The best Spanish cyclists in history (Ranking Top 10)
If a few months ago I left you with a ranking of the best cyclists of all time, today it is time to do the same with the best Spanish cyclists in history.
An intense compilation that aims to remember the great names of this sport at the national level. Surnames that are part of the history of cycling and that for one reason or another have earned enough merits to enter an always disputed and conflicting top 10.
Before starting I would like to highlight that the ranking is a personal assessment that I have tried to make in the most objective way possible and based on criteria like the honors (quantity and quality), longevity, media impact and historical impact.
Best Spanish cyclists in history
1 - Miguel Indurain
The first position of the ranking seems quite indisputable to grant it in favor of Miguel Indurain. The Spanish cyclist with more wins in the Tour de France and the only cyclist in history capable of doing it for 5 consecutive years.
For those who think that Indurain's career is limited to the French race, saying that “Miguelón” had time to win, among many other races, two Giro d'Italia, a world time trial championship and some Olympic games in the fight against the clock. Paris Nice, Clásica de San Sebastián, Volta a Catalunya or Dauphine also shine with their own light in their laureate awards. A unique and probably unmatched rider.
2 - Alberto Contador
Show. Few words define Alberto Contador's sports career so well. The pinteño has been the last great Spanish benchmark for 3-week laps. A runner with a nose and a unique ambition. Beyond sanctions Subsequent 3 Tours to Spain, 3 Tours of France and 3 Giro d'Italia They appear in a spectacular record. Contador has also won races such as Paris Nice, Tirreno Adriatico or the Tour of the Basque Country. It may not be the most complete record but the gunman will always be remembered for his spectacular way of competing. A cyclist who does not understand second place and who always went out to win.
3 - Alejandro Valverde
The most successful rider in Spanish cycling and the one who undoubtedly has a more constant sporting career. Valverde has been a great reference for world cycling for more than 15 years and is that the Murcian has practically no race to resist him. An athlete with an innate capacity for cycling and with a mindset of a true killer in the last kilometers. A practically unbeatable final rush that has led him to win 4 “Liege - Bastogne - Liege”, 5 times the Wallonian Arrow, 1 Tour of Spain, 3 tours of Catalonia or 2 Dauphine criterium. Countless victories complete his award-winning honors. The world road cycling championship did justice to Alejandro. If it were not for the "obsession" with the great laps of the first years of his sports career, we would undoubtedly be talking about the best classic man in history (if he is not yet)
4 - Óscar Freire
Oscar Freire is surely the classiest cyclist on the entire list. The Cantabrian became triple world champion of road cycling. An atypical national runner who stood out for his excellent speed point and for being one of the sprinters who best moved in the middle mountain. In addition to numerous stage victories in the Tour de France or the Vuelta a España, Freire was able to win races as important as the Tirreno Adriatico or Milan Sanremo three times. La Paris-Tours or Gent-Wevelgem also succumbed to the Spanish rider. Freire had plenty of talent to win even without being "fit." For me deserving of occupying the fourth position in the ranking.
5 - Slim Parakeet
Pedro Delgado occupies the fifth position in our particular ranking of the best Spanish cyclists in history. "Perico" was in charge of giving continuity to Spanish cycling in a complicated period of transition. Slim sum 1 Tour de France and 2 Tours to Spain but what most strikes me about his sports career are the 17 Top 10 in big laps. A savagery that shows us the long and extensive sports career of Perico Delgado. The charismatic Spanish television commentator deserved to be on his own merits in this Top 10.
6 - Federico Martín Bahamontes
Bahamontes is the true pioneer of Spanish cycling in the great laps. Toledo's eagle he was the first national rider to impose himself in a Tour de France. Before, he had accumulated positions of honor in the Giro d'Italia and back to Spain. As if this were not enough 6 absolute victories in the general classification of the mountain On the Tour they remind us that we are facing one of the best climbers in history. In addition, Bahamontes was the first cyclist in history to win the mountain jersey in the three great laps. To date, only "Lucho" Herrera has been able to match the feat.
7 - Miquel Poblet
Miguel Poblet is one of the best classic man in the history of Spanish cycling and a true pioneer of this sport. The inclusion of this name may seem curious to many, but it is likely that their opinion on it will be modified when I tell them that Poblet has in his record 2 Milan Sanremo, 20 partial wins in the Giro d'Italia, 3 stages in the Tour de France and 3 in the return to Spain. Furthermore, Poblet was about to be the first and only Spaniard to win the Paris Roubaix when in 1958 he finished second in the northern hell.
8 - Luis Ocaña
Luis Ocaña will always be remembered for being the great rival of Eddy Merckx. And it is that putting the complicated things to what is probably the best cyclist in history is well worth a consideration. His record was surely subject to the triumphs of the best runner of all time but Ocaña was able to win the Tour de France in 1973 and the return to Spain in 1970. The falls weighed down a brilliant career and the 1971 Tour would also have been his had he not met with bad luck. His tragic death will always be remembered and the battles of Ocaña and Merckx continue to be a legend of this sport to this day.
9 - Purito Rodriguez
He could not leave Joaquim Rodriguez off the list. The “Purito” despite not having any great return to his record (which is worth the Giro and the 2012 Tour) is one of the greats of our sport. The small Catalan runner found it difficult to shine in the first years of his career but after the departure of Caisse D’Epargne the progression was meteoric.
Without a doubt one of the most solid runners in history to classic one-day and explosive endings. “Purito” had to live with two hard-to-gnaw bones like Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde, but still was able to make a place for himself among the elite. Stage wins in Giro, Tour and Vuelta they appear in his record along with the wins in the Giro de Lombardia (2012 and 2013) or the Flecha Wallonia. Few runners have shown as much ability to climb as "Purito".
10 - Roberto Heras
I am convinced that more than one will have been surprised by the inclusion of Roberto Heras in the list of 10 best Spanish cyclists in history. I certainly admit that it was very difficult to leave Carlos Sastre out, but Roberto Heras is for me one of the best climbers in cycling history. A runner with an innate facility for climbing and that if it were not for the role of luxury gregarious that he had to face in the best years of his sports career, he would surely have a much more complete record. Heras lived in the shadow of Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France, but whenever he had the opportunity to shine individually, he more than fulfilled. Heras has 4 Tours of Spain in his record (leaving sanctions aside) and to this day he is still one of the men who has impacted me the most when the race was going uphill.