1985 Tour de France

1985 Tour de France
Route of the 1985 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 28 June – 21 July
Stages 22 + Prologue, including one split stage
Distance 4,109 km (2,553 mi)
Winning time 113h 24' 23"
Winner  Bernard Hinault (FRA) (La Vie Claire)
Second  Greg LeMond (USA) (La Vie Claire)
Third  Stephen Roche (IRE) (La Redoute)

Points  Sean Kelly (IRE) (Skil)
Mountains  Luis Herrera (COL) (Cafe de Colombia–Varta-Mavic)
Youth  Fabio Parra (COL) (Cafe de Colombia–Varta-Mavic)
Combination  Greg LeMond (USA) (La Vie Claire)
Sprints  Jozef Lieckens (BEL) (Lotto)
Team La Vie Claire
Team Points La Vie Claire

The 1985 Tour de France was the 72nd Tour de France, taking place between 28 June and 21 July, over 4,109 km (2,553 mi) in 22 stages and a prologue.

Bernard Hinault would attempt to equal the records of Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx who had each won the Tour de France five times. Hinault was unable to compete due to tendinitis in 1983. In 1984 Hinault had finished second to Laurent Fignon, and was threatened by Greg LeMond who ended in third position on the final podium. In order to ensure the best support, Hinault's La Vie Claire team recruited LeMond for the 1985 tour. In return for his support, Hinault promised on television that he would support LeMond the following year in the 1986 Tour de France.

Despite crashing on a fast descent and riding with black eyes due to his injuries, Hinault won and publicly again stated his promise to help LeMond the following year.


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1985 Tour de France.

In June 1985, 21 teams had requested to start in the 1985 Tour.[1] Three Italian teams, (Gis, Alpilatte and Malvor) withdrew, so the 1985 Tour started with 18 teams. Each team had 10 cyclists, so the 1985 Tour started with 180 cyclists.[2]

The teams entering the race were:[2]

Pre-race favourites

Laurent Fignon, the winner of the 1984 Tour de France was injured, and could not defend his title. Riding for the La Vie Claire team, Bernard Hinault, who already had won the Tour de France four times, and finished second in the previous two editions, was the main pre-race favourite.[3]

Greg LeMond had finished in third place in 1984 as a team mate of Fignon, and was also considered capable of winning the Tour. LeMond had however changed teams, and was now a team mate of Hinault. There was no clear team leader decided before the Tour; their team decided that they would ride for whoever was showing the best results.[3]

Route and stages

The 1985 Tour de France started on 28 June, and had one rest day, in Villard-de-Lans.[4]

Stage characteristics and winners[2][4][5]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 28 June Plumelec 6 km (3.7 mi) Individual time trial  Bernard Hinault (FRA)
1 29 June Vannes to Lanester 256 km (159 mi) Plain stage  Rudy Matthijs (BEL)
2 30 June Lorient to Vitre 242 km (150 mi) Plain stage  Rudy Matthijs (BEL)
3 1 July Vitre to Fougères 73 km (45 mi) Team time trial  La Vie Claire
4 2 July Fougères to Pont-Audemer 239 km (149 mi) Plain stage  Gerrit Solleveld (NED)
5 3 July Neufchâtel-en-Bray to Roubaix 224 km (139 mi) Plain stage  Henri Manders (NED)
6 4 July Roubaix to Reims 222 km (138 mi) Plain stage  Francis Castaing (FRA)
7 5 July Reims to Nancy 217 km (135 mi) Plain stage  Ludwig Wijnants (BEL)
8 6 July Sarrebourg to Strasbourg 75 km (47 mi) Individual time trial  Bernard Hinault (FRA)
9 7 July Strasbourg to Épinal 174 km (108 mi) Hilly stage  Maarten Ducrot (NED)
10 8 July Épinal to Pontarlier 204 km (127 mi) Hilly stage  Jørgen V. Pedersen (DEN)
11 9 July Pontarlier to Morzine Avoriaz 195 km (121 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL)
12 10 July Morzine Avoriaz to Lans-en-Vercors 269 km (167 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Fabio Enrique Parra (COL)
13 11 July Villard-de-Lans 32 km (20 mi) Individual time trial  Eric Vanderaerden (BEL)
12 July Villard-de-Lans Rest day
14 13 July Autrans to Saint-Étienne 179 km (111 mi) Hilly stage  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL)
15 14 July Saint-Étienne to Aurillac 238 km (148 mi) Plain stage  Eduardo Chozas (ESP)
16 15 July Aurillac to Toulouse 247 km (153 mi) Plain stage  Frédéric Vichot (FRA)
17 16 July Toulouse to Luz Ardiden 209 km (130 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Pedro Delgado (ESP)
18a 17 July Luz-Saint-Sauveur to Aubisque 53 km (33 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Stephen Roche (IRE)
18b Laruns to Pau 83 km (52 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Régis Simon (FRA)
19 18 July Pau to Bordeaux 203 km (126 mi) Plain stage  Eric Vanderaerden (BEL)
20 19 July Montpon-Ménestérol to Limoges 225 km (140 mi) Plain stage  Johan Lammerts (NED)
21 20 July Lac de Vassivière 46 km (29 mi) Individual time trial  Greg LeMond (USA)
22 21 July Orléans to Paris (Champs-Élysées) 196 km (122 mi) Plain stage  Rudy Matthijs (BEL)
Total 4,109 km (2,553 mi)[6]

