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History of the Tour de France by numbers

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Eddy Merckx is arguably the most complete rider in cycling history and he often saved his best for the Tour de France

Eddy Merckx is arguably the most complete rider in cycling history and he often saved his best for the Tour de France
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fausto Coppi climbs during his career

Fausto Coppi climbs during his career
(Image credit: Bianchi)
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With six polka-dot jerseys and 15 appearances, Lucien Van Impe has left his mark on the Tour

With six polka-dot jerseys and 15 appearances, Lucien Van Impe has left his mark on the Tour
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Andy Schleck wearing the second of his record three white jerseys in 2009

Andy Schleck wearing the second of his record three white jerseys in 2009
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Eddy Merckx receives a hero's welcome in Brussells after winning the 1971 Tour de France

Eddy Merckx receives a hero's welcome in Brussells after winning the 1971 Tour de France
(Image credit: AFP)
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Greg LeMond's win in 1989 came by the narrowest margin in Tour de France history

Greg LeMond's win in 1989 came by the narrowest margin in Tour de France history
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Holland's Joop Zoetemelk holds the joint record for most Tour de France appearances with 16

Holland's Joop Zoetemelk holds the joint record for most Tour de France appearances with 16
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Spain's Miguel Indurain celebrates his fifth consecutive win in 1995

Spain's Miguel Indurain celebrates his fifth consecutive win in 1995
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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France's Bernard Hinault on his way to his second of five wins in 1979

France's Bernard Hinault on his way to his second of five wins in 1979
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Laurent Fignon became the youngest winner of the Tour de France for 50 years

Laurent Fignon became the youngest winner of the Tour de France for 50 years
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Britain's Mark Cavendish is only 26 but is already in joint-fifth place on the list of all time stage victories at the Tour

Britain's Mark Cavendish is only 26 but is already in joint-fifth place on the list of all time stage victories at the Tour
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Lance Armstrong recorded the fastest average speed by any Tour winner in 2004

Lance Armstrong recorded the fastest average speed by any Tour winner in 2004
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Lance Armstrong's seven Tour wins are the most by any rider

Lance Armstrong's seven Tour wins are the most by any rider
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Erik Zabel on his way to the fifth of his six straight green jerseys in 2000

Erik Zabel on his way to the fifth of his six straight green jerseys in 2000
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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France's Richard Virenque has won more polka-dot jerseys at the Tour than anyone else

France's Richard Virenque has won more polka-dot jerseys at the Tour than anyone else
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

The world’s most famous road race - the Tour de France - has a rich 109 year history and its fabled past is synonymous with the greatest names in the sport.

But who are the figures that have written themselves into the record books of this most emblematic of events? Who’s the fastest winner? The oldest winner? The youngest winner? Which country has basked in yellow more than any other? Who’s the climber that stands head and shoulders above all the others?

We’ve got all the answers and more right here in our history of the Tour de France by numbers, and alongside it is a gallery of some of the race's biggest names. With the start of the latest edition on June 30 rapidly approaching, will any of the current generation force their way into some of these categories?

Multiple winners
7: Lance Armstrong (USA) – 1999-2005
5: Jacques Anquetil (Fra) – 1957, 1961-64
5: Eddy Merckx (Bel) – 1969-72, 1974
5: Bernard Hinault (Fra) – 1978-79, 1981-82, 1985
5: Miguel Indurain (Spa) – 1991-95

Victories by nation
France: 36
Belgium: 18
Spain: 13
USA: 10
Italy: 9
Luxembourg: 5
Holland and Switzerland: 2
Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Australia: 1

Smallest winning margins (since 1947)
8 seconds: 1989 - Greg LeMond (USA) beats Laurent Fignon (Fra)
23 seconds: 2007 – Alberto Contador (Spa) beats Cadel Evans (Aus)
32 seconds: 2006 – Oscar Pereiro (Spa) over Andreas Klöden (Ger) after Floyd Landis was disqualified.
38 seconds: 1968 – Jan Janssen (Hol) beats Herman Van Springel (Bel)

Largest winning margins (since 1947)
28m 17s: 1952 – Fausto Coppi (Ita) beats Constant Ockers (Bel)
26m 16s: 1948 – Gino Bartali (Ita) beats Alberic Schotte (Bel)
22m 00s: 1951 – Hugo Koblet (Sui) beats Raphael Geminiani (Fra)

