The world’s finest cyclist ever is American legend and controversial figure Lance Armstrong. Between 1999 and 2005, he won the Tour de France championship a record seven times straight.
Felice Gimondi, a former Italian racing cyclist, and Sean Kelly, a cycling legend from Ireland, are deserving additions to the list of the finest riders ever.
We are here to talk about the top cyclists in the world, riders who have utilised their power and persistence to win several championships on one of the most well-liked, clean-running modes of transportation.
One of the most popular sports in the world is cycling. In reality, if we put recreational cycling aside, cycling itself is rather common.
During various battles, soldiers and supplies have been known to be transported on bicycles for reconnaissance purposes, among other things. In fact, Japan sent 50,000 bicycle soldiers to invade China in 1937. However, it is not the topic of our discussion today.
Here is the list of top 10 Famous cyclists of all time.
10. Eddy Merckx
Eddy Merckx is a former professional road and track cyclist from Belgium who was born on June 17, 1945.
He is one of the most successful cyclists in the annals of cycling competition. He has won an unprecedented eleven Grand Tours (five Tours de France, five Giro d’Italia, and one Vuelta a Espaa), all five Monuments, the hour record, three World Championships, every significant one-day event aside from the Paris-Tours, and several triumphs on the track.
How did Eddy merckx find his calling as a cyclist?
He was raised in Sint-Pieters-Woluwe, Belgium, where his parents had a grocery shop. He was born in Meensel-Kiezegem, Brabant.
While he participated in several sports, riding ultimately became his main love. At the age of three or four, Merckx received his first bicycle, and in 1961, he took part in his first race.
In October 1961, in Petit-Enghien, he achieved his first victory.
9. Jacques Anquetil
French professional road racing cyclist Jacques Anquetil, who lived from January 8, 1934, to November 18, 1987, became the first rider to win the Tour de France five times, in 1957 and from 1961 through 1964.
With two previous champions in the field (Charly Gaul and Federico Bahamontes), he declared before the 1961 Tour that he would win the yellow jersey on the first day and wear it the entire time. He succeeded in doing so.
He earned the nickname “Monsieur Chrono” for his outstanding skill at riding alone against the clock in individual time trial stages, which helped him win stage events like the Tour.
Only Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault have since broken his record of eight Grand Tour victories, which stood until he retired.
How did Jacques win his first Tour de france?
Anquetil competed in and won his first Tour de France in 1957. His selection for the national squad was what French commentator Jean-Paul Ollivier referred to as “a forceps surgery” since national teams, rather than commercial ones, still competed in the Tour.
Jacques was one of the greatest cyclists of all time and was the first cyclist to win all three grand tours. In professional cycling world, his tour de france victories made him one of the most famous cyclists of all time.
Jacques could have won a number of more tour de france and other grand tours but he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs as a professional road cyclist which ruined his career.
8. Bernard Hinault
Bernard Hinault, a former professional road cyclist from France, was born on November 14, 1954.
He is frequently recognised as one of the best cyclists of all time and has 147 professional victories, including five in the Tour de France. Hinault competed in thirteen Grand Tours in his career.
He finished second twice, won 10 of them, and abandoned one while in the lead, leaving him one behind Merckx for the all-time record. Since Hinault, no cyclist has surpassed seven.
How did the career of Bernard start before winning the Grand tours?
Hinault began riding in his native Brittany as an amateur. He joined with the Gitane-Campagnolo team to become a professional in 1975 after enjoying a good amateur career.
In 1977, he won his first major races, the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré and the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic.
He won the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, his first two Grand Tour, in 1978. He went on to become the most prosperous professional cyclist in the years that followed, winning the 1980 Giro d’Italia as well as the 1979 Tour de France.
He had to abandon the 1980 Tour de France when in the lead due to a knee injury, but he eventually finished the race and won the World Championship road race. Before achieving his first Giro-Tour double in 1982, he earned a another Tour triumph in 1981.
7. Mario Cipollini
Mario Cipollini, known professionally as “Cipo” and born on March 22, 1967, is a retired Italian professional road cyclist.
He is best known for his sprinting prowess, the longevity of his dominance (his first pro victory came in 1988, and his last in 2005; he has 170 professional victories overall, including 192 criterium victories), and his outgoing personality.
Il Re Leone (The Lion King) and Super Mario are some of his nick names. The finest sprinter of his generation, he is considered as such.
How did Mario become one of the famous cyclists of all time?
