The 1984 Tour de France was the 71st edition of the Tour de France, run over 4,021 km (2,499 mi) in 23 stages and a prologue, from 29 June to 22 July. The race was dominated by the Renault team, who won the team classification and ten stages: Renault's French rider Laurent Fignon won his second consecutive Tour, beating former teammate Bernard Hinault by over 10 minutes.
Hinault was pursuing his fifth Tour victory after having sat out the 1983 Tour because of injuries. Also that year, Fignon's team-mate Greg LeMond became the first American rider to finish in the top three and stand on the podium, and he also took the young rider classification. Belgian cyclist Frank Hoste won the points classification, and British Robert Millar won the mountains classification. The race consisted of 23 stages, totaling 4,020 kilometers (2,500 mi).
There was room for 18 teams in the 1984 Tour de France; in early 1984, there were 17 candidate teams. Although the Tour organisation approached AVP–Viditel and Metauromobili, an 18th team was not added. The 1984 Tour started with 170 cyclists, divided into 17 teams of 10 cyclists. Of these, 42 were riding the Tour de France for the first time. The average age of riders in the race was 26.99 years, ranging from the 21-year-old Carlos Marta (Sporting–Raposeira) to the 37-year-old Joop Zoetemelk (Kwantum–Decosol–Yoko). The Renault–Elf cyclists had the youngest average age while the riders on Carrera–Inoxpran had the oldest.
The teams entering the race were:
Route and stages
The 1984 Tour de France started on 29 June, and had one rest day, in Grenoble. 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 18.
|P||29 June||Montreuil to Noisy-le-Sec||5 km (3.1 mi)||Individual time trial||Bernard Hinault (FRA)|
|1||30 June||Bondy to Saint-Denis||149 km (93 mi)||Plain stage||Frank Hoste (BEL)|
|2||1 July||Bobigny to Louvroil||249 km (155 mi)||Plain stage||Marc Madiot (FRA)|
|3||2 July||Louvroil to Valenciennes||51 km (32 mi)||Team time trial||Renault–Elf|
|4||2 July||Valenciennes to Béthune||83 km (52 mi)||Plain stage||Ferdi Van Den Haute (BEL)|
|5||3 July||Béthune to Cergy-Pontoise||207 km (129 mi)||Plain stage||Paulo Ferreira (POR)|
|6||4 July||Cergy-Pontoise to Alençon||202 km (126 mi)||Plain stage||Frank Hoste (BEL)|
|7||5 July||Alençon to Le Mans||67 km (42 mi)||Individual time trial||Laurent Fignon (FRA)|
|8||6 July||Le Mans to Nantes||192 km (119 mi)||Plain stage||Pascal Jules (FRA)|
|9||7 July||Nantes to Bordeaux||338 km (210 mi)||Plain stage||Jan Raas (NED)|
|10||8 July||Langon to Pau||198 km (123 mi)||Plain stage||Eric Vanderaerden (BEL)|
|11||9 July||Pau to Guzet-Neige||227 km (141 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Robert Millar (GBR)|
|12||10 July||Saint-Girons to Blagnac||111 km (69 mi)||Plain stage||Pascal Poisson (FRA)|
|13||11 July||Blagnac to Rodez||220 km (140 mi)||Plain stage||Pierre-Henri Menthéour (FRA)|
|14||12 July||Rodez to Domaine du Rouret||228 km (142 mi)||Hilly stage||Fons De Wolf (BEL)|
|15||13 July||Domaine du Rouret to Grenoble||241 km (150 mi)||Hilly stage||Frédéric Vichot (FRA)|
|14 July||Grenoble||Rest day|
|16||15 July||Les Échelles to La Ruchère||22 km (14 mi)||Individual time trial||Laurent Fignon (FRA)|
|17||16 July||Grenoble to Alpe d'Huez||151 km (94 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Luis Herrera (COL)|
|18||17 July||Le Bourg-d'Oisans to La Plagne||185 km (115 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Laurent Fignon (FRA)|
|19||18 July||La Plagne to Morzine||186 km (116 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Ángel Arroyo (ESP)|
|20||19 July||Morzine to Crans-Montana (Switzerland)||141 km (88 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Laurent Fignon (FRA)|
|21||20 July||Crans-Montana (Switzerland) to Villefranche-sur-Saône||320 km (200 mi)||Hilly stage||Frank Hoste (BEL)|
|22||21 July||Villié-Morgon to Villefranche-sur-Saône||51 km (32 mi)||Individual time trial||Laurent Fignon (FRA)|
|23||22 July||Pantin to Paris (Champs-Élysées)||197 km (122 mi)||Hilly stage||Eric Vanderaerden (BEL)|
|Total||4,021 km (2,499 mi)|
