Quotes About Cycling to Inspire, Motivate and Excite
A Tribute to More than 150 Years of Bicycles
A Devotional to the Culture, Tradition, and Lore of Cycling
An Homage to Cycling Glory
Revel in this curated list of cycling quotes pleasing to the heroic soul, the nostalgic heart and the excitable mind. They are quotes about cycling from the valorous combatants, the battle planners and witnesses, and the delighted and grateful.
"An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come." — Victor Hugo
Although it was written after the French Revolution of 1848 and the ascendency of Napoléon III to the presidency of the Second Republic, Victor Hugo's quote from History of a Crime reads as a devotional to one of humankind’s greatest inventions — the bicycle. So, it is with the bicycle we begin.
Quotes About Bicycles
"All creatures who have ever walked have wished that they might fly. With high wheelers a flesh and blood man can hitch wings to his feet." — Karl Kron, author of Ten Thousand Miles on a Bicycle, 1887
"Few articles ever used by man have created so great a revolution in social conditions as the bicycle." — U.S. Census Report, 1900
"Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity." — Lord Charles Beresford, British admiral and Member of Parliament
"God created the bicycle for men to use as an instrument of effort and exaltation on the hard road of life." — Inscription in the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel, Magreglio, Italia
"The bicycle has a soul. If you succeed to love it, it will give you emotions that you will never forget." — Mario Cipollini, winner of 12 Tour de France stages
"Meet the future; the future mode of transportation for this weary Western world." — Bicycle salesman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969
"Handing over a bank note is enough to make a bicycle belong to me, but my entire life is needed to realize this possession." — Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: An Essay On Phenomenological Ontology, 1969
"Ordinary things merely annoy people. Inspired hatred is one more bit of evidence that bicycles are something great, something beyond the mundane – something worthy of grand animosity." — Bill Strickland, The Quotable Cyclist
"Tens of thousands who could never afford to own, feed and stable a horse, had by this bright invention enjoyed the swiftness of motion which is perhaps the most fascinating feature of material life." — Frances Willard, founder of the World Woman's Christian Temperance Union
"A bicycle is an industrial revolution in an individual’s life." — F. K. Day, founder and president, World Bicycle Relief
"In life's orchestra, the bike is the double bass. Hard to forget it." — Paul Fournel, Need for the Bike
"The bicycle is already a musical instrument on its own. The noise of the bicycle chain, the pedal and gear mechanism, for example, the breathing of the cyclist, we have incorporated all this in the Kraftwerk sound." — Ralf Hütter, enthusiastic cycling fan, lead singer and keyboardist of Kraftwerk
Quotes About Bicycling
"Bicycling is a healthy and manly pursuit with much to recommend it, and, unlike other foolish crazes, it has not died out." — The Daily Telegraph 1877
"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live." — Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle", circa 1886
"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." — Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, in the Scientific American, 1896
"A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to." — Dr. K. K. Doty, 19th Century bicycling evangelist
"I’ll tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world." — Susan B. Anthony, American women’s rights activist, 1896
"Cycling is like church - many attend, but few understand." — Jim Burlant, former bike racer
"Cycling is the sport of usefulness." — Fred DeLong, 2001 inductee into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame for contributions made to cycling
"We are not blocking traffic; we are traffic." — Critical Mass bicycle advocacy slogan
"A bicycle ride is a flight from sadness" — James E. Starrs, The Noiseless Tenor: The Bicycle in Literature
"My brother persuaded me to try cycling and I realised it was the best thing in the world." — Peter Sagan, 3x World Road Race Champion
"The first time I rode a bike I was four or five. I crashed into the back of a car." — David Millar, British National Road Race Champion
"To ride a fixed-gear bike is to feel that your bike, and not just your bike but your whole experience as a rider, runs back through time as a strand of DNA that connects you with the original essence of cycling." — Matt Seaton, amateur cyclist and journalist for The Guardian
"Ever bike? Now that’s something that makes life worth living!…Oh, to just grip your handlebars and lay down to it, and go ripping and tearing through streets and road, over railroad tracks and bridges, threading crowds, avoiding collisions, at twenty miles or more an hour, and wondering all the time when you’re going to smash up. Well, now, that’s something! And then go home again after three hours of it…and then to think that tomorrow I can do it all over again!" — Jack London, author of The Call of the Wild
"Actually, cycling is not a sport. It’s closer to a film and literature. The riders are heroic figures. To understand [cycling], we need to look at the motives for creating road races in the first place – to sell newspapers and bicycles." — Herman Chevrolet, author of The Mystery of the First Yellow Jersey and Other Stories From the Tour de France
"If you look at cycling as a form of drama or fiction and explore possible scenarios, you will see an ever evolving masterpiece of human drama up there with the very best – Dante, Homer, Shakespeare, you name it. The great stage races and the spring classics have it all to match the very best of cinema and literature." — Herman Chevrolet, author of The Feast of Trickery and Deceit: A Sinister History of Cycling
