1998 Tour de France

1998 Tour de France
Route of the 1998 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 11 July – 2 August
Stages 21 + Prologue
Distance 3,875 km (2,408 mi)
Winning time 92h 49' 46"
Winner  Marco Pantani (ITA) (Mercatone Uno–Bianchi)
Second  Jan Ullrich (GER) (Team Telekom)
Third  Bobby Julich (USA) (Cofidis)

Points  Erik Zabel (GER) (Team Telekom)
Mountains  Christophe Rinero (FRA) (Cofidis)
Youth  Jan Ullrich (GER) (Team Telekom)
Team Cofidis

The 1998 Tour de France was the 85th edition of the Tour de France and took place between 11 July and 2 August. For the first time the tour started in Ireland.[1][2]

The 1998 edition of Tour de France was won by Marco Pantani, with podium placing of Jan Ullrich, the defending champion, and American Bobby Julich. Erik Zabel won his third consecutive green jersey in the points classification. Christophe Rinero claimed the polka dot jersey as the winner of the mountains classification.[3]


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1998 Tour de France.

Because the 1997 Tour had seen many crashes in the first week, organisers of the Tour, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), decided to reduce the number of teams from 22 to 21. 189 riders in 21 teams commenced the 1998 Tour de France, only 96 riders finished.[4] The first round of teams that were invited were the sixteen teams of the UCI Rankings on 1 January 1998, provided that they were still in the top 20 after transfers were factored into the calculation.[5] All these sixteen teams fulfilled this requirement.[6] Later, the ASO gave wildcard invitions to four teams.[7] with one team added by special invitation:[7]

The teams entering the race were:

Qualified teams

Invited teams

Route and stages

Stage characteristics and winners[4][8][9]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 11 July Dublin (Ireland) 5.6 km (3.5 mi) Individual time trial  Chris Boardman (GBR)
1 12 July Dublin (Ireland) 180.5 km (112.2 mi) Plain stage  Tom Steels (BEL)
2 13 July Enniscorthy (Ireland) to Cork (Ireland) 205.5 km (127.7 mi) Plain stage  Ján Svorada (CZE)
3 14 July Roscoff to Lorient 169.0 km (105.0 mi) Plain stage  Jens Heppner (GER)
4 15 July Plouay to Cholet 252.0 km (156.6 mi) Plain stage  Jeroen Blijlevens (NED)
5 16 July Cholet to Châteauroux 228.5 km (142.0 mi) Plain stage  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
6 17 July La Châtre to Brive-la-Gaillarde 204.5 km (127.1 mi) Plain stage  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
7 18 July Meyrignac-l'Église to Corrèze 58.0 km (36.0 mi) Individual time trial  Jan Ullrich (GER)
8 19 July Brive-la-Gaillarde to Montauban 190.5 km (118.4 mi) Plain stage  Jacky Durand (FRA)
9 20 July Montauban to Pau 210.0 km (130.5 mi) Plain stage  Leon van Bon (NED)
10 21 July Pau to Luchon 196.5 km (122.1 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Rodolfo Massi (ITA)
11 22 July Luchon to Plateau de Beille 170.0 km (105.6 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Marco Pantani (ITA)
23 July Ariège Rest day
12 24 July Tarascon-sur-Ariège to Le Cap d'Agde 222.0 km (137.9 mi) Plain stage  Tom Steels (BEL)
13 25 July Frontignan la Peyrade to Carpentras 196.0 km (121.8 mi) Plain stage  Daniele Nardello (ITA)
14 26 July Valréas to Grenoble 186.5 km (115.9 mi) Hilly stage  Stuart O'Grady (AUS)
15 27 July Grenoble to Les Deux Alpes 189.0 km (117.4 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Marco Pantani (ITA)
16 28 July Vizille to Albertville 204.0 km (126.8 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Jan Ullrich (GER)
17 29 July Albertville to Aix-les-Bains 149.0 km (92.6 mi) Stage with mountain(s)
18 30 July Aix-les-Bains to Neuchâtel (Switzerland) 218.5 km (135.8 mi) Hilly stage  Tom Steels (BEL)
19 31 July La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland) to Autun 242.0 km (150.4 mi) Plain stage  Magnus Bäckstedt (SWE)
20 1 August Montceau-les-Mines to Le Creusot 52.0 km (32.3 mi) Individual time trial  Jan Ullrich (GER)
21 2 August Melun to Paris (Champs-Élysées) 147.5 km (91.7 mi) Plain stage  Tom Steels (BEL)
Total 3,875 km (2,408 mi)[10]

