Best Cyclists Ever

The Top Ten
1 Eddy Merckx

A complete master of the pedals who excelled in all disciplines. No one will ever come close to matching or surpassing his palmares. The nickname he earned,The Cannibal, is most fitting as he could devour any competitor foolish enough to present a challenge in his domain during his prime.

This is what Bernard Hinault once said : "It is sometimes said that I am the second rider of all time behind Merckx. I gladly accept that analysis because if you can be the second behind such a great champion... "

Wow to watch the cannibal at work was truly amazing, what a powerhouse, even when he was not at his best he made you suffer to rival his unending attacks-he would attack anywhere, that's what made him dangerously unpredictable, how do you control a guy like that? Easy ans. Take his bike away.

He won in one Tour de France the overall-, mountain- and sprint classification. Other ones have won all three classifications but not in one Tour.

2 Peter Sagan

I'm in New Zealand and we get all the UCI men's cycling races on Sky. Just love Peter Sagan. He is just so cool and looks fantastic. From Sandra xxx

Over 100 career wins. 3 World Championships in a row. Ranked #1 in the individual UCI World rankings. 6 Tour de France green jersey Championships. European Championship. Paris Roubaix Champion. On and on...
Not to mention one of, if not the most exciting and charismatic riders in the history of cycling.

Merckx is unreachable because cycling has changed, but Sagan is the biggest star at least in 30 years. After Hinault, after Indurain, but much more of a star than them. Much more capable in terms of communicating, not to mention the results, he's only midway his career.

This is a Best Ever list right? Lol. Can we please wait until this guy win a major race first, geez. A very good sprinter at best. 104 on a Best Ever list would still be too high.

3 Bernard Hinault

Last Frenchman to win the Tour de France and won it 5 times. Also won 3 Giro and was one of the most aggressive cyclists ever.

Better than all the rest, racing clean

Best ever. Most exiting to watch.

My choise of best cyclist

4 Chirs Froome

Should be much higher than this! Plus it was very impressive when he ran up the hill in the
Tour de France (and entertaining) recently. Like others on this list he is underrated.

Best rider of present, maybe he can win all 3 grand tours in one year. But this would be extremely hard.

When I hear his name The picture comes into my mind of him attacking his team leader on the tour.

Only rider of his generation to hold all 3 grand tours, has won 4 tour de France!
ran up a hill carrying his bike! whose done that

5 Lance Armstrong Lance Edward Armstrong is a former American professional road racing cyclist. At age 16, Armstrong began competing as a triathlete and was a national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990.

How do you put Lance this high even with his stripped results. Yes, he is in the discussion for the greatest tour de france rider in history, a case can be made for Merckx who had more stage wins and spent more days in yellow, and won the polka dot and green jersey over the course of his career. Lance NEVER won a Giro or a Vuelta so even by Grand Tour standards he is average. Indurain won as many (the tour giro double twice is way more impressive than winning the two additional tours) Contador has 9 if you count his stripped results and winning each Grand Tour 3 times again more impressive than Lance's 7 tours. Lance NEVER won a Monument. In my eyes, his laser focus on the tour, necessitated by his doping, knocks him way down the list. Everyone else on the list raced throughout the cycling season through the peak of their career.

Seriously people, can anyone say for certain no one other than Lance Armstrong took enhancements in pro cycling? His critics, like Greg LeMond could have been juicing as well. No drug tests back in those days.
The France has stolen billions from American businesses over the years. The 7 titles they stole from Lance Armstrong should be returned to the man.

Even before his drug bust, or even had he been totally clean I should say (it was always obvious he was a cheat) I barely considered him a top 10 golfer of all time. He only starred in 1 event- Tour de France, while other greats dominated and performed year round, and did so at the time of the weakest overall field ever, facing no all time greats at all, and being carried by the strongest single team (U.S Postal ever). Now after his drug best he probably isn't even a top 100 cylcist of all time.

This man, hands down, is the greatest cyclist of all time. The only fault you can hit lance with would be his only focus was the The Tour De France. He really did not put much effort into the other races. And if anyone believes that Hinault raced clean you are not very smart. He also was a huge coke head.

6 Alberto Contador

No disrespect to Cancellara and Sagan, but how are they better overall riders than the 9-time winner of all grand tours? Let me make it short. I didn't know Cycling, but I did know El Pistolero! His a sheer fighter! Remember what he did in Tour 2014? He climbed a relentless mountain with a broken leg over one and half minute faster than the bunch! Remember what he did in Mortirolo in Giro 2015! He just turned his rivals into the ashes while he was 1 minute behind the peloton!

Sorry don't think of this guy as much of a sportsman, yes he is talented but there in lies the problem, he knows it. Ask Andy Schleck about it.

I'm young (23 years old) but in this year I've never seen anyone like him. Always fighting. Amazing!

Best cyclist in the past 20 years! Explosive on climbs best cyclist to watch best attacks!

7 Greg LeMond

Potentially the greatest of all time. Definitely the unluckiest. To have that much genetic advantage and talent and get shot. He picked the wrong team in 85. He entered his prime years during the giant technical leap in doping.