"The French say ‘a bloc’. The English term is far more specific, ‘on the rivet’ The rivet in question is right on the nose of a leather saddle – it’s where you’ll sit, on the tip of the saddle, to give it everything and the art of riding flat out has been expressed this way for the past century." — Richard Hallett, bicycle builder
"The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it." — Doug Bradbury, former Colorado Springs resident and 1994 inductee into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
"Winter cycling is like teenage love. You dream about the pleasure, you remember the pain." — William Fotheringham, co-founder of Procycling magazine
"No doubt somewhere in the world it’s raining and cold, but Italian riders just don’t ride in the rain." — Massimo Casati, grandson of Pietro Casati, the winner of the 1913 Tour of Lombardy, third generation bike builder and owner of Casati Bicycles
"Work to Eat. Eat to Live. Live to Bike. Bike to Work." — A timeless slogan
“If I can bicycle, I bicycle.” – David Attenborough, English broadcaster, natural historian and author
"Cycling is unique in that in any other sport I'd be in a different weight category or discipline. What I do is a different sport to what Chris Froome does." — Mark Cavendish, 2x winner of the Tour de France points classification
"At first, cycling was denounced from the pulpit as a pastime on a par with drinking and gambling – deplorable at the best of times, and when indulged in on a Sunday, a sure road to hell." — Gurdon S. Leete
Quotes About Bike Racing, Racing Bikes and Winning Bike Races
"In the ideal bicycle race there would be only one finisher." — Henri Desgrange, first organizer of the Tour de France
"As long as one rider finishes the race, that’s enough for me." — Armando Cougnet, ideatore e patron del Giro d’Italia
"The race is won by the rider who can suffer the most" – Eddy Merckx, winner of 525 bike races in an 18-year cycling career
"A win is a win. Only you can win normally or you can win with panache." — Eddy Merckx, 1969 Tour de France champion and composer of a bravura performance in stage 17
"All that matters is to be first across the line." — Mark Cavendish, winner of a record 34 Tour de France stages
"Second doesn't mean anything in cycling." — Mark Cavendish, tied with Eddy Merckx for the most Tour de France stage wins (34)
"I did 264.9 kilometres perfectly, and then fucked it up in last hundred metres." — Roger Hammond, third in the 2004 Paris Roubaix sprint finish
"Every race is a war. Every race is a fight. If you don't go into every event with that belief, you will never achieve your goals." — Fabian Cancellara, 4x World Time Trial Champion
"Winning is a matter of training and tranquillity" — Alex Zulle, 2x Vuelta a España winner
"If you brake, you don’t win." — Mario Cipollini, winner of a record 42 Giro d'Italia stages
"I do it like Forrest Gump. When they told him to run, he ran. When they tell me to win, I win." — Peter Sagan, winner of 18 Grand Tour stages
"The biggest losers are those who care only about winning." — Lance Armstrong, Ironyman and 2012 Ironman 70.3 Hawaii winner
"When you get second place, you say 'I could have won it here, I could have won it there.' When you win, you never say anything; it’s finished." — Greg LeMond, 3x Tour de France winner
"I never think: 'If I crash, I'm going to hurt myself.' I might think: 'If I crash, I'm not going to win.' Everything's about that finish line." – Mark Cavendish, winner of 15 Giro d'Italia stages
"There will be a lot of complaining that today was too hard, but the winners never complain." – Phil Liggett, Tour de France commentator
"You don’t suffer, kill yourself and take the risks I take just for money. I love bike racing." — Greg LeMond, 2x World Road Race Champion
Cycling Quotes About Climbing
"In cycling, the pain bank must be full before you can start drawing interest. And in the mountains, you better be ready to make withdrawals." — Bob Roll, television sports commentator
"I've read that I flew up the hills and mountains of France. But you don’t fly up a hill. You struggle slowly and painfully up a hill, and maybe, if you work very hard, you get to the top ahead of everybody else." — Lance Armstrong, vacated winner of the stage 16 individual time trial up Alpe d'Huez in the 2004 Tour de France
"In reality, climbing mountains has always been more about feeling and sensations than doing as you are told by an electronic device or a know-it-all by the side of the road." — Robert Millar, 1984 Tour de France "King of the Mountains"
"One brutal acceleration might be enough, or it might take five or six, but when the elastic snaps and no one can follow any longer you’ll be on your own – and believe me, there’s nothing more a climber can ask for than dancing away at the head of the race alone. Alone against nature, no numbers involved." — Robert Millar, 1987 Giro d'Italia "King of the Mountains"
"The best that can be said of the hill climb is, as philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote of human life, that it is ‘nasty, brutish and short’." — Matt Seaton, author of The Escape Artist: Life From the Saddle
"Really steep climbs are not my forte, so I always dread that lowest gear because I figure, god, I'm doomed." — Juli Furtado, the first women's cross-country mountain bike world champion
Cycling Quotes About Sprinters and Sprinting
"In a sprint you make 100 decisions a second. What if X goes now and Y goes then? Should I take this gap or that one? You have to be sharp. Over time it becomes instinct." — Mark Cavendish, sprinter with more than 150 career wins
"You have to sprint on feeling, not thinking. You must have faith in yourself but you cannot think about it too much." — Jean-Paul Van Poppel, 1987 Tour de France points classification winner
"Sprinters don’t race for second place." — Phil Liggett, English cycling commentator
"I'm fascinated by the sprinters. They suffer so much during the race just to get to the finish, they hang on for dear life in the climbs, but then in the final kilometers they are transformed and do amazing things. It's not their force per se that impresses me, but rather the renaissance they experience. Seeing them suffer throughout the race only to be reborn in the final is something for fascination." — Miguel Indurain, winner of 10 Tour de France and four Giro d'Italia time trials
