Cyclists

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Cyclists are the individuals who are engaged in cycling as a sport.  When considered a sport, bicycle racing consists of various categories of racing such as road bicycle racing, cyclo-cross, time trialling, track cycling, mountain bike racing and cycle speedway. Bicycle racing is an Olympic sport and is popular in several countries, especially in Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. It is also a Summer Paralympic sport. International competitive cycling events are governed by the Union Cycliste Internationale. Bicycle racing as a sport is of relatively recent origins and developed during the later part of the 19th century. Riding a bicycle competitively is very challenging. Add to that the fact that bicycle racing is not as glamorous as other sports like football or basketball. Professional cyclists follow a rigorous training regime that includes several miles of cycling and endurance training sessions at the gym. They also engage in exercises such as running and hiking. Cyclists have to consume a disciplined diet that is rich in carbohydrates and proteins. Cycling is one of the most physiologically demanding sports and cyclists need endurance, speed, technique and skills to excel in this field. Read on to learn about the life and works of various famous cyclists from all over the world.

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 1 
Peter Sagan
(Slovak Professional Road Bicycle Racer)
Peter Sagan
6
Birthdate: January 26, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Žilina, Slovakia

Peter Sagan is a Slovak road bicycle racer. He is currently associated with Bora-Hansgrohe, a popular UCI WorldTeam. Widely regarded as one of cycling's greatest talents, Peter Sagan has won several prestigious championships over the course of his career. He has won UCI Road World Championships and European Championship among many other contests.

 2 
Eddy Merckx
(Belgian Former Professional Road and Track Bicycle Racer)
Eddy Merckx
9
Birthdate: June 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Meensel-Kiezegem, Belgium

Eddy Merckx is a Belgian former road and track bicycle racer. Widely regarded as the most successful rider in competitive cycling history, Merckx achieved several important victories, such as 11 Grand Tours, three World Championships, and all five Monuments. He is also considered the greatest cyclist of all time. After retiring, he coached his national cycling team for 11 years.

 3 
Greg LeMond
(Sport cyclist)
Greg LeMond
10
Birthdate: June 26, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lakewood

Greg LeMond is an American former road racing cyclist and anti-doping advocate. Widely regarded as the greatest American cyclist ever, LeMond is a three-time Tour de France winner and a two-time Road Race World Championship winner. Greg LeMond is also regarded as an icon of the sport's globalization and is counted among the greatest all-round cyclists of the present era.

 4 
Jan Ullrich
(Bicycler)
Jan Ullrich
6
Birthdate: December 2, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rostock, Germany
 5 
Lance Armstrong
(American Former Professional Road Racing Cyclist)
Lance Armstrong
32
Birthdate: September 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Plano, Texas, United States

Lance Armstrong became one of the most inspirational stories after he survived cancer and went on to win seven consecutive Tour de France races from 1999 to 2005. He was considered one of the greatest road racing cyclists ever before he was stripped of all of his achievements starting from August 1998 due to his involvement in a doping scandal.

 6 
Bernard Hinault
(One of the Greatest Cyclists of All Time)
Bernard Hinault
8
Birthdate: November 14, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Yffiniac, France

Bernard Hinault is a French former professional cyclist, often counted among the best cyclists of all time. He has 147 professional victories, including five in the Tour de France, to his name.  In 1986, he was given the Legion of Honour; he retired the same year. He turned to farming after his retirement. 

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 7 
Chris Froome
(Kenyan-British Cyclist and Four-Time Winner of the ‘Tour de France’)
Chris Froome
7
Birthdate: May 20, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nairobi, Kenya

Chris Froome is an English professional road racing cyclist best known for winning two bronze medals in the Olympic Games so far; he won the medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. In 2017, Froome won a bronze medal at the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway. Froome has won many prestigious awards, such as the Vélo d'Or.

 8 
Geraint Thomas
(Sport Cyclist Who Won Two Olympic Gold Medals (2008 and 2012))
Geraint Thomas
7
Birthdate: May 25, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cardiff, Wales

Welsh racing cyclist Geraint Thomas is a 2-time Olympic gold medal winner, apart from being a 3-time world champion and the 2018 Tour de France winner. Starting cycling at age 10, he is now an OBE and has also bagged numerous endorsement deals, such as the one with Continental Tyres.

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 9 
Fabian Cancellara
(Swiss Former Professional Racing Cyclist and Two-Time Olympic Gold Medallist)
Fabian Cancellara
6
Birthdate: March 18, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wohlen, Switzerland

Nicknamed Spartacus, Swiss retired cyclist and Olympic gold medalist Fabian Cancellara is a four-time world time trial champion. He also won both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix thrice. He had started cycling at 13, after finding an old family bike. He was also good at football and skiing.

