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1999 Tour de France

1999 Tour de France
Route of the 1999 Tour de France
Route of the 1999 Tour de France
Race details
Dates3–25 July 1999
Stages20 + Prologue
Distance3,870 km (2,405 mi)
Winning time91h 32' 16"
  Winner Lance Armstrong none[a]
  Second  Alex Zülle (SUI) (Banesto)
  Third  Fernando Escartín (ESP) (Kelme–Costa Blanca)

Points  Erik Zabel (GER) (Team Telekom)
Mountains  Richard Virenque (FRA) (Polti)
  Youth  Benoît Salmon (FRA) (Casino–Ag2r Prévoyance)
Combativity  Jacky Durand (FRA) (Lotto–Mobistar)
  Team Banesto
← 1998
2000 →

The 1999 Tour de France was a multiple stage bicycle race held from 3 to 25 July, and the 86th 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 consecutive Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005 (which were, originally, the most wins in the event's history); the Union Cycliste Internationale confirmed the result.

There were no French stage winners for the first time since the 1926 Tour de France. Additionally, Mario Cipollini won four stages in a row, setting the post-World War II record for consecutive stage wins (breaking the record of three, set by Gino Bartali in 1948.)


After the doping controversies in the 1998 Tour de France, the Tour organisation banned some riders from the race, including Richard Virenque, Laurent Roux and Philippe Gaumont, manager Manolo Saiz and the entire TVM–Farm Frites team.[3] Virenque's team Polti then appealed at the UCI against this decision, and the UCI then forced the organisers of the Tour, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), to allow Virenque and Saiz entry in the Tour.[4] Initially, the Vini Caldirola team had been selected, but after their team leader Serhiy Honchar failed a blood test in the 1999 Tour de Suisse, the ASO removed Vini Caldirola from the starting list, and replaced them by Cantina Tollo–Alexia Alluminio, the first reserve team.[5] Each team was allowed to field nine cyclists.[6]

The teams entering the race were:[6]

Qualified teams

Invited teams

Route and stages

The highest point of elevation in the race was 2,642 m (8,668 ft) at the summit of the Col du Galibier mountain pass on stage 9.[7][8]

Stage characteristics and winners[9][10][11]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 3 July Le Puy du Fou 6.8 km (4.2 mi) Individual time trial  Lance Armstrong (USA)[a]
1 4 July Montaigu to Challans 208.0 km (129.2 mi) Plain stage  Jaan Kirsipuu (EST)
2 5 July Challans to Saint-Nazaire 176.0 km (109.4 mi) Plain stage  Tom Steels (BEL)
3 6 July Nantes to Laval 194.5 km (120.9 mi) Plain stage  Tom Steels (BEL)
4 7 July Laval to Blois 194.5 km (120.9 mi) Plain stage  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
5 8 July Bonneval to Amiens 233.5 km (145.1 mi) Plain stage  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
6 9 July Amiens to Maubeuge 171.5 km (106.6 mi) Plain stage  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
7 10 July Avesnes-sur-Helpe to Thionville 227.0 km (141.1 mi) Plain stage  Mario Cipollini (ITA)
8 11 July Metz 56.5 km (35.1 mi) Individual time trial  Lance Armstrong (USA)[a]
12 July Le Grand-Bornand Rest day
9 13 July Le Grand-Bornand to Sestrières 213.5 km (132.7 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Lance Armstrong (USA)[a]
10 14 July Sestrières to Alpe d'Huez 220.5 km (137.0 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Giuseppe Guerini (ITA)
11 15 July Le Bourg-d'Oisans to Saint-Étienne 198.5 km (123.3 mi) Hilly stage  Ludo Dierckxsens (BEL)
12 16 July Saint-Galmier to Saint-Flour 201.5 km (125.2 mi) Hilly stage  David Etxebarria (ESP)
13 17 July Saint-Flour to Albi 236.5 km (147.0 mi) Hilly stage  Salvatore Commesso (ITA)
14 18 July Castres to Saint-Gaudens 199.0 km (123.7 mi) Plain stage  Dmitri Konychev (RUS)
19 July Saint-Gaudens Rest day
15 20 July Saint-Gaudens to Piau-Engaly 173.0 km (107.5 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Fernando Escartín (ESP)
16 21 July Lannemezan to Pau 192.0 km (119.3 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  David Etxebarria (ESP)
17 22 July Mourenx to Bordeaux 200.0 km (124.3 mi) Plain stage  Tom Steels (BEL)
18 23 July Jonzac to Futuroscope 187.5 km (116.5 mi) Plain stage  Giampaolo Mondini (ITA)
19 24 July Futuroscope 57.0 km (35.4 mi) Individual time trial  Lance Armstrong (USA)[a]
20 25 July Arpajon to Paris (Champs-Élysées) 143.5 km (89.2 mi) Plain stage  Robbie McEwen (AUS)
Total 3,870 km (2,405 mi)[12]

