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Tour de France: The eleven best cyclists who have run the big Boucle

Tour de France: The eleven best cyclists who have run the big Boucle

The Tour de France Hall of Fame has many names that have been working the legend of the race for more than a century, but among them the pentacampeones stand out. Two French; Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault; a Belgian, Eddy Merckx; And a Spaniard, Miguel Induráin, twenty victories in Paris have been distributed in equal parts. Once deleted from the Lance Armstrong list and its seven consecutive wins due to doping, the debate on who has been the best corridor in the history of the Tour regained some consensus around the figure of Eddy Merckx, due to the overwhelming of his victories , for its record of stage triumphs and its domain extended to the secondary classifications, or for its amazing palmraés outside France. But there are more nuances that should be known and that encourage other types of opinions: circumstances, quality of rivals, historical context, external factors ... the best thing is to immerse themselves in the Olympus of the four pentacampeones and know which paths followed to enter the legend. Knowing their four stories, with their exploits, their records, their rivals and how and why the end of their reigns is to enter a kind of Olympus of the gods of cycling, which necessarily melts with the legend of the legend of the Tour de France.

Eddy Merckx

Eddy Merckx The portentous Belgian champion is considered as the best corridor in the history of cycling and also of the Tour de France, where he presents a practically insurmountable palmraés: five absolute victories in Paris in just seven participations, with 34 stage wins and 96 days wearing the mailot yellow. No one has achieved more than a century of history to approach such a combination of records, as no one has managed to approach its 525 victories, including five turns from Italy, a return to Spain, three World Cups, the record of the hour and nineteen monuments, Among them seven wins in Milan - San Remo. All this in twelve years of career, 1965 to 1977. Eddy Merckx had a voracity for the triumph that he scratched in the obsessive, which earned him the nickname The cannibal: I wanted to win everything and, to be, overwhelming its rivals, something that demonstrated since its first participation in the Tour de France. In that edition of 1969 he won the yellow jerse Fight! Merckx made the plenary on his first tour thanks to his great domain of all the land, translated into six stage triumphs: he won the three counterreloj, including that of the last day in Paris, and won the tops of the ball of Alsacia and the Puy de Dôme, in addition to winning Felice Gimondi a hand in hand in the mountain stage between Briançon and Digne-Le-Baines. It dominated everything: the chronos, plus the Alps and the Pyrenees. The following year, 1970, increased the harvest: he won the tour with almost 13 minutes of advantage over Zoetemelk and won at eight stages, counting the team counterreloj that he won with the FAEMA in Angers, three more individual chronos and victories in the great mountain like Mont Ventoux. He only escaped the classification of regularity, which lost for only five points before his Belgian compatriot, Walter Godefroot.
The Merckx palmarés on the Tour is Apoteosico: he won one in five stages he played in the gala round (34 wins in 158 stages)
Eddy Merckx's overwhelming domain in the Tour de France could well be dry in 1971, when he found a fearsome rival in the Spanish Luis Ocaña, a cyclist with exceptional conditions in almost all lands and with a winning mentality comparable to the of the Belgian. That year, Ocaña positioned himself in the general winning in the Puy de Dôme and, after Merckx lost the yellow jersey at the hands of Zoetemelk on the mountain day of Grenoble, triggered a total offensive the next day the next day of Orciéres-Merlette. The Cuenca de Priego attacked in the Côte de Laffrey, 117 kilometers from the finish line, and selected a getaway from which he left alone on the climb to Col de Noyer. Merckx, without team help, could not respond to one of the biggest exhibitions of all time. Ocaña won the stage and dressed in yellow, with almost ten minutes of advantage over the Belgian, which fit his greatest defeat saying: "Ocaña has killed us how the Cordoba kills her bulls” However, the fatality was primed with the priege of Priego just four days later, when it fell under the Pyrenean storm in the descent of the Col de Menté and was then hit by Zoetemelk when he tried to get up. Ocaña was evacuated to a hospital and his abandonment left the free path to Merckx's third victory in the Tour de France. Afterwards, the Belgian added his fourth victory in Paris in 1972, winning six stages and arguing in almost 11 minutes Felice Gimondi, and dedicated 1973 to achieve double return to Spain - Tour of Italy, before returning in 1974 to win his fifth Tour He did it imposing himself in eight stages, including that of Paris. Everything seemed to be aimed at Merckx in 1975 the five victories of Jacques Anquetil, but the pentacampeón was attacked by an exalted when he was leading in the stage of the Puy de Dôme, and two days later he paid the sequelae yellow by Bernard Thévenet, on the day of his historic sinking in the climb to Pra Loup. Merckx was able to finish second in Paris, less than three minutes from the French, but he no longer won the tour. His seventh and last participation resulted in a sixth place in 1977, more than 12 minutes from Thévenet. He hung the bicycle in 1978 with an apotheosic palmarés in France: Pentacampeón of the tour with 34 wins in 158 played stages, counting prologues. He won one in five stages disputed!