"Sprinters seem to have a serious allergy; an allergy to mountain roads." — Paul Sherwen, professional cyclist willing to suffer on grueling climbs
"That boy is absolutely full of beans." — Phil Liggett, professional cycling journalist
"It's incredible the muscle damage you do in a sprint. You don't see it after the line, because we're smiling. But if you see the tent that we're in straight afterwards, you just collapse." — Mark Cavendish, winner of the 2009 Milano-Sanremo
"You’ve got to hurt your body as long as possible. You’ve got a job to do – you have a sprinter behind you. You go and go until you can’t go anymore, then peel off and leave it up to the sprinter." — Paul Sherwen, television commentator, on the lead out for a sprinter
"They'll kick in the turbo; open the nitrogen and then Boom!" — Paul Sherwen, television commentator, on sprinters accelerating past the lead-out
Quotes About Bike Crashes
"Some people pay a thousand dollars for a tattoo. This scar cost me twenty grand." — Matt Hoffman, American BMX rider considered one of the best vert ramp riders in history
"Cycling is such a stupid sport. Next time you are in a car travelling at 40mph think about jumping out – naked. That’s what it’s like when we crash." — David Millar, fractured his collarbone in a crash in the 2012 E3 Harelbeke
"Crashing is never funny, but sometimes you can jump up, laugh at your stupidity, and go, ‘What the hell was that?’” — Jens Voigt, participant in an estimated 75 crashes during his cycling career
"With each crash we slowly lose the fearlessness of a child. Caution, which blossoms with maturity, has lengthened my career but may have cost me victories." — Michael Barry, raced professionally for 13 years (1999-2012)
"It all happened so fast. Someone slammed the brakes and there was no way to go, just straight into it." — Fabian Cancellara, 3x Ronde van Vlaanderen winner
"Who am I? Where am I? Oh yes-I'm at the Tour, so I should get on my bike and go. Where is my bike? " — Djamolidin Abdujaparov, 3x Tour de France points classification winner
"I felt good, then I crashed. That was it. Race over. It’s really disappointing. I’m a bit angry at the minute." — Geraint Thomas, first Welshman to wear the Tour de France's yellow jersey (2016) after crashing in stage 12 of the 2017 Giro d'Italia
"I don’t know what I’ve done to piss somebody upstairs off." - Geraint Thomas, finished eighth in the 2014 Tour de Flanders, after a crash
"Crashes are the worst thing because your wounds stick to you, so you are sweating into your road rash all day and when you try to sleep your wounds are sticking to the bed sheets. It is part of the job and we know the risks." — Mark Cavendish, 2011 World Road Race Champion
"No, I do not accept defeat here. I do not accept this." — Jens Voigt, on finishing stage 16 of the 2010 Tour de France after crashing
- What happens after you crash out of the Tour de France? — SBNation, 2019
Quotes About Pain and Suffering in Cycling
"Cycling is suffering.” — Fausto Coppi, the first rider to complete the Giro/Tour double (1949)
"Cyclists live with pain. If you can’t handle it you will win nothing." — Eddy Merckx, winner of 45% percent of the races he entered in 1971 despite not being the same after his 1969 omnium crash in Blois
"Cycling is so hard, the suffering is so intense, that it’s absolutely cleansing. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain… Once, someone asked me what pleasure I took in riding for so long. ‘Pleasure?’ I said. ‘I don’t understand the question.’ I didn’t do it for pleasure, I did it for pain." — Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor
"Beyond pain there is a whole universe of more pain." — Jens Voigt, hardman of the peloton
"Pain is still the friend that always tells me the truth." – Chris Froome, winner of seven Grand Tours
"He’s got to dig deeply into his suitcase of courage." — Phil Liggett, energetic voice of the Tour de France
"That what you get when you suffer — you get results." — Paul Sherwen, suffered in the pro peloton nine years (1978-1987)
"He’s riding into the abyss of a lactic acid crippling haze." — Bob Roll, dropped lactic acid in the pro peloton between 1985 and 1991
"The key is being able to endure psychologically. When you’re not riding well, you think, why suffer? Why push yourself for four or five hours? The mountains are the pinnacle of suffering.” — Greg LeMond, won the 1989 Tour de France by 8 seconds
"The more you can hurt yourself racing, the better the results you are going to get. So pain is a relative subject and you’ve got so many forms of pain. Obviously crashing is one pain and forcing yourself to hurt by riding fast is a different type of pain, and is a more enjoyable one as well." — Magnus Bäckstedt, 2004 Paris-Roubaix champion
"I become a happier man each time I suffer." — Lance Armstrong, vacated winner of seven Tours de France
"After I rode up the climb in the morning, without being able to pull on the bars, I got off my bike and said to the mechanic, 'Give me a tubular, I can pull on it with my teeth.'" — Fiorenzo Magni, winner of three consecutive Tours of Flanders (1949-1951)
"Cycling is quite a pure sport: it is mainly about suffering, whether you are climbing the Tourmalet, racing up Mont Ventoux, or trying to survive in Paris-Roubaix." — Bradley Wiggins, 2014 World Time Trial Champion
"Everybody tells me that I never look as if I’m suffering. But, when I watch videotapes of a race, I always remember the pain I had to endure." — Miguel Indurain, reigned supreme at the Tour de France for five consecutive years but cracked suddenly and unexpectedly on stage 7 of the 1996 Tour
"You can say that climbers suffer the same as the other riders, but they suffer in a different way. You feel the pain, but you're glad to be there." — Richard Virenque, 7x Tour de France "King of the Mountains"
"Sometimes, when we train, we simply have to go out to meet the Man with the Hammer." — Laurent Fignon, 2x Tour de France winner
