2005 Tour de France

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2005 Tour de France
2005 UCI ProTour, race 17 of 28
Route of the 2005 Tour de France.png
Route of the 2005 Tour de France
Race details
Dates July 2–July 24, 2005
Stages 21
Distance 3,592.5 km (2,232 mi)
Winning time 86h 15' 02"
Winner none
Second  Ivan Basso (Italy) (Team CSC)
Third none[N 1]

Points  Thor Hushovd (Norway) (Crédit Agricole)
Mountains  Michael Rasmussen (Denmark) (Rabobank)
Youth  Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine) (Discovery Channel)
Team T-Mobile Team

The 2005 Tour de France was a multiple stage bicycle race held from 2 July to 24 July 2005, and the 92nd edition of the Tour de France. It has no overall winner—although American cyclist Lance Armstrong originally won the event, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced in August 2012 that they had disqualified Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his seven Tour de France wins from 1999–2005; the Union Cycliste Internationale has confirmed this verdict.

The event comprised 21 stages over 3,592.5 km, the winner's average speed was 41.654 km/h.[3] The first stages were held in the département of the Vendée, for the third time in 12 years. The 2005 Tour was announced on October 28, 2004. It was a clockwise route, visiting the Alps before the Pyrenees. Armstrong took the top step on the podium, for what was then the seventh consecutive time. He was accompanied on the podium by Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich, but in 2012 Ullrich's results were annulled.[2] The points classification was won by Thor Hushovd, and the mountains classification by Michael Rasmussen.

The race was seen by 15 million spectators along the road, and by 2 billion viewers on TV.[4]


The traditional prologue on the first day was replaced by an individual time trial of more than twice the length of a standard prologue.[5] This stage crossed from the mainland of France to the Île de Noirmoutier. The most famous route to this island is the Passage du Gois, a road that is under water at high tide. This road was included in the 1999 Tour. Several of the favorites crashed there that year, and ended that stage 7 minutes behind the peloton. This year they took the bridge to the island.

Later in the race, there was one more time trial, on the penultimate day. Also, there were just three uphill finishes (Courchevel, Ax-3 Domaines and Pla d'Adet), a lower number than in previous years. The finish line of the last stage was, as has been since 1975, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

The Tour commemorated the death of Fabio Casartelli. During the 15th stage the riders passed the Col de Portet d'Aspet, where Casartelli died exactly 10 years earlier, in the 1995 Tour de France.[5] The Tour also commemorated the first time there was an official mountain climb in the Tour, the Ballon d'Alsace.[6] During the 9th stage this mountain was passed again, exactly 100 years after the first ascent in the Tour.


Commercial poster for the 2005 Tour

In 2005, the UCI had started the ProTour: 20 teams were given a ProTour licence, and were required to start in all ProTour races, which included the Tour de France. The Tour de France organisation was not happy with this rule, as they wanted to be able to decide which teams would join their race. While negotiations were still ongoing, it was decided to use the UCI rule for the 2005 Tour, so all 20 ProTour teams were automatically invited. The Tour organisation could invite one extra team with a wildcard, and used this to invite the Ag2R team.[7]

All teams were composed of nine cyclists, so 189 riders in 21 teams commenced the 2005 Tour de France. Of them, 155 riders finished.

Of the competitors in the 2005 Tour, the tallest rider was Johan Van Summeren at 1.98 metres and the shortest was Samuel Dumoulin at 1.58 metres. The heaviest rider was Magnus Bäckstedt at 95 kg, the lightest was Leonardo Piepoli at 57 kg. Christopher Horner and Laurent Lefevre shared the lowest resting heart rate, 35 beats per minute. The "average" rider in 2005 was 1.79 metres tall, weighed 71 kg, and had a resting heart rate of 50 beats per minute.[citation needed]


The main favourite was (then) six-time winner Armstrong (now stripped of all his victories). Armstrong had had doubts if he should start the 2005 Tour,[8] but decided in February 2005 that he would race. His main rival Ullrich was happy with this decision, as he thought it would be a better race with Armstrong present.[7]

In previous years, Ullrich never had the full support of his team to win the general classification, as his team was also aiming for stage victories. In 2005, Erik Zabel, who had won the points classification six times, was left out of the team, and Ullrich was supported by Klöden and Vinokourov, who both had already reached the podium on the Tour.[7]

On the day before the Tour started, Ullrich crashed into his team director's car, but was not seriously injured.[7]

