The sport of cycling has been around since 1868. As this sport continues to grow in popularity, competition has increased and each year new cyclists bring what they have to the sport through a show of endurance and skill. While there are many talented cyclists, there are a few cycling legends that are not only household names, but the best that the sport of cycling has ever seen.
You might even call them the greatest cyclists of all time.
Whether you’re new to cycling or an avid follower of the sport and all its history, these riders are legends and deserve all the recognition they worked so hard for by shaping the sport into what it is today. Who are these amazing cyclists? Here’s our personal list of the GOATs of cycling.
Coined “Monsieur Chrono” , Jacques Anquetil was the first cyclist to win the famous Tour De France five times. This legendary rider was known for his endurance and strength when it came to time trialing, rewarding him with his nickname.
This French road racing cyclist won eight Grand Tours during his career as a rider which earned him the spot on our list.
Gino Bartail, also nicknamed Gino the Pious is another legendary cyclist to make our list. This cyclist is unique for his heroism and strength both on and off the bike. Gino used his skills during World War II, offering aid to jewish families while using his skills on the bike to deliver messages to the Italian Resistance.
Outside of his heroism in the community, Bartail is highly regarded for his skills in cycling. He won the Tour de France two times, nearly ten years apart, and the Giro three times in his career.
If any name says legend, its Fausto Coppi. This rider is a world record holder, five time Giro winner and two time Tour de France Winner. This rider is perhaps one of the most impressive on our list and was given the very deserving nickname “Campionissimo” or the champion of champions.
This rider was known for his skill to beat fellow competitors by some pretty large margins. He was a skilled rider in every essence of the sport from time trialing and climbing to sprinting.
Nicknamed The Cannibal, Eddy Merckx took the sport of cycling to a whole new level. This racer dominated the sport from every angle and is often coined the greatest cyclist of all time. This Belgian racer won both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France five times while also adding a triumph at the Vuelta a España to his list of impressive feats. once.
This incredible rider has 65 Grand Tour stage victories under his belt which is a cycling record that’s unlikely ever to be broken. Merckx also won the Milan-San Remo seven times, and was a three time winner of the world road race. This rider is simply unrivaled and one of the best on our list!
Irish road racer Sean Kelly was one of the most successful cyclists in the 80s winning 193 races throughout his long career in the sport. While he only brought home one Grand Tour win in the sport, this incredible athlete won nine Monuments including three editions of the Giro di Lombardia and two each of Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Milan-San Remo.
Another runner up coined the greatest cyclist of all time, Bernard Hinault. The former french road cyclist has 147 victories under his belt which includes five impressive wins at the Tour de France.
Bernard was nicknamed le blaireau (“the badger”) during his career due to his aggressive nature on the bike and in the sport of cycling.
Road racing cyclists are considered among the top athletes in the world. These athletes are highly regarded for their physical endurance, mental and physical rigor, and perseverance. This sport is cheered and celebrated throughout the world and our list of legends are names that have contributed to the sport and made it what it is today!
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