We all have our own favorite dirt bike riders with astonishing racing careers, but only a great few are regarded as the “best of the best.” Here’s a list of the 5 greatest bike racers of all time. The main criteria here is that these racers have performed well in the biggest bike races in the world: the Tour de France, the Vuelta a España, and the Giro d’Italia — and also in important minor races which include the Paris-Nice and Dauphiné Libéré, the Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Paris-Roubaix, and the Tour de Suisse.
Merchx became the best bike racer the world has ever witnessed. He swept the Tour de France in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974. He captured wins in Giro D’Italia in 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973 and 1974, and the Vuelta a España in 1973.
Merckx won in minor bike racing competitions including the Tour de Suisse (once), the Paris-Nice (3 times), Dauphné-Libéré (once), Paris-Roubaix (3 times), and the Liège-Bastogne-Liége (5 times). He also captured the World Road Race Championship (3 times). Merckx is easily one of the five bike riders to have won all three big stage races in their career.
Hinalut belongs to the top five bike riders in the world who have won all three big stage races. He’s the only racer in history to have won each one more than once and the only rider to have ended up first place or second place in every Tour de France he took part in. He captured the Tour de France (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985), the Giro D’Italia (1980, 1982 and 1985), and the Vuelta a España (1978 and 1983).
Anquetil won the Tour de France (1957 and 1961-1964), the Giro D’Italia (1960 and 1964), the Vuelta a España (1936), and the Liège-Bastogne-Liège (1966). He also broke several bike race records and was the first professional biker in history to have captured the Tour de France victory five times.
Kelly became one of the most successful professional bike racers in the 1980s and is labelled as the best Classics racer of all time. His accomplishments include wins in the Vuelta a España (1988), the Tour de France and Giro D’Italia (4-point class victories in both), the Paris-Nice (1982 to 1988), the Tour de Suisse (2 wins), the Paris-Roubaix (2 wins), and the Liège-Bastogne-Liége (2 wins).
Bartali is professional bike rider who was an excellent climber and a derailleur gears pioneer. He has an uncommon style of biking since he avoids dancing around pedals and frequently staying in the saddle during the entire 15 km climb. He tends to ride smoothly on the mountains and then freewheeling with his right foot before pedaling once again.
Bartali won the Tour de France (1938 and 1948), the Giro D’Italia (1936, 1937 and 1946), and the Tour de Suisse (1946 and 1947).