Coppi was the first rider in the history of the sport to win the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in the same year which he did twice in 1949 and 1952. At the World road race championships in 1949 Coppi came third behind Rik Van Steenbergen of Belgium. Merckx was the first rider to win the triple crown but he had already come close to winning it in 1972 when he won both the Tour and the Giro, coming fourth in the World road race. After his disappointment, Merckx broke the world hour record several weeks later.
Indurain won the Giro-Tour double in both 1992 and 1993 and in both years he was very active in the World Road Race. In 1992 he finished sixth but in 1993 Indurain was very close to winning the Triple crown when he finished second behind Lance Armstrong.
Winning one grand tour and world championship in one year
Hinault was aiming for winning the triple crown during the 1980 season. That year he won the 1980 Giro d'Italia before going on to the 1980 Tour de France. However during the Tour, Hinault suffered from knee injury and despite winning three stages, he left the race while leading the general classification. Several weeks later he became world champion in Salanches. In the table below are the results in other grand tours of cyclists who won the world championship and a grand tour in one year. DNF (did not finish) indicates that the cyclist started the race, but did not finish; DNE (did not enter) indicates that the cyclist did not enter the race.
The triple crown of cycling is sometimes defined as winning all three grand tours (Tour de France, Vuelta a España and Giro d'Italia) in a career, although this is sometimes named grand tour triple crown According to this definition, the triple crown of cycling has been won by five cyclists:
The definition for Triple Crown of Cycling can also mean winning all three Grand Tours in the same year. As of 2012, this has never been achieved; only 39 times has a cyclist finished the three grand tours in one year. Of those 39 who completed 3 tours in one year, only Raphaël Geminiani and Gastone Nencini managed to finish top ten each tour. In 2010, Alberto Contador's new team manager Bjarne Riis claimed that Contador could win all three grand tours in the same year, but his main rival Andy Schleck said it would be impossible.
Eddy Merckx won the four grand tours between 1972–1973: Giro 1972, Tour 1972, Vuelta 1973 and Giro 1973. Bernard Hinault won the three grand tours in 1982–1983: Giro 1982, Tour 1982 and Vuelta 1983. These two champions did not claim the triple crown in a calendar year.
Completing all three grand tours in one year
Cyclists who have completed all three grand tours in the same year
As of 2012 39 riders completed all three grand tours in the same year: