The youngest and oldest riders at the Tour de France

Twenty-two teams and 176 riders lined up for the 2022 Tour de France. We look at the youngest and oldest riders at the race and their relative place in the history books

It was 1904 when Henri Cornet won the Tour de France aged just 19. Since then, the ages of winners have seemed to converge on a median age of around 28. But, things seem to have been changing...

With young winners like Tadej Pogacar and Egan Bernal, you could be excused for seeing a trend for a newer, younger Tour de France.

Yet, older riders have also been faring well at the Grand Boucle in recent years. So what does the real breakdown of riders by age look like? How young is too young, and how old is too old?

Oldest riders at the 2022 Tour de France

You can never have too much experience, right?

Last year, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) completed the Tour de France at the age of 41. He very nearly became the race's oldest winner too, finishing second to Sepp Kuss on the mountain stage to Andorra.

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The oldest ever Tour de France stage winner was Pino Cerami, who won stage nine of the 1963 Tour de France aged 41 years and 65 days. On stage three last year, Valverde was the exact age that Cerami was when he won in Pau in 1963.

In 2022 though Valverde has chosen to skip the Tour de France in favour of riding the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España in his final season before retirement, leaving the door open for another rider to take on the mantle of the Tour's oldest competitor.

Philippe Gilbert at the 2022 Tour de France

Philippe Gilbert is the oldest rider at the 2022 Tour (Image: James Startt)

That man this year is Philippe Gilbert (Lotto-Soudal), who turns 40 on stage four of the race (July 5), and will be hoping to sign off from his 12th and final Tour de France with a stage win. 

Frenchman Cyril Lemoine (B&B Hotels - KTM) is the second oldest rider in 2022 at 39, while Movistar's Imanol Erviti is third at a spritely 38.

  1. Philippe Gilbert - 39 years and 361 days (when race began)<
  2. Cyril Lemoine - 39 years and 120 days
  3. Imanol Erviti - 38 years and 228 days
  4. Luis León Sánchez - 38 years and 219 days
  5. Maciej Bodnar - 37 years and 116 days

Youngest riders at the 2022 Tour de France

Last year Britain's Fred Wright took the crown of youngest rider at 22 years and 14 days, but this year that age would only just crack the top-three. 

This year is all about the young Americans. Colorado's Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) is the Tour's youngest rider, making his debut at the race at the age of 21 years and 54 days.Quinn Simmons on stage one of the 2022 Tour de France

Quinn Simmons is the youngest rider at the 2022 Tour de France (Getty Images)

The next youngest rider is California's Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM) at 21 years and 258 days, while another Californian, Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) is the fifth youngest, celebrating his 23rd birthday on the day of the Grand Départ).

Britain's Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) is the third youngest rider, making his Tour debut at the age of 22 years 336 days.

Defending champion Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has slipped out of the top-10 for the first time in his three Tour appearances, languishing in 12th at the wise old age of 23 years and 283 days.

  1. Quinn Simmons - 21 years and 54 days (when race began)
  2. Kevin Vermaerke - 21 years and 258 days
  3. Tom Pidcock - 22 years and 336 days
  4. Matis Louvel - 22 years and 347 days
  5. Matteo Jorgenson - 23 years and zero days

No-one at the Tour this year will have the opportunity to be crowned its youngest ever stage winner however. The youngest ever stage winner at the Tour de France was Fabio Battesini, who was just 19 years and 134 days old when he won a stage at the 1931 edition.

Cover image by Zak Williams/SWPix

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