2003 Tour de France

2003 Tour de France
Route of the 2003 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 5–27 July
Stages 20 + Prologue
Distance 3,427 km (2,129 mi)
Winning time 83h 41' 12"
Winner Lance Armstrong none[n 1]
Second  Jan Ullrich (GER) (Team Bianchi)
Third  Alexander Vinokourov (Kazakhstan) (Team Telekom)

Points  Baden Cooke (AUS) (FDJeux.com)
Mountains  Richard Virenque (FRA) (Quick-Step–Davitamon)
Youth  Denis Menchov (Russia) (iBanesto.com)
Team Team CSC

The 2003 Tour de France was a multiple stage bicycle race held from 5 to 27 July, and the 90th edition of the Tour de France. It has no overall winner—although American cyclist Lance Armstrong originally won the event, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced in August 2012 that they had disqualified Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his seven Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005; the Union Cycliste Internationale has confirmed this verdict.

The event started and ended in Paris, covering 3,427 km (2,129 mi) proceeding clockwise in twenty stages around France, including six major mountain stages. Due to the centennial celebration, this edition of the tour was raced entirely in France and did not enter neighboring countries.

In the centenary year of the race the route recreated, in part, that of 1903. There was a special Centenaire Classement prize for the best-placed in each of the six stage finishes which match the 1903 tour - Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes and Paris. It was won by Stuart O'Grady, with Thor Hushovd in second place. The 2003 Tour was honored with the Prince of Asturias Award for Sport.

Of the 198 riders the favorite was again Armstrong, aiming for a record equalling fifth win. Before the race, it was believed that his main rivals would include Iban Mayo, Aitor González, Tyler Hamilton, Ivan Basso, Gilberto Simoni, Jan Ullrich, and Joseba Beloki but Armstrong was the odds-on favorite. Though he did go on to win the race, it is statistically, and by Armstrong's own admission,[3] his weakest Tour from his seven-year period of dominance over the race.


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 2003 Tour de France.

The team selection was done in three rounds: in November 2002, the fourteen highest-ranking Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) teams would automatically qualify; four wildcard invitations were given in January 2003, and four more in mid-May.[4]

The teams entering the race were:

Qualified teams

Invited teams

Pre-race favourites

Some notable cyclists excluded from the race were Mario Cipollini and Marco Pantani, whose teams Domina Vacanze–Elitron and Mercatone Uno–Scanavino were not selected.[5] Especially the absence of Cipollini, the reigning world champion, came as a surprise. The Tour organisation gave the reason that Cipollini had never been able to finish the race.[6]

In the first round, the Coast team had been selected to compete, and in January 2003 they signed Jan Ullrich. Financial problems then almost prevented the team from starting, but after Bianchi stepped in as a new sponsor, Team Bianchi was allowed to take the place of Team Coast.