Race overview

Bernard Hinault (pictured in 1982), winner of the general classification, his fifth

Hinault won the prologue, with LeMond in fifth place. Hinault lost the lead in the next stage to Eric Vanderaerden because of time bonuses, but the relative margin to LeMond stayed the same.[3]

The La Vie Claire team showed that they were dominant by winning the team time trial in stage 3. Vanderaerden kept his lead, but places 2 to 9 in the general classification were taken by riders from the La Vie Claire team, with Hinault in second place and LeMond in fourth place.

In the fourth stage, Kim Andersen from the La Vie Claire team was part of a successful breakaway, and became the new leader.[3] LeMond collected some time bonuses in the fifth and sixth stage, which put him two seconds ahead of Hinault in the general classification. In the sixth stage, he initially finished fourth, but initial winner Vanderaerden and second-placed Sean Kelly were relegated for not sprinting according to the rules, making Francis Castaing the stage winner.[3]

Hinault was a time trial expert, which he showed in the individual time trial of stage 8. He beat al the other cyclists by more than two minutes, and became the new leader in the general classification. In that time trial, Dietrich Thurau was penalized for drafting to close to another cyclist. At the start of the next stage, Thurau was still angry and attacked a race official, and was removed from the race.[3]

The next challenge for the general classification was in the first mountain stage, stage eleven. Hinault attacked early in the stage, together with Luis Herrera. Herrera was already far behind in the general classification, but was interested in the mountains classification. Hinault and Herrera worked together: Hinault was only interested in the time gains, and Herrera was only interested in reaching the mountain tops first. Herrera won the stage, with Hinault seven seconds back. LeMond had to stay in the next group, because team tactics did not allow him to attack his team mate.[3]

Stage thirteen was run as an individual time trial. Hinault was not so strong anymore, and did not win the stage, but still won time on LeMond, who was now in second place in the general classification, more than five minutes behind Hinault.[3]

In stage fourteen, Herrera attacked early again to win points for the mountain classification. He was followed by a group of eight cyclists, including LeMond but not Hinault. Herrera won the stage, with the LeMond group reaching the finish one minute later. One minute after that, the group with Hinault reached the finish, but less than one kilometer from the finish, Hinault and five other cyclists crashed. The rules of the Tour says that time losses due to crashes in the last kilometer are not counted, but a cyclists has to reach the finish on his own strengths. Hinault, still on the ground, was checked by the Tour doctor for some minutes, but was able to get back on his bike and finish the stage, his face all covered with blood. His nose was broken, and breathing was more difficult than normal.[3]

Hinault survived the next two flat stages, but ran into problems in the seventeenth stage, with the Col d'Aspin, the Col du Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden. On the Tourmalet, Hinault had to let LeMond, Stephen Roche and Pedro Delgado go. Delgado then left on his own, with Roche chasing him, and LeMond staying close to Roche, who was the biggest threat in the general classification. LeMond felt that he was stronger, and asked his team director Paul Koechli permission to attack. Koechli refused that, and told LeMond to stay with Roche. LeMond stayed with Roche while some other cyclists caught up and Herrera and Fabio Parra went clear of the group. At the end of the stage, LeMond finished almost three minutes behind Delgado, with Hinault a further minute behind. In the general classification, Hinault remained in front, with LeMond 2 minutes 25 seconds behind.[3]

