5. Gino Bartali
Gino Bartali was born in Italy on 1914. He has won the Tour de France twice, in 1938 and 1948, both times also winning the mountain competition, and the Giro D’Italia three times in 1936, 1937 and 1946, also here he won the mountain competition all three times. Bartali also won the Tour de Suisse in 1946 and 1947. Bartali was a good climber and a pioneer of derailleur gears. His style was unusual: he rarely danced on the pedals and often stayed in the saddle throughout a 15km climb. When others attacked, he stayed in the saddle but changed up gear, to a sprocket three teeth smaller.
He rode smoothly on mountains but every now and then freewheeled, always with his right foot lowered with his weight on it. Then a second or two later he would start pedaling again.
4. Séan Kelly
Séan Kelly was born in Ireland in 1956, and became one the most successful rider of the 1980s and the best Classics rider of all times. His wins include the Vuelta a España in 1988, 4 point class wins in both the Tour de France and the Giro D’Italia, 7 consecutive win in Paris-Nice form 1982 – 1988, 2 wins in Tour de Suisse, Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liége.
3. Jacques Anquetil
Jacques Anquetil was born in France in 1934. He has won the Tour de France five time, in 1957 and 1961-1964, the Giro D’Italia twice in 1960 and 1964, the Vuelta a España in 1936 and the Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1966. Anquetil also holds several records:
- He was the first to the Tour de France five times
- He was the first to win all three big stage races
- He was the first French rider to win the Giro D’Italia
- He was the first French rider to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France form the first day to the last.
2. Bernard Hinault
Bernard Hinault was born in France in 1954, and is one of only five riders to have won all three big stage races, and the only to have won each more than once. Hinault is the only rider ever to have finished either first or second in each Tour de France he finished. He won the Tour de France in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985, the Giro D’Italia in 1980, 1982 and 1985 and the Vuelta a España in 1978 and 1983. Among Hinault many other victories are Paris-Roubaix in 1981, Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1977 and 1980 and the World Road Cycling Championship in 1980.
1. Eddy Merckx
Eddy Merchx was born in Belgium in 1945 and became the best road bicycle racer the world has ever seen. He won the Tour de France 5 times in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974, the Giro D’Italia 5 times in 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973 and 1974 and the Vuelta a España once in 1973. Merckx also won the Tour de Suisse once, Paris-Nice 3 times, Dauphné-Libéré once, Paris-Roubaix 3 times, Liège-Bastogne-Liége 5 times and the World Road Race Championship 3 times. Eddy Merckx is also one of only five riders to win all three big stage races during their career, the four others are: Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Bernard Hinault and Alberto Contador.