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  1. #1
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    Which do you think it is?

    I'm torn between:-

    Merckx, winning all the jerseys, in 1969

    Fignon, hammering the field, in 1984

    Lemond, winning without a team, in 1989


    I'm open to persuasion; strength of opposition should be a factor, no? It certainly coloured my selection.


    Define 'modern' any way you like....;-)

  2. #2
    Elitist Jackass Smoothie104's Avatar
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    not sure about the win, but... 1992 was my favorite Tour de France

  3. #3
    Coastal NC oneradtec's Avatar
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    I would have to say Lemond in '89...and I don't even think it's close. Lemond raced the Giro a few weeks before that Tour..and he suffered like a dog. He said later that he was close to retiring from the sport because he thought he would never be the same after his hunting accident. Anyway..all that suffering in the Giro would pay dividends later...as Lemond found his best form in years during the early days of the 89 Tour. That said...he still would have lost that race had it not been for his aero bars. I suspect that without those bars...Lemond would have lost the tour by around 20 seconds or more. Fignon was killing everyone in the mountains...and Greg was simply limiting his losses each stage...and managing to stay close enough to Fignon to give himself a chance to overtake him in the TT. I also often wonder what would have happened had Delgado not missed his start time during the prologue. Delgado was 'dead last' after the prologue due to his massive penalty for missing his start time. Three weeks later Delgado would be on the podium in Paris.

  4. #4
    SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07 Walter's Avatar
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    I too go with LeMond in '89. With the Tour usually finishing with its promenade on the Champs such a last day finish wouldn't be possible. To win like that was incredible and add to it the circumstances listed in the post above you have the reasons for my vote.


    “Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
    Edna St. Vincent Millay

  5. #5
    Senior Member ~LongRider~'s Avatar
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    It may not be the best, but when I think of the Tour, I often picture the 1998 Tour. They had some great rides on the climbs that year. It's too bad Marco Pantani couldn't get it back together.
    Then came a green horse. The name of the one who rode it was Death, and hell followed right behind.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Lemond in '89. Dude was told he would die if he raced again after his hunting accident.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  7. #7
    Descends Like Avalanche HigherGround's Avatar
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    LeMond in '89. What a dramatic finish! Any 3 week race can always be analyzed as to "what if", and there will always be scenarios that could have changed the results. However, the bottom line is always what did change the results. If I remember correctly, the yellow jersey changed hands five times between LeMond and Fignon in that Tour. That's an all-out battle and suspense that has been lacking in recent years (no disrespect meant to Armstrong). I can appreciate Merckx's win in '69, but LeMond's win in '89 will always have the emotional connection for me. To rise so high in the sport in the mid 80's, come crashing down in a nearly fatal accident, and then make it back to the top again is legendary.
    The rider in my avatar is David Etxebarria, not me.

  8. #8
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    I don't think we will ever top 89' What a race. We need another epic battle.

  9. #9
    Senior Member arboc!'s Avatar
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    my favorite was when this happened

  10. #10
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    Another vote for 1989.

    1996 was pretty good too.

  11. #11
    Senior Member GreyGoat's Avatar
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    nothing can beat the drama of 85 and 86.. Lemond having signed on to ride for hinnault and helping him win it even tho he had a chance himself in 85.. hinnault promising to help lemond win next year only to renig and attack and the two duking it out all the way while on the same team was as good as it gets..

  12. #12
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    I wish I was old enough to appreciate 85 and 86. I was a bit too young to understand what was really going on.

    89 was amazing. Easily the most memorable for me.

    As for great moments in the Tour... another would be (I forget which year) when Chiapucci was flying up Sestričres and nearly had to get off the bike due to the crowds. Which year was that?!?
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
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  13. #13
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oboeguy
    As for great moments in the Tour... another would be (I forget which year) when Chiapucci was flying up Sestričres and nearly had to get off the bike due to the crowds. Which year was that?!?
    Stage 13 in '92. My favorite stage ever. I used to watch it over and over and always got goosebumps.

    254.5 kilometers from St. Gervais to Sestriere in Italy. The riders faced: the Saisies (Category 2), the Cornet de Roseland (category 1), the Iseran (hors category), Mont-Cenis (category 1) and the first category climb to the finish at Sestričres.

    Chiapucci was alone for 125 kilometers. One of the great TDF rides ever.
    i may have overreacted

  14. #14
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    69!

  15. #15
    Cheers! 2wheeled's Avatar
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    '86 will always hold a special something for me as it was my first introduction to cycling.
    '87 was fabulous with Jean-Francois Bernard pounding the pedals in anger on Mt. Ventoux and Steven Roche's collapse at La Plagne.

