Jacques Anquetil

Jacques Anquetil ( born January 8, 1934 in Mont -Saint -Aignan, Seine- Maritime, † 18 November 1987 in Rouen ) was a French professional cyclist. As the first professional cyclist ever he could win the Tour de France five times (1957 and 1961-1964 ).


Already in his first year as a pro in 1953 won the 19 year old from Normandy the GP des Nations time trial before the legendary Fausto Coppi. In his career, Anquetil was the then most important race against the clock to win a total of nine times (1953-1958, 1961, 1965, 1966). 1956 surpassed Anquetil with over 46 kilometers of the 14 -year-old hour record of Fausto Coppi.

1957 took Anquetil, now 23 years old, for the first time in the Tour de France and won the most important stage race in the world right off the bat confidently with nearly 15 minutes ahead. He decided this four stages for itself. Cornerstone of its success 've been here his qualities in the time trial, which should earn him the nickname " Monsieur Chrono". At the same time, however, was able to keep up Anquetil on the mountain stages with the specialists. In 1958 and 1959 he won the Four Days of Dunkirk.

After three mediocre years without a Tour stage success, Anquetil announced back in 1961 with his second overall victory in the Tour de France later won to 1964, first four times in succession and thus had also scored the first five successes. In his winning streak Anquetil won all time trials with one exception. In 1963 he was elected by the sports newspaper L' Équipe France's Sportsman of the Year ( " champion of champions" ).

His last Tour victory in 1964 was his most concise and most famous. Entered the French sports history is above all his elbow duel with the crowd favorite Raymond Poulidor on Puy de Dome. As he deftly concealed his exhaustion on the mountain before his competitors, this attacked too late. In Paris, Jacques Anquetil had finally 55 seconds ahead of the " eternal second " Poulidor.

Anquetil was the first of only five racers win today, all three major country tours: In addition to his five Tour victories that put him on a par with Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain, he twice won the Giro d' Italia (1960, 1964) and once the Vuelta a España ( 1963).

Not so successful Anquetil was in the classic one-day races. Late in his career, he won once each the classic Liège -Bastogne -Liège (1966 ), Bordeaux - Paris (1965) and Gent- Wevelgem (1964). In the 1966 Road World Championships, he finished in second place behind Rudi Altig, but appeared - as was rumored - of injured vanity not for the awards ceremony and was therefore subject to a fine. By his own confession he tried to increase his power by amphetamines, caffeine and cortisone in the years 1966 and 1967. As a result, a set of imputed Anquetil in 1967 hour record from the International Cycling Union Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI ) was not recognized.

At the age of 36, he ended his cycling career in January 1970, when he took part in some track racing in the Algerian capital, Algiers. Despite its great successes made ​​him one of the greatest cyclists of France, the always cool and distant " Maître Jacques " in French public was never as popular as his rival Poulidor. Anquetil died of stomach cancer; it is suspected that the disease is due to the years of abuse of doping substances.

After his death at age 53 (1987 ), the Vélodrome de Vincennes renamed Vélodrome Jacques Anquetil.


In her book Pour l' amour de Jacques ( " Out of love for Jacques "), his daughter Sophie in 2004 revealed a hitherto well-guarded family secret: Anquetil actually lived in bigamy with his wife Jeanine and his stepdaughter Annie. Sophie comes from the affair with Annie. Even with his daughter he fathered a child.


Arte documentation: Cycling Anquetil / Poulidor - Great Sporting Duels, documentary by Olivier Hen Grave, France 2001, 50 min