The 1984 Tour de France was a battle between reigning champion Fignon and his former team captain Hinault. Questions had been raised about the strength of Fignon's 1983 win due to Hinault's absence and Pascal Simon's withdrawal after breaking his shoulder whilst wearing the yellow jersey. Hinault won the prologue and the first two stages following the prologue were flat stages; the first of which was won by Frank Hoste in a bunch sprint with Ludo Peeters taking over as race leader. Tour organizers had made a purposeful effort to get riders from other countries outside of the traditional nations who usually make up the main field, and in stage two Ireland's Stephen Roche and Denmark's Kim Andersen both made the stage podium coming in just a few seconds behind stage winner Marc Madiot, as Jacques Hanegraaf claimed the yellow from Peeters going into the TTT in stage three. Over the previous five years or so the Team Time Trials would often be dominated by the Dutch TI-Raleigh squad, which was run by Peter Post as the Directeur Sportif, but there had been a rift between riders and some of them followed Post over to the new Panasonic–Raleigh while others joined Jan Raas and Joop Zoetemelk on the new Kwantum–Decosol–Yoko squad. Perhaps ironically in their first test competing against each other within the Tour de France the two teams tied for 2nd place at four seconds behind the Renault–Elf Team of Fignon and Greg Lemond. The Peugeot–Shell–Michelin Team of Robert Millar and Pascal Simon finished 4th and Hinault's new La Vie Claire team had a tough day coming in 7th place, leaving Hinault out of the top 10 overall following the stage. The overall lead was still held by Hanegraaf by a single second over Adri Van Der Poel with Fignon in the best position among the proven GC contenders in 6th place at +0:13, and his teammate and Tour debutant LeMond sitting in 5th place just ten seconds off the lead. Stage four finished in Béthune on the border of Belgium, and consequently thousands of Belgian fans descended upon the town for the finish. Ferdi Van Den Haute survived a solo attack of about sixty kilometers and upon entering the town he threw his arms up in celebration for all of the fans who were hoping to see a Belgian win, even though he still had five kilometers to go. He beat the peloton by over a minute to claim the stage win as Van Der Poel moved into yellow. In stage five a three rider breakaway made up of Paulo Ferreira, Maurice Le Guilloux and Vincent Barteau finished more than seventeen minutes ahead of the main field with Ferreira taking the stage victory and Barteau moving into the yellow jersey.
Stage six was a flat stage without a surviving breakaway meaning it was decided in a bunch finish, which was won by Hoste yet again, who this time edged out Eddy Planckaert and Gilbert Glaus at the finish line. Stage seven was an individual time trial which would provide a bit of clarity as to who the major contenders were going to be and it was won by Laurent Fignon. Two time Green Jersey winner Sean Kelly finished in 2nd while Hinault, who typically throughout his career dominated the ITT's, finished in 3rd place 0:49 slower than Fignon. Other potential contenders including Roche finished at +1:07, Gerard Veldscholten at +1:11, the Australian Phil Anderson at +1:24 and the very strong Italian rider who was often among the contenders for the Giro Roberto Visentini finished at +1:53 behind. The three breakaway riders from stage five still made up the top three but as far as the General Classification was concerned, Fignon was the highest placed contender, with Anderson, Hinault, Veldscholten, LeMond, Visentini and Roche all within 3:00 of him. Stage eight was won by Pascal Jules who beat Ludo Peeters and Bruno Leali to the finish by nine seconds. Stage nine in this Tour was notable because it was 338 km long. This was the longest stage included in the race since the 1967 Tour de France and there has not been a stage longer than this since 1984. The last time a Tour stage was over 300 km was during the 1990 edition, the last time a stage was longer than 250 km was during the 2000 Tour and the last time a stage approached 250 km was in 2013 when there was a stage that was 243 km long which was not even a flat stage, but rather a stage that included Mont Ventoux. Stage 9 was won by Jan Raas and this would be the 10th and final stage win of his impressive career. The riders were on their bikes for nearly ten straight hours during this stage.
