07 June 2017

1. His school nickname was Torpedo, but not because of his build, because of the baguette-sized giant sandwiches he’d bring to eat at break-time.

2. For years, he took the same book - a romantic novel -  to the Tour de France, but only because he would read the same half-chapter each evening before falling asleep - and then would have to go back to the beginning again, having forgotten what happened!

3. His father and his uncle married two sisters from the same farming family.

4. Indurain, despite being considered the Tour’s greatest time triallist, never kept a time trial bike in his home. 

5. Indurain’s brother, Prudencio, was also a rider in Banesto, Indurain’s team and he looked so similar to his brother when in race gear he was said to have signed autographs for Miguel.

6. The helmet Indurain used in his successful 1994 Hour Record bid is currently in the offices of the Club Ciclista Villavés, his old amateur club.

7. Indurain was legendary for never crashing in the Tour de France. But despite his considerable bike handling skills, he once crashed twice, in a Vuelta a Murcia race in the same day, because he had not got any sleep the previous night thanks to a team-mate’s snoring.

8. Until Bradley Wiggins won the Tour in 2012, Indurain was the tallest ever Tour de France winner.

9. Indurain is a very good card player.

10. When visiting Rome, Indurain once gave the Pope a mountain-bike.

Related articles