1961 Tour de France
In preparation for the 1961 Tour de France, Jacques Anquetil asked his team captain, Marcel Bidot, to assemble a team dedicated solely to supporting him, a request to which Bidot agreed. Before the race, Anquetil boldly declared that he would secure the yellow jersey as the general classification leader on the first day and retain it until the race’s conclusion in Paris. This prediction was not far-fetched, as two riders from the French national team, André Darrigade and Jacques Anquetil, successfully held the coveted yellow jersey throughout all 21 stages of the race.
Anquetil’s dominance in the 1961 Tour de France was evident as he maintained the yellow jersey from Stage 1b to the finish line in Paris, ultimately clinching his second Tour victory. While Anquetil secured the top spot, the second-place battle unfolded on the road, culminating in a dramatic turn of events on the last day. Guido Carlesi managed to snatch second place from Charly Gaul, edging ahead by only two seconds.
Jacques Anquetil’s legacy extends beyond his triumph in the 1961 Tour de France. He was the first rider to win the Tour de France five times, a feat achieved in 1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1964. Remarkably, he is still one of only four riders to have accomplished this stunning feat. Additionally, Anquetil joins an elite group of cyclists as one of only six individuals to have emerged victorious in all three Grand Tours.