Tour de France: Interesting Historical Facts




In 1903, the Tour de France, the world’s premier bicycle race, was held for the first time. The original event was a six-stage race covering 2428km, created by Henri Desgrange, the editor of L’Auto, and George Lefèvre, the rugby and cycling correspondent, to help publicise and raise readership of this sports journal.


Tour de France: Interesting Historical Facts

Table of Contents

  1. Tour de France Legends
  2. Who Has Worn The Yellow Jersey Most (General Classification)
  3. Tour de France: Most Green Jersey Winners
  4. Tour de France: Most Polka Dot Jersey Winners
  5. Tour de France: Most Stage Winners
  6. Tour de France: Most Wins

Tour de France Legends

Four men currently hold the Tour wins record, with Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil, and Miguel Indurain each having five victories.

Tadej Pogaar, who won his second Tour de France championship in a succession in 2021, is the current champion. After Firmin Labot’s victory in 1904, the then-21-year-old became the race’s second-youngest winner in 2020.

With Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins, and four-time winner Chris Froome, Ineos/Sky had a stranglehold on the event, having won seven of the previous eight Tours de France. With a triumph in 2014, Vincenzo Nibali, then riding for Astana, became the second man to end the British team’s domination.

In the last two years, Peter Sagan has been beaten in the race for the green jersey, which is a modern rarity. In 2020, he was defeated by Sam Bennett following a race-long duel, while in 2021, Mark Cavendish won four stages and the race. Sagan, on the other hand, still retains the record for most wins in a green jersey race, with seven wins in nine appearances. Six jerseys belong to Erik Zabel, who is ahead of Sean Kelly’s four.

Pogaar also holds the title of mountain classification champion. He earned the yellow, polka dot, and white jerseys for the second year in a row in 2021. After victories by Romain Bardet, Julian Alaphilippe, and Warren Barguil in 2020, he broke a three-year French monopoly on the jersey.

With seven polka dot jersey victories, Richard Virenque owns the record, which is unlikely to be broken anytime soon, as Pogaar and Rafa Majka are the only active riders to have won more than one king of the mountains title, each with two.

Who Has Worn The Yellow Jersey Most (General Classification)

Belgian Eddy Merckx holds the record for the most days in the yellow jersey, at 96. Only Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain, Chris Froome, and Jacques Anquetil have worn it for more than 50 days. Lance Armstrong was in second place with 83 until his records were annulled in 2012.

Greg LeMond has won the tour three times, Laurent Fignon has won it twice, and Joop Zoetemelk has won it once; each of them has led the race for 22 days.

Froome leads the active cyclists with 59, Vincenzo Nibali has 19, Julian Alaphilippe has 18, Tadej Pogaar has 16, and Geraint Thomas has 15.

With eight Tours under his belt, Hinault is the rider who has worn the Jersey in the most. It was worn by Merckx, André Darrigade, and Fabian Cancellara in six Tours, and it was worn by Indurain, Anquetil, and Zoetemelk in five Tours.

The most riders to wear the yellow jersey in a single Tour de France race is eight, which occurred in 1958 and 1987.

Tour de France: Most Green Jersey Winners

  • 7 – Peter Sagan
  • 6 – Erik Zabel
  • 4 – Sean Kelly
  • 3 – Jan Janssen, Eddy Merckx, Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, Robbie McEwen, Freddy Maertens
  • 2 –André Darrigade, Thor Hushovd, Mark Cavendish, Stan Ockers, Jean Graczyk,
  • 1 – Michael Matthews, Sam Bennett, Laurent Jalabert

Tour de France: Most Polka Dot Jersey Winners

  • 7 – Richard Virenque
  • 6 – Lucien Van Impe , Federico Bahamontes
  • 3 – Julio Jiménez
  • 2 – Eddy Merckx, Luis Herrera, Claudio Chiappucci, Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Felicien Vervaecke, Charly Gaul, Imerio Massignan, Rafał Majka, Laurent Jalabert, Michael Rasmussen, Tadej Pogačar
  • 1 – Warren Barguil, Chris Froome, Julian Alaphilippe, Romain Bardet, Nairo Quintana

Tour de France: Most Stage Winners

  • 34 – Mark Cavendish, Eddy Merckx
  • 28 – Bernard Hinault
  • 25 – André Leducq
  • 22 – André Darrigade
  • 20 – Nicolas Frantz
  • 19 – François Faber
  • 17 – Jean Alavoine
  • 16 – René Le Grevès, Charles Pélissiier, Jacques Anquetiil
  • 12 – Peter Sagan
  • 11 – André Greipel
  • 7 – Chris Froome
  • 6 – Vincenzo Nibali

Tour de France: Most Wins

  • 5 – Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Miguel Indurain
  • 4 – Chris Froome
  • 3 – Greg LeMond, Louison Bobet, Phiilippe Thys
  • 2 – Fausto Coppi, Antonin Magne, Firmin Lambot, Ottavio Bottecchia, Alberto Contador, Lucien Petit-Breton, Nicolas Frantz, Laurent Fignon, André Leducq, Sylvère Maes, Gino Bartali, Bernard Thévenet, Tadej Pogačar
  • 1 – Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal, Vincenzo Nibali

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