Which bicycle brand has won more Tour de France
Road racing is a great showcase for bike brands and the biggest of these is the Tour, the race that all brands want to win. Bikes that then become the object of desire for cyclists in a modality in which the imitation factor of what the professionals do has always played an important role.
The bikes that dominated the Tour de France
Statistics about the Tour de France come in all shapes and colours, about any detail you can imagine. The bikes on which the winners of the grande boucle have won the biggest race in the world of cycling could not be left out of these lists.
Nowadays the Tour de France is the perfect showcase for bike brands to launch their latest products, which the riders show off for three weeks. In the past, in the days of steel bikes, the equipment did not have the exposure it has now, although we all have in our minds the Pinarello logo on Indurain's bikes, even though on many occasions that was the only thing that the bike had of that brand and the cyclists turned to their trusted craftsman to have a bike exactly to their specifications.
In any case, these are the bike brands that have most often associated their name with the yellow jersey of the Tour de France.
16 victories crown Pinarello's track record, by far the most successful of all those who have raced in the Tour de France. A story that began in 1988 with Pedro Delgado and continued in later years with the reign of Miguel Indurain, who today continues to be an ambassador for the Treviso brand, despite the fact that some of his victories were achieved with a legendary TVT frame, with its innovative structure of carbon tubes joined by aluminium fittings.
Bjarne Riis and Jan Ulrich followed the cyclist from Navarre, also riding Pinarello bicycles. Since then, we have to jump to the year 2010 when the Sky team was born, which relied on the Italian manufacturer to provide equipment for its cyclists: Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Egan Bernal have completed a spectacular history to date.
Although its name is nowadays only associated with car manufacturing, during the 1970s and 1980s, owning a Peugeot had a similar aura to that achieved today by those benchmark brands that we regularly see on the road.
A brand whose history dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, with the first of its 10 Tour de France victories coming in 1905, by Louis Trousselier. The last victory was achieved in 1977 by Bernard Thévenet, who two years earlier, also on a Peugeot bike, managed to put an end to the tyranny of Eddy Merckx.
The organisation of the Tour de France has gone through times when its obsession was to maintain total control of the race by going for a more romantic cycling that would leave commercial brands out of the picture.
This is why in the 1930s the Tour was organised around national teams, which had to use a generic bicycle with the logos of L'Auto, the newspaper that organised the race. Thus, 10 Tour de France victories are attributable to this white label.
Another of the bike brands that is undoubtedly in the minds of those of an older age and which experienced its golden era in the 70s and 80s as the machine on which the last two legends of French cycling rode: Bernard Hinault and Laurent Fignon.
Two of Jacques Anquetil's victories and one by Lucien Van Impe are also attributable to Gitane, bringing the French firm's record to 9 victories.
On the road, with 9 victories, Trek is one of the most successful companies in the Tour de France and the one that made road cycling take off definitively in the United States, but we must remember that 7 of those victories were taken away from Lance Armstrong and were left deserted in the Tour's list of victories.
The other two triumphs of the American brand are credited to Alberto Contador. These bikes, built with Trek's famed OCLV carbon, were a break with the aluminium era and the starting signal for the bikes we know today.
7 triumphs are to the credit of one of the legendary and pioneering cycling firms. Like other brands of the early and mid-20th century, its production went beyond bikes, including motorbikes and cars.
They can boast some legendary Tour de France victories, such as Octave Lapize's 1910 victory in the legendary Luchon-Bayonne. After these first Tours, we have to go back to the end of the 1920s to find victories by the French brand. Its history came to an end in 1954 when the brand was taken over by Peugeot.
Although the brand officially started to produce and sell its bikes in 1980, the Cannibal name appeared on the diagonal tube of the bikes that the great Eddy Merckx used to win his 5 Tour de France.
Today, the brand is still present on the market, but after financial difficulties, it had to be rescued by the Belgian company Ridley.
Other Tour-winning bikes
Apart from the above-mentioned brands, which are the ones that have won the most victories, there are other brands that have also left their mark on the French race. Such is the case of some such as Automoto, used by cyclists of the stature of Henri Pélissier or Ottavio Bottecchia; Bianchi, which accompanied the victory of two of the great myths of Italian cycling, Fausto Coppi and Marco Pantani; or the legendary Colnago which, despite its long tradition, has had to wait until the present day for Tadej Pogacar to take it to the top of the podium in Paris.