France is well known for its passionate cycling culture and thus it is no surprise that it has produced some of the greatest cyclists in the world.
From five-time Tour de France winners to World Champions and Olympic medallists, the best French cyclists have all made their mark on the sport. In this article, we take a look at some of the greatest cycling players in France.
From their impressive accomplishments to their inspiring stories, we have compiled a list of the best French cyclists of all time.
1. Jacques Anquetil
Jacques Anquetil was a legendary French road racing cyclist whose name is forever enshrined in cycling history. He was born in 1934 and first began racing professionally at the age of 17.
In 1957, Anquetil made history as the first cyclist to win the Tour de France, the most prestigious cycling event in the world. After his initial victory, Anquetil went on to dominate the Tour de France over the next four years, winning it five times in total from 1957 to 1964.
He became a national hero in France and was celebrated as the undisputed king of cycling. Anquetil was also an iconic figure in the sport of cycling, inspiring countless others to pursue their dreams on two wheels.
His legacy will live on forever in the world of cycling, as he is remembered as the first cyclist to win the Tour de France five times.
2. Bernard Hinault
Bernard Hinault is a renowned former professional road cyclist from France. He is considered one of the greatest cyclists of all time, due to his impressive 147 professional victories, which include five Tour de France wins.
During his career, he participated in a total of thirteen Grand Tours. Hinault had an impressive career, with numerous victories and awards. He was the first person to win the Tour de France four times consecutively, a feat that has only been achieved by four other cyclists.
Not only was he a successful racer, but he was also a successful team leader and mentor, mentoring many successful cyclists throughout his career. His success and legacy have solidified his place as one of the greatest cyclists of all time.
3. Raymond Poulidor
Raymond Poulidor was a French professional cyclist, who rode for Mercier during his entire career. He was a crowd favorite, and was often referred to as “Pou-Pou”.
He was known for being an underdog, as his career coincided with two other prominent riders – Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx. Despite being overshadowed by them, Poulidor was still able to make a name for himself.
His unique underdog position made him a favorite of the public, which is why he is remembered fondly to this day. Poulidor was known for his determination and grit, which endeared him to many.
His perseverance and dedication to his sport enabled him to achieve success despite the presence of Anquetil and Merckx. He was able to gain recognition amongst the public for his talent, which was often overlooked when compared to his contemporaries.
He was able to establish himself as a formidable cyclist and gained respect from his peers. Although Poulidor never won the Tour de France, he was still able to achieve notable success.
He won several stages of the Tour de France, as well as other big races such as the Vuelta a España and Milan–San Remo. His greatest achievement was finishing second in the Tour de France three times, a feat that no other cyclist has been able to match.
The legacy of Raymond Poulidor is an important part of cycling history. He was a beloved figure in the sport, and his underdog status made him a fan favorite.
Despite never winning the Tour de France, Poulidor was still able to achieve notable success in his distinguished career. He is remembered fondly by many, and his legacy will continue to live on.
4. Thibaut Pinot
Thibaut Pinot is a French professional road bicycle racer who competes in the UCI World Team Groupama–FDJ. He has been viewed as one of the most promising French cyclists in recent memory, and his accomplishments in the sport have earned him a great deal of attention.
In 2014, he had a breakthrough performance at the Tour de France, where he placed third overall and won the young rider classification, which goes to the best-performing rider under the age of 26.
His performance in the Tour de France was a major milestone for the French cycling scene, and it cemented Pinot’s status as one of the top cyclists in France. His success has inspired many young French cyclists to pursue their dreams of becoming a professional cyclist.
5. Laurent Fignon
Laurent Patrick Fignon was a professional cyclist who made his mark in the world of competitive road racing. He is remembered for his accomplishments in the world’s most prestigious cycling events.
Fignon won the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984, making him the first French cyclist to win the event in two consecutive years. He also won the Giro d’Italia in 1989, making him the first French cyclist to win the event.
He was also ranked as the number one cyclist in the world by the FICP in 1989. Fignon’s success was the result of his hard work and dedication to the sport. He trained rigorously and prepared himself mentally for the tough challenges of competitive road racing.
He was also known for his attacking style of cycling, which helped him to break away from the competition. His competitive spirit and determination made him a popular figure in the cycling world.
Despite his impressive career, Fignon retired from professional cycling in 1993 due to health concerns. His legacy, however, lives on in the form of his two Tour de France victories and his Giro d’Italia win.
He will be remembered as one of the most successful and beloved French cyclists of all time.
6. Louison Bobet
Louis Bobet, better known as Louison, was a French professional cyclist who made history for French cycling and the Tour de France. He was born in 1926 and was one of the first great French riders of the post-war period.
He made a name for himself by winning the Tour de France in three successive years, from 1953 to 1955.
This was a feat that had never been accomplished before and it was a testament to Bobet’s skill as a professional cyclist. Bobet was known for his determination and strength during races, as well as his strategic approach.
