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2004 Tour de France
Route of the 2004 Tour de France
|Stages||20 + Prologue|
|Distance||3,391 km (2,107 mi)|
|Winning time||83h 36' 02"|
The 2004 Tour de France was a multiple stage bicycle race held from 3 to 25 July, and the 91st 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 to 2005; the Union Cycliste Internationale confirmed this verdict.
The event consisted of 20 stages over 3,391 km (2,107 mi). Armstrong had been favored to win, his competitors seen as being German Jan Ullrich, Spaniards Roberto Heras and Iban Mayo, and fellow Americans Levi Leipheimer and Tyler Hamilton. A major surprise in the Tour was the performance of French newcomer Thomas Voeckler, who unexpectedly won the yellow jersey as leader of the general classification in the fifth stage and held onto it for ten stages before finally losing it to Armstrong.
This Tour saw the mistreatment of Filippo Simeoni by Armstrong on Stage 18. Armstrong also made a "zip-the-lips" gesture on camera, apparently referencing Simeoni.
The route of the 2004 Tour was remarkable. With two individual time trials scheduled in the last week, one of them the climb of Alpe d'Huez, the directors were hoping for a close race until the end. For the first time in years, the mountains of the Massif Central made an appearance.
The first 14 teams in the UCI Road World Rankings at 31 January 2004 were automatically invited. Initially the organisers had an option for a 22nd team, which would be Kelme, but after Jesús Manzano exposed doping use in that team, Kelme was not invited, and the race started with 21 teams of nine cyclists.
The teams entering the race were:
Route and stages
|P||3 July||Liège (Belgium)||6.1 km (3.8 mi)||Individual time trial||Fabian Cancellara (SUI)|
|1||4 July||Liège (Belgium) to Charleroi (Belgium)||202.5 km (125.8 mi)||Plain stage||Jaan Kirsipuu (EST)|
|2||5 July||Charleroi (Belgium) to Namur (Belgium)||197.0 km (122.4 mi)||Plain stage||Robbie McEwen (AUS)|
|3||6 July||Waterloo (Belgium) to Wasquehal||210.0 km (130.5 mi)||Plain stage||Jean-Patrick Nazon (FRA)|
|4||7 July||Cambrai to Arras||64.5 km (40.1 mi)||Team time trial||U.S. Postal Service (USA)|
|5||8 July||Amiens to Chartres||200.5 km (124.6 mi)||Plain stage||Stuart O'Grady (AUS)|
|6||9 July||Bonneval to Angers||196.0 km (121.8 mi)||Plain stage||Tom Boonen (BEL)|
|7||10 July||Châteaubriant to Saint-Brieuc||204.5 km (127.1 mi)||Plain stage||Filippo Pozzato (ITA)|
|8||11 July||Lamballe to Quimper||168.0 km (104.4 mi)||Plain stage||Thor Hushovd (NOR)|
|12 July||Limoges||Rest day|
|9||13 July||Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat to Guéret||160.5 km (99.7 mi)||Plain stage||Robbie McEwen (AUS)|
|10||14 July||Limoges to Saint-Flour||237.0 km (147.3 mi)||Hilly stage||Richard Virenque (FRA)|
|11||15 July||Saint-Flour to Figeac||164.0 km (101.9 mi)||Hilly stage||David Moncoutié (FRA)|
|12||16 July||Castelsarrasin to La Mongie||197.5 km (122.7 mi)||Mountain stage||Ivan Basso (ITA)|
|13||17 July||Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille||205.5 km (127.7 mi)||Mountain stage||
|14||18 July||Carcassonne to Nîmes||192.5 km (119.6 mi)||Plain stage||Aitor González (ESP)|
|19 July||Nîmes||Rest day|
|15||20 July||Valréas to Villard-de-Lans||180.5 km (112.2 mi)||Mountain stage||
|16||21 July||Le Bourg-d'Oisans to Alpe d'Huez||15.5 km (9.6 mi)||Individual time trial||
|17||22 July||Le Bourg-d'Oisans to Le Grand-Bornand||204.5 km (127.1 mi)||Mountain stage||
|18||23 July||Annemasse to Lons-le-Saunier||166.5 km (103.5 mi)||Hilly stage||Juan Miguel Mercado (ESP)|
|19||24 July||Besançon to Besançon||55.0 km (34.2 mi)||Individual time trial||
|20||25 July||Montereau-Fault-Yonne to Paris (Champs-Élysées)||163.0 km (101.3 mi)||Plain stage||Tom Boonen (BEL)|
|Total||3,391 km (2,107 mi)|
The book L. A. Confidentiel, by David Walsh and Pierre Ballester, came out shortly before the 2004 Tour, accusing Lance Armstrong of doping. Lance Armstrong and his lawyers asked for an emergency hearing in French court to insert a denial into the book. The French judge denied this request. Armstrong also launched defamation suits against the publisher and the authors, as well as magazine L'Express and UK newspaper The Sunday Times which both referenced it.
