-59858-608-4. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  3. "Lista de Inscritos" (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 26 June 1975. p. 19. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Sidwells, Chris (17 June 2010). "Eddy Merckx magic moment – 1975 Tour de France". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  5. "Deelname Merckx aan Tour de France is onzeker". De Krant van Toen (in Dutch). Leeuwarder Courant. 22 April 1975. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  6. 1 2 3 Historical guide 2016, p. 66.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Boyce, Barry (March 2006). "1975: Thevenet Exploits a Vulnerable Merckx". Cycling Revealed. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  8. Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  9. Historical guide 2016, p. 109.
  10. "Ondanks zaak-Delepine neemt dopinggebruik af in de Tour-karavaan" (in Dutch). Leidse Courant. 7 July 1975. p. 9. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  11. "Tombés au champs d'honneur". Dopage.com (in French). Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  12. "Delepine betrapt op doping" (in Dutch). Nieuwe Leidsche Courant. 7 July 1975. p. 9. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  13. "Felice Gimondi weer positief" (in Dutch). Leidse Courant. 28 July 1975. p. 14. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  14. "Dopingrel" (in Dutch). Leidse Courant. 21 July 1975. p. 10. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  15. 1 2 3 Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified – Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  16. "Geen bonificaties in Tour de France". Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (in Dutch). De Krant van Toen. 18 December 1974. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  17. "TDF guides: White jersey". TeamSky.com. BSkyB. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  18. Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Intermediate Sprints Classification". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  19. Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0-679-72936-4. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  20. Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Other Classifications & Awards". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Clasificaciones oficiales". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 21 July 1975. p. 21. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  22. Thompson, Christopher S. (2008). The Tour de France: A Cultural History. University of California Press. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-520-25630-9. Retrieved 21 April 2011.


External links

Media related to 1975 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/29/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.