Race overview

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (October 2016)

Following the Festina Affair of the previous year the 1999 edition was billed as the "Tour of Renewal" from the very beginning.[13]


This tour also saw the mistreatment of Christophe Bassons by his fellow riders of the peloton (notably Armstrong) for speaking out against doping. The 1998 tour had been marred by the Festina doping scandal. Bassons later told Bicycling, "The 1999 Tour was supposed to be the "Tour of Renewal", but I was certain that doping had not disappeared."[14] He quit the tour without finishing after "cracking" mentally due to his treatment by the peloton, especially in stage 10.[15]

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.[16][17] 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]

Other incidents

The 1999 edition of Tour de France had two bizarre moments. The first was on stage 2 when a 25-rider pile-up occurred at Passage du Gois. The Passage du Gois is a two-mile causeway which depending on the tide can be under water. A rider came down in the middle of the field during the passage, leading to the crash that cost pre-race favourites Alex Zülle, Christophe Rinero and Michael Boogerd more than five minutes to the lead group.[18] The second bizarre incident was on stage 10, one kilometre from the summit of Alpe d'Huez. Leading Italian rider Giuseppe Guerini was confronted by a spectator holding a camera in the middle of the road. Guerini hit the spectator but recovered and went on to win the stage.[19]

Classification leadership and minor prizes

There were several classifications in the 1999 Tour de France.[20] 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.[21]

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 led the classification, and was identified with a green jersey.[22]

There was also a mountains classification. The organisation had categorised 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-categorised climbs. The cyclist with the most points lead the classification, and wore a white jersey with red polka dots.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25]

In addition, there was a combativity award given after each mass-start stage to the cyclist considered most combative, who wore a red number bib the next stage. The decision was made by a jury composed of journalists who gave points. The cyclist with the most points from votes in all stages led the combativity classification.[26] Jacky Durand won this classification, and was given overall the super-combativity award.[27] The Souvenir Henri Desgrange was given in honour of Tour founder Henri Desgrange to the first rider to pass the summit of the Col du Galibier on stage 9. This prize was won by José Luis Arrieta.[28][29]

Classification leadership by stage[30][31]
Stage Winner General classification
A yellow jersey.
Points classification
A green jersey
Mountains classification
A white jersey with red polka dots.
Young rider classification[b] Team classification Combativity
A white jersey with a red number bib. Award Classification
P Lance Armstrong[a] Lance Armstrong[a] Lance Armstrong[a] Mariano Piccoli Rik Verbrugghe U.S. Postal Service no award
1 Jaan Kirsipuu Jaan Kirsipuu Thierry Gouvenou Thierry Gouvenou
2 Tom Steels Jaan Kirsipuu Christian Vande Velde Jacky Durand
3 Tom Steels Frédéric Guesdon
4 Mario Cipollini Gianpaolo Mondini
5 Mario Cipollini Mariano Piccoli
6 Mario Cipollini François Simon
7 Mario Cipollini Lylian Lebreton
8 Lance Armstrong[a] Lance Armstrong[a] Magnus Bäckstedt no award
9 Lance Armstrong[a] Stuart O'Grady Richard Virenque Benoît Salmon José Luis Arrieta
10 Giuseppe Guerini ONCE–Deutsche Bank Stéphane Heulot
11 Ludo Dierckxsens Festina–Lotus Rik Verbrugghe
12 David Etxebarria Erik Zabel Massimiliano Lelli
13 Salvatore Commesso ONCE–Deutsche Bank Roland Meier
14 Dimitri Konishev Festina–Lotus Jacky Durand Jacky Durand
15 Fernando Escartín Banesto Fernando Escartín
16 David Etxebarria Pavel Tonkov
17 Tom Steels Carlos Da Cruz
18 Gianpaolo Mondini Frédéric Bessy
19 Lance Armstrong[a] no award
20 Robbie McEwen Anthony Morin
Final Lance Armstrong[a] Erik Zabel Richard Virenque Benoît Salmon Banesto Jacky Durand