Route and stages

Stage characteristics and winners[7][8][9]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 5 July Paris 6.5 km (4.0 mi) Individual time trial  Bradley McGee (AUS)
1 6 July Saint-Denis to Meaux 168.0 km (104.4 mi) Plain stage  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)
2 7 July La Ferté-sous-Jouarre to Sedan 204.5 km (127.1 mi) Plain stage  Baden Cooke (AUS)
3 8 July Charleville-Mézières to Saint-Dizier 167.5 km (104.1 mi) Plain stage  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)
4 9 July Joinville to Saint-Dizier 69.0 km (42.9 mi) Team time trial  U.S. Postal Service (USA)
5 10 July Troyes to Nevers 196.5 km (122.1 mi) Plain stage  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)
6 11 July Nevers to Lyon 230.0 km (142.9 mi) Plain stage  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)
7 12 July Lyon to Morzine 230.5 km (143.2 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Richard Virenque (FRA)
8 13 July Sallanches to Alpe d'Huez 219.0 km (136.1 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Iban Mayo (ESP)
9 14 July Le Bourg-d'Oisans to Gap 184.5 km (114.6 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ)
10 15 July Gap to Marseille 219.5 km (136.4 mi) Plain stage  Jakob Piil (DEN)
16 July Narbonne Rest day
11 17 July Narbonne to Toulouse 153.5 km (95.4 mi) Plain stage  Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP)
12 18 July Gaillac to Cap Découverte 47.0 km (29.2 mi) Individual time trial  Jan Ullrich (GER)
13 19 July Toulouse to Ax 3 Domaines 197.5 km (122.7 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Carlos Sastre (ESP)
14 20 July Saint-Girons to Loudenvielle 191.5 km (119.0 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Gilberto Simoni (ITA)
15 21 July Bagnères-de-Bigorre to Luz Ardiden 159.5 km (99.1 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Lance Armstrong (USA)[n 1]
22 July Pau Rest day
16 23 July Pau to Bayonne 197.5 km (122.7 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Tyler Hamilton (USA)
17 24 July Dax to Bordeaux 181.0 km (112.5 mi) Plain stage  Servais Knaven (NED)
18 25 July Bordeaux to Saint-Maixent-l'École 203.5 km (126.4 mi) Plain stage  Pablo Lastras (ESP)
19 26 July Pornic to Nantes 49.0 km (30.4 mi) Individual time trial  David Millar (GBR)
20 27 July Ville-d'Avray to Paris (Champs-Élysées) 152.0 km (94.4 mi) Plain stage  Jean-Patrick Nazon (FRA)
Total 3,427 km (2,129 mi)[10]

Race overview

Laiseka, Basso, Hamilton, Armstrong, Beloki and Zubeldia riding up to Alpe d'Huez on the eighth stage

The Tour proved to be one more hotly contested than the previous years. Tyler Hamilton and Levi Leipheimer were involved in a crash early in the Tour. Leipheimer dropped out, Hamilton continued and got fourth place in the end while riding with a broken collarbone.

In the Alps, Gilberto Simoni and Stefano Garzelli, first and second in the Giro d'Italia earlier the same year, could not keep up with Lance Armstrong and the other favorites. The same held for last year's number 4, Santiago Botero. Joseba Beloki could, and was in second-place overall (just 40 seconds behind Armstrong) when he crashed on a fast descent from the Cote de La Rochette, shortly after passing the Col de Manse into Gap.[11] The crash was a result of a locked brake, caused by a lack of traction from melting tar on the road, which led to the tyre coming off the rim.[12] Beloki broke his right femur, elbow and wrist, and had to leave the Tour.[13] Armstrong made a detour through the field beside the road to avoid the fallen Beloki. Armstrong was in yellow, but Jan Ullrich won the first time trial by one minute and 36 seconds. He and Alexander Vinokourov were both within very short distance from Armstrong.


Subsequent to Armstrong's statement to withdraw his fight against United States Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) charges, on 24 August 2012, the USADA said it would ban Armstrong for life and stripped him of his record seven Tour de France titles.[14][15] Later that day it was confirmed in a USADA statement that Armstrong was banned for life and would be disqualified from any and all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to 1 August 1998, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, winnings, finishes, points and prizes.[1] On 22 October 2012, the Union Cycliste Internationale endorsed the USADA sanctions, and decided not to award victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events.[2]

Classification leadership

The team classification is based on the added time of the team's top three best riders in each stage.

The young rider classification tracks the best riders under 25 years old in the Tour de France.

In the Centenaire classification, positions from six stages involving cities (Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, Paris) visited during 1903 were combined. Alexander Vinokourov (Team Telekom) won the super-combativity award.

