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1977 Tour de France

June 30 - July 24

Results, Stages with running GC, History, Video and Photos of the 1977 Tour de France

1978 Tour | 1976 Tour | 1977 Tour Quick Facts | Final GC | Stage Results with Running GC | The Story of the 1977 Tour de France | Video |


Quick Facts:

Total distance was 4,092.9 km and was ridden at an average speed of 35.585 km/hr. There were 100 starters and 53 classified finishers

This was Eddy Merckx's last Tour. Didi Thurau took the lead from the start, his intention being to keep it until the Tour reached Germany (stage 13), which he did. Thurau, only 22, was running out of gas and had to surrender the Yellow Jersey stage 16 to Bernard Thévenet.

Stage 17 to the top of L'Alpe d'Huez is legendary because Thévenet and Kuiper fought such a hard battle to the top, while the likely winner of the stage and Tour, Lucien van Impe, was hit by a car.


Complete Final 1977 Tour de France General Classification:

  1. Bernard Thévenet (Peugeot-Esso) 115hr 38min 30sec
  2. Hennie Kuiper (TI-Raleigh) @ 48sec
  3. Lucien van Impe (Lejeune-BP) @ 3min 32sec
  4. Francisco Galdos (KAS) @ 7min 45sec
  5. Didi Thurau (TI-Raleigh) @ 12min 24sec
  6. Eddy Merckx (Fiat) @ 12min 38sec
  7. Michel Laurent (Peugeot-Esso) @ 17min 42sec
  8. Joop Zoetemelk (Miko-Mercier) @ 19min 22sec
  9. Raymond Delisle (Miko-Mercier) @ 32min 32sec
  10. Alain Meslet (Gitane-Campagnolo) @ 27min 31sec
  11. Raymond Martin (Miko-Mercier) @ 28min 35sec
  12. Bert Pronk (TI-Raleigh) @ 30min 6sec
  13. Joaquim Agostinho (Teka) @ 33min 13sec
  14. Gonzalo Aja (Teka) @ 36min 11sec
  15. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane (Gitane-Campagnolo) @ 36min 42sec
  16. José Martins (KAS) @ 38min 53sec
  17. Edouard Janssens (Fiat) @ 46min 13sec
  18. Enrique Martinez-Heredia (KAS) @ 47min 30sec
  19. Pedro Torres (Teka) @ 47min 39sec
  20. Bernard Vallet (Miko-Mercier) @ 48min 41sec
  21. Ferdinand Julien (Lejeune-BP) @ 49min 32sec
  22. Christian Seznec (Miko-Mercier) @ 51min 39sec
  23. Vicente Lopez (KAS) @ 52min 46sec
  24. Régis Ovion (Peugeot-Esso) @ 54min 55sec
  25. Luis Ocaña (Frisol) @ 1hr 2min 9sec
  26. Henk Lubberding (TI-Raleigh) @ 1hr 2min 13sec
  27. Fernando Mandes (Teka) @ 1hr 2min 36sec
  28. Jacques Esclassan (Peugeot-Esso) @ 1hr 2min 54sec
  29. Jos De Schoenmaecker (Fiat) @ 1hr 8min 11sec
  30. Paul Wellens (Frisol) @ 1hr 8min 12sec
  31. Gerrie Knetemann (TI-Raleigh) @ 1hr 11min 23sec
  32. José Enrique Cima (KAS) @ 1hr 15min 30sec
  33. Roland Berland (Gitane-Campagnolo) @ 1hr 15min 41sec
  34. Bernard Bourreau (Peugeot-Esso) @ 1hr 23min 7sec
  35. Jean-Pierre Ganguillaume (Peugeot-Esso) @ 1hr 25min 37sec
  36. Eugène Plet (Lejeune-BP) @ 1hr 25min 50sec
  37. Roger Legeay (Lejeune-BP) @ 1hr 33min 11sec
  38. Giovanni Cavalcanti (Bianchi) @ 1hr 33min 57sec
  39. Giacinto Santambrogio (Bianchi) @ 1hr 35min 24sec
  40. Guy Sibille (Peugeot-Esso) @ 1hr 36min 43sec
  41. Barry Hoban (Miko-Mercier) @ 1hr 39min 30sec
  42. André Chalmel (Gitane-Campagnolo) @ 1hr 44min 6sec
  43. Michel Le Denmat (Lejeune-BP) @ 1hr 44min 46sec
  44. Andrés Gandarias (Teka) @ 1hr 49min 48sec
  45. Antonio Menendez (KAS) @ 1hr 50min 38sec
  46. José De Cauwer (TI-Raleigh) @ 1hr 56min 1sec
  47. Luis Balague (Teka) @ 2hr 1min 58sec
  48. Jos Huysmans (Fiat) @ 2hr 6min 49sec
  49. Willy Singer (Bianchi) @ 2hr 8min 6sec
  50. Robert Bouloux (Fiat) @ 2hr 12min 55sec
  51. Cees Bal (Fiat) @ 2hr 22min 18sec
  52. Gerben Karstens (TI-Raleigh) @ 2hr 23min 47sec
  53. Roger Loysch (Frisol) @ 2hr 24min 8sec

Climbers' Competition:

  1. Lucien van Impe (Lejeune-BP): 244 points
  2. Hennie Kuiper (TI-Raleigh): 174
  3. Pedro Torres (Teka): 144
  4. Bernard Thévenet (Peugeot-Esso): 114
  5. Joop Zoetemelk (Miko-Mercier): 80
  6. Francisco Galdos (KAS): 53
  7. Antonio Menendez (KAS): 52
  8. Joaquim Agostinho (Teka): 42
  9. Didi thurau (TI-Raleigh): 42
  10. Raymond Delisle (Miko-Mercier): 42

Points Competition:

  1. Jacques Escalssan (Peugeot-Esso): 236 points
  2. Giacinto Santambrogio (Bianchi-Campagnolo): 140
  3. Didi Thurau (TI-Raleigh): 137
  4. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane (Gitane-Campagnolo): 128
  5. Eddy Merckx (Fiat): 93
  6. Barry Hoban (Miko-Mercier): 91
  7. Hennie Kuiper (TI-Raleigh): 76
  8. Bernard Thévenet (Peugeot-Esso): 65
  9. Jean-Pierre Danguillaume (Peugeot-Esso): 61
  10. Lucien van Impe (Lejeune-BP): 60

