Laurent Jalabert

Laurent Jalabert

Jalabert at the 1993 Tour de France
Personal information
Full name Laurent Jalabert
Nickname Jaja and "le panda"
Born (1968-11-30) 30 November 1968
Mazamet, France
Team information
Current team Retired
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type All-rounder
Amateur team(s)
1987 US Montauban
1988 GSC Blagnac
Professional team(s)
1989-1991 Toshiba
1992-2000 ONCE
2001-2002 Team CSC
Major wins

Grand Tours

Tour de France
Points classification (1992, 1995)
Mountains classification (2001, 2002)
Combativity award (2001, 2002)
4 individual stages
Giro d'Italia
Points classification (1999)
3 individual stages
Vuelta a España
General classification (1995)
Points classification (19941997)
Mountains classification (1995)
18 individual stages

Stage races

Paris–Nice (1995, 1996, 1997)
Volta a Catalunya (1995)
Critérium International (1995)
Vuelta a Burgos (1997)
Tour de Romandie (1999)
Tour of the Basque Country (1999)

One-day races and Classics

World Time Trial Championship (1997)
National Road Race Championship (1998)
Milan–San Remo (1995)
La Flèche Wallonne (1995, 1997)
Giro di Lombardia (1997)
Milano–Torino (1997)
Clásica de San Sebastián (2001, 2002)


UCI Road World Rankings
(1995, 1996, 1997, 1999)
Velo d'Or (1995)

Laurent Jalabert (born 30 November 1968) is a French former professional road racing cyclist, from 1989 to 2002.

Affectionately known as "Jaja" (slang for a glass of wine; when he continued drinking wine as a professional, the nickname stuck because of the similarity to his name), he won many one-day and stage races and was ranked number 1 in the 1990s.

Although he never won the Tour de France, where he suffered altitude sickness, he won the Vuelta a España in 1995; as well as the leader's jersey, he won the sprinter's jersey and climber's jersey in the same race — only the third rider to have done this in a Grand Tour. With Alessandro Petacchi, Eddy Merckx, Djamolidine Abdoujaparov and Mark Cavendish, he is one of only five riders to win the points classification in all three grand tours.


He turned professional with the French Toshiba team in 1989 and quickly established himself as a daring sprinter. He moved on to the Spanish ONCE team under Manolo Saiz, where he reinvented himself as an all-rounder capable of winning one-day races and the tours.

A catalyst was an accident at the finish of the 1994 Tour de France stage in Armentières. A policeman leaned out and several riders hit him. Jalabert was flung into the air and his bicycle was destroyed. He injured his face and promised his wife to change his style of riding. It only took a short while.

He won the 1995 Vuelta a España along with the points and climbers' competitions. He won the world time trial championship in 1997, and was French road champion in 1998, the year he initiated a pull-out of Spanish teams from the 1998 Tour de France in protest at treatment of riders in a police inquiry into drug-taking. This caused discontent among French fans and it took years for them to warm to him. He moved to CSC in 2001, where he won the stage on 14 July, the French national day, Bastille Day, in the 2001 Tour de France. Earlier in the year he had injured his back in a domestic accident. He retired in 2002 after winning the climber's jersey in the Tour and going on a solo escape in the Pyrenees.

Grand tours

He won several stages of the Tour de France, as a sprinter winning the green jersey twice and as a climber winning the polka dot jersey twice. His wins on Bastille Day in Tour de France in 1995 and 2001 ensured him a place in the hearts of French fans.

In the 1990s he dominated Spanish stage races. Jalabert and Alex Zülle were a constant threat to other teams in the Vuelta a España, taking turns winning stages, the overall classification and the points jersey. The strength of ONCE, with domestiques such as Johan Bruyneel and Neil Stephens, meant they were able to keep a rein from start to finish.

Besides Eddy Merckx and Tony Rominger, Jalabert is the only cyclist who has accomplished the trifecta at the grand tour level in the 1995 Vuelta a España, where he won the general, sprinters' and climbers' classifications.

Jalabert is known for sporting generosity. In the 1995 Vuelta he allowed Bert Dietz of Telekom — who had been in a solo breakaway for many kilometers — to take the mountaintop stage win at Sierra Nevada even though he had caught Dietz in the final kilometers. "I never thought we'd catch him, and when I saw he was ready to drop I felt sorry for him. I wanted to show it's not true I'm trying to win it all. My goal is the Tour of Spain," Jalabert said.[1]

When the Vuelta was moved to September, Jalabert was finally able to compete in the spring classics and stage races such as Paris–Nice, winning many stages and the overall classification many times.

