In spite of a relative dearth of absolutely dominant riders now, Julian Alaphilippe aside, French riders have been hugely successful over the years, with many multiple Tour de France winners
LOUISON BOBET Career: 1947-1961
Bobet was the second rider and first Frenchman to win three Tours. He was also an accomplished one- day racer, and won the Worlds and every monument except Liège, where his highest finish was fourth. Also came second in the Giro.
LAURENT FIGNON Career: 1982-1993
Fignon may be as famous for losing the 1989 Tour by eight seconds as he was for winning it twice, including trouncing Hinault in the 1984 edition. But he also won the Giro d’Italia and was a double winner of Milan- San Remo.
JACQUES ANQUETIL Career: 1953-1969
Anquetil was one of the best grand tour riders and time triallists in history. He was the first rider to win five Tours; he also won the Giro twice and one Vuelta, along with an astonishing nine titles in the GP des Nations time trial.
LAURENT JALABERT Career: 1989-2002
Fourth was his highest in the Tour, and though he also won a Vuelta, Jalabert’s speciality was one- day races. He won Milan- San Remo, Lombardia, Flèche and San Sebastián, to add to victories in ParisNice, Catalunya, Romandie and País Vasco.
BERNARD HINAULT Career: 1975-1986
The last French Tour winner’s results in the grand tours were arguably as great as Merckx’s. He won five Tours, three Giri and two Vueltas and never came lower than second in a GT. Also won the Worlds, Liège, Roubaix and Lombardia.
JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE Career: 2014- present
Currently the best French rider, Alaphilippe is a winner at San Remo, Strade Bianche, Flèche Wallonne, San Sebastián and the Worlds, and a runner- up at Liège and Lombardia. Has also come fifth in the Tour de France.