"What is training but making pain seem routine? You work the body, yes, but the real point of training is to accustom the mind to endure discomfort: to know it, recognise it, lose your fear of it, tolerate it and even, finally, to learn to like it." — Matt Seaton, author of On Your Bike!: The Complete Guide to Cycling
"After the finish all the suffering turns to memories of pleasure, and the greater the suffering, the greater the pleasure. That is Nature’s payback to riders for the homage they pay her by suffering." — Tim Krabbe, author of The Rider
- Think You Understand 'The Rider'? Think Again. — Bicycling, 2017
Quotes About Attacks and Breakaways
“As long as I breathe, I attack” – Bernard Hinault, the first cyclist to win all three Grand Tours twice
"Baroudeurs aren’t always liked. 'Again!' the peloton says to itself when they attack. It is the baroudeurs who hand out leg ache." — Paul Fournel, Vélo
"The solo break or the small break, it’s… one of the most glorious ways to win a bike race. It’s pretty damn impressive in my mind." — Jens Voigt, winner of stage 13 in the 2006 Tour de France, 29 minutes and 58 seconds ahead of the main bunch
"A solo attack is just intuition, just feeling, nothing short of destiny that tells you to go for it."— Jacky Durand, won the 1992 Tour of Flanders champion after a 135 mile (217 km) breakaway
"It's really something to see, a climber waiting to attack. Any other sort of attack can be neutralized, but when a climber goes there's little the non-climbers can do" — Ralph Hurne, The Yellow Jersey
"If you go, you can either win or not win. If you don’t go for it, you definitely won’t win.” — Jens Voigt, second place in the 2005 Liège - Bastogne - Liège
"I lost far more than I won." — Jens Voigt, won 60 races in an 18-year cycling career
"If I get a chance one out of 10, that is so much better than zero percent chance when you just sit in the peloton and wait until you get slaughtered from the sprinters or you get killed from the climbers." — Jens Voigt, 2x winner of the Tour of Germany
"I would love to be a sprinter… one of those guys who can just sit in the pack all day long adjusting the gel in his hair! I’ve got to do it the other way, the hard way." — Jens Voigt, 2x Tour de France stage winner
"I attack, I get in the breaks – I always attacked on my own as an amateur. I like to be out in front, away from the crowd." — Sylvain Chavanel, 3x Tour de France stage winner
"I prefer to see a rider make eight attacks which come to nothing and a ninth which brings a win. This attitude gives cycling a good image." — Thomas Voeckler, 4x Tour de France stage winner
"I hardly ever win races, but I don’t often miss the break either – which is not much of a boast when you think about it. But I’d rather be there than not. To miss the break is the worst feeling in the world: to have to ride but for it no longer to mean anything. You die a little inside when that happens." — Matt Seaton, finished the 2008 East Midlands International Cicle Classic outside the time limit
"The cardinal sin in a break is not to do your share of the work. Likewise, to do more than your share of the work. One is dishonour, the other sheer stupidity." — Matt Seaton, author of Two Wheels: Thoughts From the Bike Lane
"The gap is tantalising, so easy to close with just a few kicks for a rider with fresh legs. But for you, with your seized muscles, it is a yawning chasm, an unbridgeable gulf." — Matt Seaton, contributing editor to Esquire
"After 120 kilometers my body said, 'ooh, ooh Jens! What were you thinking?'" — Jens Voigt, breakaway mainstay
Quotes About the Tour de France
"You have no idea what the Tour de France is. It's a calvary. And what's more, the way to the cross only had 14 stations — we've got 15." — Henri Pélissier, winner of the 1923 Tour de France
"You ever seen the baths at the finish? It's worth buying a ticket. You go in plastered with mud and you come out as white as a sheet. We're drained all the time by diarrhoea. Have a look at the water. We can't sleep at night. We're twitching as if we've got St Vitus's Dance. You see my shoelaces? They're leather, as hard as nails, but they're always breaking. So imagine what happens to our skin. And our toenails. I've lost six. They fall off a bit at a time all through the stage. They wouldn't treat mules the way we're treated. We're not weaklings, but my God, they treat us so brutally . . . One day they'll start putting lumps of lead in our pocket because God made men too light." — Henri Pélissier, 1923 Tour de France champion and outspoken campaigner for better conditions for cyclists
"There's no such thing as an easy stage." — Vincenzo Nibali, 2014 Tour de France champion
"The problem with being a Tour de France winner is you always have that feeling of disappointment if you don't win again. That's the curse of the Tour de France." — Greg LeMond, 3x Tour de France winner and 7th in 1991
"It's a love/hate relationship, and it's not until you come back that you remember how much you hate it." — Sean Yates, 12x Tour de France competitor
"The TDF is not the best place to come for a health retreat." — Paul Sherwen, 7x Tour de France competitor
"First week you feel good, the second week you lose strength. Third week, fucked." — Per Pedersen, 3x Tour de France finisher
"Something will happen to someone in the first week, it always does." — Geraint Thomas, 2018 Tour de France champion, a few days before he dislocated a shoulder in the 2021 Tour
"When you’re the oldest rider at the Tour de France, you really feel it." — Jens Voigt, completed four Tours de France in his forties
"Every Tour is a story, every one is a book, every day is a different chapter." — Paul Sherwen, 5x Tour de France finisher
"At the end of the day, one Tour de France stage win can make a rider's career." — Mark Cavendish, career maker 34 times over
"My job in the Tour is to get the sponsor's logo in the most prominent place." — Mark Cavendish, on-the-bike corporate spokescyclist at nine Tours de France
"You're all murderers!" — Octave Lapize to the Tour de France directors at the top summit of the Col de Tourmalet, 1910
