7 Pro Cyclists Who Changed The Sport | Road Cycling’s Revolutionaries And Trendsetters

7 Pro Cyclists Who Changed The Sport | Road Cycling’s Revolutionaries And Trendsetters

– Cycling has changed and
adapted since its beginning so in this video, I’m
gonna run you through a few professional
cyclists that have helped change the shape of our
sport to what it is today. (slow techno music) Let’s kick off with a man who’s done arguably more than anyone else to help change the face of our sport. You may recognize the name Campagnolo and it was Tullio who
started the legendary Italian bicycle component manufacturer. Before he started Campagnolo, Tullio raced at the highest level competing in Milan San-Remo
and Tour di Lombardi, just to name a few. But it was on November 11, 1927 where Tullio had an experience that would change bike racing. He was leading a race
solo in the Dolomites where he came to a point where
he needed to change gear. In those days, you had
to take your wheel out to be able to change gear. Tullio had incredibly cold
hands and numb fingers and wasn’t able to undo the wing nuts to be able to get the wheel out so he thus had to retire from the race. Three years on and a lot of research, Tullio came up with
the first cam mechanism quick release skewer. And in 1930, this became standard across all bike manufacturers and is still used to this day. Tullio wasn’t done there
and continued to innovate throughout his entire life. And in 1949, he came
up with the Gran Sport twin cable parallelogram rear derailleur. That became a prototype
for just about every rear derailleur out on the market today. Thanks to Campagnolo, we’re
able to change gear easily and also take a rear wheel
out to change a puncture, even with the coldest of hands. (techno music) We’ve got another tech innovator now, the iconic American Greg LeMond, the first American to win
the world championships and the Tour de France,
not once, but three times. Where Greg lead, the world
pro peloton followed. LeMond was the first rider
to win the Tour de France on a carbon fiber bike, which is now the most used bike
material in the pro peloton. But most importantly, he
introduced aerodynamics to the pro peloton. In the 1989 Tour, LeMond
went into the last stage in a 50 second deficit to Laurent Fignon. And over a 24.5 kilometer time trial, making up that time gap
was near impossible. But LeMond turned up on the start line with an aero helmet and clip on bars. These allowed LeMond to make
up the 50 seconds to Fignon and also surpass it and he ended up winning the Tour de France by eight seconds. These days, we know aerodynamics is incredibly important in pro cycling and so I guess we’ve got, well, L’Americain to thank for that. (hip hop soul music) Now moving on from Greg
LeMond’s aero bars, I think we should make the
transition into cycling kit. And it was Tony Maier
that invented the first micro-shorts for cyclists. He got the idea from a Swiss ski team. Arguably, Maier could have
made this list himself because, well, he was actually a cyclist. But we’ve gone for the man
who introduced Assos shorts to the pro peloton and
that was Peter Post. Peter Post was a Dutch pro cyclist whose career spanned through
the 50s, 60s, and the 70s. He enjoyed some great success on the road but was mostly known
for his six-day racing, where he became one of the best
six-day racers of all time, winning 65 six-day events
throughout his entire career. When he retired, he became
the TI-Raleigh manager and while there, the team won pretty much everything worth winning,
from the Paris-Roubaix to the world championships
to the Tour of Flanders and, well, the list goes on. In 1977, Post approached
Maier to create Lycra shorts for his TI-Raleigh team, who
then became the first team to wear a Lycra cycling kit. Back in those days, it
caused great confusion to, well, all the pro
peloton at that time. But as we know to this day, that Lycra is the most used
material in cycling kits. (chill hip hop music) Alongside the technological innovations, there are also riders
that fundamentally changed the way the races were ridden. Mario Cipollini was a professional cyclist and he was also known for having an incredibly flamboyant character and he showed everyone
through what he wore. Cipollini was regarded as one of the best sprinters of his generation and arguably one of the best of all time. And while the fashion
trends came and went, there was one thing that did stick and that was the way
he raced with his team, namingly the lead out train. Cipollini wasn’t the first to use his team to discourage lead attacks and also to put him in
the perfect position for him to launch his sprint. But he really did perfect
the art of the lead out and the sight of the Saeco train delivering the Lion King to spring glory was one of the defining images of the era. And now, to this day,
every pro team out there uses that lead out to help deliver their team sprinter to glory, very much using Cipollini’s wisdom. (slow techno music) Rob Hayles is maybe a name a lot of you might not be familiar with but if we’re talking riders
that were fundamentally way ahead of their time, then Rob Hayles has to make the list. He was predominantly a track rider, winning three Olympic championships and 16 national titles. And he also saw great success on the road and that’s where we really saw how fundamentally
forward-thinking he really was. Hayles was never happy with just accepting his cycling kit the way it was. And he continued to adapt it and change it and he was actually one of the first pros to wear skinsuits in a cycling road race. And while he did so, he
actually sewed pockets to the back of his skinsuit so he was able to hold food
in it for those longer races. He liked to ride really narrow bars and crafted little bits onto
the end of his brake hoods so he could get in a more
aerodynamic position. He as the first person
to invent the Ass Saver out of carbon fiber. And what about the trigger shifter? That allowed him to shift gear
a lot easier while sprinting. Now Rob Hayles did come
under a lot of ridicule during his career. But it’s quite clear
now that he knew exactly what he was on about. (trance music) Our next trendsetter
could be a contentious one and a man with, well,
not the best reputation but we can’t deny that Lance came up with some groundbreaking techniques that didn’t involve
what he put in his body. So here we’re gonna talk
about Lance’s iconic cadence. The accepted wisdom for as
long as gears have been around is to select the biggest gear
and push it as hard as you can to be able to go as fast as possible. And if you selected a smaller gear, this would mean you would get dropped and ultimately go slower. But Armstrong found if he
selected the higher gear, meaning if he selected one where he could pedal at a higher cadence, he was able to put more pressure on his cardiovascular system
and less on his muscles, thus being more efficient
and, ultimately, faster. If you compared footage of him
and Jan Ullrich, for example, then you would see a massive difference. This was a massive
talking point in the 90s and it’s still a big
talking point to this day. (trance music) Moving on to some more recent trends, and it’s impossible not to mention cycling’s favorite
buzzword, marginal gains, and also Britain’s first
ever Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins. When Team Sky first started in 2010, a big part of their ethos was to look at the minuscule details. Lead by Dave Brailsford, they really honed in on the little things, from the training to the
bikes to even the sleeping. But the issue with
marginal gains methodology is that it came across quite mechanical. So their signing the finely
charismatic Kid from Kilburn was the perfect way to be
able to sell marginal gains to the wider public. And nearly nine years on from Wiggins’ time trial and Tour win, marginal gains is popping up everywhere, even beyond cycling, in business and, well, all walks of life and now that is a big trend. There you have it, some real trendsetters that have helped to develop our sport. Well, if you think that there
is a trendsetter out there that you think deserves
to be on this list, then make sure you put them
in the comment section below. And if you did enjoy this video, then give it a big thumbs up. And if you want to see
some more trends of 2019, then why don’t you check out
this video just over there?

