The 1969 Tour de France was the 56th Tour de France, taking place June 28 to July 20, 1969. It consisted of 22 stages over 4110 km (2553.83 mi), ridden at an average speed of 35.409 km/h (22.002 mph). The participant teams were no longer national teams, but were once more commercially sponsored.
The 1969 race is unique in that it is the only time that a single cyclist has won not only the general classification, but the points classification and mountains classification as well. Eddy Merckx rode on the winning team, FAEMA, won the combination classification and the combativity award.
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... The 1969 Tour de France was the first which Merckx won, even though he was almost deprived of it by a doctor in Lille who found abnormalities in his heart rhythm ... No other rider has achieved this triple in the Tour de France, and only Tony Rominger and Laurent Jalabert have matched it in any grand tour Merckx also won the combination classification and the combativity award ... It was the first time a Belgian had won the Tour since Sylvère Maes 30 years earlier, and Merckx became a national hero ...
... The 1969 Tour de France had been an exceptional race and more than a third of the 130 starters had already dropped out by the 20th stage ... who had gone home were stars they included Roger De Vlaeminck, Rik van Looy and Luis Ocaña ... sympathy in the contracts for round-the-houses races that followed the Tour ...
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“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)
“Intellectuals can tell themselves anything, sell themselves any bill of goods, which is why they were so often patsies for the ruling classes in nineteenth-century France and England, or twentieth-century Russia and America.”
—Lillian Hellman (19071984)