10 Best Cyclists In History That You Should Know Of!

These cyclists had the endurance and courage to become the best of the best. Let's take a peek inside their victories to see what really makes them a legend!

Do you know about cycling legends? They are the champions of cycling, having conquered different challenges like Tour De France, Grand Tours, World Championship, and more. They have built a whole legacy. Yes, you are right. It does include names like Wout Van Aert, Tadej Pogacar, and more. 

But we have to travel a little further in history and dig out the names of the unforgotten heroes. So are you ready to find out who they are?

10 Best Cyclists Ever- That Legends That You Should Know!

Cycling is a challenging sport. Let’s take a look at these legends!

1. Eddy Merckx

Date of Birth: June 17, 1945

Eddy Merckx
Eddy Merckx

Let’s start the list with the Belgian Legend Eddy Merckx, although he was born Edouard Joseph Baron Merckx, he’s famous for being called Eddy Merckx. Because of his talent and achievements, he was deemed the greatest cyclist of all time by VeloNews, a very famous sports news agency.

His accomplishments were not just famous in the United States, even the French magazine Velo gave him the title of the “Most Accomplished Rider Cycling Has Ever Seen”. Honestly, this says a lot about his achievements and talent. Apart from that, he has his own cycling business known as Eddy Merckx Cycles.


  • Winning the Tour de France five times.
  • Securing victory in the Giro d’Italia five times.
  • Becoming the Cycling World Champion three times.
  • Winning the Vuelta an España once.
  • He accumulated a total of 19 amazing victories in his career.

2. Jacques Anquetil

Date of Birth: January 8, 1934- Nov 18, 1987

Jacques Anquetil
Jacques Anquetil

The French Cyclist Jacques Anquetil was a legend in his time. He was also named “Monsieur Chrono” because of his brilliance at the time trials he managed to win the Tour De France five times, four of those times consecutive in a row, starting from 1957 and then from 1961 to 1964. His stage wins in time trials were exemplary. He was known to be beating the clock at any kind of difficulty. 


  • Won the bronze medal for the French National Cycling Team at the 100 km time trial during the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki.
  • Secured the Grand Prix Des Nations Title an incredible nine times in a row without ever being defeated.
  • Earned the title of “France’s Champion of Champions” for his remarkable achievements.
  • Appointed as the Chevalier De L’Ordre National Du Mèrite in 1965, recognizing his contributions and excellence.
  • Received the Chevalier De La Légion D’Honneur on October 5, 1966, one of the highest honor awards in France, highlighting his outstanding accomplishments and service to the sport.

3. Bernard Hinault

Date of Birth: November 14, 1954

Bernard Hinault
Bernard Hinault

Bernard Hinault is yet another amazing French cyclist. He’s also the only cyclist on our list to have won all three grand tours. Professional Cycling is defined by him because he is one of the six cyclists who won all three grand tours. He left behind a legacy because he was the last French cyclist to have won the Tour De France.


  • He won the Tour de France five times.
  • Finished as the runner-up twice.
  • Achieved a total of 28 stage victories in the Tour de France, including 13 time trial wins.
  • Regarded as one of the finest classic riders in cycling history.
  • Accumulated more than 200 victories over a span of 12 years.
  • Secured the title of Giro d’Italia three times.
  • Won the Vuelta a España two times. His incredible achievement in the Liége-Bastogne-Liége Classic in 1980 is particularly noteworthy.
  • Finished 10 minutes ahead of his rival, showcasing exceptional strength and courage.

4. Mario Cipollini 

Date of Birth: March 22, 1967

Mario Cipollini
Mario Cipollini

Although he is still known around the world for his amazing sprinting ability, Mario Cipollini is one of the legends of the cycling world. Event popular media have given him the retired Italian cycling legend the nickname “Cipo”. From 1989 to 2005 Mario had 191 championship victories! Things got a bit rough as it does with celebrities, the media accused Mario of using performance-enhancing drugs and being a client of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.  


  • Earned nicknames such as “Super Mario” and “Il Re Leone” (The Lion King) for his success in world championships.
  • Made a notable comeback in the 2008 Tour of California.
  • Achieved third place in the competition, showcasing his enduring talent and competitive spirit.
  • Continued his passion for cycling after retirement.
  • Launched his brand of bicycles, MCipollini, in 2010. The Italian ISD-NERI team used MCipollini bikes for various tournaments.

5. Jan Ullrich

Date of Birth: December 2, 1973

Jan Ullrich
Jan Ullrich

You may have heard about the German cycling legend Jan Ullrich who won two medals at the 2000 Sydnee Summer Olympics, one of those medals was a gold medal. He is a road cycling legend, and his fans still celebrate his victories all over the world. When he won the HEW Cyclassics in 1997, he earned the title of Vuelta An España in 1999. The Bicycle Boom in Germany was an important event, Jan made his country very proud of his performance when he won the Tour De France in 1997. Although all the celebrations came to an end when the Court of Arbitration of Sports found him guilty because of his doping offense. This was in 2012.

This was really bad news for the World Road Race Champion because he was stripped of all his achievements by the court in 2013. 

6. Fausto Coppi

Date of Birth: September 15, 1919- January 2, 1960

Fausto Coppi
Fausto Coppi

The Second World War was a very depressing era to live in. War and turmoil all around plagued the lives of people. That is why the world can never forget the actions of Fausto Coppi. The Legendary Italian Cyclist Fausto Coppi was a force to be reckoned with. He attained a world record at the Velodromo Vigorelli in Milan in 1942 and that record was later crushed by Jacques Anquetil in 1956.


