1997 Tour de France

1997 Tour de France
Route of the 1997 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 5–27 July
Stages 21 + Prologue
Distance 3,950 km (2,454 mi)
Winning time 100h 30' 35"
Winner  Jan Ullrich (GER) (Team Telekom)
Second  Richard Virenque (FRA) (Festina)
Third  Marco Pantani (ITA) (Mercatone Uno)

Points  Erik Zabel (GER) (Team Telekom)
Mountains  Richard Virenque (FRA) (Festina)
Youth  Jan Ullrich (GER) (Team Telekom)
Team Team Telekom

The 1997 Tour de France was the 84th edition of the Tour de France and took place from 5 to 27 July. Jan Ullrich's victory margin, of 9' 09" was the largest margin of victory since Laurent Fignon won the 1984 Tour de France by 10' 32".[1] Ullrich's simultaneous victories in both the general classification and the young riders' classification marked the first time the same rider had won both categories in the same Tour since Laurent Fignon in 1983. The points classification was won by Ullrich's team mate Erik Zabel, for the second time, and their team Team Telekom also won the team classification. The mountains classification was won by Richard Virenque for the fourth time.


For a more comprehensive list, see List of teams and cyclists in the 1997 Tour de France.

198 riders in 22 teams commenced the 1997 Tour de France. 139 riders finished.[2] The 16 teams with the highest UCI ranking at the start of 1997 were automatically qualified.[3] Six wildcard intivations were also given.[4]

The teams entering the race were:[4][5]

Qualified teams

Invited teams

Route and stages

Stage characteristics and winners[2][6][7]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 5 July Rouen 7.3 km (4.5 mi) Individual time trial  Chris Boardman (GBR)
1 6 July Rouen to Forges-les-Eaux 192.0 km (119.3 mi) Plain stage  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
2 7 July Saint-Valery-en-Caux to Vire 262.0 km (162.8 mi) Plain stage  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
3 8 July Vire to Plumelec 224.0 km (139.2 mi) Plain stage  Erik Zabel (GER)
4 9 July Plumelec to Le Puy du Fou 223.0 km (138.6 mi) Plain stage  Nicola Minali (ITA)
5 10 July Chantonnay to La Châtre 261.5 km (162.5 mi) Plain stage  Cédric Vasseur (FRA)
6 11 July Le Blanc to Marennes 217.5 km (135.1 mi) Plain stage  Jeroen Blijlevens (NED)
7 12 July Marennes to Bordeaux 194.0 km (120.5 mi) Plain stage  Erik Zabel (GER)
8 13 July Sauternes to Pau 161.5 km (100.4 mi) Plain stage  Erik Zabel (GER)
9 14 July Pau to Loudenvielle 182.0 km (113.1 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Laurent Brochard (FRA)
10 15 July Luchon to Andorra Arcalis 252.5 km (156.9 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Jan Ullrich (GER)
11 16 July Andorra Arcalis to Perpignan 192.0 km (119.3 mi) Hilly stage  Laurent Desbiens (FRA)
17 July Saint-Étienne Rest day
12 18 July Saint-Étienne 55.0 km (34.2 mi) Individual time trial  Jan Ullrich (GER)
13 19 July Saint-Étienne to Alpe d'Huez 203.5 km (126.4 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Marco Pantani (ITA)
14 20 July Le Bourg-d'Oisans to Courchevel 148.0 km (92.0 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Richard Virenque (FRA)
15 21 July Courchevel to Morzine 208.5 km (129.6 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Marco Pantani (ITA)
16 22 July Morzine to Fribourg (Switzerland) 181.0 km (112.5 mi) Hilly stage  Christophe Mengin (FRA)
17 23 July Fribourg (Switzerland) to Colmar 218.5 km (135.8 mi) Plain stage  Neil Stephens (AUS)
18 24 July Colmar to Montbéliard 175.5 km (109.1 mi) Hilly stage  Didier Rous (FRA)
19 25 July Montbéliard to Dijon 172.0 km (106.9 mi) Plain stage  Mario Traversoni (ITA)
20 26 July Disneyland Paris 63.0 km (39.1 mi) Individual time trial  Abraham Olano (ESP)
21 27 July Disneyland Paris to Paris (Champs-Élysées) 149.5 km (92.9 mi) Plain stage  Nicola Minali (ITA)
Total 3,950 km (2,454 mi)[8]

Race overview

Jan Ullrich wearing the race leader's yellow jersey as the Tour passed through the Vosges mountains

Chris Boardman won the prologue, and was the first leader of the race. Then, sprinter Mario Cipollini took over the lead thanks to time bonuses.[9] Cédric Vasseur took the lead in the fifth stage after a successful attack, and kept leading the race until the Pyrenées.

