The 10 Greatest Road Cyclists of All Time

When trying to decide who belongs on a list of the 10 greatest road cyclists of all time, the first thing to discuss is criteria. With cycling full of GC contenders, sprinters, climbers, domestiques and those who concentrate on the Classics, we hit our first roadblock: it's impossible to compare these cyclists when their skill sets are so blatantly different.

To make things easier, we've put a lot of emphasis on how riders performed in the general classification at Grand Tours, with a smaller emphasis on other stage races and Classics. This, of course, requires some heartfelt apologies to Mark Cavendish and Mario Cipollini, who are undoubtedly great in their respective disciplines but lack the overall prowess to compete in road races with even the slightest elevation gain.

In the end, some are better at pedaling than others. Below is a list of the most powerful legs to have ever pedaled up and down the toughest ascents in Europe, sprinted to the finish despite fiery pain in their thighs, and claimed victory in races designed to be impossible. These are the baddest brutes to have ever graced concrete on two wheels.

Note: Some of these dudes totally doped. While such wrongdoing certainly merits a strike or two against them, we can also shrug our shoulders and say the playing field was level. We did consider doping allegations and admitted use of performance-enhancing drugs when compiling this list, but we doubt the USADA will grant us any sense of approval.

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