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Top 7 Most Famous Cyclists of All Time

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There is something admirable about devoting yourself to a sport or skill. When you strive to be the very best, you can make history for the sport of your passion. Cyclist is one such sport that request a lot of devotion and dedication. After all, it takes a force of nature that can keep the world spinning for many people.

In the long history of cycling, there have been many legends who went above and beyond to leave a mark on the sport. Today, we will be celebrating seven of the most famous cyclists in memory.

Here are the top seven most famous cyclists of all time:

1. Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly was one of the most famous cyclists in the 1980s. He took 10 classics victories for himself, conquered the Paris-Nice a total of seven times, and even won the very first World Cup for cycling. This made him one of the most successful road cyclists in the 1980s, as well as one of the finest classic riders of all time.

His final year as a professional was 1994, but he is still considered a legend of cycling after all of these years. Some of his accomplishments have yet to be topped, and in some cases, may very well never be.

 

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2. Fausto Coppi

When a person is intent on excelling at something, then nothing can stand in their way for long. Fausto Coppi was a good example of this when put his cycling career on hold for World War II, then continued his ambitions following the end of the war.

After the wartime, Coppi went on to win multiple grand-tours, specifically the Giro a total of five times, as well as more than a few World Championships. All while battling a rivalry with Gino Bartili, which is known as one of the greatest rivalries in the history of cycling.

 

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3. Bernard Hinault

Bernard Hinault was known for many things aside from his cycling skills. Most notably, the charismatic personality that he always presented, as well as the leadership skills that he effortlessly displayed. Aside from those, he was well admired for the dedication he showed towards his craft.

The dedication that earned him a good amount of respect also brought him many victories in his career. Hinault was a five-time winner of the Tour de France, and was also one of only six cyclists to have nabbed first place in all three Grand Tours. Those Grand Tours being the Giro ‘Italia, the Vuelta a España, and of course the Tour de France.

 

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4. Greg LeMond

Greg LeMond is the title holder of many firsts for an American. He was the first non-European to win the Tour de France, and went on to do it two more times, as well. He is also the only American to win the Tour de France so far. While those accomplishments are very impressive, he wasn’t quite finished just yet.

LeMond also won the World Championships twice. This made him the first American male to win these awards. Known as one of the most famous cyclists, he went on to be the first cyclist to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated after being named 1989’s “Sportsman of the Year.”

 

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5. Gino Bartali

The name of this famous cyclist may sound similar, as he made a special appearance in our first entry. Gino Bartali deserves to be known as more than a mere rival, though, as he was certainly a cyclist with a great deal of talent.

Similar to Fausto Coppi, Bartali would more than likely have been much more accomplished in his time were it not for the outbreak of World War II, and a heated rivalry nipping at his heels. Even so, Bartali won 24 classics, two Tour de France victories, and four additional stage races.

 

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6. Jacques Anquetil

There are far worse names in the world than “Monsieur Chrono.” This is the title given to Jacques Anquetil following the fame surrounding his incredible ability to beat the clock in cycling. Cool name aside, Anquetil went on to make history in the world of cycling, despite his humble beginnings as an amateur.

A five-time winner of Tour de France, as well as victor of the Overall Four Days of Dunkirk, Overall Giro d’Italia, Overall Paris-Nice, and many more accolades, Anquetil is a cyclist name that any bike enthusiast should know.

 

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7. Lance Armstrong

Recent controversies aside, Lance Armstrong is one of the most famous cyclists who have done quite a bit for the sport of cycling during his career. He helped bring cycling into a mainstream venue for many people, and should at least be remembered for “The Lance Effect.”

The effect that he has had on the world around him boosted participation in local race and event participation, as well as bike purchases the world over. His fame may have turned to infamy in some cases, but there is no doubt that Lance Armstrong is still a big name in the world of cycling.

 

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