100 thoughts on “7 Pro Cyclists Who Changed The Sport | Road Cycling’s Revolutionaries And Trendsetters”

  1. It was actually Michele Ferrari, the so-called evil doctor, who taught Lance about high cadence after he lost a lot of muscle to cancer. Ferrari is not a pro but he definitely changed cycling.

  2. Say what you want, but if it weren't for Lance I wouldn't have even known about cycling let alone sit glued to my TV for 21 days watching the Tour.

  3. I would like to nominate Phil Anderson, the first non European to wear the Yellow Jersey in the TDF, to be included in a top ten list of cyclists who changed the sport. He introduced cycling to a new audience and helped it become the global sport it is today.

  4. Hopefully, somebody reads this. Where are the videos on stroking techniques, i.e what is the perfect stroke in different positions, different intensities, when should you use your calves, when should you pull more, how to cycle through group muscles so that you eliminate lactate faster, etc. Where is this information, I would very much like you guys to get the doctor in and do some in depth analysis on what constitute the perfect stroke and which muscles are used to what degree in said perfect motion. Where does the power come from, and so on. Big fan, cheers!

  5. Cipo…will always be, for me, the most suave sprinter of all time…having meet him at Interbike… and finally seeing him zoom by in the Tour of Amgen….a legendary figure.

  6. Like it or not, truth be told, like it or not, Lance was one of the best. He is a seven time TDF, world champion among many other wins, one of the best.. And his positive contributions to include world viewership, sponsorship and a host of pluses way over showdowns the events ten years later..

  7. Sorry but sick of hearing about Lance did this and Lance did that , heard if Charly Gaul ! Lance wasn't that innovative , he just looked at what some others had already done and just refined it a bit , just look at what he did with drug taking ,, just took it too another level !?!!!!!

  8. Holy crap I thought during the intro that your legs are that white. 😀 Took me a while to realize it’s just your pants 😀

  9. Marginal gains wasn't a trend set by sky haha. Stretch to include a modern brit. Would have used Jonathan Vaughters' team as the first team is modern doping culture to somewhat successfully market themselves as the first fake "ride clean" team. Or the first trend setter to be the winner of the first tour de France who showed just how cheating and winning the yellow jersey will always go hand in hand

  10. If you make another episode on this topic you have to include Graeme Obree. Having said that, a free-form interview where he could explain his views on all sorts of matters would probably be absolutely fascinating and could fill about three half hour programmes!

