BikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling historyBikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling history
Search our site:
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Bicycle Rider Histories

Glossary of cycling terms | Glossary of riders' nicknames | Bicycle Quotes | List of old and new team sponsors, what they did, made or sold

On this page you will find links to the stories of some of the greatest riders and races by some of cycling's best writers. I've included several pieces written by the late Owen Mulholland when he was the first American reporter accredited to the Tour. To read them is to remember that heady time when Americans first began to win the big races in Europe. They are in rough chronological order, earliest riders first.

Book Excerpts | Rider History Short Pieces | Owen Mulholland's Reporting

Cycling's 50 Craziest Stories

Les Woodland's book Cycling's 50 Craziest Stories is available as an audiobook here. For the print and kindle eBook versions, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

Book Excerpts:

Charles Terront was France's first great cycling star. His solution to winning a 1,000 km track race was, um, unusual… From Cycling's 50 Craziest Stories

"My race has been won by a corpse", groaned Tour de France boss Henri Desgrange in 1929. In this excerpt, from Tour de France: the Inside Story, Les Woodland tells the story of how Desgrange threw out the team sponsors in 1930 and recast the Tour using national teams.

Guy Lapébie thought he had the gold medal won at the 1936 Olympics, but he inexplicably slowed just at the line. What happened? Les Woodland explains the strange finish to the Berlin Olympics's road race in this excerpt from The Olympics' 50 Craziest Stories.

The 1949 Paris-Roubaix finish was a mess. From Les Woodland's Cycling's 50 Craziest Stories

The War of the Gods: Gino Bartali vs Fausto Coppi and later Raymond Poulidor vs Jacques Anquetil. Les Woodland tells the story, an excerpt from his book Tour de France: The Inside Story

Charly Gaul: A Murderous Climber of a Murderous Climb. An excerpt from Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies: The Rise and Fall of Bicycle Racing's Champions by Les Woodland. I know you'll enjoy this, no one tells these stories better than Les Woodland.

Tom Simpson and that fatal day on Mont Ventoux. An excerpt from Les Woodland's Dirty Feet: How the great unwashed created the Tour de France.

Eddy Merckx and Roger de Vlaeminck arrive at Paris-Roubaix. An excerpt from Les Woodland's Paris-Roubaix: The Inside Story tells how it went

Eddy Merckx and the Tour of Flanders from Les Woodland's Tour of Flanders: The Inside Story

LeMonster: an excerpt from Daniel de Visé's The Comeback: Greg LeMond, the True king of American Cycling and a Legendary Tour de France. Plus, a review of the book by Peter Joffre Nye and Mr. Nye's interview with the author.

Philippe Gilbert attacked on the day's final climb to become World Road Champion in 2012, from Les Woodland's Cycling World Championships: The Inside Story.

find us on Facebook Find us on Twitter See our youtube channel

Melanoma: It started with a freckle Schwab Cycles South Salem Cycleworks frames Neugent Cycling Wheels Peaks Coaching: work with a coach! Shade Vise sunglass holder Advertise with us!

Content continues below the ads

Melanoma: It started with a freckle Schwab Cycles South Salem Cycleworks frames

Rider History short pieces:

Cycling's 21 Greatest Climbers

Bicycle racing can run in the family. We have two pieces about bicycle racing as a family business:

Bicycle Racing as a Family business by David L. Stanley.
Professional racing sometimes runs in families such as the Pélissiers and Petterssons. Owen Mulholland tells several of their stories.

1890s Women Cyclists. Peter Joffre Nye reviews a book telling of a time when women flew in tight packs around board tracks for cash prizes before as many as 10,000 spectators

We have two pieces about Major Taylor by Peter Joffre Nye:
Major Taylor’s 1928 Autobiography Speaks to Us through the Decades. Mr. Nye takes a serious look at an extraordinary athlete and extraordinary man.
Major Taylor, The World's Fastest Man. Peter Joffre Nye tells the story of this great athlete as he reviews a biography of Taylor

Doris Kopsky, America's First Women's National Cycling Champion. Peter Joffre Nye tells the story of this ground-breaking racer

Glenn Curtiss and the Wright Brothers were bicycle makers and mechanics before they became aviation immortals. Peter Joffre Nye tells the story of Curtiss' brilliant life and his long-running conflict with the Wright Brothers.

