The cyclists who have won more Grand Tours
Despite the spectacular nature of the classics, the three Grand Tours are still the biggest events in cycling. Races that only a privileged few are capable of facing with a guarantee of winning. Among those chosen, these are the cyclists who have won most Grand Tours.
The best all-rounders in history
Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España, the three biggest races on the calendar and the dream of every rider who enters professional cycling, although only a few can say that they have one of these races in their record books.
If getting a stage victory in a Grand Tour is already quite a feat, let's not talk about what it means to get into the list of cyclists with the most Grand Tours and the regularity that this requires over a good number of seasons.
A feat that is obviously associated with some of the greatest names in the history of cycling and which is certainly not unknown to any good fan.
Of course, at the top of the list of cyclists with the most grand tours is none other than the man of records, the Cannibal who won practically everything he raced, the great Eddy Merckx.
Merckx is one of an even more select club of cyclists who have won 5 editions of the Tour de France, with only 3 other members: Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.
The Belgian's achievements also include holding the triple crown, that honorary recognition for those cyclists who have won the three Grand Tours of the calendar, an achievement that, apart from him, only Hinault, Felice Gimondi, Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador also hold.
In total, Eddy Merckx has won 11 Grand Tours, from the Giro d'Italia he won in 1968 to his last Tour de France in 1974.
He is followed on the list, just one victory behind, by Badger Bernard Hinault, who succeeded Merckx as the great dominator of the cycling scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. With 8 victories, another member of the 5 Tours club is Jacques Anquetil, who also won two Giros d'Italia and one Vuelta a España. He is followed by the legendary Fausto Coppi, whose achievements, unlike those at the top of the list, were not in France but in his homeland, giving us some of the most memorable Giros in the history of the sport.
In 5th place comes Miguel Indurain, the greatest Spanish cyclist of all time, who had the whole country hooked on television during the July afternoons of the early 1990s. Indurain was also one of the last cyclists capable of achieving the Giro-Tour double, a feat that nowadays seems impossible due to the high level of demand involved in winning a Grand Tour, not to mention two, separated by just one month.
Completing the list of cyclists with the most grand tours are such recognisable names as Alberto Contador and Chris Froome. A Top 10 that will presumably remain unchanged in the coming years with the arrival of new aspirants to add more victories in Giro, Vuelta or Tour such as Remco Evenepoel, Tadej Pogacar or the great future that is predicted for Juan Ayuso and that will surely make it very difficult for a dominator of these races to appear in the immediate future. Only Primoz Roglic, with three Vueltas a España to his credit, is in a position to take a place in this select list of the cyclists who have won the most Grand Tours.
Which cyclist has won all three Grand Tours in the same year?
But are there any cyclists who have won all three Grand Tours in the same year? Actually, there is, but not in the men's category. The only cyclist capable of boasting such a feat is none other than Annemiek Van Vleuten, who in 2022 has managed to win the Giro Rosa, the Tour de France and the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta. Obviously, they are not three-week tours like their male counterparts and are more distant from each other in time. However, they are what they are and that' s the merit of having achieved the pink, the yellow and the red in the same year, something that no one else has achieved.
Traditionally, it has been considered that a cyclist couldn't face more than two Grand Tours in a season with guarantees, given the demands of the preparation and the enormous physical expenditure involved. In fact, we can find some riders who did compete in the three Grand Tours in the same season, although their role was generally more than discreet.
Nowadays there are not few who only choose to race one of them. Those who choose to do two usually opt for the Giro and Vuelta because they are the most spaced out in time, while those who choose the option of two consecutive grand tours are often unable to find the level of the first in the second, a sign of the tremendous wear and tear that a Grand Tour puts on the organism.
List of cyclists with the most Grand Tours
|Cyclist||Giro d'Italia||Tour de France||Vuelta a España||Total|
|1||Eddy Merckx||5 (1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974)||5 (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974)||1 (1973)||11|
|2||Bernard Hinault||3 (1980, 1982, 1985)||5 (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985)||2 (1978, 1983)||10|
|3||Jacques Anquetil||2 (1960, 1964)||5 (1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964)||1 (1963)||8|
|4||Fausto Coppi||5 (1940, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953)||2 (1949, 1952)||-||7|
|5||Miguel Indurain||2 (1992, 1993)||5 (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995)||-||7|
|6||Alberto Contador||2 (2008, 2015)||2 (2007, 2009)||3 (2008, 2012, 2014)||7|
|7||Chris Froome||1 (2018)||4 (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017)||2 (2011, 2017)||7|
|8||Alfredo Binda||5 (1925, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1933)||-||-||5|
|9||Gino Bartali||3 (1936, 1937, 1946)||2 (1938, 1948)||-||5|
|10||Felice Gimondi||3 (1967, 1969, 1976)||1 (1965)||1 (1968)||5|