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The greatest time trial experts of the Tour de France

Cyclist magazine
15 Jul 2016

We take a look at the most successful time trial riders in Tour de France history.

Miguel Indurain

Indurain is among the undisputed kings of the time-trial. Perhaps that’s best demonstrated in his 1994 Tour-winning TT, where he left a young Lance Armstrong quivering in his wake. In 1992 he won the individual time-trial by over three minutes, and caught rival Laurent Fignon despite starting six minutes behind. Across his five Tour wins, Indurain won eight out of 10 TTs.

Jacques Anquetil

Anquetil won the Grand Prix des Nations, an unofficial World Time-Trial Championship of its day, nine times during his career, and he never raced it without winning. It was thought that the organisers of the Tour shortened the time-trials to reduce Anquetil’s chances of winning, but that didn’t stop him taking five yellow jerseys.

Greg LeMond

LeMond’s time-trialling abilities produced possibly the Tour de France’s most dramatic finish. As the 1989 Tour drew to a close, Laurent Fignon led LeMond by 50 seconds with only a 24.5km TT remaining. LeMond used aero bars for the first time in pro cycling and beat Fignon by 58 seconds to secure the overall win by only eight seconds – the closest finish in Tour history.

Tony Martin

Tony Martin has proven himself as the modern behemoth of the time trialling discipline in the last half-decade or so, taking over the crown from Fabian Cancellara. With three individual time trial victories at the Tour de France since 2011, along with two at the Vuelta a Espana and three world championship titles in the discipline, his achievements will take some topping. 

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