1987 Tour de France

1987 Tour de France
Route of the 1987 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 1–26 July
Stages 25 + Prologue
Distance 4,231 km (2,629 mi)
Winning time 115h 27' 42"
Winner  Stephen Roche (IRE) (Carrera Jeans–Vagabond)
Second  Pedro Delgado (ESP) (PDM–Concorde)
Third  Jean-François Bernard (FRA) (Toshiba–Look)

Points  Jean-Paul van Poppel (NED) (Superconfex–Kwantum–Yoko–Colnago)
Mountains  Luis Herrera (COL) (Café de Colombia)
Youth  Raúl Alcalá (MEX) (7-Eleven)
Combination  Jean-François Bernard (FRA) (Toshiba–Look)
Sprints  Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (FRA) (Vétements Z–Peugeot)
Team Système U
Team Points Système U

The 1987 Tour de France was the 74th edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 1 to 26 July. It consisted of 25 stages over 4,231 km (2,629 mi). It was the closest three-way finish in the Tour until the 2007 Tour de France, and was won by Stephen Roche, the first and so far only Irishman to do so.

The winner of the 1986 Tour de France, Greg LeMond was unable to defend his title following a shooting accident in April.

Following Stage 1, Poland's Lech Piasecki became the first rider from the Eastern Bloc to lead the Tour de France.[1][2] He was one of eight different men to wear yellow, a new record for the Tour.[1]


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1987 Tour de France.

The number of cyclists in one team was reduced from 10 to 9, to allow more teams in the race.[2] The 1987 Tour started with 207 cyclists, divided into 23 teams.[3]

The teams entering the race were:[3]

Pre-race favourites

Shortly before the Tour, on 20 April 1987, the defending champion Greg LeMond was accidentally shot by his brother-in-law while hunting turkeys. He was unable to start the 1987 Tour, and because Bernard Hinault (second placed in 1986, and the only rider to seriously challenge LeMond in 1986) had retired, the Tour started without a clear favourite.

Only one previous winner started in the 1987 Tour: Laurent Fignon, winner in 1983 and 1984. Since then, Fignon had struggled with his form, but in the first months of 1987, Fignon had finally shown some good results. LeMond's place as leader of the Toshiba team was now taken by Jean-François Bernard. He had finished in twelfth place in the previous year as helper of LeMond and Hinault, so more was expected from him now. The Carrera team was led by Stephen Roche. For Roche, the months before the 1987 Tour had gone well, having won the 1987 Giro d'Italia. In the recent Tours, Pedro Delgado had shown improving results, and he had some talented helpers in his PDM team, so he was also considered a contender.[4]

Route and stages

In 1985, it was announced that the 1987 Tour would start in West-Berlin, to celebrate that it was 750 years ago that the city was founded.[5] The 1987 Tour de France started on 1 July, and had one rest day, in Avignon.[6] There were 25 stages (and a prologue), more than ever before.[4]

Stage characteristics and winners[3][6][7]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 1 July West Berlin (West Germany) 6 km (3.7 mi) Individual time trial  Jelle Nijdam (NED)
1 2 July West Berlin (West Germany) 105 km (65 mi) Plain stage  Nico Verhoeven (NED)
2 2 July West Berlin (West Germany) 41 km (25 mi) Team time trial  Carrera Jeans–Vagabond
3 4 July Karlsruhe (West Germany) to Stuttgart (West Germany) 219 km (136 mi) Plain stage  Acácio da Silva (POR)
4 5 July Stuttgart (West Germany) to Pforzheim (West Germany) 79 km (49 mi) Plain stage  Herman Frison (BEL)
5 5 July Pforzheim (West Germany) to Strasbourg 112 km (70 mi) Plain stage  Marc Sergeant (BEL)
6 6 July Strasbourg to Épinal 169 km (105 mi) Plain stage  Christophe Lavainne (FRA)
7 7 July Épinal to Troyes 211 km (131 mi) Plain stage  Manuel Jorge Domínguez (ESP)[8]
8 8 July Troyes to Épinay-sous-Sénart 206 km (128 mi) Plain stage  Jean-Paul van Poppel (NED)
9 9 July Orléans to Renazé 260 km (160 mi) Plain stage  Adrie van der Poel (NED)
10 10 July Saumur to Futuroscope 87 km (54 mi) Individual time trial  Stephen Roche (IRE)
11 11 July Poitiers to Chaumeil 206 km (128 mi) Hilly stage  Martial Gayant (FRA)
12 12 July Brive to Bordeaux 228 km (142 mi) Plain stage  Davis Phinney (USA)
13 13 July Bayonne to Pau 219 km (136 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Erik Breukink (NED)
14 14 July Pau to Luz Ardiden 166 km (103 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Dag Otto Lauritzen (NOR)
15 15 July Tarbes to Blagnac 164 km (102 mi) Plain stage  Rolf Gölz (GER)
16 16 July Blagnac to Millau 216 km (134 mi) Hilly stage  Régis Clère (FRA)
17 17 July Millau to Avignon 239 km (149 mi) Hilly stage  Jean-Paul van Poppel (NED)
18 July Avignon Rest day
18 19 July Carpentras to Mont Ventoux 37 km (23 mi) Individual time trial  Jean-François Bernard (FRA)
19 20 July Valréas to Villard-de-Lans 185 km (115 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Pedro Delgado (ESP)
20 21 July Villard-de-Lans to Alpe d'Huez 201 km (125 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Federico Echave (ESP)
21 22 July Le Bourg-d'Oisans to La Plagne 185 km (115 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Laurent Fignon (FRA)
22 23 July La Plagne to Morzine 186 km (116 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Eduardo Chozas (ESP)
23 24 July Saint-Julien-en-Genevois to Dijon 225 km (140 mi) Plain stage  Régis Clère (FRA)
24 25 July Dijon 38 km (24 mi) Individual time trial  Jean-François Bernard (FRA)
25 26 July Créteil to Paris (Champs-Élysées) 192 km (119 mi) Plain stage  Jeff Pierce (USA)
Total 4,231 km (2,629 mi)[9]

