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?