___Race Snippets

 

66th Tour de France 1979

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian

 

Top 25 TdF

 

A Hinault-Zoetemelk Battle

CR Timeline 1979

The 1979 Tour de France route provided for a classic battle between the time trialer that could climb and the climber that could time trial.  The anticipated match-up, between defending champion Bernard “the Badger” Hinault, a talented time trialer, and Dutch climber Joop Zoetemelk, drew great interest. 

SPECIAL NOTE: Co-directors Jacques Goddet and Felix Levitan designed one of the most difficult race courses in recent years.  The course started in the Pyrenees Mountains with hard climbing starting on STAGE 1.

The Tour scheduled a finish at the summit of Superbagneres on Stage 2.  The 24 km ITT started in Luchon and proceeded up the 18.5 km (ave. 6.5%) climb. Bernard Hinault stole the day.  The Badger achieved the stage win and got a time gain of 53 second on Zoetemelk. 

Stage 9, the 201 km stage raced over the cobblestone roads of the famous Paris-Roubaix road race.  Hinault suffers his first of two punctures at 95 km into the stage.  Joop Zoetemelk with a small group attacked the Badger.  Hinault frantically chased the Zoetemelk group for over 100 km of rough roads and arrived 3’26” behind the Flying Dutchman.  An angry Badger warned that some riders will suffer for attacking his misfortunes.

The decisive battle for the 1979 TdF championship was now set to take place in the Alps.  Stage 15 was an ITT from Evian to Morzine finished at the top of the 14 km climb to Avoriaz (ave. 6%, max. 11.1%).  The talented Hinault dominated the climb and gained the stage win by 2’37” over Zoetemelk.  The Badger jumped back into the Maillot Jaune.

The second day in the Alps featured another mountain top finish.  True to his nickname, the Badger attacked on the final climb.  Only Lucien Van Impe and Claude Criquielion could hold Hinault’s wheel with 3 km to the top.  A beleaguered Zoetemelk faded to 9th place on the stage and lost another 57 seconds to Hinault. 

Breaking from the tradition of the final stage parade on the Champs Elysees Hinault and Zoetemelk broke away from the peloton on the final laps of the stage and treated the huge crowd to a rare race leader sprint for the stage win.  Hinault prevailed, sprinting past Zoetemelk for the stage win. 

Bernard “the Badger” Hinault crossed the finish line to also win his second Tour de France championship.  His dominance of the race included the Maillot Vert (Green points Jersey) and placed second in the Maillot Pois (Polka Dot climber’s Jersey).  The legend of the Badger continued to grow.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Prologue FLEURANCE, 5 km ITT

Gerrie Knetemann (Ned)

Gerrie Knetemann (Ned)

Stage 1 FLEURANCE-LUCHON, 225 km

Rene Bittinger (Fra)

Jean-Rene Bernaudeau (Fra)

Stage 2 LUCHON-SUPERBAGNERES, 24 km ITT

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 3 LUCHON-PAU, 180 km

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 5 NEUVILLE DE POITOU-ANGERS, 145 km

Jan Raas (Ned)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 6 ANGERS-ST BRIEUC, 239 km

Joseph Jacobs (Bel)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 7 ST HILAIRE DU HARCOUET-DEAUVILLE, 158 km

Leo Van Vliet (Ned)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 9 AMIENS-ROUBAIX, 201 km

Ludo Delcroix (Bel)

Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)

Stage 10 ROUBAIX-BRUXELLES (Bel), 124 km

Jo Maas (Ned)

Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)

Stage 11 BRUXELLES (Bel), 33 km ITT

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)

Stage 12 ROCHEFORT-METZ, 193 km

Christian Seznec (Fra)

Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)

Stage 13 METZ-BALLON D'ALSACE, 202 km

Pierre-Raymond Villemiane (Fra)

Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)

Stage 14 BELFORT-EVIAN, 248 km

Demeyer Marc (Bel)

Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)

Stage 15 EVIAN-MORZINE / Avoriaz, 54 km ITT

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 16 MORZINE-LES MENUIRES, 201 km

Lucien Van Impe (Bel)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 17 LES MENUIRES-ALPE D'HUEZ, 166 km

Joaquim Agostinho (Por)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 18 ALPE D'HUEZ-ALPE D'HUEZ, 119 km

Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 19 ALPE D'HUEZ-ST PRIEST, 162 km

Dietrich Thurau (Ger)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 20 ST PRIEST-DIJON, 239 km

Sergio Parsani (Ita)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 21 DIJON, 49 km ITT

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 22 DIJON-AUXERRE, 189 km

Gerrie Knetemann (Ned)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 23 AUXERRE-NOGENT SUR MARNE, 205 km

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

Stage 24 LE PERREUX SUR MARNE-PARIS/Champs Elysees, 180 km

Bernard Hinault (Fra)

YJ Bernard Hinault (Fra)

POLKA DOT JERSEY

PDJ Giovanni Battaglin (Ita)

  GREEN POINTS JERSEY

GJ Bernard Hinault (Fra)



TdF June 27 - July 22, 1979
3,718 Km

1. Bernard HINAULT (Fra) 103h0 6'50"

2. Joop Zoetemelk (Hol) +3'07"

3. Joaquim Agostinho (Por) +26'53"

Starters: 150
Finishers: 89
Average Speed: 36.513 km/h

 

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