Col du Tourmalet in the Tour de France
Col du Tourmalet-Pyrenees

The Tour de France has crossed Col du Tourmalet in so many years since 1910, in which was crossed for the first time. It is the most used climb in Tour de France history.

Getting the first position at the top of Col du Tourmalet is a big honour for every cyclist. Some say that it is worth a whole cycling career. Only a climber can get the first position at the summit as it is a really demanding climb.

At the top of the climb there is a monument dedicated to Jacques Goddet (Tour de France director between 1936 and 1987).

The Souvenir Jacques Goddet is an award and cash prize in the Tour de France bicycle race that began in 2001. The Souvenir is named in honour of the historically second Tour de France director and French sports journalist Jacques Goddet. It is awarded to the first rider to reach the summit of the 2,115 m (6,939 ft)-high Col du Tourmalet

The pioneers

1910Octave Lapize (FRA)The first winner at the top of Tourmalet was Octave Lapize in 1910, walking aside of the bike (he did the climb half way on the bike half way walking)  in a gravel path filled with rocks. He was 500 mts ahead of Garrigou who climbed on his bike all the way. When he arrived to the finish he said the famous sentence to organizers “Vous êtes des assassins! Oui, des assassins! “You are murderers!”.
1911Paul Duboc (FRA)Duboc finished second that Tour de France because he was suposed to drink a poisoned bottle of water. The leader Gustave Garrigou was blamed on that.
1912Odile Defraye (BEL)First belgian rider to win the Tour the France that 1912.
1913Philippe Thys (BEL)This time, Tourmalet enters in cycling history again, as that day Eugene Christophe broke his fork in the descent of Tourmalet. As by those days cyclists could not get any help he had to walk for more than 14 km to Sta Marie de Campan to fix the fork and go on to finish the stage. Nowadays, a statyue reminds this event just at the start of the climb in Sta Marie de Campan.
1914Firmin Lambot (BEL)Henry Pelisser attacks in the climb to Tourmalet but he bonks and it is Firmin Lambot who will be the first at the top and wins the stage in Luchon. Thys will take the lead of the Tour.

