Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cyclist Card #1 Federico Bahamontes

Bahamontes on Col de Tourmalet in 1954 Tour de France
Bahamontes was one of the most consistent climbers in the history of the Grand Tours.

Bahamontes was a climbing specialist to whom reporters gave the nickname the Eagle of Toledo.

He rode in a distinctive upright style, staring ahead, his shorts pulled high on his thighs, his hands repeatedly changing position on the handlebars.(see also

He was the first rider to win six mountains jersey competitions in the Tour de France (1954, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, and 1964).

Bahamontes won the Mountains Jersey twice in the Vuelta a Espana (1957 and 1959). In addition, Bahamontes shared the Mountains Jersey prize with Charly Gaul and M. Del Rio in the 1956 Giro d’Italia. (see also

Bahamontes was the first rider in history to win the Mountains Jersey in all three Grand Tours.

The most famous myth was that Bahamontes had once attacked on an Alpine mountain pass so that he could have time to eat an ice cream at the top, and the reality is only slightly more mundane.

"One of my wheel spokes broke halfway up, so I attacked so the repairs could be carried out at the top without me losing time," he explains. "But the team car carrying the spares got stuck behind the main bunch, so I bought an ice cream to pass the time." (

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