Top 8 Best Cyclists of All Time

Top 8 Best Cyclists of All Time: Unveiling the Incredible Powerhouses

Eddy Merckx, Lance Armstrong, and Bernard Hinault are some of the top 8 best cyclists of all time, known for their exceptional achievements and record-breaking performances in the sport. Their remarkable careers have solidified their places in cycling history, inspiring generations of cyclists to come.

Cycling, a sport known for its grueling physical demands and thrilling competitions, has seen legends rise to the top with unparalleled mastery and determination. From the classic Grand Tours to heart-stopping one-day races, these cyclists have left an indelible mark on the sport, earning the respect and admiration of fans worldwide.

As we delve into the greatest cyclists of all time, their stories and accomplishments showcase the epitome of cycling excellence. Join us as we explore the careers of these phenomenal athletes and celebrate their enduring influence on the world of cycling.

Exploring The World Of Cycling Legends


Cycling is a sport that has produced some truly extraordinary individuals who have shaped the history of the sport through their unparalleled skills, achievements, and legacies. In this article, we delve into the mesmerizing world of cycling legends by unveiling the top 8 cyclists of all time and exploring the criteria that catapulted them to the pinnacle of the sport.

Unveiling The Top 8 Cyclists

When it comes to determining the top 8 cyclists of all time, it is essential to consider various aspects of the athlete’s career, including their performance in major races, overall achievements, consistency, and impact on the sport. With the criteria in mind, the following cyclists have been widely regarded as the cream of the crop:

  1. Eddy Merckx
  2. Lance Armstrong
  3. Fausto Coppi
  4. Miguel Indurain
  5. Jacques Anquetil
  6. Bernard Hinault
  7. Greg LeMond
  8. Alberto Contador
  9. Felice Gimondi
  10. Sean Kelly

Criteria For Selection

The criteria for selecting the top 8 cyclists of all time encompass a combination of factors, including:

  • Overall race victories
  • Wins in prestigious events such as the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España
  • Consistency across different terrains and race formats
  • Impact on the evolution and popularization of the sport

1. Eddy Merckx

Eddy Merckx is renowned as one of the best cyclists in history, dominating the sport with his unmatched talent and numerous victories. His exceptional skills and remarkable achievements solidify his legacy as a legendary figure in the world of cycling.

Career Achievements

Eddy Merckx, widely regarded as the greatest cyclist of all time, holds an impressive array of career achievements. Born in 1945 in Belgium, Merckx quickly rose to prominence in the late 1960s and dominated the cycling world throughout the 1970s. Merckx has an unparalleled list of accomplishments, including winning the prestigious Tour de France five times from 1969 to 1974. His victories in this grueling race earned him the nickname “The Cannibal” for his insatiable appetite for winning. In addition to his Tour de France successes, Merckx claimed victory in the Giro d’Italia five times and won the Vuelta a España once. His ability to excel in multiple Grand Tours is a testament to his extraordinary talent and endurance.

Dominance In Major Races

Merckx’s dominance extended beyond the Grand Tours. He also triumphed in one-day classics, solidifying his status as an all-around cycling legend. Merckx won the prestigious Milan-San Remo race an astonishing seven times, highlighting his versatility as both a sprinter and a climber. Furthermore, Merckx excelled in the grueling one-day races of the Ardennes classics. He claimed victory in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège race a record-setting five times, underscoring his unrivaled ability to conquer hilly terrains.

Merckx’s sheer dominance in major races is further highlighted by his three World Championship titles, showcasing his ability to outpace and outmaneuver the world’s best cyclists on a single day. In conclusion, Eddy Merckx’s career achievements and dominance in major races solidify his status as the greatest cyclist of all time. His unrivaled success in both Grand Tours and one-day classics attest to his exceptional talent, determination, and enduring legacy.

2. Fausto Coppi

Fausto Coppi, regarded as one of the greatest cyclists of all time, left an indelible mark on the sport with his remarkable achievements and enduring legacy.

Legacy In Cycling History

Coppi’s influence in cycling history is unparalleled, as he revolutionized the sport with his unique style and dominance. His legacy continues to inspire cyclists to strive for greatness and push the limits of human endurance.

Iconic Moments

Coppi’s career is embellished with iconic moments, including his legendary triumphs in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. His unparalleled performances on brutal mountain stages and against the clock demonstrated his unwavering determination and prowess.

3. Jacques Anquetil

Jacques Anquetil stands among the top 8 best cyclists of all time, known for his astounding achievements in road racing. His exceptional skills and numerous victories have solidified his place among the cycling greats.

Five-time Tour De France Winner

Jacques Anquetil was a legendary cyclist who made a name for himself by winning five Tour de France titles.

He displayed exceptional determination and skill on the road, solidifying his place among the best cyclists of all time.

Innovations In Cycling

Jacques Anquetil was known for his remarkable innovations in the world of cycling, including his unconventional riding techniques.

He revolutionized the sport through his unique strategies that set him apart from his competitors.

4. Bernard Hinault

Bernard Hinault, a legendary cyclist, achieved great success in his career as a professional rider.

Versatility In Grand Tours

Hinault showcased exceptional skills in various Grand Tours, including the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España.

His ability to perform consistently in different terrains and challenging conditions set him apart from his competitors.

Feuds And Rivalries

Hinault was known for his intense rivalry with fellow cyclist Greg LeMond, a competition that captivated cycling enthusiasts worldwide.

Their fierce battles on the road added an exciting dimension to the sport and elevated the level of competitiveness in professional cycling.

Top 10 Best Cyclists of All Time: Unveiling the Incredible Powerhouses


5. Miguel Indurain

Miguel Indurain is considered one of the best cyclists of all time, known for his dominance in the Tour de France. His remarkable time trial abilities and endurance propelled him to five consecutive Tour de France victories, solidifying his place among the cycling greats.