Bernard Hinault

Bernard Hinault Bernard Hinault collected the Merckx witness as a great dominator of the Tour of France, until rounding the palmraés that is closest to that of the Belgian: five absolute wins in Paris, 28 stage victories and 75 days wearing the yellow jersey. As Merckx, Hinault won the Tour in his first appearance, in 1978, after advising a master coup in the 72 kilometers from Nancy, two days after arriving in Paris. The Breton surpassed in more than four minutes to the Dutch Jop Zetemelk to unseat him from the leadership, and began to show his power in the individual struggle, the key to his victories, along with his extraordinary ambition. His domain was already overwhelming in 1979, when he won his second Tour of France, imposing himself in seven stages and arguing in the general in more than 13 minutes to the second, again Jop Zoetemelk. Hinault cemented his victory by winning against the chrono in three key days: the chrono -scallop to superbagnéres, and the counterrelojes of Brussels and Morzine Avoriaz. His state of grace in the individual struggle led him to win that same year the Grand Prix of the Nations, the Official World Championship of the specialty. That victorious sequence in the Tour stopped in 1980, when the cold and rain that marked that edition had serious consequences for their knee. Hinault, who had already marked territory with three stage victories, was forced to leave in Pau because of tendonitis. The following year he compensated and won his third tour with more than 14 minutes of advantage over Lucien Van Impe, after exercising overwhelming domain in all the fields, especially in his specialty: he won the prologue of Nice and the counterrelojes of Pau, Mulhouse and Saint Priest, in addition to advising a great blow to the Alps, with a solo exhibition to win in the Pleynet. His fourth victory in the 1982 Tour followed that script: he marked territory winning the prologue of Basel, yellow a few days and resumed the command not to release it in the 11th stage, a 57 -kilometer counterreloj. That day he yielded for 18 seconds against Gerrie Knetemann, but the partial defeat against the Dutch was not an obstacle for Hinault to charge substantial differences with his rivals. Breton would end up sentencing the tour winning the two following counterrelojes, in Martigues and Saint Priest, and suffering with sufficiency the attacks of their rivals in the Alps. The icing put it in the Esprín de Paris, winning the last stage dressed in yellow and before a specialist like Adrie van der Poel. Known as Badger In France and how The alligator In Spain, Bernard Hinault was in full apogee and seemed thrown towards his fifth tour in 1983, but his knees passed him again shortly after giving his historic recital in the stage of the Sierra de Ávila, where he sentenced his second victory in the Tour To Spain with a memorable ascent to the port of Serranillos. He had to go through the operating room to operate, this time from the right knee, and his absence opened the way to the irruption of young Laurent Fignon, Hinault's partner in the Renault team of Cyrille Guimard. Fignon ended up winning the Tour of France in 1983 with only 22 years, and Bernard Hinault left the Renault in winter, accepting a super millionaire offer of businessman Bernard Tapie to lead a new team: Vie Claire.