Between the wars

1919Honoré Barthelemy (FRA)The Tour de France 1919 was won by Firmin Lambot (FRA). The longest Tour de France stage ever was in 1919, 5th stage Les Sables d’Olo-Bayonne with 482 km. In 1919 for the first time the leader is wearing a yellow jersey. First cyclist to wear it is Eugene Christophe.
1920Firmin Lambot (BEL)
1921Hector Heusghem (BEL)In the sixth stage, the first real mountains were to be climbed. Hector Heusghem took off on the Tourmalet, reached the top there first, rode solo over the Aspin and the Peyresourde and finished with a 24 minute margin.
1922The Tourmalet was  expected to be climbed, but due to heavy snowfall, the organisation changed the route.
1923Robert Jacquinot (FRA)In the sixth stage (Bayonne-Luchon 326 km), Robert Jacquinot, who was primarily known as a sprinter, rode away and topped the first three mountains first. He seemed to go on and win the stage and took over the lead, but the last mountain was too much for Jacquinot, and he fell off his bike climbing the Peyresourde. Alavoine passed Jacquinot and went on to win the stage, while Bottecchia won back enough time to regain his lead from Bellenger, who lost a lot of time.
1924Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)Bottecchia won the stage and the Tour de France, ahead of Frantz (LUX) and Lucien Buysse (BEL)
1925Omer Huyse (BEL)In the Tourmalet stage, Adelin Benoit won back eleven minutes in the first Pyrenees stage, in what used to be Bottecchia’s specialty. Bottechia won the Tour de France, anyway.
1926Lucien Buysse (BEL)10th stage Luchon-Bayonne starts with some rain, that becomes snow with the altitude. According to some sources it has been THE HARDEST STAGE IN CYCLING HISTORY. The fight for the win starts at Aubisque with 125 km to go. Lucien Buysse is the first at Aubisque and also at the Tourmalet with over 11 minutes to the italian Aymo. After them, Bottecchia and Benoit literally frozen, will quit. Buysse arrives to Luchon with 25 minutes advantage over Aymo, after 17 hours of cycling. He was the winner of that Tour de France.
1927Nicolas Frantz (LUX)The cyclists started in the dark in Bayonne, and the italian Gordini took advantage of the darkness to escape and the group did not realize about that. At the top of Aubisque he still had 10 minutes advantage but half way the Tourmalet, Frants overtook him and got the first position at the top. Frantz won that Tour de France in 1927 and the following in 1928.
1928Camile Van de Casteele (BEL)
1929Victor Fontan (FRA)Victor Fontan was the first in Tourmalet (he was claimed as King of the Pyrenees) but it was the spaniard Salvador Cardona who won the stage 9 Bayonne-Luchon. Fontan was the leader but he broke his fork the day after and had to find a new bike and try to finish the stage carrying the broken bike. Crazy.
1930Benoit Faure (FRA)This short french cyclist was the hero of the day (stage 9th Pau -Luchon 231 km) being first at the top of Aubisque and Tourmalet. The winner of the stage will be the italian Alfredo Binda and the final winner of the Tour de France Andre Leducq.
1931Jef Demuysere (BEL)In the same stage Pau Luchon 231 km, Demuysere was in a solo breakaway, was first at the top of Tourmalet, and Antonin Magne overtook him, won the stage, took the lead and finally won the Tour.
1932Benoit Faure (FRA)Again 5th stage Pau Luchon and Trueba is first at the top of Aubisque, then Faure is first at the top of Tourmalet and finally the winner of the stage is the italian Antonio Pesenti.
1933Vicente Trueba (ESP)This is the first year when there is a classification for the best climber. The winner is the spaniard Vicente Trueba who is the first at most of the climbs, including Tourmalet. That stage Tarbes-Pau was won by the italian Learco Guerra.
1934René Vietto (FRA)The french cyclist was the first at the top of Tourmalet and also the Mountain classification winner. This is the famous Tour de France in which Vietto had to give his front wheel to his leader Antonin Magne and wait for the team car aside of the road. Vietto lost this way any chance to win the Tour de France.
1935Sylvere Maes (BEL)The belgian rider was the first at the top of Tourmalet on the stage Luchon-Pau (194 km with Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque). The italian Ambrogio Morelli won that stage and Romain Maes won the Tour de France (BTW, Sylvere and Romain were not relatives)
1936Felicien Vervaecke (BEL)Sylvere Maes, also belgian, won the stage Luchon-Pau and also won the Tour de France.
1937Julián Berrendero (ESP)Again the stage was Luchon-Pau with 194 km and the main mountains included. The Tourmalet and stage winner was the spaniard Julián Berrendero. Roger Lapebie won the Tour de France.
1938Gino Bartali (ITA)The stage Pau-Luchon was won by the belgian Felicien Vervaecke, after the attack of Gino Bartali, the winner of the Tour de France that year.
1939Edward Vissers (BEL)In the ninth stage, the single Pyrenees stage of 1939, Edward Vissers attacked instead of helping his team leader Sylvère Maes.

