Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape: The Remarkable Life of Jacques Anquetil, the First Five-Times Winner of the Tour de France

By Paul Howard

The outstanding biography of French biking big name Jacques Anquetil Containing specific contributions from Anquetil's kin, associates, teammates, and rivals, this biography untangles fable from truth and confirms that truth is easily stranger than fiction. Jacques Anquetil used to be the 1st guy to win the journey de France 5 occasions; the 1st guy to win all 3 grand tours—the travel de France, Giro d'Italia, and Vuelta a España; and the 1st guy to win either the journey and Vuelta in a single 12 months. despite the fact that, the intense tale of Anquetil doesn't cease at his biking achievements. He admitted to utilizing medicines, angry enthusiasts via confessing that his merely motivation for driving used to be monetary, and infamously indulged his enthusiasm for the excessive lifestyles. He additionally seduced his doctor's spouse, had a toddler together with her daughter, after which sustained a ménage à trois along with his spouse and stepdaughter for 12 years. this can be a interesting, candid examine a debatable and extraordinary guy.

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One other awesome exhibiting within the Critérium des As, run at the back of motorbikes on the horse-racing circuit in Longchamps, observed him lose via simply 3 seconds to Bobet. This was once no suggest feat: Bobet used to be clean from his second-consecutive journey de France victory and it integrated victory over his l. a. Perle teammate Koblet. All of this relative good fortune – very notable for this kind of younger and green rider yet nonetheless truly within the geographical regions of ‘potential greatness’ instead of ‘current famous person’ – went a way to smoothing the connection among Anquetil and Pélissier.

I’ve obtained 3 cancers, yet it’ll take greater than that to get me. I’ll express them. you recognize me . . . ” yet you'll see he used to be donning himself out. prior to the top of the 1st part, he acknowledged, “I’ve obtained to head, simply because they’re anticipating me again on the health center. It’s been nice to determine you. ” and rancid he went. 8 days later, he was once useless. ’ Epilogue CONTROVERSY HAS persevered to enclose Anquetil in dying as in existence. After being allowed many years to boost within the French nationwide attention right into a lamented clever outdated guy of biking, the e-book in 2004 of his daughter’s memories of her youth and the original relations relationships concerned thrust the extra contentious elements of his existence again onto front pages.

It has to be mentioned that Lazaridès’ response may be noticeable within the context of him being the fellow who seemingly stopped whereas top on his personal in the course of an ascent of the Col d’Izoard within the journey many years formerly for worry of being attacked via bears, so desolate did the rustic appear to him. it kind of feels the adaptation within the constitutions of the 2 males used to be suggested. ) This was once like a purple rag to a bull for Pélissier. even if no longer averse to a superb picture chance or perhaps a sturdy wind-up (and having it seems that been able to comparable excesses, being defined in a documentary of the time as a guy in a position to consuming a pint and a 1/2 rum within the night and successful Paris–Tours the following day), this type of blatant omit for the fundamental tenets of the occupation of biking in a single so younger – take care of your physique, sleep plenty and good, no wealthy meals and positively don’t consume to extra – used to be taken as an affront to his place as directeur sportif.

He did appear a piece drained. ’ issues have been approximately to get a lot worse: ‘By three or four a. m. , Jacques stored announcing, “I’m completely knackered. I’m approximately to go to sleep. ” I stated, “Don’t imagine it’s as a result Dauphiné, simply because i think like that, too. ” I didn’t, in fact. I lied to him, considering if he falls asleep, I’m gonna lose my pockets. So, I’m pushing him, and he’s leaning on Stablinski. Stab’s acquired one arm around his shoulder, and I’m the opposite part, pushing on his saddle at nighttime. ’ the trouble concerned for Anquetil to stick conscious and for Denson and Stablinski to maintain him going was once merely tolerable end result of the rather sedate nature of the 1st few hours of the race.

Sophie isn't her in simple terms grandchild (there’s additionally Steve, son of Alain and Dominique), however it is obviously Annie’s daughter and her young children who symbolize the most powerful hyperlink to Jacques and are the explanation Jeanine settled in Corsica a few ten years in the past. Annie additionally lives inside a five-minute force, but it’s her love for Jacques – ‘I nonetheless leave out him extraordinarily, on a daily basis’ – manifested in her wish to be close to Sophie’s relations, that shines via. definitely, even at an early level of their affair, whilst their courting was once nonetheless a heavily guarded mystery, Jeanine verified a rare willingness to deal with her lover.

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