Team Classification:

  1. TI-Raleigh: 347hr 41min 19sec
  2. Miko-Mercier @ 13min 29sec
  3. KAS @ 20min 45sec
  4. Peugeot-Esso @ 25min 2sec
  5. Teka @ 56min 19sec
  6. Fiat @ 1hr 8min 5sec
  7. Lejeune-BP @ 1hr 14min 6sec
  8. Gitane-Campagnolo @ 1hr 28min 30sec
  9. Frisol @ 3hr 5min 34sec
  10. Bianchi @ 2hr 54min 6sec

1977 Tour de France stage results with running GC:

Running GC standings reflect the standings as they were reported at the time. 10-minute penalties for doping that were imposed upon Joop Zoetemelk and Joaquim Agostinho are only accounted for in the final GC standings.

Prologue: Thursday, June 30, Fleurance 5 km Individual Time Trial

  1. Didi Thurau: 6min 16.07sec
  2. Gerrie Knetemann @ 4sec
  3. Eddy Merckx @ 8sec
  4. Joaquim Agostinho @ 11sec
  5. Joseph Bruyère s.t.
  6. Klaus-Peter Thaler @ 12sec
  7. Ferdi Bracke s.t.
  8. Michel Laurent @ 13sec
  9. Wilfried Wesemael s.t.
  10. Lucien van Impe @ 14sec

GC after the prologue: same times and placings as prologue.

Stage 1: Friday, July 1, Fleurence - Auch, 237 km

  1. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane: 7hr 9min 1sec
  2. Jacques Esclassan s.t.
  3. Wilfried Wesemael s.t.
  4. Rik van Linden s.t.
  5. Klaus-Peter Thaler s.t.
  6. Didi Thurau s.t.
  7. André Chalmel s.t.
  8. Eddy Merkcx s.t.
  9. Régis Delépine s.t.,
  10. Lucien van Impe s.t.

GC after Stage 1:

  1. Didi Thurau: 7hr 15min 17sec
  2. Gerrie Knetemann @ 4sec
  3. Eddy Merckx @ 8sec
  4. Joseph Bruyère @ 11sec
  5. Joaquim Agostinho s.t.
  6. Klaus-Peter Thaler @ 12sxec
  7. Wilfried Wesemael @ 13sec
  8. Michel Laurent s.t.
  9. Lucien van Impe @ 14sec
  10. Chraly Rouxel @ 16sec

Stage 2: Saturday, July 2, Auch - Pau, 253 km

Major Ascents: Aspin, Tourmalet, Aubisque

  1. Didi Thurau: 8hr 11min 8sec
  2. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane s.t.
  3. Eddy Merckx s.t.
  4. Charly Rouxel s.t.
  5. Bernard Thévenet s.t.
  6. Lucien van Impe s.t.
  7. Julian Andiano s.t.
  8. Gonzalo Aja s.t.
  9. Francisco Galdos s.t.
  10. Hennie Kuiper s.t.

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Didi Thurau: 15hr 26min 25sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 8sec
  3. Michel Laurent @ 13sec
  4. Lucien van Impe @ 14sec
  5. Charly Rouxel @ 16sec
  6. Joop Zoetemelk @ 18sec
  7. Bernard Thévenet @ 19sec
  8. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 31sec
  9. Hennie Kuiper @ 31sec
  10. Alain Meslet s.t.

Stage 3: Sunday, July 3, Oloron Sainte Marie - Vitoria, 248.2 km

Major Ascents: Ispeguy, Leiza, Huici

  1. José Nazabal: 7hr 35min 30sec
  2. Rik van Linden @ 5min 15sec
  3. Patrick Sercu s.t.
  4. Jacques Esclassan s.t.
  5. Theo Smit s.t.
  6. Charly Rouxel s.t.
  7. Klaus-Peter Thaler s.t.
  8. Jan Raas s.t.
  9. Didi Thurau s.t.
  10. Régis Delépine s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Didi Thurau: 23hr 7min 10sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 8sec
  3. Michel Laurent @ 13sec
  4. Lucien van Impe @ 14sec
  5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 18sec
  6. Bernard Thévenet @ 19sec
  7. Charly Rouxel @ 26sec
  8. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 31sec
  9. Hennie Kuiper @ 32sec
  10. Alain Meslet s.t.

Stage 4: Monday, July 4, Vitoria - Seignosse le Penon, 256 km

Major ascents: Jaizkibel, Alto de Ibardin

  1. Régis Delépine: 7hr 35min 59sec
  2. José De Cauwer s.t.
  3. Castelletti s.t.
  4. Roland Berland s.t.
  5. Roger Legeay s.t.
  6. Fernando Mendes s.t.
  7. Edouard Janssens @ 5sec
  8. Patrick Perret @ 2min 20sec
  9. Jacques Escalssan @ 3min 52sec
  10. Rik van Linden s.t.

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Didi Thurau: 30hr 46min 51sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 8sec
  3. Michel Laurent @ 13sec
  4. Lucien van Impe @ 14sec
  5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 18sec
  6. Bernard Thévenet @ 19sec
  7. Charly Rouxel @ 26sec
  8. Pierre-Raymnd Villmiane @ 31sec
  9. Hennie Kuiper @ 32sec
  10. Alain Meslet s.t.

Stage 5A: Tuesday, July 5, Morcenx - Bordeaux, 138.5 km

  1. Jacques Escalssan: 3hr 38min 5sec
  2. Gerben Karstens s.t.
  3. Patrick Sercu s.t.
  4. Rik van Linden s.t.
  5. Barry Hoban s.t.
  6. Klaus-Peter Thaler s.t.
  7. Theo Smit s.t.
  8. Piet Van Katwijk s.t.
  9. Charly Rouxel s.t.
  10. Willy Tierlinck s.t.