    But, I really enjoyed '89. Two guys battling over the alps with Delgado closing in, to that incredible finale. It could have been a total flop of a finish if it hadn't been a close tour!

  16. #16
    Since Ever Since Devil's Avatar
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    I haven't seen it unfortunately, but I sure as hell have read about it.

    Merckx in 1969, unquestionably.

  17. #17
    "Great One" 53-11_alltheway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyGoat
    nothing can beat the drama of 85 and 86.. Lemond having signed on to ride for hinnault and helping him win it even tho he had a chance himself in 85.. hinnault promising to help lemond win next year only to renig and attack and the two duking it out all the way while on the same team was as good as it gets..
    Wow. I need to pick a DVD of that.

  18. #18
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Argh! I hate to be a "me too" but I'd have to also agree that 1989 was the most dramatic overall... as a result of 1985 and 1986 and the years of recovery leading up to 1989.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  19. #19
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    come on people, what could ever beat 8 seconds difference between
    1st and 2nd on the last day? and Fignon collapsing off the bike?
    Any tour with Eddy in it was exciting.
    Ok, I'd have to say 99 was very dramatic just for Lance
    and the comeback, also impressive was the way we saw
    the team/Lance take apart all comers on the climbs.
    say what you will about Lance, but that was drama

    Marty
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  20. #20
    By-Tor...or the Snow Dog? hi565's Avatar
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    What about lance?


    Just Kidding


    89' no question.
    ----------------------------------------------------------

  21. #21
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    The current Tour de France director stated he will NOT have a final stage TT while he controls the TdF after what happened in '89.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  22. #22
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    89 for sure. I used to think Fignon looked cool with his little glasses and ponytail but Greg put in the most amazing ride to come back and win.
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

  23. #23
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    oh, modern. forget Wim van Est.

    Marty
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  24. #24
    Senior Member CPcyclist's Avatar
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    1989 was a great. I think LeMond should gain some solace for having his win come up more then any other. IMHO the '89 win was more impressive then Armstrong's 6 TDF wins.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    I would vote for 1969. It has all the drama of the 85/86 and of 89 and more! Let's look back to 67 to start.

    Simpson dies after the climb of MT Ventoux. Drugs contributed to this, but perhaps the use of national teams played a part also as Simpson who badly desired a Tour win and had the individual ability was deniged the teammates he needed to compete.

    1968 would have strict doping controls and be the last year of national teams in the tour. 89 may have had 2 riders in contention, 68 had several. Here is the table going into the final time trial:

    1. Herman Van Springel, the leader: 132 hours 29 minutes 17seconds
    2. San Miguel @ 12seconds
    3. Janssen @ 16 seconds
    4. Bitossi @ 58 seconds
    5. Gandarias @ 1minute 15seconds
    6. Aimar @ 1minute 38 seconds
    7. Bracke @ 1 minute 56 seconds
    8. Wolfshohl @ 2 minutes 12 seconds
    9. Pingeon @ 2 minutes 28 seconds
    10. Gomez del Moral @ 3 minutes 38 seconds.

    And one can not forget that Belgium had suffered a drought in the Tour which now looked to finally be ending. But Van Springel finished second in the TT, 54 seconds down to Janssen.

    In the 1969 Giro Eddy Merckx is leading until fails a drug test, one that he and many writers to this day say was a put up job.

    This is the background to the 1969 Tour. Eddy enters the Tour not properly prepaired, the events of the Giro had been a major distraction and still bothered him.

    Entering stage 17 Merckx had a lead of 8 minutes and 21 seconds over second place Roger Pingeon. remembering 68 many of the Belgian papers of that morning had headlines saying things like "Eddy Be Careful". And that is just what he was until they were almost to the summit of the Tourmalet, the next to last climb of the day and 140 Kms from the finish. When he decided to go over the top first, only his teammate Vandenbosche can stay with him. He opened a lead of about a minute on the elite group of 7 that had been near him at teh top by the end of the decent. Riding briskly he had widened the lead to about 6 and 1/2 minutes by the final pass. He would finish 7 minutes and 57 minutes ahead of a group of 7 riders who even working as a group could not pull back any time on him (OK Vandenbosche wasn't helping). The next group was 14 minutes back.

    In the end Eddy would win by 17 minutes 54 seconds. More than combined winning margin of the 7 previous tours and more than any tour since. He would take Yellow, Green, Polka Dot, Most Agressive. Faema would win the team championship and Eddy would win the final stage.

    For Belgium the drought was over. In 70, 71 and 72 Belgium would take all 3 jerseys each year, something no other country has ever done.

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