After World War II

1947Jean Robic (FRA)Jean Robic was the first at the Tourmalet after the stop for the World War II. He won the stage and beat the others by more than 10 minutes.
1948Jean Robic (FRA)The Tourmalet is included in the stage Lourdes-Toulouse 261 km. Bartali won the stage and the Tour.
1949Fausto Coppi (ITA)The stage Pau-Luchon was won by Jean Robic. That Tour de France saw the rivality between the italians Coppi and Bartali, 1st and 2nd in the GC.
1950Kleber Piot (FRA)The 11th stage Pau-St Gaudens 230 km was won by the italian Gino Bartali, and the leader was Fiorenzo Magni. All the italian cyclists decided not to start on stage 12th as they felt threatened by the french crowd (even Bartali was threatened with a knife).
1951Jean Diederich (LUX)In the fourteenth stage (Tarbes-Luchon), Coppi attacked. Koblet punctured, but chased back and reached Coppi, and outsprinted him to win the stage, and thanks to the minute bonification time as stage winner took over the lead. Koblet also won the Tour de France.
1952Fausto Coppi (ITA)Fausto Coppi dominated the Tour in such way that he was first at Tourmalet, Puy de Dome, Alpe d’Huez and Sestriere. All those 4 climbs were included in Tour de France for the first time that year 1952.
1953Jean Robic (FRA)Jean Robic won the 11th stage (Cauterets-Luchon 115km), and even took the leading position in the general classification. In the next stage, Robic rode in the yellow jersey for the first and only time in his career. Robic had won the 1947 Tour de France, but only captured the lead in the ultimate stage, so he never wore the yellow jersey during that race.
1954Federico Martin Bahamontes (ESP)Stage Pau-Luchon with 161 km, and Bahamontes is first on top and will be also the king of the mountains (for the first time out of six he was). Stage was won by Gilbert Bauvin.
1955Miguel Poblet (ESP)Hard to believe, but the catalan sprinter Miguel Poblet was first at the top of Tourmalet ahead of Charly Gaul, Louison Bobet and Jesús Loroño
1957José Manuel Ribeiro Da Silva (POR)The young portuguese racer was the first at the top of Tourmalet on the stage 18th Saint Godens-Pau, which winner was the italian Gastone Nencini. Da Silva won 2 Volta a Portugal and died on 1958 at the very young age of 23 on a plane crash. In 1957 is the debut of Jacques Anquetil, who will win that tour.
1959Armand Desmet (BEL)The belgian crossed the summit line of Tourmalet in first position during the stage Bayonne-Bagneres de Bigorre (235 km). The winner of that Tour de France was the spaniard Federico Martin Bahamontes.
1960Kurt Gimmi (SWI)That Tour de France 1960 was won by Gastone Nencini. It became sadly famous because the young cyclist Roger Riviere crashed in the descent of Col de Perjuret, and never could cycle again.
1961Marcel Queheille (FRA)Jacques Anquetil won his first Tour de France in that edition.
1962Federico Martin Bahamontes (ESP)Bahamontes was first at the top of Tourmalet during the stage Pau-St Gaudens, won by the french Robert Cazala.
1963Federico Martin Bahamontes (ESP)Jacquest Anquetil won the Tour de France ahead of Bahamontes and Pérez Francés.
1964Julio Jiménez (ESP)Queen stage of Tour de France is Luchon-Pau, including the climb to Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque. Bahamontes attacks and Julio Jiménez follows his wheel. At the Tourmalet they have 5:34 over Anquetil and Poulidor, and at Aubisque Bahamontes left Jiménez and had 6:15 advantage. Bahamontes will win in Pau by 1:54.
1965Julio Jiménez (ESP)Julio Jiménez is again first at the top of Tourmalet. After him they are the italians Gimondi and Gianni Motta, and after them Poulidor and De Rosso. The stage finishes at Bagneres de Luchon with the victory of Raymond Poulidor after a flat og Gimondi on the descent. Nevertheless, Gimondi will get the yellow jersey and will win the Tour de France in 1965.
1967Julio Jiménez (ESP)That edition of Tour de France is sadly known because the brithish Tom Simpson died on the slopes of Mont Ventoux.
1968Jean Pierre Ducasse (FRA)The belgian Vandenberghe was expected to lose the lead in the twelfth stage (Pau-Saint Gaudens), because he was not known to be a good climber. But he surprised, and stayed with some of the favourites, keeping the lead. In that stage, the Dutch team was reduced to four cyclists, one of them the leader Jan Janssen who finally won the Tour de France.

Eddy Merckx era

1969Eddy Merckx (BEL)This is the mythical 17th stage Luchon-Mourenx in which Eddy Merckx did a solo breakaway for more than 130 km, arriving alone at the top of Tourmalet and Aubisque, and getting to Mourenx with 7 minuts 57 seconds ahead of second placed Michelle Dancelli. It was the first participation of Eddy Merck in the Tour de France.
1970Andrés Gandarias (ESP)On 1970 the Tour de France climbs to the top fo Tourmalet being the spaniard Gandarias the first at the top.
1970 (Stage ending at La Mongie)Bernard Thevenet (FRA)Same year 1970 there will be a stage ending at La Mongie ski station (side Sta Marie de Campan), and the winner was Bernard Thevenet. Eddy Merck was the winner of that Tour de France.
1971Lucien Van Impe (BEL)The small belgian climber was first at the top, after climbing together with Zoetemelk and Eddy Merckx. Van Impe won the best climber jersey 6 times from 1971 to 1981.
1972Roger Swerts (BEL)
1973Bernard Thevenet (FRA)The frenchman outsprinted José Manuel Fuente  at the summit of Col du Tourmalet. That Tour de France was won by another spaniard: Luis Ocaña
1974 (stage ending)Jean Pierre Danguillaume (FRA)Stage 17th was St Lary-Tourmalet, Danguillaume won the stage and Poulidor was second at 2:26
1974Gonzalo Aja (ESP)In 1974 the Tourmalet was climbed twice! After the victory of Danguillaume at the top the day before, in the stage Bagneres-Pau it was the spaniard Gonzalo Aja who crossed the line first ahead of (again) Raymond Poulidor.
1975Lucien Van Impe (BEL)The big four are ahead of the race: Lucien Van Impe, Eddy Merck (wearing the yellow jersey), Joop Zoetemelk and Bernard Thevenet, who will win the Tour de France. After them, Luis Ocaña is 2 minutes behind.
1976Francisco Galdós (ESP)The Tourmalet is at the start of the stage St Lary Soulan-Pau and makes no difference between the cyclists.
1977Lucien Van Impe (BEL)The Tourmalet is climbed in the second stage Auch-Pau, 253 km including Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque. Lucien Van Impe is first at the summit of Tourmalet, but the german Dietrich Thurau will win at the finish line in Pau.