GC after Stage 5A:

  1. Didi Thurau: 34hr 24min 56sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 8sec
  3. Michel Laurent @ 13sec
  4. Lucien van Impe @ 14sec
  5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 18sec
  6. Bernard Thévenet @ 19sec
  7. Charly Rouxel @ 26sec
  8. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 28sec
  9. Hennie Kuiper @ 32sec
  10. Alain Meslet s.t.

Stage 5B: Tuesday, July 5, Bordeaux (Circuit du Lac) 30.2 km Individual Time Trial

  1. Didi Thurau: 39min 24sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 50sec
  3. Gerrie Knetemann @ 1min 5sec
  4. Bernard Thévenet @ 1min 6sec
  5. Joseph Bruyère @ 1min 9sec
  6. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 17sec
  7. Michel Laurent @ 1min 21sec
  8. Fedor Den Hartog @ 1min 26sec
  9. Roy Schuiten @ 1min 30sec
  10. Alain Meslet @ 1min 34sec

GC after Stage 5B:

  1. Didi Thurau: 35hr 4min 20sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 58sec
  3. Bernard Thévenet @ 1min 25sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 1min 34sec
  5. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 49sec
  6. Alain Meslet @ 2min 6sec
  7. Joop Zoetemelk @ 2min 7sec
  8. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 12sec
  9. Raymond Delisle @2 in 32sec
  10. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 47sec

Stage 6: Thursday, July 7, Bordeaux - Limoges, 225.5 km

  1. Jan Raas: 6hr 40sec
  2. Klaus-Peter Thaler @ 10sec
  3. Giacinto Santambrogio s.t.
  4. Hennie kuiper s.t.
  5. Jacques Bossis s.t.
  6. Joaquim Agostinho s.t.
  7. Régis Ovion s.t.
  8. Wilfried Wesemael s.t.
  9. Francisco Galdos s.t.
  10. Bernard Vallet s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Didi Thurau: 41hr 5min 19sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 58sec
  3. Michel Laurent @ 1min 25sec
  4. Bernard Thévenet s.t.
  5. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  6. Alain Meslet @ 2min 6sec
  7. Joop Zoetemelk @ 2min 7sec
  8. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 12sec
  9. Raymond Delisle @ 2min 32sec
  10. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 47sec

Stage 7A: Friday, July 8, Jaunay Clan - Angers, 139.5 km

  1. Patrick Sercu: 3hr 45min 24sec
  2. Theo Smit s.t.
  3. Klaus-Peter Thaler s.t.
  4. Gerben Karstens s.t.
  5. Barry Hoban s.t.
  6. Wilfried Wesemael s.t.
  7. Rik Van Linden s.t.
  8. Schepmans s.t.
  9. Bernard Bourreau s.t.
  10. Jacques Escalssan s.t.

GC after Stage 7A:

  1. Didi Thurau: 44hr 50min 43sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 58sec
  3. Michel Laurent @ 1min 25sec
  4. Bernard Thévenet s.t.
  5. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  6. Alain Meslet @ 2min 5sec
  7. Joop Zoetemelk @ 2min 7sec
  8. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 12sec
  9. Raymond Delisle @ 2min 32sec
  10. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 47sec

Stage 7B: Friday, July 8, Angers 4k Team time trial.

Results earned for time bonuses for the first three teams, elapsed time counted only towards team GC

  1. Fiat: 4min 49sec
  2. Peugeot @ 11sec
  3. TI-Raleigh @ 28sec
  4. Frisol s.t.
  5. Gitane @ 37sec
  6. Mercier s.t. (actually tied with Gitane for 5th place)
  7. Lejeune-BP @ 44sec
  8. Bianchi @ 49sec
  9. KAS @ 52sec
  10. Teka @ 1min 30sec

GC after Stage 7B

  1. Didi Thurau: 44hr 50min 40sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 51sec
  3. Michel Laurent @ 1min 22sec
  4. Bernard Thévenet s.t.
  5. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  6. Alain Meslet @ 2min 9sec
  7. Joop Zoetemelk @ 2min 10sec
  8. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 15sec
  9. Raymond Delisle @ 2min 35sec
  10. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 50sec

Stage 8: Saturday, July 9, Angers-Lorient, 246.5 km

  1. Giacinto Santambrogio: 6hr 32min 41sec
  2. Bernard Bourreau s.t.
  3. Joseph Bruyère s.t.
  4. Jacques Bossis s.t.
  5. Henk Lubberding s.t.
  6. Maurice Le Guilloux s.t.
  7. Antoine Gutierrez s.t.
  8. Bernard Quilfen s.t.
  9. Tullio Rossi s.t.
  10. Eugène Plet @ 3sec

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Didi Thurau: 51hr 23min 32sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 51sec
  3. Michel Laurent @ 1min 22sec
  4. Bernard Thévenet s.t.
  5. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  6. Alain Meslet @ 2min 9sec
  7. Joop Zoetemelk @ 2min 10sec
  8. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 15sec
  9. Raymond Deslisle @ 2min 35sec
  10. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 50sec

Stage 9: Sunday, July 10, Lorient - Rennes, 187 km

Major Ascent: Mur de Bretagne

  1. Klaus-Peter Thaler: 5hr 7mn 35sec
  2. Giacinto Santambrogio s.t.
  3. Willy Tierlinck s.t.
  4. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane s.t.
  5. Patrick Béon s.t.
  6. Patrick Sercu s.t.
  7. Gerven Karstens s.t.
  8. Rik van Linden s.t.
  9. Jacques Escalssan s.t.
  10. Theo Smit s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Didi Thurau: 56hr 31min 8sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 51sec
  3. Bernard Thévenet @ 1min 22sec
  4. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  5. Alain Meslet @ 2min 9sec
  6. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 15sec
  7. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 50sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 2min 52sec
  9. Francisco Galdos @ 3min 2sec
  10. Joop Zoetemelk @ 3min 40sec

Stage 10: Monday, July 11, Bagnoles de l'Orne - Rouen, 174 km

  1. Fedor Den Hartog: 4hr 49min 38sec
  2. Jean-Pierre Danguillaume @ 20sec
  3. Jean Chassang s.t.
  4. Rik Van Linden s.t.
  5. Jacques Escalssan s.t.
  6. Gerben Karstens s.t.
  7. Edouard Janssens s.t.
  8. Piet Van Katwijk s.t.
  9. Willy Tierlinck s.t.
  10. Régis Delépine s.t.

