Phil Anderson (cyclist)

For other people named Philip Anderson, see Philip Anderson (disambiguation).
Phil Anderson

Anderson in 2008
Personal information
Full name Philip Grant Anderson
Nickname Skippy, Dr Teeth
Born (1958-03-12) 12 March 1958[1]
London, England
Team information
Current team Retired
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Amateur team(s)
Hawthorn Cycling Club
Professional team(s)
19801983 Peugeot-Esso-Michelin
19841987 Panasonic
19881990 TVM
19911994 Motorola
Major wins

Tour de France

2 stages
Young Rider Classification (1982)

Giro d'Italia

2 stages

Amstel Gold Race (1983)
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (1985)
Züri-Metzgete (1984)
Frankfurt Grand Prix (1984, 1985)
Tour de Suisse (1985)[2]
Paris–Tours (1986)[2]
Milano–Torino (1987)[2]

Tour de Romandie (1989)[2]

Philip Grant Anderson OAM (born 12 March 1958)[1] is an Australian former professional racing cyclist who was the first non-European to wear the yellow jersey of the Tour de France.[1]


Phil Anderson was born in London but moved to Melbourne, Australia, when he was young. He grew up in the suburb of Kew and graduated from Trinity Grammar School in 1975. He first raced with Hawthorn Cycling Club, where Allan Peiper, another future professional, was also a member.[3] Peiper said: "Phil went to a private school and joined the club with his mate, Peter Darbyshire. My best friend was Tom Sawyer, later a six-day racer in Europe, and we were the two rough nuts, while Phil and Darbs were the two upper-class boys".[3]

Amateur career

Anderson, who had a reputation as an amateur for crashing,[3] won the 1977 Dulux Tour of the North Island in New Zealand[4] and the Australian team time-trial championship at Brisbane in 1978.[5][6] In that year he also won the Commonwealth Games road race in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.[3][7] He was 19.

He moved to France in 1979 to join the ACBB,[3] a club at Boulogne-Billancourt in the suburbs of Paris with a reputation of placing riders in professional teams, particularly Peugeot. Whilst he was with the ACBB he lived and raced alongside Robert Millar and Mark Bell. That season he won the Tour de l'Essonne, the Tour de l'Hérault and the amateur version of the unofficial world time-trial championship, the Grand Prix des Nations, in Cannes.[3][5][7]

Professional career

Anderson at the 1993 Tour de France

Anderson turned professional in 1980, for Peugeot, one of the oldest French teams. He won two races in his first season - the Prix de Wetteren and a stage in the Étoile des Espoirs, and came second in two others. He moved to Lokeren, Belgium, to ride criteriums.

It was a big change; I'd never lived out of home before, so that was a big difference, and then there's the length of the races; you know all of a sudden you're riding 200 km a day instead of back here you'd be racing 80 or 100 km a day; huge fields, you turn up at a race and you'd have 200 riders, 250 riders. It's difficult because I was on a French team, and I felt that the French riders got priority, and I had to go a bit deeper or had to be a little better than some of my colleagues on the team. But that hardened me, and put pressure on me, and I think became part of my make-up in the end.[8]

He came fifth in the 1982 Tour de France, in which he held the white jersey of best young rider, and again fifth in 1985, the year he won the Tour de Suisse. That same season he finished second in the Super Prestige Pernod International, forerunner of the UCI points championship. His highlights were wearing the yellow jersey of the 1981 Tour de France and then again for nine days of 1982. He was the first rider from outside Europe to lead the race. Anderson described what it meant in 1981:

It happened in the Pyrenees. This was my first Tour de France. I didn't have aspirations of becoming the wearer of the yellow jersey or anything like that. I was given my instructions and I was supposed to look after a rider on my team, the team leader, a Frenchman, and I forgot my instructions and just sort of went in to survival mode over a number of mountain passes, just staying up with some of the top riders, and before I knew it, my team director came up beside me in his car and told me, 'Listen, what happened to your leader, the guy that you've been instructed to watch today?' you know. And to help if he has any troubles, or just pace him back if he's having some troubles. And I said, 'Oh gee, that's right. Where is he?' And he said, 'he's five or ten minutes back, in the next group.' I said, 'No worries I'll wait up for him.' He said, 'No, no, stay up here, you're doing OK, just stay out of trouble and try and hang on as long as possible.'
So hang on I did, and whistled down the next mountain and got to the last climb and I stayed up with Bernard Hinault; there was one rider, a Belgian rider, Lucien Van Impe rode away, an excellent climber, he rode away and so we came in a couple of minutes later, but I had enough time from some good days previously, that I climbed into the yellow jersey, and I had no idea of what the sort of yellow jersey represented, because I mean there's so much history to it, and for me it was just like, 'Oh yes, great, I don't have to wash my old jersey tonight, you know, get a new one'. But really, you're sort of at the highest level of the sport.[9]

