Tour de France Winners: The full history

Only one rider can win the Tour de France each year, making it one of the most select groups in cycling. Ahead of the 2021 edition, we take a look at some of the youngest, oldest and most successful winners at the Tour de France.

The 2021 Tour de France will be the 108th edition of the race. With so much history, the race has helped some of the world’s best riders to transition from talented pretender to a Grand Tour winner.

Nowadays, each of the 23 teams that will take to the Tour de France start line are allowed to bring eight riders, meaning 184 riders will begin in Brest. But, only one will travel to Paris in the yellow jersey.

We take a look at some of the most persistent winners in Tour de France history.

Related – Tour de France 2021 Guide

Most Tour de France Wins

Miguel Indurain celebrates his fifth Tour de France (Image credit: Mike Powell/ALLSPORT/Getty Images)

There are four riders that share the crown of most Tour de France titles. Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain all won the Tour de France on five occasions.

Anquetil won his first title in 1957 and had won his fifth by 1964, whereas Merckx won four in a row between 1969 and 1972, before adding his fifth in ‘74. Hinault is the most recent French winner of the Tour de France, he won his fifth yellow jersey in 1985. France won nine of the eleven editions of the Tour de France between 1975 and 1985 but have now gone over 35 years without seeing a yellow jersey.

Miguel Indurain is the only rider to have won the Tour de France in five consecutive seasons, a feat he achieved between 1991 and 1995. 

Chris Froome is the only rider with four wins to his name. No other active riders has more than one Tour de France title. Technically, Froome still has a shot at equalling the all-time record of five Tour de France titles. However, Israel Start-Up Nation have announced that Froome will be riding the 2021 Tour de France as a road captain, not a general classification leader.

Lance Armstrong had held the record with seven Tour de France titles between 1999 and 2005, but was stripped of all his accolades over this period after he was found guilty of doping in 2012.

  • 5 wins - Jacques Anquetil (1957 - 1964), Eddy Merckx (1969 - 1974), Bernard Hinault (1978 - 1985) and Miguel Indurain (1991 - 1995)
  • 4 wins - Chris Froome (2013 - 2017)
  • 3 wins - Philippe Thys (1913 - 1920), Louison Bobet (1953 - 55), Greg LeMond (1986 - 1990)

Youngest Tour de France Winners

Henri Cornet, the youngest winner of the Tour de France (Image credit: Branger/Roger Viollet via Getty Images)

One of the recent trends that can be observed in professional cycling is the increased level of opportunity and confidence given to young riders. This means that some of the youngest Tour de France champions in history have won the race in the previous couple of years. Egan Bernal became the third youngest rider to win the Tour de France in 2019 — he was aged just 22 years old and 196 days.

The most recent winner of the Tour de France is Tadej Pogačar, who became only the second rider to win the Tour de France aged under 22 — he was crowned champion just one day prior to his 22nd birthday. 

However, Henri Cornet remains the youngest rider to win the Tour de France. He won the yellow jersey in 1904 by a margin of more than two hours, which was just the second edition of the race. Originally, Cornet was fifth to finish, but the race was riddled with various scandals. After numerous disqualifications, Cornet was handed victory.

  • 1904 - Henri Cornet, 19 years and 352 days
  • 2020 - Tadej Pogacar, 21 years and 365 days
  • 1909 - François Faber, 22 years and 187 days
  • 2019 - Egan Bernal, 22 years and 196 days
  • 1910 - Octave Lapize, 22 years and 280 days

Oldest Tour de France Winners

Cadel Evans on the way to winning the 2011 Tour de France (Image credit: Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images)

Some of the oldest Tour de France victors came in the race's early years too. Firmin Lambot is the only rider to win the Tour de France aged over 35 years old. The Belgian rider won his second Tour de France title at 36 years old and 130 days in his eighth Tour de France start.

The following year, Henri Pélissier won the Tour at the age of 34 years and 180 days. He remains the second oldest rider to win the Tour. The oldest rider to triumph at the Tour de France in the modern-day is Cadel Evans, who won in 2011 and the age of 34 years and 160 days, making him the third oldest rider to win the maillot jaune.

  • 1922 - Firmin Lambot, 36 years and 130 days
  • 1923 - Henri Pélissier, 34 years and 180 days
  • 2011 - Cadel Evans, 34 years and 160 days
  • 1948 - Gino Bartali, 34 years and 8 days
  • 1910 - Lucien Buysse, 33 years and 309 days

Recent Tour de France Winners

  • 2020 - Tadej Pogačar, UAE Team Emirates
  • 2019 - Egan Bernal, Team Ineos
  • 2018 - Geraint Thomas, Team Sky
  • 2017 - Chris Froome, Team Sky
  • 2016 - Chris Froome, Team Sky
  • 2015 - Chris Froome, Team Sky
  • 2014 - Vincenzo Nibali, Astana ProTeam
  • 2013 - Chris Froome, Sky Procycling
  • 2012 - Bradley Wiggins, Sky Procycling
  • 2011 - Cadel Evans, BMC Racing Team
  • 2010 - Andy Schleck, Saxo Bank
  • 2009 - Alberto Contador, Astana
  • 2008 - Carlos Sastre, CSC ProTeam
  • 2007 - Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel
  • 2006 - Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne
  • 2005 - Ivan Basso, CSC ProTeam
Cover image: Alex Broadway/ASO/SWPix