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Didi Thurau: 61hr 21min 6sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 51sec
  3. Bernard Thévenet @ 1min 22sec
  4. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  5. Alain Meslet @ 2min 9sec
  6. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 15sec
  7. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 50sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 2min 52sec
  9. Francisco Galdos @ 3min 2sec
  10. Joop Zoetemelk @ 3min 40sec

Stage 11: Tuesday, July 12, Rouen - Roubaix, 242.5 km

  1. Jean-Pierre Danguillaume: 7hr 7min 3sec
  2. Roy Schuiten @ 7sec
  3. Patrick Sercu s.t.
  4. Gerben Karstens s.t.
  5. Rik Van Linden s.t.
  6. Jacques Escalssan s.t.
  7. Piet Van Katwijk s.t.
  8. Jacques Bossis s.t.
  9. Didi Thurau s.t.
  10. Charly Rouxel s.t.

GC after Stage 11:

  1. Didi Thurau: 68hr 28min 16sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 51sec
  3. Bernard Thévenet @ 1min 22sec
  4. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  5. Alain Meslet @ 2min 9sec
  6. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 15sec
  7. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 50sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 2min 52sec
  9. Francisco Galdos @ 3min 2sec
  10. Joop Zoetemelk @ 3min 40sec

Stage 12: Wednesday, July 13, Roubaix - Charleroi, 192.5 km

Major ascent: Grammont

  1. Patrick Sercu: 4hr 32min 38sec
  2. Jacques Escalssan @ 6min 23sec
  3. Rik Van Linden s.t.
  4. Theo Smit s.t.
  5. Klaus-Peter Thaler s.t.
  6. Piet Van Katwijk s.t.
  7. Wilfried Wesemael s.t.
  8. Régis Ovion s.t.
  9. Charly Rouxel s.t.
  10. Willy Tierlinck s.t.

GC after stage 12:

  1. Didi Thurau: 73hr 7min 17sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 51sec
  3. Bernard Thévenet @ 1min 22sec
  4. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  5. Alain Meslet @ 2min 9sec
  6. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 15sec
  7. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 50sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 2min 52sec
  9. Francisco Galdos @ 3min 2sec
  10. Joop Zoetemelk @ 3min 40sec

Stage 13A: Friday, July 15, Freiburg im Breisgau - Frieburg im Breisgau, 46km.

  1. Patrick Sercu: 56min 42sec
  2. Rik Van Linden s.t.
  3. Didi Thurau s.t.
  4. Jacques Escalssan s.t.
  5. Piet Van Katwijk s.t.
  6. Gerben Karstens s.t.
  7. Guy Sibille s.t.
  8. Theo Smit s.t.
  9. André Chalmel s.t.
  10. Barry Hoban s.t.

GC after Stage 13A:

  1. Didi Thurau: 74hr 3min 59sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 51sec
  3. Bernard Thévenet @ 1min 22sec
  4. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  5. Alain Meslet @ 2min 9sec
  6. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 15sec
  7. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 50sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 2min 52sec
  9. Francisco Galdos @ 3min 2sec
  10. Joop Zoetemelk @ 3min 40sec

Stage 13B: Friday, July 15, Altkirch - Besançon, 159.5 km

  1. Jean-Pierre Danguillaume: 4hr 6min 0sec
  2. Bert Pronk s.t.
  3. Vicente Lopez-Carril s.t.
  4. Klaus-Peter Thaler @ 1min 21sec
  5. Piet Van Katwijk s.t.
  6. Rik Van Linden s.t.
  7. Barry Hoban s.t.
  8. Gerben Karstens s.t.
  9. Jacques Esclassan s.t.
  10. Wilfried Wesemael s.t.

GC after Stage 13B:

  1. Didi Thurau: 78hr 11min 20sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 51sec
  3. Bernard Thévenet @ 1min 22sec
  4. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  5. Alain Meslet @ 2min 9sec
  6. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 15sec
  7. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 50sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 2min 52sec
  9. Francisco Galdos @ 3min 2sec
  10. Joop Zoetemelk s.t.

Stage 14: Saturday, July 16, Besançon - Thonon les Bains, 230 km

Major ascents: Côte des Rousses, Cou

  1. Bernard Quilfen: 6hr 15min 46sec
  2. Jacques Escalssan @ 3min 14sec
  3. Didi thurau s.t.
  4. José De Cauwer s.t.
  5. Giacinto Santambrogio s.t.
  6. Klaus-Peter Thaler s.t.
  7. Eddy Merckx s.t.
  8. Régis Ovion s.t.
  9. Hennie Kuiper s.t.
  10. Jacques Bossis s.t.

GC after Stage 14:

  1. Didi Thurau: 84hr 30min 20sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 51sec
  3. Bernard Thévenet @ 1min 22sec
  4. Hennie Kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  5. Alain Meslet @ 2min 9sec
  6. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 15sec
  7. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 50sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 2min 50sec
  9. Francisco Galdos @ 3min 2sec
  10. Joop Zoetemelk @ 3min 40sec

Stage 15A: Sunday, July 17, Thonon les Bains - Morzine, 105 km

Major ascents: Pas de Morgins, Corbier

  1. Paul Wellens: 2hr 55min 59sec
  2. Glauco Santoni @ 3min 1sec
  3. Giacinto Santambrogio @ 3min 8sec
  4. Klaus-Peter Thaler @ 3min 8sec
  5. Jacques Escalssan s.t.
  6. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane s.t.
  7. Chirstian Seznec s.t.
  8. André Chalmel s.t.
  9. Eddy Merckx s.t.
  10. Antonio Menedez s.t.

