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  Federico Bahamontes    

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Born on July 9, 1928, Spain’s Federico Bahamontes was known as the “Eagle of Toledo”.

Bahamontes was one of the most consistent climbers in the history of the Grand Tours.

He was also the first rider to win six mountains jersey competitions in the Tour de France.

Bahamontes won these in 1954, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, and 1964.

He was also the first Spanish rider to win the Tour de France.

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

Bahamontes won the 1959 Tour de France in front of Henri Anglade and Jacques Anquetil of France.

Bahamontes was also 2nd in the 1963 Tour de France behind Jacques Anquetil.

In addition, Bahamontes was 3rd in the 1964 Tour de France behind Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor of France.

Bahamontes was 2nd in the 1957 Vuelta a Espana behind Jesus Lorono of Spain.

Bahamontes also won the Mountains Jersey twice in the Vuelta a Espana, in 1957 and 1959.

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In addition, Bahamontes shared the Mountains Jersey prize with Charly Gaul of Luxembourg and M. Del Rio of Italy in the 1956 Giro d’Italia.

Bahamontes was a majestic climber, but a timid descender.

The considerable advantage he would gain on the climbs would often be eliminated on the descents.

In the seven Tours de France he rode, he won the mountains jersey every year but one.

In his first Tour appearance in 1954, he destroyed the competition on one of the major climbs then stopped for ice cream and waited for his competitors.

Bahamontes’ main rival in the late 1950’s was Charly Gaul. Both were the pre-eminent climbers of the day, though Bahamontes was a more consistent climber.

In 1964, Bahamontes placed third in his last Tour at age 36.

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