Ullrich took the lead in the tenth stage, which he won by more than a minute, beating his team leader, Bjarne Riis by over three minutes and assuming team leadership as well as the overall lead. He became the first German cyclist since 1978 to wear the yellow jersey.[10] he extended his lead by winning stage 12, an individual time trial in Saint-Étienne. In the fourteenth stage, Richard Virenque made an attack to win back time on Ullrich, helped by his entire team. The margin was never more than two minutes, and Ullrich was able to get back to Virenque before the final climb. Virenque won the stage, but Ullrich finished in the same time.[11]

In the rest of the race, Ullrich consolidated his lead, and won with a margin of almost ten minutes.

Classification leadership

There were several classifications in the 1997 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.[12]

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.[12]

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.[12]

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.[12]

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.[13]

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
P Chris Boardman Chris Boardman Chris Boardman Cyril Saugrain Jan Ullrich Team Telekom no award
1 Mario Cipollini Mario Cipollini Mario Cipollini Artūras Kasputis Arturas Kasputis
2 Mario Cipollini Laurent Brochard Thierry Gouvenou
3 Erik Zabel Erik Zabel François Simon
4 Nicola Minali Philippe Gaumont
5 Cédric Vasseur Cédric Vasseur GAN Cédric Vasseur
6 Jeroen Blijlevens Pascal Lance
7 Erik Zabel Adriano Baffi
8 Erik Zabel Fabio Baldato
9 Laurent Brochard Team Telekom Pascal Herve
10 Jan Ullrich Jan Ullrich Richard Virenque Festina Jean-Philippe Dojwa
11 Laurent Desbiens Philippe Gaumont
12 Jan Ullrich Team Telekom no award
13 Marco Pantani Nicola Loda
14 Richard Virenque Richard Virenque
15 Marco Pantani Laurent Jalabert
16 Christophe Mengin Stéphane Heulot
17 Neil Stephens Neil Stephens
18 Didier Rous Didier Rous
19 Mario Traversoni Bart Voskamp
20 Abraham Olano no award
21 Nicola Minali Pascal Chanteur
Final Jan Ullrich Erik Zabel Richard Virenque Jan Ullrich Team Telekom Richard Virenque

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

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[2][15]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Jan Ullrich (GER) A yellow jersey. Team Telekom 100h 30' 35"
2  Richard Virenque (FRA) A white jersey with red polka dots. Festina–Lotus + 9' 09"
3  Marco Pantani (ITA) Mercatone Uno + 14' 03"
4  Abraham Olano (ESP) Banesto + 15' 55"
5  Fernando Escartín (ESP) Banesto + 20' 32"
6  Francesco Casagrande (ITA) Saeco + 22' 47"
7  Bjarne Riis (DEN) Team Telekom + 26' 34"
8  José Maria Jimenez (ESP) Banesto + 31' 17"
9  Laurent Dufaux (SUI) Festina–Lotus + 31' 55"
10  Roberto Conti (ITA) Mercatone Uno + 32' 26"

Points classification

Final points classification (1–10)[2][15]
Rank Rider Team Points
1 Erik Zabel (GER) A green jersey. Team Telekom 350
2 Frédéric Moncassin (FRA) GAN 223
3 Mario Traversoni (ITA) Mercatone Uno 198
4 Jeroen Blijlevens (NED) TVM–Farm Frites 192
5 Nicola Minali (ITA) Batik-Del Monte 156
6 Jan Ullrich (GER) A yellow jersey. Team Telekom 154
7 Robbie McEwen (AUS) Rabobank 151
8 Richard Virenque (FRA) A white jersey with red polka dots. Festina–Lotus 151
9 François Simon (FRA) GAN 145
10 Adriano Baffi (ITA) U.S. Postal Service 131