Race overview

The prologue was won by specialist Jelle Nijdam, and none of the favourites lost much time.[4] The second place in the prologue was for Polish cyclist Lech Piasecki, and when he was part of a break-away in the first stage that won a few seconds, he became the new leader in the general classification, the first time that an Eastern-European cyclist lead the Tour de France.[1][2] Piasecki kept his lead in the team time trial of stage 2, but lost it in the third stage when a break-away gained several minutes. Erich Maechler became the new leader. Maechler kept the lead for several stages. After stage nine, Maechler was still leading. The mass-start stages were dominated by break-aways of cyclists who were not considered relevant for the final victory; sixth-placed Charly Mottet was the only cyclist in the top 15 who had real chances of finishing high.[4]

The tenth stage was an individual time trial, and the first real test for the favourites. It was won by Stephen Roche, with Mottet in second place; Mottet became the new leader of the general classification.[4] After a successful escape in the eleventh stage, Martial Gayant became the new leader. The twelfth stage ended in a bunch sprint that did not change the general classification. The Tour arrived in the Pyrenees in the thirteenth stage. Non-climbers, such as Gayant lost more than fifteen minutes, and so the non-climbers were removed from the top positions of the general classification; the new top three was Mottet – Bernard – Roche, all serious contenders for the final victory.[4]

The eighteenth stage was an individual time trial, with a finish on the Mont Ventoux. It was won with a great margin by Jean-François Bernard, who became the new leader of the general classification, and the new hope of the French cycling fans. Bernard was a good climber and a good time-trialist, and had the support of a good team, so he could be able to stay leader until the end of the race.[4] But already in the next stage, Bernard lost considerable time. He had a flat tire just before the top of a climb, and lost contact with the other riders while he had to wait for repairs, and had to spend energy to get back. His rivals Mottet and Roche had made a plan to attack in the feed zone, where cyclists could get their lunch. Mottet and Roche had packed extra food at the start of the stage, and attacked while Bernard was at the back of the peloton. Bernard chased them, but was not able to get back to them, and lost four minutes in that stage, which made Roche the new leader, closely followed by Mottet and Delgado.[4]

In the twentieth stage, the riders went through the Alps, to finish on the Alpe d'Huez. Roche finished in fifteenth place, and lost the lead to Delgado.[4] The pivotal stage was stage 21. In the first part of this stage, the Colombian cyclists of the "Cafe de Colombia" team (including Luis Herrera and Fabio Enrique Parra, fifth and sixth in the general classification) kept a high pace, and many cyclists were dropped. Roche, Delgado and Mottet decided to work together to get rid of the Colombian cyclists on the descent of the Galibier, out of fear that Herrera and Parra would leave them behind in the next climbs. Their plan worked, but Delgado's team mates were also dropped. Roche saw this opportunity and escaped, climbing the Madeleine alone.[10] Somewhat later, Delgado's team mates got back to Delgado, and together they chased Roche, and caught him just before the climb of La Plagne. Roche then anticipated that Delgado would keep attacking on the climb. Knowing Delgado was the better climber, Roche decided he would not follow Delgado's attack. Instead, he let Delgado get away until the margin was one minute, giving Delgado the impression that he could safely save energy for the next stages, and at the last part of the stage gave it everything he had to reduce the margin. Roche followed that tactic, and confused not only Delgado, but also the commentators and the Tour organisation. Roche finished a few seconds behind Delgado, and after the finish he collapsed and was given an oxygen mask in an ambulance.[10]