Albert Champion went from track racer to Paris-Roubaix champion then on to becoming a world-class industrialist. Peter Joffre Nye tells the story of this incredible man.

Marcel Berthet and Oscar Egg fought an intense battle for the World Hour Record in the years before World War I.

Charles Pélissier was one of the great Pélissier racing brothers but he he had a private struggle that nearly ruined his career.

Content continues below the ads

Neugent Cycling Wheels Peaks Coaching: work with a coach!

Football star Rob Gronkowski’s great-grandfather was an Olympic cyclist. Peter Joffre Nye tells the story of Ignatius (Iggy) Gronkowski and the 1924 American Olympic cycling team.

Alfonsina Morini Strada was the only woman to ride a Grand Tour. Here's the fascinating story of Strada and the 1924 Giro.

Giuseppe Pancera was second in the '28 Giro and '29 Tour. The story of one of the greatest riders of the era, with photos.

Reggie McNamara was one of the greatest six-day racers of all time. Let Peter Joffre Nye tell you about him.

Vicente Trueba, "The Torrelavega Flea" was the first rider to win the Tour's King of the Mountains prize. Owen Mulholland tells his story.

The story of René Vietto's sacrifice to help Antonin Magne win the 1934 Tour is part of the DNA of the Tour de France. If you are a Tour fan, don't fail to read the story of young René Vietto

Peter Joffre Nye tells the story of Joseph Magnani, the forgotten American who raced Europe's best in the 1930's and 1940's

Biago Cavanna, the blind masseur who "saw with his hands" guided and cared for Fausto Coppi as well as Binda, Guerra and Girardengo.

Gino Bartali talked to David Herlihy about his long and magnificent career.

Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali had a long running rivalry. Here's the story of two of the greatest riders of all time.

Briek Schotte, The Last of the Flandrians by Owen Mulholland

Russell Mockridge was Australia's greatest rider of the 1950s, and some will argue he's the greatest-ever Aussie bike racer. A short piece about Mockridge by Owen Mulholland

Jacques Anquetil was the first 5-time winner of the Tour de France. We've got two stories here about Anquetil by Owen Mulholland.

Jacques Anquetil, Party Boy
Anquetil, the greatest cycling stylist of all time

Before Stephen Roche and Sean Kelly there was Shay Elliot, the great Irish racer of the 50s.

Tom Simpson was one of the greatest English riders ever, but his death on Mt Ventoux is what he will always be remembered for.

Ken Farnum, New York State Cycling Champion and Folk Hero, Dies at age 89. Peter Joffre Nye writes a remembrance

Owen Mulholland writes about Eddy Merckx and his quest for the World Hour Record

Luis Ocaña was the only rider who could truly challenge Eddy Merckx in the Tour de France when Merckx was at his peak. Owen Mulholland tells his story.

Beryl Burton was the greatest female time trialist and perhaps the greatest woman cyclist of all time.

Albert Eisentraut, the godfather and midwife of American framebuilding

Remembering Laurent Fignon, a biography of the two-time Tour and Giro winner by cycle historian James Witherell

Queens of Pain: Legends & Rebels of Cycling. Peter Joffre Nye reviews Isabel Best's history of thirty great women racers.

2019: U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame announces three inductees, Karen Bliss, Sean Petty & George Banker

2020: Vince Menci, First Curator of the US Bicycling Hall of Fame, Dies at 92

2020: U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame announces four 2020 inductees


Content continues below the ads

Shade Vise sunglass holder Advertise with us!

Owen Mulholland's reporting:

Le Tour: Some history and a Few Stories from the 1985 and 1986 Tour de France

The 1985 Tour de France was supposed to be Greg LeMond's, but fate got in the way.

Vitré and the 1985 Tour de France. The Tour comes to a small town in Brittany

1985 Tour de France Féminin

The Tour de France's Real Workers

The 1986 Tour was famous for the strange relationshipship between Greg Lemond and his supposed helper Bernard Hinault. Here's Owen's telling of the tale.

7-Eleven and the 1986 Tour de France. Owen Mulholland's report of their surprising ride

1986 Coors Classic. LeMond and Hinault settled nothing that year at the Tour. Their rivalry continued that August into Colorado.

Stephan Roche, 7-Eleven and the 1987 Tour de France. Owen Mulholland was there and tells the whole story of the 87 Tour.

Jeannie Longo and the 1987 Tour de France Féminin by Owen Mulholland

Sean Kelly and the 1987 Tour de France