Race details

Overview of the stages

In Stage 1, David Zabriskie, a former team mate of Lance Armstrong, beat Armstrong by two seconds.[9] In the team time trial of stage 4, Zabriskie fell in the last kilometers, and Armstrong took over the lead.[9]

Armstrong initially refused to wear the yellow jersey in the fifth stage,[10] but was forced by the Tour organisation, who threatened to remove him from the race.[7]

In the tenth stage, the start was moved from Grenoble to Froges.[11]

Before the 20th stage, an individual time trial, Michael Rasmussen occupied the third place in the general classification. During that stage, Rasmussen fell multiple times and changed bicycles multiple times, and lost so much time that he ended up at the seventh place in the general classification.[9] The race jury invoked the 'rain rule'[12] for the Champs-Élysées, meaning that Lance Armstrong became the winner of the General classification the first time the race passed the finish line, rather than the eighth time as normal. The time bonification for the winner of the stage was still given, and Alexander Vinokourov profited from this as he won the stage after an escape in the last kilometer (the first time since 1994 that the final stage did not end in a sprint[9]), and passed Levi Leipheimer in the general classification to end fifth.

During the final ceremonies in Paris, Armstrong was allowed to talk to the crowds, the first time in the Tour's history that a winner was given this chance.[13] It has since become a regular occurrence.


The 2005 Tour de France was divided into 21 stages. These stages belong to different categories: 8 were flat stages, 5 were medium mountain stages, 5 were high mountain stages, 2 were individual time trials and 1 was a team time trial.[6] The distinction between flat stage, medium mountain stage and high mountain stage is important for the points classification. There were two rest days, in Grenoble and in Pau.[11]

Stage results[14][15]
Stage Date Route Terrain Length Winner
1 2 July FromentineNoirmoutier-en-l'Île Individual time trial 19.0 km (11.8 mi)  David Zabriskie (USA)
2 3 July ChallansLes Essarts Plain stage 181.5 km (112.8 mi)  Tom Boonen (BEL)
3 4 July La ChâtaigneraieTours Plain stage 212.5 km (132.0 mi)  Tom Boonen (BEL)
4 5 July ToursBlois Team time trial 67.5 km (41.9 mi) Discovery Channel
5 6 July ChambordMontargis Plain stage 183.0 km (113.7 mi)  Robbie McEwen (AUS)
6 7 July TroyesNancy Plain stage 199.0 km (123.7 mi)  Lorenzo Bernucci (ITA)
7 8 July LunévilleKarlsruhe Plain stage 228.5 km (142.0 mi)  Robbie McEwen (AUS)
8 9 July PforzheimGérardmer Hilly stage 231.5 km (143.8 mi)  Pieter Weening (NED)
9 10 July GérardmerMulhouse Hilly stage 171.0 km (106.3 mi)  Michael Rasmussen (DEN)
10 12 July GrenobleCourchevel Stage with mountain(s) 177.0 km (110.0 mi)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
11 13 July CourchevelBriançon Stage with mountain(s) 173.0 km (107.5 mi)  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ)
12 14 July BriançonDigne-les-Bains Hilly stage 187.0 km (116.2 mi)  David Moncoutié (FRA)
13 15 July MiramasMontpellier Plain stage 173.5 km (107.8 mi)  Robbie McEwen (AUS)
14 16 July AgdeAx 3 Domaines Stage with mountain(s) 220.5 km (137.0 mi)  Georg Totschnig (AUT)
15 17 July Lézat-sur-LèzeSaint-Lary-Soulan Pla d'Adet Stage with mountain(s) 205.5 km (127.7 mi)  George Hincapie (USA)
16 19 July MourenxPau Stage with mountain(s) 180.5 km (112.2 mi)  Óscar Pereiro (ESP)
17 20 July PauRevel Plain stage 239.5 km (148.8 mi)  Paolo Savoldelli (ITA)
18 21 July AlbiMende Hilly stage 189.0 km (117.4 mi)  Marcos Antonio Serrano (ESP)
19 22 July IssoireLe Puy-en-Velay Hilly stage 153.5 km (95.4 mi)  Giuseppe Guerini (ITA)
20 23 July Saint-ÉtienneSaint-Étienne Individual time trial 55.5 km (34.5 mi)  Lance Armstrong (USA)
21 24 July Corbeil-EssonnesParis (Champs-Élysées) Plain stage 144.5 km (89.8 mi)  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ)