Roche was only 39 seconds behind Delgado in the general classification. Roche could still win the Tour, but it depended on if he could recover in time for the 22nd stage. That stage included the last serious climb of the Tour, so Delgado had his final opportunity to gain time on Roche, and he attacked. However, Roche was able to come back to Delgado twice. Then, Roche attacked, and Delgado could not keep up. Roche won back 18 seconds on Delgado, so he had reduced his margin to 21 seconds.[2] Being a talented time-trialist, he knew that he could easily make up for it on the penultimate stage (an individual time trial at Dijon). Indeed, Roche won almost a minute on Delgado, and this was enough to secure the overall win. This time trial was won by Jean-François Bernard, who finished the Tour in third place; if Bernard had not lost four minutes after the flat tire in the nineteenth stage, he would have won the Tour.[4]


Bontempi was originally declared winner of the 7th stage, but a few days later, his doping test came back positive for testosteron. Bontempi was set back to the last place of the stage, was penalized with 10 minutes in the general classification, and received a provisional suspension of one month.[11]

One day later, it became public that Dietrich Thurau had tested positive after the eighth stage. At that point, Thurau had already left the race. He was set back to the last place of that stage, and also received a provisional suspension of one month.[12]

The third rider to test positive was Silvano Contini, after the thirteenth stage. He received the same penalty.[13]

Classification leadership

There were several classifications in the 1987 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.[14]

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.[14]

There was also a mountains classification. 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.[14]

There was also a combination classification. This classification was calculated as a combination of the other classifications, its leader wore the combination jersey.[15]

Another 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.[16]

The sixth individual classification was the young rider classification. This was decided the same way as the general classification, but only riders under 26 years were eligible, and the leader wore a white jersey.[14] In 1987 the race organizers changed the rules for the young rider classification; from 1983 to 1986, this classification had been as a "debutant classification", open for cyclist that rode the Tour for the first time. In 1987, the organizers decided that the classification should be open to all cyclists less than 25 years of age at 1 January of the year.

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.[17] 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.[15]

Classification leadership table[18]
Stage General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification
Young rider classification
Combination classification
Intermediate sprints classification
Team classification Team points classification
P Jelle Nijdam Jelle Nijdam no award Jelle Nijdam no award no award Carrera Jeans–Vagabond Carrera Jeans–Vagabond
1 Lech Piasecki Lech Piasecki Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle Dietrich Thurau Jean-Claude Colotti Del Tongo–Colnago Roland–Skala–Chiori–Colnago
2 Erik Breukink Giovanni Bottoia Carrera Jeans–Vagabond
3 Erich Maechler Acacio Da Silva Frédéric Brun Bruno Cornilet Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle Système U
4 Jörg Müller Dietrich Thurau
6 Bruno Wojtinek Hendrik Devos Christophe Lavainne Christophe Lavainne
7 Jean-Paul van Poppel Raúl Alcalá
10 Charly Mottet Bruno Cornilet
11 Martial Gayant PDM–Concorde
13 Charly Mottet Erik Breukink Jean-François Bernard Panasonic–Isostar
14 Luis Herrera Raúl Alcalá 7-Eleven
15 PDM–Concorde
16 Raúl Alcalá Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle 7-Eleven
17 Luis Herrera PDM–Concorde
18 Jean-François Bernard 7-Eleven
19 Stephen Roche PDM–Concorde
20 Pedro Delgado 7-Eleven
22 Stephen Roche Système U
23 Jean-Paul van Poppel
24 Stephen Roche Stephen Roche
25 Jean-Paul van Poppel
Final Stephen Roche Jean-Paul van Poppel Luis Herrera Raúl Alcalá Jean-François Bernard Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle Système U Système U

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)[3]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Stephen Roche (IRE) A yellow jersey. Carrera Jeans–Vagabond 115h 27' 42"
2  Pedro Delgado (ESP) PDM–Concorde + 0' 40"
3  Jean-François Bernard (FRA) A multi-coloured jersey. Toshiba–Look + 2' 13"
4  Charly Mottet (FRA) Système U + 6' 40"
5  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL) A white jersey with red polka dots. Café de Colombia + 9' 32"
6  Fabio Enrique Parra (COL) Café de Colombia + 16' 53"
7  Laurent Fignon (FRA) Système U + 18' 24"
8  Anselmo Fuerte (ESP) BH + 18' 33"
9  Raúl Alcalá (MEX) A white jersey. 7-Eleven + 21' 49"
10  Marino Lejarreta (ESP) Caja Rural–Orbea + 26' 13"

