2008 Tour de France

The 2008 Tour de France was the 95th Tour de France. The event took place from July 5 to July 27, 2008. Starting in the French city of Brest, the tour entered Italy on the 15th stage and returned to France during the 16th, heading for Paris, its regular final destination, which was reached in the 21st stage. The race was won by Carlos Sastre.

Unlike previous years, time bonuses were no longer awarded for intermediate sprints and for high placement on each stage. This altered the way the General Classification was awarded in comparison to previous seasons.


Long running disputes between the event organisers, the ASO and the UCI reached a head when the race organisers insisted upon the right to invite, or exclude, whichever teams it chose for the event. Under UCI rules, any ProTour event must be open to all member teams of the UCI's top level. The ASO made it clear that, despite changes in team management and personnel, it intended to exclude Astana from the event as a result its involvement in the doping scandals that marred the 2007 Tour and its links to the 2006 Operación Puerto doping case. This meant that the champion (Alberto Contador) and third-place finisher (Levi Leipheimer) from 2007, both of whom had since signed with Astana, could not compete in the 2008 Tour.

The ASO announced on March 20, 2008 that all ProTour teams except Astana would be invited, along with three "wildcard" teams: Agritubel, Barloworld, and Team Slipstream-Chipotle (subsequently renamed as Team Garmin-Chipotle).

The 20 teams invited to the race were:

  • Belgium

Quick Step

  • Denmark

Team CSC Saxo Bank

  • France

Ag2r-La Mondiale
Bouygues Télécom
Cofidis, le Crédit par téléphone
Crédit Agricole
Française des Jeux

  • Germany

Team Milram

  • Italy


  • Netherlands


  • Spain

Caisse d'Epargne
Saunier Duval-Scott

  • United Kingdom


  • United States of America

Team Garmin-Chipotle
Team Columbia

On May 26, 2008, the 2007 green jersey (points) winner Tom Boonen tested positive for cocaine. Since this was outside competition, Boonen does not face sanctions by the UCI or WADA. Despite the absence of official sanctions, Boonen was barred from the 2008 Tour de France.

Pre-race favourites

Because Astana Team was not invited to the 2008 Tour de France, the winner of the 2007 Tour de France, Alberto Contador, the 3rd place finisher Levi Leipheimer and the 2004 and 2006 Tour de France runner up Andreas Klöden did not compete. Ten days before the start of the tour, Contador picked Cadel Evans as the likely winner for 2008. Shown in the table below are the riders that, according to the bookmakers in the months before the start of the 2008 Tour de France, had a chance of winning the 2008 Tour better than or equal to 25/1. The odds shown are the odds in July 2008, directly before the start of the race. Thomas Dekker and Michael Rogers were also given odds in this range, but were not included in the Tour de France.

Rider Team Notes Decimal Odds
July 2008
Final Standings (time)
Cadel Evans Silence-Lotto 2nd place 2007 Tour de France 3.25 2nd (+ 58")
Alejandro Valverde Caisse d'Epargne 6th place 2007 Tour de France 4.50 9th (+ 7' 12")
Denis Menchov Rabobank 5th place in 2006 Tour de France 7.00 4th (+ 2' 10")
Carlos Sastre Team CSC Saxo Bank 4th place in 2007 Tour de France 11.00 1st (87h 52' 52")
Damiano Cunego Lampre Best young rider 2006 Tour de France 11.00 Did not start stage 19
Andy Schleck Team CSC Saxo Bank 2nd place 2007 Giro d'Italia 13.00 12th (+ 11' 32")
Roman Kreuziger Liquigas 1st 2008 Tour de Suisse 21.00 13th (+ 12' 59")
Mauricio Soler Barloworld King of Mountains 2007 Tour de France 26.00 Did not finish stage 5
Samuel Sánchez Euskaltel-Euskadi 3rd place 2007 Vuelta a España 26.00 7th (+ 6' 25")
Stijn Devolder Quick Step Winner 2008 Ronde Van Vlaanderen 26.00 Did not finish stage 15
Haimar Zubeldia Euskaltel-Euskadi 5th in 2007 Tour de France 26.00 45th (+ 1h 27' 00")
Kim Kirchen Team Columbia 7th place 2007 Tour de France 34.00 8th (+ 6' 55")
Riccardo Riccò Saunier Duval-Scott 2nd place 2008 Giro d'Italia 34.00 Did not start stage 12
Did not finish
Finished in Top 5