He was also an adept climber and had a great ability to read the terrain and pick the best line to maximize his power.
He also had a lot of experience in team tactics, which helped him to be successful in the team time trials that were a mainstay of the Tour de France. Bobet was also known for his leadership skills.
He was able to motivate and inspire his teammates to work together and push each other to achieve success. He was also a great motivator during races, pushing his teammates to give it their all and fight for the win. Bobet’s achievements on the bike are still remembered today.
He is an inspiration to many cyclists for his determination, strength, and skill, and will always be remembered as the first rider to win the Tour de France three times in a row.
7. Antonin Magne
Antonin Magne was a renowned French cyclist. He had a successful professional career in cycling that spanned from 1927 to 1939. During this time, he achieved several remarkable accomplishments.
In 1931, he won the Tour de France, a prestigious cycling race, and then repeated the feat three years later in 1934. Following his retirement as a professional cyclist, he pursued a career in team management.
His success as a cyclist and his leadership skills made him a perfect fit for the role. He was able to bring a wealth of experience to the role and had the ability to draw out the best in his riders.
His legacy lives on in the world of cycling and he is remembered as one of the greatest cyclists of all time.
8. Eddy Merckx
Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx, is a Belgian former professional road and track cyclist racer who is widely regarded as the most successful cyclist of all time.
He is renowned for his incredible strength, endurance and determination, which saw him achieve numerous victories in both road and track events. During his career, Merckx won a total of 525 competitive races, an unprecedented feat that earned him the nickname ‘The Cannibal’.
He also won five Tours de France, five Giro d’Italia and a record 34 stages in the Tour de France.
In addition to this, Merckx also held the world record for the most career individual victories for nearly 40 years, until it was broken by fellow Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen in 2016.
Merckx’s accomplishments have made him a cycling legend and he is widely considered one of the greatest athletes of all time.
9. Henri Cornet
Henri Cornet was a French cyclist who made history in the 1904 Tour de France. He became the youngest-ever winner of the event, just shy of his 20th birthday.
This feat was a remarkable accomplishment for Cornet, considering the fact that the Tour de France was a grueling 3,285-kilometer (2,048-mile) race. To further add to the difficulty of the event, it was divided into stages and took place over a period of 23 days.
Cornet’s win was particularly remarkable due to the fact that he was competing against more experienced and established cyclists. He had only started his cycling career a few years prior to the event and was considered a rookie in the cycling world.
Despite the odds, he managed to outpace all of his opponents and secured the victory. Cornet’s win at the 1904 Tour de France cemented his legacy as one of the greatest cyclists in history.
His remarkable achievement has been celebrated for over a century and will remain a source of inspiration for aspiring cyclists for years to come.
10. Richard Virenque
Richard Virenque is a French cycling legend. He became one of the most beloved figures in the sport during his career, which spanned from 1992-2005.
He was widely known for his boyish charm and his penchant for long, lone attacks, which earned him the nickname “the Lone Wolf.” Virenque was a formidable climber and he won seven mountaintop stage victories in the Tour de France as well as the King of the Mountains title in the 1997 Tour de France.
He also won the prestigious Dauphiné Libéré stage race in 2000. His career also included a number of impressive victories at the Italian classics, the Tour of Flanders, Milan-San Remo, and Paris-Roubaix.
Despite his success, Virenque was never able to win the Tour de France; however, he was still highly revered by cycling fans for his infectious smile and his aggressive riding style. In 2005, he retired from professional cycling after an illustrious career.
He is now remembered as one of the greatest French cyclists of all time.
11. Lucien Petit-Breton
Lucien Georges Mazan was a renowned French racing cyclist. He was the first-ever cyclist to win the Tour de France twice. Mazan was born in Plessé, Loire-Atlantique, which is part of the region of Brittany in France.
When he was six years old, he and his family moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Once there, he decided to adopt the Argentinian nationality. Mazan was a highly skilled cyclist and his achievements earned him great respect.
He was a two-time winner of the Tour de France, one of the most prestigious cycling races in the world. His determination and commitment to the sport was well known, and he was credited with inspiring many other cyclists to pursue their dreams.
Mazan’s success was due in part to the fact that he was able to adjust to the terrain and conditions of the Tour de France. He was also able to take advantage of the landscapes of the different countries he was competing in.
He was able to use his skills and techniques to help him navigate the difficult terrain and reach the finish line first. Mazan’s legacy is still remembered in France and other countries. He is remembered as a cycling champion and as a role model for aspiring cyclists.
His commitment to the sport and his accomplishments are an inspiration to many. His story is an example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication.
12. Wout van Aert
Wout van Aert is a professional cyclist from Belgium who competes in both road and cyclo-cross events. He currently rides for UCI World Team Team Jumbo–Visma and is considered one of the world’s top cyclists.
