369 Quintessential Cycling Quotes

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.

Shift your Campagnolo Super Record to your biggest gear and get where you want to go fast.

Black 719ride.com logo

"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

"When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments." — Elizabeth West, author of Hovel in the Hills

"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

"A bicycle stays up because it has to. It has nothing to do with science." — Phil Wood, a maker of high quality bicycle parts

"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

Return to the top

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—the sport of the century—mechanization which, together with the marvelous nature of man, triumphs over time and space." — La Gazzetta dello Sport, newspaper that first organized the Giro d'Italia

"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

"There are three ways to pedal a bike. With the legs, with the lungs, or with the heart." — Mandible Jones, author of Carpet Particles short story collection

"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

"You are one ride away from a good mood." — Sarah Bentley, British cyclist

"You not bike rider, you nobody." — Eddie Borysewicz (Eddie B), cycling coach that directed the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team to nine medals in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics

"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

"Most bicyclists in New York City obey instinct far more than they obey traffic laws." — New Yorker

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

"If I had been born with an aggressive character, then maybe my palmarès would have been longer." — Miguel Indurain, 5x Tour de France winner who never won a Monument

"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, third on GC in the 1984 Tour de France

"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

"If I crash, I crash. If not, I should win." — Missy Giove, 11x World Cup winner

"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 in general, and racing in particular, has a way of ordering and fulfilling our lives. When we get into cycling, we inherit a point of view, a perception, and attitude toward life." — Owen Mulholland, the first American journalist to follow the Tour de France from the caravan

"The racer raises cycling to an aesthetic. He or she gives our sport its heroes and mythology." — James McCullagh, founding editor of Bicycling Magazine

"Bike racing is art. Art is driven by passion, by emotions, by unknowns thoughts. The blood that pumps through my veins is stirred by emotion. It's the same for every athlete. And that's why we do this." — Chris Carmichael, 2x Coors Classic stage winner

"Men invented war so they could be among themselves. In peacetime, they have bike racing." — Gabriele Rolin, cycling writer

"At three in the morning of a 24-hour race, nothing is hidden." — John Stamstad, Ultra-Marathon Cycling Association 24 Hour Off-Road World Record Holder

"That feeling—the finish line, the last couple of meters—is what motivates me." — Lance Armstrong, motivated to come out of retirement to compete in the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France

"I guess I just have bigger ovaries." — Missy Giove, 2x World Cup overall champion

"When I get in a race, I'm nobody's friend." — Davis Phinney, winner of 15 Coors Classic stages

"I’m the reference point. If they beat me, they win." — Miquel Indurain, won the Tour de France five years in a row (1991 - 1995)

"I don’t need to win by three or four minutes. I just want to make it across that finish line first—three minutes, three second, three one-hundredths-of-a-second, it’s all the same, really." — Tinker Juarez, 3x NORBA national cross-country champion

"It is important to win, but more than anything it is important to always be at the front, to be a factor in every race, to be somebody that everybody respects and looks for." — Francesco Moser, winner of 23 Giro d'Italia stages

"I race to win, not to please people." — Bernard Hinault, winner of 28 Tour de France stages

"I never raced to break records. I raced to enjoy myself." — Bernard Hinault,  setter of many new cycling records

"They're paid to ride for me, not be my friends." — Laurent Fignon, 1989 Giro d'Italia Champion

"I won because I was smarter. Gianetti was stronger, but I was smarter. It’s important to race with your head." — Johan Museeuw, won the 1996 World Road Race Championship in a sprint, after sitting in behind Mauro Gianetti on the last lap

"A win will make a big head even bigger." — Gert Jakobs, won stage 5 of the 1983 Tour of Sweden

"People were sick of me winning—I don’t blame them. It’s hard when you win all the time, because then winning isn’t special anymore." — Juli Furtado, 1991 VeloNews U.S. Woman of the Year

"The real race is not on the hot, paved roads, the torturous off-road course or the smooth-surfaced velodrome. It is in the electrochemical pathways of your mind." — Alexi Grewal, 1984 Olympic Road Race Champion

"Machines don’t break records. Muscles do." — Lon Haldeman, 1982 and 1983 Race Across America winner

Return to the top

Cycling Quotes About Climbing

"Climbing is the forge. It hardens you or breaks you, and you usually won't know which until you feel the fire." — Bill Strickland, Rider-in-Chief of Bicycling magazine

"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

"You want to be like a carpet unrolling. Get faster as the climb goes on." — Chris Carmichael, head coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Cycling Team