LeMond was frustrated after the stage, because he felt that he could have won the stage, and could have led the general classification for a few days. Hinault, who knew that his Tour victory was now certain only because LeMond had been waiting for him, promised that in the next edition, he would help LeMond to win the Tour.[3]

In the remaining stages, Hinaults lead was not seriously challenged. LeMond was able to win the individual time trial in stage 21, his first Tour stage victory.[7]

Classification leadership

There were several classifications in the 1985 Tour de France, six 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.[8]

Additionally, there was a points classification, where cyclists were given 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.[8] The system for the points classification was changed for the 1987 Tour: in previous years, more points were earned in flat stages than in mountain stages, which gave sprinters an advantage in this classification; in 1984 all stages gave 25 points for the winner.[9]

There was also a mountains classification. The points system for the classification was changed: mountains in the toughest categories gave more points, to reduce the influence of the minor hills on this classification.[9] 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.[8]

The combination jersey for the combination classification was introduced in 1985.[9] This classification was calculated as a combination of the other classifications.[10]

Another classification was the young rider classification. This was decided the same way as the general classification, but only riders that rode the Tour for the first time were eligible, and the leader wore a white jersey.[8]

The sixth individual classification was the intermediate sprints classification. This classification had similar rules as the points classification, but only points were awarded on intermediate sprints. Its leader wore a red 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]

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
A multi-coloured jersey. Denotes the winner of the combination classification A red jersey. Denotes the winner of the intermediate sprints classification

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[2][13][14]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Bernard Hinault (FRA) A yellow jersey. La Vie Claire 113h 24' 23"
2  Greg LeMond (USA) A multi-coloured jersey. La Vie Claire + 1' 42"
3  Stephen Roche (IRE) La Redoute + 4' 29"
4  Sean Kelly (IRE) A green jersey. Skil–Sem–Kas + 6' 26"
5  Phil Anderson (AUS) Panasonic–Raleigh + 7' 44"
6  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Seat–Orbea + 11' 53"
7  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL) A white jersey with red polka dots. Cafe de Colombia–Varta-Mavic + 12' 53"
8  Fabio Enrique Parra (COL) A white jersey. Cafe de Colombia–Varta-Mavic + 13' 35"
9  Eduardo Chozas (ESP) Reynolds + 13' 56"
10  Steve Bauer (CAN) La Vie Claire + 14' 57"

Points classification

Final points classification (1–7)[13][14]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Sean Kelly (IRE) A green jersey. Skil–Sem–Kas 434
2  Greg LeMond (USA) A multi-coloured jersey. La Vie Claire 332
3  Stephen Roche (IRE) La Redoute 279
4  Bernard Hinault (FRA) A yellow jersey. La Vie Claire 266
5  Eric Vanderaerden (BEL) Panasonic–Raleigh 258
6  Phil Anderson (AUS) Panasonic–Raleigh 244
7  Adrie van der Poel (NED) Kwantum–Decosol–Yoko 199

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–6)[13]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL) A white jersey with red polka dots. Cafe de Colombia–Varta-Mavic 440
2  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Seat–Orbea 274
3  Robert Millar (GBR) Peugeot-Shell 270
4  Greg LeMond (USA) A multi-coloured jersey. La Vie Claire 214
5  Reynel Montoya (COL) Cafe de Colombia–Varta-Mavic 190
6  Bernard Hinault (FRA) A yellow jersey. La Vie Claire 165

Combination classification

Final combination classification (1–7)[13]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Greg LeMond (USA) A multi-coloured jersey. La Vie Claire 91
2  Sean Kelly (IRE) A green jersey. Skil–Sem–Kas 85
3  Bernard Hinault (FRA) A yellow jersey. La Vie Claire 76
4  Stephen Roche (IRE) La Redoute 63
5  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL) A white jersey with red polka dots. Cafe de Colombia–Varta-Mavic 62
6  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Seat–Orbea 60
7  Eduardo Chozas (ESP) Reynolds 57