Dominance In Time Trials

Miguel Indurain showcased incredible skill in time trials, setting records, and dominating his competitors.

Consecutive Tour De France Victories

Indurain’s exceptional performance led to five consecutive wins in the prestigious Tour de France, solidifying his legacy.

6. Lance Armstrong

“6. Lance Armstrong”


Lance Armstrong is a highly controversial figure in the cycling world. His career is overshadowed by the doping scandal and subsequent fallout that tarnished his once-illustrious achievements. Despite his domination in the Tour de France, the use of performance-enhancing drugs and the subsequent sanctions led to a tarnished legacy for Armstrong.

Comebacks And Battle With Cancer

Armstrong’s inspiring battle with cancer and his remarkable comeback to the sport after overcoming the life-threatening disease is noteworthy. His triumph over cancer and subsequent achievements on the bike serve as a testament to his resilience and determination. Although his cycling career is marred by controversies, his story of overcoming adversity remains an integral part of his legacy.

Top 10 Best Cyclists of All Time: Unveiling the Incredible Powerhouses


7. Merckx Vs. Coppi: The Cyclists’ Rivalry

Eddy Merckx and Fausto Coppi are two legendary names that stand out when discussing the greatest cyclists of all time. Their rivalry was not only fierce but also incredibly influential, shaping the sport of cycling in unprecedented ways.

Comparison Of Achievements

When it comes to comparing Merckx and Coppi, it’s essential to take a closer look at their achievements and records. Both cyclists had exceptional careers that left an indelible mark on the sport.

In terms of Grand Tour victories, Merckx holds the record with 11 wins, while Coppi secured the title five times. Merckx also boasts an incredible record of 525 professional victories, whereas Coppi claimed victory 176 times.

Merckx’s dominance extended beyond Grand Tours, as he won multiple classics, including five editions each of Milan-San Remo and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Coppi, on the other hand, achieved impressive victories in races like the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.

Key Comparison Points:

  • Merckx holds the record for the most Grand Tour victories.
  • Merckx achieved an incredible 525 professional victories compared to Coppi’s 176.
  • Both cyclists had a remarkable record in classic races.

Impact On Cycling Culture

The rivalry between Merckx and Coppi not only captivated fans worldwide but also had a profound impact on cycling culture. Their competition pushed the boundaries of what was thought possible and inspired young riders to dream big.

Merckx’s relentless determination and strength on the bike inspired a new generation of cyclists who sought to replicate his phenomenal success. His style of aggressive racing became the standard for riders aspiring to greatness.

Coppi, known as “Il Campionissimo” or “The Champion of Champions,” brought a touch of elegance to the sport. His stylish appearance and grace on the bike turned him into a true icon, with fans idolizing his every move.

Key Impact Points:

  • Merckx’s tenacity and strength set a new standard for future cyclists.
  • Coppi’s elegance and style made him an iconic figure in the sport.
  • Their rivalry inspired generations of cyclists to push their limits.

8. The Influence Of Technology On Cycling Performance

8. The Influence of Technology on Cycling Performance

In the ever-evolving world of cycling, technology has played a crucial role in pushing the boundaries of performance. From the evolution of bikes and gear to the use of data analytics, a new era of innovation has paved the way for cyclists to achieve feats once thought impossible.

Evolution Of Bikes And Gear

Long gone are the days of heavy, single-speed bicycles. Advances in materials and design have revolutionized the way bikes are built, leading to improved speed and comfort for cyclists. The introduction of lightweight carbon fiber frames has significantly reduced weight, enabling riders to navigate challenging terrain more efficiently.

Furthermore, the development of aerodynamic components such as streamlined handlebars and wheels has gained popularity in recent years. These sleek additions reduce wind resistance, allowing cyclists to maintain higher speeds without expending excessive energy.

Role Of Data Analytics

Behind every successful cyclist is a team of data analysts collecting and analyzing an abundance of information to optimize performance. Data analytics allow coaches and athletes to delve into vast amounts of data to identify areas where improvements can be made.

Through powerful software and tracking devices, athletes can monitor crucial metrics such as heart rate, pedal cadence, power output, and speed. This data provides valuable insights into an individual’s performance, allowing for focused training plans and adjustments to technique.

Data Analytics in Cycling Benefits
Optimization of training routines Efficient use of time and energy
Identifying areas for improvement Targeted training plans
Real-time performance tracking Instantaneous feedback for athletes

With data analytics, cyclists can optimize their training routines, identify areas for improvement, and track their performance in real time. This invaluable information enables athletes to make data-driven decisions, ultimately enhancing their overall performance on the bike.

Top 10 Best Cyclists of All Time: Unveiling the Incredible Powerhouses


Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is The Best Bike Rider In History?

Eddy Merckx is considered the best bike rider in history, winning 11 Grand Tours and numerous classics.

Who Is The Greatest Tour De France Rider Of All Time?

The greatest Tour de France rider of all time is Eddy Merckx, with 5 victories and multiple records.

Has Anyone Won All 3 Grand Tours In One Year?

Yes, Eddy Merckx won all three Grand Tours in one year in 1972.

Is Peter Sagan The Best Cyclist In The World?

Peter Sagan is considered one of the best cyclists globally, known for his impressive victories and versatility on different terrains. His numerous accolades and consistent performance make him an exceptional athlete in the cycling world.


The list of the top 8 best cyclists of all time represents a remarkable display of talent, dedication, and perseverance. These legendary athletes have left an indelible mark on the sport and continue to inspire both current and aspiring cyclists worldwide.

Their extraordinary achievements will be celebrated for generations to come.

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