Probably the most amazing thing is he may actually be the only rider in the history of cycling not to dope. His behavior and performance and record (only 3 tour wins and 2 world championships) basically support that.

The greatest American cyclist of all time. Rode as a second and in suppory of Laurent Fignon in 1984 and second to Benard Hinault in 1985. He was arguably the better rider both those years. Won his first Tour in 1986. He sat out 1987 and 88' after a horrible hunting accident where he was shot in the back and side with a shotgun. 60 pellets lodged in his body and internal organs. Ok now try to take this is in...with 35 shotgun pellets still in his body, including three in the lining of his heart and five more embedded in his liver he came back in 1989 and won the Tour again. And again in 1990. This guy was an absolute monster. Hence the nickname LeMonster given to him by the French fans. Top 5 of all time. Completely underrated. One of the most determined riders ever. Puts Armstrong to shame.

LeMond had a much more successful career in cycling than Andy Schleck. He is also largely responsible for bringing pro cycling to the USA. He was an unbelievable talent in his time, equal to the Badger. If he hadn't gotten shot, he may have had 2 additional successful seasons with possible Tour and Classics wins. Doping in the peloton forced him out early.

Since Armstrong's titles have been stripped he is the only American to win the Tour De France. He won it 3 times winning two of them after coming back from getting shot by his brother in law in a hunting accident. You do that you should be on the list.

8 Fausto Coppi

Coppi was the greatest cyclist ever, no doubt about that and he would have beaten anybody as he was capable of winning races out of this world. Merckx, surely more consistent and physically stronger, but not even him was good enough for the best Coppi.
We must consider that Coppi was forced out of racing for 7 years in what could have been his best winning spell, and he could have almost doubled his wins..

Great cyclist, however suffered from two things:

1. Had a severe and deadly disease AND recovered from it. Couldn't have done much better.
2. Suffered from 5 years forced break in World War 2 and probably would have won a few trophies there.

However, I still think he wouldn't be greater than Eddy Merckx even without these problems. He's just something else.

No doubt he was the greatest ever... How can you put all the othesr before him. tI's just a case of ignorance.
Who voted Sagan, Lemond, Contador, Armstrong (! ) simply doesn't know the history of cyclism.
What a sadness

The Cannibal was the strongest, but the Campionissimo was the greatest! Besides, Coppi suffered from 5 years forced pause of WW2, just imagine how many more victories could have done otherwise.

9 Miguel Indurain

In my opinion Miguel Indurain is without a doubt Top 3 all time. Only two that are close are Merck and Hinualt. He won 5 consecutive Tours. Could've easily won 7 if he hadn't been baby sitting Pedro Delgado in 1989 and 1990. That is with no doping and complete domination of his very good competion. He also won 2 consecutive Giros, an Olympic Gold medal is 96', a World Championship Gold medal in 95'. A beast in time trial who demolished orher great racers and a natural.climber who almost never left his seat. On top of it all, he was a true sportsman and a gentleman, who doesn't get the respect he deserves. For those of you who never saw him race please YouTube any of his races and see how great this guy was.

Indurain was unstoppable in his time, his bodily statistics (VO2 max, lung size, blood pace, etc. ) showed that he was not only an amazing cyclist but an incredible all-round sportsman who could have dominated any cardio-sport he wanted.

Indurain was the gentleman, he won 5 Tour and 2 Giro and other races, but the difference with the others was his kindness with his rivals and his humility. He could have won more but he neednt it.

Should be higher on this list. Absolute domination of the sport for 5 years. And I completely agree with earlier comment, could've won at least another Tour if not two.

10 Jacques Anquetil

5 Tours de France, 2 Giros, absolute master of time-trials, a phenomenal cyclist.

A great cyclist together with Raymond Poulidor duels are legendary

His record of 9 Grand Prix Des Nations in 9 attempts over 11 years unmatchable. Dauphiné -Bordeaux Paris incredible

The Contenders
11 Fabian Cancellara

Not only good at time trials, Cancellara is a dominant one-day rider and a threat in any one-day event he enters. The greatest one-day rider of his generation. Also, unlike most sprinters and time-triallists, is not useless in the mountains and can hold his own.

If you need to explain to someone why Spartacus is one of the greatest cyclists of ever, they just aren't worth your time.

Time trails and cobbles he is just about unbeatable. He can kick up a little sprint to so he must be the best

Winning a tour event is as much about the team. Winning a TT or spring classic is all about the rider.

12 Andy Schleck

Too short career, otherwise he would be ranked higher

Don't think dopers should be in this list

Exciting to watch.
Nice person too

One of the best climbers ever

13 Sean Kelly

Incredibly tough, a sprinter who could also climb, a master tactician who reigned supreme in the classics but also podiums in the grand tour's and winner in the Vuelta. Name a more complete cyclist since Kelly dominated the 80s.

Strong, honest & super tactical in a race finish. Had to fend for himself most of the time, better team would have brought even more race wins

Top sprinter, time trial winner, Grand Tour Winner, Classics champion and world number one for half a decade in the Eightys. Incredibly tough cyclist.