Van Aert’s impressive résumé includes three consecutive wins at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, each of which he won in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This streak of wins is a testament to his dominance in the sport and his skill as a cyclist.
He has also competed in numerous other races, including the UCI Road World Championships and the Tour de France, where he has achieved impressive results.
Van Aert is a phenomenal athlete and his success on the cycling circuit is a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport.
13. Louis Trousselier
Louis Trousselier was a French professional cyclist renowned for his success in the Tour de France. He gained fame in 1905 when he won the Tour de France, as well as Paris–Roubaix, making him one of the most successful cyclists of the time.
His other major achievements include a third-place finish in the 1906 Tour de France and the 1908 Bordeaux–Paris race. During his career, he won a total of 13 stages in the Tour de France, further cementing his status as a cycling legend.
Trousselier was praised for his resilience and enthusiasm, which enabled him to perform at the highest level despite the difficulties of the sport. He was also noted for his ability to cycle long distances without tiring, which allowed him to stay ahead of the competition.
Trousselier’s legacy lives on in the hearts of cycling fans, who celebrate his successes and remember him as a truly remarkable athlete.
14. René Pottier
René Pottier was a French racing cyclist who had a very successful career. In 1903, he won the amateur category of the prestigious Bordeaux–Paris race which propelled him to become a professional cyclist.
His success continued with him coming second in two races, Paris–Roubaix in 1905 and Bordeaux–Paris in 1905. He then finished third in the 1906 Paris–Roubaix race and followed this up by winning the Tour de France in the same year.
Pottier’s success was remarkable and he is remembered as one of the greats of French cycling.
15. Bernard Thévenet
Bernard Thévenet is a retired professional cyclist whose career began with ACBB Paris. He is most notably known as a two-time winner of the Tour de France, ending the five-time Tour champion, Eddy Merckx’s reign.
However, Thévenet’s accomplishments were later overshadowed by his admission of steroid use during his career. Thévenet’s career began with ACBB Paris, where he first showed his potential as a cyclist. As his career progressed, his name quickly rose to fame.
His biggest success came when he won the Tour de France in 1975 and 1977, ending the five-time Tour champion, Eddy Merckx’s reign. He was regarded as one of the most successful and talented cyclists of his time.
Unfortunately, Thévenet’s reputation was tarnished after he admitted to using steroids during his career. This admission put a dark cloud over his accomplishments and affected the validity of his wins.
While his accomplishments still stand, Thévenet’s later admission of steroid use casts a shadow over his legacy and the previous Tour de France records. Despite his admission, Bernard Thévenet remains a professional cyclist who achieved great success in his career.
His wins at the Tour de France will remain a part of cycling history, albeit with a tinge of controversy. His legacy serves as an example of a successful cyclist, whose accomplishments were eventually overshadowed by his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
16. Maurice Garin
Maurice-François Garin was an Italian-French road bicycle racer renowned for his prowess in the sport. He was born of Italian origin but adopted French nationality on 21 December 1901.
Garin is perhaps best known for his impressive victory in the inaugural Tour de France in 1903. His triumph, however, was tarnished when he and eight other riders were accused of cheating in the second Tour in 1904 and were stripped of their titles.
This scandal cast a long shadow over his career and left many to question the legitimacy of his victory in 1903. Despite this, Garin’s legacy as a road bicycle racer remains intact and he is still remembered as one of the most accomplished cyclists of his time.
17. Geraint Thomas
Geraint Howell Thomas, OBE is a professional racing cyclist from Wales.
He is a member of the UCI World Team Ineos Grenadiers, as well as representing Wales and Great Britain in international cycling competitions. Thomas has achieved great success throughout his career, having won multiple stages of the Tour de France, the 2018 Tour of Britain, and the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné.
He has also won two gold medals and one silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics in the Men’s Individual and Team Pursuits. Thomas is passionate about cycling and is a great ambassador for the sport.
He has inspired many people in Wales and Great Britain to take up cycling and is a popular figure in the sport. He continues to compete at the highest level and is a great example of how hard work and dedication can take you to the top.
18. André Darrigade
André Darrigade was a professional road bicycle racer who was active between 1951 and 1966. Born in France, Darrigade quickly established himself as a formidable sprinter, winning the 1959 World Championship and 22 stages of the Tour de France.
Darrigade’s impressive Tour de France record includes five victories on opening days, a record which was tied by Fabian Cancellara in 2012. In addition to his multiple victories, Darrigade was renowned for his ability to finish strong in difficult stages.
He was known for his tactical racing, often using his powerful sprinting ability to take advantage of his opponents.
He was also noted for his ability to stay in contention when the competition became difficult. In the 1960s, Darrigade continued to have success in the Tour de France, winning three consecutive stages in 1964 and 1965.
He also won a stage in 1966, making him one of the most successful riders of his era.
Darrigade’s accomplishments in the sport of cycling have earned him a place in the history books and his record of five opening-day Tour de France victories is one that will likely stand for many years to come.
