The riders with the most stage victories in Tour de France history

posted by Chris Valentine

Originally scheduled for June, but postponed due the global coronavirus pandemic, the 107th edition of the Tour de France finally got underway at the end of August. Last year’s winner, and this year’s pre-race favourite – according to the odds on the winner of Tour the France 2020 – is currently in sixth place after stage six, whilst Britain’s Adam Yates, who was considered as a massive outsider before the tour, is currently leading the general classification.

As the drama of this year’s edition unfolds, let’s take a look at the riders with the most stage victories in Tour de France history. Read on to find out more!

Eddy Merckx – 34

Aside from winning the Tour de France a record-equalling five times, Eddy Merckx, who is considered to be one of the most successful professional cyclists of all time, is also the outright winner of the most stages. Also known as “The Cannibal”, the Belgian won an impressive 34 Tour de France stages throughout his career. En route to his first victory in 1969, Merckx won six stages, before winning a further eight stages as he landed back-to-back tours in 1970. Merckx won four stages in ’71, and six stages in ’72, as he was victorious twice more. After skipping the 1973 tour, Merckx was back in ’74 to win the Grand Boucle again, and a further eight stages.

Mark Cavendish – 30

Despite never winning the General Classification of the Tour de France, Britain’s Mark Cavendish still boasts the second-most stage victories (30). After abandoning the tour in 2007 at the eighth stage – without a win – Cavendish returned in 2008, winning stage five, eight, 12, and 13. However, he again abandoned the race, this time at the 14th stage. In ’09, Cavendish won six stages, before racking up a further five in 2010 – taking him to 14 stage victories.

Five more stage wins in 2011 led to Cavendish being crowned the winner of the secondary Points Classification. The Isle of Man-born cyclist only won five stages across the 2012 and ’13 tours, and missed most the 2014 edition after crashing, and subsequently picking up an injury, in stage one. With just one win in 2015, ‘Cav’ racked up his final four stage wins in 2016.

Bernard Hinault – 28

Frenchman Bernard Hinault won 28 stages en route to his record-equalling five Tour de France victories. Hinault entered, and won, his first Grand Boucle in 1978, landing just three stage victories along the way. Hinault won the tour again in ’79. However, this time he won an impressive seven stages. In 1980, Le Blaireau lost his crown to Joop Zoetemelk, whilst he also won just three stages, all of which came within the first five. Five stage wins led to a third tour victory for Hinault in 1981, whilst the Frenchman picked up another four stages, as well as a fourth general classification victory, in ’82. In 1984, Hinault won just the prologue, but in ’85, bounced back to win a further two stages, and his fifth, and final, Tour de France.

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