In stage ten Eric Vanderaerden beat Marc Dierickx in the sprint to take the stage win as the two of them escaped the peloton and beat it to the line by more than two minutes. More importantly in the overall standings the once seventeen minute gap held by Ferreira, Le Guilloux and Barteau was being considerably cut into and the race hadn't even reached the first set of high mountains in the Pyrenees, which began in stage eleven. In stage eleven Robert Millar won the first day in the mountains on a solo attack, with the Colombian climber Lucho Herrera coming in 2nd 0:41 behind him. Going into this stage Fignon held a gap of 1:13 over Hinault and by the end of the day it widened up to 2:05 as Fignon crossed the line in 7th place with Angel Arroyo. The next two stages were both flat stages which were won by Pascal Poisson and Pierre-Henri Mentheour and then the race moved into south central France for two intermediate/hilly stages which were won by Fons de Wolf and Frederic Vichot. The stage win by De Wolf was rather astonishing in that it was a solo breakaway in which he beat the favorites to the line by nearly 18:00, actually jumped ahead of Hinault in the overall standings and came within 1:32 of Fignon. The energy exerted in this stage proved to be very costly however, as de Wolf lost considerable time the following day and faded back in with the Domestiques for the remainder of the Tour.
Going into the rest day Le Guilloux and Ferreira had long since fallen out of the top 10, however Vincent Barteau, perhaps inspired by the legend and mystique associated with the Maillot Jaune, did not want to let it go as he still held a lead of over ten minutes on the 2nd place Fignon, who was leading the way as far as the serious contenders were concerned. Hinault trailed him by 2:13, Veldscholten by 2:15, Anderson by 3:04 and the young American LeMond was thus far proving he could ride with the best of the best in the biggest race of them all being just 4:10 behind the defending champion. Stage sixteen was another individual time trial which was once again won by Fignon who cut the lead of Barteau down to 6:29 while simultaneously adding 0:33 to his lead over the four-time champion Hinault going into the Alps. Hinault made up his mind to strike during this first Alpine stage, which included l'Alpe d’Huez and Côte de Laffrey and he attacked Fignon over and over again, but was not able to break the young Parisian. Lucho Herrera won the stage and Fignon crossed in 2nd after dropping the Badger and taking considerable time out of him. In fact, the American Lemond even finished the stage fourteen seconds faster than Hinault. Barteau finally came apart on this stage losing more than ten minutes to Fignon, who for the first time in the Tour, officially took over as race leader with Barteau falling to 2nd at +4:22, Hinault in 3rd at +5:41, Millar in 4th at +8:25 and LeMond in 5th at +8:45. In stage eighteen Fignon caught and dropped Jean-Marie Grezet, who put in a very gutsy performance, to take the stage win. LeMond had himself another remarkable performance in the mountains coming in three seconds behind Grezet and 1:07 behind Fignon as Hinault just couldn't find his legs in the mountains as he had done so many times before crossing the line in 9th place losing another 2:58 to Fignon. Stage nineteen was more of the mountains and this time Arroyo was able to ride off the front and claim the win, by 1:14 ahead of the group of favorites who all followed Sean Kelly across the line with the same time. Stage twenty was the last chance for riders to gain time in the mountains, but the only one who won time was the leader Fignon, who put his stamp of authority on the 1984 Tour by winning the stage eleven seconds ahead of Arroyo and seventeen seconds ahead of Pablo Wilches all while adding another 1:17 to his lead over Hinault.