"Their legs, like giant levers, will power onwards... their muscles will grind up the kilometers, their broad chests will heave with the effort of the struggle, their hands will cling to their handlebars; with their eyes they will observe each other ferociously; their backs will bend forward in unison for barbaric breakaways; their stomachs will fight against hunger, their brains against sleep. And at night a peasant waiting for them by a deserted road will see four demons passing by, and the noise of their desperate panting will freeze his heart and fill it with terror." — Henri Desgrange, first organizer of the Tour de France quoted by Les Woodland in Tourmen: The Men who Made the Tour de France
Quotes About the Yellow Jersey
"The Yellow Jersey is all about time. Time is a precious commodity. Time is the only mountain that can never be climbed. It is the only beast that man cannot conquer. The Yellow Jersey is our sports allegory for the struggle against time." — Bob Roll, 3x Tour de France participant
"Desgrange needed fifteen jersey in different sizes, and they had to be the same color, but the supplier only had that quantity in yellow, because yellow was his least popular color." — In A Race for Madmen by Chris Sidwells
"You're just keeping the jersey warm for the next rider." — Lance Armstrong, 83 days in yellow before being stripped of his Tour de France titles
"When I see pot-bellied cyclists wearing the 'maillot jaune,' it appals me." — Bernard Hinault, 75 days in the maillot jaune
"I wore the yellow jersey 96 times. It is the best memory of my career. It still gives me goosebumps." — Eddy Merckx, 85% of his six Tours de France was spent in the yellow jersey
"Wearing the Yellow Jersey is simply fantastic, magic, thrilling, it gives you wings." — Jens Voigt, wore the yellow jersey twice
"The Yellow Jersey, next to World Champion's Rainbow Jersey, is the highest possible trophy in cycling..." — Jens Voigt, on his first yellow jersey
- My First Yellow Jersey in the Tour de France — Jens Voigt, on the Silca blog
Quotes About Iconic Tour de France Climbs
"O, col Bayard, O, Tourmalet (...) next to Galibier you are worthless." — Henri Desgrange, "Father of the Tour de France" in a 1911 editorial titled "Act of Adoration"
"A long climb like Alpe d’Huez is like that Chinese burn, a gradual ratcheting up of the pain until you want to yell out. The Mûr is a blister that appears fast and quickly turns bloody." — Geraint Thomas, 2018 Tour de France champion and author of The Tour According to G
"Alpe d'Huez is the cathedral of climbs, where the angels, the climbers, come out. But it's not the hardest. That would be Mont Ventoux." — Bob Roll, raced to the top of Alpe d'Huez in two Tours de France
"The Ventoux is a god of Evil, to which sacrifices must be made. It never forgives weakness and extracts an unfair tribute of suffering." — Roland Barthes, French philosopher and avid bicycle racing fan
"A true Molach [Ventoux], a despot of cyclists . . . It never pardons the weak and exacts an unjust tribute of suffering." — Roland Barthes, hyperbolic cycling fan and author of Mythologies
"Physically, the Ventoux is dreadful. Bald, it's the spirit of Dry: Its climate (it is much more an essence of climate than a geographic place) makes it a damned terrain, a testing place for heroes, something like a higher hell."- Roland Barthes, French essayist and cycling philosopher
"Joux-Plane is a nightmare of a climb, one of the most solid climbs in the world of cycling." – Richie Porte, 2021 Critérium du Dauphiné winner
“Nineteen hundred meters up there is completely different from 1,900 any place else. There's no air, there's no oxygen. There's no vegetation, there's no life. There's no life. Rocks. Any other climb there's vegetation, grass and trees. Not there on the Ventoux. It's more like the moon than a mountain." — Lance Armstrong, second place (vacated) in stage 12 (Ventoux) of the 2000 Tour de France
Classic Cycling Quotes About the Classics
Quotes About Paris-Roubaix
"This wasn’t a race. It was a pilgrimage!" — Henri Pélissier, 2x Paris-Roubaix winner speaking of his 1919 victory
"If one wants to make the list of great champions, a win in Roubaix is a must." — Fausto Coppi, 1950 Paris-Roubaix champion
"Paris Roubaix est une connerie!" (“Paris Roubaix is bullshit!") — Bernard Hinault, after winning in Paris-Roubaix in 1981
"Paris-Roubaix is a horrible race to ride but the most beautiful one to win." — Sean Kelly, 2x Paris-Roubaix winner
"What have we done to deserve being sent to hell? It’s an obscenity." — Bernard Hinault, raced Paris-Roubaix only once after winning in 1981
"Paris-Roubaix starts like a party and ends like a bad dream." — Guy Lagorce, journalist for L'Équipe
"Paris-Roubaix is the best race in the world… Getting to the velodrome — whether I am the winner or the last one — everything will end there, that’s all I want." — Bradley Wiggins, 2012 Tour de France champion
"A Paris–Roubaix without rain is not a true Paris–Roubaix. Throw in a little snow as well, it’s not serious." — Sean Kelly, a cyclist willing to suffer, narrowly focused, and hard, hard, hard
"This [Arenberg] isn’t where you win Paris-Roubaix but it’s where you can lose it.” – Eddy Merckx, 9x non-winner and 3x winner of Paris-Roubaix
"Arenberg is like a descent into the coal mine. If you start to think of the danger you won’t even go there." – Jean Stablinski, 9x finisher of Paris-Roubaix
"What a race! Never in my life have I swallowed so much dust!" — Henri Cornet, after winning Paris-Roubaix in 1906
"If you arrive in front on the first cobblestones, it’s as though you have won a stage. From then on, you have no more time to think about anything." — Walter Godefroot, 1969 Paris-Roubaix winner
"Guys would kill their mothers to be among the first." – Stephen Roche, one of only two cyclists to win the Triple Crown of Cycling, on the battle to be at the front for the first sector of pavé
"When the big boys hit the cobblestones, I never stopped telling myself, ‘You’ve got to let yourself go like a vagabond’, so I didn’t budge from my position." — Frédéric Guesdon, 1997 Paris-Roubaix winner