GC after stage 15A:

  1. Didi Thurau: 87hr 29min 27sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 51sec
  3. Bernard Thévenet @ 1min 22sec
  4. Hennie kuiper @ 1min 40sec
  5. Alain Meslet @ 2min 9sec
  6. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 15sec
  7. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 2min 50sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 2in 52sec
  9. Francisco Galdos @ 3min 2sec
  10. Joop Zoetemelk @ 3min 40sec

Stage 15B: Sunday, July 17, Morzine - Avoriaz 14 km time Hill Climb

Major ascent: Avoriaz

  1. Lucien van Impe: 33min 49sec
  2. Bernard Thévenet @ 20sec
  3. Joop Zoetemelk. Positive for dope, penalized 10 minutes and relegated. Running GC won't reflect this time loss.
  4. Michel Laurent@ 22sec
  5. Gerrie Knetemann @ 23sec
  6. Francisco Galdos @ 36sec
  7. Raymond Martin @ 49sec
  8. Hennie Kuiper @ 51sec
  9. Bert Pronk @ 1min 6sec
  10. Eddy Merckx @ 1min 16sec

15. Didi Thurau @ 1min 53sec

GC after Stage 15B:

  1. Bernard Thévenet 88hr 4min 58sec
  2. Didi Thurau @ 11sec
  3. Eddy Merckx @ 25sec
  4. Lucien van Impe @ 33sec
  5. Hennie Kuiper @ 49sec
  6. Joop Zoetemelk @ 1min 13sec.
  7. Michel Laurent @ 1min 32sec
  8. Francisco Galdos @ 1in 56sec
  9. Raymond Delisle @ 3min 45sec
  10. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 3min 49sec

Stage 16: Monday, July 18, Morzine - Chamonix, 121 km

Major Ascents: Corbier, Forclaz, Montets.

  1. Didi Thurau: 3hr 29min 52sec
  2. Sebastian Pozo s.t.
  3. Joop Zoetemelk s.t.
  4. Bernard Thévenet s.t.
  5. Lucien van Impe s.t.
  6. Bernard Vallet s.t.
  7. José Martins s.t.
  8. Joaquim Agostinho s.t.
  9. Hennie Kuiper s.t.
  10. Francisco Galdos s.t.

GC after Stage 16:

  1. Bernard Thévenet: 91hr 34min 50sec
  2. Didi Thurau @ 11sec
  3. Lucien van Impe @ 33sec
  4. Hennie Kuiper @ 49sec
  5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 1min 13sec.
  6. Francisco Galdos @ 1min 56sec
  7. Eddy Merckx @ 3min 2sec
  8. Raymond Delisle @ 3min 45sec
  9. Michel Laurent @ 4min 9sec
  10. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane @ 11min 16sec

Stage 17: Tuesday, July 19, Chamonix - L'Alpe d'Huez, 184.5 km

Major Ascents: Madeleine, Glandon and hilltop finish at L'Alpe d'Huez

  1. Hennie Kuiper: 6hr 20sec
  2. Bernard Thévenet @ 41sec
  3. Lucien van Impe @ 2min 6sec
  4. Francisco Galdos @ 2min 59sec
  5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 4min 40sec
  6. Raymond Martin @ 8min 15sec
  7. Sebastian Pozo @ 8min 39sec
  8. Joaquin Agostinho @ 8min 44sec
  9. Michel Laurent @ 9min 29sec
  10. Pedro Torres @ 10min 49sec

GC after stage 17:

  1. Bernard Thévenet: 97hr 35min 51sec
  2. Hennie Kuiper @ 8sec
  3. Lucien van Impe @ 1min 58sec
  4. Francisco Galdos @ 4min 14sec
  5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 5min 12sec
  6. Didi Thurau @ 12min 2sec
  7. Michel Laurent @ 12min 57sec
  8. Raymond Delisle @ 14min 54sec
  9. Eddy Merckx @ 16min 12sec
  10. Raymond Martin @ 22min 59sec

Stage 18: Wednesday, July 20, Rossignol Voiron - St. Etienne, 199.5 km

Major Ascents: Lalouvesc, Croix de Chabouret

Because of dope positives, this stage has no 1st and 2nd place.

  1. Joaquim Agostinho: 5hr 56min 5sec. Stage win revoked for dope positive
  2. Antonio Menendez @ 3min 17sec. 2nd place also revoked.
  3. Eddy Merckx @ 3min 30sec
  4. Régis Ovion @ 7min 59sec
  5. Giacinto Santambrogio s.t.
  6. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane s.t.
  7. Jascques Esclassan s.t.
  8. Christian Seznec s.t.
  9. Bernard Vallet s.t.
  10. Giovanni Cavalcanti s.t.

GC after Stage 18:

  1. Bernard Thévenet: 103hr 39min 55sec
  2. Hennie Kuiper @ 8sec
  3. Lucien van Impe @ 1min 58sec
  4. Francisco Galdos @ 4min 14sec
  5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 5min 12sec.
  6. Eddy Merckx @ 11min 33sec
  7. Didi Thurau @ 12min 7sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 12min 57sec
  9. Raymond Delisle @ 14min 59sec
  10. Joaquim Agostinho @ 21min 33sec

Stage 19: Thursday, July 21, St.Trivier - Dijon, 171.5 km

  1. Gerrie Knetemann: 4hr 29min 17sec
  2. Cees Bal @ 1sec
  3. Gerben Karstens @ 56sec
  4. Giacinto Santambrogio s.t.
  5. Huysmans s.t.
  6. Barry Hoban s.t.
  7. Josée De Cauwer s.t.
  8. Hennie Kuiper s.t.
  9. Chalmel s.t.
  10. Régis Ovion s.t.

