Triple Crown of Cycling
The Triple Crown of Cycling is considered by many fans of the sport to be the greatest achievement in cycling. Although more definitions for the term are used, mostly it means winning the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Road World Cycling Championship in one year, although occasionally a broader definition where one grand tour can be exchanged for the Vuelta a España is also seen. So far, the triple crown of cycling (in both the narrow and the broad definition) has been achieved by two cyclists, Eddy Merckx and Stephen Roche. It is considered the hardest title to win in professional road bicycle racing in the same year. The triple crown of cycling is not an official title, and there is no physical award given.
Triple crowns won
|Eddy Merckx (BEL)||1974||Tour + Giro + WC|
|Stephen Roche (IRL)||1987||Tour + Giro + WC|
Some cyclists have been close to winning the triple crown of cycling, winning two of the three requirements. Among those who came close are Italian Fausto Coppi, Frenchman Bernard Hinault, and later Spaniard Miguel Indurain, who finished second in the World Championships in 1993.
Winning two grand tours in one year
Coppi was the first rider in the history of the sport to win the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in the same year which he did twice in 1949 and 1952. At the World road race championships in 1949 Coppi came third behind Rik Van Steenbergen of Belgium. Merckx was the first rider to win the triple crown but he had already come close to winning it in 1972 when he won both the Tour and the Giro, coming fourth in the World road race. After his disappointment, Merckx broke the world hour record several weeks later.
Indurain won the Giro-Tour double in both 1992 and 1993 and in both years he was very active in the World Road Race. In 1992 he finished sixth but in 1993 Indurain was very close to winning the Triple crown when he finished second behind Lance Armstrong.
|Cyclist||Year||Grand Tours won||Result in World Championship|
|Fausto Coppi (ITA)||1949||Tour + Giro||3rd place|
|Fausto Coppi (ITA)||1952||Tour + Giro||DNE|
|Jacques Anquetil (FRA)||1963||Tour + Vuelta||14th place|
|Jacques Anquetil (FRA)||1964||Tour + Giro||7th place|
|Eddy Merckx (BEL)||1970||Tour + Giro||29th place|
|Eddy Merckx (BEL)||1972||Tour + Giro||4th place|
|Eddy Merckx (BEL)||1973||Giro + Vuelta||4th place|
|Bernard Hinault (FRA)||1978||Tour + Vuelta||5th place|
|Giovanni Battaglin (ITA)||1981||Giro + Vuelta||26th place|
|Bernard Hinault (FRA)||1982||Tour + Giro||DNF|
|Bernard Hinault (FRA)||1985||Tour + Giro||DNF|
|Miguel Indurain (ESP)||1992||Tour + Giro||6th place|
|Miguel Indurain (ESP)||1993||Tour + Giro||2nd place|
|Marco Pantani (ITA)||1998||Tour + Giro||DNE|
|Alberto Contador (ESP)||2008||Giro + Vuelta||DNF|
Winning one grand tour and world championship in one year
Hinault was aiming for winning the triple crown during the 1980 season. That year he won the 1980 Giro d'Italia before going on to the 1980 Tour de France. However during the Tour, Hinault suffered from knee injury and despite winning three stages, he left the race while leading the general classification. Several weeks later he became world champion in Salanches. In the table below are the results in other grand tours of cyclists who won the world championship and a grand tour in one year. DNF (did not finish) indicates that the cyclist started the race, but did not finish; DNE (did not enter) indicates that the cyclist did not enter the race.
|Cyclist||Year||Grand tour won||Result in other grand tours|
|Fausto Coppi (ITA)||1940||Giro||Tour: DNE||Vuelta: NA|
|Georges Speicher (FRA)||1933||Tour||Giro: DNE||Vuelta: NA|
|Fausto Coppi (ITA)||1953||Giro||Tour: DNE||Vuelta: NA|
|Louison Bobet (FRA)||1954||Tour||Giro: DNE||Vuelta: NA|
|Ercole Baldini (ITA)||1958||Giro||Tour: DNE||Vuelta: DNE|
|Eddy Merckx (BEL)||1971||Tour||Giro: DNE||Vuelta: DNE|
|Bernard Hinault (FRA)||1980||Giro||Tour: DNF||Vuelta: DNE|
|Greg LeMond (USA)||1989||Tour||Giro: 39th place||Vuelta: DNE|
Winning all three grand tours in a career
In bold the win that achieved the triple crown
|Cyclist||Tour de France wins||Giro d'Italia wins||Vuelta a España wins|
|Jacques Anquetil (FRA)||1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964||1960, 1964||1963|
|Felice Gimondi (ITA)||1965||1967, 1969, 1976||1968|
|Eddy Merckx (BEL)||1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974||1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974||1973|
|Bernard Hinault (FRA)||1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985||1980, 1982, 1985||1978, 1983|
|Alberto Contador (ESP)||2007, 2009||2008, 2015||2008, 2012, 2014|
|Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)||2014||2013, 2016||2010|
Winning all three grand tours in one year
The definition for Triple Crown of Cycling can also mean winning all three Grand Tours in the same year. As of 2014, this has never been achieved; only 39 times has a cyclist finished the three grand tours in one year. Of those 39 who completed 3 tours in one year, only Raphaël Géminiani and Gastone Nencini managed to finish top ten each tour. In 2010, Alberto Contador's new team manager Bjarne Riis claimed that Contador could win all three grand tours in the same year, but his main rival Andy Schleck said it would be impossible.