In previous years, the Tour started with a prologue, followed by a week of flat stages. The flat stages were dominated by the sprinters' teams, and the yellow jersey was worn by a sprinter who had a good prologue. At the presentation of the Tour de France 2008 schedule, Tour Director Christian Prudhomme announced that the 2008 Tour would be different: "We have wanted a first week of racing with much more rhythm. With no prologue, an uphill finish that will suit different types of sprinters at the end of stage one, with a short time trial on stage four and the first mountain at Super-Besse only 48 hours later, we have decided to change the scenario. The time bonuses at the end of each stage were removed, and there was of time trials, less than usual.

The 2008 Tour de France was almost entirely in France, with only a small part in Italy.

Stage Route Distance Type Date Official page
1 Brest - Plumelec Flat stage Saturday, July 5 link
2 Auray - Saint-Brieuc Flat stage Sunday, July 6 link
3 Saint-Malo - Nantes Flat stage Monday, July 7 link
4 Cholet Individual time trial Tuesday, July 8 link
5 Cholet - Châteauroux Flat stage Wednesday, July 9 link
6 Aigurande - Super-Besse Sancy Intermediate stage Thursday, July 10 link
7 Brioude - Aurillac Intermediate stage Friday, July 11 link
8 Figeac - Toulouse Flat stage Saturday, July 12 link
9 Toulouse - Bagnères-de-Bigorre Mountain stage Sunday, July 13 link
10 Pau - Hautacam Mountain stage Monday, July 14 link
Rest day Tuesday, July 15
11 Lannemezan - Foix Intermediate stage Wednesday, July 16 link
12 Lavelanet - Narbonne Flat stage Thursday, July 17 link
13 Narbonne - Nîmes Flat stage Friday, July 18 link
14 Nîmes - Digne-les-Bains Flat stage Saturday, July 19 link
15 Embrun - Prato Nevoso Mountain stage Sunday, July 20 link
Rest day Monday, July 21
16 Cuneo - Jausiers Mountain stage Tuesday, July 22 link
17 Embrun - Alpe d'Huez Mountain stage Wednesday, July 23 link
18 Bourg-d'Oisans - Saint-Étienne Intermediate stage Thursday, July 24 link
19 Roanne - Montluçon Flat stage Friday, July 25 link
20 Cérilly - Saint-Amand-Montrond Individual time trial Saturday, July 26 link
21 Étampes - Paris Champs-Élysées Flat stage Sunday, July 27 link

Stage recaps

Jersey progress

Stage Winner General classification

Maillot jaune
Mountains classification

Maillot à pois rouges
Points classification

Maillot vert
Young rider classification

Maillot blanc
Team Classification

Classement par équipe
Combativity award

Prix de combativité
1 Alejandro Valverde Alejandro Valverde Thomas Voeckler Alejandro Valverde Riccardo Riccò Caisse d'Epargne Lilian Jegou
2 Thor Hushovd Kim Kirchen Sylvain Chavanel
3 Samuel Dumoulin Romain Feillu Romain Feillu Garmin-Chipotle William Frischkorn
4 Stefan Schumacher * Stefan Schumacher Thomas Lövkvist no award
5 Mark Cavendish Thor Hushovd Nicolas Vogondy
6 Riccardo Riccò * Kim Kirchen Sylvain Chavanel Kim Kirchen Sylvain Chavanel
7 Luis León Sánchez David de la Fuente Team CSC Saxo Bank Luis León Sánchez
8 Mark Cavendish Óscar Freire Laurent Lefevre
9 Riccardo Riccò * Kim Kirchen Andy Schleck Sebastian Lang
10 Leonardo Piepoli * Cadel Evans Riccardo Riccò Óscar Freire Riccardo Riccò Saunier Duval-Scott Rémy Di Gregorio
11 Kurt Asle Arvesen Team CSC Saxo Bank Amaël Moinard
12 Mark Cavendish Sebastian Lang Vincenzo Nibali Arnaud Gérard
13 Mark Cavendish Niki Terpstra
14 Óscar Freire José Ivan Gutierrez
15 Simon Gerrans Fränk Schleck Bernhard Kohl Egoi Martinez
16 Cyril Dessel Andy Schleck Stefan Schumacher
17 Carlos Sastre Carlos Sastre Peter Velits
18 Marcus Burghardt Marcus Burghardt
19 Sylvain Chavanel Sylvain Chavanel
20 Stefan Schumacher * no award
21 Gert Steegmans Nicolas Vogondy
Final Carlos Sastre Bernhard Kohl Óscar Freire Andy Schleck Team CSC Saxo Bank Sylvain Chavanel
Jersey wearers when one rider is leading two or more competitions:

Overall standings

General Classification

Rank Rider Team Time
Carlos Sastre Team CSC Saxo Bank 87h 52' 52″
2 Cadel Evans Silence-Lotto + 58"
3 Bernhard Kohl Gerolsteiner + 1' 13"
4 Denis Menchov Rabobank + 2' 10"
5 Christian Vandevelde Garmin-Chipotle + 3' 05"
6 Fränk Schleck Team CSC Saxo Bank + 4' 28"
7 Samuel Sánchez Euskaltel-Euskadi + 6' 25″
8 Kim Kirchen Team Columbia + 6' 55″
9 Alejandro Valverde Caisse d'Epargne + 7' 12″
10 Tadej Valjavec Ag2r-La Mondiale + 9' 05″

Teams Classification

Rank Team Time
align="center" Team CSC Saxo Bank 263h 29' 57"
2 Ag2r-La Mondiale + 15' 35"
3 Rabobank + 1h 05' 26"
4 Euskaltel-Euskadi + 1h 16' 26"
5 Silence-Lotto + 1h 17' 15"
6 Caisse d'Epargne + 1h 20' 28"
7 Team Columbia + 1h 23' 00"
8 Lampre + 1h 26' 24"
9 Gerolsteiner + 1h 27' 40"
10 Crédit Agricole + 1h 37' 16"

King of the Mountains Classification

Rank Rider Team Points
align="center" Bernhard Kohl Gerolsteiner 128
2 Carlos Sastre Team CSC Saxo Bank 80
3 Fränk Schleck Team CSC Saxo Bank 80
4 Thomas Voeckler Bouygues Télécom 65
5 Sebastian Lang Gerolsteiner 62
6 Stefan Schumacher Gerolsteiner 61
7 John-Lee Augustyn Barloworld 61
8 Alejandro Valverde Caisse d'Epargne 58
9 Rémy Di Gregorio Française des Jeux 52
10 Egoi Martinez Euskaltel-Euskadi 51

Points Classification

Rank Rider Team Points
Óscar Freire Rabobank 270
2 Thor Hushovd Crédit Agricole 220
3 Erik Zabel Team Milram 217
4 Leonardo Duque Cofidis 181
5 Kim Kirchen Team Columbia 155
6 Alejandro Valverde Caisse d'Epargne 136
7 Robert Hunter Barloworld 131
8 Robbie McEwen Silence-Lotto 129
9 Julian Dean Garmin-Chipotle 119
10 Gerald Ciolek Team Columbia 116

Young Riders' Classification

Rank Rider Team Time
Andy Schleck Team CSC Saxo Bank 88h 04' 24″
2 Roman Kreuziger Liquigas + 1' 27″
3 Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas + 17' 01″
4 Maxime Monfort Cofidis + 24' 09″
5 Eduardo Gonzalo Agritubel + 1h 08' 34″
6 Thomas Lövkvist Team Columbia + 1h 13' 55″
7 John-Lee Augustyn Barloworld + 1h 24' 49″
8 Peter Velits Team Milram + 1h 38' 17″
9 Rémy Di Gregorio Française des Jeux + 1h 38' 22″
10 Luis León Sánchez Caisse d'Epargne + 1h 44' 07"