"If it’s raining you bring that final sprint that’s usually reserved for the finish line forward by 160 kilometers, when the race hits the first sector of cobbles. If you’re at the front then you’re out of the way of the destruction that follows behind." — Andreas Klier, EF Education First director sportif for the 2019 Paris-Roubaix
"Under the shower you hear the swearing. 'This shitty race, I’ll never come back.' But once they’ve left that room it becomes 'Wow, what a race!'" — Cyrille Guimard, directeur sportif for seven Tour de France victories
"When I stand in the showers in Roubaix, I actually start the preparation for next year." — Tom Boonen, winner of Paris-Roubaix a record four times (tied)
"I’m the world cyclo cross champion, but if someone had suggested holding a race of that discipline on this route, I would have refused. At twenty-seven, I’m too young to die." — Roger De Vlaeminck, 4x winner of Paris-Roubaix, after winning in 1974
"The race is all about surviving, surviving, surviving; I know I didn’t feel great, but maybe others felt worse." — Tom Boonen, 2009 Paris-Roubaix winner
"Once more it’s been proven that you can’t win a race by sticking on someone’s wheel." — Tom Boonen, after winning Paris-Roubaix in 2009 by 47 seconds
"I am made for this race. But does she want me?" — Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle, raced Paris-Roubaix 17 times, winning twice
"Every rider who starts wants to finish it, even for position 90 they sprint. It’s a very special day. I’ve been fighting for years to win this race." — Sep Vanmarcke, second in the 2013 Paris-Roubaix, speaking in advance of the 2019 race
"The route is not responsible for your problems. It’s you and you alone. If you did not properly prepare for your campaign, you cannot win. You must think, live, eat, and sleep Paris-Roubaix. It must become obsessive." — Marc Madiot, 2x Paris-Roubaix winner
"Paris-Roubaix is the last test of madness that the sport of cycling puts before its participants…. A hardship approaching the threshold of cruelty." — Jacques Goddet, director of the Tour de France (1936-1986)
"It’s because the conditions are so tough that they can break riders and they can smash dreams. And that’s what we want, we want this uncertainty." — Jørgen Leth, director of A Sunday in Hell, a documentary about the 1976 Paris-Roubaix
"Experience is priceless in Paris-Roubaix. There’s probably only 10 guys in the peloton thinking they can win. A lot of guys are just happy to finish, a lot of guys are happy to get to the first feed zone. And if it’s raining, a lot of guys will have already lost the race before the start…" — Stuart O'Grady, 2007 Paris-Roubaix winner
"I proved to myself that I was a man, because I suffered, but I still finished. I finished." — Christian Raymond, after finishing twenty minutes behind 1961 champion Rik Van Looy
"Probably I’m just not made from the right mould for Paris-Roubaix. My time in Roubaix ’07 was actually one of the most honest and stark realisations of my cycling career." — Julian Dean, completed the 2007 Paris-Roubaix outside the time limit
"At the end of Roubaix, you feel like you do at the end of a three-week Grand Tour. I love it." — Ian Stannard, 8x finisher of Paris-Roubaix
"It seemed romantic but also tragic – people would be winning but then lose it all, or crash but fight on, break bones but get back on their bikes and try to finish. Just getting to the end was seen as an achievement in itself." — David Millar, 2014 Paris-Roubaix finisher
"Half of my men were lying on their backs and the other half were on their stomachs." — Cyrille Guimard, described by cycling journalist William Fotheringham as the greatest directeur sportif in the history of the Tour de France
"Racing Paris-Roubaix is one of the only times of year when I get on a plane and I have butterflies in the stomach. There aren’t many races that do that to me." — Matti Breschel, 10x starter of Paris-Roubaix in advance of the 2019 race
"Paris-Roubaix is the last folly cycling offers it followers." — Jacques Goddet, Paris-Roubaix race director, 1968
"It’s a circus, and I don’t want to be one of the clowns." — Chris Boardman, raced in five Monuments but never started Paris-Roubaix
"The best I could do would be to describe it like this — they ploughed a dirt road, flew over it with a helicopter, and then just dropped a bunch of rocks out of the helicopter. That’s Paris–Roubaix. It’s that bad. It’s ridiculous." — Chris Horner, started 14 classics but never Paris-Roubaix
"While the Tour of Flanders is also famous for its cobbles, the pavé in Paris–Roubaix is bigger and even rougher. Imagine riding down a riverbed in a shopping cart, at over 50 kph in places, and that will give you some idea of the sensation." — Mark Cavendish, 30th in the 2016 Paris-Roubaix
"It’s a bollocks, this race! You’re working like an animal, you don’t have time to piss, you wet your pants. You’re riding in mud like this, you’re slipping … it’s a pile of shit."— Theo de Rooij, after crashing in the 1985 Paris-Roubaix and losing his chance of winning
"It’s the most beautiful race in the world!" — Theo de Rooij, after crashing in the 1985 Paris-Roubaix and calling the race "a pile of shit"
"I don’t believe that Paris-Roubaix is a race that any rider truly likes. There’s nothing enjoyable about it except the fact that it’s the world’s most famous one-day race." — Julian Dean, 7x non-finisher of Paris-Roubaix
"There’s always fucking mud and cow shit all over the roads. I’m pretty sure the farmers do it deliberately. They plough the fields and then drive along the cobbles, just knowing that we’re there the following day." — Roger Hammond, 9x starter and 3x Top 10 finisher in Paris-Roubaix
Quotes About The Tour of Flanders
"As a Belgian, winning Flanders for the first time is far more important than wearing the maillot jaune in the Tour.” — Johan Museeuw, "The Lion of Flanders", 3x Ronde van Vlaanderen Champion, wore the maillot jaune for five days in the 1993 and 1994 Tours de France