  11. any female cyclings? Alfonsina Strada? the first and only women to ever ride a grand tour (Giro d'Italia) in 1924, she would have made a nice addition to this all male list.

  12. Ok, so popularising clip on tri bars = "introducing aerodynamics to the pro peloton". That saves me a bit of money buying an Aeroad or Madone. I could just fasten a coat hanger to the front of a brick. On the subject of which, where is Lasty…?

  13. Let's please give a shout out not to the cyclists but to the commentators. Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen and ofcourse David Duffield All of whom with their love and enthusiasm of the sport made tours and classics great to watch and listen to from start to finish !!!

  14. Ok, so you have missed the two key players from UK cycling History, Graeme Obree and Chris Boardman. Come on GCN!!!

  15. Bernard Hinault for introducing clipless pedals in 1985. I know Look invented them but you mention Peter Post for Lycra. Stephen Roche was the last person to win the Tour de France using traditional toeclips, in 1987.

  16. The biggest change that Lance did to this sport is creating an official-unofficial record that would still be considered as the limit impossible to cross, but always desired

  17. Lemond was not the first to use arrow bars in a UCI race. He was at the Tour de Trump in May of 1989, when Kent Bostick first used them, and then the 7-Eleven team.

  18. I so wish people would get over the Lance Armstrong thing. Yes he was dirty but there was a very good chance so was the rest of the peloton, done more for the profile of cycling and proving that cancer isn't the end than anyone else. You could argue and some will that he also damaged the sport, but no more than the rumour machine around a number of others either.

  19. What Bradley Wiggings did for cycling in the UK surely is one of the biggest trends of them all

  20. I’ve only got a small thumbs up available to me I’m afraid (I’d estimate the icon is about 7mm high).

  21. You have got to mention Dan Jones and Orica Green Edge. Without the Idea of Back stage Pass, god knows where cycling coverage would be. The interaction with fans through social media has moved the sport on equally as much as technical innovation in the last 10 years. #OGEROCKS

  22. Surely Wiggins took marginal gains far beyond marginal, which only came to light thanks to Fancy Bears!

  23. Not sure if someone in all these comments already wrote this, but I do believe that the cyclist you show first while introducing Peter Post might actually be Jan Raas. He was on Ti Raleigh as a rider, but as a team managers they were each other’s biggest enemies….

  24. Armstrong's high cadence was figured out by Dr. Ferrari. This is stated explicitly in the documentary The Armstrong Lie.

  25. Lance changed the sport by raising our awareness of just how systemic cheating can ruin our sport. Take him off the list.

  26. There's more to the parallelogram rear derailleur than Campagnolo's 1949 introduction of their Gran Sport. The Gran Sport and its successors did not maintain a uniform distance from the sprockets as it moved across the cassette and shifting was not as reliable as it is today. The modern parallelogram rear derailleur that most of us are familiar with today is not the Campagnolo design but rather a SunTour invention. SunTour invented the slant-parallelogram rear derailleur in 1964 and this is what we use today. It moves across the cassette at an angle so the top jockey wheel maintains a more uniform distance from each sprocket. This is what makes modern parallelogram rear derailleurs shift so reliably.

  27. Just my opinion, but, more impressive than using aero-bars, a disc wheel, and an aero-helmet in the '89 tour (the Scott bars, of which, were invented by Boone Lennon), Lemond had recovered from being shot in a hunting accident shortly after winning the '86 tour (beating out his teammate – and five time winner – Bernard Hinault). He still had lead pellets in his leg and in the wall of his heart (he probably still does). He was the first American to win the very Euro-centric event in '86, and then came back from near death to win in '89, and again in '90. And, of course, bridging the 50-second deficit in the final time trial stage, his win – by eight seconds – is smallest winning margin ever in the history of the Tour. He was Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Year" that year. I was in grade nine, and it sparked my love affair with cycling.
    He stands an unblemished inspiration to cyclists, athletes, and humans.

    Merckx wasn't so bad, either… 🙂

  28. Tom Simpson for inventing the modern saddle. His tragic death on Mont Ventoux ushered in testing for performance enhancing drugs.

  29. Lemond did not introduce aerodynamics, Lance did not invent high cadence peddling, Sky did not hire Wiggins to sell Marginal Gains. I love GCN, watch all of your videos and have never given a thumbs down before. I think you need to hire Cillian Kelly.

  30. Funny how some absolute superstars didn’t innovate – they just were the very best in the status quo of the time. Merckx, Saronni, Indurain, Anquetil, Ferrand-Prevot, Contador, Cavendish – to name but a few.

  31. Erh, but Wiggings himself didn't innovate anything, did he? Brailsford did – as much as that man makes me cringe. If you go for riders who brought marginal gains to a new level why not go with the HUUB Wattbike team?

