Theater of epic clashes opposing simple mortal humans to the indomitable forces of nature, in Our way of the most beautiful ancient tragedies, cycling can be considered as the most noble of all sports.
Contemporary heroes with all the thighs of bulls and with infinite breaths, several of its actors have marked the history of sport to the point of being true legends. A brief overview.
1. Eddy Merckx
Our greatest of all cyclists, without a doubt. 11 grand tours, 64 stages, 3 world championships, 27 classics including 3 Paris-Roubaix: 1 breathtaking track record that could make Carl Lewis or Michael Jordan look like ordinary Sunday sportsmen. We will obviously remember such an unalterable hunger for victory which will give him the nickname “Cannibal” and which pushed him to attack constantly, at any place, in any circumstance, with the key, a first a place that rarely escaped him. The domination he exercised through cycling in the 1970s has few equals in the history of modern sport.
2. Fausto Coppi
If “the Heron” has only won 2 tours of France during his own career, he remains considered by many as one of the greatest cyclists in the history of a discipline. For example, if the palmares is thus very well provided (5 Giro, 1 world championship, 3 Milan-San Remo …), Fausto Coppi remains above all recognized for having taken cycling to a new dimension by revolutionizing the report to equipment, to Our diet, as well as to pre-competition training. He enjoys, Not to mention that, in post-war Italy, a strong popular fervor by making himself the standard-bearer of left-wing progressive ideals against the eternal rival Bartali, a much more conservative Catholic reactionary.
3. Bernard Hinault
A veritable winning machine, Bernard Hinault currently holds the most extensive French track record in history: 10 Grand Tours including 5 Tours de France, 41 stage victories, 1 Paris-Roubaix, 2 Giro-Tour doublets…However, much more than his victories, it was his “atypical” temperament that won him public favor throughout his career. A tireless attacker, he practiced a cycling of attack, audacity and panache that he still advocates today. The other side of the coin is also known for his memorable bloodshed, such as via the Paris-Nice of 1984 where, exasperated, he hit a demonstrator who was trying to stop him…
4. Jacques Anquetil
“Maitre Jacques” is the first to have achieved the feat of winning 5 Tours de France. His prize list is also enriched by 2 tours of Italy, 1 tour of Spain but also 5 Paris-Nice. This hegemony in stage races can be explained with the incredible talent within the time trials: today well, He seems For example considered as the greatest professional of the discipline in history, disgusting by his abilities unpublished all of his opponents, at the head of which his eternal rival Raymond Poulidor.
5. Raymond Poulidor
Raymond Poulidor, nicknamed “Poupou”, “the eternal second” has never won the Tour de France, but has won it many times in the hearts of the French. This will still be part of the rare riders who have finished well ten times concerning a final grand tour podium. Poupou is relentlessness, courage, abnegation in its raw state.
6. Miguel Indurain
During his professional career, the Spaniard did not win any major classic race. This strangeness is explained by the fact that the entirety of his seasons was concentrated around preparation for the Tour de France, the only truly valid competition in his eyes. He took it well, if we consider the Spaniard’s record in your competition: following his victory in 1995, he became the fourth rider in history to win the event 5 times and consecutively. A formidable rider, he forged his victories in the time trials and showed extreme resistance in the mountain stages where he clung to the greatest climbers like Pantani or Chippolini. Renowned for its fair play,
7. Louison Bobet
Before Anquetil, Poulidor and Hinnault, the first great French cycling champion was called Louison Bobet. In the 1950s, he held the dragee high on the Italian team of Coppi and Bartali and won 3 tours of France in a row (he was the first to achieve such a performance). Bobet added multiple prestigious races such as 1 Paris-Roubais, a Paris-Nice or a title of world champion. Rigorous attacker and tireless climber, he will write his story (and that of this Tour) in the great Alpine passes such as the Izoard or the Col de Vars. After Our end of his career, Bobet will forbid the son to attempt a cycling career: the size of the experience, no doubt…
8. Laurent Fignon
If Laurent Fignon’s prize list remains very generously provided (2 laps of France, 1 Giro, 1 Milan-San Remo), yours is never the one that will place him in the heart of all French supporters. It is first of all the look, unique in the peloton, which earned him the nickname of “professor” (then a number of enmities among the riders). But it is also his clashes with
Hinault within the Alpine slopes, his victory stolen at the Giro 1984 via Francesco Moser supported via the organizers who wanted 1 Italian winner, his defeat of 8 seconds in the 1989 lap against Greg LeMond who made up the delay in the last time trial shown using a more advanced triathlete handlebar than that of Fignon. It is finally the death of a cancer at 50 years while the relevance of the observations made the happiness of France Televisions.
9. Greg LeMond
LeMond was the first great American cycling champion, majestically opening the door to Armstong, Hinapie, Zabriskie and other Van de Velde. Triple winner of the Tour de France, he also won 2 world championship titles. Leaving space in 1991 to I generation Indurein, he will attempt an attack in the last stage of the Champs-Elysees in a last stand of honor. Precursor vis-i-vis technique, he left many improvements (such as the triathlete handlebar) and launched his own brand of bike.
10. Frederico Bahamontes
Frederico Bahamontes won only one Tour de France (in 1959), but nevertheless marked the history of the Grande Boucle by winning the mountain classification 6 times, he who is undoubtedly the greatest climber in the world. history of cycling. “L’Aigle de Tolede” was once able to chain a few very long passes at impressive paces, then place really violent attacks on shorter and steeper slopes. His climbing abilities combined with natural elegance have made him a reference for all generations of climbers who succeeded him.