Few athletes have made so great an impact upon their debut as Eddy Merckx. Considered by many the greatest cyclist ever, the Belgian showed that he meant business as early as his rookie year of 1969, when he left the competition in the dust during the trip over the Pyrenees. His acceleration over the Tourmalet Pass put the pack well behind (thus earning him the nickname “Cannibal”), and he never looked back, going on to win the first of five Tours. Not only has his margin of victory (18 minutes) never been bettered but he also remains the only rider to win the yellow jersey (overall leader), the green jersey (best sprinter) and the red polka-dotted jersey (best climber in the mountains). And had the white jersey for best young rider existed back then, Merckx would doubtless have taken that too.