Greatest Cyclist of All Time

14
Mar
2012

It’s a loaded question, but who do you feel is the Greatest Cyclist of All Time…and why?  Labelling someone the Greatest was not something I was willing to do on my own, so I left this one up to a panel of expert judges to do it for me.  Here’s a look at who was involved, and what they came up with.

The Panel

The panel we used to determine who would be called the Greatest of All Time included cycling celebrities, #bikeschool classmates, and other bike lovers.  The cycling celebrities featured the likes of pro rider and Boo Bicycles owner, Nick Frey, cycling celebrity Ryan van Duzer, some of my amateur and semi-pro racing friends, as well as couple kings of the cycling blog world: Fat Cyclist and Wade from Cycling Tips.

In total, we took the responses of our panel made up of 100 cycling fanatics and the results were quite interesting.  When each of these people were asked who they felt was the greatest cyclist of all time, not once did we mention that it had to be a pro cyclist…..but it’s funny how the majority of responders included one as their reply.

Okay, so here is the top 5 Greatest Cyclists of All Time as selected by our panel.  We’ve also included a few of the responses as to why certain cyclists were selected, so be sure to check out the quotes and comments below.

Top 5 Cyclists of All Time:

5.  Cadel Evans

4.  Danny MacAskill

3. Fausto Coppi

2.  Lance Armstrong

1. Eddy Merckx

This is obviously an interesting list and the reasons why people selected who they did is even more interesting.

“Lance might be the best Tour de France champion of all time, but the greatest cyclist has got to be Eddy Merckx.  No question.”

- Victor from @bicyclelab

 

“I never saw Merckx race in his day and only saw a bit of footage and read a lot. I never really connected with him (even though I was lucky enough to have lunch with him a few years back where I heard many of the stories from his own mouth!”

- Wade from Cycling Tips

I loved this response from the king of cycling comedy:

“I am the greatest cyclist of all time. Have Lance or Eddy ever finished an Ironman? Or the LT100 on a SS?  Have either ever podiumed at the Tour de Donut? Have either of them won a Bloggie?  I, on the other hand, have done ALL these things. While working a day job, mind you.”

- Elden from Fat Cyclist

 

“A great cyclist to me is someone who entertains and does something I would call amazing.  Danny MacAskill is all that and more, that guy can do anything on a bike.”

- Jason M

 

“Lance, because he won the tdf seven years in a row.  He’s the most wonderful cyclist to step foot on the planet.  He’s the master of the sport, he brought cycling where it is today.”

- Ireland’s up and coming cycling star, Ian Redmond

 

“Although he is not my favorite rider, and far from exciting under most circumstances, I would have to say Cadel Evans is the greatest all-around rider in the last decade.  He’s proven on the mountain bike, the road bike, and the TT bike, and he can climb, sprint, TT, ride classics, go in breaks, descend, and fight for the overall without the help of a team.  He’s good throughout the entire year, and has an unbreakable spirit.

I know he’s only won the tour once, but if you look back at the last 10 years, he’s been fighting and improving the entire time.”

- Nick Frey

 

“My nomination for the greatest ever cyclist is Bernard Hinault.  Known as ‘The Badger’ due to his fighting style when cornered, Hinault was a complete rider who could climb, sprint, and time trial with the best and it would have been great to see Hinault go up against Eddy Merckx when both riders were in their prime.”

- Our own, @steviedexter

I think our panel of cycling experts came up with an interesting list of Greatest Cyclists of All Time, and I also wanted to share with you a graphic that lists the top cyclists as determined by points in One Day races and Grand Tours.

c/o Cycling Hall of Fame

Who do you think is the Greatest:  How did our expert panel of judges do?  Did they come up with the Greatest Cyclists of All Time?  Leave your comments and let us know who you think is the greatest….and why.

Photos c/o France-CyclismeDanny MacAskill, and Cycling Hall of Fame.  Graphic c/o Cycling Hall of Fame

 

Reminder: Order Your Loving the Bike Kit

 

Order your Loving the Bike Jersey or T-shirt now so you can be out there looking good on the bike this Spring.  Head over to Groucho Sports and get yours now.  Jerseys starting at $54.95.

We thank you in advance for your support.

 

Enjoy Your Ride
Pin It
  • Brad

    Ullrich is the most talented rider after merckx there’s no doubt about that if he had taken cycling more seriously he would have had similar results, and he had Great results even though e never took cycling very seriously, so if your talking about the most talented rider of all time I think the discussion resumes to merckx and ullrich! Pure talent!

  • miel vanstreels

    Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Tour de France, World Championship on the road, Tour of Lombardy: every cyclist dreams of victories in these contests.
    Victories in other contests would, I suspect, with pleasure exchanged for a victory in one of these historic cycling events. All this contests have a long and famous history. Who won at least four of these contests? Not more than 42 cyclists: http://fietsvarianten.blogspot.nl/2012/01/greatest-cyclists-of-all-time.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/samuelwhittingham Sam Whittingham

    Beryl Burton.

  • SH

    Anne Caroline Chausson, she won 12 Downhill MTB world championships, 2 Dual Slalom world championships, 2 4-cross world championships and 3 BMX world championships, and an Olympic gold medal in BMX (since only one had been contested during her career). Also winning 55 UCI events over these 4 genres. IMO should qualify as one of the greatest cyclists of all time.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Great pick…nice to see the the ladies and mountain bikers represented.

