The 1976 Tour de France was the 63rd Tour de France, taking place June 24 to July 18, 1976. The total race distance was 22 stages over 4017 km, with riders averaging 34.518 km/h.
It was won by mountain specialist Lucien Van Impe. The revelation of the Tour however was Freddy Maertens, who in his first Tour won eight stages and the points classification, and led the general classification for ten days.
Five-time winner Eddy Merckx did not join in the 1976 Tour de France because he was injured. 1975 winner Bernard Thévenet left the race in the 19th stage, but at that point it was already clear that Van Impe would win the race.
The mountains classification was won by Giancarlo Bellini with 170 points, only one point ahead of Lucien Van Impe. The young rider classification was won by Enrique Martínez Heredia. Heredia had already won the Tour de l'Avenir in 1974, but never broke through after this win.
Famous quotes containing the words tour and/or france:
“Left Washington, September 6, on a tour through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia.... Absent nineteen days. Received every where heartily. The country is again one and united! I am very happy to be able to feel that the course taken has turned out so well.”
—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)
“While learning the language in France a young mans morals, health and fortune are more irresistibly endangered than in any country of the universe.”
—Thomas Jefferson (17431826)