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The 10 best cyclists in history

The 10 best cyclists in history

All cycling fans (to the road in this case) have ever asked ourselves: what are the best cyclists in history? And the answer is not simple because comparing cyclists from different eras is a risky exercise. On the other hand, applying a single criterion to measure the merits of runners that shine on very different land is equally unfair. The story is full of great sprinters, sublime climbers, huge specialists in classics, infallible runners of large laps ... What has more value? Who has more merit? Complicated answer. That is why we invite you to share your preferences and opinions in the comments. What would be your list of the best cyclists of all time? We share ours here with 10 of the most legendary runners. We must recognize that we give much importance to cyclists who shine in large stages. Not in vain, historically they have been the most follow -up races and the most desired inside the squad. But it is not, much less, the only criterion. In any case, they are all are runners who, in one way or another, have contributed to enhance the history of cycling. We remember them in chronological order.

Alfredo Binda (1902-1986): The YESERO apprentice

Alfredo Binda Alfredo Binda is remembered for being the first cyclist to win five editions of the Italian turn, in addition to three titles in the World Championship. He was born in Cittiglio (Italy), but moved to Niza (France) being still a teenager, where he found work with his uncle as a Yesero apprentice. In his free time, he and his brother Primo spent time riding a bicycle. The 1925 Italian turn marked a crucial moment in the Site race. All Italy awaited the victory of Costera Giradengo, which at that time was the authentic mass idol. But the young debutante got in his way. The Binda victory was deeply unpopular among fans. After his defeat, Giradengo decided to continue competing to beat Binda, which caused a strong personal rivalry between them.
In the 1927 turn, Binda won 12 of the 15 stages; And in 1929, he won 8 stages in a row.
So dominant became a shield that the organizer of the Italian turn (the newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport) offered him 22,500 liras for renouncing the 1930 edition and thus trying to relaunch the interest in the test. The Cittiglio corridor accepted the bribe and decided to compete in the Tour de France, winning two stages. It was not until 1932, with his third world champion title in Rome, when the Italians began to feel sympathy for him. They began to recognize it as what was really: the best cyclist to date. Upon retiring, Bnda went on to direct the Italian national team, promoting figures like Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali or Gastone Nencini.

Gino Bartali (1914-2000): The pious cyclist

Gino Bartali We could say that Gino Bartali was the first star Italian linked to cycling. A not only sports phenomenon, but also social and political. His triumphs date back to the years prior to World War II. He won the Italian turn in 1936 and 1937, in addition to the Tour de France (1938). Bartali was a pious person and related to the Vatican. During World War II, he participated in the rescue of hundreds of Jews pursued by the Nazis, who invaded Italy from 1943. On their bicycle, it transported documentation to have many escape to southern Italy, which was free territory. Away from the competition because of the war conflict, he returned after seven years with more victories in big turns. In 1946 he won the turn again, defeating his greatest rival, Fausto Coppi. In fact, it was for years its main opponent and together they became part of the Legend of Italian cycling. In 1948, two years later, he achieved his second and last tour of France, when almost no one remembered the first. It was an exceptional climber and a merciless attacker. Your record can be less complete than Hinault, Merckx or Vlaeminck. However, living a time as difficult as World War II and winning two tours with 10 years apart between them is simply extraordinary. His inimitable style represented the transit between antiquity and the modern era of cycling.

Fausto Coppi (1919-1960): Il Campionissimo

Fausto Coppi Even today in Italy, Fausto Coppi won almost everything: five editions of the Giro de Italia (the first, with only 20 years), two editions of the Tour de France and World Champion in 1953. He achieved the first double turn-toour of The history of cycling. Therefore, it is no accident that the nickname of Campionissimo. He stood out in almost all aspects of cycling: he climbed as the best, it was fast and great counterrelojista. What we could call an unbeatable cyclist. Coppi used to win with great differences over his rivals. His career coincided with World War II, during which he was retained as a prisoner in North Africa. However, he had the great merit of triumphing before and after the contest.
In the Milan-San Remo of 1946, Coppi attacked in the upload of Turchino, 150 km from the finish line, and defeated 14 minutes of advantage.
Coppi represented modernity and became an authentic icon of the society of its time, not only in Italy but outside its country. He transformed professional cycling, applying new training methods and integrating aspects such as dietary, sports medicine, or technological innovation applied to bicycles. In fact, he was the first to use a lighter model for trials against the chrono. He collected all kinds of triumphs. He was world champion in 1953, he took the Lombardia turn five times, was a tricampeón of the Milan-San Remo and Recordman of the hour in 1942. A mark of almost 46 km that was not beaten until 14 years later, by the great Jacques Anquetil. On January 2, 1960, Coppi died from a malaria attack on a criterium in Africa a few weeks before. I was 40 years old. Fausto Coppi's story came to an end, but the legend of Campionissimo It started.