Points classification

Final points classification (1–5)[19]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Jean-Paul van Poppel (NED) A green jersey. Superconfex–Kwantum–Yoko–Colnago 263
2  Stephen Roche (IRE) A yellow jersey. Carrera Jeans–Vagabond 247
3  Pedro Delgado (ESP) PDM–Concorde 228
4  Jean-François Bernard (FRA) A multi-coloured jersey. Toshiba–Look 201
5  Jozef Lieckens (BEL) Joker–Emerxil–Eddy Merckx 195

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–5)[19]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL) A white jersey with red polka dots. Café de Colombia 452
2  Anselmo Fuerte (ESP) BH 314
3  Raúl Alcalá (MEX) A white jersey. 7-Eleven 277
4  Pedro Delgado (ESP) PDM–Concorde 224
5  Fabio Enrique Parra (COL) Café de Colombia 180

Combination classification

Final combination classification (1–5)[19]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Jean-François Bernard (FRA) A multi-coloured jersey. Toshiba–Look 72
2  Laurent Fignon (FRA) Système U 70
3  Stephen Roche (IRE) A yellow jersey. Carrera Jeans–Vagabond 69
4  Luis Alberto Herrera (COL) A white jersey with red polka dots. Café de Colombia 65
5  Anselmo Fuerte (ESP) BH 65

Young rider classification

Young rider classification (1–5)[19]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Raúl Alcalá (MEX) A white jersey. 7-Eleven 115h 49' 31"
2  Erik Breukink (NED) Panasonic–Isostar + 31' 46"
3  Gilles Sanders (FRA) Kas + 59' 08"
4  Jesper Skibby (DEN) Roland–Skala–Chiori–Colnago + 59' 24"
5  José Salvador Sanchis (ESP) Caja Rural–Orbea + 1h 08' 17"

Intermediate sprints classification

Intermediate sprints classification (1–5)[19]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (FRA) A red jersey. Vétements Z–Peugeot 249
2  Jean-Paul van Poppel (NED) A green jersey. Superconfex–Kwantum–Yoko–Colnago 178
3  Régis Clère (FRA) Teka 142
4  Martin Earley (IRE) Fagor 100
5  Teun van Vliet (NED) Panasonic–Isostar 70

Team classification

Final team classification (1–5)[19]
Rank Team Time
1Système U 346h 44' 02"
2Café de Colombia + 38' 20"
3BH + 56' 02"
4Fagor + 1h 07' 54"
5Toshiba–Look + 1h 28' 54"

Team points classification

Final team points classification (1–5)[19]
Rank Team Points
1Système U 1790
2PDM–Concorde 1804
37-Eleven 1821
4Panasonic–Isostar 1863
5BH 2670


After the Giro-Tour double victory, Roche could complete the Triple Crown of Cycling by winning the 1987 road race world championship.[4]


  1. 1 2 3 The Official Tour de France Centennial 1903–2003. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 2003. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-297-84358-0.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Boyce, Barry (2006). "1987: Drama on La Plagne". Cycling revealed. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "74ème Tour de France 1987" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  4. 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 Publishing. pp. 171–178. ISBN 1-59858-608-4. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  5. "Tour '87 start in West-Berlijn". Leidsche Courant (in Dutch). Regionaal Archief Leiden. 11 October 1985. p. 11. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  6. 1 2 Historical guide 2016, p. 78.
  7. Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCCBike.com. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  8. The seventh stage was initially won by Guido Bontempi, who failed a doping test. Second-placed cyclist in that stage Dominguez was promoted to the first place.
  9. Historical guide 2016, p. 110.
  10. 1 2 Bordyche, Tom (26 June 2012). "Stephen Roche remembers one special day in 1987". BBC. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  11. "1987, Part Three: D'ohpe!". Cyclismas. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  12. "Wir haben doch früher alle gedopt" (in German). Die Welt. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  13. "Ook Contini betrapt op dopinggebruik". Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch). Regionaal archief Leiden. 27 July 1987. p. 11. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  14. 1 2 3 4 Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  15. 1 2 Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Other Classifications & Awards". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  16. Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Intermediate Sprints Classification". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  17. Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0-679-72936-4. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  18. "1987, Part Two: Raise High the Red Lantern". Cyclismas. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Clasificaciones oficiales". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 27 July 1987. p. 38. Retrieved 31 March 2012.


Further reading

External links

Media related to 1987 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.