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4 Toughest Cyclists Ever

4 Toughest Cyclists Ever

– The following cyclists
didn’t just walk the walk, they talked the talk, or maybe
it’s the other way around. But anyway, these cyclists
were tough, make no mistake. Here’s who, and here’s why. (upbeat rock music) Now we could not include
the Cannibal in our list of toughest cyclists, could we? Although, undoubtedly Merckx
is one of the finest riders of all time, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s one of the toughest. But when you factor in 525 career wins, including five Giros,
five Tours, two Vueltas, and three World road titles, it may actually suggest otherwise. Anyway it was the manner of
the way he set about winning that sets him apart. Hence the nickname, the Cannibal. Merckx wanted to win every
time he got on his bike. Driven by an insatiable
appetite for success. And he once said, “The day
when I start a race without “intending to win it, I won’t
be able to look at myself “in the mirror.” His style was simple, attack. And generally, when he did, the results were catastrophic for his rivals. As well as immense
strength, the grocer’s son exemplified a fiery, single
minded determination, which was illustrated at its best in the 1974 Giro d’Italia, where in
a one particularly hard stage he attacked from the gun
in atrocious, awful weather conditions, while still suffering
from a bout of pneumonia to topple one of his
fiercest rivals Jose Fuentes. And that ride laid the
foundation for the win in the overall of the Giro that year,
and also it meant that he went on to win the holy grail of cycling, the triple, the Giro, the Tour,
and the World championships. (peaceful upbeat techno) Known as the badger, or
(speaks foreign language), Bernard Hinault was as
equally renowned for his tempestuous nature as his
physical prowess on the bike. During a career that netted
him a quite incredible five Tour de Frances,
three Giro d’Italias, two Vuelta a Espanias,
and a World road title. The Breton was respected
and feared by his rivals, and was a true patron,
or boss of the peloton, imposing discipline and order,
and going so far as to often dictate when riders could
and couldn’t attack. He took pleasure in a style
of aggressive attacking racing that often demoralised his
rivals, the 1980 edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege being a fine example. In sub-zero snowbound
conditions, Hinault attacked with 80 kilometres to go solo,
and ended up winning by a quite astonishing 10
minutes, and that was despite suffering from frostbite
which has permanently damaged his fingers to this very day. But the man’s character
is probably best summed up by himself with this quote,
“As long as I breathe, I attack “and I race to win, not to please people.” (dramatic orchestral music) Italian Gino Bartali
wasn’t just a prodigiously talented professional cyclist
who won the Tour de France twice and the Giro d’Italia
three times, he was also a noble, tempestuous, kind-hearted man, who put his own life at risk for others. During World War II, he
transported counterfeit identity documents secreted in the
tubes of his bicycle frame and handlebars to the Italian
Resistance in order to try to save the lives of Jews who risked
being sent to concentration camps, as well as hiding a
Jewish family in his cellar and leading Jewish refugees
across the Swiss Alps. Following the war, he overcome
mental and physical illness to win his third Giro in 1946,
and his second Tour de France in 1948 cementing his god-like status amongst the Italian people. It wasn’t until his death in 2000 that his heroic exploits during
the war became known, leading to many posthumous honours. Now Batali was a man who
essentially transcended his own sport, and once
said to his son this, “If you’re good at a sport,
they attach the medals to your “shirt and then they shine in some museum. “That which is earned by
doing good deeds is attached “to the soul and shines elsewhere.” (upbeat rock music) Sean Kelly is one of the
true hard men of professional cycling, a thoroughbred
with a single-minded focus and the ability to suffer
far more than most, and undoubtedly it was his
upbringing that contributed to his hardy attributes. He quit school at 13 to
work on his father’s farm in rural Ireland, then he was a
bricklayer before embarking on an 18-year career as
a professional cyclist, which reaped a quite
incredible 193 victories. Kelly was a rare breed,
a rider who could sprint, climb, and time trial. But most importantly, he
could endure the harshest of conditions that cycling
often imposed on a rider. In fact he once said of Paris
Roubaix, which he won in 1984 and 1986, “A Paris
Roubaix without rain “is not a true Paris Roubaix. “Throw in a little snow as
well, it’s not serious.” Whilst leading the 1987
edition of the Vuelta a Espana, he had to pull out with
only four stages to go, in tears and in agony, succumbing to a very nasty saddle sore. But a year later, he returned
to the very same race and won it overall, his only
ever Grand Tour victory. A stark illustration of his determination, grit, but most of all toughness. Now we are gonna do another
toughest riders video, but we want to know who
you think should be in it. So let us know in the
comments section down below. And while you’re at it, if
you haven’t already subscribed to the Global Cycle Network,
click on the globe for absolutely free and that way
you won’t miss another video. Now for our cycling
rivalries, how about clicking just down here, and for
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100 thoughts on “4 Toughest Cyclists Ever”

  1. Lance Armstrong is also one of the toughest for dealing with all the performance enhancing drugs,blood transfusion and global shame.