Hinault added a total of seven podiums in the Tour de France and said goodbye to the gala round in 1986 with a second place
In that context, the 1984 Tour of France was presented as a great duel between the two French, taking into account that Hinault seemed recovered with his second position in the Tour of Italy. The Breton seemed to confirm it by winning the prologue with three seconds of advantage over Fignon, but did not happen. The Renault, with the Parisian blond of the pony to the front, dealt with a first blow in the countertop by teams of Valenciennes, and Fignon was in charge of the first person of beating Hinault in the individual chrono of Le Mans, as he did in The next, with end at the Ruchère. Fignon ended up signing an exhibition in the Alps, distanced Hinault in Alpe D’Huez and winning in the plagne, to win the tour with more than ten minutes on Breton. Hinault saved the second position for just over a minute on a young and talented companion in the Vie Claire: Greg Lemond. Anchored in four tours, on the age of 31 and with the breath on the new generation, Hinault faced the challenge of winning the fifth in 1985, with the relief of Fignon's absence, injured in the knee, but with Lemond discussing his Leadership in the team. Then a pact transcended: Lemond would help Hinault win the fifth, and the following year the papers would be exchanged for the American to add his first victory. Badger The 1985 Tour began by advising the general strokes, the first winning the Strasbourg counterreloj, with almost three minutes on Lemond, and the second in the Morzine mountain stage, where he took minute and a half more, later, later If second after a sensational Lucho Herrera, the best climber of the time. But not everything was a path of roses: the accumulated fatigue after winning the turn of Italy and the strength of Lemond made Hinault suffer in the pyrenean finals of Luz Ardiden and the Aubisque, in addition to giving in to the American in the last counterreloj of Lac de Lac Vassivière. Hinault won the fifth very hurried tour, for less than two minutes, but managed to enter the Pentacampeones Olympus. Apparently satisfied to match Anquetil and Merckx, Hinault declared that in 1986 he would fulfill the pact and help Lemond win his first tour, but at the time of truth he broke into the race with his most ambitious version, without dominating the temptation of Be the first cyclist to win six times in Paris. The Breton, unleashed, won the counterreloj de Nantes and ended up being raised the yellow jersey in the first Pyrenean stage, after a remembered escape with Delgado Perico. The Segovian was attentive to read Hinault's play, which attacked in a special sprint more than ninety kilometers with his partner Jean François Bernard, and was carried to the wheel to the foot of the Col de la Marie Blanque. There, Bernard finished the work and Delgado and Hinault understood Pau, where the French gave the stage triumph to the Segovian and dressed as yellow, charging more than four and a half minutes of advantage over Lemond. Hinault faced the next mountain day with more than five minutes on Lemond, but it was not made: he attack more than one hundred kilometers from the goal looking for a final exhibition, but fainted in the ascent to the peyresourde and ended up being exceeded by Lemond in The final climb to Superbagnères. The American ended up putting more than four minutes, and although Hinault could save the yellow jersey, he could no longer resist his young dolphin in the Alps. Lemond took the lead in the very hard final of the Col de Granon and the next day, in Alpe D’Huez, the two rivals and companions left for the story the image of the transfer of powers, when entering the goal of the hand. The old champion said goodbye to the Tour with second place, his seventh podium in the Elysee fields. At the end of 1986 he definitely said goodbye to cycling by running a cyclocross test in his village in Brittany, Yffiniac. Badger He returned to his hole after marking a glorious era.


Jacques Anquetil Jacques Anquetil was the first pentacampeón in the history of the Tour de France and the great dominator of the race on horseback between the fifties and sixty, thanks to exceptional conditions such as counterrelojista. Born in 1934 in the Norman town of Mont-Saint-Aignan, Anquetil left Tornero's trade with 18 years to devote himself to cycling. Very soon he demonstrated his qualities, achieving for France the bronze medal in the Helsinki games, and winning with only 19 years the Grand Prix of the Nations, the most prestigious counterreloj test in the world, in which he would end up imposing himself up to nine times, The historical record of the test. That day he beat the great French champion of the time, Louison Bobet, in an individual struggle of 140 kilometers. His great dominance of the specialty was the key to his victories in the Tour de France, since his first participation in 1957, with 23 years. In that edition, without great referents such as Bobet or Geminiani, and with less mountain than usual, Anquetil overwhelmed in the general with a quarter of an hour of advantage over the second, the Belgian Marcel Janssens. The yellow jersey was wrapped in the Galibier stage, with the end in Briançon, and sentenced the Tour in his specialty, winning the Montjuich counterrelojes, and especially that of Libourne, where he distanced all his rivals in more than three minutes. Already by then Anquetil had the nickname Crono Monsieur, which would distinguish him throughout his career. Unlike other champions, that first victory of 1957 did not mark the beginning of a victorious sequence of Anquetil. The internal disagreements in the French teams, among stars such as Louison Bobet, Raphael Geminiani or Henri Anglade, added to the brightness of two climbers of legend such as Charly Gaul and Federico Martín Bahamontes, away from Anquetil from the first position of Paris in three consecutive editions: In 1958, the year of the great victory of Charly Gaul, the Normand sank into the Col de Porte, gave up 23 minutes and left the next day suffering from a pneumopulmony; In 1959, Anquetil could barely be third, before the climbing exhibitions of Gaul and Bahamontes, and some benefits in counterreloj below its level, especially the day when The Toledo eagle He assaulted the leadership overwhelming in the chrono -scallop of Dôme Puy. Anquetil ended more than five minutes from Bahamontes and the Podio de Paris had to wait two more years, since in 1960 he opted to win the Italian turn.