"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

"Anyone who imagines they can work alone winds up surrounded by nothing but rivals, without companions. The fact is, no one ascends alone." — Lance Armstrong, paced up the mountains by a cadre of climbers some of who also had victories vacated

"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

"Getting up at six and racing up a col from the gun is a bitch." — Jacky Durand, 3x Tour de France stage winner

"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

"If You never confront climbs, you're missing the essences of the sport." — Betsy King, 2x Tour de France féminin stage winner

"I had been familiar with that street for years, and had supposed it was dead level: But it was not, as the bicycle now informed me to my surprise." — Mark Twain, author and humorist who could fall off a bicycle in many different ways

Return to the top

Cycling Quotes About Descending

"It's not the fastest rider who wins a downhill, it's the one who gets to the bottom in the shortest time." — Greg Herbold, 3x NORBA National Downhill Champion

"When in doubt, gas it!" — Greg Herbold, 1990 World Mountain Bike Downhill Champion

"The downhill's a short, one hundred percent sprint with one hundred percent concentration." — John Tomac, 1988 NORBA World Champion

"Attaining a flow state—that's your goal when descending." — Missy Giove, 2016 inductee into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame

"There's no athletic ability needed to descend, jut an iron nerve and the ability to really control a bike." — Ralph Hurne, The Yellow Jersey

"If you can't beat them up the hill, you have to find a way to beat them on the way down." — Steve Hegg, 1994 U.S. National Road Race Champion

Return to the top

Cycling Quotes About Sprinters and Sprinting

"A stage racer practically lives on the bike. The sprinter truly lives for only a few minutes." — Davis Phinney, second American to win a stage of the Tour de France

"Sprinting is like chess on wheels, you work out how to be the strongest and fastest on the road." — Mark Cavendish, a grandmaster sprint champion

"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

Return to the top

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

“The vein! The vein!” — Giovannino Corrieri, faithful Gregorio to Gino Bartali, signaling Bartali to attack Fausto Coppi in the 1948 Giro d’Italia

"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

"When you make a move, even if you realize it’s the wrong move, go with it. I’ve lost races because I started a move then stopped." — Connie Paraskevin-Young, 4x track sprint world champion

"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

Return to the top

Quotes About Bike Crashes

"The way you learn, is you go around a corner and crash. Then you know that's too fast so the next time you go a little slower." — Ron Kiefel, first American to win a stage in a Grand Tour

"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

"Crashing is part of cycling as crying is part of love." — Johan Museeuw, shattered his kneedcap in a crash on the Arenberg cobbles in the 1998 Paris-Roubaix

"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

"Ka-pow! In the Tour de France sometimes you are the windshield and sometimes you are the bug." — Bob Roll, cycling analyst who hosted the World Cycling Productions' DVD Crash! Road Cycling's Greatest Crashes

"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

"Falling comes easy to all of us, but falling properly is an art." — Chris Carmichael, founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems

"The problem is that yoiu can be wounded in your mind as well as your physique." — Marco Pantani, 1998 Tour de France and Giro d'Italia Champion

"If you want to be a pro, you should expect pain. Over and over. Be prepared for some serious soil sampling." — Myles Rockwell, winner of the 2000 UCI Downhill World Championships

"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

"If you're crashing a lot, you're just being stupid." — Greg Herbold, 1996 inductee into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame

"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

Return to the top

Quotes About Pain and Suffering in Cycling

"Cycling is suffering." — Fausto Coppi, the first rider to complete the Giro/Tour double (1949)

"You can’t win without suffering. Whether it’s in the mountains or in a time trial, you have to spare no effort. You may feel drained at the finish, but the joy of winning helps you forget everything." — Bernard Hinault, winner of eight Grand Tours

"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

"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

"I don’t want to die riding a bicycle. I prefer to give up." — Jacques Anquetil, first cyclist to win the Tour de France five times

"Beyond pain there is a whole universe of more pain." — Jens Voigt, hardman of the peloton

"It’s always better to be on the giving end of pain, than to be on the receiving end of it." — Chris Boardman, 1994 World Time Trial Champion, as related by Jens Voigt to Geraint Thomas

"Pain is still the friend that always tells me the truth." – Chris Froome, winner of seven Grand Tours

“When my legs hurt, I say: 'Shut up legs! Do what I tell you to do!'" – Jens Voigt, know for epic-riding , brute-force efforts of cycling suffering

"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 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