19. Pierre Trentin
Pierre Trentin is a retired French cyclist who had a long and successful career spanning from 1961 to 1984. He was particularly successful in sprint track events, where he won two gold and two bronze Olympic medals, as well as eleven medals at world championships.
This impressive record demonstrates the incredible skill and dedication that Trentin had for the sport. His only road title was junior champion of France in 1961, which was the start of a long and successful career.
He continued to compete in track events throughout his professional career and was able to consistently achieve great success. Trentin’s impressive accomplishments, both on the track and on the road, showcase his impressive talent and dedication to the sport of cycling.
20. Maurice Farman
Maurice Alain Farman was a truly exceptional individual. He was a British-French Grand Prix motor racing champion, having achieved greatness in the field of motorsports. He was also a renowned aviator and aircraft manufacturer and designer.
His achievements in the aviation industry were no less remarkable. He was a pioneer in the field of aircraft design and manufacturing, setting the standard for excellence in the industry. Maurice Alain Farman was born in London in 1877.
He had an affinity for motorsports and aviation, and he quickly gained recognition for his racing prowess. He entered the Grand Prix motor racing circuit and won several prestigious races, including the 1908 French Grand Prix.
This victory established him as one of the most successful racers in the field. In addition to his motor racing career, Maurice Alain Farman was also an accomplished aviator.
In 1909, he became the first person to fly a plane from England to Paris, a feat that earned him international fame. He also designed and built some of the most advanced aircraft of his time.
He founded the Farman Aviation Works in 1911, which produced a number of successful aircraft designs. Maurice Alain Farman was a remarkable individual, who achieved greatness in both motor racing and aviation.
His accomplishments in both fields are still remembered today, and he is remembered as one of the greatest pioneers of the aviation industry.
21. André Leducq
André Leducq was a professional cyclist from France who achieved great success during his career. He was a two-time winner of the Tour de France, winning in 1930 and 1932. Leducq also won a gold medal at the 1924 Summer Olympics in the team road race event.
Additionally, he was the champion of Paris–Roubaix in 1928. Leducq was known for his strength and stamina, and he was considered one of the best cyclists of his time.
He was praised for his ability to stay in the lead for long periods of time, and he was highly respected by his peers. Leducq was also a talented sprinter, and he had a knack for winning close races.
He was famous for his tactical racing style, where he would stay near the front of the pack until the final sprint. On top of his cycling accomplishments, Leducq was also a successful businessman.
He opened a bicycle shop in the city of Brest, and it quickly became a popular destination for cyclists. His shop was known for its quality products and excellent customer service. In conclusion, André Leducq was a remarkable athlete and a celebrated French cyclist.
He achieved great success in the Tour de France and the Paris–Roubaix, as well as the 1924 Summer Olympics. He was also a successful businessman, and he left a lasting legacy in the cycling world.
22. Henri Desgrange
Henri Desgrange was an incredibly talented athlete and journalist from France. He was an avid cyclist and held twelve world-track cycling records. On May 11th, 1893, he set a world record by cycling 35.325 kilometers in one hour.
His greatest accomplishment, however, was being the founder of the Tour de France. The Tour de France is one of the most popular and prestigious cycling events in the world. It first took place in 1903 and has continued every year since then.
Desgrange was the first organizer of the Tour de France and he was the driving force behind its success. He created a race that was both physically and mentally challenging and he is credited with transforming cycling from a leisurely activity to a professional sport.
Desgrange was a pioneer in the world of cycling and sports journalism. His accomplishments have had a lasting effect and have inspired generations of cyclists to push their limits and reach for their goals.
His legacy will never be forgotten and he will always be remembered as the founder of the Tour de France.
23. Laurent Jalabert
Laurent Jalabert was one of the most successful professional road cyclists in the history of the sport. Born in France in 1969, he raced professionally from 1989 to 2002 and was affectionately known as “Jaja” during that time.
He was renowned for his strong sprinting and climbing abilities, and he was a regular winner of one-day and stage races. In 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1999, Jalabert was ranked the number one road cyclist in the world, a testament to his incredible skill and dedication.
Throughout his career, Jalabert earned many titles, including four-time champion of the Vuelta a España, one-time winner of the Tour de France stage race, and one-time winner of the World Cup.
He also won the points classification in the 1995 Tour de France and the 1997 Giro d’Italia. In total, Jalabert won more than forty professional races and was a consistent presence on the podium of the most prestigious events.
In addition to his success on the bike, Jalabert was an ambassador for the sport, appearing in television commercials and giving interviews to the press.
He was also a beloved figure among his fellow French cyclists and was well-known for his friendly demeanor and enthusiasm for the sport.
After retiring in 2002, Jalabert continued to be involved in cycling, working as a television analyst and commentator for major cycling events. Laurent Jalabert’s impressive career has earned him a place in the history of professional cycling.
