Cyclists Who Have Won the Tour de France 5 Times2 min read
Cyclists who have won the Tour de France 5 times: Eddy Merkcx, Lance Armstrong, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain, Jacques Anquetil. –Eddy Merkcx
“The Cannibal” was a nickname not chosen lightly for the immortal of professional cycling. Throughout his career, Merckx retained an insatiable appetite for victory. He attained an all round dominance never since repeated. Not only did he win the major tours, including the Tour de France 5 times. He also excelled at the 1 day classics and time trials. At his peak in the early 1970s Merckx won 250 races in over 650 starts. During his racing career Merckx won 445 professional races. A figure no one else has ever come close to matching
In the modern era of cycling the Tour de France has gained even greater prestige. It is the Tour, which excites the non-cycling world like no other. To win the Tour is the greatest cycling achievement. Lance Armstrong won the Tour a record 7 times in consecutive years from 1999-2006. To make his achievements even more remarkable Lance Armstrong attained this success, after coming back from a life threatening Cancer, which threatened not just his career but also his own life.
The epitome of a professional cyclist, Bernard Hinault was one of the most determined cyclists to ride in the peloton. When Hinault set his mind to something, it was difficult to hold him back. It was in adversity where Hinault was most successful. To give but one example, Hinault won the 1980 Liege Bastogne classic during a treacherous snowstorm. Most of the field packed in but Hinault rode away to win alone. Hinault won the Tour de France 5 times between 1978 and 1985.
In contrast to Hinault, Indurain was mild mannered and self-effacing. Yet within his modesty hid an enormous physical capacity and steely determination. Indurain was a time trial specialist. Against the clock Indurain could rarely be beaten. Yet despite weighing 82 Kilos, in the high alps and mountains Indurain was still able to defend the yellow jersey, enabling him to be crowned champion 5 times.
Jacques Anquetil was a formidable talent who like many of the great champions would take the lead during the time trials and then hang on for “grim death in the mountains.” Yet he could also out climb the best. Like in 1963 when he rode away from Federico Bahamontes, the mountain specialist, to win 2 crucial mountain top stages. Jaques Anquetil was an uncompromising character who always spoke his mind. He broke the world hour record but it was never ratified because he declared it was beneath his dignity to undergo a dope test. Jaques freely admitted drug use and campaigned against the introduction of dope tests.