Fans spat at him, tried to shove umbrellas into his spokes: When Caritoux overcame not just the odds to win La Vuelta by the narrowest grand tour margin

Re-Cycle: The cycling history podcast

29-10-2020 • 35分

Just when you thought Tao Geoghegan Hart’s Giro d’Italia victory over Jai Hindley was a close-run thing, we rewind to the 80’s and the closest a GC battle has ever been


In 1984, French rookie Éric Caritoux was called up at the 11th hour to replace the legendary Sean Kelly and make his Vuelta a España debut. He would defy a hostile home crowd, take the race to the wire and top the GC by just six seconds.


As it became clear that Caritoux would push local favourite, Alberto Fernández to the line fans insulted him, spat at him, doused him in cold water, threw newspapers at his wheels, and pelted him with rotten fruit. Some even tried to shove umbrellas into his spokes.


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Re-Cycle is written by Felix Lowe, narrated by Graham Willgoss and produced by Pete Burton. This episode was edited by Ola Fisayo.


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