Felice Gimondi (1942-2019): The Fenix

Felice Gimondi Felice Gimondi, son of a mailman and nickname The Fenix, is another great of Italian cycling. He was one of the seven cyclists capable of winning in three editions of the Tour de France. The first of them, with 22 years, in his first participation and in his first season as a professional (1965). Until the victory of Egan Bernal in 2019, Gimondi was still the youngest winner of the Tour after World War II. Gimondi also won in three turns in Italy (1967, 1969 and 1976), a race in which he reached a total of a new podiums. An unmatched record. It was the second corridor (after Jacques Anquetil) in winning the victory in the three big laps, also achieving 14 partial victories: 7 stages in the tour, 6 in the turn and 1 stage in the return.
Gimondi won the 1965 Tour of France without being selected to dispute it. An unexpected leave in his team at the last minute allowed him to participate and take the victory.
Many considered him the successor of the legendary Fausto Coppi. However, like many other professional cyclists who competed between 1966 and 1976, Gimondi had the bad luck to compete when Eddy Merckx was at his best. As of 1968, most of its great victories occurred when Merckx was indisposed (1976) or absent (Milan-San Remo 1974). On other occasions, the shadow of doping caused its disqualification, as happened in the 1969 turn or the 1973 Lombardy turn. After the death of Gimondi, the Belgian supercampeon did not hesitate to recognize him as his hardest rival; In part, because it was the one that looked most to him.

Jacques Anquetil (1934-1987): The elegant champion

Jacques Anquetil Jacques Anquetil was the first corridor to win five editions of the Tour de France (in 1957 and from 1961 to 1964), the first to win the five monuments and the first to win the three big laps in stages. He won in eight great laps during his career, which meant a record until then, only surpassed by Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault. Anquetil grew on a Normandy farm where strawberries were sown. He was an elegant corridor that expressed himself well in all land, but that had a huge talent to fight the chrono. Proof of this is that he was able to win nine times in the Grand Prix of Nations, which today would be the counterreloj world championship. This gave him the name of Monsieur Chrono. His victories were never spectacular, but carefully planned and executed. With precision of surgeon. He also knew how to get out of the script at specific times. Before the 1961 tour, he promised that he would be done with the yellow jersey the first day and that he would keep it until the end. And he did. Something extraordinary, taking into account that their greatest rivals were Charly Gaul and Federico Bahamontes, winners of the test previously. Anquetil shared a historic rivalry with Raymond Poulidor during his career. And although Poulidor was normally losing and did not reach the level of Anchethyl, many French felt much closer to Eternal second, to that suffering spirit and prone to misfortunes. The Normand was an excellent corridor, but too cold.

Eddy Merckx (1945 -...): The Canyval

[CAPTION ID = "Attachment_6226" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "744"]Eddy Merckx The Belgian Eddy Merckx was the great star of the Molteni team.[/caption] Eddy Merckx was known as the The cannibal for his insatiable hunger of victories. During his career, the Belgian was a dominator of professional cycling like no other in history. He won practically everything, so he is considered by many as the best cyclist of all time. No one has managed to reach their incredible figure of 11 victories in large turns (including 65 partial wins), being the cyclist who has gained more stages in the Tour de France (shared with Mark Cavendish), with 34. In his debut in the Great Boucle (1969), won 6 stages, the general by points, the mountain jersey, that of the combined and the combativity award. Of course, he also was the final winner of the test.
During his professional career, Eddy Merckx won in one in three races in which he participated.
In addition to his five victories in the General of the Tour, another five in the Tour of Italy and one in the Tour of Spain, he won the five monuments (the most prestigious classics of the calendar), with special mention for his seven wins in The Milan-San Remo. He was three times world champion and won the victory in an endless racing. In 1972, he established in Mexico the La Hora record at 49.4 km, a brand that was not battered up to 28 years later by Francesco Moser. He retired with the incredible figure of 525 victories. An unmatched palmraés and a devastating fact: Merckx beat 30% of the races in which he participated. Even and everything, his career could be even more glorious. In 1969 he suffered a strong fall in a track test played in Blois (France). From that day, he had to live with back problems that reduced his performance. His last two victories in large laps took place in 1974 (Tour and Tour). That same years he was proclaimed world champion for the third time, becoming the first corridor to reach the Triple Crown. After his retirement, only Stephen Roche was able to achieve it, in 1987.