With the heavy climbing finished Fignon had an all but insurmountable lead over Hinault of 9:56, and LeMond was only 1:13 behind Hinault. Stage twenty-one was back to the flatlands where the always gutsy, prideful and spirited Hinault decided to work his way to the front of the pack and bang elbows with the sprinters fighting it out for the stage win. Despite the fact the Tour was lost, yet Hinault continued charging on and fighting for stage wins, is part of the reason his popularity soared even higher than it already was with racing fans during the 1984 Tour. This time however, it was the sprinter Frank Hoste winning the day beating out Kelly, Hanegraaf and Hinault. During the final ITT in stage twenty-two Fignon and Sean Kelly finished with the same time, but the tiebreaker went to Fignon giving him the official win as he claimed enough time over Hinault to put his margin of victory over 10:00. LeMond finished in 4th place, and in the process secured both the final podium position, as well as his place as a legitimate GC contender proving he could compete with the best of the best during cycling's version of the Super Bowl. During the final stage in Paris, one of the most coveted sprinter's stages in the sport, Hoste, Kelly and the fiery Hinault once again made their way to the front of the pack during the final lap around the Champs Elysees, but none of these riders would claim the coveted prize. Instead it was the Belgian rider Eric Vanderaerden (who along with Marc Demeyer, Freddy Maertens, Michel Pollentier, Johan De Muynck and Fons de Wolf was given the impossible to live up to task of following the legend Eddy Merckx) who won the day clinching his second stage win of the Tour, and one of the highlight wins of his entire career.
Greg LeMond took the young rider classification, Belgian cyclist Frank Hoste won the points classification, British Robert Millar won the mountains classification and Laurent Fignon would win a total of five stages as he won the Tour with a ten-minute margin. With his air of indifference in interviews and his crushing dominance, he was hailed as France's newest superstar. He even made the claim that some of the attacks Hinault made against him were laughable and that he easily caught back up to him, but this would be the second and final Tour de France win of Fignon's career. Hinault meanwhile, would sign LeMond to his La Vie Claire team in the offseason by visiting him at his home in the Sierra Nevadas, and win his fifth Tour the following year.
Classification leadership and minor prizes
There were several classifications in the 1984 Tour de France, six 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.
Additionally, there was a points classification, where cyclists were given 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.
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.
Another classification was the young rider classification. This was decided the same way as the general classification, but only riders that rode the Tour for the first time were eligible, and the leader wore a white jersey.
Before the 1984 Tour, the intermediate sprints classification did not have a jersey. In the 1984 Tour, the organisers gave the leader of the classification a red jersey to wear. This classification had similar rules as the points classification, but only points were awarded on intermediate sprints.
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 led this classification were identified by yellow caps. There was also a team points classification. Cyclists received points according to their finishing position on each stage, with the first rider receiving one point. The first three finishers of each team had their points combined, and the team with the fewest points led the classification. The riders of the team leading this classification wore green caps.
In addition, there was a combativity award, in which a jury composed of journalists gave points after certain stages to the cyclist they considered most combative. The split stages each had a combined winner. At the conclusion of the Tour, Bernard Hinault won the overall super-combativity award, also decided by journalists. 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 18. This prize was won by Francisco Rodríguez Maldonado.
- In stage 1, Laurent Fignon wore the green jersey, because Bernard Hinault already wore the yellow jersey.
- In stage 2, Harald Maier wore the polka dot jersey, because Ludo Peeters already wore the yellow jersey.
- In stage 4, Allan Peiper wore the white jersey, because Jacques Hanegraaf already wore the yellow jersey.
- In stages 6 – 11, Paulo Ferreira wore the white jersey, because Vincent Barteau already wore the yellow jersey.
- In stages 12 – 17, Greg LeMond wore the white jersey, because Vincent Barteau already wore the yellow jersey.