Final standings

Green jersey Denotes the leader of the points classification[32] Polka dot jersey Denotes the leader of the mountains classification[32]
A white jersey with a red number bib. Denotes the winner of the super-combativity award[32]

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[33]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Lance Armstrong (USA)[a] U.S. Postal Service 91h 32' 16"
2  Alex Zülle (SUI) Banesto + 7' 37"
3  Fernando Escartín (ESP) Kelme–Costa Blanca + 10' 26"
4  Laurent Dufaux (SUI) Saeco–Cannondale + 14' 43"
5  Ángel Casero (ESP) Vitalicio Seguros + 15' 11"
6  Abraham Olano (ESP) ONCE–Deutsche Bank + 16' 47"
7  Daniele Nardello (ITA) Mapei–Quick-Step + 17' 02"
8  Richard Virenque (FRA) Polka dot jersey Team Polti + 17' 28"
9  Wladimir Belli (ITA) Festina–Lotus + 17' 37"
10  Andrea Peron (ITA) ONCE–Deutsche Bank + 23' 10"

Points classification[edit]

Final points classification (1–10)[33]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Erik Zabel (GER) Green jersey Team Telekom 323
2  Stuart O'Grady (AUS) Crédit Agricole 275
3  Christophe Capelle (FRA) BigMat–Auber 93 196
4  Tom Steels (BEL) Mapei–Quick-Step 188
5  François Simon (FRA) Crédit Agricole 186
6  George Hincapie (USA) U.S. Postal Service 166
7  Robbie McEwen (AUS) Rabobank 166
8  Giampaolo Mondini (ITA) Cantina Tollo–Alexia Alluminio 141
9  Christophe Moreau (FRA) Festina–Lotus 140
10  Silvio Martinello (ITA) Team Polti 130

Mountains classification[edit]

Final mountains classification (1–10)[33]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Richard Virenque (FRA) Polka dot jersey Team Polti 279
2  Alberto Elli (ITA) Team Telekom 226
3  Mariano Piccoli (ITA) Lampre–Daikin 205
4  Fernando Escartín (ESP) Kelme–Costa Blanca 194
5  Lance Armstrong (USA)[a] U.S. Postal Service 193
6  Alex Zülle (SUI) Banesto 152
7  José Luis Arrieta (ESP) Banesto 141
8  Laurent Dufaux (SUI) Saeco–Cannondale 141
9  Andrea Peron (ITA) ONCE–Deutsche Bank 138
10  Kurt Van De Wouwer (BEL) Lotto–Mobistar 117

Young rider classification[edit]

Final young rider classification (1–10)[33]
Rank Rider Team Time
1  Benoit Salmon (FRA) Casino–Ag2r Prévoyance 92h 01' 15"
2  Mario Aerts (BEL) Lotto–Mobistar + 10' 22"
3  Francisco Tomas García (ESP) Vitalicio Seguros + 16' 32"
4  Francisco Mancebo (ESP) Banesto + 21' 32"
5  Luis Perez (ESP) ONCE–Deutsche Bank + 23' 54"
6  Salvatore Commesso (ITA) Saeco–Cannondale + 40' 16"
7  Steve De Wolf (BEL) Cofidis + 42' 55"
8  José Javier Gomez (ESP) Kelme–Costa Blanca + 1h 16' 51"
9  Rik Verbrugghe (BEL) Lotto–Mobistar + 1h 35' 32"
10  Jörg Jaksche (GER) Team Telekom + 1h 47' 45"

Team classification[edit]

Final team classification (1–10)[34]
Rank Team Time
1 Banesto 275h 05' 21"
2 ONCE–Deutsche Bank + 8' 16"
3 Festina–Lotus + 16' 13"
4 Kelme–Costa Blanca + 23' 48"
5 Mapei–Quick-Step + 24' 13"
6 Team Telekom + 41' 00"
7 Vitalicio Seguros + 42' 44"
8 U.S. Postal Service + 57' 13"
9 Cofidis + 58' 02"
10 Lotto–Mobistar + 1h 09' 02"