Anquetil lived a hard rival
Anquetil's victorious cup arrived with its four consecutive victories between 1961 and 1964, the period of its great duels with its compatriot Raymond Poulidor, another of the French legends. Still without that competition, Crono Monsieur He showed his nickname in 1961 dominating in the more than one hundred kilometers of counterreloj of that edition. Already in the second stage he began dressing yellow in the chrono of Versailles, and no longer released the lead. The brooch put him sweeping the counterreloj de Périgueux, 74.5 kilometers, in which he out of almost three minutes to the second classified, Charly Gaul. Anquetil won his second tour with 12 minutes of advantage over his most immediate rival, Italian Guido Cardesi. Much more opposition had the Norman champion in the 1962 edition, the debut of Raymond Poulidor and that of the explosion as counterrelojista in the Belgian tour Joseph Planckaert. Anquetil won the first chrono in La Rochelle, but was surpassed by Planckaert in the chrono -scarce to Superbagnères, on a plethoric day of Bahamontes, winner of the stage. The Belgian specialist dethroned the British leaders Tom Simpson and defended him successfully in the mountain, while Poulidor began to show his quality winning with authority the Queen of Aix-Le-Boins, a great pyrenean crossing that included the ascents to the ports of Lautaret, Litel, Porte, Cucheron and Granier. With his rivals stalking, Anquetil placed the pressure with an incontestable victory in the 68 kilometers of the Lyon counterreloj, where he surpassed Planckert and Poulidor in more than five minutes to give the final blow. He won in Paris with 4:59 minutes of advantage over the Belgian, and 10:24 about his compatriot. With three Tours of France and a Giro de Italia won, Anquetil presented himself as a great world star in the 1963 edition. But that year he would meet the colossal opposition of Bahamontes, who at 35 put the Normando champion in permanent check. Anquetil arrived at the mountain with hardly any margin over the Spanish, which exhibited a great version in El Llano, in the Counter Real of Angers and even in the cobblestone of Belgium. Only the bahamontes impericia in the Pyrenean descents prevent the Toledo from distancing Anquetil, which manages to reach the Alps with about three minutes of rent. Bahamontes, who had not said his last word, wipes the disadvantage with two consecutive exhibitions, the first to win the Grenoble stage, and the second to be placed as a new leader in Val-D'isère, after a memorable duel with Anquetil in the Uploaded to Iseran and Croix de Fer. The next day, Anquetil must contain Spanish in the great San Bernardo, in the very hard Forclaz and in the Col de Montet. Bahamontes, too fiery, precipitates its attack and escapes in the first port, Anquetil neutralizes it by going down, and at the foot of the Forclaz the controversy arrives: Gémianini, director of Anquetil at Saint Raphael, simulates a breakdown in the bicycle of the tricampeon - just like this The organization allowed mounting changes- and manages to authorize it to give it a lighter, with a combination 46x26, which adapts more to the ramps of 17% that are coming. The trick rearma Anquetil to contain bahamontes, who loads with everything in the climb, in a succession of attacks on each one stronger than the Frenchman endures as he can. At the top he gives up a few seconds to Toledo, which he then ends at the Chamonix Esprín, taking advantage of the rebuild of a motorcycle. He will sentence his fourth Tour winning with authority in the Besanzón counter.