GC after Stage 19:

  1. Bernard Thévenet: 109hr 10min 8sec
  2. Hennie Kuiper @ 8sec
  3. Lucien van Impe @ 1min 58sec
  4. Francisco Galdos @ 4min 14sec
  5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 5min 12sec
  6. Eddy Merckx @ 11min 33sec
  7. Didi Thurau @ 12min 57sec
  8. Michel laurent @ 12min 57sec
  9. Raymond Delisle @ 21min 33sec
  10. Joaquim Agostinho @ 21min 33sec

Stage 20: Friday, July 22, Dijon 50 km Individual Time Trial

Major ascent: Sombernon

  1. Bernard Thévenet: 1hr 10min 45sec
  2. Didi Thurau@ 23sec
  3. Hennie Kuiper @ 28sec
  4. Gerrie Knetemann @ 43sec
  5. Joseph Bruyère @ 47sec
  6. Eddy Merckx @ 1min 2sec
  7. Joaquim Agostinho @ 1mn 19sec
  8. Lucien van Impe @ 1min 24sec
  9. Francisco Galdos @ 3min 4sec
  10. Bernard Vallet @ 3min 59sec

GC after Stage 20:

  1. Bernard Thévenet: 109hr 20min 53sec
  2. Hennie Kuiper @ 35sec
  3. Lucien van Impe @ 3min 22sec
  4. Francisco Galdos @ 7min 18sec
  5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 9min 36sec
  6. Didi Thurau @ 12min 30sec
  7. Eddy Merckx @ 12min 35sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 17min 37sec
  9. Raymond Delisle @ 20min 44sec
  10. Joaquim Agostinho @ 2min 52sec

Stage 21: Saturday, July 23, Montereau - Versailles, 141.5 km

  1. Gerrie Knetemann: 3hr 59min 22sec
  2. Joop Zoetemelk s.t.
  3. Michel Laurent s.t.
  4. Guy Sibille @ 19sec
  5. Barry Hoban s.t.
  6. Joseph Huysmans s.t.
  7. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane s.t.
  8. Jacques Esclassan s.t.
  9. Giacinto Santambrogio s.t.
  10. Christian Seznec s.t.

GC after Stage 21:

  1. Bernard Thévenet: 113hr 20min 34sec
  2. Hennie Kuiper @ 36sec
  3. Lucien van Impe @ 3min 22sec
  4. Francisco Galdos @ 7min 18sec
  5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 9min 17sec
  6. Didi Thurau @ 12min 30sec
  7. Eddy Merckx @ 12min 35sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 17min 18sec
  9. Raymond Delisle @ 20min 44sec
  10. Joaquim Agostinho @ 22min 52sec

Stage 22A: Sunday, July 24, Paris 6 km Individual Time Trial (on Champs Elysées)

  1. Didi Thurau: 7min 52sec
  2. Gerrie Knetemann @ 3sec
  3. Bernard Thévenet @ 6sec
  4. Eddy Merckx @ 9sec
  5. Joseph Bruyère @ 11sec
  6. Joop Zoetemelk s.t.
  7. Lucien van Impe @ 16sec
  8. Hennie Kuiper @ 18sec
  9. José-Enrique Cima s.t.
  10. Bert Pronk @ 19sec

GC after Stage 22A:

  1. Bernard Thévenet: 113hr 28min 32sec
  2. Hennie kuiper @ 48sec
  3. Lucien van Impe @ 3min 32sec
  4. Francisco Galdos @ 7min 45sec
  5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 9min 22sec
  6. Didi Thurau @ 12min 24sec
  7. Eddy Merckx @ 12min 38sec
  8. Michel Laurent @ 17min 42sec
  9. Raymond Delisle @ 21min 32sec
  10. Joaquim Agostinho @ 23min 13sec

Stage 22B (final stage): Sunday, July 24, Champs Elysées Circuit Race, 90.7 km

  1. Alain Meslet: 2hr 9min 4sec
  2. Gerben Karstens @ 49sec
  3. Barry Hoban @ 54sec
  4. Guy Sibille s.t.
  5. Eddy Merckx s.t.
  6. Jacques Esclassan s.t.
  7. Christian Seznec s.t.
  8. Michel Le Denmat s.t.
  9. Pierre-Raymond Villemiane s.t.
  10. Hennie Kuiper s.t.

Complete Final 1977 Tour de France General Classification


The Story of the 1977 Tour de France:

This excerpt is from "The Story of the Tour de France", Volume 2. If you enjoy it we hope you will consider purchasing the book, either print or electronic. The Amazon link here will make either purchase easy.

The Tour maintained its 4,000 kilometer length, this year 4,096 to be exact. There were 5 split stages and 7 transfers to sap the riders' strength. The Tour organizers are always tinkering with their Tour and in 1977 they decided to de-emphasize climbing after 1976's 8 back-to-back mountain stages. From a total of 5 the number of hilltop finishes was reduced to only 2. In addition, the individual time trial kilometers were increased from 89.8 to 105.2. An all-rounder with a powerful team to protect him on the flatter stages would find favor on this route. The rider who most completely fit that description was Bernard Thévenet and his black and white clad Peugeot team. Foreshadowing the disrepute that the 1977 Tour has, Thévenet was penalized for a positive dope test in the Paris–Nice stage race held in March.

The Tour's favorites were easy to ascertain. Thévenet, of course, was at the top of the list. Van Impe planned to try for a second win even though the course was less suited to his talents than the year before. Merckx was back for his last Tour. His 1977 spring added no major international victories to his palmares. The Miko-Mercier team had 2 contenders, Joop Zoetemelk and Raymond Delisle, who had moved from Peugeot. The TI-Raleigh team had Hennie Kuiper, 1975 world road champion and winner of the 1976 Tour of Switzerland.

Raleigh also had Dietrich "Didi" Thurau, who had turned professional late in 1974. He was part of the magnificent West German pursuit machine that dominated the sport at the time. He was hailed as a god by German cycling fans looking for a new Rudi Altig. He looked the part, handsome with broad shoulders. His first full year as a pro he won 5 races including his National Championship. In 1976 he won 7 races and again his National Championship. 1977 was his year: he won 25 races and had what turned out to be a stunning start to the Tour de France.

Thurau riding to victory in the prologue.

The Prologue 5-kilometer time trial in Fleurence just north of the Pyrenees was the perfect distance for one of the world's finest pursuiters. Thurau won it, beating his TI-Raleigh teammate Gerrie Knetemann by 4 seconds and Eddy Merckx by 8 seconds. Thurau's first day in his first Tour resulted in Yellow.

In the first road stage, 31 riders—a group that included Merckx, van Impe, Thévenet, Zoetemelk and Thurau—separated themselves from the rest of the pack. By finishing with this front group the young German preserved his small lead, 4 seconds on Knetemann and 7 seconds on Merckx.