Young rider classification

Young rider classification (1–5)[13][14]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Fabio Enrique Parra (COL) A white jersey. Cafe de Colombia–Varta-Mavic 113h 37' 58"
2  Eduardo Chozas (ESP) Reynolds + 21"
3  Steve Bauer (CAN) La Vie Claire + 1' 22"
4  Robert Forest (FRA) Peugeot-Shell + 4' 10"
5  Álvaro Pino (ESP) Zor–Novotel + 8' 00"

Intermediate sprints classification

Intermediate sprints classification (1–5)[13][14]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Jozef Lieckens (BEL) A red jersey. Lotto 162
2  Eduardo Chozas (ESP) Reynolds 67
3  Sean Kelly (IRE) A green jersey. Skil–Sem–Kas 59
4  Steve Bauer (CAN) La Vie Claire 54
5  Greg LeMond (USA) A multi-coloured jersey. La Vie Claire 51

Team classification

Final team classification (1–5)[13]
Rank Team Time
1La Vie Claire 340h 21' 09"
2Panasonic–Raleigh + 27' 10"
3Peugeot-Shell + 40' 54"
4Skil–Sem–Kas + 46' 51"
5La Redoute + 53' 57"


In previous years, cyclists tied their shoes to their pedals with toe-clips, allowing them to not only push the pedals down but also pull them up. In 1985, Hinault had used clip-ins (clipless pedals), which allowed the shoes to snap into the pedal. His victory in this Tour made these clip-ins popular.[15]

There was some criticism that the time trials were too important. If the time trials would have not counted towards the general classification, the result would have been as follows:[16]

Rank Name Team Time gap
1  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL) Cafe de Colombia–Varta-Mavic
2  Pedro Delgado (ESP) Seat–Orbea + 16"
3  Greg LeMond (USA) La Vie Claire + 2' 28"
4  Fabio Enrique Parra (COL) Cafe de Colombia–Varta-Mavic + 2' 52"
5  Stephen Roche (IRE) La Redoute + 4' 22"
6  Eduardo Chozas (ESP) Reynolds + 4' 27"
7  Sean Kelly (IRE) Skil–Sem–Kas + 4' 32"
8  Bernard Hinault (FRA) La Vie Claire + 4' 47"
9  Robert Millar (GBR) Peugeot-Shell + 6' 21"
10  Peter Winnen (NED) Panasonic–Raleigh + 6' 55"

The total length of the time trials reduced from 223 kilometres (139 mi) in 1985 to 180 kilometres (110 mi) in 1986.[17] Tour director Levitan felt after the 1985 Tour de France that the race had been too easy, and made the course in 1986 extra difficult, including more mountain climbs than before.[18]

After every stage, around four cyclists had been selected for the doping controls. None of these cyclists tested positive for doping.[19]


  1. "Record-aantal ploegen in Tour". Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (in Dutch). Koninklijke Bibliotheek. 15 June 1985. p. 23. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "72ème Tour de France 1985" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2008). The Story of the Tour de France: 1965–2007. Dog Ear Publishering. ISBN 1-59858-608-4. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  4. 1 2 Historical guide 2016, p. 76.
  5. Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCCBike.com. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  6. Historical guide 2016, p. 110.
  7. "1985 Tour de France". Bikeraceinfo.com. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  9. 1 2 3 "Ruim ton voor winnaar". Het Vrije Volk (in Dutch). Koninklijke Bibliotheek. 28 June 1985. p. 21. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  10. Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Other Classifications & Awards". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  11. Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Intermediate Sprints Classification". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  12. Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0679729364. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Clasificaciones oficiales". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 22 July 1985. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  14. 1 2 3 4 "Tour in cijfers". Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch). Regionaal Archief Leiden. 22 July 1985. p. 10.
  15. Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill (2011). Historical Dictionary of Cycling. Historical Dictionaries of Sports. Scarecrow Press. p. 157. ISBN 0810871750.
  16. Nelissen, Jean (22 July 1985). "Hinault populairder dan ooit". Leidsche Courant (in Dutch). Regionaal Archief Leiden. p. 9. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  17. "73ème Tour de France 1986" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 28 August 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  18. "Hinault boos op Tourbaas Levitan". Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch). Regionaal archief Leiden. 9 October 1985. p. 15. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  19. "Geen nieuws van het dopingfront". Leidsche Courant (in Dutch). Regionaal Archief Leiden. 22 July 1985. p. 22. Retrieved 29 April 2012.


External links

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