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  1. #1
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Winners on their first try

    I was looking at the Palmares of a pretty good rider and noticed that he won the TDF on his first try. Started looking and found a few other riders who also won on their first try. Actually right now I'm up to 6 riders that did it their first time.

    Of these 6, 4 also share one other impressive accomplishment, that involves the TDF.

    Anyone think they can come up with at least some of these? I did not list them mainly because I hope someone will come up with a rider I did not think of. But this also gives you a chance to think and perhaps show off a bit.

  2. #2
    dog = interval feltdude's Avatar
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    Jacques Anquetil did it by nearly 15 minutes.

    Laurent Fignon did it subbing for Bernard Hinault.

    Eddy Merckx did it while winning the green and polka-dot jerseys at the same time.

    Hugo Koblet did it, then fell off the face of the earth.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feltdude
    Jacques Anquetil did it by nearly 15 minutes.

    Laurent Fignon did it subbing for Bernard Hinault.

    Eddy Merckx did it while winning the green and polka-dot jerseys at the same time.

    Hugo Koblet did it, then fell off the face of the earth.
    Yea! I win, meaning you got a couple I did not have yet. Fignon (Who I was thinking of checking) and Koblet. (Being careful I'll cross check both).

    There is one more that is easy if you stop to think about it just a little.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Maurice Garin. He won the first one.

  5. #5
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feltdude
    Hugo Koblet did it, then fell off the face of the earth.
    Well not exactly. He did this after his 1951 TdF win:
    1952: 1st Championship of Zurich
    1953: 1st Tour de Suisse, 1st Tour de Romandie, 2nd Giro d'Italia
    1954: 1st Championship of Zurich, 2nd Giro d'Italia
    1955: 1st Tour de Suisse, 1st Swiss Road Race Championship

    Not really too bad. Died in car wreck at age 39. Some say it was suicide.
    Last edited by RockyMtnMerlin; 06-07-06 at 05:22 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    The remaining 3 I know of aren't that hard.

    There is something else Major Tour wise that only 4 men have done. All 4 men also won the TDF on their first try. Two have been named 2 have not.

    Two of the ones I know of that are left are Italian.

    As I rank them all 3 of the best ever won the tour on their first try. Eddy has been named the others not.

    The one of the 3 that is not in my top 3 all time actually did not want to ride his first TDF. He felt he was not ready and a poor performance could hurt his contract chances. He did not ride until he had a contract for the next year. He won. He never won the TDF again. (One word can explain much of why).

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    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    So are we up to 5 and still trying to get three? The forum server has been so screwed up that I'm not sure where we stand.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Henri Cornet 1904. Louis Trousselier 1905. René Pottier 1906. Octave Lapize 1910.
    Odile Defraye 1912. Romain Maes 1935. Gino Bartali 1938 - one of your Italians. That's all of them (plus Garin) up to WW II. A surprisingly large number.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnMerlin
    Henri Cornet 1904. Louis Trousselier 1905. René Pottier 1906. Octave Lapize 1910.
    Odile Defraye 1912. Romain Maes 1935. Gino Bartali 1938 - one of your Italians. That's all of them (plus Garin) up to WW II. A surprisingly large number.
    Sorry not Gino. He abandondoned in stage 12 in 37. Wearing yellow at the time and the favorite going in, but as with many others before and after a crash can trump everything else.

    The others are not the 3 remaining on my original list. All 3 of mine that remain are post WW II. (I had very much hoped that Gino would be on the list).

    But speaking of Gino what feat did he accomplish in the TDF that has never been and phrased correctly never will be duplicated? (Though in theory still possible).

  10. #10
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Hmm; the official TdF website has an error. Under his name they only show the following 6 participations. But when you go to the 1937 page they list him. Looks like you are one up on them!!!

    6 participations ( 2 victories)

    12 victoires d'étape

    1938 1st Won the yellow jersey
    Won the red polka dot jersey
    2 victoires d'étape
    Stage 11 : Montpellier > Marseille
    Stage 14 : Digne > Briançon

    1948 1st Won the yellow jersey
    Won the red polka dot jersey
    7 victoires d'étape
    Stage 1 : Paris > Trouville
    Stage 7 : Biarritz > Lourdes
    Stage 8 : Lourdes > Toulouse
    Stage 13 : Cannes > Briançon
    Stage 14 : Briançon > Aix-les-Bains
    Stage 15 : Aix-les-Bains > Lausanne
    Stage 19 : Metz > Liège

    1949 2nd 1 stage victory
    Stage 16 : Cannes > Briançon

    1951 4th
    1952 4th
    1953 11th

  11. #11
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnMerlin
    Hmm; the official TdF website has an error. Under his name they only show the following 6 participations. But when you go to the 1937 page they list him. Looks like you are one up on them!!!
    It often seems the abandonments or disqualifications get left out.

