Every race or competition has got names that have made history. In biking, the best racers have endured unbelievable feats of endurance, hurled through steep and rocky mountains and emerged as heroes
Although the Tour de France bike race is the same, today’s racers have better equipment, conditions and other support. Also, different Tour de France years have had variations in the competition levels. Some races had the yellow jersey fighters of same strength racing till Paris while other times the winner had to be far ahead of the runner up.
Nevertheless, we have compiled a list of the best names, irrespective of the conditions. Let’s get started.
Eddie Merckx was born in Belgium in 1945 and is a former professional road and track bicycle racer that is considered the most successful in competitive cycling history.
His successes include unequalled eleven Grand Tours, three world champions, all the five Monuments, every major one-day race apart from Paris-Tours, the hour record and other extensive track victories.
Merckx played several sports but later discovered his true passion in cycling. He is said to have got his first bicycle at about three or four years and competed the first time in 1961. In October of the same year, he got his first victory at Petit-Enghien. He won Tour de France five times in the years 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974.
Miguel Indurain Larraya was born in Spain in 1964 and is a retired Spanish road racing cyclist. Just like Merckx, Indurain also won Tours de France five times from 1991 to 1995. He is the fourth and last to win Tours de France five times and the only winner to achieve five consecutive victories.
He won in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995. He has also won other competitions like Giro d’Italia (won it twice) and is the most recent cyclist to have got close to cycling’s ‘Triple Crown’ in 1993 after finishing 0:19 behind in the World Championship.
Lance Edward Armstrong was born in 1971 in America and is an American former professional road racing cyclist. He became famous for his seven consecutive Tour de France victories from 1999 to 2005. Armstrong’s Tour de France victory is the greatest in the event’s history.
On a sad note, his reputation was tarnished when he was involved in a doping scandal that led to his achievements being stripped off.
Armstrong began his cyclist profession in the Motorola team and won between 1993 and 1996 including the World Championships of 1993. He won Tours de France in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Jacques Anquetil was born in 1934 in France and was a French road racing cyclist and the first Tour de France Cyclist to win it five times in 1957 and from 1961 to 1964. Before the 1961 tour, Anquetil stated that he would on day one gain the yellow jersey and wear it throughout the tour. Despite having two previous winners in the field, Anquetil realized his wish.
He was known for his exceptional ability to ride alone racing against the clock during individual time trial stages. This earned him the name ‘Monsieur Chrono’. Anquetil won Tours de France in 1957, 1961, 192, 1963 and 1964. In total, he won eight Grand Tours in his cycling career.
Born in 1961 in America, Greg Lemond is an American former road racing cyclist, anti-doping advocate and entrepreneur. He won the road race World Championship twice in 1983 and 1989 and also won Tour de France three times in 1986, 1989 and 1990. He is considered the greatest American cyclist in history by many.
Above are some of the best names to win Tour de France many times. Some have won it five, for and even seven times. These cyclists (Jacques Anquetil) won the yellow jersey on day one of the race and held onto it throughout like he had promised.