 10 
Jacques Anquetil
(Road racing cyclist)
Jacques Anquetil
4
Birthdate: January 8, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mont-Saint-Aignan, France
Died: November 18, 1987

Jacques Anquetil was a French professional road racing cyclist. He was the first person to win five Tour de France races. At the time of his retirement, Anquetil had won eight Grand Tours, which was a record at that time. He was also a controversial figure who spoke openly about his dependency on drugs to compete in races.

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 11 
Cadel Evans
(Professional Road Racing Cyclist)
Cadel Evans
6
Birthdate: February 14, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Katherine

Tour de France-winning Australian cyclist Cadel Evans is also a four-time Olympian. His career took off when he earned a scholarship to the mountain biking program of the Australian Institute of Sport. An avid philanthropist, he has an adopted son from Ethiopia, along with a son from his second wife.

 12 
Laurent Fignon
(Road Bicycle Racer)
Laurent Fignon
4
Birthdate: August 12, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 31, 2010

Laurent Fignon was a French professional road bicycle racer. He won the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984. He became the FICP World No. 1 in 1989 and also won the Giro d'Italia the same year. One of the most successful cyclists of his era, he won many classic races. He retired in 1993. 

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 13 
Vincenzo Nibali
(Bicycler)
Vincenzo Nibali
4
Birthdate: November 14, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Messina, Sicily, Italy
 14 
Sean Kelly
(Road bicycle racer)
Sean Kelly
4
Birthdate: May 24, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Carrick-On-Suir, Ireland

Of his 16-year-long stint as a professional cyclist, Sean Kelly has spent 5 years as the world’s number one racer. A specialist in classic races, he was the Paris–Nice winner for 7 consecutive times. Regarded as the second-best cyclist ever, he later had a successful career as a Eurosport commentator.

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 15 
Gino Bartali
(Cyclist)
Gino Bartali
4
Birthdate: July 18, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ponte a Ema, Italy
Died: May 5, 2000
 16 
Stephen Roche
(Road racing cyclist)
Stephen Roche
4
Birthdate: November 28, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dundrum, Dublin, Ireland
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 17 
Philippe Gilbert
(Belgian Cyclist & the Winner of the 2012 World Road Race Championship)
Philippe Gilbert
7
Birthdate: July 5, 1982
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Verviers, Wallonia, Belgium

A 3-time Olympian, Belgian cyclist Philippe Gilbert is best known for winning the 2012 World Road Race Championships. He is also one of only 2 cyclists who have won 3 Ardennes classics. After representing teams such as the BMC Racing Team and Quick-Step Floors, he switched to Lotto–Soudal.

 18 
Nairo Quintana
(Considered the Best Colombian Road Cyclist of All Time)
Nairo Quintana
4
Birthdate: February 4, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cómbita, Colombia

Nairo Quintana is a Colombian racing cyclist. A specialist climber, Quintana is renowned for his ability to launch attacks on ascents of steep gradient and his stamina to endure others' attacks. Considered the best Colombian road cyclist of all time, Nairo Quintana is also counted among the most successful and popular stage-racing riders of his generation.

 19 
Bradley Wiggins
(Track cyclist, Sport cyclist)
Bradley Wiggins
6
Birthdate: April 28, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ghent

British road and track cyclist Bradley Wiggins scripted history by becoming the first British racer to win the Tour de France, in 2012. Though born to Australian track cyclist Gary Wiggins, he was initially a fan of football but turned to cycling after watching the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  

 20 
Primož Roglič
(The First Cyclist From Slovenia to Win a Stage at 'Tour de France')
Primož Roglič
4
Birthdate: October 29, 1989
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Trbovlje, Slovenia

Primož Roglič is a Slovenian racing cyclist who in 2017 became the first cyclist from his country to win a stage at Tour de France. He then went on to win the Vuelta a España for three successive years. Primož Roglič achieved international recognition at the 2020 Olympic Games where he won the gold medal in the time trial event.

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 21 
Alex Zanardi
(Racecar driver who won the CART championship in 1997 and 1998, and took 15 wins in the series, paracyclist)
Alex Zanardi
4
Birthdate: October 23, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy

One of Italy’s best-known paracyclists and race car drivers, Alex Zanardi has four Paralympic gold medals in his kitty, apart from his 12 World Championship gold medals. Following a 2001 race car accident, he lost both his legs. The former Formula One racer has won CART Championships, too.