Classification leadership by stage
Stage Winner General classification
Yellow jersey
Points classification
Green jersey
Mountains classification
Polkadot jersey
Young rider classification
White jersey
Team classification Combativity award
A white jersey with a red number bib.
P Bradley McGee Bradley McGee Bradley McGee no award Vladimir Karpets U.S. Postal Service no award
1 Alessandro Petacchi Robbie McEwen Christophe Mengin Andy Flickinger Andy Flickinger
2 Baden Cooke Baden Cooke Frédéric Finot
3 Alessandro Petacchi Jean-Patrick Nazon Anthony Geslin
4 U.S. Postal Service Víctor Hugo Peña Vladimir Karpets no award
5 Alessandro Petacchi Frédéric Finot Frédéric Finot
6 Alessandro Petacchi Alessandro Petacchi Christophe Mengin René Andrle
7 Richard Virenque Richard Virenque Baden Cooke Richard Virenque Denis Menchov Quick-Step–Davitamon Richard Virenque
8 Iban Mayo Lance Armstrong[n 1] Euskaltel–Euskadi Nicolas Portal
9 Alexander Vinokourov Jörg Jaksche
10 Jakob Piil Team CSC José Gutiérrez
11 Juan Antonio Flecha Juan Antonio Flecha
12 Jan Ullrich iBanesto.com no award
13 Carlos Sastre Team CSC Carlos Sastre
14 Gilberto Simoni Laurent Dufaux
15 Lance Armstrong[n 1] Sylvain Chavanel
16 Tyler Hamilton Tyler Hamilton
17 Servais Knaven Servais Knaven
18 Pablo Lastras Robbie McEwen Andy Flickinger
19 David Millar no award
20 Jean-Patrick Nazon Baden Cooke Bram de Groot
Final Lance Armstrong[n 1] Baden Cooke Richard Virenque Denis Menchov Team CSC Alexander Vinokourov

Final standings

Green jersey Denotes the leader of the points classification Polka dot jersey Denotes the leader of the mountains classification
White jersey Denotes the leader of the young rider classification A white jersey with a red number bib. Denotes the winner of the super-combativity award

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[8][16]
Rank Rider Team Time
DSQ  Lance Armstrong (USA)[n 1] U.S. Postal Service 83h 41' 12"
2  Jan Ullrich (GER) Team Bianchi + 1' 01"
3  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ) A white jersey with a red number bib. Team Telekom + 4' 14"
4  Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC + 6' 17"
5  Haimar Zubeldia (ESP) Euskaltel–Euskadi + 6' 51"
6  Iban Mayo (ESP) Euskaltel–Euskadi + 7' 06"
7  Ivan Basso (ITA) Fassa Bortolo + 10' 12"
8  Christophe Moreau (FRA) Crédit Agricole + 12' 28"
9  Carlos Sastre (ESP) Team CSC + 18' 49"
10  Francisco Mancebo (ESP) iBanesto.com + 19' 15"

Points classification

Final points classification (1–10)[16]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Baden Cooke (AUS) Green jersey FDJeux.com 216
2  Robbie McEwen (AUS) Lotto–Domo 214
3  Erik Zabel (DEU) Team Telekom 188
4  Thor Hushovd (NOR) Crédit Agricole 173
5  Luca Paolini (ITA) Quick-Step–Davitamon 156
6  Jean-Patrick Nazon (FRA) Jean Delatour 154
7  Stuart O'Grady (AUS) Crédit Agricole 153
8  Fabrizio Guidi (ITA) Team Bianchi 122
9  Jan Ullrich (GER) Team Bianchi 112
10  Damien Nazon (FRA) Brioches La Boulangère 107

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–10)[16]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Richard Virenque (FRA) Polkadot jersey Quick-Step–Davitamon 324
2  Laurent Dufaux (SUI) Alessio 187
3  Lance Armstrong (USA)[n 1] U.S. Postal Service 168
4  Christophe Moreau (FRA) Crédit Agricole 137
5  Juan Miguel Mercado (ESP) iBanesto.com 136
6  Iban Mayo (ESP) Euskaltel–Euskadi 130
7  Haimar Zubeldia (ESP) Euskaltel–Euskadi 125
8  Jan Ullrich (GER) Team Bianchi 124
9  Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC 116
10  Paolo Bettini (ITA) Quick-Step–Davitamon 100

