Retro photo: Tour de France 1991 Stage 17 Alpe d'Huez

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by Miller

Tuesday 23 July 1991 and I was on the Alpe to see the stage 17 of the Tour go by. I was quite into my photography at the time and these photos were taken on a Mamiya 6 with external flash. Turned out to be not a bad camera for sports. I made black and white prints at the time and I came across these lately, having moved house and disturbed all my possessions, and re-photographed the prints onto digital. Not 100% sure of my attribution of riders to photos, corrections welcomed.

First, fans at the roadside. Watching pro cycling has always been a waiting game.

Bugno, Indurain and Luc Leblanc. Bugno won the stage, Indurain was on the way to the first of his five wins, beginning an era of domination that felt even more invincible than Armstrong managed.


Steven Rooks


Thierry Claveyrolat


Laurent Fignon shadowed by Pedro Delgado


Luis Herrera


Rolf Golz


The remnants of the peloton


Also high on the stage result that day were Claudio Chiapucci and Greg Lemond but no photos of them, sadly.

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by Privateer

Great photos! Any idea why Fignon was using cantis?

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by mrd

I think Chiapucci is just behind Claveroylat in your photo.

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by Miller

No idea why Fignon was on cantis, I remember being surprised to find that out when I was looking at the image under the enlarger.

Chiappucci behind Claveyrolat, good spot.

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by HammerTime2

That's some picture of Fignon.

Radio (earpiece) on Bugno (but not many others), or is that just a sunglass cord?

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by btompkins0112

Fantastic bit of history! Thanks for sharing!

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by Wingnut

Excellent photos!

If my memory serves me correct Fignon changed to the canti bike mid stage as it was believed to be lighter...

I think Motorola were the only team using ear pieces at that stage...naturally as they were the ones who introduced it to the peleton...
"It's not the's the ride!"

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by prendrefeu

I would definitely buy a print if you're selling (and the price is affordable). Quality work!!

Would you consider taking the same camera to another GT stage? Although the rate of good shots per roll isn't as efficient as digital (where you can take thousands of shots without issue), there's something more visceral with the film shots.
Exp001 || Other projects in the works.

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by tonytourist

Awesome photos!

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by engi

Terrific photos!

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by ticou

Fantastic! Lucho at the tail end of his career as well!

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by Guerdi


Thanks for sharing. If you have more, please don't hesitate to post them.

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giant man
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by giant man

fab pics thanks for these!

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by Sjoerd

Wow, intriguing photo's. I thank you very much for sharing them with us.

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by Miller

Thanks for the kind words. The Mamiya 6 was/is a medium format rangefinder so a serious bit of kit. Just a few years after these pictures were taken I was married with kids and lacking time for taking photos and spending hours in the darkroom so I sold it.

Looking closely at the photo with Gianni Bugno I'm sure that is just a sunglasses cord. Race radios were still in the future.

Here are some more snaps. This was a time when French riders still felt they had a chance at the overall (however mistaken they were and for whatever reason) and this is Charly Mottet.


Jean-François (Jeff) Bernard


and the Swiss rider Pascal Richard whom I always admired for his ability to look groomed.


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