Yellow Jersey Companion to the Tour de France

Yellow Jersey Companion to the Tour de France

by Les Woodland

This definitive work of reference on the Tour de France, which celebrates its centenary year in 2003, tells you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about this great sporting event.


This definitive work of reference on the Tour de France, which celebrates its centenary year in 2003, tells you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about this great sporting event.

Product Details

Random House UK
Publication date:
Yellow Jersey Cycling Classics Series
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.30(d)

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b. Tashkent, USSR, Feb 28 1964

Djamolidine Abdoujaparov was the Tour's leading sprinter of the early 1990s, winning the green JERSEY in 1991, 1993 and 1994.All sprint-ers take chances, bump shoulders and push through seemingly impossible gaps, but Abdoujaparov was so brave or foolish that he earned the NICKNAME of 'the Tashkent Terror', Tashkent being the area of the former Soviet Union where he was born.

In 1991, the year in which his homeland fell to bits with the end of the Cold War, Abdou-japarov did the same in the Tour. With only 60m to go of a 3,914km race, he crashed on the CHAMPS ELYSÉES while sprinting head-down for the line. Hitting the barrier at the side of the road, he flew over the handlebars.

The Australian PHIL ANDERSON said, 'We were both going full out and he just put his head down and ran into the wall.' Abdou-japarov - who was points leader and had won stages at Lyon and Reims - broke his collarbone and lay unconscious in the road. He eventually got to his feet and was helped across the line on foot. An ambulance took him to hospital, where he stayed for two days.

Abdoujaparov's role in the Tour was as brief as it was entertaining. He won his last stage in 1996, at Tulle, the year that ERIK ZABEL took over as the Tour's best SPRINTER.Abdou-japarov rode only one more Tour, in 1997, before retiring - a decision prompted by a two-year ban following positive DOPING controls that year, including one in the Tour. He had already tested positive in 1989.

Abdoujaparov's memory lives on outside cycling. In October 1998, the year after the ban, Les Carter, the cycling fan and former Carter USM guitarist, formed a rock band with his name. The band has toured BRITAIN, GERMANY, Australia and AMERICA.

Djamolidine Abdoujaparov's name is pronounced jah-mohl-ih-DEEN ahb-doo-ja-PAHR- awf.

1991 Ghent-Wevelgem, Tour Piedmont
Tour de France
1990 145th
1991 85th Stage wins Lyon-Lyon, Dijon-Reims, and Points winner
1992 DNF
1993 76th Stage wins Vannes-Dinard, Orthez-Bordeaux, Viry- Chatillon-Paris, and Points winner
1994 57th Stage wins Lille-Armentières, Morzine-Lac de Saint-Point, and Points winner
1995 56th Stage win Sainte Geneviève des Bois-Paris
1996 78th Stage win Besse-Tulle
1997 DNF

b. San Lazzaro di Parma, Italy, Nov 14 1937

ITALY looked for many years for a successor to GINO BARTALI,who had retired in 1954, and FAUSTO COPPI, who died of malaria in 1960 after a racing and hunting trip in what is now Burkina Faso, Africa. For a while it looked as though it had found such a successor in Vittorio Adorni.

Adorni began cycling for pleasure in 1955, won a few minor competitions and then began racing seriously. He became Italian pursuit champion in 1958 and won 30 races as an AMATEUR.He turned professional after the Rome Olympics in 1960, for which he was picked only as a reserve even though he was national pursuit champion, and won 89 races in a career that lasted until 1970.

His talent and tactical ability won him the world championship in 1968 and the Giro d'Italia - then still mainly an Italian race with few foreign riders - in 1965. But he was too poor a SPRINTER and too tall and heavy - 1.82m and 76kg - to ride well in the MOUNTAINS.His Tour performances were therefore disappoint-ing. He started three times, 1962, 1964 and 1965, but finished only in 1964, and never won a stage or a JERSEY.

Adorni set out to win selected races rather than ride well all year. 'You don't have to win lots of races each year to keep your market value high,' he said. 'It is the big wins that count.'

What Italy wanted, though, was a Coppi or Bartali who could win anywhere, and ride the best off their wheels. They grew tired of Adorni and viewed him as a classy dilettante, good for what they perceived as second-class stage races like the Tour of BELGIUM but not where it counted.

In 1970 he became a team MANAGER,help-ing MARINO BASSO and FELICE GIMONDI to win world championships in 1972 and 1973. From 1974 he became involved in ski and other sporting promotions, particularly the winter Olympics at Innsbruck in 1976 and the Mon-treal Games of 1976. In 1976 he opened an insurance business, which he still runs.

1964 Tour Sardinia
1965 Giro d'Italia, Tour Romandie
1966 GP Lugano, Tour Belgium
1967 Tour Romandie
1968 World championship
1969 Tour Reggio Calabria, Tour Switzerland, National championship

Tour de France
1962 DNF
1964 10th
1965 DNF

b. Willebroek, Belgium, Jun 6 1932

Some riders are made for stage races but rarely reach the headlines, and Jean 'Jan' Adriaenssens was one. He rode eight Tours and finished six times in the first ten, including third in 1956 and 1960, and fourth in 1958, and wore the yellow JERSEY in 1956 and 1960. Never once did he win a stage but that didn't matter to his SPONSORS and team-mates. Adriaenssens was a perfect team man, constantly supporting his leaders but still talented enough to make his mark.

