The Toledo cyclist Federico Martín Bahamontes has died this Tuesday at the age of 95, as confirmed by the mayor of Toledo, Carlos Velázquez, on his social networks. Nicknamed the eagle of Toledo, he has been one of the seven Spanish cyclists who have managed to win the yellow jersey of the Tour de France throughout the history of the gala competition.
With deep regret, we mourn the loss of Federico Martín Bahamontes, the Eagle of Toledo, a benchmark of the sport that has brought the name of our city to the top.
The first Spaniard to win the Tour de France is part of the history of sports in our country,… pic.twitter.com/QuRV3wBvou
— Carlos Velazquez (@cvelazquezromo) August 8, 2023
Bahamontes was the first Spanish cyclist to arrive in Paris with the yellow jersey, in 1959, but he was also on the podium in 1963 (second) and 1964 (third). In any case, the mountains were his land, as evidenced by the fact that he won the Mountain Grand Prix six times in the French event, as well as twice in the Tour of Spain and once in the Giro d’Italia. In addition, he holds the record of 52 first places in mountain passes of the Tour. He was also famous for escapades, his hallmark. So much so that he was eight days in a row in all the breaks and they gave him the prize for combativeness.
In May 2018, the city of Toledo paid tribute to its most acclaimed cyclist in an act that featured Miguel Indurain, Carlos Sastre, Óscar Pereiro and Pedro Delgado, all of them winners of the Tour de France. Bahamontes went up from Paseo de la Vega to the Miradero in a convertible car in order to recall the same journey he took after winning the Tour de France in 1959.
The tour ended at the Miradero, where the sculpture that Javier Molina Gil sculpted for the occasion was discovered and represents the cyclist climbing in a position of maximum effort.
In the tribute, the former cyclist from Toledo was grateful, but criticized the delay in this tribute. “How long it has taken us to be here. More than when I became a boyfriend with Fermina, ”he joked.
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