  12. #12
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer to your question about Gino, but reading about his humanitarianism during WWII was more inspiring than reading about his racing accomplishments. We talk about cyclists being fearless in the sprints and hold the mountain stage winners in high esteem. Nothing I know of in professional cycling compares to what Gino did for so many during the war! Thanks for "letting" me learn about him. Too bad more people don't know his story.
    Last edited by RockyMtnMerlin; 06-08-06 at 09:48 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnMerlin
    Henri Cornet 1904. Louis Trousselier 1905. René Pottier 1906. Octave Lapize 1910.
    Odile Defraye 1912. Romain Maes 1935. Gino Bartali 1938 - one of your Italians. That's all of them (plus Garin) up to WW II. A surprisingly large number.
    Sorry but it seems only Henri holds up.

    All the rest abandonded in a tour previous to their win. They all however did win the first time they finished.

    On the unique feat of Gino. He had back to back tour wins 10 years apart. 38 and 48. This is the longest time between a riders first and last wins in the TDF. That alone may never be matched, for them to be in consecutive times a rider entered the tour just is not going to happen again.

    Guess I should share my 'secret' source. There is a site memoire-di-cyclisme.com. My suggestion is to look it up in Google and then use the translate this page option. (Unless you speak French). At times one may want to go to the original French as sometimes names get translated in interesting ways. 'Prize list' under 'runers' has the most complete listing of palmares for riders I have ever seen. For the major tours it includes ANY placing, abandonment or disqualification. It also has any top 5 and usually any top 10 place in a stage. It has one big limitation. Riders only make it once retires, but I can understand that, it would be real work to keep it updated for current riders.

    One other thing I have found looking things up. Try the name of a race and you get tons of worthless junk. Try the names of riders, best of all riders from different eras and you find the historical sites for races.


    There are still 3 riders to name, Two Italian and one French. All 3 in amny top 10 riders of all times lists. One has already been mentioned in this thread, but not as a first time winner.

  14. #14
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Hmm, I have had that site book marked for ages, but silly me I though the "official site" would be the place to look.
    Last edited by RockyMtnMerlin; 06-10-06 at 06:58 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Figured I'd give the three I know of that have been left out.

    Hinault, Coppi, Gimondi.

    Two of those 3 are pretty good. Actually Gimondi was pretty good. One person ranking riders all time put him 6th or 7th and coined a phrase about why his numbers are not better. The Gimondi effect. Poor Gimondi happened to exactly overlap the career of Merckx, sort of cut down on the changes.

    It is sort of interesting that Anquetil, Merckx, Gimondi and Hinault are the only 4 riders to win all 3 majot tours and that all 4 also won the TDF on their first try.

  16. #16
    My Name is Nobody
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    Hi Keith,


    you're talking of times where riders were being "kept away" from Tour de France until they reached maturity at the age of 24 or 25, then won the Tour on their first participation. By then the whole cycling world knew they were the best anyway. This counts at least for Merckx and Hinault. Hinault won the 1977 Dauphiné without giving a single chance to all the others, but did not take part at that year's Tour.

    Indurain was a similar story, but in his case the first Tour he did participate to he gave up deliberately after the Pyrenees stages. Same as Valverde last year...!

  17. #17
    My Name is Nobody
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99
    Figured I'd give the three I know of that have been left out.

    Hinault, Coppi, Gimondi.
    One more: Lucien Aimar in 1966.
    In '66 the French public was waiting for yet another fight between Poulidor and Anquetil. Anquetil had to pull out because of injury, but before he helped young Lucien Aimar to beat Poupou, who came 3rd.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamastor
    One more: Lucien Aimar in 1966.
    In '66 the French public was waiting for yet another fight between Poulidor and Anquetil. Anquetil had to pull out because of injury, but before he helped young Lucien Aimar to beat Poupou, who came 3rd.
    Nope. In '65 Aimar rode in the TDF for Ford/Gitane wearing number 1 and abandoning in the 9th stage.

  19. #19
    My Name is Nobody
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99
    Nope. In '65 Aimar rode in the TDF for Ford/Gitane wearing number 1 and abandoning in the 9th stage.
    Right you are: well done.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamastor
    Right you are: well done.
    Thanks. Check out the Memorie site I listed above. Absolutely tons of stuff. Not just TDF but everything. Most useful perhaps is Giro details, on hte same level as is common for the TDF but hard to find for anything else.

    And of course things like abandonments.

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