Cyclists In Profile: Miguel Induráin

Miguel Induráin Larraya was a Spanish road racing cyclist. Before his retirement in 1997, he was the man to beat and the hero for budding cyclists to look up to.

To this day he continues to hold the record for the most Tour de France wins, especially now that Lance Armstrong’s 7 wins were revoked. Now if anyone comes close to beating Miguel, the Tour de France betting odds will skyrocket.

Current Major Achievements

Miguel Induráin Larraya has competed in many cycling events. Even his major wins could fill up an entire museum.

First and foremost, we have to talk about the Tour de France. Between 1991 and 1995, Induráin won 5 general classifications. If we bring that date back to 1989, we can also showcase his amazing 12 individual stage wins too.

Another grand tour we have to mention is the Giro d’Italia. In this race he won 2 general classifications, alongside 1 intergiro classification, and 4 individual stages all between the 1992 and 1993 races.

Where Miguel Induráin Larraya excelled the most was through his stage races. He won the Volta a Catalunya 3 times (1998, 1991, 1992). He won the Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné twice (1989, 1990, and 1995, 1996). And he won the Critérium International and Grand Prix du Midi Libre once (1991 and 1995).

These are all massive achievements, but it doesn’t end there.

Looking at his One-Day races, Miguel Induráin Larraya has some amazing titles to his name. 

He won the Olympic Time Trial in 1996, the World Time Trial Championships in 1995, the National Road Race Championships in 1992, and the Clasica de San Sebastián in 1990.

The last achievement we cannot ignore is his hour record of 53.040 km. This is his personal record but not the current winning one. The current fastest speed in one hour is held by Filippo Ganna with 56.792 km.

5 Years As An Amateur

Induráin grew up in a village called Villava, now named Atarrabia. Of his 4 siblings, brother Prudenciso also became a professional cyclist. Although the bike ended up being his sport of choice, Induráin participated in multiple sports from javelin to basketball.

The first race he ever won was the second one he ever attempted. He rode in the CC Villavés in July 1978 and then raced again just one week later for a heroic win.

By the age of 18, Induráin won the National Amateur Road Championship and became the youngest winner of that race.

12 Years As A Professional

Induráin became a professional cyclist in 1984 where he competed in the Olympic Games. Just a week later, he won his first ever professional race in the Tour de L’Avenir. He was the youngest rider to reach this accomplishment.

In 1991, Induráin won his first-ever Tour de France trophy. Greg LeMond was considered the favorite at the time, and Induráin wasn’t even in the top 5. Even though Induráin started collecting a stream of wins, the critics thought he was too large to climb the iconic roads.

During the entire event, LeMond was easily in the lead, but in the 13th stage, his bike broke. This gave Induráin the time he needed to overtake his rival and become the new leader.

This is the first year of major achievements. Since then, Induráin would win every major tournament in which he entered. 

In 1992 it was the Tour-Giro Double, in 1993 it was his second Tour-Giro Double win, and so on.


Induráin’s physiology was so impressive that the University of Ferrara conducted tests on him to see how his body could produce such impressive results.

His blood could contain over 7 liters of oxygen per minute. For comparison, the average person carries 4 liters and the average professional rider can carry 6.

Induráin had a cardiac output of 50 liters per minute while the average cyclist can only reach 25 liters per minute. And his lung capacity was 7.8 liters which is 2.8 liters more than the average person.

Induráin’s body was superior, which made him perfect for cycling. 

Final Thoughts

Since Induráin’s retirement, there hasn’t been another cyclist to dominate the odds in the same way. Although the latest sports betting odds suggest a certain someone is leading the game, the competition is so tight that anyone can grab the yellow jacket.

However, if more people with the same “mutant” abilities like Induráin’s learn to cycle then we could have a battle of the ages once more.


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