Eddy Merckx won four consecutive grand tours in 1972–1973: Giro 1972, Tour 1972, Vuelta 1973 and Giro 1973. Bernard Hinault won three consecutive grand tours in 1982–1983: Giro 1982, Tour 1982 and Vuelta 1983. These two champions did not claim the triple crown in a calendar year.
Completing all three grand tours in one year
Cyclists who have completed all three grand tours in the same year
As of 2016, 39 riders completed all three grand tours in the same year:
- 5 times - Adam Hansen (Aus) - 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
- 4 times - Marino Lejarreta (Esp) - 1987 1989 1990 1991
- 3 times - Bernardo Ruiz (Esp) - 1955 1956 1957
- 2 times - Eduardo Chozas (Esp) - 1990 1991
- 2 times - Carlos Sastre (Esp) - 2006 2010
List of riders and results
|1||1955||Raphaël Géminiani (Fra)||6°||4°||3°|
|2||1955||Louis Caput (Fra)||54°||68°||21-°|
|3||1955||Bernardo Ruiz (Esp)||22°||28°||14°|
|4||1956||Arrigo Padovan (Ita)||26°||12°||19°|
|5||1956||José Serra (Esp)||81°||26°||9°|
|6||1956||Bernardo Ruiz (Esp)||70°||38°||31°|
|7||1957||Gastone Nencini (Ita)||6°||1°||9°|
|8||1957||Mario Baroni (Ita)||53°||74°||46°|
|9||1957||Bernardo Ruiz (Esp)||24°||55°||3°|
|10||1958||Pierino Baffi (Ita)||63°||23°||26-°|
|11||1958||Federico Bahamontès (Esp)||8°||17°||6°|
|12||1971||José Manuel Fuente (Esp)||72°||39°||26-°|
|13||1971||José Luis Uribezubia (Esp)||49°||29°||36°|
|14||1985||Philippe Poissonnier (Fra)||90°||86°||66°|
|15||1987||Marino Lejarreta (Esp)||10°||4°||26-°|
|16||1988||Luis Javier Lukin (Esp)||82°||32°||26-°|
|17||1989||Marino Lejarreta (Esp)||5°||10°||20°|
|18||1990||Eduardo Chozas (Esp)||6°||11°||33°|
|19||1990||Marino Lejarreta (Esp)||5°||7°||26-°|
|20||1991||Eduardo Chozas (Esp)||11°||10°||11°|
|21||1991||Iñaki Gastón (Esp)||61°||23°||14°|
|22||1991||Marco Giovannetti (Ita)||30°||8°||18°|
|23||1991||Albano Leßnizbarrutia (Esp)||39°||64°||40-°|
|24||1991||Marino Lejarreta (Esp)||53°||5°||3°|
|25||1991||Vladimir Pulnikov (Ucr)||88°||11°||26-°|
|26||1991||Valerio Tebaldi (Ita)||89°||47°||87°|
|27||1992||Guido Bontempi (Ita)||75°||40°||62°|
|28||1992||Neil Stephens (Aus)||74°||57°||66°|
|29||1999||Mariano Piccoli (Ita)||50°||38°||58°|
|30||2001||Jon Odriozola (Esp)||69°||59°||83°|
|31||2005||Giovanni Lombardi (Ita)||118°||88°||115°|
|32||2006||Carlos Sastre (Esp)||3°||43°||4°|
|33||2007||Mario Aerts (Bel)||70°||20°||27°|
|34||2008||Marzio Bruseghin (Ita)||26°||3°||10°|
|35||2008||Erik Zabel (Ger)||42°||80°||49°|
|36||2009||Julian Dean (Nzl)||121°||136°||132°|
|37||2010||Carlos Sastre (Esp)||18°||8°||8°|
|38||2011||Sebastian Lang (Ger)||111°||55°||76°|
|39||2012||Adam Hansen (Aus)||81°||94°||123°|
|40||2013||Adam Hansen (Aus)||72°||72°||60°|
|41||2014||Adam Hansen (Aus)||64°||73°||53°|
|42||2015||Adam Hansen (Aus)||77°||114°||55°|
|43||2015||Sylvain Chavanel (Fra)||36°||54°||47°|
|44||2016||Alejandro Valverde (Esp)||6°||3°||12°|
|45||2016||Adam Hansen (Aus)||68°||100°||110°|
Winning world titles in three disciplines
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- In these years, there was no Vuelta organized.
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