Combativity classification

Final combativity classification (1–10)[34]
Rank Rider Team Points
1  Jacky Durand (FRA) A white jersey with a red number bib. Lotto–Mobistar 61
2  Stéphane Heulot (FRA) Française des Jeux 55
3  Thierry Gouvenou (FRA) BigMat–Auber 93 51
4  Anthony Morin (FRA) Française des Jeux 46
5  François Simon (FRA) Crédit Agricole 42
6  Fernando Escartín (ESP) Kelme–Costa Blanca 40
7  Lylian Lebreton (FRA) BigMat–Auber 93 40
8  Frédéric Guesdon (FRA) Française des Jeux 40
9  Alberto Elli (ITA) Team Telekom 39
10  Mariano Piccoli (ITA) Lampre–Daikin 36


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o 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 1999 Tour de France.[1] The Union Cycliste Internationale, responsible for the international cycling, confirmed this verdict on 22 October 2012.[2]
  2. ^ A white jersey was not awarded to the leader of the young rider classification between 1989 and 1999.[24]


  1. ^ a b "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. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Lance Armstrong stripped of all seven Tour de France wins by UCI". BBC News. 22 October 2012. Archived from the original on 8 September 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Richard Virenque banned from Tour de France". Future plc. 17 June 1999. Archived from the original on 1 August 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Virenque in the Tour". Cyclingnews. 30 June 1999. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Vini Caldirola now out of Tour". Future plc. 19 June 1999. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  6. ^ a b "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1999 – The starters". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 30 July 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  7. ^ Augendre 2016, pp. 177–178.
  8. ^ " presents the Tour de France 1999 – The difficulties". Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  9. ^ "Tour de France 1999 – Route". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 7 May 2001. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  10. ^ "86ème Tour de France 1999" [86th Tour de France 1999]. Mémoire du cyclisme (in French). Archived from the original on 5 April 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  11. ^ "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1999 – The stage winners". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 30 July 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  12. ^ Augendre 2016, p. 110.
  13. ^ "1999 Tour de France: The Farce of Renewal". Jean François Quenet. 27 June 2019. Archived from the original on 30 June 2019.
  14. ^ Bassons: ‘People Now See I Wasn’t Lying’ Archived 4 November 2013 at the National and University Library of Iceland, James Startt,, 15 October 2012
  15. ^ Peddlers - Cycling's Dirty Truth Archived 16 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 54:00, Mark Chapman, including interviews with Tyler Hamilton, Bassons, and others. BBC Radio 5 live, 2012 10 15, retr 2012 10 16
  16. ^ "Lance Armstrong will be banned from cycling by USADA after saying he won't fight doping charges". The Washington Post. 24 August 2012. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  17. ^ "USADA to ban Armstrong for life, strip Tour titles". CBS News. Archived from the original on 24 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  18. ^ "1999 Tour de France stage two: Passage du Gois causes chaos". Cycling Weekly. 5 July 1999. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  19. ^ MacLeary, John (4 July 2010). "Tour de France great moments: Giuseppe Guerini felled by spectator on Alpe d'Huez". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  20. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, pp. 452–455.
  21. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, pp. 452–453.
  22. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, pp. 453–454.
  23. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, p. 454.
  24. ^ a b Nauright & Parrish 2012, pp. 454–455.
  25. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, p. 455.
  26. ^ van den Akker 2018, pp. 211–216.
  27. ^ Augendre 2016, p. 90.
  28. ^ "Stage 9, Le Grand Bornand – Sestrières (Italy), 215 kms". 13 July 1999. Archived from the original on 25 June 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  29. ^ Fischer, Jürgen (14 July 1999). "Schneestürme, Triumphe und der erste Tour-Tote" [Snowstorms, triumphs and the first tour dead]. Die Welt (in German). Archived from the original on 26 April 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  30. ^ "Tour de France 1999 – Leaders overview". ProCyclingStats. Archived from the original on 16 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  31. ^ van den Akker, Pieter. "Informatie over de Tour de France van 1999" [Information about the Tour de France from 1999]. (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  32. ^ a b c Race regulations 1999, p. 7.
  33. ^ a b c d e "The history of the Tour de France – Year 1999 – Stage 20 Arpajon > Paris". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  34. ^ a b "Tour de France, Grand Tour, Other Classifications after Stage 20". 1999. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2012.


Further reading

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1999 Tour de France
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