Prize money

A total prize fund of approximately €3.25 million was awarded throughout the tour. In addition, each team received €51,243 towards expenses of participation, with an additional €1,600 per rider who completed the race, provided that at least seven did so.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Notes
Individual Stages €8,000 €4,000 €2,000 €1,200 €830 Prizes down to 20th place (€200).
General Classification €450,000 €200,000 €100,000 €70,000 €50,000 All finishers earn at least €400. The wearer of the Yellow Jersey each day gets €350.
Overall Points Competition €25,000 €15,000 €10,000 €4,000 €3,500 Additional prize money down to 8th place (€2,000). The leader of the ranking each day gets €300.
Intermediate Sprints €800 €450 €300 There are 45 such sprints during the tour.
King of the Mountains Competition €25,000 €15,000 €10,000 €4,000 €3,500 Additional prize money down to 8th place (€2,000). The leader of the ranking each day gets €300.
Hors Category climbs €800 €450 €300 There are 8 HC cols during the tour. There are additional €5,000 prizes for the riders first over the Tourmalet (stage 10) and the Galibier (stage 17).
First category climbs €650 €400 €150 There are 4 such mountains during the tour.
Second category climbs €500 €250 There are 5 such climbs during the tour.
Third category climbs €300 There are 14 such climbs during the tour.
Fourth category climbs €200 There are 26 such climbs during the tour.
Young Riders' Competition €20,000 €15,000 €10,000 €5,000 The first young rider each day gets €500, and the leader of the ranking each day gets €300.
Combativity prize €20,000 A prize of €2,000 is awarded for each stage except time trials.
Team Competition €50,000 €30,000 €20,000 €12,000 €8,000 The team with the fastest time for its first three finishers each day gets €2,800.

By tradition, a team's winnings were pooled and shared among the riders and support team. Team CSC, the team of Tour winner Sastre, won the most prize money, more than €600.000. Saunier Duval's prize money was not awarded after the positive tests of Riccardo Riccò.

Team name Prize money
1 Team CSC Saxo Bank €621,210
2 Silence-Lotto €233,450
3 Gerolsteiner €192,370
4 Rabobank €154,250
5 Team Columbia €113,450
6 Cofidis €91,460
7 Garmin-Chipotle €82,570
8 Ag2r-La Mondiale €71,060
9 Caisse d'Epargne €59,510
10 Crédit Agricole €55,450
11 Euskaltel-Euskadi €53,130
12 Liquigas €49,220
13 Française des Jeux €45,780
14 Team Milram €35,490
15 Agritubel €32,540
16 Quick Step €31,470
17 Bouygues Télécom €24,900
18 Barloworld €22,480
19 Lampre €9,840


35 riders withdrew or were disqualified.
Type Stage Rider Team Reason
DNF 1 Hervé Duclos-Lassalle Cofidis Crash at feed station, broken left wrist
DNF 3 Ángel Gómez Saunier Duval-Scott Injury due to crash
DNF 5 Mauricio Soler Barloworld Wrist injury
DNS 6 Aurélien Passeron Saunier Duval-Scott Injuries incurred in collision with a spectator
DNF 7 Mauro Facci Quick Step Illness
DNF 7 Lilian Jégou Française des Jeux Crashed into a tree, broken wrist
DNF 7 John Gadret Ag2r-La Mondiale Injury
DNF 7 Christophe Moreau Agritubel Back pain
DSQ 7 Magnus Bäckstedt Garmin-Chipotle Finished outside time limit
DNS 8 Manuel Beltrán Liquigas Doping offence (EPO)
DNF 10 Yuri Trofimov Bouygues Télécom Cold and fatigue
DNS 11 Moisés Dueñas Barloworld Doping offence (EPO)
DNF 11 Paolo Longo Borghini Barloworld Broken clavicle
DNF 11 Félix Cárdenas Barloworld Tendon injury
DNS 12 Riccardo Riccò Saunier Duval-Scott Doping offence (MIRCERA)
DNS 12 Rubens Bertogliati Saunier Duval-Scott Team withdrawn following
doping offence (MIRCERA)
of team leader Riccardo Riccò.
DNS 12 Juan José Cobo Saunier Duval-Scott
DNS 12 David de la Fuente Saunier Duval-Scott
DNS 12 Jesús del Nero Saunier Duval-Scott
DNS 12 Josep Jufré Saunier Duval-Scott
DNS 12 Leonardo Piepoli Saunier Duval-Scott
DNF 12 Baden Cooke Barloworld Injury due to crash
DNF 14 Nicolas Jalabert Agritubel Injury due to crash
DNS 15 Mark Cavendish Team Columbia Fatigue
DNF 15 Mark Renshaw Crédit Agricole Fatigue
DNF 15 Stijn Devolder Quick Step Fatigue
DNF 15 Óscar Pereiro Caisse d'Epargne Broken arm due to crash
DNF 16 Sébastien Chavanel Française des Jeux Fatigue
DSQ 16 Francesco Chicchi Liquigas Finished outside time limit
DSQ 17 Jimmy Casper Agritubel Finished outside time limit
DNS 19 Damiano Cunego Lampre Injured after crash in stage 18
DNF 19 Christophe Brandt Silence-Lotto Injury and illness
DSQ 19 Fabian Wegmann Gerolsteiner Finished outside time limit
DSQ 19 Romain Feillu Agritubel Finished outside time limit
DSQ 19 Juan Antonio Flecha Rabobank Finished outside time limit

Three teams, Team CSC Saxo Bank, Team Milram, and Euskaltel-Euskadi, had all nine members reach the end of the race.