He is a true legend of the sport, and his name will remain an inspiration for generations of cyclists to come.
24. Nicolas Portal
Nicolas Portal was a French directeur sportif and professional road bicycle racer who was born in Auch, France. He was a fan favorite and respected competitor in the cycling world, having achieved a great deal of success in his career.
However, in 2009, he was side-lined due to problems with cardiac arrhythmia and, unfortunately, had to miss out on much of the season.
Despite this setback, Portal pushed forward and continued racing until the end of the 2010 season, when he officially retired from professional cycling.
His retirement marked the end of a successful and memorable career in the sport, and he will be remembered as a great champion of cycling.
25. Roger Beaufrand
Roger Beaufrand was a remarkable and inspirational figure in the world of athletics. Born near Paris, France, he won a gold medal for Olympic sprinting at the age of 19 at the 1928 Summer Olympics.
Following the death of Pakistani Field Hockey player Feroze Khan in 2005, Roger Beaufrand became the world’s oldest Olympic gold medal winner.
He held this title until his own passing in 2018, proving that age is just a number and that inspiration can come from anyone. Roger Beaufrand’s life was a testament to the power of determination and perseverance.
He was a living example that anything is possible if one puts their mind to it. He was an inspiration for generations of athletes who have followed in his footsteps, showing them that age should not stand in the way of their dreams.
His legacy will continue to inspire many for years to come.
26. Robert Marchand
Robert Marchand was a remarkable French cyclist who achieved the remarkable feat of setting world records in cycling at the ripe old age of 100 and above.
He was the holder of the world record for cycling 100 km and for the distance cycled in one hour, in both the 100–104 and over-105 years old age categories.
This is an incredible accomplishment for someone of his age, and it serves as an inspiration for people of all ages to pursue their passions and goals. Marchand’s achievements show that age is no barrier when it comes to physical activity.
In 2017, at the ripe age of 105, he cycled 24.251 km in an hour. This is an incredible feat, made all the more impressive due to his advanced age.
Despite his age, Marchand was still determined to pursue his passion and break world records. Marchand is an inspiration to many people and his achievements demonstrate that age is not a barrier to success.
He showed us that it is possible to pursue our passions and goals, regardless of our age. He was a shining example of how age should not be seen as a limitation but rather an opportunity to continue to grow and learn.
27. David Gaudu
David Gaudu is a professional cyclist from France. He currently rides for UCI WorldTeam Groupama–FDJ, a professional cycling team based in France that competes in the world’s biggest cycling competitions.
Gaudu is a well-known cyclist in the cycling world and is a rising star in the sport. He has achieved impressive results in both individual and team competitions and has won several prestigious titles including overall victory at the Vuelta a Burgos in 2018.
Gaudu is an excellent all-rounder and his strong climbing ability has helped him take some of cycling’s toughest climbs.
His performance in 2018 earned him a spot on the Tour de France roster, and it is expected that he will continue to be a part of the team for the foreseeable future.
Gaudu is a talented rider with a great future ahead of him, and it looks likely that he will continue to achieve success on the international stage.
28. Charly Mottet
Charly Mottet is a famous French cyclist, known for his success in the sport during his era. He was highly regarded as one of the top French road cyclists, and his talent has been passed on to his daughter, Eva Mottet.
Eva is also a cyclist and competed as a junior in the 2012 UCI Road World Championships. Unfortunately, she had a heavy crash during the women’s junior road race, which kept her from being able to continue in the competition.
Despite this setback, Eva has certainly inherited her father’s passion for the sport and is likely to continue competing in the future.
29. Pierre Magne
Pierre Magne was a French professional road cyclist who achieved great success in his career. He won one stage in the 1928 Tour de France and finished sixth in the 1930 Tour de France.
Magne was the younger brother of Tour de France winner Antonin Magne, which makes his achievements even more impressive. Magne was born and raised in France and developed a passion for cycling at a young age.
He began to take part in professional cycling events and eventually rose to prominence in his field.
His success was marked by his win in the 1928 Tour de France, where he triumphed over the other competitors and cemented his place as a top racer. Magne continued to compete in events, and his success was further highlighted when he finished sixth in the 1930 Tour de France.
This was an incredible feat, given the level of competition in the race.
His brother, Antonin Magne, was also a successful cyclist who won the Tour de France, making their accomplishments even more impressive. Pierre Magne’s successes in the world of professional cycling are a testament to his hard work and dedication.
He was a true professional who handled himself with class and integrity. His achievements will always be remembered as a mark of excellence in the world of professional cycling.
30. Marcel Bidot
Marcel Bidot was an accomplished French professional road bicycle racer, who gained fame from winning two stages of the Tour de France. After his impressive racing career, Bidot went on to become the manager of the French national team and led them in 12 Tours de France.
His hard work and dedication was rewarded when his team won six of those Tours. Bidot was undoubtedly an inspirational figure in the world of cycling, and his success is an example of the rewards that hard work and dedication can bring.