|Denotes the winner of the general classification||Denotes the winner of the points classification|
|Denotes the winner of the mountains classification||Denotes the winner of the young rider classification|
|Denotes the winner of the intermediate sprints classification|
|1||Laurent Fignon (FRA)||Renault–Elf||112h 03' 40"|
|2||Bernard Hinault (FRA)||La Vie Claire||+ 10' 32"|
|3||Greg LeMond (USA)||Renault–Elf||+ 11' 46"|
|4||Robert Millar (GBR)||Peugeot–Shell–Michelin||+ 14' 42"|
|5||Sean Kelly (IRE)||Skil–Reydel–Sem–Mavic||+ 16' 35"|
|6||Ángel Arroyo (ESP)||Reynolds||+ 19' 22"|
|7||Pascal Simon (FRA)||Peugeot–Shell–Michelin||+ 21' 17"|
|8||Pedro Muñoz Machín Rodríguez (ESP)||Teka||+ 26' 17"|
|9||Claude Criquielion (BEL)||Splendor–Mondial Moquettes–Marc||+ 29' 12"|
|10||Phil Anderson (AUS)||Panasonic–Raleigh||+ 29' 16"|
|1||Frank Hoste (BEL)||Europ Decor–Boule d'Or||322|
|2||Sean Kelly (IRE)||Skil–Reydel–Sem–Mavic||318|
|3||Eric Vanderaerden (BEL)||Panasonic–Raleigh||247|
|4||Leo van Vliet (NED)||Kwantum–Decosol–Yoko||173|
|5||Bernard Hinault (FRA)||La Vie Claire||146|
|6||Laurent Fignon (FRA)||Renault–Elf||143|
|7||Francis Castaing (FRA)||Peugeot–Shell–Michelin||137|
|8||Pascal Jules (FRA)||Renault–Elf||123|
|9||Jean-François Rault (FRA)||La Vie Claire||83|
|10||Jean-Philippe Vandenbrande (BEL)||Splendor–Mondial Moquettes–Marc||80|
|1||Robert Millar (GBR)||Peugeot–Shell–Michelin||284|
|2||Laurent Fignon (FRA)||Renault–Elf||212|
|3||Ángel Arroyo (ESP)||Reynolds||140|
|4||Luis Herrera (COL)||Varta–Café de Colombia||108|
|5||José Patrocinio Jiménez (COL)||Teka||92|
|6||Bernard Hinault (FRA)||La Vie Claire||89|
|7||Pascal Simon (FRA)||Peugeot–Shell–Michelin||79|
|8||Theo de Rooij (NED)||Panasonic–Raleigh||74|
|9||Greg LeMond (USA)||Renault–Elf||69|
|10||Sean Kelly (IRE)||Skil–Reydel–Sem–Mavic||65|
Young rider classification
|1||Greg LeMond (USA)||Renault–Elf||112h 15' 26"|
|2||Pedro Muñoz Machín Rodríguez (ESP)||Teka||+ 14' 31"|
|3||Niki Rüttimann (SUI)||La Vie Claire||+ 19' 12"|
|4||Rafael Acevedo (COL)||Varta–Café de Colombia||+ 21' 46"|
|5||José Antonio Agudelo Gómez (COL)||Varta–Café de Colombia||+ 37' 39"|
|6||Frédéric Vichot (FRA)||Skil–Reydel–Sem–Mavic||+ 41' 32"|
|7||Luis Herrera (COL)||Varta–Café de Colombia||+ 46' 44"|
|8||Vincent Barteau (FRA)||Renault–Elf||+ 48' 16"|
|9||Gilles Mas (FRA)||Skil–Reydel–Sem–Mavic||+ 53' 52"|
|10||Jérôme Simon (FRA)||La Redoute||+ 1h 04' 47"|
Intermediate sprints classification
|1||Jacques Hanegraaf (NED)||Kwantum–Decosol–Yoko||155|
|2||Bernard Hinault (FRA)||La Vie Claire||52|
|3||Laurent Fignon (FRA)||Renault–Elf||51|
|4||Phil Anderson (AUS)||Panasonic–Raleigh||47|
|5||Sean Kelly (IRE)||Skil–Reydel–Sem–Mavic||47|
|6||Alain Bondue (FRA)||La Redoute||42|
|7||Alfons De Wolf (BEL)||Europ Decor–Boule d'Or||37|
|8||Pascal Jules (FRA)||Renault–Elf||34|
|9||Dominique Garde (FRA)||Peugeot–Shell–Michelin||34|
|10||Ludo Peeters (BEL)||Kwantum–Decosol–Yoko||32|
|1||Renault–Elf||336h 31' 16"|
|2||Skil–Reydel–Sem–Mavic||+ 46' 44"|
|3||Reynolds||+ 57' 58"|
|4||Peugeot–Shell–Michelin||+ 1h 01' 57"|
|5||La Vie Claire||+ 1h 15' 59"|
|6||Varta–Café de Colombia||+ 1h 25' 02"|
|7||Panasonic–Raleigh||+ 1h 31' 09"|
|8||Teka||+ 1h 39' 47"|
|9||Splendor–Mondial Moquettes–Marc||+ 2h 21' 37"|
|10||Cilo–Aufina–Crans–Montana||+ 2h 50' 56"|
Team points classification
|5||La Vie Claire||1506|
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