Subsequent to Armstrong's statement to withdraw his fight against United States Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) charges, on 24 August 2012, the USADA said it would ban Armstrong for life and stripped him of his record seven Tour de France titles. Later that day it was confirmed in a USADA statement that Armstrong was banned for life and would be disqualified from any and all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to 1 August 1998, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, winnings, finishes, points and prizes. On 22 October 2012, the Union Cycliste Internationale endorsed the USADA sanctions, and decided not to award victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events.
Classification leadership and minor prizes
There were four main individual classifications contested in the 2004 Tour de France, as well as a team competition. The most important was the general classification, which was calculated by adding each rider's finishing times on each stage. Time bonuses given at the end of each mass start stage. If a crash had happened within the final 3 km (1.9 mi) of a stage, not including time trials and summit finishes, the riders involved would have received the same time as the group they were in when the crash occurred. The rider with the lowest cumulative time was the winner of the general classification and was considered the overall winner of the Tour. The rider leading the classification wore a yellow jersey.
The second classification was the points classification. Riders received points for finishing in the highest positions in a stage finish, or in intermediate sprints during the stage. The points available for each stage finish were determined by the stage's type. The leader was identified by a green jersey.
The third classification was the mountains classification. Most stages of the race included one or more categorised climbs, in which points were awarded to the riders that reached the summit first. The climbs were categorised as fourth-, third-, second- or first-category and hors catégorie, with the more difficult climbs rated lower. The leader wore a white jersey with red polka dots.
The final individual classification was the young rider classification. This was calculated the same way as the general classification, but the classification was restricted to riders who were born on or after 1 January 1979. The leader wore a white jersey.
The final classification was a team classification. This was calculated using the finishing times of the best three riders per team on each stage; the leading team was the team with the lowest cumulative time. The number of stage victories and placings per team determined the outcome of a tie.
In addition, there was a combativity award given after each mass start stage to the rider considered, by a jury, to have "made the most effort and who has demonstrated the best sportsmanship". The winner wore a blue number bib the following stage. At the conclusion of the Tour, Richard Virenque (Quick-Step–Davitamon) was given the overall super-combativity award. The Souvenir Henri Desgrange was given in honour of Tour founder Henri Desgrange to the first rider to pass the summit of the highest climb in the Tour, the Col de la Madeleine on stage 17. This prize was won by Gilberto Simoni.
- In stage 1, Lance Armstrong wore the green jersey.
- In stages 1 and 2, Bernhard Eisel wore the white jersey.
- In stage 3, Jaan Kirsipuu wore the green jersey.
- In stage 4, Jean-Patrick Nazon wore the green jersey.
- In stages 6 through 15, Sandy Casar wore the white jersey.
|Denotes the leader of the points classification||Denotes the leader of the mountains classification|
|Denotes the leader of the young rider classification||Denotes the winner of the super-combativity award|
|2||Andreas Klöden (GER)||T-Mobile Team||+ 6' 19"|
|3||Ivan Basso (ITA)||Team CSC||+ 6' 40"|
|4||Jan Ullrich (GER)||T-Mobile Team||+ 8' 50"|
|5||José Azevedo (POR)||U.S. Postal Service||+ 14' 30"|
|6||Francisco Mancebo (ESP)||Illes Balears–Banesto||+ 18' 01"|
|7||Georg Totschnig (AUT)||Gerolsteiner||+ 18' 27"|
|8||Carlos Sastre (ESP)||Team CSC||+ 19' 51"|
|10||Óscar Pereiro (ESP)||Phonak||+ 22' 54"|
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