Where to start with Miguel Indurain? Science doesn't even know where to start with 'Big Mig'. According to tests carried out at a University in Italy, his blood carries twice as much oxygen around his body as an average human, his cardiac output was twice that of an average human, his lung capacity was 1.8 litres above average, and his resting pulse was seen to hit 28 BPM. Essentially, Miguel Indurain was anything but average – and born to be a pro-cyclist.
Five time consecutive Tour de France winner, two time Giro d'Italia winner, youngest rider to ever lead la Vuelta a Espana, Miguel has a list of achievements as tall as himself. Turning pro in 1984, Miguel spent the next twelve years – his entire career – with the Reynolds team (who would go on to become Banesto during his tenure, and are nowadays known as Movistar).
He won his first pro-race only a week after turning professional, taking the time trial at the Tour de l'Avenir and came second in the prologue of his first ever Vuelta a Espana. Later that year he started his first of eleven editions of the Tour de France. Spending his early career supporting team mate Pedro Delgado, he specialised in the Time Trial – That talent would go on to support him in his own bids for victory as he could gain minutes of his nearest rivals and then ride more defensively in the mountains.
In 1991 he won his first Tour de France, taking seven minutes from favourite Greg LeMond on the Tourmalet. In 1992 and 1993, Indurain won the Tour and the Giro. In 1994 he won the Tour de France and broke Graeme Obree's Hour Record in the Bordeaux velodrome just weeks later.
In 1995 he won his fifth Tour de France, breaking the record for most consecutive wins, and equalling the overall record of Anquetil, Hinault and Merckx. He went on to win the World Time Trial championship in Colombia. In 1996 his Tour de France streak came to an end but he won the Criterium du Dauphine and took Gold in the Time Trial at the Atlanta Olympics which is a remarkable achievement in itself.
Indurain retired unexpectedly, at only 33 years old, to spend more time with his family, however he has remained a presence in the sport, working with the UCI and creating the Miguel Indurain Foundation in Navarre, Spain. It's because of this stellar history and his deep connection to his roots in North Western Spain that we know Miguel is the perfect addition to our LeBlanq Rioja event.
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