31. Pascal Poisson
Pascal Poisson is a former French professional road bicycle racer who had a successful career spanning ten years. He was even a part of the team pursuit event at the 1980 Summer Olympics.
After his professional cycling career came to an end in 1990, Pascal moved to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. This beautiful island is a popular destination for tourists and is known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and diverse culture.
It is a great place for Pascal to retire and enjoy the rest of his life, as he is able to take in all the beauty and wonders the island has to offer.
32. Samuel Dumoulin
Samuel Dumoulin is a French former professional road bicycle racer. He had a long and successful career, beginning in 2002 when he joined the Jean Delatour team. During his time racing, he also rode for the Cofidis and AG2R La Mondiale teams.
After retiring from professional racing in 2019, Samuel Dumoulin has taken on a new role in the cycling world. He has become a directeur sportif for the UCI ProTeam B&B Hotels p/b KTM.
As a directeur sportif, he is responsible for overseeing the cycling team’s performance and strategies. He works to ensure that the team is successful and continuously improving.
He provides guidance and support to the team members and works to ensure the team is achieving the best results that they can.
33. Jean-François Bernard
Jean-François Bernard is a former professional road bicycle racer from France. He is considered one of the best French road racers of the 1980s and 1990s.
He earned the title of French National Road Champion in 1991 and was a two-time winner of the Tour de l’Avenir, a prestigious race for up-and-coming riders.
He was also the winner of the Critérium International, as well as many other professional races across France, Belgium, Italy, and the United States. Bernard began his professional career in 1986 and was part of the famed La Vie Claire team.
He was honored with the yellow jersey of race leader for the Tour de France on three occasions and had the distinction of being the first French rider to ever wear the white jersey for best young rider.
He also won the Tour de Romandie in 1988 and wore the yellow jersey for the first time in 1989. Bernard was a top-10 finisher in the Tour de France four times. He was also the winner of stages in the Tour de France, the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, and the Vuelta a España.
His career was cut short by injury in 1998, and he retired from cycling at the age of 33. Today, Bernard is remembered as one of the most successful and accomplished French cyclists of his generation.
He is an inspiration to many of the current professional riders, and his name still carries a great deal of respect and admiration in the cycling world.
34. Eugène Christophe
Eugène Christophe was a French road bicycle racer and pioneer of cyclo-cross, which is a bicycle race combining road cycling with off-road terrain. He was a professional bicyclist from 1904 until 1926.
He is best remembered for an accomplishment he achieved in 1919 when he became the first cyclist to wear the yellow jersey of the Tour de France. The yellow jersey is a highly-coveted honor, as it signifies that the cyclist wearing it is the leader of the race.
Christophe was a dedicated cyclist, having ridden in 11 Tours de France and completing eight of them. His impressive record speaks to the dedication and hard work he put into the sport.
He was a pioneer of his time, and his legacy lives on today as a pioneer of cyclo-cross and a reminder of what it takes to be a champion.
35. Tom Simpson
Thomas Simpson was a world-renowned professional cyclist from Britain. Born in Haswell, County Durham, Simpson began his career as a road cyclist as a teenager. He soon developed a passion for track cycling, specializing in pursuit races.
Simpson’s dedication to the sport eventually led him to move to Harworth, Nottinghamshire, where he found even more success. Over the course of his career, he won multiple national titles and international medals.
His determination and skill made him one of the most successful professional cyclists of his era. Simpson was known for his hard work and dedication to the sport. He was always looking for ways to improve himself, pushing himself to become the best cyclist he could be.
His focus and commitment to the sport paid off, as he achieved numerous successes both nationally and internationally. Simpson’s determination and devotion to the sport earned him a place in cycling history, a testament to his skill and ambition.
Simpson’s legacy lives on in the cycling world. He was an inspiration to many young cyclists, showing them that hard work and dedication can lead to success.
His achievements set a high bar for cyclists of the future and will continue to serve as an example of what can be achieved with the right attitude and effort. Thomas Simpson was truly a great athlete and his impact on the sport of cycling is still felt to this day.
36. Octave Lapize
Octave Lapize was a French professional cyclist who competed in both road races and track cycling events.
He is best known for his outstanding accomplishments in the world of cycling, most notably his victory at the 1910 Tour de France and his bronze medal win at the 1908 Summer Olympics in the men’s 100 kilometers event.
Lapize also had the distinction of being a three-time winner of two one-day classics, Paris–Roubaix and Paris–Brussels. As a professional cyclist, Lapize achieved numerous successes throughout his career.
His first major accomplishment was his bronze medal win at the 1908 Summer Olympics in the men’s 100 kilometers, a success that earned him the admiration of his peers and fans alike.
Following this, Lapize went on to win the 1910 Tour de France, cementing his place as one of the top cyclists of his generation.