Hinault and Fignon

1978Michel Pollentier (BEL) (positive)The belgian climber is first at the top after leaving Hinault, Zoetemelk and Mariano Martínez. Pollentier was tested positive after the stage in Alpe d’Huez and disqualified afterwards.
1980Raymond Martin (FRA)After the abandon of Bernard Hinault the french Raymond Martin in a solo breakaway is first at the top and also wins the stage at Bagneres de Luchon.
1983Patrocinio Jiménez (COL)There is a breakaway with four young cyclists who race the tour for the first time in their lives: Fignon, Delgado, Millar and Patrocinio Jiménez. They caught to Michaud and Jiménez sprinted Millar at the top of Tourmalet.
1985Pello Ruiz Cabestany (ESP)Amazing stage of the Orbea spanish team. Pepe del Ramo and Pello Ruiz Cabestany are in solo breakaways ahead of the race before the final attack of Pedro Delgado who won the stage at Luz Ardiden. All them 3 raced for Orbea. Fantastic.
1986Dominique Arnaud (FRA)Arnaud is the first at the top of Tourmalet in the stage Pau-Superbagneres (with Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde) that will finish at Superbagneres with Greg Lemond winning the stage.
1988Laudelino Cubino (ESP)Long breakaway for the spanish cyclist who also won the stage at Luz Ardiden, ahead of the french Duclos Lassalle. Second at the top of Tourmalet was Pedro Delgado, winner of that Tour de France.
1989Robert Millar (SCO)Robert Millar was first both at Tourmalet and Superbagneres (stage ending) in a great breakaway with Pedro Delgado and Charly Mottet. This Tour de France was won by Greg Lemond by just 8 seconds over Laurent Fignon, the tightest difference ever.
1990Miguel Angel Torres (ESP)The spanish cyclist was the first at the top of Col du Tourmalet in a stage that finished in Luz Ardiden with victory of a certain Miguel Indurain. Greg Lemond was the winner of that Tour de France.
1991Claudio Chiappucci (ITA)This is the famous stage which ended at Val Louron. The spaniard Miguel Indurain caught Chiappucci at the descent of Tourmalet and finally won his first Tour de France.
1993Toni Rominger (SWI)Rominger and Jaskula attacked to Indurain (a little sick that day) in the ascent of Tourmalet and took 50″ over him at the top. In an amazing descent Indurain chased them before getting to Bareges leaving behind even the TV motorbikes. Indurain will win his third Tour de France (out of 5 he won).
1994Richard Virenque (FRA)The french cyclist rode ahead in Col de Tourmalet. Virenque won the best climber jersey for the first time out of 7 times he won in total. Indurain won the Tour de France for the 4th time in a row.
1995Richard Virenque (FRA)Virenque again won the polka dot jersey and he was first at the top of Tourmalet, but this stage in 1995 is sadly famous because the italian Fabio Casartelli died in the descent of Portet d’Aspet that day.
1997Javier Pascual (ESP)The spaniard was the first at the top of Tourmalet ahead of the french Pascal Hervé. Both were in the breakaway.
1998Rodolfo Massi (ITA)That stage was raced in wet and foggy conditions that caused more than 30 crashes on the descent of Col d’Aubisque. Massi was first at the top of Tourmalet, as he was in a breakaway with Elli and Vasseur. Massi also won the stage at Luchon, and Pantani won the Tour de France that year 1998.

