How many cyclists have the big three won?

We review below which riders are part of the select club of cyclists who have been able to win Giro, Tour and Vuelta on at least one occasion.


This Saturday the 2020 Tour de France starts in Nice, the great event on the cycling calendar in which 176 riders will start with the aim of winning the yellow jersey in Paris on September 20.

However, winning a grand tour is within the reach of few cyclists, and winning at least once each of the big three, Giro, Tour and Vuelta, even less. Only seven runners have been able to achieve this milestone throughout history. Next we will meet the cyclists who have won the big three.

Jacques Anquetil

The French cyclist was the first rider to conquer the big three throughout his career. Anquetil would inaugurate his record of grand tours with the conquest of the Tour de France in 1957, to which he would add the titles of 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964. 'Maître Jacques' would also add two titles in the Giro d'Italia in 1960 and 1964 and would close the circle of the big three with the conquest of the Tour of Spain in 1963.

Felice Gimondi

The ill-fated Italian cyclist also achieved this milestone at a time when he coincided with Eddy Merckx. Gimondi inaugurated his record in grand tours with the conquest of the Tour de France in 1965, his only victory in the French round. A year later, in 1966, 'el Fénix' managed to win the Giro d'Italia, a race that he would also conquer in 1969 (after the expulsion of Merckx) and 1976. Like Anquetil, Gimondi closed his milestone of the big three in the Vuelta to Spain after winning the 1968 edition.

Eddy Merckx

'El Caníbal' is, today, the rider with the most Grand Tour titles with up to 11 Grand Tour titles to his credit. Merckx inaugurated its track record with the conquest of its first Giro in 1968, which would be followed by victories in the corsa rosa in 1970, 1972, 1973 and 1974. A year later Merckx would begin its idyll with the Tour, where in addition to the edition In 1969 he also prevailed in 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974. Like Anquetil and Gimondi Merckx, he completed the circle of the great tours in the Vuelta a España after winning the Spanish round in 1973.

Bernard Hinault

The French cyclist imposed his tyranny on the peloton in the late 70s and early 80s. Unlike Anquetil, Merckx and Gimondi, Hinault debuted his record in great laps at the 1978 Vuelta a España, a race in which would reissue title in 1983. In 1978 'El Tejón' also achieved his first victory in the Tour general, to which he would add those achieved in 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985. Hinault would close the circle of the big three in 1980 with the conquest of the Giro d'Italia, where he would also repeat his triumph in 1982 and 1985.

Alberto Contador

Just two seasons were enough for Alberto Contador to become the fifth rider to conquer the three grand tours. The pinteño inaugurated the account in 2007 with the conquest of his first Tour de France and the following year he would close the circle with his triumphs in the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España in 2008. Contador also won another Tour in 2009, another Giro in 2015 and two Vueltas a España in 2012 and 2014. He also won the 2010 Tour and the 2011 Giro although he lost these titles after his positive for clenbuterol.

Vincenzo Nibali

The Italian rider is, along with Chris Froome, the only active rider in the peloton who knows what it is like to win the big three. Nibali added his first grand tour in 2010 with the conquest of the Tour of Spain and three years later, in 2013, he would conquer his first Giro d'Italia, a success that he would repeat in 2016. 'Lo Squalo' closed the circle with the conquest of the Tour de France 2014 in which to date is the last Tour won by a cyclist other than Sky or Ineos.

Chris Froome

The Kenyan-born Briton was the latest rider to join the select club of Big Three champions. Froome inaugurated his record with the conquest of the Vuelta a España 2011, although this victory was awarded in 2019 after the disqualification of Juanjo Cobo. Froome would win a Vuelta a España on the road in 2017. Although the favorite date for Froome has been the Tour de France, where the Briton added his first general in 2013 to later win the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions. Froome closed the circle with the conquest of the Giro d'Italia in 2018, in which it is the last major in his record to date.

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