Cipollini was open about his dislike of climbing sections, and while frequently finishing every stage of the Giro, he enraged purists by refusing to try mountain stages in the Tour or Vuelta.
Cipollini’s habit of posting pictures of himself relaxing at the beach while the others struggled in the mountains earned him more than his fair share of attention in this regard, despite the fact that this is a common practise with sprinters without points jersey aspirations in order to save themselves for the rest of the season.
When did Mario retire?
On April 26, 2005, a week before the start of the 2005 Giro, Cipollini finally followed through on his word to retire after making the same vow multiple times throughout his career, typically in the public eye during fits of rage.
His final act was to take part in the Giro’s ceremonial prologue while sporting a skin suit that listed his 42 stage victories and was brilliant pink.
With Rock Racing, Cipollini came out of retirement in the beginning of 2008. In his first competition after his break, the Tour of California, he came in third on stage 2.
He announced his decision to retire once more on the eve of the Milan-San Remo, citing conflicts with his Rock Racing leadership.
6. Jan Ullrich
Jan Ullrich, a former professional road cyclist from Germany, was born on 2 December 1973. At the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000, Ullrich won gold and silver.
Before a home audience in Hamburg in 1997, he won the HEW Cyclassics and the 1999 Vuelta a Espaa. He placed third in the challenging Clásica de San Sebastián.
His Tour de France victory in 1997 sparked a cycling boom in Germany. He stopped working in February 2007.
Was Ullrich part of Doping controversy?
Ullrich was disqualified from the Tour de France in 2006 due to allegations of doping. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Ullrich guilty of a doping offence in February 2012.
He was prohibited from competing starting on August 22, 2011, and his Palmarès was emptied of any accomplishments made since May 2005. 2013 saw his admission of blood doping.
5. Fausto Coppi
Italian cyclist Angelo Fausto Coppi, who lived from 15 September 1919 to 2 January 1960, was the world’s best rider in the years following World War II. Il Campionissimo was his moniker thanks to his accomplishments (“Champion of Champions”).
He was an all-around racing cyclist who was excellent at sprinting, time trials, and climbs. He won the Tour de France twice by dominating both the tour (1949 and 1952), the Giro d’Italia five times (1940, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953), and the World Championship in 1953 and became the world champion.
Additional noteworthy accomplishments include five victories in the Giro di Lombardia, three in the Milan-San Remo, victories in Paris-Roubaix and La Flèche Wallonne, and setting the hour record (45.798 km) in 1942.
Why is Coppi considered as one of the famous cyclists of all time?
Coppi’s racing days are generally referred to as the beginning of the golden years of cycle racing.
As it passes over the mountain stages, the Giro keeps Coppi in mind. The first rider to ascend the highest point of the Giro receives a mountain bonus known as the Cima Coppi. Coppi came in second place in the 1999 vote for the best Italian athlete of the 20th century.
The 1995 television film Il Grande Fausto, written and produced by Alberto Sironi, featured a depiction of Coppi’s life. Ornella Muti and Sergio Castellitto respectively portrayed Giulia la “Dama Bianca” (The Woman in White) and Coppi.
One oft-repeated clichés is that Coppi’s response to the question of how to be a champion was: “Simply ride. Simply ride. Simply ride.”
Coppi is an Italian restaurant in Belfast that features road cycle components and imagery. In December 2017, the asteroid 214820 Faustocoppi was designated in his honour.
In anticipation of his birth’s centennial, the Piemont regional government renamed the village where he was born, formerly known as “Castellania,” as Castellania Coppi in 2019.
Coppi was one of the greatest cyclists of all time.
4. Miguel Indurain
Miguel Indurán Larraya, a retired Spanish road racer, was born on July 16, 1964. From 1991 through 1995, Induráin won five Tour de France, making him the final and fourth person to do so. He was also the only person to win the race five times in a row.
Why is Miguel such a famous cyclists?
He was one of seven cyclists to win both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same season. He spent 60 days in the Tour de France donning the yellow race leader’s jersey.
Lance Armstrong currently owns the record for the most Tour de France victories in a row and shares the record for most victories with Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, and Eddy Merckx after his seven victories were revoked.
How did Miguel perform at the world championships?
He is one of the very few cyclists to have come close to winning cycling’s ‘Triple Crown,’ finishing just 0:19 behind the winner of the World Championship in 1993 after having previously won the Giro and the Grand Tour.
Miguel had received a lot of fame from professional cycling world.
