LES HERBIERS, France, July 1, 2011 (AFP) – Reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador is aiming to complete a rare double when he saddles up for the epic three-week race on Saturday.
Only seven riders in history have won the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in the same year with Italian climbing specialist Marco Pantani the last to do so, in 1998.
Some riders have won the two biggest stage races on the calendar several times, with Belgian legend Eddy Merckx coming out on top doing the double in 1970, 1972 and 1974.
Giro d’Italia – Tour de France doubles
Fausto Coppi (ITA): 1949, 1952
Jacques Anquetil (FRA): 1964
Eddy Merkcx (BEL): 1970, 1972, 1974
Bernard Hinault (FRA): 1982, 1985
Stephen Roche (IRL): 1987
Miguel Indurain (ESP): 1992, 1993
Marco Pantani (ITA): 1998