One-day races

His palmarès include Milan–San Remo in 1995 and the Giro di Lombardia in 1997. He also won La Flèche Wallonne in 1995 and 1997, and the Clásica de San Sebastián in 2001 and 2002. Absent from his palmares is the world cycling championship road race, although he was second in 1992 to Gianni Bugno of Italy. He also won an award as the most combative rider in the Tour de France in 2001 and 2002.


On retirement, Jalabert was a consultant for Look cycles and contributed to a new line of bicycle frames. He is a commentator for France 2 and 3, the national television stations, often from a motorcycle alongside the race. In 2005, Jalabert ran the New York City marathon in 2h 55m 39s, coming 391st in a field of 36,894.[2] He lives with his wife Sylvie and their children at Lafrançaise, near Montauban, south-west France. His brother Nicolas, who often raced with him, continued racing after Laurent's retirement.

Jalabert has also taken up triathlon. In January 2007, he competed at Ironman Switzerland and finished in 9 hours 12 minutes. He exited the water in 1:16, which put him 966th after the swim. Once on the bike he made up significant ground with a 4:39 bike split, which allowed him to climb to 91st overall at the run transition. A 3:11 marathon was enough to gain an additional 69 places and finish 22nd of 1,850 participants. After Switzerland he qualified for the Ironman World championship in Kona, Hawaii, finishing in 9:19 and 76th overall.[3] In June, 2008, he finished 12th overall at Ironman France in Nice, improving his swim time to 1:06 and having the second fastest bike split.

On 11 March 2013 Jalabert was hit by a car while riding his bike near Montauban, France. When the ambulance arrived on the scene of the accident, he was found unconscious and with multiple fractures to his left arm and leg.[4] That same year, Jalabert was summoned by the French senate for a testimony about doping. Jalabert never denied or confirmed that he had doped during his career: "I can’t firmly say that I’ve never taken anything illegal. I’ve effectively used products when it was necessary, in case of lesions or other injuries. At ONCE, in the evening after the stages, the doctor took care of us, for our recovery, but we didn’t really know what it was. A relationship with doctors based on mutual trust was established, so we didn’t ask questions." He also stated that after the Festina affair, he wanted to help his sport move in a new, cleaner direction.[5] In June 2013, it was reported in L'Equipe that retroactive tests performed in 2004 had found evidence of EPO use in samples provided by Jalabert in 1998.[6] The re-tests were originally anonymous, but the Senate inquiry in 2013 has subsequently linked the tests to named riders. Because of these alligations on EPO usage Jalabert has been accused of hypocrisy in criticism of Chris Froome's performance in the 2015 Tour De France.[7]