Race overview


The 1998 tour was marred by several doping scandals throughout, together known as the Festina affair, starting with the arrest of Willy Voet, a soigneur in the French Festina team. Initially the doping suspicion only surrounded the two teams Festina and TVM, but later investigations and retrospective tests revealed the doping abuse was far more widespread. Therefore, this edition of the Tour also became nicknamed by many media sources, as the "Tour du Dopage" (Tour of Doping).

In 2004, 60 remaining antidoping samples given by riders during the 1998 Tour, were tested retrospectively for recombinant EPO by using three recently developed detection methods. The results of these tests were published to have returned 44 positives and 9 negatives, with the remaining 7 samples not returning any result due to sample degradation. At first, the rider names with a positive sample were not made public, as it had only been conducted as scientific research.[11]

In July 2013, the antidoping committee of the French Senate however decided it would benefit the current doping fight to shed full light on the past, and so decided — as part of their "Commission of Inquiry into the effectiveness of the fight against doping" report — to publish all sample IDs along with the result of the retrospective test. This publication revealed, that the 9 negative samples belonged to 5 riders (of whom two nevertheless had confessed using EPO in that Tour), while the 44 positive samples belonged to 33 riders — including race winner Marco Pantani, runner-up Jan Ullrich, third on the podium Bobby Julich, and points-competition winner Erik Zabel.[12][13] Bobby Julich had already one year prior publication of his positive test, admitted using EPO from August 1996 to July 1998.[14] When combining the EPO abuse confessions of the two riders testing negative with all the positive test results, it was indicated that 35 out of the 38 retrospectively tested riders (92%) had been using EPO in the 1998 Tour de France.

In addition to those 92% of the 38 riders in the retrospective test, who either tested EPO positive or confessed EPO abuse, 9 out of 9 Festina riders and 2 out of 9 TVM riders, who were not tested by the retrospective test but implicated in prior police investigations, also confessed using EPO in the Tour. Finally at least five more riders, who were neither retrospectively tested nor a part of TVM/Festina, opted later on also to confess having doped with EPO in the 1998 edition of the Tour. All in all, more than 50 riders have now been confirmed either by tests/confessions, to have used EPO doping during the 1998 Tour de France.

Classification leadership

There were several classifications in the 1998 Tour de France. 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]

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, and was identified with a green jersey.[15]

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.[15]

The fourth individual classification was the young rider classification, which was not marked by a jersey. This was decided the same way as the general classification, but only riders under 26 years were eligible.[15]

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.[16]

For the combativity award classification, a jury gave points after each stage to the cyclists they considered most combative. The cyclist with the most votes in all stages lead the classification.