While the 1977 Tour may not have been set up as a climber's Tour, climbing was there and unusually it started on stage 2. The day's 253 kilometers included the Aspin, the Tourmalet and the Aubisque. Thurau's ambitions were not unlike those of Rudi Altig back in 1964 when Altig wanted to be wearing Yellow when the Tour passed into Germany (Altig had to settle for Green that day). This year the Tour would head into Germany for stage 13 and Thurau deeply wanted to bring the Yellow Jersey to his home country. Stage 2 was a huge wall potentially ruining his chances.

On the Tourmalet, van Impe, Thévenet and Hennie Kuiper managed to get a 2-minute lead on a chasing group containing Merckx, Ocaña, Thurau and Michel Laurent. Merckx asked Thurau for help in pursuing the leaders. Merckx, being the superior descender, led down the Tourmalet and working together, they were able to regain contact with the trio on the Aubisque. The stage finished on the motor-raceway in Pau, not at the top of the Aubisque. This descent and ride into town allowed a bit of a regroupment. A lead bunch of 14 riders made it into Pau together including all of the contenders except Ocaña: Thévenet, Thurau, Merckx, Zoetemelk, van Impe, Kuiper and Delisle. Thurau, a superb trackman, won the stage and dodged the bullet. He was still in Yellow, but Merckx was only 8 seconds back. No one could feel confident with the Cannibal that close.

The next 2 stages in the mountains maintained the status quo. So, instead of unleashing a rapid-fire series of attacks in the Pyrenees the climbers basically decided to wait for the Alps to contest the race.

Stage 5b was a 30.2-kilometer individual time trial at Bordeaux. Merckx, the master of the chrono was expected to deliver a devastating ride that would give him the lead. It did not turn out that way. Thurau took about a minute out of Merckx and Thévenet and almost 2 minutes out of Zoetemelk and van Impe. He now led Merckx by 58 seconds and Thévenet by 1 minute, 25 seconds.

As with many team time trials in the Tour's history, the short 4-kilometer stage 7b race didn't count in the individual riders' times. It was a race for team classification with the riders of the top 3 teams getting small bonifications. Merckx's Fiat-sponsored squad won with Thurau's Raleighs coming in third, costing Thurau 6 seconds of his slim lead.

At this point the overall standings were thus:

1. Dietrich Thurau
2. Eddy Merckx @ 51 seconds
3. Michel Laurent @ 1 minute 22 seconds
4. Bernard Thévenet @ same time
5. Hennie Kuiper @ 1 minute 40 seconds

Before stopping in Germany, the Tour detoured to Belgium. Patrick Sercu, whom Merckx called the most gifted and perfect rider he had ever known, won the stage into Charleroi in a 170-kilometer solo break. The peloton came in 6½ minutes later. Not too bad for a sprinter! In case people might have thought that the long break dulled the edge of Sercu's jump, he won the next stage (after a rest day) into Germany in a mass sprint with all 95 riders in the Tour finishing together.

Stage 11: Jean-Pierre Danguillaume wins alone in Roubaix. Roy Schuiten, Sercu and the rest of the Hounds of Hell are 7 seconds back.

So Thurau did wear the Yellow Jersey into Germany, satisfying the delirious fans who surrounded his hotel, screaming their joy that one of their countrymen was in Yellow. Thurau managed to keep the lead for a little while longer, but the effort so far of holding off Merckx, Thévenet and the rest of the field was starting to show.

Before the stage 15b individual time trial up the Avoriaz, the top 6 riders were very close in time:

1. Dietrich Thurau
2. Eddy Merckx @ 51 seconds
3. Bernard Thévenet @ 1 minute 22 seconds
4. Hennie Kuiper @ 1 minute 40 seconds
5. Alain Meslet @ 2 minutes 9 seconds
6. Lucien van Impe @ 2 minutes 15 seconds

Zoetemelk had the fastest time up the 1,833-meter high mountain but it was only later revealed that he had failed the drug test. He was penalized 10 minutes and lost his placing, making van Impe the stage winner with Thévenet only 20 seconds behind him. Merckx came in at 1 minute, 13 seconds. The tired Thurau was fifteenth at 1 minute, 53 seconds. Bernard Thévenet was now in Yellow, Thurau second at 11 seconds, Merckx third at 25 seconds.

On the stage 16 climb up the Forclaz, Thurau was dropped. He fought his way back and managed to make contact on the last climb of the day, the Montets. Once again, not being a hill-top finish, Thurau was able to get control of the situation and win the sprint. Thévenet was in the same lead group and so stayed in Yellow.

It was on stage 17 that the Tour really sorted itself out. It was a 184.5-kilometer trek across the Madeleine, the Glandon and a final ascent up L'Alpe d'Huez. The Madeleine was a preliminary that had the effect of shelling Merckx who was suffering from dysentery.

Easily escaping, van Impe romped up the Glandon and headed for the L'Alpe d'Huez with Thévenet's Yellow Jersey in mind. He was only 33 seconds behind in General Classification and his Tour win last year had changed his ambitions. Even without Guimard to push and threaten him, he wanted a second Yellow Jersey and was willing to take chances to get it.

The wind was against van Impe as he rode in the valley to the Alpe. This is where he ran into the handicap of being a small man. Van Impe just didn't have the horsepower to drive his bike through the wind the way a larger, more powerful rider could. Determined, he kept on and managed to arrive at the base of l'Alpe d'Huez alone.

This is the ride that Thévenet says was the hardest in his career. He buckled down to work and started to chase the diminutive Belgian climber. For company he had Hennie Kuiper and Joop Zoetemelk. Kuiper was sitting in fourth place at 49 seconds and Zoetemelk was fifth at 1 minute, 13 seconds. At the time, no one yet knew that Zoetemelk would be penalized for his stage 15 positive dope test. The 2 of them sat on Thévenet's wheel and let the man with the Yellow Jersey do the hard work of defending his position. The strategy worked and the gap to van Impe got smaller, finally small enough that the follow vehicles behind van Impe had to pull out. As they did so van Impe was hit by one of the television cars. Knowing that the Tour was in play, van Impe immediately got back on his bike to resume the climb, only to have his rear wheel collapse.

