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1970 Tour de France

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1970 Tour de France

1970 Tour de France
Race details
Dates 27 June–19 July 1970
Stages 23+Prologue, including five split stages
Distance 4,366 km (2,713 mi)
Winning time 119h 31' 49" (35.589 km/h or 22.114 mph)
Winner  Eddy Merckx (Belgium) (Faema–Faemino)
Second  Joop Zoetemelk (Netherlands) (Mars–Flandria)
Third  Gösta Pettersson (Sweden) (Ferretti)

Points  Walter Godefroot (Belgium) (Salvarani)
Mountains  Eddy Merckx (Belgium) (Faema–Faemino)
Combination  Eddy Merckx (Belgium) (Faema–Faemino)
Sprints  Cyrille Guimard (FRA) (Fagor)
Team Salvarani

The 1970 Tour de France was the 57th Tour de France, taking place 27 June to 19 July 1970. It consisted of 23 stages over 4366 km, ridden at an average speed of 35.589 km/h.[1]

It was the second victory for Belgian Eddy Merckx, who also won the mountains classification, and finished second in the points classification behind Walter Godefroot.


  • Changes from the 1969 Tour de France 1
  • Participants 2
  • Race details 3
  • Aftermath 4
  • Stages 5
  • Classification leadership 6
  • Results 7
    • General classification 7.1
    • Points classification 7.2
    • Mountains classification 7.3
    • Team classification 7.4
    • Combination classification 7.5
    • Intermediate sprints classification 7.6
    • Other classifications 7.7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Changes from the 1969 Tour de France

After the financial success of the split stages in the 1969 Tour de France, even more split stages were used in the 1970 Tour.[2]


After his dominating victory in the previous year, Merckx was the major favourite.[3] The main competition was expected from Luis Ocaña and Bernard Thévenet. Early in the race, 86 journalists predicted who would be in the top five of the Tour. 85 of them expected Merckx to be in the top five; Ocana was named by 78, Poulidor by 73.[4] Merckx had already won important races in 1970, including Paris–Roubaix, Paris–Nice, the Giro d'Italia and the Belgian national road championship.[2] Luis Ocaña, who had won the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré and the Vuelta a España, suffered from bronchitis, but still started the Tour, unable to seriously challenge Merckx.[2]

The Tour de France started with 15 teams, of 10 cyclists each, from five different countries:[5]

  • Caballero-Laurens
  • Willem II

A few days before the Tour started, it became known that Paul Gutty had failed a doping test when he won the French national road championship. Gutty was removed from his Frimatic team,[6] and replaced by Rene Grelin.

Race details

The big favourite Merckx won the opening prologue, but he decided not to try to keep this leading position during the entire race.[7]

A road with, from front to back, a motor, a car, and tens of cyclists
The peloton passing La Rochelle in the second stage.

In the next stage, Merckx' team chased back all the escapes, so the stage ended in a bunch sprint, and Merckx kept the lead. In the second stage, a few cyclists escaped, and two of Merckx' team mates, Guillaume Driessens, Merckx's team leader, allowed the escape to work, and told Zilioli and Vandenberghe to give their best.[2] Merckx however chased his own team mates.[2] The group stayed away, Zilioli won the sprint and became the new leader, 4 seconds ahead of Merckx.[8][9] After the stage, Merckx was angry at his team leader, because he had allowed Zilioli to "steal" Merckx' yellow jersey, but Driessens explained him that the other teams had spent energy to chase Zilioli, and the argument was over.[10] Merckx team won the team time trial, and controlled the next stages, keeping Zilioli the leader with Merckx in second place.[10]

In the sixth stage, Zilioli had a flat tire. Normally, if the leader in the Tour de France suffers a flat tire, a team mate would offer his wheel, and some team mates would stay with him to help him get back into the peloton. However, this time Merckx was considered more important, and Zilioli was given no help. Zilioli finished the stage one minute behind, and Merckx was the new leader.[11]

The seventh stage was split in two. Merckx won the first stage with a solo break, and finished second in the second part, a time trial. In that time trial, run during the rain, Roger de Vlaeminck, third in the general classification, took too much risk, fell down and left the race in an ambulance. Merckx saw De Vlaeminck lying on the street during his race, and decided to take less risks, allowing José Antonio González Linares to win the stage by three seconds.[12] Because Roger de Vlaeminck had left the race, his team Mars needed a new captain. Debutant Joop Zoetemelk was the highest ranked cyclist, and became the new captain.[13]