Young rider classification

Final young rider classification (1–10)[16]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Denis Menchov (RUS) Yellow jersey iBanesto.com 84h 0' 56"
2  Mikel Astarloza (ESP) AG2R Prévoyance + 42' 29"
3  Juan Miguel Mercado (ESP) iBanesto.com + 1h 02' 48"
4  Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) Brioches La Boulangère + 1h 05' 17"
5  Andy Flickinger (FRA) AG2R Prévoyance + 1h 09' 09"
6  Michael Rogers (AUS) Quick-Step–Davitamon + 1h 17' 44"
7  Matthias Kessler (GER) Team Telekom + 1h 25' 33"
8  Evgeni Petrov (RUS) iBanesto.com + 1h 32' 19"
9  Jérôme Pineau (FRA) Brioches La Boulangère + 1h 51' 49"
10  Franco Pellizotti (ITA) Alessio + 2h 01' 08"

Team classification

Final team classification (1–10)[16]
Rank Team Time
1 Team CSC 248h 18' 18"
2 iBanesto.com + 21' 46"
3 Euskaltel–Euskadi + 44' 59"
4 U.S. Postal Service + 45' 53"
5 Team Bianchi + 1h 12' 40"
6 Team Telekom + 1h 38' 45"
7 Quick-Step–Davitamon + 2h 02' 17"
8 Brioches La Boulangère + 2h 02' 36"
9 AG2R Prévoyance + 2h 08' 06"
10 Cofidis + 2h 08' 56"

Centenaire classification

Final centenaire classification (1–10)[16]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Stuart O'Grady (AUS) Crédit Agricole 82
2  Thor Hushovd (NOR) Crédit Agricole 86
3  Fabrizio Guidi (ITA) Team Bianchi 103
4  Luca Paolini (ITA) Quick-Step–Davitamon 118
5  Gerrit Glomser (AUT) Saeco Macchine per Caffè 123
6  Jan Ullrich (GER) Bianchi 165
7  Damien Nazon (FRA) Brioches La Boulangère 169
8  Baden Cooke (AUS) FDJeux.com 184
9  Bradley McGee (AUS) FDJeux.com 188
10  Christophe Moreau (FRA) Crédit Agricole 210

Notes and references


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 On 24 August 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that they had disqualified Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his victory in the 2003 Tour de France.[1] The Union Cycliste Internationale, responsible for the international cycling, confirmed this verdict on 22 October 2012.[2]


  1. 1 2 "Lance Armstrong Receives Lifetime Ban And Disqualification Of Competitive Results For Doping Violations Stemming From His Involvement In The United States Postal Service Pro-Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy". United States Anti-Doping Agency. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Lance Armstrong stripped of all seven Tour de France wins by UCI". BBC News. BBC. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  3. "Maillot jaune Lance Armstrong speaks, July 24, 2004". Cycling News. 2004-07-24. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  4. "Tour de France - July 5-27, 2003". Cyclingnews. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  5. Cameron, Gordan (19 May 2003). "Tour De France Wildcards: No Cipo'!". Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  6. Jones, Jeff (19 May 2003). "Tour selection leaves Cipollini in the cold". Cyclingnews. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  7. Historical guide 2016, p. 94.
  8. 1 2 "90ème Tour de France 2003" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  9. Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 15 Aug 2011.
  10. Historical guide 2016, p. 110.
  11. Gilmour, Rod (19 July 2011). "Tour de France 2011, stage 16". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  12. Samuel Abt (30 May 2004). "Effects of a Crash Landing Are Still Hampering Beloki". New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  13. Chris Henry (17 November 2003). "Change and challenge for Joseba Beloki". Cycling News. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  14. "Lance Armstrong will be banned from cycling by USADA after saying he won't fight doping charges". The Washington Post. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  15. "USADA to ban Armstrong for life, strip Tour titles". CBS News. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "90th Tour de France - July 5–27, 2003". Cyclingnews.com. 2003. Archived from the original on 9 October 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2009.


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