3. Sean Kelly
John James “Sean” Kelly, an Irish former professional road racer who was born on May 24, 1956, is regarded as one of the greatest Classics riders of all time as well as one of the most successful road racers of the 1980s.
How did Sean Kelly rise up the ranks?
He won 193 professional races between the years of his professional debut in 1977 and his retirement in 1994, including nine Monument Classics, a record seven consecutive victories at Paris-Nice, and the first UCI Road World Cup in 1989.
Kelly won four green jerseys in the Tour de France and one Grand Tour, the 1988 Vuelta a Espaa.
He won several times in the Giro di Lombardia, Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He also finished third three times in the Tour of Flanders, the only Monument he did not win.
The Grand Prix des Nations, stage races, the Critérium International, the Tour de Suisse, the Tour of the Basque Country, and Volta a Catalunya are among the other titles won.
What are the achievements of Sean Kelly?
In the Elite Men’s Road Race at the Road World Championships, Kelly twice took home bronze medals (1982, 1989), and in 1987, the year when fellow countryman Stephen Roche won gold, he came in fifth.
Kelly was the first cyclist to be ranked No. 1 in the world when the FICP rankings were created in March 1984, and he kept that position for a record-setting five years.
Kelly is the second-best cyclist of all time, after Eddy Merckx, based on total career ranking points. 34 victories were recorded by Kelly in the 1984 campaign.
2. Felice Gimondi
A competitive cyclist from Italy who died on August 16, 2019, Felice Gimondi was born on September 29, 1942.
Gimondi, known as “The Phoenix,” won the 1968 Vuelta a Espaa three years after turning pro, making him the second cyclist (after Jacques Anquetil) to have won all three Grand Tours of road cycling: the Tour de France (1965, his first year as a pro), the Giro d’Italia (1967, 1969, and 1976), and the Vuelta a Espaa (1968).
Only seven riders, including him, have accomplished this.
Gimondi also finished on the podium of a grand tour twelve times and won three of the five cycling monuments, including the Giro di Lombardia twice.
Despite his career overlapping with that of Eddy Merckx, he nevertheless managed to win all of these significant contests.
How did early success treat him?
Because of his early success, he was seen as Fausto Coppi’s (a famous fellow Italian known as the “campionissimo”) successor.
Gimondi’s career mostly paralleled that of the immensely successful Eddy Merckx. Despite Merckx’s supremacy, Gimondi was nevertheless able to amass a decent palmarès for himself.
1. Lance Armstrong
American cyclist Lance Edward Armstrong used to compete in road races professionally. He was regarded as a sporting legend for winning the Tour de France seven times in a row from 1999 to 2005 after overcoming testicular cancer.
However, after an inquiry revealed that he had taken performance-enhancing substances throughout his career, all of his championships were eventually removed.
How did the career of Lance armstrong begin?
Armstrong started racing in triathlons at the age of 16, and he won the national sprint-course triathlon title in 1989 and 1990.
He started his professional cycling career in 1992 with the Motorola team. Between 1993 and 1996, he was successful, winning the World Championship in 1993, the Clásica de San Sebastián in 1995, the Tour DuPont in 1995, and a few European stage victories, including stages 8 and 18 of the Tour de France in 1993 and 1995, respectively.
He received a 1996 diagnosis of metastatic testicular cancer, which might be deadly. In order to help other cancer survivors, he established the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which is now known as the Livestrong Foundation.
How did Lance become a part of Doping controversy?
After winning the 1999 Tour de France, Armstrong was accused of doping. He denied doping participation for many years.
Armstrong was identified as the head of “the most sophisticated, professionalised, and effective doping operation that sport has ever seen” in 2012 after a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation found that he had used performance-enhancing chemicals throughout his career.
Armstrong, who insisted he was innocent, decided not to fight the accusations because of what it may do for his family.
His career as a competitive cyclist came to an end when he was given a lifetime ban from all sports that adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code.
What are the achievements of Lance?
Lance has won two olympic gold medals and the olympic gold medals as considered as his biggest achievement by him.
Overall, he also won seven world championships or seven world titles. The world champion could have won some of the more world championships only if he would have stayed away from doping.
After the 2005 Tour de France, Armstrong announced his retirement from competitive cycling. However, he subsequently made a comeback with the Astana team and placed third in the 2009 Tour de France.
He competed in races with Team Radio Shack between 2010 and 2011, when he announced his second retirement.
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