Updated date:

Winning Bikes of the Tour De France

Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. He is also a keen cyclist as well as being a lover of the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District.

Miguel Indurain riding a steel Pinarello bicycle in the the mountains during the Tour De France

Miguel Indurain riding a steel Pinarello bicycle in the the mountains during the Tour De France

A Look at the Bicycles That Won the Tour De France

Sometimes we can get overawed by the human accomplishment of the riders in the Tour De France, yet they're all riding a bicycle and bikes have changed dramatically over the years as frameset materials have evolved from the traditional steel to modern flowing lines of superlight carbon fibre.

Gear systems have progressed dramatically over time from the early riders using single speed bicycles to ride across the vineyards of France and up high into the Mountains. Now technology is starting to take bicycles to new levels.

This article addresses which bikes have the yellow jersey winner over the Tour De France ridden? What were they made from and what groupsets lead them to the yellow jersey.

A Guide to the Bicycles of Tour De France Winners

Below is a detailed and concise guide to the bicycles that have been ridden to Tour de France glory, the wheels that have rotated their way around France and the equipment which has helped the riders achieve the goal of winning the Tour De France.

Miguel Indurain in Tour de France Time Trial Action

Indurain in yellow leading the Tour De France during a Time Trial stage while riding a Pinarello.

Indurain in yellow leading the Tour De France during a Time Trial stage while riding a Pinarello.

2020- Glory for Colnago and Campagnolo

2020 saw a somewhat unexpected winner in 21-year-old Slovenian Tadej Pogacar who completed a 'smash and grab' win in the final Mountain Time Trial to La Planche des Belle Filles.

With Jumbo Visma's Primoz Roglic expected to succeed from a relative position of power in the leaders Yellow jersey it wasn't expected for Pogacar to triumph. Only the imperial Eddy Merckx had seemingly predicted what would happen next as Roglic somewhat imploded on the mountain.

Pogacar rode a Colnago to the brand's first outright Tour de France win. Ernesto Colnago had created framesets for previous champions that had been ridden adorned with different sponsors previously however the Tour win had been elusive.

Pogacar rode a Colnago V3RS frameset throughout the 2020 Tour de France with exception to the flatter first section of the penultimate time trial stage.


The Last Days of Steel: Miguel Indurain 1991-1995

Spanish strongman and time trial specialist Miguel Indurain was the last cyclist to win the Tour De France on a steel framed bicycle. He rode a Pinarello steel frame in each of his 5 Tour De France wins.

Bicycle Nationality: Italian

Groupset: Campagnolo

Wheels: Campagnolo

Indurain was one of the best time trial cyclists in the world, and Pinarello made some very specialised time trial frames which helped Indurain claim his five Tour victories. Indurain was always able to capitalise on his time trial ability while conserving his position while never being spectacular in the mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees.

The 90's Were The Years of Italian Bike Dominance in the Tour De France

Alongside the wins for Indurain on a Pinarello there were two more wins for the Italian bicycle manufacturer for the German Telekom cycling team with Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich.

Win's for the Telekom Team aboard Pinarello bicycles 1996 and 1997

Rider: Bjarne Riis (1996), Jan Ullrich (1997)

Bicycle Nationality: Italian

Groupset: Campagnolo

A Tortured Genius Riding a Bianchi in 1998

Another Italian bicycle manufacturer took control of the Tour De France yellow jersey in 1998. Pantani was a flawed genius whose personal troubles led to problems off the bike and subsequently meant he was unable to win the Tour De France more often in line with his immense potential.

The Italian bicycle manufacturer Bianchi is famous for its celeste colour scheme which worked extremely well with the yellow of the Tour De France leaders jersey. Bianchi provided Marco Pantani aluminum frames to win the Tour De France.

Bicycle Manufacturer Nationality: Italian

Groupset: Campagnolo

Lance Armstrong in the Yellow Jersey Riding a Carbon Fibre Trek Madone Ahead of 1998 Winner Marco Pantani on an Aluminum Bianchi

Lance Armstrong climbing ahead of Marco Pantani. Lance Armstrong is on a Trek OCLV Madone with Mavic Ksyrium wheels and Shimano Dura ace components

Lance Armstrong climbing ahead of Marco Pantani. Lance Armstrong is on a Trek OCLV Madone with Mavic Ksyrium wheels and Shimano Dura ace components

1999-2005: Lance Armstrong's American Dominance Aboard a Trek Bicycle

Lance Armstrong became the first American to win the Tour De France on an American bike with and an American Team in 1999 and led to an American dominance within the sport alongside the Wisconsin based Trek bicycle company

Tour De France 1999- 2005 Winning Bicycles Trek Oclv (Optimum compaction low void) Carbon and Madone model. These were the first carbon fibre frames to win the Tour De France

In 1999 Armstrong rode a Trek 5500. This was the first carbon bicycle frame to win the Tour De France.