  32. Charly Gaul pioneered high cadence climbing in the 1950's. He was also an excessive doper, so you're giving Lance credit for all of Charly's innovations.

  33. This was a great video until… Wiggins. Maybe Team Sky has changed cycling but Wiggins had little to do with this.

  34. Come on. A majority of two Americans and two Brits out of 7? No French, Belgian, Spanish? That's some serious English speaking bias about the history of cycling…

  35. Can't pronounce any foreign word currently and using Armstrong and sky was utter rubbish to be polite…

  36. These videos just get better and better – GNC is unmissable out of all my favourites- great work to the presenters and background guys 😎😊

  37. Miguel Indurain got everyone obsessed with lung capacity resting heart rate and vo2max just because he was such a physical beast

  38. Marginal gains came from the mass production world long before it saw use in cycling. The earliest version I'm aware of called Kaizen originated in Japan after WW2.

  39. Wiggens?! Brailsford yes. As a British entity you couldn’t help yourselves from putting Wiggens on the list.

  40. I thoroughly enjoyed this short clip, though the music left a lot to be desired. I'm not into music over clips. I always feel it "cheapens" the information.

  41. Mathieu van der Poel – he shows that you can be really good in different cycling disciplines at the same time

  42. 8:02 … i was hoping for footage comparison that you mentioned. or you expect the average youtuber user to have those at hand ?

  43. High cadence is more efficient with respect to what? Also, back then high cadence was introduced to benefit from EPO. But now it is used for very different reasons. So it is kind of misleading to say that Armstrong motivated this change.

  44. Controversial or not, give Lance’s wins back. Sure, blacklist him say what you wan about hit, but he crossed first. And like some folks here said…he IS the reason I got excited about watching cycling. He’s helped the sport WAAAAY more than he “supposedly” hurt it. In fact: give me the PROOF he hurt the sport ($$ lost?) and I’ll acquiesce he deserves his stripping. I’d like to see a segment of PRO vs CON on this – fair, unflinching. Shouldn’t TREK have to give their money back that he earned for them!? Shouldn’t sponsors have to return profits? GFAW! The sport needs money to survive: Lance brought the $$$. Show me the money and Lance’s image will be in the Bio – along with many others of course.
    I’d like to see two leagues:
    1. As far as the human body can be pushed using science. No mechanical doping. (Yes it’s a gladiator sport with consensual health risks but with $$ pharma companies made to sponsor the other league:)
    2. Clean: test before race, after race, during race, and off race no privacy. Let the advancements made to create exciting racing in league 1 educate the industry and audience, let the lessons of hard truths from doping become knowledge and choice. Let the viewers decide if cycling heroes should be moral representatives when the choice is made public and along side the results/consequences.

  45. I love how Lance Armstrong is the "contentious one" but Mario Cipollini also a proven doper… just fine. This "sport" is such a hypothetical piece of shit…cheat and you're a nice guy…eh forget about it. Cheat and be an asshole ….fuck you for life, no matter what.

  46. Regarding marginal gains, I remember that Team Sky used to use an oval pedal plateau which help them to gain up to 5% of power. Why don't they use it anymore ?

  47. In recent years I keep hearing how Sky is the first and foremost team of marginal gains… Really? I think that title belongs to Lance, Nike, Oakley, and Trek… illicit drugs aside, the teams of Lance invented new tactics, training practices, nutrition, high tech clothing, new and improved equipment/bicycles, integration of rider, bike, equipment and clothing that Sky has merely emulated and arguably improved upon… but that being said, improving is not the same as inventing… mentioning lance only for his cadence is not giving credit where credit is due when it comes to major changes in grand tour peleton.

  48. Since Armstrong’s high cadence is all about cardiovascular capability, calling it innovation is controversial. It was not sustainable without PED and one could still argue if it would be today if it wasn’t for TUE.

  49. Greg Lemond: Carbon Fiber Bike, Aero clip bars, Look pedals, Oakley cycling glasses. That's a whole lot of forward and innovative thinking right there.

  50. As far as Lance is concerned. He NEVER won a single race using high cadence without also utilizing EPO or blood bags. And neither has any other professional cyclist as the other famous 'spinner' is questionable as well…

  51. I don't care what the 'general public opinion' of Lance Armstrong is. Tons of racers were doping. What Lance did with his fame and fortune helping fund for the cure for cancer more than makes up for the doping. Livestrong generated more than 100 million USD towards the fight to cure cancer, which is leaps and bounds more than any other cyclist who ever lived before or since. Lance is a top-notch athlete and philanthropic superstar! He motivated hundreds of thousands of people to get on their bikes and ride…myself included! He is still one of my favorite athletes and always will be!

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