Career achievements

Major results

1st French Military Championships
1st Tour d'Armorique
2nd Clásica de San Sebastián
2nd Overall Four Days of Dunkirk
1st Stage 2a
2nd Overall Paris–Nice
2nd UCI Road World Cup
2nd Züri-Metzgete
4th Clásica de San Sebastián
7th Amstel Gold Race
7th Paris–Tours
8th Giro di Lombardia
9th Tour of Flanders
Tour de France
1st Points classification
1st Stage 6
Volta a Catalunya
1st Stages 2, 5a & 7
Vuelta a Burgos
1st Stages 3, 4 & 6
1st Stage 3 Tour of the Basque Country
2nd UCI World Road Race Championships
2nd Wincanton Classic
5th UCI Road World Cup
5th Paris–Tours
8th Züri-Metzgete
9th Milan–San Remo
1st Overall Vuelta a La Rioja
1st Stages 2 & 3
Vuelta a España
1st Stages 3 & 7
Volta a Catalunya
1st Stages 3 & 4
1st Vuelta a Mallorca
1st Trofeo Luis Puig
1st Clasica de Alcobendas
1st GP de Toulouse
1st Stage 8a Paris–Nice
4th Milan–San Remo
9th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
Vuelta a España
1st Points classification
1st Stages 1, 2, 4, 11, 12, 15 & 20
1st Stage 2 Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 5 Grand Prix du Midi Libre
1st Stage 5 Volta a Catalunya
8th Paris–Tours
10th Milan–San Remo
1st Overall Vuelta a España
1st Points classification
1st Mountains classification
1st Stages 3, 5, 8, 15, & 17
1st Overall Paris–Nice
1st Stage 2
1st Overall Volta a Catalunya
1st Stages 1 & 7
1st Overall Critérium International
1st Stages 1 & 2
1st Milan–San Remo
1st La Flèche Wallonne
1st GP de Toulouse
1st GP Amore-Bieta
1st Stage 3 Grand Prix du Midi Libre
2nd Overall Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
1st Stage 2a
4th Overall Tour de France
1st Points classification
1st Stage 12
4th Clásica de San Sebastián
6th Wincanton Classic
Vuelta a España
1st Points classification
1st Stages 3 & 13
1st Overall Paris–Nice
1st Stages 3 & 4
1st Overall Grand Prix du Midi Libre
1st Stages 2 & 5
1st Overall Route du Sud
1st Overall Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
1st Stage 1
1st Classique des Alpes
1st Sète-Mont Saint-Clair
1st Stage 1 Tour of the Basque Country
2nd Overall French Road Cycling Cup
3rd Milano–Torino
5th Paris–Tours
7th UCI World Road Race Championships
9th Giro di Lombardia
10th Clásica de San Sebastián
10th Züri-Metzgete
1st UCI World Time Trial Championships
1st Overall Paris–Nice
1st Stages 1 & 6
1st Overall Vuelta a Burgos
1st Stage 2
1st Overall Escalada a Montjuïc
1st Stages 1a & 1b
1st Giro di Lombardia
1st La Flèche Wallonne
1st Milano–Torino
1st Route Adélie
1st Vuelta a Mallorca
2nd Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stages 2 & 4
2nd Liège–Bastogne–Liège
5th UCI Road World Cup
7th Overall Vuelta a España
1st Points classification
1st Stages 6 & 20
7th Amstel Gold Race
1st National Road Race Championships
1st Overall Vuelta a Asturias
1st Stages 1 & 6
Tour de Suisse
1st Prologue, Stages 3 & 8
Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stages 1 & 5b
1st Classique des Alpes
1st Tour du Haut-Var
2nd Overall Paris–Nice
2nd Liège–Bastogne–Liège
5th Overall Vuelta a España
1st Overall Tour de Romandie
1st Prologue, Stages 2 & 3b
1st Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 1 & 5b
1st Overall Setmana Catalana de Ciclisme
1st Stage 5b
1st Prueba Villafranca de Ordizia
2nd Overall Tour de Suisse
1st Prologue
4th Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Points classification
1st Stages 4, 9 & 16
1st Overall Setmana Catalana de Ciclisme
1st Stage 5b
1st Overall Tour Méditerranéen
1st Stage 5
1st Stage 7 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st Stage 3 Tirreno–Adriatico
2nd GP Miguel Indurain
3rd Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 4 Liège–Bastogne–Liège
3rd La Flèche Wallonne
5th Road Race, Olympic Games
Tour de France
1st Mountains classification
1st Stages 4 & 7
1st Clásica de San Sebastián
1st Polynormande
2nd Overall Four Days of Dunkirk
Tour de France
1st Mountains classification
1st Clásica de San Sebastián
1st Coppa Agostoni
1st Tour du Haut-Var
1st CSC Classic
3rd Overall Paris–Nice
1st Stage 3
3rd Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen

Grand Tour general classification results timeline

Grand Tour 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Pink jersey Giro - - WD - - - - - - 4 - - -
Yellow jersey Tour - 71 34 WD WD 4 WD 43 WD - 54 19 42
gold jersey Vuelta 70 - - 35 75 1 19 7 5 WD - - -

WD = Withdrew


1st in (UCI) rankings: (1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999) (2nd in 1998)
Vélo d'Or international (1995) (2nd in 1997)
Vélo d'Or national (1992, 1995, 2002)
Mendrisio d'Oro (1995)


22nd Ironman Switzerland (2007)
76th Ironman World Championship (2007)
12th Ironman France (2008)


His name was on the list of doping tests published by the French Senate on 24 July 2013 that were collected during the 1998 Tour de France and found positive for EPO when retested in 2004.[8]


  1. "Tour of Spain — Stages 12 to 17". Retrieved October 2, 2009.
  2. " — the world centre of cycling". November 8, 2005. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
  3. "Weekend Results". Triathlon Magazine Canada. May 4, 2009. Archived from the original on May 11, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
  4. "Jalabert hit by car while cycling". March 11, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  5. Jeff Quénet (May 16, 2013). "Jalabert can't firmly say he never doped". Future plc. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  6. Laurent Jalabert positif à l'EPO sur le Tour 1998 Cyclisme — Dopage — Laurent Jalabert positif à l'EPO sur le Tour 1998 L' accessed June 25, 2013
  7. "Video: ITV reporter Matt Rendell confronts Laurent Jalabert over Froome comments".
  8. "French Senate releases positive EPO cases from 1998 Tour de France". July 24, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
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