The Armstrong years

1999Alberto Elli (ITA)Elli is first at the top of Tourmalet, in a breakaway together with David Etxebarria and Pavel Tonkov. Etxebarria won that stage in Pau (he won 2 stages that Tour de France).
2001Sven Montgomery (SWI)The swiss cyclist was first at the top in a breakaway with Belli, Moncutie and Mario Aerts. The stage ending was at Luz Ardiden with victory of the basque Roberto Laiseka.
2002 (Stage ending at La Mongie)Lance Armstrong (USA)The stage did not cross the top of Tourmalet, but ended in La Mongie (Campan side) and the winner was Lance Armstrong after a great job of his team mate the spaniard Roberto Heras. Lance Arsmtrong won the Tour de France.
2003Sylvain Chavanel (FRA)The young french rider gets to the top of Tourmalet with more than 4 minutes over a small group with Armstrong, Ullrich, Iban Mayo and Zubeldia. The stage will finish in Luz Ardiden and the winner was Lance Amstrong.
2004 (Stage ending at La Mongie)Ivan Basso (ITA)Same as 2002, the stage ends at La Mongie (Campan side) with Basso ahead of Lance Armstrong. The spaniars Mancebo, Sastre and Pereiro will finish 4th, 5th and 6th, and Iban Mayo is 9th at the finish line.
2006David de la Fuente (ESP)The spaniard is first at the top of Tourmalet being first in a breakaway together with Wegmann, Camaño and Flecha. That was a very demanding stage including also Aspin, Peyresourde, Portillon and Pla de Beret. The russian Menchov won that stage at Pla de Beret.
2008Remy di Gregorio (FRA)The young cyclist from Marseille Remy di Gregorio was first at the top of Tourmalet in a stage finished at Hautacam and won by Leonardo Piepoli ahead of his team mate Juanjo Cobo.
2009Franco Pellizzotti (ITA) (Positive)The stage finished at Tarbes and the winner was the french Perrik Fedrigo ahead of Franco Pellizzotti who won the best climber jersey at the end of the Tour. Nevertheless, he was tested positive in a control that Tour and no longer appears in the classificaction of this Tour de France 2009.
2010Christophe Moreau (FRA)The french cyclist was in a breakaway in a stage including Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque.
2010 (Stage ending)Andy Schleck (LUX)Andy Schleck wins at the top of Col du Tourmalet (end of stage, from the Luz side) in a tight arrival with Alberto Contador, who was wearing the yellow jersey and won the Tour de France. Nevertheless, he was tested positive and now the winner of that Tour de France is Andy Schleck.
2011Jeremy Roy (FRA)The french cyclist is the first to get to the summit ahead of Geraint Thomas, in a stage which will be won by Samuel Sánchez at the top of Luz Ardiden.
2012Thomas Voeckler (FRA)Amazing performance by the french Thomas Voeckler who will be the first at the 4 main climbs of the day: Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde). He will win the stage at Bagneres de Luchon, and also the polka dot jersey as the best climber, of course!
2014Biel Kadri (FRA)Kadri passed ahead of Mikel Nieve in a stage won by Vincenzo Nibali at the top of Hautacam.
2015Rafal Majka (POL)Stage including Col d’Aspin, Tourmalet and arrival at Cauterets. the polish cyclist will be the first at Tourmalet and also the end of the stage.
2016Thibout Pinot (FRA)Pinot is first at the summit ahead of Rafal Majka (best climber that year). Chris Froome will win that stage, which included Tourmalet, Hourquette d’Ancizan, Val Louron and Peyresourde, in which descent Froome attacked to his solo win.
2018Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)The stage is Lourdes Laruns, and the stage winner at Laruns is Primoz Roglic, but it is Julian Alaphilippe who will be the first at the top of Tourmalet.
2019 (Stage ending)Thibout Pinot (FRA)The queen stage of the Tour de France ends at the top of Tourmalet, and Pinot sprints ahead of Alaphilippe (in yellow jersey that day) and Kruiswijk. 5th position will be for Egan Bernal, who will win the Tour de France.

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