Cycling is one of the most difficult and underrated sports of all time. To be considered one of the greats, it takes determination, stamina, and an incredible amount of endurance. Here are the top eight greatest cyclists who deserve recognition for their incredible hard work:
1. Jan Ullrich
Born in 1973, Jan Ullrich is a former German bicycle racer. Although he did win the Tour de France in 1997, he has been nicknamed The Eternal Second, as he come in second place for the Tour five different times. He also won Vuelta a Espana in 1999 and the Tour de Suisse in 2004 and 2006. Check out http://www.direct2tv.com/ to catch all of his former wins features on sports classic highlights.
2. Lance Armstrong
Armstrong holds the record for the most victories in Tour de France with 7 consecutive wins. An American and a cancer survivor, Armstrong also won the 2001 Tour de Suisse as well as the World Cycling Championship in 1993. Despite the current allegations surrounding him, he is still one of the world’s greatest riders.
3. Miguel Indurain
Born in 1964, Miguel Indurain has won the Tour de France 5 times in a row, just 2 short of Lance Armstrong’s record. He has won the Giro D’Italia twice in a row, as well as having an Olympic Time-Trial Championship in 1996 and the World Time-Trial Championship in 1995 under his belt.
4. Fausto Coppi
An Italian born cyclists, Fausto Coppi was born in 1919. He won the Tour de France twice, in 1949 and 1952. Five different times between 1940 and 1953, he was the winner of the Giro D’Italia. Plus, he won the World Championship in 1953, the Giro di Lombardia five separate times between 1946 and 1954, and the Milan-Sanremo in 1946, 1948, and 1949.
5. Felice Gimondi
Nicknamed “The Phoenix,” Felice Gimondi was an Italian cyclist born in 1942. He is one of only five riders to win all three big stage races: Tour de France in 1965, the Giro D’Italia in 1967, 1969, and 1973, and the Vuelta a Espana in 1968.
6. Gino Bartali
Born in 1914, he is known for his unusual style of staying in the seat instead of dancing on the pedals. He was one of the best mountain riders, winning the mountain competition in the Tour de France twice, not to mention the entire Tour de France as well.
7. Eddy Merchx
Born in Belgium, Eddy Merchx is one of the best road cyclists the world has seen. He has won the Tour de France 5 times, the Giro D’Italia 5 times, and the Vuelta a Espana once. He is one of the five riders to win all three big stage races.
8. Bernard Hinault
A French born rider, Hinault has also won all three big stage races, and the only to have won each more than once. Moreover, he is the only rider to have finished every Tour de France he raced in first or second place.
When it comes to cycling, these are the best of the best all future riders strive to learn from and emulate.
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