"The Tour of Flanders is more than a national holiday for us. It’s one of the most important days in Flanders in the year." — Stijn Vermoere, Ronde van Vlaanderen event coordinator
"It was five-and-a-half hours of concentrating, being in the right place at the right time but it can all go in 10 seconds." — Geraint Thomas, 2x Ronde van Vlaanderen top 10 finisher, finished 41st in the 2013 Ronde van Vlaanderen
Quotes About Milano-Sanremo
"This race is a monument of the sport, from the past, present and future. Sanremo isn’t only a race – it’s a journey that delivers a feeling of freedom. The excitement ahead of the event thrills us." — Andrea Monti, La Gazzetta dello Sport editor-in-chief
"They say Milan-San Remo is a lottery . . . that's not true. You've got to be good, arrive well on the Poggio and not crash in the sprint." — Fernando Gaviria, 5x Giro d'Italia stage winner
"Have you ever heard of someone winning the lottery seven times?" — Eddy Merckx, 7x winner of Milano-Sanremo
"It's the race I've always dreamed about; the most beautiful day of my life." — Filippo Pozzato, 2006 Milano-Sanremo vincitore
Quotes About The Giro di Lombardia
"I understand the Ghisallo can no longer guarantee a selection, but frankly this goes way too far in the opposite sense. This climb [Sormano] is simply beastly, impossible to ride. " — Ercole Baldini, 2x top 10 finisher in Il Lombardia
Quotes About Cyclists
"Coppi? Is he the one we followed in the Giro del Piemonte? The guy who is as skinny as an asparagus? He doesn’t lack courage, I’ll give you that, but I think he’s kind of fragile"” — Gino Bartali, "The Man of Iron", winner of the 1939 Giro del Piemonte
"I should never have agreed to start in this Tour with him as a teammate, if I can call him that. He is not there to help me but to watch me… It’s just like having a traitor in our group. It makes me sick. The presence of Bartali is a terrible handicap to me." — Fausto Coppi, 2x winner of the Tour de France
"On a bike Fausto was like a god. When he got off he was a mortal, but when he pedaled he was supernatural. His suppleness, his form, this plastic in motion constituted a complete spectacle." — Gino Bartali, 2x winner of the Tour de France
"On the continent of Europe it is said that 21 July 1969 was an important day in world history. For two reasons. A man called Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and a man called Eddy Merckx won his first Tour de France." — David Walsh, The Agony and the Ecstasy
"Do not touch. He is a god." — Sports Minister General Antonelli, trying to disperse the crowd after Gino Bartali won the 1937 Tour de France
"It would be dangerous to follow Ottavio Bottecchia up a mountain pass. It would be suicidal. His climbing is so powerful and regular that we would end up asphyxiated." — Nicolas Frantz, winner of the 1927 and 1928 Tours de France
"The only reason to follow Nencini downhill would be if you had a death wish." — Raphaël Géminiani, Top 10 finisher in each Grand Tour in 1955
"Those boys hurt themselves beyond belief to entertain us on television." — Phil Liggett, Tour de France television commentator
"Eddy and I complemented each other. I was the speed, he was the strength, and we were friends. That was very important. And he was always very motivated for the win. Every time. As was I." — Patrick Sercu, record holder for the number of six-day track race victories (88), several with Eddy Merckx
"Jens Voigt, the biggest legs, the biggest heart, the biggest engine." — Paul Sherwen, cycling commentator with the biggest love for the sport
"When Lance first turned professional, it was like trying to put a hand brake on a raging bull." — Paul Sherwen, commentated on cycling for 33 years
"Marianne Vos is, in my opinion, the greatest currently active rider and one of cycling’s GOATS." – Mark Cavendish, called "the greatest sprinter in the history of the Tour and of cycling" by Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, 2021
"He's [Federico Bahamontes] a very good climber but completely mad." — Jesús Loroño, 1953 Tour de France "King of the Mountains, Five years later, Bahamontes somehow won the Tour.
"He almost lost his manhood on the crossbar." — Paul Sherwen, Tour de France commentator, on Lance Armstrong's musette-caused crash in stage 15 of the 2003 Tour de France
"I always thought Mario Cipollini was difficult to beat but I think Cipollini would have found it very hard against Cavendish. " — Eddy Merckx, a man who knows something about winning bike races
"I’ve pushed [Greg LeMond] as hard as I can, sparing him nothing, to put him under maximum pressure. If he doesn’t buckle, that means he’s a champion and deserves to win the race." — Bernard Hinault, finished second in the 1986 Tour de France to his La Vie Claire teammate, Greg LeMond
"It’s not a triumph. It’s an orgy. The Tour de France is becoming a personal exhibition for one phenomenal talent." — Orio Vergani, in Corriere della Sera, about Fausto Coppi on Alpe d'Huez in 1952
- Coppi Christens Alpe d'Huez — Cyclist, 2021
Cycling Quotes From Pro Cyclists
Eddy Merckx Quotes
Eddy Merckx: The winningest cyclist in history with 525 victories in an 18-year cycling career. A virtuoso Grand Tour competitor with a record 34 Tour de France stage wins, 25 Giro d'Italia stage wins and six Vuelta a España stages. 11x Grand Tour champion, tied for the most Giro d'Italia and most Tour de France victories (five each). Eighty-five percent of his six Tours de France was spent in the yellow jersey. The greatest single-day racer of all time. — winner of all five Monuments, at least two times each, 3x World Road Race Champion, former World Hour Record holder and 7x winner of the Milano-Sanremo "lottery."
"Ride as much or as little, as long or as short as you feel. But ride."
"Don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades."
"The most important thing is that you're the best of your generation and I can say that I was."
"I didn't win any bunch sprints. But I won in solo breakaways, I won time-trials, I won in the mountains."
"You need talent as a rider and I think I had that in my genes. But I think I also had a talent for suffering, which I thought was important, but also determination."