Bicycle Nationality: American

Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace

Wheels: During the 1999 Tour De France the US Postal Team used Rolf wheelsets on their Trek 5500 series OCLV Race bikes. In 2000 Armstrong utilized French company Mavic's Ksyrium wheelset, and from 2001 onwards Armstrong rode wheels made by Trek's in-house equipment manufacturer Bontrager.

Sadly as of October 2012, Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his 7 Tour De France Titles- effectively removing Armstrong from the record books. Armstrong has been left within this report due to the impact his success had on the sport and the rise to prominence of the Trek and Bontrager brands.

Lance Armstrong on His Trek Madone Bike at Le Tour

2011 and 2012: The years of Shimano Di2 electronic Groupsets

Traditionally the gears of a bicycle have always used wire cables to change gear and brake. 2009 saw the launch of Shimano's first high-end electronic bicycle groupset. The Shimano Dura Ace Di2 which promises more reliable gear shifts due to the requirement for no more wires and less hassle: if it all works right!

Team Sky's Luke Rowe at the Tour of Britain 2012 with a Pinarello Dogma like the one used by Bradley Wiggins in his Tour De France win. Equipped with Di2 Dura-Ace

Team Sky's Luke Rowe at the Tour of Britain 2012 with a Pinarello Dogma like the one used by Bradley Wiggins in his Tour De France win. Equipped with Di2 Dura-Ace

Tour De France 2012: Bradley Wiggins Wins Aboard an Italian Pinarello Dogma

2012 saw the rise of former British Track star Bradley Wiggins and the meticulous preparation of Team Sky which stemmed from the success of their incremental gains approach derived from the highly successful British Cycling Track Team led by Dave Brailsford.

Tour De France 2012 Winning Bicycle: Pinarello Dogma

Bicycle Nationality: Italian

Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Electronic groupset

Wheels: Mainly Shimano Dura-Ace Carbon Fibre wheelsets however sky did have some unbadged wheels which were used on some stages.

A Team Sky Pinarello Dogma getting a clean down after a long day at work in the Tour De France

A Team Sky Pinarello Dogma getting a clean down after a long day at work in the Tour De France

2010: The Year of Swiss Engineering Genius and Cadel Evans

In 2010 Cadel Evans became the first antipodean to win the Tour De France. The Australian was successful riding two rather unique looking bicycles from the Swiss BMC brand of Andy Rihs.

Evans used two road bicycles

The BMC Team Machine SLR01 was one of the first road racing frames to incorporate Nanolight technologies to further improve the performance characteristics of carbon fibre

Evans' BMC Impec was at the forefront of cutting edge carbon technology. Entirely machine built when traditionally carbon fibre framesets were made in frame moulds. BMC claims that their technology of 'Load Specific Weave' creates completely flawless carbon fibre tubes while their 'Shell Node Concept' creates a high density bonded shell to hold tubes in place and maintain structural integrity.

Tour De France 2011 Winning Bicycle: BMC Team Machine and BMC Impec

Bicycle Nationality: Swiss

Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Electronic groupset

Wheels: Easton

2013: Another Year of Sky Dominance With Chris Froome

2013 saw the rise of Bradley Wiggins' trusted lieutenant from 2012: Chris Froome. Froome had threatened to drop Wiggins in the mountains during the 2012 edition, and the more mountainous route for 2013 signified he would be team leader.

Froome won the 2013 Tour de France in a way that would have pleased the purists- He won it on the attack in the mountains whilst also time trialing well. His attacks were electric, and his riding meant that he didn't need to rely on what appeared to be an at times struggling Sky team.

Tour De France 2013 Winning Bicycle: Pinarello Dogma

Bicycle Frame Nationality: Italian

Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Electronic groupset

Wheels: Mainly Shimano Dura-Ace Carbon Fibre wheelsets.

Alberto Contador Rode his Astana Team Trek bicycle to Tour De France Victory in 2009 to take the first ever victory for Sram.