"In the last seven years, I've had four months that I felt good. And in those four months I won two Tours de France and the world championships. But in the rest of those years I've just been struggling." — Greg LeMond, retired in 1994 as a 3x Tour de France champion and 2x World Road Race champion

"Never forget that the winners are the one who can suffer best. It's the no-hopers who cannot suffer. The inability to suffer is almost always the real reason riders do not succeed in our sport. He who can suffer best has the best chance to get to the top." — Charles Ruys, race promoter

"I don’t fail to finish because I’m physically not up to it, but because I get mentally tired." — Mario Cipollini, never chose to complete the mountain stages in the Tour de France or Vuelta a España

"It was the first time in my career that I've finished in the laughing group. I saw the ass of guys whom I have never seen the face of." — Alex Zülle, 2x Vuelta a España champion

"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

Return to the top

Quotes About Training

"To know if the weather is too bad for training, put on your gear, go train, and you’ll know when you get back." — Sean Kelly, 2x champion of Paris Roubaix and Milan-San Remo

"It’s a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired." — Fausto Coppi, 5x Giro d’Italia champion and 2x Tour de France winner

"You had to be strong in the head... training, training and training. That is the only way, even if you have big talent." — Eddy Merckx, 11x Grand Tour champion

"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

"You can’t train luck." — Eddie Borysewicz (Eddie B), U.S. cycling coach

"Train your weakness and race your strength." — Chris Carmichael, U.S. Men’s Road Cycling team coach for the 1992 Olympic Games

"Training is like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the mountain only to have it roll back to the bottom. But if you do everything right, you get to balance the rock at the top one day a year." — Dave Scott, the first 6x Ironman Triathlon Hawaii champion

"I don’t train. I just get anaerobic on the weekends and recover during the week." — Shaun Palmer, 1999 NORBA Downhill Dual Slalom Champion

"Compare yourself to yourself. That’s the most satisfying way to achieve improvement." — Mary Jane Reoch, cycling coach and 1975 world pursuit silver medalist

"Power. Think about the word. It’s what separates casual riders from the elite. You can be a precision bike handler, a wheelsucker extraordinaire, an elegant pedaler–but if you can’t crank when the crunch comes, you’ll be left behind." — Fred Matheny, cycling writer and coach

“By mid-March, you should be living in the big chainring.” — John Cobb, aerodynamic expert and cycling coach

"I learned the old school of cycling, where the more it hurts the better." — Jörg Müller, 1985 Tour de Romandie Champion

"Most recreational riders tend to cycle the same all the time: too hard most days, and too easy on hard days." — Michele Ferrari, cycling team doctor

"The training I like to do is go hard when you can, and when you do go hard you go as hard as you can." — Alex Stieda, first North American to wear the yellow jersey

"I give people permission to go slow. The body need lots of low-intensity training with focused high-intensity work." — Tom Ehrhard, cycling coach

"Rest is second in importance to hard work. Without hard work, no results. But without rest, no results." — Eddie Borysewicz (Eddie B), 1996 inductee into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame for contributions made to cycling

"When I work out I make sure that I hurt. If there’s no discomfort in it I ask myself why the hell I’m doing it." — Carol Waters, 1992 Mountain Bike Veteran Cross-Country World Champion

"You’ve got to rest as hard as you train." — Roger Young, cycling coach and 1973 National Sprint Champion

"The Tour is won in bed." — Anonymous wisdom

"I’ll wait for global warming before I’ll ride a wind trainer through an entire winter. It’s like pedaling through a huge bowl of oatmeal while someone takes the Jaws of Life to your bicycle. Not to mention the added tortures of not going anywhere, not seeing anything, and annoying your family by simulating the real-life sounds of a tornado in your own home.” — Christopher Koch, cycling writer commenting on world without Zwift, Rouvy and iFit

"I try to take care of myself by eating really well, avoiding sugar and soda and junk . . . If I didn’t have that goddamn latte I wanted for three months, then I deserve to win the goddamn race." — Missy Giove, 3x NORBA overall downhill champion

Return to the top

Quotes About Doping in Cycling

"You'd have to be an imbecile or hypocrite to imagine that a professional cyclist who rides 235 days a year can hold himself together without stimulants " — Jacques Anquetil, winner of eight Grand Tours

"We suffer on the road. But do you want to see how we keep going? Wait...'
From his bag Henri takes a phial.
"That, that's cocaine for our eyes and chloroform for our gums..."
"Here," said Ville, tipping out the contents of his bag, "horse liniment to keep my knees warm. And pills? You want to see the pills?" They got out three boxes apiece.
"In short," said Francis, "we run on dynamite."
— Henri Pélissier, Francis Pélissier and Maurice Ville speaking with journalist Albert Londres after abandoning the Tour de France in 1924