In the ninth stage, Mogens Frey and Joaquim Agostinho, team mates, broke away together. They worked together to stay away, but near the end of the stage Frey stopped working and had Agostinho do all the work, even after his team manager told him to help. In the sprint, Agostinho expected his team mate to give him the victory because he had done all the work, but to his surprise Frey started to come around him. Agostinho then grabbed Frey's handlebars, and crossed the finish line first. The race jury did not allow this, and gave the victory to Frey, putting Agostinho in second place.[2]

In the tenth stage, when the first medium mountains showed up, Merckx won the stage, and only three cyclists were able to stay with him, including Zoetemelk. Zoetemelk then rose to the second place, and he became the most important rival for Merckx.[14] Zoetemelk said that he would focus on defending his second place, because he thought Merckx was better than the rest of the world.[15]

After the thirteenth stage, Merckx heard that Vicenze Giacotto, who started the Faema team around Merckx, had died of a heart attack.[16]

Merkcx increased his lead steadily in the mountain stages in the Alps. After he won the stage to the Mont Ventoux, Merckx briefly lost consciousness.[2][3]

In the two Pyrenéan stages, Merckx did not win. He was suffering from stomach problems, and changed bicycles several times. The young Bernard Thévenet won the first, showing his potential as a future Tour winner.[2][3]

Merckx was the third cyclist to win the Tour-Giro double in one year; Fausto Coppi and Jacques Anquetil had done it before. Coppi and Anquetil were over thirty years old at their doubles, Merckx was only 25.[17] The margin with the second placed cyclist was less than the year before; according to J.B. Wadley, the difference was that Merckx stopped attacking in 1970 after the Mont Ventoux; had he been inclined to win more time, he probably would have been able to.[2]


Merckx had been so dominant during the entire Tour, that the organisation was afraid the race would become dull. The director Félix Lévitan announced that rule changes were considered to break the power of Merckx's team, that he was considering to return to national teams, and to reduce the number of time trials in the Tour.[18] The 1971 Tour did not see major changes in rules, but the number of individual time trials decreased from five to two.


The 1970 Tour de France started on 27 June, and had no rest days.[19]

Stage results[3][20]
Stage Date Route Terrain Length Winner
P 27 June Limoges Individual time trial 7.4 km (4.6 mi)  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1 27 June Limoges – La Rochelle Plain stage 224.5 km (139.5 mi)  Cyrille Guimard (FRA)
2 28 June La Rochelle – Angers Plain stage 200 km (120 mi)  Italo Zilioli (ITA)
3a 29 June Angers Team time trial 10.7 km (6.6 mi) Faema-Faemino
3b Angers – Rennes Plain stage 140 km (87 mi)  Marino Basso (ITA)
4 30 June Rennes – Lisieux Plain stage 229 km (142 mi)  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
5a 1 July Lisieux – Rouen Plain stage 94.5 km (58.7 mi)  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
5b Rouen – Amiens Plain stage 223 km (139 mi)  Jozef Spruyt (BEL)
6 2 July Amiens – Valenciennes Plain stage 135.5 km (84.2 mi)  Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
7a 3 July Valenciennes – Forest/Vorst Plain stage 120 km (75 mi)  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
7b Forest/Vorst Individual time trial 7.2 km (4.5 mi)  José Antonio Gonzalez Linares (ESP)
8 4 July CineyFelsberg Plain stage 232.5 km (144.5 mi)  Alain Vasseur (FRA)
9 5 July SaarlouisMulhouse Stage with mountain(s) 269.5 km (167.5 mi)  Mogens Frey (DEN)
10 6 July BelfortDivonne-les-Bains Stage with mountain(s) 241 km (150 mi)  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
11a 7 July Divonne-les-Bains Individual time trial 8.8 km (5.5 mi)  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
11b Divonne-les-Bains – Thonon-les-Bains Stage with mountain(s) 139.5 km (86.7 mi)  Marino Basso (ITA)
12 8 July Thonon-les-Bains – Grenoble Stage with mountain(s) 194 km (121 mi)  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
13 9 July Grenoble – Gap Stage with mountain(s) 194.5 km (120.9 mi)  Primo Mori (ITA)
14 10 July Gap – Mont Ventoux Stage with mountain(s) 170 km (110 mi)  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
15 11 July CarpentrasMontpellier Plain stage 144.5 km (89.8 mi)  Marinus Wagtmans (NED)
16 12 July Montpellier – Toulouse Plain stage 160 km (99 mi)  Albert Van Vlierberghe (BEL)
17 13 July Toulouse – Saint-Gaudens Plain stage 190 km (120 mi)  Luis Ocaña (ESP)
18 14 July Saint-Gaudens – La Mongie Stage with mountain(s) 135.5 km (84.2 mi)  Bernard Thévenet (FRA)
19 15 July Bagnères-de-BigorreMourenx Stage with mountain(s) 185.5 km (115.3 mi)  Christian Raymond (FRA)
20a 16 July MourenxBordeaux Plain stage 160 km (99 mi)  Rolf Wolfshohl (FRG)
20b Bordeaux Individual time trial 8.2 km (5.1 mi)  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
21 17 July RuffecTours Plain stage 191.5 km (119.0 mi)  Marino Basso (ITA)
22 18 July Tours – Versailles Plain stage 238.5 km (148.2 mi)  Jean-Pierre Danguillaume (FRA)
23 19 July Versailles – Paris Champs-Élysées Individual time trial 54 km (34 mi)  Eddy Merckx (BEL)