"Sometimes it’s strange being me. I travel the world meeting people, I’m surrounded with friends and my life is full, but all the time I am confronted by a young man I have nothing in common with. He is me, but he is not me now. In fact I have been me now for longer than I was him, but no one wants to know about me."
Gino Bartali Quotes And Fausto Coppi Quotes
Gino Bartali: 3x Giro d’Italia champion. 2x Tour de France champion — 10 years apart (1938 and 1948). 4x Italian National Champion, 3x victor in the Giro di Lombardia, and 4x winner of Milan-San Remo.
Fausto Coppi: 2x Tour de France champion and 5x Giro d'Italia champion, claimed both in the same year on two occasions. World Champion, Hour Record Holder, and 3x victor of Milan-San Remo. He won the Giro di Lombardia five times and included victories in Paris-Roubaix and La Flèche Wallonne in his palmarès.
"Good is something you do, not something you talk about. Some medals are pinned to your soul, not to your jacket." — Gino Bartali, three-time Giro d’Italia champion and two-time Tour de France champion, also known for his efforts to aid Jewish prisoners while serving in World War II
"Everyone in their life has his own particular way of expressing life’s purpose – the lawyer his eloquence, the painter his palette, and the man of letters his pen from which the quick words of his story flow. I have my bicycle." — Gino Bartali
"Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill." — Fausto Coppi
Quotes From Mark Cavendish
Mark Cavendish: Professional cyclist since 2005, currently rides for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, considered one of the greatest road sprinters of all time — 2011 World Road Race Champion, third on the list for most Grand Tour stage victories (52), winner of a record tying 34 stages in the Tour de France along with 15 Giro d'Italia stages and three Vuelta a España stages, first person to win on the Champs-Élysées in four consecutive Tours de France, owner of two Tour de France green jerseys won 10 years apart (2011 and 2021), points classification winner in the 2010 Vuelta and 2013 Giro and 2009 Milano-Sanremo champion.
"I'm pretty happy with my career."
"I'm 100% a sprinter... an old school one, not one of these new guys that can climb and sprint."
"At the end of the day I want to be the first rider across that finish line and I'll just find the quickest and easiest way to do it."
"My wife is so hot so I don't care it I lose every stage of the 2015 Tour to Kittle. Yea, he's got cool hair but my wife is super hot."
"I'd love to have my achievements recognised and for people to know enough about cycling to understand what my achievements mean."
Quotes From Jens Voigt
Jens Voigt: German former professional road bicycle racer (1997-2014), winner of the Critérium International a record-tying five times, owner of three Tour de France stage victories and tied for the second-most Tour de France starts (17), former Hour Record holder (51.110 km), the embodiment of sacrifice and selflessness, a generation’s most aggressive cyclist, a breakaway mainstay and a synonym for pain and suffering in cycling.
"Every time I race, I will race so fiercely my legs cry."
"Apart from the fact that I can move the bike fast, I am basically Joe Average."
"If it hurts me, it must hurt the other ones twice as much."
"What do I have in my cards? The desire to win and a fairly big engine, that’s about it."
"I found out that my chances increase if I put everybody through the meat grinder, including myself."
"The more sticky the race get, the more like nasty and vicious the race went, bad weather, hilly terrain, small shitty roads, the better it was for me."
"Whatever makes the race wet and sticky is good for me."
"Oh, you poor thing, you’ve got no chance, you’re already beaten."
"You’re all beaten. I am just laughing at you."
"I get paid to hurt people. How good is that?"
"If you try to win, you might lose, but if you don’t try to win, you lose for sure!"
"In all honesty, I hate half wheelers."
Fun Quips About Jens Voigt
Jens Voigt rides so fast during attacks, that he could circle the globe, hold his own wheel, and ride in his own draft. At least as long as he didn’t try to drop himself.
Jens attacked so hard on a climb the other day he dropped Andy Schleck’s chain!
Scientists used to believe that diamond was the world’s hardest substance. But then they met Jens Voigt.
Jens Voigt doesn’t read books. He simply attacks until the books relent and tell him everything he wants to know.
If Jens Voigt was a country, his principal exports would be Pain, Suffering, and Agony.
If Jens Voigt was a planet, he’d be the World of Hurt.
The first time man split the atom was when the atom cracked trying tried to hold Jens Voigt’s wheel.
Jens Voigt climbs so well for a big guy because he doesn’t actually climb hills; the hills slink into the earth in fear as they see him approach.
I Cinque Giri: The Five Laps
Inspired by the 2-5-10 Century in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, the 719 Ride has been taking cyclists on a merry-go-round of laps since 2016.
Originally imagined as five laps with at least 7,190' of elevation gain in 71.9 miles, I Cinque Giri (e sheen-kway gee-ree) translates literally from Italian to The Five Laps.
Giri (gee-ree) comes from the Italian verb girare (gee-RAH-ray), which means "to turn." Hence the Giro d'Italia is not a Tour of Italy, like its yellow-jersey predecessor "tours" France as La Grande Boucle, The Big Loop. Il Giro is a "turn" of Italy, one lap or round of La Bell'Italia.
Over the course of its five laps, I Cinque Giri takes riders on a grand tour of repetition and elevates riders to heights both new and familiar.
Rise up for the next-level of climbing lunacy, and register for I Cinque Giri today. Then purchase a commemorative poster to celebrate and honor your effort.
A Colorado Springs Original
First conceived and ridden in 2016, the 719 Ride aspires to be a bicycle event that contributes to the culture and community of Colorado Springs. The 719 Ride hopes to ride in the draft of the many existing and long-established Colorado cycling events we all love and to become a positive part of the Colorado Springs tradition and identity. FORZA Colorado Springs!