A little bit further down the Alpe, sensing victory, Kuiper attacked and left Thévenet and Zoetemelk. While van Impe was getting a new wheel, Kuiper raced by and then Thévenet passed him. It must have been heartbreaking for van Impe to just watch his chances for Tour victory go up the mountain along with the speeding duo. With Kuiper almost a minute up the road, Thévenet's chase was a desperate fight to retain the lead.

Kuiper won the stage, slowing as he crossed the line, and Thévenet came in 41 seconds later. Thévenet was still in Yellow by the skin of his teeth. Van Impe's loss that day was terrible. He came in 2 minutes, 6 seconds after Kuiper. He surely would have been in Yellow if he had not been hit.

Thurau came in seventeenth, 12 minutes, 32 seconds later.

Thévenet was furious with Zoetemelk and Kuiper who were willing to just sit on his wheel and let him do all the work. He called them petits coureurs, little riders. About that day, Thévenet said, "I believe that I never went as deep as in 1977, against Hennie Kuiper on L'Alpe d'Huez. That's the only time in my life I reached my limit."

The devastation wrought on the peloton by the hard stage was made clear when 30 riders finished outside the time limit and were eliminated. Patrick Sercu and Ferdi Bracke were among the dispatched.

Here was the General Classification situation after the l'Alpe d'Huez stage:

1. Bernard Thévenet
2. Hennie Kuiper @ 8 seconds
3. Lucien van Impe @ 1 minute 58 seconds
4. Francisco Galdos @ 4 minutes 14 seconds
5. Joop Zoetemelk @ 5 minutes 12 seconds
6. Dietrich Thurau @ 12 minutes 2 seconds

Stage 18 showed that the doping problems were perhaps a bit deeper than the public realized. The first riders to cross the line, Agostinho and Antonio Menendez, were relegated after testing positive. Merckx, coming in third, was awarded the stage victory.

Thévenet won the stage 20 time trial, Kuiper's only real chance to take the lead. Instead of gaining time on the Frenchman, Kuiper now lost 28 seconds. Barring misfortune, this put the race out of the Dutchman's reach.

Stage 20: Thévenet winning the 50-kilometer Dijon time trial.

Thurau won the final day's time trial, showing the depth and the talent he had, but Thévenet was only 6 seconds slower. Kuiper lost another 12 seconds to the Frenchman who in 1975 had begun a renaissance of French Tour riding that would last a decade.

This was Merckx's last Tour de France. In 1978 he rode only 5 races, winning none of them. The great man had worn himself out after entering about 1,800 races and winning over 500 of them.

Final 1977 Tour de France General Classification:

1. Bernard Thévenet (Peugeot-Esso): 115 hours 38 minutes 30 seconds
2. Hennie Kuiper (TI-Raleigh) @ 48 seconds
3. Lucien van Impe (Lejeune) @ 3 minutes 32 seconds
4. Francisco Galdos (KAS) @ 7 minutes 45 seconds
5. Dietrich Thurau (TI-Raleigh) @ 12 minutes 24 seconds
6. Eddy Merckx (Fiat) @ 12 minutes 38 seconds

Climbers' competition:

1. Lucien van Impe: 244 points
2. Hennie Kuiper: 174 points
3. Pedro Torres: 144 points

Points competition:

1. Jacques Esclassan: 236 points
2. Giacinto Santambrogio: 140 points
3. Dietrich Thurau: 137 points

In the 1977 Tour, doping was really beginning to rear its ugly head. Or, it would be more correct to write, riders who doped were caught. Ocaña, Zoetemelk, Agostinho and Menendez failed dope tests during the Tour. As noted earlier, winner Bernard Thévenet had failed a drug test in Paris–Nice that spring. This was a strange time when it seemed that the drug rules were not enforced fairly. You will note that there were no Frenchmen in the above list of riders caught doping in the Tour. Mysterious rumors circulated about another 3 or 4 riders who had also failed their tests. None of these additional riders were French, nor were they sanctioned.

Thévenet would pay a very high price for his drug taking. That winter he checked himself into a hospital because his cortisone use had severely damaged his liver. He went public with his misdeeds and was severely criticized by the press for admitting his doping after it became obvious, by his fellow riders, and by his sponsor, Peugeot.

This would probably be a good time to stop and look at the bikes of the era. I had the good fortune to get a Team Raleigh bike built in what I believe was the shop of Jan Legrand. I think it is indicative of the bikes of the time. I am going on memory here, so please forgive any errors.

The frame was Reynolds 531. The bike, being Dutch, was heavier than the normal 21-pound racing bike of the era. It was lugged with a 25mm diameter top tube and a 28mm downtube. Tubing of that time for most uses was drawn to 0.6mm thickness in the center of the tubes and 0.9 at the butts. I assume my bike had slightly thicker tubing. The frame was fitted with short Campagnolo horizontal adjustable dropouts. It had no chrome.

The groupset was Campagnolo Super Record.

The wheels were 32 spoke laced on to Martano rims. The tires it came with were Clement Strada 66 cotton cold-treated tubulars.

Thévenet's bikes were not of the same class. The Peugeot team that he rode for were issued stock Peugeot bikes. The frames were of 531 like the Raleighs, but the workmanship was rather inferior. Merckx, who rode for Peugeot early in his career, said that the Peugeot bikes rode and handled like dogs. Like many champions, he had other builders supply him with bikes then painted and decaled Peugeot. Instead of crisp Campagnolo side-pulls, they used Mafac centerpull brakes that had been updated only slightly from the 1950s.

The Simplex Super LJ derailleur set was certainly up to the standards of the time, superior in their shifting to the Campagnolo. The hubs, Maillard, were not that well made, their axles being prone to breaking.

The Stronglight crankset was pretty and shiny. But as anyone who rode one in competition could tell you, the spider was very flexible. It was easy to make the chain rub against the derailleur under even modest effort. The Maillard pedals were also inferior having poor bearings and fragile axles.

And with that machine, one that any weekend duffer today would shun with horror, Thévenet won 2 Tours de France. It's the legs.


Video of Lucien van Impe riding the Stage 20 time trial