In the stages that were not time trials, there were intermediate sprints. Cyclist who crossed the intermediate sprints first received points for the points classification, and bonification seconds for the general classification. Until stage 8, there were three intermediate sprints, and from stage 9 on there were two.[16]

Classification leadership

Stage Winner General classification
Yellow jersey
Points classification
Green jersey
Mountains classification
Polkadot jersey
Young rider classification
White jersey
Team classification
Jersey with yellow number
Combativity award
1 David Zabriskie David Zabriskie David Zabriskie N/A Fabian Cancellara Team CSC N/A
2 Tom Boonen Tom Boonen Thomas Voeckler Sylvain Calzati
3 Tom Boonen Erik Dekker Yaroslav Popovych Erik Dekker
4 Discovery Channel Lance Armstrong N/A
5 Robbie McEwen Juan Antonio Flecha
6 Lorenzo Bernucci Karsten Kroon Christophe Mengin
7 Robbie McEwen Fabian Wegmann Fabian Wegmann
8 Pieter Weening Michael Rasmussen Vladimir Karpets Pieter Weening
9 Michael Rasmussen Jens Voigt Michael Rasmussen
10 Alejandro Valverde Lance Armstrong Alejandro Valverde Laurent Brochard
11 Alexander Vinokourov Alexander Vinokourov
12 David Moncoutié Thor Hushovd David Moncoutié
13 Robbie McEwen Yaroslav Popovych Carlos Da Cruz
14 Georg Totschnig T-Mobile Team Georg Totschnig
15 George Hincapie Óscar Pereiro
16 Óscar Pereiro Óscar Pereiro
17 Paolo Savoldelli Discovery Channel Sébastien Hinault
18 Marcos Serrano T-Mobile Team Carlos Da Cruz
19 Giuseppe Guerini Sandy Casar
20 Lance Armstrong N/A
21 Alexander Vinokourov Philippe Gilbert
Final Lance Armstrong Thor Hushovd Michael Rasmussen Yaroslav Popovych T-Mobile Team Óscar Pereiro
Jersey wearers when one rider is leading two or more competitions

Final standings

Óscar Pereiro was given the combativity award by the jury who chose him as the most attacking cyclist.[3]

Doping cases

During the race, 143 urine tests and 21 blood tests were conducted. None of them returned positive.[17] Still, there were fears that banned substances were being used; the boss of the Amore & Vita–Beretta team (not racing in the 2005 Tour) questioned the increase in velocities.[18]

In 2010, Hans Michael Holczer, the team boss of Gerolsteiner in 2005, said that the UCI had informed him that Leipheimer had shown blood values just under the doping limit, and that Holczer suspected that Leipheimer was using doping. The UCI advised Gerolsteiner to find a reason to remove Leipheimer from the race, but Holczer refused, because his team was still facing bad publicity from a previous doping case.[19]

The top five of the general classification of 2005 would not compete the 2006 edition. Armstrong had retired after the 2005 Tour, and a few days before the 2006 edition, after it became public that (among others) Basso, Ullrich and Mancebo were under investigation in the Operacion Puerto doping case, the Tour organisation and team leaders decided to exclude all cyclists under investigation from joining the Tour. Vinokourov, fifth-placed in 2005, was not under investigation, but his team was reduced to five cyclists, below the minimal required amount of six, so he could also not compete.[20]

In February 2012, the Court of Arbitration for Sport found Ullrich guilty of being engaged in Fuentes' doping program, and decided that Ullrich's results since May 2005, including his results from the 2005 Tour de France, would be disqualified.[2]

Subsequent to Armstrong's statement to withdraw his fight against USADA's charges, on August 24, 2012, the USADA said it would ban Armstrong for life and stripped him of his record seven Tour de France titles.[21][22] Later that day it was confirmed in a USADA statement[23] that Armstrong was banned for life and would be disqualified from any and all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to August 1, 1998, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, winnings, finishes, points and prizes.[24] The UCI endorsed the USADA sanctions, and decided not to award victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events.[25]


  1. Although Ullrich's name still appears on the website page of the 2005 Tour, he has been officially stripped of his finish by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.[1][2]

See also


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  10. It is a tradition that a cyclist who becomes the new leader because the previous leader was injured, does not wear the yellow jersey. Merckx did so in 1971 after Ocaña fell, Zoetemelk did so in 1980 after Hinault left, and LeMond did so in 1991 after Sørensen crashed.
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Further reading

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External links