Athletics

The 8 best cyclists to ever live

JAN ULLRICH
JAN ULLRICH. Photo/Cycling Tips
  • Cycle racing is a hugely popular sport around the globe
  • It has produced legendary athletes who you can’t help but admire
  • Among them is Lance Armstrong who was stripped all his medals for doping

The best cyclists to ever live are great men whose athletic fitness is on pedals and wheels.

Nonetheless, they are legends who make this sport such a fun exercise. They are the reason why this article will inspire you.

These athletes are the most powerful and determined cyclists in the world. They have won numerous championships in one of the most popular racing activities in existence.

Cycle racing is a hugely popular sport around the globe. It is a popular pastime in and of itself.

But, who are the best cyclists to ever live?

LANCE ARMSTRONG

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong. Photo/The New York Times

Lance Armstrong, is among the best cyclists to ever live but also incredibly controversial. He won the Tour de France seven times in a row from 1999 to 2005. However, after a positive doping test, the authorities stripped him of his achievements.

At the age of 16, Armstrong made his first forays into national competitions. In 1989 and 1990, he won the national sprint-course triathlon championships twice in a row.

Both the 1993 and 1995 World Championships went to Armstrong. Also in 1995 and 1996, he won the Tour DuPont.

FELICE GIMONDI

Felice Gimondi, nicknamed “The Phoenix”, was the second rider after Jacques Anquetil to win all three Grand Tours.

Only six bikers have achieved this extraordinary accomplishment placing him among the best cyclists to ever live.  Gimondi has won the Giro d’Italia three times and the Tour de France once.

JACQUES ANQUETIL

For the five years – 1961-1964 – Jacques Anquetil won the Tour de France five times in a row after winning the inaugural race in 1957.

His ability to participate in individual time trials was acknowledged by the cycling community. “Monsieur Chrono” title was given for his achievements.

Anquetil won a bronze medal in the 100-kilometer time trial at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

During his nine-year Grand Prix des Nations dominance, “France’s champion of champions,” L’Équipe proclaimed Anquetil in 1963. This honour came on October 5, 1966.

BERNARD HINAULT

BERNARD HINAULT

BERNARD HINAULT. Photo/Capo Velo

In professional cycling, just six cyclists have ever won all three Grand Tours. During his three Tour de France appearances, Bernard Hinault was the only other cyclist to finish first or second.

This is what puts him among the best cyclists to ever live. He was the last French champion of the Tour de France.

Hinault won over 200 races in a 12-year career. He won four Giros and two Vueltas. He also won the 1980 Liège–Bastogne–Liège Classic by nearly ten minutes.

JAN ULLRICH

Former German professional road racer Jan Ullrich is definitely among the best cyclists to ever live. He designed his racing bikes since 2006.

Both the HEW Cyclassics and the Vuelta a Espaa were his first significant triumphs in cycling. His 1997 Tour de France triumph influenced the German cycling business.

However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) convicted him guilty of doping in 2012.

Having admitted to doping in 2013, his achievements since May 2005 were nullified.

MIGUEL INDURAIN

Miguel Indurain Larraya was just 17 when he won Spain’s amateur national road cycling title. Mig Huge supporters dubbed him “Miguelón” (Big Miguel).

He was praised by Cycling Weekly. Indurain is among seven cyclists who won both the Giro and the Tour de France.

SEAN KELLY

Former Irish professional road racer Sean Kelly is still cherished by his supporters and devotees.

In the 1980s, he ruled the cycling world. Kelly won 193 races between 1977 and 1994, including nine monument classics.

His 1989 UCI Road World Cup triumph was historic. He has also won the Paris–Nice event seven times in a row. Kelly has won the Milan-San Remo, Giro di Lombardia, Paris-Roubaix, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

He was the world’s first cyclist to hold the top spot when the FICP rankings were launched in March 1984. Six years later, he was No. 1 in the world. You can now see why he is among the best cyclists to ever live.

FAUSTO COPPI

The great former Italian cyclist Angelo Fausto Coppi remains the most dominant force in cycling.

His world hour record in Milan’s Velodromo Vigorelli dates back to 1942. Coppi won the Giro d’Italia five times, starting at the age of 20 in 1940.

 

His 1953 World Championship win was a big milestone. He won the Tour de France twice, in 1949 and 1952. A five-time Giro di Lombardia winner, Coppi won the Milan-San Remo Classic three times.

His stunning triumphs in Paris–Roubaix and La Flèche Wallonne are still remembered.

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