Perhaps the fact of having been the first corridor to win five Tours of France subtracted ambition to go for a sixth and looked for new challenges
The fifth Victory of Anquetil in 1964 was the most tight of all, on the one hand thanks to the appearance of the best Pulidor Raymond, and on the other to a new very competitive version of Bahamontes, which was already 36 years old. Both rivals reaped three important victories on the mountain; Poulidor in Bagnères de Luchon, and Bahamontes in Briançon and Pau. Anquetil was able to distance the Spanish when he took the yellow jersey in the Bayona counterreloj, but not his compatriot, who showed his great way making second at less than a minute. With the tour in a fist, the race reached the Puy de Dôme, where there was a memorable duel between the two French. Poulidor, located 56 seconds from Anquetil, needed to outperform the leader substantially to reach the final counterreloj of Paris. The applicant tried everything, in a fight librada elbod Watch in Paris, but not to win the favor of the French public, overturned with Poulidor. The 55 seconds that separated them in the general suppose the narrowest margin in the five victories of the Norman champion. Anquetil no longer returned to the Tour of France, therefore, he left the race without being defeated, unlike the pentacampeones that would come later. Perhaps the fact of being the first corridor in history to reach the five triumphs subtracted the ambition to go for the sixth, but there were other times and there were other challenges with which he could conquer the favor of the French fans, a battle that had Clearly lost to Poulidor. The Normand could only recover part of that sympathy in 1965 and outside the tour, when he diverted his energies to the achievement of a feat never seen: he won again to Poulidor in the Dauphiné Libéré, a kind of tour reduced to ten stages, and barely Nine hours after finishing the dolphin's round, the Bordeaux - Paris went to run, a classic of 557 kilometers whose departure was given at two in the morning. With just sleep, Anquetil started badly, had stomach problems and touched abandonment, but everything changed when its director, Raphael Geminiani, touched pride by telling him: "I was wrong with you” The Normando responded by tracing until Tom Simpson and Jean Stablinsky, and then left them entering Paris, to win the race in 15 hours and three minutes. The Princes Park gave him an ovation that he had never heard from yellow.

Miguel Induráin

Miguel Induráin Miguel Induráin remains the only one of the Pentacampeones of the Tour de France that has achieved his five victories in a row, after the organization decided to erase the seven triumphs followed by Lance Armstrong because of the doping. Born in the Navarra town of Villava, within a family of farmers, few bet that the Moceton who entered with 11 years at the Villavés Cycling Club would become not only the best Spanish cyclist of all time, but also a of the great legends of the Tour de France. He had too much size to pass the great mountain with the climbers and much of his extraordinary power was lost in counteracting his high weight, which was nothing more than the one corresponding to a young man who approached the ninety subway. It was its director in Villavés, Pepe Barruso, who contacted the structure of Reynolds after Induráin broke into the youth field with five victories in 1981, his first year in the category, confirming the quality he had been pointing from fry. In his second year, already under the watchful eye of José Miguel Echávarri, Induráin raised that account to eleven triumphs and ended up making the leap to the amateur team of the Reynolds, backed by exceptional qualities as a classicómano and esprínter that made him point high in the panorama national. Eighteen victories as Amateur were the springboard that launched Induráin to the Reynolds professional team, in September 1984. The Navarro team opted to debut Induráin in the 1985 Tour of France, after the young cyclist dressed for four days the yellow jerse to the Lakes of Covadonga. It was not a good premiere in France: Induráin left that tour in the fourth stage due to illness, and the same happened in 1986, when he reached the great Boucle after conquering the victory in the Tour del Porvenir, showing his power in the fight against the watch. However, that year left a first mark on the Tour of France, being third in the Sprint for the seventh stage, behind Ludo Peeters and Ron Kiefel. 1986 was a key year in the evolution of Induráin. Reynolds decided to explore its real possibilities as a potential winner of a great return and submitted the corridor to various medical tests, which threw as a result that the Navarrese had an extraordinary, almost unlimited potential. From these data, Induráin began to guide its preparation to alleviate its deficit in the mountain based on losing some weight and performing specific training. The results soon arrived. After finishing his first Tour of France in 1987, very far in the general, the Navarro was erected in an important piece in the Reynolds gear that led Perico Delgado to win in Paris in 1988, and finished off his season with a high -level victory In Volta to Catalonia. Induráin ended up solving a large part of the doubts about his climbing skills the following year, when he won the Paris - Nice uploading with the best, and when he achieved his first stage victory in the Tour de France, winning at the top cautrets, after a launch An attack by going down the Marie Blanque Col, following the strategy of Reynolds to wear Lemond and Fignon in favor of Perico Delgado. In that same edition, Induráin surpassed his Segovian boss and his two main enemies in the chrono-scarce to Orcières-Merlette, in which he was third, only surpassed by Steven Rooks and Marino Lejarreta.
