The prologue in 's-Hertogenbosch, in the Netherlands, set the smooth and steady rider Alex Zülle dreaming at the start of the 1996 Tour. The Swiss won the stage with a two-second lead and as a bonus he earned entitlement to sport a yellow jersey. The talented climber and time trialist finished second in the final classification of the 1995 Tour de France. The Swiss had dared to attack Miguel Indurain but the latter proved too strong. However, Zülle did manage to claim the yellow jersey in 1996, but lost the garment on low terrain during the third stage. He crossed the line in Paris with a 26th place in the general classification to his credit, almost an hour behind the winner Bjarne Riis. The hoped-for Tour victory never materialised.