"My strength wasn’t really in my muscles; it was inside my blood, in those bags." – Tyler Hamilton, author of The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-Ups, and Winning at All Costs

"We would get wired for the end of a race. What we called ‘la bomba,” the bomb bottle, we usually carried in the hip pocket of our shorts. Basically it was strong coffee, espresso, and guys would doctor it with amphetamines. Guys would start sipping on this after the halfway point in the race, and if you were doing well, then you take a whole bunch of it." — Mike Hiltner, U.S. pro on racing in Europe in the 60s

"The top riders are obliged to be fresh each time and they can’t do that without stimulants. Nobody could or ever will be able to do that because there are no such things as supermen. Doping is necessary in cycling." — Rik van Steenbergen, 3x world road race champion

"For 50 years bike racers have been taking stimulants. Obviously we can do without them in a race, but then we will pedal 15 miles an hour (instead of 25). Since we are constantly asked to go faster and to make even greater efforts, we are obliged to take stimulants" — Jacques Anquetil, fifth greatest cyclist of all-time as ranked by Peloton Legends

"Leave me in peace, everybody takes dope." — Jacques Anquetil, winner of 16 Tour de France stages

"I do not wish to hear spoken the word doping. Rather, one must say 'treating yourself,' and speak of treatments that are not appropriate for ordinary mortals. You cannot compete in the Tour de France on mineral water alone." – Jacques Anquetil, competed successfully in the Tour de France numerous times

"Imagine someone telling you that by taking a certain drug you could win a single event and be three times richer, famous for life in your country—and it won’t hurt anyone. What would you say? There’s a wide range of ethics among riders." — Ned Overend, 6x NORBA Cross-Country Champion

"We prefer to dream about angels on wheels . . . somehow immune to the uppers and downers of our own pill-popping society. There is, all the same, a certain nobility in those who have done down into God-knows-what hell in search of the best of themselves." — Antoine Blondin, cycling writer

"My closets now will be empty of syringes and prohibited substances. The majority of racers resort to drug products, and those who refuse to admit it are liars." — Dietrich Thurau, winner of 13 Grand Tour stages during the 1970s and 1980s

"For me it’s over and I can speak about it now. I don’t always like to speak about it, though, because if we keep talking about it, the new generation cannot show that they are different. So we have to say, 'Our generation was not OK. That’s it, that’s over.'
— Johan Museeuw, 3x winner of Paris-Roubaix, adamant that things are different today

"You begin by taking a sugar cube, then coffee, then some chocolate and from then on it’s like a frenzy. You are drugged!" — Jacques Anquetil, nicknamed Monsieur Chrono for his exceptional ability in time trials

"I know it is possible to win the Tour without taking anything." — Greg LeMond, 3x winner of the Tour de France and longtime vocal opponent of performance-enhancing drug use

Return to the top

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

"It’s necessary to keep an inhuman side to the Tour. Excess is necessary." — Jacques Goddet, French sports journalist and director of the Tour de France for 50 years

"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

"This is the war of cyclists." — Pedro Delgado, 1988 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 (1986, 1989 and 1990) 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

"There is no room in the Tour for the sick or the weak" — Laurent Jalabert, 4x Tour de France stage winner

"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

"Every Tour de France, you die a thousand deaths." — Tyler Hamilton, author of The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs

"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

"The Tour lasts twenty-one days, and riders like me sometimes ask ourselves if it’s worth all the effort for one stage win. It is." — Pascal Richard, 2x Tour de France stage winner

"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

Return to the top

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

Return to the top

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

Return to the top

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

“I have won Paris-Roubaix!”
“And Coppi?“ —who finished first— asked journalists
“Oh; he was untouchable! I consider that I actually won.” — Maurice Diot, finished second in the 1950 Paris-Roubaix

"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

Return to the top

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

Return to the top

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

Return to the top

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

Return to the top

Quotes About Mountain Biking

"At its best, mountain biking is even bigger than the mountain." — Bill Strickland, former contributing editor for Mountain Bike magazine

"You know right away in mountain biking, if you're on or not." — Alison Sydor, 3x world mountain bike champion

"If you feel bad in a road race and you get dropped, usually there's a group you can ride in with. You can joke around with everybody else who got dropped, and trade snacks or whatever. But in a mountain bike race there's nowhere to hide." — John Tomac, 1991 inducteed into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and 2004 inductee into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame

"I guess I still prefer mountain biking, but then, road cycling can make a living." — Peter Sagan, 3x world road race champion and successful junior cyclocross and mountain bike racer

"Don't trust anyone under 5,000 feet." — T-shirt at the 1991 national championship race in Mammoth, CA

"Until mountain biking came along, the bike scene was ruled by a small elite cadre of people who seemed allergic to enthusiasm." — Jacquie Phelan, 3x NORBA champion

"The slower you go the more likely is is you'll. crash." — Juli Furtado, 5x National Mountain Bike Champion

"I'm lucky that mountain biking wasn't around when I was 20, because I wouldn't have won the Tour de France. It's my kind of sport — hard, individualistic, and not a lot of tactics." — Greg LeMond, 3x winner of the Tour de France

"A mountain bike is like your buddy. A road bike is your lover." — Sean Coffey, cycling marketer and brand manager

"Until mountain biking came along, the bike scene was ruled by a small elite cadre of people who seemed allergic to enthusiasm." – Jacquie Phelan, charter inductee into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1988

"Downhill’s the future of the sport. Cross-country’s not geared for TV. Some fat guy watching it with a beer in one hand and potato chips in the other is going to say, ‘I can do that.’ America likes to see people crash." — Missy Giove, 14x NORBA downhill champion

"Messengers and mountain bikers share a common chromosome." — James Bethea, first Bike Messenger World Champion (1986) and first African-American professional cross country mountain bike racer

Return to the top

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

"In Coppi’s veins gas flows." — Dino Buzzati, Italian playwright and journalist for Corriere della Sera

"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

"One by one each man ran out of energy and collapsed under Bartali's relentless pressure. He became once again the dazzling magician of the summits, flying on the mountains, reducing to nothing all those who, moments before, were his adversaries." — Jacques Goddett, second director of the Tour de France (1936-1986)

"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

"Henri Pélissier's climbing ranks as art. He climbs using the full range of his abilities, from the force of his legs to the acumen of his mind and surety of his judgment. Pélissier knows how to play his instrument." — Henri Desgrange, 1920 Tour de France Director who penalised Pélissier two minutes for leaving a flat tyre by the roadside

"A pigheadedly arrogant champion." — Henri Desgrange, founder of the Tour de France about 1923 Tour Champion Henri Pélissier

"A diamond, a clear diamond." — Eddie Borysewicz (Eddie B), cycling coach, talking about Greg LeMond

"Bernard enjoyed hurting people, riding them into the ground." — Steve Bauer, first Canadian Olympic medalist in road cycling

"Miguel Indurain is from another planet." — Gianni Bugno, finished second in the 1991 Tour de France, 3:36 behind Indurain

"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

"They should not have too many Romingers. That kind of guy gives the impression that he is just out there doing his job. For me, it is a passion. When I stop, I will be proud to have served and glorified the sport of bicycle racing.” — Claudio Chiappucci, 2x Tour de France "King of the Mountains"

"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

Return to the top

Cycling Quotes From Pro Cyclists

For more verbal heroics from the following cyclists, get to the tête de course and pick a topic gruppetti you're interested in.

Or use Command + F on a Mac / Control + F on Windows to search on the cyclist's name. If you're on a mobile device, switch bikes.

Eddy Merckx Quotes

Eddy Merckx (The Cannibal)

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."

“In my time, it was different. When I knew the wind was strong, I attacked myself to make the race as hard as possible.”

"There are too many factors you have to take into account that you have no control over… The most important factor you can keep in your own hands is yourself. I always placed the greatest emphasis on that."

"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."

“I get embarrassed when I see how slim I was.”

Return to the top

Bernard Hinault Quotes

Bernard Hinault (Le Blaireau - The Badger)

One of the greatest cyclists of all time. Winner of 10 Grand Tours — five Tours de France, three Giri d'Italia and two Vueltas a España — and the first cyclist to win all three at least twice. 1980 World Road Race Champion, winner of five Monuments — 2x Giro di Lombardia, 2x Liège - Bastogne - Liège and one Paris-Roubaix — 28 stages in the Tour de France and four season-long Super Prestice Pernod trophies.

"There's a terrible delight in watching a rival sink without a trace."

"I slept like a baby the night before, because I knew that I'd win te next day."

"He has a head, two arms, two legs, just as I."