Classification leadership by stage
Stage Winner General classification
A yellow jersey.
Points classification
A green jersey
Mountains classification
A white jersey with red polka dots.
Young rider classification[n 1] Team classification Combativity award
A white jersey with a red number bib.
P Chris Boardman Chris Boardman Chris Boardman no award Jan Ullrich Festina no award
1 Tom Steels Tom Steels Stefano Zanini Jacky Durand
2 Ján Svorada Erik Zabel Christophe Agnolutto
3 Jens Heppner Bo Hamburger Ján Svorada Pascal Hervé George Hincapie Casino–Ag2r Bo Hamburger
4 Jeroen Blijlevens Stuart O'Grady Stuart O'Grady Jacky Durand
5 Mario Cipollini Erik Zabel Aart Vierhouten
6 Mario Cipollini Maximilian Sciandri
7 Jan Ullrich Jan Ullrich Stefano Zanini Jan Ullrich Team Telekom no award
8 Jacky Durand Laurent Desbiens Cofidis Andrea Tafi
9 Léon van Bon Jens Voigt Jens Voigt
10 Rodolfo Massi Jan Ullrich Rodolfo Massi Cédric Vasseur
11 Marco Pantani Roland Meier
12 Tom Steels Laurent Jalabert
13 Daniele Nardello Andrea Tafi
14 Stuart O'Grady Giuseppe Calcaterra
15 Marco Pantani Marco Pantani Christophe Rinero
16 Jan Ullrich Stéphane Heulot
17 Christophe Rinero
18 Tom Steels Christophe Mengin
19 Magnus Bäckstedt Jacky Durand
20 Jan Ullrich no award
21 Tom Steels Pascal Chanteur
Final Marco Pantani Erik Zabel Christophe Rinero Jan Ullrich Cofidis Jacky Durand

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 with a red number bib. Denotes the winner of the super-combativity award

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[4]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Marco Pantani (ITA) A yellow jersey. Mercatone Uno–Bianchi 92h 49' 46"
2  Jan Ullrich (GER) Team Telekom + 3' 21"
3  Bobby Julich (USA) Cofidis + 4' 08"
4  Christophe Rinero (FRA) A white jersey with red polka dots. Cofidis + 9' 16"
5  Michael Boogerd (NED) Rabobank + 11' 26"
6  Jean-Cyril Robin (FRA) U.S. Postal Service + 14' 57"
7  Roland Meier (SUI) Cofidis + 15' 13"
8  Daniele Nardello (ITA) Mapei–Bricobi + 16' 07"
9  Giuseppe Di Grande (ITA) Mapei–Bricobi + 17' 35"
10  Axel Merckx (BEL) Team Polti + 17' 39"

Points classification

Final points classification (1–10)[4]
Rank Rider Team Points
1 Erik Zabel (GER) A green jersey. Team Telekom 327
2 Stuart O'Grady (AUS) GAN 230
3 Tom Steels (BEL) Mapei–Bricobi 221
4 Robbie McEwen (AUS) Rabobank 196
5 George Hincapie (USA) U.S. Postal Service 151
6 François Simon (FRA) GAN 149
7 Bobby Julich (USA) Cofidis 114
8 Jacky Durand (FRA) A white jersey with a red number bib. Casino–Ag2r 111
9 Alain Turicchia (ITA) Asics–CGA 99
10 Marco Pantani (ITA) A yellow jersey. Mercatone Uno–Bianchi 90

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–10)[4]
Rank Rider Team Points
1 Christophe Rinero (FRA) A white jersey with red polka dots. Cofidis 200
2 Marco Pantani (ITA) A yellow jersey. Mercatone Uno–Bianchi 175
3 Alberto Elli (ITA) Casino–Ag2r 165
4 Cédric Vasseur (FRA) GAN 156
5 Stéphane Heulot (FRA) Française des Jeux 152
6 Jan Ullrich (GER) Team Telekom 126
7 Bobby Julich (USA) Cofidis 98
8 Michael Boogerd (NED) Rabobank 92
9 Leonardo Piepoli (SUI) Saeco Macchine per Caffè 90
10 Roland Meier (SUI) Cofidis 89

