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  Laurent Jalabert    

Picture courtesy of www.corvos.nl
Laurent Jalabert was born on November 30, 1968.

Jalabert was a complete rider who won the overall, mountains, and points jerseys in the Grand Tours. Jalabert is only the second rider in Tour de France history to win two Mountains jerseys and two Points jersey in his career. The only other rider to achieve this feat was Eddy Merckx.

Jalabert’s seven Points Jerseys in the Grand Tours is third to Erik Zabel's nine jerseys and Sean Kelly's eight jerseys. Jalabert’s tally of Points Jerseys include two in the Tour de France, 1992 and 1995, one in the 1999 Giro d’Italia and four in the Vuelta a Espana, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997.

In addition, Jalabert won all of the jersey competitions (overall, mountains and points) in the 1995 Vuelta a Espana in his victory over Abraham Olano of Spain and Johan Bruyneel of Belgium. Jalabert is the second rider to achieve this in the Vuelta. Tony Rominger also accomplished the feat in 1993.

Eddy Merckx is the only other person to achieve this feat in the Grand Tours as he won all three jerseys in the 1968 Giro d'Italia and the 1969 Tour de France.

Early in his career, Jalabert was one of the best sprinters in the peloton. In the first road stage of the 1994 Tour de France, he crashed heavily at Armentieres, France. Jalabert was following Wilfried Nelissen when a French policman at the finish for crowd control stepped into the roadway for a picture.

Nelissen collided with the policeman bringing both of them down along with Jalabert and a few other riders. Jalabert broke his cheekbones and shattered his front teeth.

After the accident, Jalabert seemed to mature as a rider and went on to victory in numerous one-day races and even the Tour of Spain.

Later is his career, in 2001 and 2002, he won back to back titles in the Tour de France Mountains Jersey competition. Jalabert was a rider who had tremendous respect from both fans and fellow cyclists.

Picture courtesy of www.corvos.nl

Jalabert won two of cycling’s five monuments, the Milan-San Remo in 1995 and the Tour of Lombardy in 1997. Jalabert was also second in the World Championship Road Race in 1992 behind Gianni Bugno of Italy. In all, Jalabert won over 165 races.

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