Return to the top

Gino Bartali Quotes And Fausto Coppi Quotes

Gino Bartali (L'Uomo di Ferro - The Man of Iron)

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 (Il Campionissimo - The Champion of Champions)

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

"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

"Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike." — Fausto Coppi, after being asked what three pieces of advice he would give for how to improve as a cyclist

Return to the top

Quotes From Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong (Big Tex)

1993 World Road Race Champion. Cancer survivor. Founder of Livestrong. Winner of seven consecutive Tours de France. Loser of seven Tour de France titles for doping.

"I have never had a single positive doping test, and I do not take performance-enhancing drugs."

"What athletes do may not be that healthy., the way we push our bodies completely over the edge to degrees that are not human. I've said all along that I will not live as long as the average person."

"The last thing I’ll say for the people that don’t believe in cycling, the cynics and the sceptics, I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry you can’t dream big and I’m sorry you don’t believe in miracles."

"A boo is a lot louder than a cheer."

"Everybody wants to know what I’m on. What am I on? I’m on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?"

"Motivation can’t take you very far if you don’t have the legs."

"Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."

"I am flawed, deeply flawed. I didn’t invent the [doping] culture but I didn’t try to stop the culture and that’s my mistake, and that’s what I have to be sorry for."

"I tried to control the narrative."

"I raced because I was paid to do a job and I felt like I had to do the job. Number two: I raced because I loved the process, I loved training, getting ready for the race, I loved all of that. And number three I raced for my memories. Regardless of what somebody wants to give or take away, you can’t take my memories."

"When I was sick, I didn't want to die.
 When I race, I don't want to lose.
 Dying and losing, it's the same thing."

"I want to die at a hundred years old with an American flag on my back and the star of Texas on my helmet, after screaming down an Alpine descent on a bicycle at 75 miles per hour."

Return to the top

Quotes From Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish (The Manx Missile)

Professional cyclist since 2005, currently rides for Astana Qazaqstan, 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’ve never ever been the strongest or the fastest, but I win."

"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."

Return to the top

Quotes From Jens Voigt

Jens Voigt (Der Jens)

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."

"If it hurts me, it must hurt the other ones twice as much."

Jens Voigt in the yellow Critérium International jersey

"Apart from the fact that I can move the bike fast, I am basically Joe Average."

"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."

Return to the top

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.

Return to the top

Cycling Vignettes

Cycling Wishes

These three cyclists go out for a winter training ride. They're hammering along when suddenly they hit a spot of black ice and fly off a cliff. When the first cyclist opens his eyes, an angel is standing before him.

"Who do you wish to be in the afterlife?" asks the angel.

"Huh?" says the cyclist.

"Look, you rode well and lived well. In heaven you can choose to transform yourself into any
cyclist who ever lived."

Just then a racer in wool shorts and short-sleeved jersey whooshes by on a green bike.

"Hey!" says the cyclist. "That's..."

"One of your friends," says the angel, "He chose to be Fausto Coppi. Who do you wish to be?"

At that moment The Cannibal blows by.

"Aww man," says the cyclist. "My other friend already took Eddy, didn't he?"

"Oh, no," says the angel "Your other friend lived. That was God. He wishes he was Eddy Merckx."

Return to the top

Cycling Zen

A Zen teacher saw five of his students returning from the market, riding their bicycles. When they arrived at the monastery and had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?”

The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!"

The teacher praised the first student. "You are a smart boy! When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over like I do.

The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path!"

The teacher commended the second student, "Your eyes are open, and you see the world."

The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant nam myoho renge kyo."

The teacher gave his praise to the third student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel."

The fourth student replied, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all sentient beings."

The teacher was pleased and said to the fourth student, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming."

The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle."

The teacher sat at the feet of the fifth student and said, "I am your student." 

Return to the top

I Cinque Giri: The Five Laps

This is our signature ride. I Cinque Giri. Five laps. 9,190' of elevation gain.

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 and is one of the most challenging single-day cycling events in Colorado.

Originally imagined as five laps with at least 7,190' of elevation gain in 71.9 miles, I Cinque Giri (e ching-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. FORZA Colorado Springs!

Riding in the draft of many great and long-established Colorado cycling events, this Colorado Springs Original hopes to become a positive part of the Colorado Springs tradition and identity while celebrating the tradition, lore and culture of cycling and helping set the pace for cycling fun in the Rocky Mountain region.

The 719 Ride is the official cycling event of the Rocky Mountain State Games and is an official partner event in the 2024 Suarez Gran Fondo National Series and 2024 Gran Fondo World Tour.

Rocky Mountain State Games logo
Suarez Gran Fondo National Series logo
Gran Fondo World Tour logo