Top Tour de France historical facts (2)
Merckx in yellow jersey

After the first post about historical facts in Tour de France some weeks ago, with some interesting statistics, here you have some more of them, related to Tour de France history:

  • The longest successful breakaway in Tour de France history was by Albert Bourlon in 1947, being away for 253 km and winning the stage with 16 min 30 sec. The longest difference was by Jose Luis Viejo in Tour de France 1976 winning by 22 minutes and 50 seconds in the stage Montgenevre-Manosque. Another remarkable fact is the 234 km long solo breakaway by Thierry Marie in Tour de France 1991.

    Merckx in yellow jersey
    Merckx in yellow jersey

  • The rider with most days in yellow jersey so far is the Belgian Eddy Merckx, with 96 days in yellow during his career. Second is Bernard Hinault with 75 and third Miguel Indurain with 60 days in yellow.
  • Just 3 times the winner wore the yellow jersey for all the stages from beginning to end. The first one was the Italian Ottavio Bottechia in 1924, Nicolas Frantz (Luxemburg) in 1928, and Romain Maes in 1935.
  • On the other hand, just 2 times the winner did not wear the yellow jersey not even for one day, as he got it on the last stage. This is the case of Jean Robic in Tour de France 1947 and Jan Janssen in Tour de France 1968.
  • The rider with the most stage victories so far is still Eddy Merckx with 34 stage victories. Second is the brit Mark Cavendish (30 stages) and third Bernard Hinault (28 victories).
  • The largest winning margin in GC was in the first edition in 1903. The distance between the winner Maurice Garin and the second Lucien Pothier was 2 hours 49 minutes 45 seconds.
  • Doping has always been an issue in cycling. In Tour de France’s history, there have been 3 cyclists which were tested positive after the end of the race, and therefore they do not appear in the official Palmares. They are Floyd Landis (year 2006 ), Alberto Contador (2010) and Lance Armstrong (years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005). Curious fact the in the Armstrong years there is no official winner for the Tour de France.
  • The record for most appearances in Tour de France is for the french cyclist Sylvain Chavanel, who rode the TdF for 18 consecutive times (2001 to 2018). 3 cyclists participated 17 times (german Jens Voigt, American George Hincapie, and Australian Stuart O’Grady).
  • The fastest massed-start stage was in 1999 from Laval to Blois (194.5 km), won by Mario Cipollini at 50.4 km/h. Regarding time-trial, Rohan Dennis has the fastest TT in stage 1 of the 2015 Tour de France, at 55.446 km/h.  The fastest stage win was by the 2013 Orica GreenEDGE team in a team time-trial. It completed the 25 km time-trial at 57.7 km/h.

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