We all have our favourite Tour de France out of the 106 editions of this legendary race.
For many, 1989’s stunning turnaround by Greg LeMond of Laurent Fignon in the final stage on the Champs-Élysées remains one of the greatest moments in sporting history, let alone cycling’s crowded canon. A mere eight seconds difference at the end of three weeks of racing – a truly epic battle.
Others may cite Eddy Merckx’s imperious performance in the 1974 edition, giving the Cannibal his record-equalling fifth Tour victory, with eight stage wins along the way. Some prefer to look back even further, to the great years of Coppi, Bartali and Anquetil.
Patriotism often plays a part in our collective memories too, with the previously fallow cycling minnows separated from the European racing heartland by the Channel mining a rich seam since Bradley Wiggins broke the British duck in 2012. For Americans, surely LeMond in 1986 is the standout moment that turned millions of US sport fans into bike racing supporters. And millions of proud Colombians will never forget a youthful Egan Bernal’s victory just last year.
We asked the Rouleur writers for their personal highlights from La Grande Boucle. They range from 1948 right up to 2019 – races full of surprises, amazing feats and intriguing battles.
The Rouleur Longreads Podcast brings you selected long form articles from the magazine, especially recorded for Rouleur. Don’t stop what you’re doing – do it while listening to the world’s best cycling writing.
The latest in this series is ‘The Magnificent Seven’, from Rouleur's brand new Tour de France special, read by George Oliver and Hannah Brackstone-Brown.
Download the Rouleur app and use the code LETOUR to read the whole issue free of charge.
To listen to individual years skip to:
3:15 - 1976 by Olivier Nilsson-Julien
9:42 - 1995 by Olivia Kaferly
14:00 - 2003 by Andy McGrath
18:34 - 1948 by Isabel Best
24:00 - 2007 by Richard Abraham
29:15 - 1973 by Paul Maunder
32:35 - 2019 by Ian Cleverly
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