In 1991, Castorama’s Thierry Marie went on a 234 km breakaway, taking stage six of the Tour de France. He was alone for six hours and set the record for the longest winning escape since the second world war.
Marie, who was known as a prologue specialist, and had in fact already taken the opening test of that year’s TdF, went on the attack after just 15 km of the race from Arra to Le Havre.
What made it even more special was he was racing in Normandy, the region in which he was born. 1991 was a significant year for the Tour, as it represented a changing of the guard. Defending champion Greg LeMiond, although having a great start with several top finishes, and even taking the yellow jersey, would ultimately get dropped in the mountains. A young Miguel Indurain would take his first of five Tour wins.
During the sixth stage, Marie’s lead climbed to 15 minutes after 70 km, and at one point soared to 22. The peloton continued to cruise along, leaving the French rider to continue on his solo break. Although the pack would speed up as the race progressed, it would never be enough. Marie looked comfortable for most of his breakaway–even singing at one point for the cameras. The last hour and a half, however, began to take its toll.
“I was dead. I pedaled with my ears. I accelerated to 70 km from the finish but it still came back on me,” he said after the stage.
To this day, Marie’s breakaway is one of the most legendary wins in the TdF. By winning in such a long escape, he wrote his name in the history books. And his pitch isn’t bad, either.
Check out the incredible stage where a pro cyclist sang his way to a win, below.
Remember when Thierry Marie sang a song on his lone breakaway of 235km on Stage 6 of the 1991 Tour De France? He won the Stage to Le Havre. This was just brilliant! #cycling #ciclismo #cyclisme #TDF #TourdeFrance pic.twitter.com/Yr2ru4xpAn
— Pro Cycling Memories (@ClipsCycling) May 2, 2020
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