Classification leadership

Stage General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification Team classification
P  Eddy Merckx (BEL)  Eddy Merckx (BEL) no award Bic
1  Cyrille Guimard (FRA)  Pierre Ghisellini (ITA)
2  Italo Zilioli (ITA)  Jan Janssen (NED)
3a Faemino
3b  Cyrille Guimard (FRA)  Luis Zubero (ESP)
4  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
6  Eddy Merckx (BEL)  Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
7a  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
10  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
12 Mann
13 Faemino
14  Eddy Merckx (BEL) KAS
16  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
18  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
19  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
23 Salvarani
Final  Eddy Merckx (BEL)  Walter Godefroot (BEL)  Eddy Merckx (BEL) Salvarani

During the stages when Merckx was leading the general classification and the points classification, Merckx wore the yellow jersey and the number two of the points classification was wearing a black/green jersey. When Merckx was leading the general classification and the combination classification, the number two of the combination classification wore a black/white jersey.[21]


There were several classifications in the 1970 Tour de France, three of them awarding jerseys to their leaders. 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.[22]

Additionally, there was a points classification, where 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.[22]

There was also a

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  1. ^ a b  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2008). The Story of the Tour de France: 1965-2007. Dog Ear Publishing. pp. 47–53.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "57ème Tour de France 1970" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Zoetemelk vijfde in Paris?". Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch) ( 3 July 1970. p. 7. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "Equipos participantes en el Tour" (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 24 June 1970. p. 30. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "Franse kampioen Gutty betrapt". Leeuwarder Courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 25 June 1970. p. 21. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Eddy Merckx "ongewild" leider". Leeuwarder Courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 27 June 1970. p. 15. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Driessens' plan lukt: Zilioli in gele trui". Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 29 June 1970. p. 20. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "57ème Tour de France 1970 - 2ème étape" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Eddy Merckx controleert peloton Tour de France". Leeuwarder Courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 30 June 1970. p. 19. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "Ploegleider en knechten lieten Zilioli in de steek". Leeuwarder Courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 3 July 1970. p. 21. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Eddy Merckx heeft Tour reeds beslist". Leeuwarder Courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 4 July 1970. p. 13. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "Zoetemelk ineens kopman van Mars". Leeuwarder Courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 4 July 1970. p. 13. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  14. ^ "Merckx krijgt Zoetemelk als naaste concurrent". Leeuwarder Courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 7 July 1970. p. 13. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "57ème Tour de France 1970 - 10ème étape" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "Eddy Merckx reed huilend ereronde". Leeuwarder Courant (in Dutch) (De krant van toen). 10 July 1970. p. 21. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  17. ^ "Eerste double voor Merckx". Leidse Courant (in Dutch) ( 20 July 1970. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  18. ^  
  19. ^  
  20. ^ Zwegers, Arian. "Tour de France GC Top Ten". CVCC. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  21. ^ Jean-Louis Bey. "Memoire du cyclisme: Les maillots du Tour de France 1970" (in French). Archived from the original on 6 February 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  22. ^ a b c Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". Ltd. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  23. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Other Classifications & Awards". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  24. ^ Mark, Eddy van der. "Tour Xtra: Intermediate Sprints Classification". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  25. ^ Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard.  
  26. ^ a b c "Clasificaciones oficiales". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 20 July 1970. p. 21. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  27. ^ a b c "1970 Tour de France - June 27 to July 19". Bike Race Info. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  28. ^ "Klassementen van de Tour de France". Provinciaalse Zeeuwse Courant (in Dutch) (Krantenbank Zeeland). 20 July 1970. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 


