Living Legends

Jul 1, 2004
Outside Magazine
Tour de France Miguel Indurain

Miguel Indurain (Spain)
Age: 39
Tour Wins: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
Wore Yellow: 60 days
Miguel Indurain reigned so completely over the Tour that he won five in a row, becoming the first (and, until Lance, only) rider to accomplish the feat. In the process, "Big Mig" established himself as Spain's greatest sportsman—a star whose determination was exceeded only by his shyness. (Teammates said he spoke mostly with his shoulders.) Renowned for his imposing size (six-two, 176 pounds), Indurain possessed an extraordinary lung capacity, a resting heart rate—28 beats per minute—that would qualify most humans as dead, and monster talent, especially in time trials. The farmer's son from the Spanish village of Villava retired in 1997 and now lives in nearby Pamplona. You lost the Tour at age 32. Is 32-year-old Lance Armstrong over the hill? "He's at an age where there's a limit to your athletic performance—but he can still have good years. And he's very motivated." You've said you like to keep things in perspective—that the Tour is only a bicycle race. Still, do you ever wish you'd tried to snag it one last time? "I did try to win a sixth, but it was not to be." Do you want Lance to win? "I want the best rider to win."