Our rundown of the cycling stars who missed out on a stage win of the sport's biggest race.
Simpson was British cycling’s first international star. But while he won several Classics and wore the yellow jersey in 1962, he narrowly missed out on stage glory before his tragic death on Ventoux.
For good reason too: he rode it once, in 1987, and abandoned after a fortnight. Given this was a star who plundered big races and Giro stages at will for a decade, his employers weren’t bothered about Saronni missing some French race in July.
Former world champion and Tour of Flanders winner “Criq” rode the Tour every year from 1979 to 1990, finishing in the top ten overall five times without ever raising his arms. It looks like compatriot Jurgen Van den Broeck is continuing his legacy these days.
Compare his five Monument victories to five Tour starts and three abandons. In his last one in 2004, Bartoli went from an Alpine stage breakaway to abandoning the race within 40 kilometres.
In 1956, Walkowiak got a lot of stick for making it into an early break then gutsily defending his lead all the way to Paris. He remains the only Tour champion who has never claimed a stage of the actual race.
The Flying Milkman, a nickname earned from his pre-cycling profession, Verbeeck had Classics and Tour stage misses galore: third in four and second in a few more. That said, he started renowned cycling clothing brand Vermarc after retirement, so he’s having the last laugh.
He cracked Roubaix, but the man of many different nationalities raced the Tour five times in the mid-Nineties without any joy. Maybe Tchmil needed some more cobbles and cataclysmic conditions.
It wasn’t like he didn’t have the chances. Nulens rode 15 Tours de France – that’s nearly a year of his life - and all he has to tell the grandchildren about is being part of a TTT win in 1988.
The least-known rider on the list was a true “eternal second”. Fast man Picot was second or third on seven stages between 1956 and 1961, plus runner up in the 1956 points classification after holding the green jersey for most of the race.