Anquetil's merits on the road are unquestionable and very impressive. I know what you are thinking - wasn't he riding around in a constant drug induced haze? Yes, probably. But like it or not, he did shape the history of cycling for a very long time.
Today, I wanted to address his merits off the road. His family and love life was very unusual, even for a French Tour star. He had an affair, and eventually married, his doctor's wife. Now, nothing really unusual about that, right? I mean, that happens all the time. What does not happen quite as often is what follows next; Anquetil wanted to have children and although his wife didn't share his enthusiasm, it didn't deter Jacques the least bit. Oh, no.
He managed to convince his wife that he should have a child with his 18-year old step-daughter. The plan was dutifully executed and Anquetil got his daughter (or would that be grand-daughter? I'm a bit confused myself...).
As if that wasn't enough, Anquetil went on to have an affair with his step-son's wife as well. Another child resulted from that.
So, next time you read in a cycling magazine that Anquetil was boring, cold and calculated as a rider - you know better. He might have been boring on the bike, but he sure was "colorful" off the bike...