"Jacques Anquetil was the first cyclist to win five Tours de France; in 1961, he held the Yellow jersey from first stage to last. Anquetil was the first to win all three grand tours. He held the hour record. In 1965 he won the gruelling 557km Bordeaux-Paris, the day after taking victory in the week-long Dauphine Libere, an amazing achievement. His generally defensive racing style meant he was less successful in one day races, but even so he won Liege-Bastogne-Liege, considered by many to be the toughest of the Classics. Anquetil was imperious, uncoubtedly the strongest rider of his era. Yet he was never world champion, despite finishing in the top ten on six occasions. Why?
In Master Jacques, Richard Yates argues that it was spite that ensured Anquetil would never win the world title. His rivalry with Raymond Poulidor was so intense that he spent more time preventing Poulidor from winning the world title than trying to win it himself. In other words, it was more important to Anquetil to stop his rival from being world champion than to be world champion himself.
Read more of "A Fine Bromance: Schleck and Contador on the Col du Tourmalet," at The Fixed Factor, here.