 22 
Greg Van Avermaet
(Belgian Cyclist Who Is an Olympic Gold Medalist)
Greg Van Avermaet
5
Birthdate: May 17, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lokeren, Belgium

Belgian cyclist Greg Van Avermaet was born into a family of cyclists, with both his father and grandfather being cyclists. The Olympic gold medalist has represented Predictor–Lotto and the BMC Racing Team, before switching to the French cycling team AG2R Citroën Team. He specializes in classic cycle races.

 23 
Erik Zabel
(Cyclist)
Erik Zabel
4
Birthdate: July 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: East Berlin, East Germany
 24 
Mathieu van der Poel
4
Birthdate: January 19, 1995
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kapellen, Belgium
 25 
Raymond Poulidor
4
Birthdate: April 15, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Masbaraud-Mérignat, France
Died: November 13, 2019

Raymond Poulidor, or Pou-Pou, was an acclaimed French cyclist who had a life-long association with Mercier. His lack of wins at the Tour de France, in spite of 8 podium finishes, earned him the tag of The Eternal Second. Born to farmers, he took up racing at 16 after reading a sports magazine.

 26 
Tom Boonen
(Former Belgian Road Bicycle Racer)
Tom Boonen
5
Birthdate: October 15, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mol, Belgium
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 27 
Beryl Burton
(Sport cyclist)
Beryl Burton
4
Birthdate: May 12, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Leeds
Died: May 8, 1996

Legendary British cyclist Beryl Burton dominated the British women’s racing scene from the 1950s to the 1980s. Apart from being a 5-time world champion, she set a new women’s record for the 25-mile time trial, which surpassed the men’s record for 2 years. Her achievements inspired a radio play.

 28 
Julian Alaphilippe
(Sport cyclist)
Julian Alaphilippe
5
Birthdate: June 11, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saint-Amand-Montrond, France

French cyclist Julian Alaphilippe is the brother of another prominent cyclist, Bryan Alaphilippe. The son of an orchestra conductor, he loved playing the drums as a child, but switched to cycling at age 13. Named France’s best sportsman more than once, he is the current UCI World Road Champion.

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 29 
Alejandro Valverde
(Road racing cyclist who has 131 professional wins)
Alejandro Valverde
4
Birthdate: April 25, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Las Lumbreras, Spain
 30 
Tom Dumoulin
(Cyclist)
Tom Dumoulin
5
Birthdate: November 11, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Maastricht, Netherlands
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 31 
Tadej Pogačar
(Slovenia Cyclist Who Won the 'Tour de France' in 2020 and 2021)
Tadej Pogačar
4
Birthdate: September 21, 1998
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Komenda, Slovenia

Tadej Pogačar is a Slovenian cyclist best known for his bronze medal-winning performance in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. He also won the prestigious Tour de France in 2020 and 2021, achieving enormous fame among cycling enthusiasts around the world. Tadej Pogačar is the first Slovenian and the second-youngest winner of Tour de France.  

 32 
Eric Heiden
(American Former Long Track Speed Skater, Road and Track Cyclist and Five-Time Olympic Gold Medalist)
Eric Heiden
7
Birthdate: June 14, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

Eric Heiden is a former track cyclist, road cyclist, and long track speed skater. At the 1980 Winter Olympics, Heiden won five individual gold medals, setting one world record and four Olympic records in the process. The most successful athlete at the 1980 Winter Olympics, Heiden won more gold medals than all other nations except East Germany and Soviet Union.

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 33 
Danny MacAskill
(Sport cyclist)
Danny MacAskill
4
Birthdate: December 23, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dunvegan

Danny MacAskill is a Scottish professional mountain bike trial cyclist who works for Santa Cruz Bicycles. MacAskill, who achieved popularity after showcasing his skills on YouTube, went on to feature in several commercials and promotional videos for brands like Leica Camera. Danny MacAskill is also credited for performing the stunts in the 2012 American action thriller film Premium Rush.

 34 
Tom Simpson
(Sport cyclist)
Tom Simpson
4
Birthdate: November 30, 1937
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Haswell, County Durham
Died: July 13, 1967

Tom Simpson was a British professional cyclist who specialized in pursuit racing. One of most successful and popular cyclists of Britain, Simpson is best remembered for winning a bronze medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. He then went on to win a gold medal at the 1965 UCI Road World Championships in San Sebastián, Spain.