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–10)[2][15]
Rank Rider Team Points
1 Richard Virenque (FRA) A white jersey with red polka dots. Festina–Lotus 579
2 Jan Ullrich (GER) A yellow jersey. Team Telekom 328
3 Francesco Casagrande (ITA) Saeco 309
4 Marco Pantani (ITA) Mercatone Uno 269
5 Laurent Brochard (FRA) Festina–Lotus 241
6 Laurent Dufaux (SWI) Festina–Lotus 212
7 Pascal Herve (FRA) Festina–Lotus 176
8 Fernando Escartin (ESP) Kelme–Costa Blanca 141
9 Bjarne Riis (DEN) Team Telekom 139
10 Jose Maria Jimenez (ESP) Banesto 136

Young rider classification

Final young rider classification (1–10)[2]
Rank Rider Team Time
1 Jan Ullrich (GER) A yellow jersey. Team Telekom 100h 30' 35"
2 Peter Luttenberger (AUT) Rabobank + 45' 39"
3 Michael Boogerd (NED) Rabobank + 1h 00' 33"
4 Daniele Nardello (ITA) Mapei–GB + 1h 01' 30"
5 Laurent Roux (FRA) TVM–Farm Frites + 1h 17' 44"
6 Santiago Blanco (ESP) Banesto + 1h 29' 18"
7 Ángel Luis Casero (ESP) Banesto + 1h 35' 11"
8 Joona Laukka (FIN) Festina–Lotus + 1h 43' 05"
9 Kevin Livingston (USA) Cofidis + 1h 46' 23
10 Frank Vandenbroucke (BEL) Mapei–GB + 2h 09' 34

Team classification

Final team classification (1–10)[2][15]
Rank Team Time
1 Team Telekom 310h 51' 30"
2 Mercatone Uno + 31' 56"
3 Festina–Lotus + 47' 52"
4 Banesto + 1h 05' 15"
5 Kelme–Costa Blanca + 2h 20' 22"
6 Mapei–GB + 2h 28' 14"
7 Rabobank + 2h 40' 30"
8 Saeco + 4h 06' 13"
9 Française des Jeux + 4h 15' 59"
10 U.S. Postal Service + 4h26' 19"


After Ullrich's domination of the 1997 Tour de France at his young age, it was believed that Ullrich would dominate the Tour de France for the next years.[16] However, Ullrich would never win the Tour again, although he did reach the podium five more times.

Notes and references


  1. The white jersey was not awarded between 1989 and 1999.[14]


  1. Augendre, Jacques (2009). Guide Historique, Part 6 (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. p. 115. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 October 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "84ème Tour de France 1997" (in French). Mémoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  3. "Second Edition News for December 12, 1996, UCI Team Rankings -- Prospects for 1997". Cyclingnews. Future Publishing Limited. 12 December 1997. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  4. 1 2 Startt, James (17 June 1997). "Second Edition News for June 18, 1997: Reaction to the Wild Cards". Cyclingnews. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  5. Startt, James (18 June 1997). "News for June 18, 1997: Final Tour Team list". Cyclingnews. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  6. Historical guide 2016, p. 88.
  7. Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  8. Historical guide 2016, p. 110.
  9. "The history of the Tour de France, Year 1997: Ullrich admitted doping". Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  10. "Ullrich stamps his authority on Tour de France". HÜrriyet Daily News. 17 July 1997. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  11. "Ullrich withstands Virenque". Deseret News. 21 July 1997. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  12. 1 2 3 4 Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  13. Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard. ISBN 0679729364. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  14. Mallon, Bill; Heijmans, Jeroen (9 September 2011). Historical Dictionary of Cycling. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-8108-7369-8.
  15. 1 2 3 4 "Tour de France 1997 - Stage 21, Disneyland (Paris) to Champs Elysses (Paris), 149.5 kms". Cyclingnews. 1997. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  16. Abt, Samuel (28 July 1997). "A New Dynasty Begins at the Tour de France". New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2013.


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