Who are the top 10 French cyclists in history? Hinault, Anquetil, Jalabert, Alaphilippe...

There is no doubt that world cycling has some great legends, and France has been home to some of the most outstanding cyclists of all time. Here are the top 10 French cyclists in history who have left an indelible mark on the sport of two wheels. With mythical names such as Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil, Raymond Poulidor, Laurent Fignon or Laurent Jalabert. Of the present, Julian Alaphilippe is the only one to appear.

1. Bernard Hinault.

The first place on this list undisputedly belongs to Bernard Hinault, nicknamed "The Badger". His extraordinary record of 10 Grand Tour victories, 9 classics and a world championship title makes him one of the greatest cyclists of all time. Hinault dominated the peloton with a flamboyant and offensive style of cycling, which made him feared by all his rivals.

2. Jacques Anquetil.

Jacques Anquetil, the first rider to win the Tour de France five times, is a cycling icon. He was also the first Frenchman to win the Giro d'Italia and possessed the ability to stay at the highest level for 15 years. Although he lacked a world championship title and a victory in Paris-Roubaix, his impressive record in the three Grand Tours highlights him as a legendary figure.

3. Louison Bobet

Louison Bobet, known as the "greatest perfectionist of French cycling", managed to excel in 4 of the 5 Monuments, 2 of the 3 Grand Tours and a world championship title. His rivalry with Jean Robic marked his career, and his unique style made him a celebrity on and off the road.

4. Raymond Poulidor

Raymond Poulidor, despite not winning the Tour de France, challenged two giants of the 1960s and 1970s, Anquetil and Merckx. With 14 participations in the Tour and numerous acts of bravery on the French cols, Poulidor became a legend. A classics winner and stage race specialist, his brilliant career should not be overlooked.

5. Laurent Fignon

Laurent Fignon, nicknamed "Il Professore", came within a whisker of winning three Grand Tours in one year. His courage and class allowed him to challenge Hinault's dominance in the 1980s. Despite not winning the triple, Fignon left an indelible mark on French and world cycling.

6. Julian Alaphilippe.

Julian Alaphilippe, at the age of 30, has already proven himself to be one of the most versatile and charismatic cyclists today. Although he has not won a Grand Tour, he has achieved success in one-day races and has captivated fans with his enthusiasm and style. Two world championship titles and days in yellow at the Tour highlight his position on this list.

7. Bernard Thévenet

Bernard Thévenet, winner of the Tour de France in 1975, is remembered for regularly beating Eddy Merckx. His ability to beat the "Cannibal" on two occasions marked his career. Although he did not build an extensive palmares, his exploits in the Tour made him an important figure.

8. Laurent Jalabert

Laurent Jalabert excelled in stages of the three Grand Tours and won two Monuments. His versatility and ability to win on diverse terrain made him both admired and challenged. He was a pioneer in long-distance racing and in the mountains.

9. André Darrigade

André Darrigade, one of the greatest rouleurs of all time, distinguished himself by wearing the rainbow, yellow and green jersey and winning a Monument. His legacy could have been even greater had he not lost the 1956 Tour due to a puncture and disagreements with his team manager.

10. Richard Virenque

Richard Virenque, although known primarily for the Tour de France, was a favorite of the French public. His seven polka dot jerseys, seven stage victories and two Tour podiums made him a driving force in mountain stages and an icon of French cycling.

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