Stephen Roche is one of only two riders ever to complete cycling’s Triple Crown. Following Eddy Merckx‘s wins in the 1974 Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and World Championships, Roche equalled the feat by conquering all three in 1987.
This season proved to be the peak of Irishman’s career – and a high peak it was – but he did continue to ride and win up until 1993.
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Ahead of his golden year, 1986 was characterised by a serious knee injury picked up at a Six Day track event in Paris. This injury troubled him for the rest of his riding days, but it was not that incident that the 56-year-old chose to highlight.
Roche won the Four Days of Dunkerque in 1990, but it was far from an easy or simple win. Racing over a cobbled sector on the penultimate day and as race leader, Roche was brought down in a crash and sliced open his right elbow.
The cut bled into his spokes and meant that he finished the stage covered in blood. He got patched up, finished the race the next day and took the overall win.
Other episodes of ‘show us your scars’ include Alexander Kristoff, Geraint Thomas and Bernard Hinault.