Roger de Vlaeminck (1947 -...): Monsieur Paris-Roubaix

Of Vlaeminck Roger de VlaEMinck was one of the best runners of classics of all time. He is one of the three cyclists (next to Merckx and Rik van Looy) who have won the five Monuments. But it was in the Paris-Roubaix where he forged his legend, when he took the victory four times, only matched by Tom Boonen. He is considered the greatest specialist of all time in this race. Nicknamed The Gypsy To be born in a family of street scarves, he was one of the great cyclists in history, but he always had to fight Eddy Merckx. De VlaEMinck's only advantage was his great ability as a cyclocross cyclist. In fact, it has been one of the few great professional routes that has also won Cyclocross Championships. In 1968 he took the Amateur World Championship; In 1975, he won in the professional. Without a doubt, this ability helped him succeed in the Paris-Roubaix and defeat Merckx in this field. Roger of VlaEMinck was an ultracomplete cyclist. Determined to undertake a career as a footballer, the bicycle crossed his way and decided to try. And it seems that the bet went quite well.

Bernard Hinault (1954 -...): The boss

Bernard Hinault In 1978, a young Breton named Bernard Hinault debuted at the Tour de France and achieved victory. A whole advance of what would come later. The best French cyclist in history has five Tours of France, three turns in Italy, two laps to Spain and a world championship, in addition to many other races. He was a cyclist of the greats who led a generation of cyclists, just as corridors such as Coppi, Anquetil or Merckx did before. Right after It was merkx, The It was Hinault. While his domain was not so overwhelming, it is a good comparison. Hinault was a supercomplete corridor that constantly attacked. Nicknamed Badger, the Frenchman was a hard guy. An example that defines it was the 1980-line liege-liege, where snow and cold caused him to leave the race almost the entire squad, except 21 cyclists. One of them, Hinault, who came the first to finish with more than 9 minutes of advantage over the second classified.
Bernard Hinault used to refer to the Paris-Roubaix as "a shit race." But he came to show that he could win it; And won it.
Bernard Hinault was respected by cyclists, but feared by many for his temperament. It was the authentic Pattern of the platoon. For the memory, the cyclist propose that led in the 1978 Tour to protest against the double sector stages will be left. At the end of the 1986 season, he retired to devote himself to agriculture and dairy cows on his farm, along with his cousin René. It was also integrated into ASO, the organizing company of the Tour de France, with which it worked on organizational matters until 2016.

Sean Kelly (1956 -...): From Esprínter to Total Cyclist

[Captation Id = "Attachment_9312" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "744"]Be Kelly Image: Sean Kelly (Getty Images).[/caption] Sean Kelly was one of the most successful cyclists in the eighties Classicómanos of all times. It was an off -road corridor that stayed very close to the 200 victories as a professional. Few thought that this Irishman, who worked with his tractor in the Waterford countryside, could sneak into the best cyclists in history. Although he won in a return to Spain, his true specialty were short turns and one day tests. He won in no less than seven editions, consecutive!, Of the Paris-Niza, in addition to winning four of the five Monuments. He was resisted by the Flanders Tour, where he was three second years.
In just one week (both in 1984 and in 1986), Kelly was able to link a 2nd place in Flanders, three stages and general in the Tour of the Basque Country, and Victoria in the Paris-Roubaix.
Kelly was a middle level climber, pulling good, endowed with a speed tip that labeled him as a favorite in almost all the tests in which he participated. In the Tour de France he won the jersey of the points in four editions and qualified four times among the top ten of the general classification. Since the UCI ranking (with other acronyms) was introduced, in 1984, he occupied the world's first position 6 years. Despite his successes, Sean Kelly never lost his nobility over the bicycle. Educated, lonely, discreet ... its simplicity won the appreciation of the fans.

Miguel Indurain (1964 -...): The alien don't worry

Miguel Induráin Miguel Indurain was a cyclist endowed with enormous power that stood out for his portentous talent in counterreloj. His career was clearly marked by his five victories in the Tour de France, sharing this brand with Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault. In any case, only Indurain got it in consecutive years, between 1991 and 1995. He won his first tour against Greg Lemond, the big favorite that year. A historical triumph that meant the fourth victory for a Spaniard in the Ronda Gala, after those of Bahamontes (1959), Ocaña (1973) and Delgado (1988). He beat the Tour of Italy twice, being one of the seven runners who have been able to reach the double Giro-Tour. In 1994 he beat the La Hora record in 1994, with a record of 53,040 km), and a year later he proclaimed world champion counterreloj. His last great triumph took place at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, where he won the Olympic Gold Medal in the Test Against the Crono. Despite his corpulence, Indurain was a remarkable climber, although little friend of exhibitions, even in his best moments. In fact, his quiet character and his humility awakened almost as much admiration as his deeds on the bicycle. Indurain, who won the nickname The alien, he used to set his victories in a huge superiority against the chrono, which allowed him to administer good differences to handle himself in the mountain.  
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