While the reasons for his selection are controversial – namely team-mate Andre Cardoso’s failed doping test – the late inclusion of Haimar Zubeldia to the 2017 Tour de France start list continues a remarkable trend.
The Trek-Segafredo rider turned 40 in April, and his Tour de France inclusion means this will be the sixth consecutive Tour to feature a rider over 40 in the peloton
It is all the more remarkable when you consider that between Giuseppe Cerami becoming the oldest Tour stage winner in 1963 aged 41 and Jens Voigt and Chris Horner racing the 2012 edition aged 40, only four 40+ riders started the Tour in the intervening years.
The 50s club
- Zubeldia has a long way to go before breaking the record for oldest Tour de France rider. Henri Paret was 50 when he finished the 1904 Tour.
Raymond Poulidor was 40 when he finished third in his final Tour de France in 1976, Joaquim Agostinho finished 11th aged 41 in 1983, Viatcheslav Ekimov was 40 at his final Tour in 2006 and Inigo Cuesta was also 40 in 2009.
Since 2012, however, there has always been at least one rider over 40, helped first by Voigt’s longevity and then veteran Matteo Tosatto’s golden years – a record now extended by Zubeldia.
Let’s take a closer look at those riders to have joined the Tour’s 40+ club since 2012.