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 35 
Floyd Landis
(Racing Cyclist)
Floyd Landis
14
Birthdate: October 14, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Farmersville, Pennsylvania, United States

Floyd Landis is an American former road racing cyclist who won the 2006 Tour de France before being stripped off of his title after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. In 2010, he revealed that many other top riders including Lance Armstrong had doped as well. His revelation helped accelerate the Lance Armstrong doping case.

 36 
Phil Liggett
(Journalist, Sport cyclist)
Phil Liggett
4
Birthdate: August 11, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bebington, United Kingdom

English sports broadcaster Phil Liggett is known for his commentary of the Tour de France and other cycling events. Though he had fancied a career as a cyclist earlier, he later chose sports journalism instead. He is now a wildlife conservationist, who protects rhinos in a South African game reserve.

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 37 
David Millar
(Retired road racing cyclist)
David Millar
4
Birthdate: January 4, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mtarfa, Malta

David Millar is a former racing cyclist who rode for the professional road bicycle racing team Cofidis from 1997 to 2004. Millar won two World Championship silver medals in 2001 and 2010. He also won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Since serving his two-year ban for using performance-enhancing drugs in 2006, Millar has been an anti-doping campaigner.

 38 
Azizulhasni Awang
4
Birthdate: January 5, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kuala Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia

Malaysian track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang, also known as The Pocket Rocketman, has both an Olympic bronze and silver in his kitty. Adopted as a child, he took up cycling at age 10. While studying sports science in Australia, he became the first non-Australian to get a Blue Award from Victoria University.

 39 
Felice Gimondi
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sedrina, Italy
Died: August 16, 2019
 40 
Richard Virenque
5
Birthdate: November 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Casablanca, Morocco

Known for his boyish looks and his reputation as a mountain climber, Richard Virenque is a three-time Olympian who has also won the Tour de France King of the Mountains contest 7 times. He was involved in the Festina doping scandal, and though he wasn’t implicated, he later admitted to doping.

 41 
Laurent Jalabert
3
Birthdate: November 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mazamet, France

Known as Jaja, for his love for wine, Laurent Jalabert is a former world number one cyclist from France, who, unfortunately, never won a Tour de France title. With his Vuelta a España win in 1995, he became the second cyclist, after Eddy Merckx, to win three jerseys in a Grand Tour.

 42 
Remco Evenepoel
(Belgian Olympian Cyclist Who Represents the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team)
Remco Evenepoel
6
Birthdate: January 25, 2000
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aalst, Belgium

The son of retired Belgian cyclist Patrick Evenepoel, Remco Evenepoel too is a skilled cyclist in his own right and an Olympian. While he began his sports career as a footballer with Anderlecht, he later switched to cycling. He now represents the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team.

 43 
Paul Sherwen
(Former racing cyclist)
Paul Sherwen
4
Birthdate: June 7, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Widnes, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Died: December 2, 2018

English cyclist Paul Sherwen was raised in Kenya, where his father worked. Initially devoted to swimming, he had even competed in swimming contests in Kenya and Britain but deviated toward cycling at 16. Part of the group of cyclists known as the Foreign Legion, he later turned into a successful broadcaster, too.

 44 
Francesco Moser
(Sport cyclist)
Francesco Moser
3
Birthdate: June 19, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Palù di Giovo, Italy
 45 
Andy Schleck
(Luxembourgish Former Professional Road Bicycle Racer)
Andy Schleck
4
Birthdate: June 10, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Son of cyclist Johny Schleck, Andy Schleck is a cyclist from Luxembourg who has been associated with teams such as Leopard Trek. The 2010 Tour de France winner has also been ranked second in the race twice. Following his retirement, he now owns a bike shop and a souvenir museum.

 46 
Joop Zoetemelk
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands
 47 
André Greipel
4
Birthdate: July 16, 1982
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rostock, East Germany
 48 
Jens Voigt
(Cyclist)
Jens Voigt
4
Birthdate: September 17, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Grevesmühlen, East Germany
 49 
Roger De Vlaeminck
(Former Belgian Professional Racing Cyclist)
Roger De Vlaeminck
3
Birthdate: August 24, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Eeklo, Belgium
 50 
Graeme Obree
(Sport cyclist)
Graeme Obree
4
Birthdate: September 11, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nuneaton

Graeme Obree is a Scottish racing cyclist best known for using a bicycle which he had built using parts from an old washing machine. Obree won two World Championship gold medals in 1993 and 1995. He was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. His life was dramatized in the 2006 movie The Flying Scotsman.