Alberto Contador Rode his Astana Team Trek bicycle to Tour De France Victory in 2009 to take the first ever victory for Sram.

Which Groupset Manufacturer Has Won the Most Tour De France Races?

Over the course of the history of the Tour De France, the Italian manufacturer's groupsets have graced the most Tour De France Yellow Jersey winners bicycles.

Shimano first graced a Tour Winners bicycle in 1999 with the first win for the legendary Lance Armstrong who after battling testicular cancer went on to win a record-breaking 7 Tour De France Titles

The American groupset manufacturer Sram first won the Tour De France on the Astana Trek bicycle of Alberto Contador in 2009 featuring their unique 'Double-Tap' shifting mechanism (pictured right). The win helped to establish the company in the cycling marketplace as a rival to the established Shimano and Campagnolo brands.

The table below shows details of Tour De France Winners since 1986, what bicycle manufacturer they rode, their cycling team and the groupset manufacturer whose equipment took them to Tour De France victory.

2014- Nibali Aboard A Specialized S Works

Team Astana riders aboard Specialized S-Works Tarmac bikes as riden to Tour De France Success by Vincenzo Nibali

Team Astana riders aboard Specialized S-Works Tarmac bikes as riden to Tour De France Success by Vincenzo Nibali

Tour De France 2014- Vincenzo Nibali Wins on Specialized and with Campagnolo

It's been a long time since an Italian won the Tour de France and in 2014 Vincenzo Nibali showed just what a classy rider he was as the Tour had it's Grand Depart in Yorkshire for the very first time.

Nibali showed his dominance aboard a Specialized bicycle on the second stage by winning after a challenging parcours across the Pennines and into the Peak District with climbs of Holme Moss and the notorious Strines area on the run in to Sheffield. Nibali's dominance continued on the mountain stages where no riders were able to match his strength.

Nibali's win was aboard a bike equipped with an 11 speed Campagnolo groupset for the Kazakh Astana team after withdrawals by Chris Froome and Alberto Contador following crashes.

Tour De France Winning Bikes 1986 to present

YearWinnerBicycle BrandTeamGroupset Manufacturer

2020

Tadej Pogacar

Colnago

UAE Emirates

Campagnolo

2019

Egan Bernal

Pinarello

Sky

Shimano

2018

Geraint Thomas

Pinarello

Sky

Shimano

2017

Christopher Froome

Pinarello

Sky

Shimano

2016

Christopher Froome

Pinarello

Sky

Shimano

2015

Christopher Froome

Pinarello

Sky

Shimano

2014

Vincenzo Nibali

Specialized

Astana

Campagnolo

2013

Christopher Froome

Pinarello

Team Sky

Shimano

2012

Bradley Wiggins

Pinarello

Team Sky

Shimano

2011

Cadel Evans

BMC

BMC

Shimano

2010

Andy Schleck(1)

Specialized S Works

Saxo Bank

Sram

2009

Alberto Contador

Trek

Astana

Sram

2008

Carlos Sastre

Cervelo

Team CSC

Shimano

2007

Alberto Contador

Trek

Discovery Channel

Shimano

2006

Oscar Pereiro(2)

Pinarello

Caisse D'Epargne

Campagnolo

2005

No Official Winner(3)

Trek

Discovery Channel

Shimano

2004

No Official Winner(3)

Trek

US Postal

Shimano

2003

No Official Winner(3)

Trek

US Postal

Shimano

2002

No Official Winner(3)

Trek

US Postal

Shimano

2001

No Official Winner(3)

Trek

US Postal

Shimano

2000

No Official Winner(3)

Trek

US Postal

Shimano

1999

No Official Winner(3)

Trek

US Postal

Shimano

1998

Marco Pantani

Bianchi

Mercatone Uno- Bianchi

Campagnolo

1997

Jan Ullrich

Pinarello

Team Telekom

Campagnolo

1996

Bjarne Riis

Pinarello

Team Telekom

Campagnolo

1995

Miguel Indurain

Pinarello

Banesto

Campagnolo

1994

Miguel Indurain

Pinarello

Banesto

Campagnolo

1993

Miguel Indurain

Pinarello

Banesto

Campagnolo

1992

Miguel Indurain

Pinarello

Banesto

Campagnolo

1991

Miguel Indurain

Pinarello

Banesto

Campagnolo

1990

Greg Lemond

Own brand labeled

Z

Campagnolo

1989

Greg Lemond

Bottecchia

ADR

Mavic

1988

Pedro Delgado

Pinarello

Reynolds

Campagnolo

1987

Stephen Roche

Carrera

Carrera

Campagnolo

1986

Greg Lemond

Look

La Vie Claire

Campagnolo

Which bike brand Has Won the Tour de France Most Often?