Induráin won his first tour resisting in the mountain and sentenced in the time trial. In the next four Tours the script further perfected: superlative against the chrono, relentless in the mountain
The sensations of the great evolution of Induráin are just confirmed in the Tour of France of 1990, where he ended tenth in the general despite his condition as a luxury gregarious of Perico Delgado. The Navarro beat all the great favorites in the counterreloj of 61 kilometers of Epinal, where he was second after the Mexican Raúl Alcalá, and ended third in that of Villard de Lans. In case there were doubts, in the mountain he found his impressive evolution with a second place in Millau, after Marino Lejarreta, and with an impressive victory in Luz Ardiden, where he released at the rhythm Greg Lemond leader in the last kilometer to win alone. Induráin's great performance unleashed a more than reasonable debate about the heads of the Rows at Reynolds, after Perico Delgado was left out of the podium and, above all, after calculating that the loss of twelve minutes of the Navarrese in the general in relation To the winner, Greg Lemond, was based on his work as Coequipier in favor of the Segovian. Reynolds took note of it in 1991 and opted for Induráin sharing gallons with Delgado. The Navarro began to dissipate doubts by winning the 73 -kilometer counterreloj of Alençon, in which he beat Lemond for eight seconds and distanced Delgado in more than two minutes. The American dressed that yellow day until, in the first Pyrenean stage, he and the rest of the favorites allowed a getaway that boosted the leadership of French Luc Leblanc. This new situation suffered a historic turnaround the next day, in the memorable Reina stage between Jaca and Val Louron, 232 kilometers with the ascents to the portalet, the Aubisque, the Tourmalet and the ASPIN, preceding the final climb, all under a suffocating heat in the Pyrenees. The key is given in the colossus Tourmalet, where Lemond decides to attack ten kilometers from the summit, in a flap of false fortress that soon is evidence Falling Delgado, Leblanc leader, Fignon and Le Mond himself. Induráin, which rises impassive, at its pace, goes to action that is not more coronar and demarra in the first section of descent of the Tourmalet to leave only towards Sainte Marie de Campan. In the Valley he expects Chiappucci and the tandem agrees a distribution of tasks that dynamite the tour: the Italian will mark the rhythms in the climbs to the Aspin and Val Louron and Induráin will give him relays of great hardness in the valleys. Chiappucci will win the stage, after more than seven hours of race, and Navarro will dress for the first time yellow, charging substantial differences: Gianni bugno at 1:29 minutes; Fignon at 2:50; Lemond at 7: 18 ... Delgado arrives even further back and, when asked in the finish line if he is happy, he shows his confusion. He doesn't know about his partner's feat. Induráin will finish his first tour resisting the attacks of Gianni Bugno in the mountain and sentenceing with a new victory in the Makon counterreloj, on the eve of the arrival in Paris. It is the beginning of a legendary cup. The Navarro will win the next four tours, further perfecting the script: superlative against the chrono, relentless in the mountain. Miguel Induráin In 1992, the prologue of San Sebastián won and began to sentence the tour in Luxembourg, where he signs what for many is the best counterreloj of all time. He wins with three minutes of advantage over the second, his partner Armand de las Cuevas, distance to Bugno and Lemond to the four minutes and folds Laurent Fignon, who had left six minutes before. Already yellow, Induráin consolidates the advantage at another stage for history, that of Sestrières, where Chiappucci wins alone after attacking more than 200 kilometers from the finish Bugno The final auction reaches two days from Paris, when Induráin is imposed on the Blois counter and rounds its second triumph with almost five minutes of advantage over Chiappucci and more than ten over a bugno that, from that new defeat, internalizes the Superiority of Navarro. The domain of Spanish is revalidated in 1993, given the hard competition that Toni Rominger represents. The Swiss arrives at the tour after defeating his compatriot
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