Top of the rankings over a long period of time. Needed stronger team support, could have been even better.

14 Cadel Evans

An understated, versatile legend, and a physiological freak, who crushed a world-class (and partially doped) cross-country mtb and road fields as a junior- a key indication of a raw, natural talent. Unlucky that his road career happened to coincide with the worst streak of systemic doping in the history of the sport, but he stayed thereabouts (just) despite uncompetitive teams with his drive and ability to turn himself absolutely inside-out leave it all on the road. It was so nice to see him achieve success (worlds, TDF) towards the backend. With a level playing field, he'd have won 5 or more GT's, and be right up this list.

Won the most exciting Tour (2011) in absolutely courageous fashion, close second twice also and probably should have won those too, podium in all three grand tours.

World Champion of mountain biking (1998) and road biking (2009), and then he won the Tour de France in 2011.

His only fault was being clean. Should have more GT wins, if his competition wasn't doped up.

15 Joop Zoetemelk

One of the greats of his time, a pure cyclist with a great personality to match. Could have been the most decorated Tour cyclist had things gone just a bit differently (6 second place finishes and 1 win! ).

Rode the Tour de France an amazing 16 times! One win, and 6 2nd place finishes

16 Mark Cavendish

He has tried so hard to be where he is today. Coaches have called him fat and said that he would never be able to be a pro. Well look where he is today. 25 Tour de France stages. World Champion. British Champion. Green Jersey winner. Over 100 wins in his pro career. The figures speak for themselves. Cav I respect you.

King cavendish the only one ever as I like to call him sadly kittel is become pretty good now too

Mark Cavendish, 25 stage victories in the Tour de France, clearly the best sprinter in the world

Fastest sprinter in the world he is unbeatable and he's the raining world champion

17 Rik van Looy

Won all 6 great classics, no-one ever accomplished it.
Named "Emperor of cycling".

18 Roger De Vlaeminck

A great classic rider. Only Merckx won more classics.
De Vlaeminck ended 42 times out of 69 classics in the top 10.
Legend of Paris-Roubaix

Very important rider of world s cycling

Greatest classic rider

19 Alejandro Valverde

How can you not include Valverde in the top 5 riders of all time? He has 123 professional wins and in all of cyclings rankings he is always listed in the top 10. And he is the only rider presently racing who is listed in the top 10. There are only two riders in today's peloton who have more wins. Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel. And both of them are sprinters. He can do it all. He can sprint, climb, time-trial, descend and he is the best puncher in the world. Jens Voight better. That is a joke and I do like Jens, but really? I do not know who is doing the voting, but even pros think he is the best rider of this generation.

Finally podium in Tour he deserve it, now the world championship

Incredible amount of weapons, sprinting, climbing, endurance

Don't like him but he's a good cyclist.

20 Gino Bartali

He was stopped 7 years from races because of second war and because fascist regime don't want him to race outside Italy. He won Tour first time at less than 22 and second time at 32 with more than 30 minutes advantage on the second.

Not only the best of his era, in a career cut short by the war but he was a war hero too. A fascinating life story and exceptional cyclist.

A great man very strong cyclist whose duel with Coppi are legendary.

Should be much higher. Won the TDF 10 years apart and has many other major victories including the Giro D'Italia 3 times.

21 Jens Voigt

Funniest on most popular rider in the field. Has worked as a domestic all his career and is just amazing.

At his peak he was better than the captains he served.

It seems he will go on riding 'til he gets 70 or so

Love this guy...

22 Marco Pantani

One of the most talented and charismatic ones. And holding the last Giro-Tour -double

The emotion he created, maybe no one else, never.

He was a hero not a cyclist, arguably the greatest clymer of all time

Why no list of his accomplishments?

23 Vincenzo Nibali

The guy not only won tour but always up their. He has 12 podiums in the three biggest tours. Extereme hard worker not the gifted one but source of inspiration for hard workers.

Italian Shark! One of the big four

A rider who gives his all

Triple Crown (2 Giro; 1 Tour; 1 Vuelta); 3 Monuments; 2 National Championship. A spectacular rider with class and heart.

24 Tom Boonen

One of the best one-day riders of the past 30 years.
3 times tour of flanders, 4 times Paris Roubaix, 5 Times E3 prijs Vlaanderen, 3 Times Gent Wevelgem, World Champion 2005, Green Jersey in the Tour,...
More then 100 victories so far...

Boonen is for me the best cyclist ever. Great sprinter very strong

Best Flemish rider of the late '2000's
Last Belgian World champion

No body ever won in 1 year ( but tom boonen did):
Paris roubix
E3
Gent-wevelegem
Tour of flanders

25 Philippe Gilbert

Best one-day rider of the last 4 years.
Has won all classics in April except Tour de Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
Superb at steep hills.

He is just the best of the whole world, nobody can beat him!

He's just awesome
the most explosive cyclist ever

Triple on ardenas TdF yellow Jersey world champion...only somethings that he won

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