Yellow jersey wearers by nation
France: 82
Belgium: 53
Italy: 25
Holland: 17
Germany: 12
Spain: 12
Switzerland: 10
Luxembourg: 7
Denmark: 6
USA and Australia: 5
Great Britain: 4
Ireland: 3
Canada: 2
Austria, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Estonia, Colombia, Norway and Ukraine: 1

Most days in the yellow jersey
Eddy Merckx (Bel): 111
Lance Armstrong (USA): 83
Bernard Hinault (Fra): 79
Miguel Indurain (Spa): 60
Jacques Anquetil (Fra): 52

Most green jersey victories
6: Erik Zabel (Ger) – 1996-2001
4: Sean Kelly (Ire) – 1982-83, 1985, 1989
3: Jan Janssen (Hol) – 1964-65, 1967
3: Eddy Merckx (Bel) – 1969, 1971-72
3: Freddy Maertens (Bel) – 1976, 1978, 1981
3: Djamolidine Abdoujaparov (Uzb) – 1991, 1993-94
3: Robbie McEwen (Aus) – 2002, 2004, 2006

Green jersey winners by nation
Belgium: 19
France: 9
Germany: 8
Holland, Ireland and Australia: 4
Uzbekistan: 3
Italy, Switzerland and Norway: 2
Spain, Great Britain: 1

Most polka-dot jersey victories
7: Richard Virenque (Fra) – 1994-97, 1999, 2003-04
6: Federico Bahamontes (Spa) – 1954, 1958-59, 1962-64
6: Lucien Van Impe (Bel) – 1971-72, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1983

Polka-dot jersey winners by nation
France: 18
Spain: 15
Italy: 13
Belgium: 11
Colombia: 4

Most white jersey victories
3: Andy Schleck (Lux) – 2008-2010
3: Jan Ullrich (Ger) – 1996-98
2: Marco Pantani (Ita) – 1994-95

White jersey winners by nation
France, Holland, Italy and Spain: 5
Germany: 4
Luxembourg: 3
Colombia, USA and Russia: 2
Australia, Mexico and Ukraine: 1

Highest average speed of Tour winner
41.654kph: Lance Armstrong (USA) – 2005
40.940kph: Lance Armstrong (USA) – 2003
40.553kph: Lance Armstrong (USA) – 2004

Biggest winning margin in a stage (since 1947)
22m 50s: 1976 (Montgenevre-Manosque) - Jose Luis Viego (Spa)
21m 48s: 1957 (Pau-Bordeaux) – Pierino Baffi (Ita)
20m 31s: 1955 (Millau-Albi) – Daan De Groot (Hol)

Most stage victories
34: Eddy Merckx (Bel)
28: Bernard Hinault (Fra)
25: Andre Leducq (Fra)
22: Andre Darrigade (Fra)
22: Lance Armstrong (USA)
20: Nicolas Frantz (Lux)
20: Mark Cavendish (GBr)

Most time trial victories
20: Bernard Hinault (Fra)
16: Eddy Merckx (Bel)
11: Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
11: Lance Armstrong (USA)

Most stage wins in one Tour
8: Charles Pelissier (Fra) – 1930
8: Eddy Merckx (Bel) – 1970, 1974
8: Freddy Maertens (Bel) – 1976

Oldest Tour winners (age at end of the race)
36: Firmin Lambot (Bel) – 1922
34: Henri Pelissier (Fra) – 1923
34: Gino Bartali (Ita) - 1948
34: Cadel Evans (Aus) – 2011

Youngest Tour winners (age at end of the race)
19: Henri Cornet (Fra) – 1904
21: Romain Maes (Bel) – 1935
22: Francois Faber (Lux) – 1909
22: Octave Lapize (Fra) – 1910
22: Philippe Thys (Bel) – 1913
22: Felice Gimondi (Ita) – 1965
22: Laurent Fignon (Fra) – 1983

Longest gap between victories
10 Years: Gino Bartali (Ita) – 1938 and 1948

Most Tour starts
16: Joop Zoetemelk (Hol)
16: George Hincapie (USA)