Looking back on the history books for the modern era as featured on the table above it would appear that Trek as a bike manufacturer has won the Tour De France the most times.

However as the table above states in the footnotes that with Lance Armstrong being stripped of all of his Tour wins as of late 2012 this would now indicate that the Italian bicycle manufacturer Pinarello have won the most Tour victories in the modern era

Pinarello Bikes Won The Tour in

1991-1995 with Miguel Indurain, 1996 with Bjarne Riis, 1997 with Jan Ullrich, 2012 with Bradley Wiggins and 2013, 2015,2016 and 2017 with Chris Froome of Team Sky Procycling

Geraint Thomas became a very worthy winner in 2018 after supporting Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome for many years. He won aboard a carbon fibre Dogma frameset

Egan Bernal became Colombia's first Tour de France winner in 2019 aboard a Pinarello Dogma F10

Forza Pinarello.

Test your Tour De France Bicycle knowledge

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. In what year did a carbon bicycle first win the Tour De France?
    • 1995
    • 1997
    • 1999
    • 2001
  2. Who last rode a steel frame to Tour De France Glory?
    • Greg Lemond
    • Miguel Indurain
    • Marco Pantani
    • Cadel Evans
  3. Which groupset manufacturer has won the most TdF's?
    • Campagnolo
    • Shimano
    • Sram
    • Mavic
  4. In what year did an electronic groupset first win the Tour De France?
    • 2007
    • 2008
    • 2009
    • 2010

Answer Key

  1. 1999
  2. Miguel Indurain
  3. Campagnolo
  4. 2010

© 2012 Liam Hallam

Comments

Paul on April 05, 2018:

Stephen Roche rode a Battaglin in 1987.

Vittorio on November 04, 2013:

Miguel Indurain in 1991 used Razesa bikes(official bike) with reynolds 653 steel tubes and TVT bike for climbing. The same Delgado in 1988.

Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on September 10, 2013:

Thanks Alex- now updated,. Thanks for the information

Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on September 10, 2013:

Thanks Alex, Never trust the internet 100% for your sources as I took that info from a number of prominent blogs. I have now noted and corrected the error- Thanks for your feedback. CF

Alex on September 09, 2013:

Pedro Delgado rone a Piranello when he won the 1988 tour and he rode for Team Reynolds, not PDM..

Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on November 14, 2012:

Thanks Richard. That's an interesting idea. I certainly can't remove any entry from the Armstrong years as this article focuses on The Bike and not the athlete- however with the athlete responsible for powering the bike it is a difficult situation. It certainly needs a further footnote to the table- thanks for your comment

Richard on November 13, 2012:

You should vacate the "winner" column for 1999-2005 on this page. It's hard to know how to fix the "bike" columns; I've read that Cadel Evans was the "moral" winner of the 2005 race.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on July 22, 2012:

Great Hub. Pretty much a history of the Tour. Enjoyed the quiz. Thaks for sharing with us.

Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on July 22, 2012:

Thanks carol for your feedback. It's hard to believe that there is no colnago bikes that have won the tour in modern times. They have been ridden this year to the polka dot jersey by Thomas Voeckler of team Europecar. I think it may be eddy Merckx who last won the tour on a colnago

carol stanley from Arizona on July 22, 2012:

I found this hub as I was looking on forum for answers to specific hub questions. My son rode behind the tour de france last year. We have Colnago that was once a Tour de France bike used. We ride daily for fun and exercise. I enjoyed this hub a lot and gained some interesting facts.Voted UP

Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on July 20, 2012:

Thanks super mario. I hope the table worked well for you. I managed to combine info from a large number of sources for it-. CF

SuperMario on July 20, 2012:

Loving the info table- I wanted to find out who's won the most Tours- Campag or Simano and that shows me in a great way

But cheeky putting Wiggins before he's won though!

Related Stories

what-are-cyclings-monument-races

What Are Cycling's Monument Races?

The Monuments is the collective name for five one-day races organised by the UCI. Cycling's Monuments are five Classic cycling races the Milan-San Remo classic, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and the Giro di Lombardia.