His luckiest move came in 1960 on the stage to Lorient. The Tour was at that time still between NATIONAL TEAMS and Adriaenssens was riding for BELGIUM.The favourites were FRANCE but the French, as so often, were riven by rivalries and personality clashes. In the French team were the world-class pursuiter ROGER RIVIÈRE and HENRY ANGLADE,a small and difficult man whom Robert Chapatte (see BROADCASTING) had nicknamed 'Napoléon'. (See NICKNAMES for other riders.) Anglade's unpopularity was so widespread that it stuck.

Anglade and Rivière particularly disliked each other. The previous year Rivière had con-trived to stop Anglade winning the Tour by helping FEDERICO BAHAMONTES of Spain to get up to the leaders, and combining with other French riders to keep him there. (See HENRY ANGLADE for more details.)

In 1960 Rivière won the first TIME TRIAL but Anglade had taken the yellow jersey by stage six. Rivière's grudge grew. Far from supporting Anglade, he attacked so hard on the Lorient stage that he beat him by 14 minutes in 112km. Adriaenssens stayed with him, along with Gastone Nencini and HANS JUNKERMANN. Adriaenssens gained enough time to move into the yellow jersey. He lost the lead in the Pyre-nees but still finished third to Nencini and another Italian, Graziano Battistini, in Paris.

(And see GASTONE NENCINI for why the break led to Rivière's death; see PIERRE BEUF-FEUIL for how General de Gaulle aided an unknown rider's victory in that year's Tour.)

1953 Circuit 6 Provinces
1955 Tour Morocco
1956 Tour Brabant, Four-days Dunkirk
1958 Circuit Ouest

Tour de France
1953 43rd
1955 28th
1956 3rd Yellow Jersey
1957 9th
1958 4th
1959 6th
1960 3rd Yellow Jersey
1961 10th

b. Laeken, Belgium, Sep 8 1907, d. Bruges, Belgium, Jun 15 1992

BELGIUM's Jan Aerts won three consecutive stages in 1933 to add to the three he'd won ear-lier in the race, despite opposition from that year's great French team, which included ANDRÉ LEDUCQ, ANTONIN MAGNE, GEORGES SPEICHER and MAURICE ARCHAMBAUD.They were known as 'the team of chums' because of their closeness, according to the writer Albert Baker d'Isy.

Against them Aerts had a team of eight including Georges Ronsse, national champion Georges Lemaire (the first French-speaker in Belgium's NATIONAL TEAM,who died two months later after colliding with a car during the Belgian club championship), and GASTON REBRY.In a reference to Baker d'Isy's name for the French, a Belgian journalist dismissed Belgium's team as 'a fine collection of talents but certainly not a team of chums.' (See BENONI BEHEYT for more on disagreement in Belgian teams.)

Aerts won stage four, from Metz to Belfort, won again on the approach to the Pyrenees at Ax-les-Thermes and then at Tarbes, and then on three successive days at BORDEAUX,La Rochelle and Rennes. But these wins came too near the end to make an impression. Aerts had lost time in the Alps (this was the first Tour since 1913 to run clockwise, taking the Alps first) and finished the Tour ninth, 42:53 behind Speicher. (See GEORGES SPEICHER for how he was hauled from a nightclub to win the world championship.)

Aerts was first man to win both the world AMATEUR (1927) and professional (1935) road championship. Professionals and amateurs rode together at the Nurburgring in GERMANY in 1927, and although Aerts finished fifth he won his title by being best amateur. The ama-teur and professional categories rode sepa-rately in August 1935, when Aerts won in front of a home crowd at Floreffe, beating Luciano Montero of SPAIN and another Belgian, Staf Danneels, in a race where 26 riders started and only 12 finished. Small fields were normal in early professional championships; in 1936 Antonin Magne was the best of just nine finish-ers from the 39 who started.

Aerts also won Paris-Brussels in 1931 and came third in Paris-Roubaix in 1935. He was a good SPRINTER,winning 12 Tour stages, but was handicapped by lack of ability in the mountains.

1931 Paris-Brussels
1933 Tour Belgium
1935 World championship
1936 National championship

Tour de France
1929 DNF
1930 DNF Stage win Les Sables-Bordeaux
1932 13th Stage win Paris-Caen and Ye l l ow J e r s e y
1933 9th Stage wins Metz-Belfort, Perpignan-Ax-les-Thermes, Luchon-Tarbes, Pau- Bordeaux, Bordeaux-La Rochelle, La Rochelle-Rennes
1935 29th Stage wins Metz-Belfort, Grenoble-Gap, Digne-Nice, La Roche-sur-Yon-Nantes

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