Following protracted disagreement between the organisers of the Tour de France (ASO) and the UCI, the race was sanctioned by the French cycling federation (FFC), as was the 2008 Paris-Nice in March. Thus the FFC were in charge of the doping controls before and during the race, and rather than increasing the number of doping controls during the Tour, they applied a more targeted approach on suspect riders. The anti-doping agency AFLD carried out approximately 60 random and targeted tests in the weeks leading up to the Tour. They took blood samples from all the 180 riders in a two-day period just before the first stage, and during the race took samples from up to 14 riders a day shortly after the stage was finished, 250 tests being run in total. The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) also performed unannounced doping tests of riders at the finish of stage 15, which ended at the ski resort of Prato Nevoso, Italy. On July 3, 2008, France enacted a law criminalizing using or trafficking in doping substances.

On July 11 news broke that Spanish rider Manuel Beltrán tested positive for erythropoietin after the first stage of the tour. Blood abnormalities before the tour start had led AFLD to target the rider. Beltrán's team Liquigas withdrew him from the tour with immediate effect. French law enforcement authorities questioned Beltrán over possible offences and searched his hotel room, but he claimed his innocence. The B-Sample has not yet been tested.

On July 13, prior to the ninth stage, it was revealed that AFLD had informed team doctors that five riders had unusually high hematocrit levels. The Italian press reported that Riccardo Riccò, who won the stage later that day, had been selected for testing several times during the first week, which led to a suspicion that he was among those whose teams had been notified. Riccò has for some time been known to have a naturally high hematocrit level of 51%, above the 50%-level which usually is taken to be an indicator of possible blood manipulation. Riccò stated that he has a license confirming that this is a natural, long-term condition, which he gave to the doping agencies before the start of the race,, but he later admitted to the offence at a hearing of the Italian Olympic Committee.

On July 16 Barloworld started the 11th stage without Moisés Dueñas, who had been withdrawn from the team after being tested positive for EPO at the end of the time trial fourth stage. Barloworld Ltd, two days later, announced that they were withdrawing from sponsorship after this year's Tour de France,, but as of August 1, the team are still using the company's name, and the company is still promoting the team on its Web site.

On July 17, shortly before the start of stage 12, Ricardo Riccò and the rest of the Saunier Duval-Scott team, withdrew from the race after the announcement that he had tested positive for MIRCERA, a new type of EPO, at the end of stage 4. Leonardo Piepoli, winner of stage 10, was sacked by his team for "violation of the team's ethics code" the following day, though no positive test was reported.

On the last day of the race, but after the end of the stage, Dmitry Fofonov was announced to have tested positive for the banned stimulant heptaminol after Stage 18. He was asked for a medical exemption to use the stimulant, but did not produce one. He was subsequently fired by his team Crédit Agricole.

After the race ended, French cyclist Jimmy Casper was suspended from Agritubel because he tested positive after the stage to Super Besse for glucocorticoids, an asthma drug that is banned unless the user has a medical exemption for its use. Casper, an asthmatic, carried a therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for the last twelve years but failed to renew this exemption. His authorisation expired on May 29 and was not renewed before the 2008 Tour de France. The French cycling federation's disciplinary commission exonerated Casper.

In late September it was announced that several Tour de France riders were to have their blood samples retested for traces of EPO. Pierre Bordry, the head of AFLD, claimed the testing involved riders who were already under scrutiny for suspicious urine samples. AFLD had suspicion that there was CERA in some samples but the laboratory could not say definitively. The urine tests were somewhat unreliable at giving definitive results, so the AFLD decided to order the blood samples taken before and during the Tour for additional testing with a newly developed CERA blood test.

As a result of this additional testing, both Leonardo Piepoli and Stefan Schumacher tested positive for the performance enhancing substance CERA. The riders were declared positive by AFLD. Piepoli's results came back positive for samples taken one day prior to the start of the Tour, on July 4, and also on July 15, on the rest day in Pau.

See also

Notes and references

External links

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