  • Won the Giro d’Italia in 1940 at the age of 20, making history as the youngest rider to achieve this title at the time.
  • Secured the Giro d’Italia title five more times during his career.
  • Clinched the Tour de France title in both 1949 and 1952, showcasing his prowess in the most prestigious Grand Tour.
  • Won the World Championship in 1953, further solidifying his status as one of the world’s top cyclists.
  • Triumphed in the Milan-San Remo Classic, Paris-Roubaix, and La Flèche Wallonne, demonstrating his versatility and success in various types of races.
  • Brought smiles and courage to people during an era marked by turmoil and war, making his victories even more significant.

7. Miguel Indurain

Date of Birth: July 16, 1964

Miguel Indurain
Miguel Indurain

Let’s not forget about the Spanish Cycling Legend Miguel Indurain, shall we?


  • Won the Tour de France title five times, an exceptional feat, not from 1941 to 1945, but in the 1990s (1991-1995).
  • Became the youngest cyclist ever to win the Spanish Amateur National Road Championship.
  • Earned nicknames such as “Big Mig” or “Miguelón” from his fans, reflecting his stature and dominance in the cycling world.
  • Praised globally for his impeccable bicycling pose, appearing relaxed while maintaining a high level of activity and control on the bike.
  • Achieved the Giro-Tour double, winning both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in the same year, a feat accomplished by only a select few.
  • Currently a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, showcasing his continued influence and involvement in the global sports community.

8. Sean Kelly

Date of Birth: May 24, 1956

Sean Kelly
Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is regarded as one of the finest cycling icons to have ever lived. In the 1980s, Sean Kelly was a force to be reckoned with in the cycling world.


  • Spanned from 1977 to 1994, showcasing almost twenty years of consistent and successful competition at the highest level.
  • Secured victory in 193 professional races, demonstrating remarkable success over his career.
  • Won three Monument Classics, which are prestigious one-day races in cycling.
  • Achieved the title of UCI World Cup Winner in 1989, showcasing his consistency and dominance in the professional cycling circuit.
  • Won the Paris-Nice event seven consecutive times, highlighting his prowess in stage races.
  • Held the World No.1 rank in the FICP ranking for six consecutive years after its introduction in March 1984, setting a record for sustained excellence in the sport.
  • Achieved significant victories in races such as Milan-San Remo, Giro di Lombardia, Paris-Roubaix, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, showcasing his versatility and ability to excel in various types of races.

9. Felice Gimondi

Date of Birth: September 29, 1942- August 16, 2019

Felice Gimondi
Felice Gimondi

Felice Gimondi is another amazing Italian cycling legend on our list. He was nicknamed the “The Phoenix” after his grand tour success. He won not just one but all three Grand Tours. Pretty amazing because there are only 7 people in the world who have done that.

  • Won the prestigious titles of both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia in 1965, showcasing his exceptional talent and versatility as a cyclist.
  • Secured victory in the Vuelta a España in 1968, completing the Grand Tour triple crown.
  • Achieved victories in iconic one-day races:
    Giro di Lombardia (1966)
    UCI Road World Championship (1973)
  • Gran Fondo Felice Gimondi was named “Gran Fondo Felice Gimondi” in his honor, reflecting his enduring legacy in the cycling community.
  • Given the presidential chair of TX Active, a mountain bike races specialized team, until he died in 2019, highlighting his continued involvement and influence in the sport.

10. Lance Armstrong

Date of Birth: September 18, 1971

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong

Let’s end our list with Lance Armstrong, one of the most amazing and controversial athletes of all time. Well, there have been many controversies with other athletes but nothing amounts to the ones surrounding/surrounded Lance Armstrong. Armstrong won seven world titles (Tour De France) from 1999-2005. His celebrations ended rather quickly because he tested positive for performance-enhancement drugs and thus was stripped of his winnings. 


  • Started practicing as an athlete at the age of 16.
    Became the national sprint-course triathlon champion twice consecutively in 1989 and 1990.
  • Won the World Championship in 1993, showcasing excellence on the international stage.
  • Victories in races such as Clássica de San Sebastián (1995) and Tour DuPont in both 1995 and 1996.
  • Won major Tour de France races, achieving success in all the races he participated in.
  • Participated in the Summer Olympics of 2000 and won a bronze medal, adding an Olympic achievement to his illustrious career.
  • Was a member of the US Postal and Discovery teams from 1998 to 2005, playing a significant role in the success of these teams.
  • Announced retirement from professional racing in 2011.


These are some of the best cycling legends that the world has ever witnessed, but what do these legends teach us? They teach us never to give up on our dreams, and to pursue our goals till the very end because that is where success lies. You may be surprised but these bicycle racers have the same level of fame as football and basketball players. 

These cyclists have been made immortal in pop culture and other forms of popularity. Their stories, struggles, and achievements are there to inspire other cyclists to their dreams. You can be a legendary cyclist too, there is no need to win a Tour De France, just do well by yourself!

Also Read: The History Of Ice Biking And Winter Cycling

Should you have any questions or require further clarification on the topic, please feel free to connect with our expert author Luke Ameen by leaving a comment below. We value your engagement and are here to assist you.

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Luke Ameen

Luke Ameen

For many years, I've journeyed the world as an ardent cyclist, feeling the pulse of the road beneath two wheels. Even though competitive mountain trails might not be my battleground now, my zeal for cycling remains undiminished, pushing me to chase new escapades every chance I get.

My heart beats for everything related to cycling. Over the years, I've immersed myself in extensive research and hands-on tests of cycling equipment and enhancements, aiming to guide fellow cyclists in amplifying their riding experience. My mission is clear: deliver trustworthy insights and reliable guidance that readers can lean on. My vision is to kindle the same fervor for cycling in others, whether they're seasoned veterans or just embarking on this journey. Rest assured, I'm here to equip you with the freshest updates, advice, and perspectives to enrich every ride.


2 thoughts on “10 Best Cyclists In History That You Should Know Of!”

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