1996 Tour de France

The 83rd Tour de France was held to 21 July 1996 of 29 June. It started 198 drivers, 129 drivers crossed the finish line in Paris.

The overall winner Bjarne Riis was initially canceled in 2007 after his doping confession by the organizer of the winners' lists. The organizers thus led to the Tour de France in 1996 to temporarily no overall winner. The deletion, however, was reversed and by the regulations of WADA is the offense barred.


The round trip with an original total length of 3909 km and 21 stages began in 1996 in the Dutch 's- Hertogenbosch and resulted in a clockwise direction after the prologue in the Netherlands, first through the Alps, there also by Italy, then through the Pyrenees with a trip to Spain. In the Alps, a mountain time trial led up to Val d'Isere, the second time trial on flat terrain from Bordeaux to Saint -Emilion. The total length was shortened later due to the shortened Stage 9 to 3765 km.


Among the favorites were next to Miguel Indurain, winner of the years 1991 to 1995, of his sixth Tour victory would have a success to celebrate and would thus setting a new record, Alex Zülle and Bjarne Riis, who stood on the podium in the previous year. Furthermore, the previous year's Fourth and 1995 winner of the Vuelta a España Laurent Jalabert, Indurain duration rival Tony Rominger (winner of the Giro d' Italia 1995) and Evgeni Berzin were highly traded.

Race course

The Prologue in rainy 's- Hertogenbosch won Alex Zülle. Usually, even at the relatively short time trial in the form of starch, the driver is visible at the start, even if not expected is that the time differences after a few kilometers in size. Although was Zülle as an excellent time trialist, but in this prologue in the rain most of the favorites wanted to risk a fall. This was especially the then best time trialist in such short distances Chris Boardman, the last year - also in the rain - hard crashed and retired. Thus, the mediocre rating of Indurain was still no indication that he might lose the tour this time.

After a rainy first week it was on the 7th stage in the Alpine mountains, the first led over the Col de la Madeleine and the Cormet de Roselend. There already Jalabert was suspended, Zülle repeatedly overthrown. Before the final climb still led the runaway Udo Bölts to the field and was intercepted only on the last climb. Up to the destination to Les Arcs was Induráin that could not support more than one team-mate of favorites, worn down by constant attacks from the favorites. The picture, as he made ​​a sign that he had no more water supplies, was a symbol of his defeat. He suffered from hunger and thirst, even took a bottle from a foreign team car, which drew a later time punishment. Already, the tour for him the time residue was lost, too large, the target there were about 4 minutes. The stage was won Luc Leblanc, the co-favorites Rominger, Berzin and Riis lost little time, so Berzin could slip into the yellow jersey. Also, the time trial the day after winning Berzin, who now came as the most promising candidate for overall victory in question. Also at the Giro d' Italia 1994 Berzin Induráin could already beat.

The 9th stage should lead over the 2,646 -meter-high Col du Galibier. On the pass it was snowing, the stage was shortened so, and from the actual royal stage (190 km) was a very short section of about only 46 kilometers. On the last climb Bjarne Riis took the opportunity and attacked. His time lead was enough to take the lead in the overall standings. He repeated this performance in the Pyrenees ( 16th stage ) up by Hautacam and extended his lead.

At the last stage in the Pyrenees then the overall ranking should be written: The first stage was through the high mountains and ended after a 100- km-long flat piece in the Basque Pamplona. The route to the Basque Country should be a tribute to Miguel Indurain, by whose birthplace led the way. However, from the triumphal procession was nothing; Indurain was in a suspended group far behind the tip. At first crossed Port de Larrau the top group informed the favorites. While the first group ( with Riis, Ullrich, Luttenberger, Dufaux, Virenque, Ugrumow, Leblanc, Escartin ) on the flat piece showed unity and the driver constantly alternated with the leadership, only a few drivers who showed interest in to the second group had a persecution. Especially Rominger and Olano were now trying to keep the residue in borders, Induráin held back in the slipstream. The time interval exit of the mountains was about one and a half minutes, the target had become over eight minutes of it. Thus, all drivers of this first group occupied all the top spots in the overall standings.

The final time trial won Jan Ullrich, who drove so strong that he almost brought his team leader Bjarne Riis in distress. The Danes remained in goal only 1:41 minutes ahead of second-placed German now.

For the Team Telekom, the tour was a complete triumph. The team that was almost not allowed in the previous year and only a skeleton crew was allowed to begin together with the second-rate team ZG- Mobili, the places occupied one and two of the individual standings, this came five stage wins, the green jersey Erik Zabel and the white jersey for the best rider under 25 years by Jan Ullrich.

The organizers of the Tour de France have Riis, officially canceled in June 2007 after his admission, to have resorted to methods of doping during this tour from their own lists and perform for the tour 1996 no winner. The International Cycling Union can officially not but know him the title as the doping offense was time-barred at the time of confession. He had, however, already Riis asked shortly after his doping confession to return his yellow jersey.

The stages

Jerseys in the itinerary

The table shows the leaders in their respective standings at the start of each stage.

All teams and drivers

A: task during the stage, NA: non-runner to stage, S: Suspended / excluded timeouts: timeout


During a press conference on 25 May 2007 in Copenhagen Riis confessed, in the period from 1993 to 1998, the prohibited doping substances erythropoietin (EPO ), growth hormones and cortisone taken to improve performance to have. The EPO he bought and took her own, a. His victory in the Tour de France in 1996 was under the influence of the doping agent EPO, cortisone and growth substances, such as Riis admitted publicly: " I know that I came to the Tour victory through illicit means. But I 've worked for it anyway. If you want to get you the yellow jersey now, please, it means nothing to me. It is in the cardboard box. " Since the eight -year limitation period had expired when Riis ' doping confession, given the title could no longer be denied retroactively. Nevertheless, encouraged the UCI on to take Riis at his word, and asked for the return of the " sign of victory ," the yellow jersey. Previously, Riis former team mate Bert Dietz, Erik Zabel, Rolf Aldag, Brian Holm, Christian Henn and Udo Bölts from Team Telekom to known to have doped in 1996 Tour had. The former team doctors Andreas Schmid and Lothar Heinrich confessed to having known about the doping processes in the team. It was only in June 2013 acknowledged that Jan Ullrich, Riis ' former colleague at Team Telekom, autologous blood doping in order " to establish equal rights ". The use of EPO or other doping agents argue Ullrich further. The former telecom professionals Steffen Wesemann and Jens Heppner assert their innocence until today when it comes to doping.