His best year was 1985, when he won the Tour Méditerranéen, Volta a Catalunya, Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré and the Tour de Suisse, as well as finishing second in the Tour of Flanders and Gent–Wevelgem. He continued to ride the Tour until 1989, when he came 38th, but by then he had arthritis. In 1990 he joined the American team, 7-Eleven - "Speculation has it that he took a big pay cut; maybe that is what turned into motivation which resulted in his comeback to the big league," said Peiper[3] - and he won the Tour Méditerranéen and the Tour of Sicily and stages of the Tour de Suisse and Tour de France.[3] He also won the Tour of Britain in 1991 and 1993.[2]

Retirement and honours

Anderson retired to a farm he bought in Jamieson and has what he calls the life of a gentleman farmer. He was given the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1987 for service to cycling.[10] In 2000, he received the Australian Sports Medal[11] and in 2001 he received a Centenary Medal for service to society through cycling.[12] He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2010.[13] In 2015, he was an inaugural Cycling Australia Hall of Fame inductee. [14]

Private life

Anderson has married twice, first to Anne, whom he married just after turning professional, and then Christi Valentine, who in 1999 wrote Anderson's biography, Phil Anderson: Cycling Legend[15] Anderson and Valentine married on 29 April 1994 and separated in 2005.[16]

Tour de France results

Anderson won two stages of the Tour: Stage 2: Basle Nancy in 1982, and stage 10: Rennes Quimper in 1991. Tour de France placings and awards include:

Major results

1978 Commonwealth Games
Gold, Road race
Tour de France - 1 stage win, awarded white jersey for winner of the young rider classification
1st, Amstel Gold Race
2nd, Tour de Romandie and 1 stage win
3rd, Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st, Züri-Metzgete
1st, Rund um den Henninger Turm
1st, Setmana Catalana de Ciclisme
2nd, Liège–Bastogne–Liège
3rd, Super Prestige Pernod International
1st, Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st, Tour de Suisse and 3 stage wins
1st, Rund um den Henninger Turm
1st, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen
2nd, Tour of Flanders
2nd, Gent–Wevelgem
2nd, Super Prestige Pernod International
1st, Paris–Tours
3rd, Giro di Lombardia
1st, Milano–Torino
1st, Danmark Rundt
2nd, Tour of Flanders
1st, Tour de Romandie
3rd, Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st Stage 17, Giro d'Italia
Giro d'Italia - 1st Stage 4b
1st Inter-Giro Classification
2nd equal points classification
1st, Tour of Britain and 2 stage wins and King of the Mountains
1st, Semaine Cycliste Intl.
1st, Tour Mediterranean
1 stage win, Tour DuPont
1st, Criterium Holland
1st, Tour of Ireland
1st, Stages 5, 7 and 9, Tour DuPont
1st, Tour of Britain
1st, GP Impanis
1st, Tour of Sweden
1994 Commonwealth Games
Gold, Team Time Trial (with Dennis Brett, Henk Vogels, Damian McDonald)

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Phil Anderson profile at Cycling Archives
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Lee, Aaron S. (18 August 2014). "The Spin with Phil Anderson". Eurosport. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Cycling Weekly, UK, 21 November 1992
  4. Phil Anderson to visit New Zealand
  5. 1 2 "Palmarès de Phil Anderson". Retrieved 2014-11-09.
  6. Riding with R. Sansonetti, S. Sansonetti and A. Goodrope
  7. 1 2 "Index - - le RDV des fans de cyclisme, vélo, velo, cycling, cyclo, piste, VTT (dead link)". Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  8. The Sports Factor, ABC 1999
  9. Sport Sponsorship & The Tour de France The Sports Factor, ABC radio National transcript. 23 July 1999. Retrieved 23 May 2007
  10. "Phil Anderson". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  11. "Phil Anderson". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  12. "Phil Anderson". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  13. "Philip Anderson". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  14. "Inaugural Cycling Australia Hall of Fame inductees". Cycling Australia. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  15. Lothian Books, UK, ISBN 0-85091-933-9
  16. Feud over $3.5m estate Herald Sun 13 December 2006.
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