Young rider classification

Final young rider classification (1–5)[18]
Rank Rider Team Time
1 Jan Ullrich (GER) Team Telekom 92h 53' 07"
2 Christophe Rinero (FRA) A white jersey with red polka dots. Cofidis + 5' 55"
3 Giuseppe Di Grande (ITA) Mapei–Bricobi + 14' 14"
4 Kevin Livingston (USA) Cofidis + 30' 42"
5 Jörg Jaksche (GER) Team Polti + 32' 20"
6 Geert Verheyen (BEL) Lotto–Mobistar + 38' 02"
7 Benoit Salmon (FRA) Team home–Jack & Jones + 47' 57"
8 Koos Moerenhout (NED) Rabobank + 1h 26' 16"
9 Fabio Sacchi (ITA) Team Polti + 1h 28' 32"
10 Nicolas Jalabert (FRA) ONCE + 1h 35' 24"

Team classification

Final team classification (1–10)[4]
Rank Team Time
1 Cofidis 278h 29' 58"
2 Casino–Ag2r + 29' 09"
3 U.S. Postal Service + 41' 40"
4 Team Telekom + 46' 01"
5 Lotto–Mobistar + 1h 04' 14"
6 Team Polti + 1h 06' 32"
7 Rabobank + 1h 46' 20"
8 Mapei–Bricobi + 1h 59' 53"
9 BigMat–Auber 93 + 2h 03' 32"
10 Mercatone Uno–Bianchi + 2h 23' 04"

Combativity classification

Final combativity classification (1–10)[19]
Rank Rider Team Points
1 Jacky Durand (FRA) A white jersey with a red number bib. Casino–Ag2r 94
2 Andrea Tafi (ITA) Mapei–Bricobi 51
3 Stéphane Heulot (FRA) Française des Jeux 49
4 Cédric Vasseur (FRA) GAN 47
5 Christophe Agnolutto (FRA) Casino–Ag2r 43
6 Laurent Desbiens (FRA) Cofidis 35
7 Fabio Roscioli (ITA) Asics–CGA 33
8 Thierry Gouvenou (FRA) BigMat–Auber 93 30
9 Christophe Rinero (FRA) A white jersey with red polka dots. Cofidis 28
10 Pascal Chanteur (FRA) Casino–Ag2r 28

See also

Notes and references


  1. The white jersey was not awarded between 1989 and 1999.[17]


  1. "Irish start for Tour de France: Cycling". Independent. 3 April 1997. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  2. "1998 Tour de France Map". Sports Illustrated. 10 July 1998. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  3. "Pirate takes yellow treasure". BBC Sport. 2 August 1998. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "85ème Tour de France 1998" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  5. "News for October 26, 1997: Team Selection Criteria for the Tour de France 1998". Cyclingnews. Future Publishing Limited. 26 October 1997. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  6. "News for February 6, 1998: Tour 1998". Cyclingnews. Future Publishing Limited. 6 February 1998. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  7. 1 2 "News for June 19, 1998: In the Tour de France". Cyclingnews. Future Publishing Limited. 19 June 1998. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  8. Historical guide 2016, p. 89.
  9. Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  10. Historical guide 2016, p. 110.
  11. "1998 plane sur le centième Tour de France [1998 flat on the hundredth Tour de France]" (in French). Dernière Heure. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  12. "Cipollini, Livingston among 1998 Tour riders positive for EPO". VeloNews. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  13. "Rapport Fait au nom de la commission d'enquête sur l'efficacité de la lutte contre le dopage (Annexe 6: Résultats test EPO Tour De France 1998 et 1999)" (PDF). N° 782, Sénat Session Extraordinaire de 2012-2013 (in French). French Senate. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  14. "Exclusive: Bobby Julich doping confession". CyclingNews. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  15. 1 2 3 4 Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  16. Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0679729364. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  17. Mallon, Bill; Heijmans, Jeroen (9 September 2011). Historical Dictionary of Cycling. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-8108-7369-8.
  18. "Etape 21 : Melun - Paris-Champs-Élysées (147,5 km) : Overall Youth". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 7 March 2000. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  19. "Etape 21 : Melun - Paris-Champs-Élysées (147,5 km) : Overall Combativity". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 25 December 1999. Retrieved 10 September 2016.


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