Startlist for the 1995 Tour de France
July 1-23 1995
The Teams Form Guide
Four-time defending champion Miguel Indurain makes the Banesto squad an undeniable favorite.
The team represents one of the principal Spanish banks. But do not expect Indurain or his
Banesto teammates to go for stage wins. Their objective instead is consistency: to finish
high enough in most stages in order to let Indurain wipe out his opposition in the mountains
and on the individual time trials. In the mountains, Banesto teammates will take particular
care to protect their leader.
Tony Rominger, the world's number one ranked rider and recent Tour of Italy winner,
will provide Indurain's primary challenge for the yellow jersey. His Mapai-GP team looks
like the tour's most complete formation, strong in both the mountains and the flat sprint stages.
Yet its ranks have been decimated by sickness and injury this past month. The first 10 days
will be telling. How has Rominger recovered from his strenuous efforts during the Tour of Italy
and how his team has recovered from it's pre-Tour setbacks?
If so, Indurain will have its hands full.
Gewiss boast one of the other top challengers for the Tour Russian Evgeni Berzin.
Although the team's leading Russian, Piotr Ugrumov, runner-up of last year's Tour,
pulled out of the race because of illness, Berzin remains one of the world's top single
stage riders. He blasted on the scene last year to win the Tour of Italy. With Ugrumov's
departure, Berzin now will benefit from receiving full attention from his partners.
Even if his quest for overall victory fails, Berzin and other members of this squad have
consistently proven that they each are capable of stage wins.
ONCE may be the tour's most balanced teams. Each rider has his particular strengths,
and they work together well. When it is one rider's day to shine, his teammates rally behind.
Traditionally Swiss rider Alex Zülle has been the team leader and his recent runner-up
position at the Tour of Switzerland shows he is progressing well. But ONCE also boasts
French standout Laurent Jalabert. During the first half of the season, this one-time sprint
specialist has proven to be a complete rider, confirming his form with a stunning win in
the week long Tour of Catalonia. Interestingly, the team's Spanish sponsor is the national
organization for the blind.
Carrera is led by two punchy climbers, veteran Claudio Chiappucci and up and coming
Marco Pantani, and will be strong in the mountains. Although the winner's yellow jersey
appears out of reach, Carrera will fix its sights on the red polka dot jersey designating
the best climber. Chiappucci has already won this award twice before in 1991 and 1992.
But he figures not even to try and contest the stages on flat terrain.
Festina was last year's surprise team. Luc Leblanc and Richard Virenque won two of the
climbing stages. While World Champion Leblanc has left the squad, Virenque has remained.
In preparation races the Midi-Libre, Dauphiné-Libéré and the Route du Sud,
the Festina squad has show even greater maturity, and Virenque has become even faster on
the climbs. He is the favorite for the polka dot jersey of the best climber. Meanwhile,
he also has shown steady improvement in his weakness, the time trial.
MG-Technogym is one of the world's best teams for the one-day races and it will be looking
to snag single stage wins. The team is managed by legendary director Giancarlo Ferretti.
But it lacks a star rider, somebody who could win the entire race. So instead Feretti will have
his riders shoot for daily success, particularly in the team time trials. In the past,
his boys have already won this award on several occasions.
Team leader Maurizio Fondriest originally planned to by-pass the Tour to concentrate
on the Tour of Italy. But sickness forced him to abandon his home country's tour,
so he decided to ride the Tour de France. He will certainly be looking to win an impressive stage.
He will also take pride in chaperoning up and coming Russian teammate Pavel Tonkov.
At the prime age of 26, Tonkov is maturing nicely, recently winning the Tour of Switzerland.
America's premier cycling team is led by 1993 World Champion Lance Armstrong.
Although Armstrong was often frustrated in 1994, he has returned with renewed vigor this year.
He stifled his opponents in America's Tour DuPont and is admittedly hungry to confirm
his good form in Europe. Still only 23, Armstrong seems a bit young to contest the overall
classification. He would be satisfied with a spectacular stage win.
Even though three-time Tour winner Greg Lemond has retired, this French team has kept an
anglophone twist in the name of Chris Boardman. Boardman is one of the world's best time trial
specialists. He won last year's opening prologue and wore the yellow jersey for three days.
But he must avoid wasting excessive energy in the first week. This year, Boardman aims for a
strong overall finish. Towards that goal, he has made impressive improvement in the mountains.
This Italian team has proven one of the most consistently improving teams over the past
three seasons. With ace sprinter Mario Cipollini, stage wins are a virtual given. Cipollini looks
likely to win the green jersey for the best sprinter, if he can make it over the mountains to
Paris. Up and coming hopeful Francesco Casagrande, will be looking to confirm his string of
solid results so far this season.