In addition to this, Lapize was also a three-time winner of the one-day classics Paris–Roubaix and Paris–Brussels, further illustrating his skill and dominance in the world of cycling. Overall, Octave Lapize was an incredibly talented and accomplished cyclist.
His successes in both the Tour de France and the Olympic Games demonstrate his skill and dedication to the sport. Furthermore, his three-time wins in Paris–Roubaix and Paris–Brussels display his prowess in one-day classics.
Lapize’s legacy as an excellent cyclist lives on to this day, serving as an inspiration for future generations of cyclists.
37. Henri Pélissier
Henri Pélissier was a renowned French racing cyclist from Paris who made his mark in the history of cycling. He was the champion of the 1923 Tour de France, and his career was marked with an impressive 29 victories.
Aside from his impressive career, Pélissier was renowned for his long-standing feud with Tour founder Henri Desgrange. The feud was over the conditions that cyclists had to endure in the early years of the Tour de France.
Pélissier was not pleased with the long and difficult stages, and the lack of rest and sustenance that riders were forced to endure. He was vocal about his dissatisfaction, which further fueled the feud between him and Desgrange.
Pélissier’s protests raised awareness about the issue and helped improve conditions for the cyclists who participated in the Tour de France.
He is remembered as an influential figure in the history of cycling, and his legacy lives on in the improved conditions enjoyed by today’s cyclists.
38. Nicolas Roche
Nicolas Roche is an Irish cyclist who has an impressive cycling career. He competes in gravel cycling, which is a type of bicycle racing that is usually done on unpaved roads, for his own NR GRVL team.
He is also a former professional road bicycle racer, and during his career he raced for seven different teams between 2005 and 2021. This impressive track record speaks to his dedication to the sport, showing that he has been involved in cycling for many years.
Roche is an experienced and passionate cyclist, and his commitment to the sport is clear. He is an excellent example of hard work and determination, and his success is a testament to his commitment to the sport.
39. Henry Anglade
Henry Anglade was a French cyclist who had a remarkable career in the Tour de France. In 1959, he came very close to victory, winning one stage and finishing second overall, only 4:01 behind Federico Bahamontes.
In 1960, he wore the yellow jersey for two days, which was symbolic of the overall leader, and ended the race in 8th place overall. This was a remarkable achievement for Henry Anglade, showing that he was a consistent and successful cyclist over the course of many years.
He was an inspiration to many and showed that the Tour de France could be conquered by a French cyclist.
40. Thomas Voeckler
Thomas Voeckler is a former French professional road racing cyclist who had an impressive career spanning 16 years. He competed from 2001 to 2017, riding for the Direct Énergie team and its previous iterations.
During that time, Voeckler achieved a number of impressive results, including winning the French National Road Race Championships in 2004, as well as several stage victories at the Tour de France, including a memorable stage win in the Alps in 2011.
He also finished in the top ten of the Tour de France four times. Voeckler was known for his aggressive riding style and his ability to stay with the leading riders on the toughest stages.
He also had a great deal of tactical savvy and an ability to read the race and make the right decisions to put himself in the best position to win.
This attribute was especially evident during his impressive stage win in the 2011 Tour de France when he attacked early and then held off the chasing riders to take the stage win. Throughout his career, Voeckler was a fan favorite, especially in France.
His popularity was due to his never-give-up attitude and his willingness to take risks on the bike, which often resulted in exciting racing.
He was also seen as a true champion of cycling, having achieved a lot on the biggest stages despite his relatively small frame compared to some of his opponents. In 2017, Thomas Voeckler officially retired from professional road racing, leaving behind a successful and exciting career.
He will be remembered as a true champion of the sport and an inspiration to cyclists everywhere.
41. Miguel Induráin
Miguel Induráin Larraya is a former Spanish road racing cyclist who is well-known for his impressive accomplishments. He is the fourth and last cyclist to win the Tour de France five times and the only cyclist to win those five Tours consecutively.
He achieved this feat from 1991 to 1995, making him one of the most successful road cyclists of all time. Induráin’s dominance of the Tour de France was remarkable, with him winning four of the five races by over three minutes.
He also held the record for the most consecutive Tour de France wins, with his five-year streak standing until 2013 when it was finally broken by British cyclist Chris Froome. Induráin’s impressive performance in the Tour de France was recognized by the International Cycling Union, who awarded him the title of ‘Athlete of the Year’ in 1995.
He was also the first cyclist to receive the Prince of Asturias Award in 1997. Induráin retired from professional cycling in 1996 and remains a beloved figure in Spain.
He was inducted into the International Cycling Hall of Fame in 2004 and continues to be an inspiration for many aspiring riders.
42. François Faber
François Faber was a Luxembourgian racing cyclist who was born in France. He was an extraordinary athlete who achieved an incredible feat in 1909 when he became the first foreigner to win the Tour de France.