The new rider classification was first calculated in 1970. It is not the same as the young rider classification, introduced in 1975.[3]
New rider classification (1–3)[27]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Mogens Frey (DEN) Frimatic 77
2  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Flandria 67
3  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) Sonolor 36
The combativity award was given to Roger Pingeon.[1]
Final combativity award classification (1–5)[28]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Eddy Merckx (BEL) Faema 366
2  Joaquim Agostinho (POR) Frimatic 340
3  Raymond Delisle (FRA) Peugeot 273
4  Jean-Pierre Danguillaume (FRA) Peugeot 252
5  Andrés Gandarias (ESP) Kas 176

Other classifications

Combination classification

Final combination classification (1–5)[27]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Eddy Merckx (BEL) Faema 4
2  Martin Vandenbossche (BEL) Molteni 21.5
3  Marinus Wagtmans (NED) Willem II 23
4  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) Sonolor 25.5
5  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Flandria 32.5

Intermediate sprints classification

The intermediate sprints classification, sponsored by Miko, was also named "hot spot".
Final intermediate sprints classification (1–4)[27]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Cyrille Guimard (FRA) Fagor 67
2  Giancarlo Polidori (ITA) Scic 48
3  Jaak De Boever (BEL) Flandria 22
4  Pieter Nassen (BEL) Flandria 20

Team classification

Final team classification[26]
Rank Team Time
1 Salvarani 354h 22' 56"
2 Kas-Kaskol +1' 14"
3 Faema-Faemino +9' 45"
4 Sonolor-Lejeune +29' 21"
5 Mann-Grundig +34' 23"
6 Peugeot-BP-Michelin +35' 35"
7 Molteni +45' 35"
8 Bic +51' 17"
9 Fagor-Mercier-Hutchinson +59' 39"
10 Frimatic-De Gribaldy-Wolber +1h 04' 11"
11 Willem II-Gazelle +1h 28' 23"
12 Ferretti +1h 58' 15"
13 Mars-Flandria +2h 41' 51"
14 Caballero-Laurens +3h 34' 14"
15 Scic +4h 58' 24"

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–10)[3][26]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Eddy Merckx (BEL) Faema 128
2  Andrés Gandarias (ESP) Kas 94
3  Martin Vandenbossche (BEL) Molteni 85
4  Silvano Schiavon (ITA) Salvarani 68
5  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) Sonolor 65
6  Primo Mori (ITA) Salvarani 64
7  Gösta Pettersson (SWE) Ferretti 59
8  Raymond Delisle (FRA) Peugeot 57
9  Luis Zubero (ESP) Kas 52
10  Guerrino Tosello (ITA) Molteni 32

Schiavon did not finish the race, but left the race after the last mountain stage. In 1970, the rules were such that Schiavon was still listed in the mountains classification.

Points classification

Final points classification (1–10)[3][26]
Rank Name Team Points
1  Walter Godefroot (BEL) Salvarani 212
2  Eddy Merckx (BEL) Faema 207
3  Marino Basso (ITA) Molteni 161
4  Jan Janssen (NED) Bic 151
5  Cyrille Guimard (FRA) Fagor 138
6  Marinus Wagtmans (NED) Willem II 116
7  Daniel Van Rijckeghem (BEL) Mann 100
8  Harry Steevens (NED) Caballero 77.5
9  Luis Ocaña (ESP) Bic 75
10  Mogens Frey (DEN) Frimatic 73
Final general classification (1–10)[3]
Rank Name Team Time
1  Eddy Merckx (BEL) Faema 119h 31' 49"
2  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Flandria +12' 41"
3  Gösta Pettersson (SWE) Ferretti +15' 54"
4  Martin Vandenbossche (BEL) Molteni +18' 53"
5  Marinus Wagtmans (NED) Willem II +19' 54"
6  Lucien Van Impe (BEL) Sonolor +20' 34"
7  Raymond Poulidor (FRA) Fagor +20' 35"
8  Antoon Houbrechts (BEL) Salvarani +21' 34"
9  Francisco Galdós (ESP) Kas +21' 45"
10   )BEL( Mann +23' 23"

General classification

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. The riders in the team that lead this classification wore yellow caps.[25]

The fifth individual classification was the intermediate sprints classification. This classification had similar rules as the points classification, but only points were awarded on intermediate sprints. In 1970, this classification had no associated jersey.[24]

Another classification was the combination classification. This classification was calculated as a combination of the other classifications, its leader wore the white jersey.[23]


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