  2. I rode 90 miles as an 11 year old with 1 500ml orange squash and 1 banana? Oh n it was winter. I were nails me.

  3. Proud to have ridden with Sean Kelly a number of years back. The most normal, down-to-earth man one will ever meet.

  4. Jens Voigt,he might not have the titles,but staying in the front for as long as he did, it's remarkable

  5. Was riding a sportive with Kelly a number of years ago when he said "Hey lad's, no actin' the bollocks on the hill up here"

    Nearly 20km of climbing he was talking about. lol

  6. The media created what Lance has become now. I think the media wanted to keep shoving that knife down Lance's throat until he finally TICKED. They wanted him angry to show the world this guy's bad side. Too bad he couldn't control that temper. I can understand but cmon, you're on public tv.

    Lance is still the greatest in my eyes. That kind of greatness doesn't just come out of taking drugs overnight.

  7. Lance Armstrong is one of the greatest cyclists ever! He is the only one to be banned and have his titles stripped because of doping, while almost every cyclist at the time and before that was making use of PEDs. Until the 50' doping was very popular and never frowned upon, but after some cyclists started passing out or having erratic behaviour, lawmakers started making it illegal. There have been many cases where cyclists have been "poisoned" by rival coaches and technical staff, these were the major incidents that made officials believe they were doped. Drugs may give you an advantage, but it's how you use them (and abuse them) that makes a difference. Hundreds of cyclists in the past have raced while on the influence of Amphetamines, Strychnine, Caffeine, Methylphenidate and never won a thing. While Armstrong, Merckx, Bartoli, Pantani have been among the greatest, and they would win against Froome, Quintana, Nibali nowadays without taking anything prior or during the race!!!

  8. Toughest as in their bodies could cope with more drugs than others?
    Because back then everybody was doped up to the eyeballs.

    In the '30s the race organisers actually reminded riders that drugs would not be supplied and they had to bring their own and when testing officially started in '66 riders staged protests by walking.

  9. I noticed you left out Greg Lemond. Since you did that, it seems only fair that you perhaps ought to take 3 Tour de France victories off Bernards list of wins. W/O LeMond or with Greg on a different team Bernard would have lost…

  10. Greg Lemond without a doubt ! Never any support from his French team .. Always told to back off when Hinault was dropped.

  11. Alejandro Valverde for a consistence fitness throughout a racing season, also throughout his career. One of the most toughest cyclist in 21st century.

  12. add Alejandro Valverde as (whenever) he retires. He's attacking every single day; racing Giro + Tour + Vuelta the same season despite being over 36 y.o.; conquering the rainbow jersey at 38 y.o. plus wining 14 races shortly a year after that horrendous crash that smashed his knee and ripped his arsehole among other bad injuries. That bastard is relentless. Can't help liking him.

  13. Yeah, here we are. Sean Kelly over Gino Bartali. For real, you cant be real?!?!? Why always a bristish rider? Over Merckx and Bartali!?!? Why???

  14. Pretty sure we'll be able to add Mathieu Van der Poel to the list after his career. What he did in Flanders, I haven't seen anyone do in a classic in the last decade. Tough as nails.

  15. Never forget Joachim Agostinho…he even died at the age of 42 as a professional racer , from the injuries due to a crash.

  16. jacques Anquetil for among others…..

    there's a rather wonderful documentary about him on YT, including the double referred to above:

  17. The ale soaked Anglo should have mentioned Merckx rode in pain throughout his career because of a derny accident. Also Marshall Taylor won consistently even though white riders continually sabotaged him and his bike and escaped penalty because the deck was stacked against him.

  18. What about sky's G, when he went over that wall. His response to his misfortune was a concern for his lost glasses.

  19. The toughest of all was the Portugese rider Joaquin Agostinho. When asked if cycling was tough, he reminded people of the war in Mozambique he had fought in, that was tough. In his last race he fell a few kilometers before the finish over a dog crossing the road. He broke his skull but remounted his bike and died shortly after finishing.

  20. Greg LeMond. Raced,…got shot,….came back and crushed Fignon in the most exciting final stages in Your history!!!!

  21. I think winning at cycling has a lot to do with suffering, at pro level sometimes to an insane and unhealthy extent. Tough as nails comes with the breed and the willingness to hurt yourself to get to the top comes with the job. Hence the weaker ones get tempted by the drugs…and then the stronger ones sometimes had to do it too to keep rheir advantage.

  22. gert-jan teunissen. He got paralized from after his career, in a car crash. but he recovered remarkably well

  23. Lance Armstrong… And you may say bla bla bla but the guy did win those tour and fought against cancer! So he is a truly champ and iron dude

  24. Me !! I had a three mile paper round to do every morning in all weather's and I had to ride my mum's bike with a 3 speed sturmy archer

  25. Greg LeMond. Slayed the Badger, nearly shot to death, came back two years later to win the tour twice more.

  26. Fiorenzo Magni Giro '56: hard crash and broken left clavicle, decides to continue the race holding a inner tube attached to the handlebar with his theets, because his left arm had no power for driving the bike. few days later another hard crash, broken humerus: he passes out and wakes up on a ambulance, says the docs to leave him alone and gets back on the bike. he will finish that giro 2nd overall. he was also known for being extremely solid in bad weather conditions: won 3 tours of flanders with cold and rain. Passed away in 2012 aged 92: LEGEND.

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