His record of winning five consecutive stages still stands today, a remarkable testament to his prowess as a cyclist. Sadly, his life was cut short when he died in World War I while fighting for France.
His death was a great loss to the world of cycling, but his legacy lives on through his incredible accomplishments and his record-breaking Tour de France win. His death was a reminder of the human cost of war, but his legacy will continue to inspire generations of cyclists.
43. Lance Armstrong
Lance Edward Armstrong is an American former professional road racing cyclist who achieved international recognition for his incredible accomplishments on the bike.
Armstrong won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005, making him one of the most successful cyclists of all time. Armstrong’s success was not without controversy, however.
In 2013, he was stripped of all seven of his titles due to doping allegations, making him one of the most polarizing figures in the sport.
Despite the controversy, Armstrong’s accomplishments on the bicycle remain remarkable, and his seven successive Tour de France titles will likely remain a record for many years to come.
44. Mads Pedersen
Mads Pedersen is a professional racing cyclist from Denmark who competes as part of the UCI WorldTeam Lidl–Trek. He is a sprinter, renowned for his ability to win stages in the three Grand Tours – the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España.
This is an impressive feat, as the Grand Tours are some of the most competitive and prestigious events in the cycling calendar. His ability to win stages in all three Tours is a testament to his skill as a sprinter.
Pedersen has the ability to stay with the front riders during the flat stages and possess the speed to take the win in the final sprint.
He also has the aptitude to stay with the peloton during the hilly stages, and then launch a successful attack when the opportunity arises. Pedersen is a consistent performer in the Grand Tours, and his presence in the peloton is often a source of motivation for his teammates.
His commitment and dedication to the sport has made him one of the most respected riders in the peloton. His impressive results and achievements in the Grand Tours have also earned him the admiration of cycling fans all over the world.
45. Alberto Contador
Alberto Contador Velasco is one of the most successful cyclists of the modern era. He was born in Spain and competed professionally from 2002 until his retirement in 2017. During his 15-year career, Contador won an impressive seven Grand Tour titles.
He is the only cyclist to have won the Tour de France twice, the Giro d’Italia twice, and the Vuelta a España three times. Contador’s career highlights include a victory in the 2009 Tour de France, his first yellow jersey, which he won in a memorable battle with Andy Schleck.
He also won the Vuelta a España in 2008, 2012, and 2014. His first Giro d’Italia victory came in 2008 and his second in 2015.
Contador was also a consistent presence at the world championships, placing third in 2010 and fourth in 2014. Throughout his career, Contador proved to be a formidable competitor, able to stay at the top of the sport for over a decade.
His seven Grand Tour victories are a testament to his skill and determination as a cyclist. He has cemented his legacy in the sport and will be remembered as one of the greatest riders of his era.
46. Stefan Küng
Stefan Küng is a professional cyclist from Switzerland. He has been a part of the UCI World Team Groupama–FDJ since its founding in 2016.
Küng is also a citizen of Liechtenstein, a small country located between Switzerland and Austria. Küng is a versatile cyclist, achieving success in a variety of disciplines.
He has won stages in the Criterium du Dauphiné and the Tour de Suisse, as well as taking the overall victory in the Tour of Oman in 2018.
He has also achieved success on the track, winning the Silver medal in the Omnium at the 2016 Olympic Games. Küng is undoubtedly a talented cyclist. His hard work and dedication have paid off, allowing him to compete at the highest level of the sport.
He is an inspiration to all aspiring cyclists and a testament to the power of determination and perseverance.
47. Joop Zoetemelk
Hendrik Gerardus Joseph “Joop” Zoetemelk is a renowned former professional racing cyclist from the Netherlands. He is particularly well-known for his impressive Tour de France career, having competed an incredible sixteen times.
Not only was this a record when he retired, but he also holds the record for the longest distance covered in the race – a staggering 62,885 km. Over the course of his career, Zoetemelk was able to establish himself as a formidable Tour de France rider.
He first competed in 1965 when he was just 23, and went on to compete in twelve consecutive races between 1972 and 1983.
During this time, he was able to secure seven top-ten finishes, as well as an overall victory in 1980. Zoetemelk’s impressive record of sixteen Tour de France starts and finishes has never been matched.
His extraordinary feat is made even more impressive by the fact that he was able to cover a total of 62,885 km – a record distance for any Tour de France rider. It is clear that Hendrik Gerardus Joseph “Joop” Zoetemelk is a legend in the world of professional cycling.
His remarkable career, which saw him start and finish the Tour de France an incredible sixteen times, is something that will never be forgotten.
Not only did he set a record for the number of times he competed, but he also holds the record for the greatest distance covered by any Tour de France rider.
The best Cycling players in France are some of the best in the world. They have achieved impressive results in the cycling world, and they have proven to have a tremendous amount of talent and skill.
The success of these riders is a testament to the quality of French cycling and a demonstration of why France is considered to be one of the best countries for cycling.