Brescialtat is only in its second year on the professional circuit and is making its Tour
de France appearance. Although largely here to gain experience, it will want to show that
their selection, a questionable one, was justified. The team's best argument will come in
the name of Mariano Piccoli, winner of the best climber award in the Tour of Italy.
The first week of flat stages will be crucial for this Belgian-based team. For three days,
it will be racing on native soil. One day specialist Andreï Tchmil and sprinter Wilfried
Nelissen look to do well here. But the team sponsored by the Belgian national lottery will
falter when the road starts to climb. Still, Nelissen will challenge Italian Cipollini for
the green jersey of best sprinter.
The Dutch-based Novell team also hopes to compete for the green sprinter title, thanks to its
ace from Uzbekistan, Djamolidine Abdoujaparov. Although the wily sprinter has won sprinter on
three occasions, sickness has slowed his form, and aside from an overlooked stage win in the
Tour DuPont, he has yet to pocket a victory this season. For a rider who usually counts his wins
in the double digits, he is undoubtedly frustrated. Other experienced riders such as
Viatcheslav Ekimov or Frans Maassen, also could capture some stage wins.
This second Dutch-based team comes to the Tour with much experience and should go home with
some stage wins. Veteran Jelle Nijdam has already won six and his current form is the best
in years. The team also has two up and coming hopefuls, Bo Hamburger and Maarten Den Bakker.
Hamburger already snagged a stage in the 1994 Tour and Den Bakker was one of the most
consistent riders this spring.
This small Spanish team usually wins several stage victories, thanks to a number of strong
climbers. For years, veteran Laudelino Cubino led the charge. Last year he was joined by
Francisco Cabello who triumphed in a stage after a long breakaway when the Tour was in Great
Britain. The team could be a favorite in France's Pyrénées mountains.
This solid French team is directed by Cyrille Guimard, who has overseen seven Tour winners.
In May, however, leader Armand De Las Cuevas broke his collar bone. He's been slow to bounce back,
and it remains to be seen how he fares in this grueling race. De Las Cuevas did not take part
in the Tour of Italy, but the team still managed to place its riders in crucial breaks and had
respectable overall results. The racers say the moral is high.
After losing long-time leader Gianni Bugno last year, this classy Italian team looked as if
it would be without a star. Then this season it recruited veteran Mauro Gianetti who won the
Liège-Bastogne-Liège competition and then went on to triumph in another classic,
the Amstel Gold Race. Gianetti suffered a serious accident in Tour of Switzerland
and is not taking part in the Tour de France. The team's main hopes now are focused on Giovanni
Lombardi who has won a number of sprint stages this season.
This low-budget French team usually does not shine, but was selected anyway thanks to its
nationality. Chazal is counting on a new recruit, Jean-Francois Bernard, to improve its
lackluster record in the Tour de France. A few years ago, Bernard gave the French high hopes
to save Gallic pride. But so he's failed to live up to expectations.
This year Germany's Telecom team and ZG-Mobili from Italy failed to qualify for the Tour
de France. Telecom was solid throughout the season but failed to win any races,
and while ZG did triumph, its victories were too early on. In a last-minute concession,
organizers decided to let the best riders from Telecom and ZG take part in this combined team.
Telecom's Erik Zabel was nominated the leader. The team could have some problems because
the riders have not raced together before as a group. But the cyclists might try to make up
for that by being super aggressive.
When world champion Luc Leblanc was injured, the Le Groupement team pulled out of the race
in the week. This withdrawal opened the door to the AKI team. It will be led by Poland's
Zenon Jaskula, who finished third in 1993's tour, but did not compete last year.
He is hungry and his form is good.
Banesto (Unzue) Numbers 1 to 9
Gewiss (Bombini) 11 to 19
Carrera (Quintarelli) 21 to 29
AKI (Amadio) 31 to 39
Mapei/GB (Fernandez) 41 to 49
Festina (Roussel) 51 to 59
ONCE (Saiz) 61 t0 69
Diaz Zabala (Spa)
Lampre (Algeri) 71 to 79
Gan (Legeay) 81 to 89
Polti (Zenoni) 91 to 101
Kelme (Pino) 101 t0 109
Motorola (Ochowicz/Kuiper) 111 to 119
TVM (CEES PRIEM) 121 to 129
Den Bakker (Hol)
Van de Laer (Bel)
Lotto (Vandenbroucke) 131 to 139
Mario de Clercq (Bel)
Peter de Clercq (Bel)
Castorama (Guimard) 141 to 149
De Las Cuevas (Fra)
MG (Ferretti) 151 to 159
Novell (JAN RAAS) 161 to 169
Frederic Moncassin (Fra)
Van Bon (Hol)
Mercatone/UNO (Salutini) 171 to 179
Chazal (Lavenu) 181 to 191
Brescialat (Leali) 191 to 199
Telekom/ZG (Godefroot) 201 to 209