All Time Tour de France Standings
In the world of cycling, there's no greater honor or accomplishment than becoming a Tour de France champion — an exclusive club of riders that dates back to the first race in 1903.
As expected, France leads the way with 21 Tour de France champions and 36 total wins over the last 120 years, including two riders tied for the most titles of all time ... even though no French rider has won the Tour de France since 1985.
Over the last century-plus, more countries have come into the fray and made their own Tour de France legacies — some good and some bad. Here's a look at the cyclists who achieved the most Tour de France championships.
13 Riders Tied With 2 Tour de France Wins
Riders with two Tour de France wins: Firmin Lambot (1919, 1922), Ottavio Bottecchia (1924, 1925), Nicolas Frantz (1927, 1928), Andre Leducq (1930, 1932), Antonin Magne (1931, 1934), Sylvere Maes (1936, 1939), Gino Bartali (1938, 1948), Fausto Coppi (1949, 1952), Lauren Fignon (1983, 1984), Alberto Contador (2007, 2009), Tadej Pogacar (2020, 2021)
Bottom line: There are 13 riders who have won the Tour de France twice, including Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar, who won back-to-back in 2020 and 2021.
Of those 13 riders, four of them won in back-to-back years like Pogacar. Spain's Alberto Contador, another two-time winner in 2007 and 2009, appeared to have won a third Tour de France in 2010 but had his title stripped from him in 2012 when it was revealed he tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol on a rest day.
6. Greg LeMond (Tie)
Born: June 26, 1961 (Lakewood, California)
Tour de France wins: 3 (1986, 1989, 1990)
Bottom line: Tied with two others for winning the Tour de France three times, Greg LeMond is the first and only American rider and first non-European rider to win the French race. He became an international superstar when he won three titles in a five-year stretch, including back-to-back ones in 1989 and 1990.
LeMond was also the first cyclist to sign a multimillion-dollar endorsement contract and the first cyclist to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He would have likely had another title if not for the fact he was shot in a hunting accident in 1987 and spent two years recovering before he returned to win the Tour de France in 1989.
6. Louison Bobet (Tie)
Born: March 12, 1925 (Saint-Meen-le-Grand, France)
Died: March 13, 1983, 58 years old
Tour de France wins: 3 (1953-55)
Bottom line: French rider Louison Bobet shot to fame following World War II, becoming the first rider to win three consecutive Tour de France titles from 1953 to 1955.
Bobet's fame was due in large part to his personality, which was more aligned with being a Hollywood actor than a French cyclist — he was known to be both prickly and gregarious and once famously refused to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France because he didn't like the material it was made with.
Bobet's cycling career effectively came to an end following a car crash in 1960, and he died in 1983, at 58 years old, after a battle with cancer.
6. Philippe Thys (Tie)
Born: Oct. 8, 1889 (Anderlecht, Belgium)
Died: Jan. 16, 1971, 81 years old
Tour de France wins: 3 (1913, 1914, 1920)
Bottom line: Belgium's Philippe Thys became the first three-time winner of the Tour de France, winning back-to-back titles in 1913 and 1914 before returning to win in 1920.
Thys would likely have won more Tour de France titles, but the race didn't happen for four years from 1915 to 1918 because of World War I.
5. Chris Froome
Born: May 20, 1985 (Nairobi, Kenya)
Tour de France wins: 4 (2013, 2015-17)
Bottom line: Chris Froome was born in Kenya to British parents and has kept dual citizenship in both countries throughout his life. He's won the Tour de France four times in a five-year stretch from 2013 to 2017.
No story of Froome's career can be told without the allegations of doping that followed him since he became an elite cyclist. It's also impossible not to mention the near-death experience he had during a training accident in 2019 in which he broke his pelvis, femur and multiple ribs after crashing into a wall.
1. Jacques Anquetil (Tie)
Born: Jan. 8, 1934 (Mont-Saint-Aignan, France)
Died: Nov. 18, 1987, 53 years old
Tour de France wins: 5 (1957, 1961-64)
Bottom line: Jacques Anquetil won the Tour de France for the first time in 1957, then returned to win it in 1961 after he told the media he would win every single stage of the race, which he did. Anquetil won the Tour de France four times in a row, from 1961 to 1964, to become the first rider to win five times.
Anquetil retired to a farm in France and reportedly only rode his bicycle three more times before he died in 1987 of stomach cancer.
1. Eddy Merckx (Tie)
Born: June 17, 1945 (Meensel-Kiezegem, Belgium)
Tour de France wins: 5 (1969-72, 1974)
Bottom line: Belgian rider Eddy Merckx had a racing approach that was more in line with a traditional American approach to sports — to win at all costs.
Merckx was nicknamed "The Cannibal" for his refusal to play ball and let teammates win or strategize to let others win. He won four consecutive Tour de France titles from 1969 to 1972, then again in 1974 and won a record 11 Grand Tour titles over his career, which includes the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Tour of Spain.
Since his retirement, Merckx has been a successful bike manufacturer.
1. Bernard Hinault (Tie)
Born: Nov. 14, 1954 (Yffiniac, France)
Tour de France wins: 5 (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985)
Bottom line: French rider Bernard Hinault is one of the most famous cyclists of all time. He's nicknamed "The Badger" because of his aggressive, persistent style of racing. He's also the last rider from France to win the Tour de France, which he did for the fifth and final time in 1985.
Hinault's popularity has endured over the years because, unlike many riders of his era, he was never tied to a doping scandal and never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
1. Miguel Indurain (Tie)
Born: July 16, 1964 (Villava, Spain)
Tour de France wins: 5 (1991-95)
Bottom line: Few riders had their legacies tarnished as much by disgraced rider Lance Armstrong's cheating as Miguel Indurain, who saw his record of five consecutive Tour de France titles from 1991 to 1995 erased by Armstrong as well as his record for most Tour de France titles. Both were restored after Armstrong was stripped of his titles in 2012.
Indurain was notable throughout his career for his humility and grace — kind of the cycling version of Tim Duncan — and once famously gave a yellow jersey to Pope John Paul II.
The Elephant in the Room: American Shame at the Tour de France
There's no way around it — Americans have done more to hurt the Tour de France than any single group of riders in its history.
Texan Lance Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005, making him the greatest champion in the history of the sport and an international superstar, but he had all seven titles stripped by the International Cycling Union in 2012 after it was revealed he'd used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his reign.
Another American winner, Floyd Landis in 2006, had his title stripped from him in 2007 after the UCI found he'd used performance-enhancing drugs during his win as well.
While Spain's Oscar Pereiro was retroactively declared the winner in 2006 instead of Landis, no replacement winners have been declared for the seven consecutive years Armstrong won the Tour de France.
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