  • Pz1800

    We need a top 10 (aren’t lists always the top 10?) and we need both sexes. In the men’s, I’d add Fausto Coppi, Hinault, Anquetil, Boardman, Hoy, Obree and Simpson. The women’s list would of course be led by Jeannie Longo (sure she’s questionable in cleanliness terms, but then, so is Lance … ) and I’d look out some other women but I’m getting ready to ride to work

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Yeah, a top 10 would be a typical list…..but we’re anything from typical over here.  Hahahahaha.  Actually, the main reason we posted this top 5 list was because it had a few cyclists on it who would make people shake their heads.  It’s far from a typical top 5 cyclists list….and that’s why we went ahead with it.

      I totally agree about having the women on there and we might have to do a female riders only list one day.

  • FOGgy cyclist

    George Mills, James Moore, Eddy Mercx, Indurain and (begrudgingly) Armstrong.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Good list, thanks for letting us know your top 5.

  • Eric Hutchins

    Bill,
    Bill was the greatest cyclist of all time.
    When I used to live in the VI we had a pretty active road racing community for that small of a population. Now I will admit that our very fastest at the time would likely have struggled in top tier racing in the US, and I sure struggled to hang with our fastest. In that top VI group there was a guy named Bill. Bill was in his mid 50′s lived on a sailboat and got by doing odd construction jobs. Bill was the first to lend a hand when someone needed help, volunteered tons of times at the local schools and orphanage, and would have given you his last nickle if you asked for it. Bill help marked the road course before a race and picked up the trash after.

    In September of 2004 and 56 years old, Bill won the VI championship 65 mile road race, an incrediblly hilly grueling race with poor road conditions, technical downhills, and a very strong group of local riders. In November of 2004 Bill died of cancer, a cancer that he had been battling quietly for the previous 18 months.
    Bill was the greatest cyclist of all time.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks for this, Eric.  Bill sounds like a true champion and I can see how much of an effect he had on you.  A cyclists definitely doesn’t have to be a recognized pro or even a well known cyclist to be a champion….it’s champions like this one who definitely inspire the rest of us.

  • http://www.cyclistdad.com/ Dean

    I like the thought and agree that the best could be categorized.  It would be interesting to see who the best support cyclists are.  They, after all, made it possible for some of the best to be a good as they were.  Hincapie, Landis, etc…  Great post!!! 

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Yeah, I’m sure there is already a list of top domestiques out there somewhere and it would be interesting to see who’s on top.

  • http://dutchielovescycling.tumblr.com Marianne Westacott-Clermonts

    The greatest cyclist of all time is Marianne Vos. Hands down. 

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Good one, Marianne…..nice to see some females being represented.

  • Jen

    I like the answer from Fat Cyclist.  Maybe he is the greatest cyclist of all time.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Yeah, Elden is hilarious…..but he just might be on to something with his response.

  • John

    This is a tough list to put together, and an even tougher one to please everyone.  Maybe one cyclist should have been chosen from each type of riding category?  My pick is Lance Armstrong for many of the same reasons that I’m sure the others selected him for.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      That’s a good idea, and we’ll have to highlight other great riders from other cycling varieties in the future as well.

  • rikaguilera

    All the mentioned are by far great cyclist. Some as racers, some as stunt/trick riders. But as far as the “greatest”, no.. Let me explain. Inside of each cyclist is the greatest cyclist of all time. We watch the pros race, and get inspired. We may watch an event like “X Games” and then grab the bike for some trail runs. And once out on the bike, you can’t deny the feeling of pride, strength, freedom that the bike gives you. It makes us feel superior, like a superhero of sorts. The bicycle makes all of us, the greatest cyclist of all time. If further proof is needed, take a trip to your local BMX track, and watch the youngest racers tear it up. Look at the fun they are having, the focus in their eyes. The fearless riding that they do. They are, at that moment, the greatest. If the scale for greatest is determined on race wins, OK.. on stunt skill, OK.. but on true greatness, WE are the greatest when we allow the bike to provide us these feelings.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Good answer, Rik.  Yes, we ALL are Champions.

    • Roger B

      That just might be the least disputed answer possible.  Yes, we all are great riders and anyone who makes the decision to ride a bike over driving a vehicle is a true champion.

  • Gorilla

    I’d throw in Deadly Nedly, Ned Overend. He won the gold medal as UCI World MTB Champ, won NORBA National Mountain Biking Championship 6 times, won XTerra twice and much more.

  • Mark Beaconsfield

    I agree with the top 5 and am very happy Cadel Evans made the list. ( I may be a little biased there) Eddy has taken his rightful spot as no.1. Is there nothing that Danny MacAskill cant do on a bike? The man is pure entertainment and always a joy to watch.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Yeah, I was happy to see Cadel make the list as well.  He may have not won as many grand tours and races as some other cyclists, but I agree with what Nick Frey said about him and feel that overall he is a great champion.

  • http://twitter.com/DP_Turtle David Pittman

    Hinault has to be there. It’s tough to leave Indurain off the list too. And LeMond, though an ass, brought the Tour de France to the mind of Americans – in addition to being a damn good rider. We need a bigger Top 5!

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Hinault was definitely a solid sixth place.  There are so many other great cyclists as well and I agree that we could have used a “bigger” Top 5.

Sponsors

Featured on these top sites

Blog Partners

Cycling 360 Podcast

Popular Threads

Causes

Switch to our mobile site

Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.

Answer:

Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

Nutrition Tips