By Carlos Cruz
Anyone with even a passing interest in cycling is keenly aware of the most important event in the world of competitive racing: the Tour de France. Winners of the Tour de France typically go on to become household names, as well as the de facto best cyclists on the planet. For any competitive cyclist, entering and placing in the Tour de France is a lifelong dream, one that countless riders have spent their entire lives training for.
While there are myriad skills and talents that Tour de France winners possess, one thing that should not be forgotten is the tools at their disposal. In order to determine whether the right bike really does make all of the difference, let’s take a closer look at the winning bike brands of the Tour de France.
Although not the most frequent bike brand to win the competition by any means, Colnago is entering something of a golden age. Despite never being used to win a Tour de France outright until 2020, Colnago bikes have now taken home the top prize for the past two consecutive years, suggesting that the brand has seriously upped its game. Granted, in both of those times, the bike was being piloted by superstar cyclist Tadej Pogačar. When a Colnago bike wins a third time, then we’ll know something has changed.
When looking at the latest sports betting odds for cycling competitions, there are myriad factors that go into calculating the odds for each and every rider, not all of which are clear. If the brand of bike used by a cyclist is factored into that cyclist’s odds, then we know for sure that anyone riding a Pinarello bike will be getting a boost from the bookies. After all, Pinarello bikes are the number one most frequently used winning brand in the Tour de France, with 15 wins being secured on one.
The legendary French automaker Peugeot has also been manufacturing competition-level cycles for decades, with hundreds of riders using them in the Tour de France. Peugeot secured its first-ever Tour de France victory all the way back in 1905 and has since gone on to win 10 more Tour de France competitions. However, it is worth noting that Peugeot has been out of the top flight for a while now, since the last competitor to win with a Peugeot bike was Bernard Thévenet all the way back in 1977 when he rode a PY-10 to victory.
Gitane was once one of the world’s premier bicycle brands, reaching its zenith in the 1970s with the release of its official ‘Tour de France’ branded bike. Although this particular peloton never actually won the competition, the legendary cyclists Laurent Fignon and Bernard Hinault each rode Gitane bikes to outright victory in the 1960s. With a total of nine Tour de France wins under its belt, Gitane remains one of the best bicycle brands in the history of the competition.
What much of this list demonstrates is actually just how diverse the brand winners of the Tour de France actually are. Although some brands have propelled cyclists to victory many times in the past, more recent years have seen a much more varied picture, with no one brand reigning supreme.