The Most Famous

CYCLISTS from Denmark

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This page contains a list of the greatest Danish Cyclists. The pantheon dataset contains 1,212 Cyclists, 44 of which were born in Denmark. This makes Denmark the birth place of the 9th most number of Cyclists behind Australia and United Kingdom.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Danish Cyclists of all time. This list of famous Danish Cyclists is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Danish Cyclists.

Photo of Bjarne Riis

1. Bjarne Riis (1964 - )

With an HPI of 63.82, Bjarne Riis is the most famous Danish Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages on wikipedia.

Bjarne Lykkegård Riis (Danish pronunciation: [ˈpjɑːnə ˈʁiˀs]; born 3 April 1964), nicknamed The Eagle from Herning (Danish: Ørnen fra Herning), is a Danish former professional road bicycle racer who placed first in the 1996 Tour de France. For many years he was the owner and later manager of Russian UCI WorldTeam Tinkoff–Saxo. Other career highlights include placing first in the Amstel Gold Race in 1997, multiple Danish National Championships, and stage wins in the Giro d'Italia. On 25 May 2007, he admitted that he placed first in the Tour de France using banned substances, and he was no longer considered the winner by the Tour's organizers. In July 2008, the Tour reconfirmed his victory but with an asterisk label to indicate his doping offences.

Photo of Tony Rominger

2. Tony Rominger (1961 - )

With an HPI of 63.13, Tony Rominger is the 2nd most famous Danish Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Tony Rominger (born 27 March 1961 in Vejle, Denmark) is a Swiss former professional road racing cyclist who won the Vuelta a España in 1992, 1993 and 1994 and the Giro d'Italia in 1995. He began cycling late, allegedly spurred by competition with his brother. Rominger's strengths were time-trialling, climbing and recuperation. He was a rival to Miguel Indurain in the Tour de France and was placed second in 1993 and won the mountains classification. His three wins in the Vuelta were a record at the time. In 2005, Roberto Heras broke that record but two months later tested positive for the blood-boosting drug EPO and was disqualified. Heras' win has since been reinstated. In 1994 Rominger broke the world hour record twice in a few days. He used Bordeaux velodrome to ride 53.832 km and then 55.291 km, although a track novice.He retired in 1997 after breaking his collarbone at that year's Tour de France. He is the agent of Austrian racing cyclist Matthias Brändle.

Photo of Henry Hansen

3. Henry Hansen (1902 - 1985)

With an HPI of 62.09, Henry Hansen is the 3rd most famous Danish Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Henry Peter Christian Hansen (16 March 1902 – 28 March 1985) was a Danish road racing cyclist who won two gold medals at the 1928 Summer Olympics and a silver medal at the 1932 Summer Olympics. Hansen won the world title in 1931 and placed in the top 10 at three other world championships. At the Nordic Championships, he won the individual road race in 1925–1927 and 1929, and held the team title in 1926 and 1929. Nationally, he won the Danish championships in 1921, 1923, 1925, and 1930. In 1937 and 1938 he competed professionally without major success. After retiring from competitions he held various administrative positions, serving as Chairman of the Danish Cycling Union in 1967–1971.Hansen's niece was married to Knud Enemark Jensen, the Danish cyclist who died during competition at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Photo of Willy Hansen

4. Willy Hansen (1906 - 1978)

With an HPI of 60.59, Willy Hansen is the 4th most famous Danish Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Willy Falck Hansen (4 April 1906 – 18 March 1978) was a Danish track cyclist who won a silver medal at the 1924 Summer Olympics with Edmund Hansen and gold and bronze medals at the 1928 Summer Olympics.

Photo of Michael Rasmussen

5. Michael Rasmussen (1974 - )

With an HPI of 58.71, Michael Rasmussen is the 5th most famous Danish Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Michael Rasmussen (born 1 June 1974) is a retired Danish professional cyclist who competed in road racing and mountain biking. His most notable victories include four stages of the Tour de France, one stage of the Vuelta a España and a win on the Italian classic Giro dell'Emilia in 2002. He also won the best climber classification in the 2005 and 2006 Tour de France. Specializing in climbing, Rasmussen showed a propensity for attempting spectacular wins in mountain stages in which he broke away from the peloton early and rode alone for most of the stage. Michael Rasmussen was known for his care for detail when considering weight. With a low weight (60 kg) he was usually one of the lightest riders in his class. In the 2007 Tour de France, Rasmussen, while wearing the yellow jersey and well on his way to winning the Tour, had his contract terminated by his team and was removed from the Tour. He served a two-year ban from July 2007 to July 2009 for lying about his whereabouts. At a press conference on 31 January 2013, Rasmussen admitted that he had used performance-enhancing drugs and methods, including EPO, growth hormones, insulin, testosterone, DHEA, IGF-1, Oxyglobin, cortisone and blood doping, for most of his professional career.

Photo of Leif Mortensen

6. Leif Mortensen (1946 - )

With an HPI of 58.53, Leif Mortensen is the 6th most famous Danish Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Leif Mortensen (born 5 May 1946) is a former Danish professional road bicycle racer. He won a silver medal in the individual road race at the 1968 Summer Olympics while finishing fourth in the team time trial. In 1970–1975 he rode professionally with the following achievements.

Photo of Axel Schandorff

7. Axel Schandorff (1925 - 2016)

With an HPI of 57.65, Axel Schandorff is the 7th most famous Danish Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Axel Schandorff (3 March 1925 – 28 January 2016) was a Danish track cyclist. He was born in Copenhagen. He competed for Denmark at the 1948 Summer Olympics held in London, United Kingdom in the individual sprint event where he finished in the bronze medal position.

Photo of Gunnar Asmussen

8. Gunnar Asmussen (1944 - )

With an HPI of 55.61, Gunnar Asmussen is the 8th most famous Danish Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Gunnar Henry Asmussen (born 10 May 1944) is a retired Danish amateur cyclist. He won a gold medal in the track team pursuit at the 1968 Summer Olympics and placed 13th in 1972. Asmussen held national titles both in the road race (1964–65, 1971) and track team pursuit (1969–71, 1974 and 1976).

Photo of Mogens Frey

9. Mogens Frey (1941 - )

With an HPI of 55.46, Mogens Frey is the 9th most famous Danish Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Mogens Frey Jensen (born 2 July 1941) is a retired Danish amateur cyclist who competed successfully both on the road and on track. He won, along with Gunnar Asmussen, Per Lyngemark and Reno Olsen, a gold medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics in the 4 km team pursuit and finished second individually. However, he is more famous for the way he won stage 9 in the 1970 Tour de France. Here, he defeated his own team captain Joaquim Agostinho. Agostinho was first over the finish line, but was immediately disqualified for putting his hand on Frey's handlebars, thus holding him back in the sprint.Frey also won the individual pursuit event at the 1968 world championships and finished second in 1967 behind Gert Bongers.

Photo of Charles Schlee

10. Charles Schlee (1873 - 1947)

With an HPI of 55.01, Charles Schlee is the 10th most famous Danish Cyclist.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Charles Wilhelm Daniel Schlee (July 21, 1873 – January 5, 1947) was an American racing cyclist who competed 1902–1911, mostly in New Jersey. He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and died in Cambridge, Maryland.He competed in Cycling at the 1904 Summer Olympics in St Louis, Missouri and won the gold medal in the 5 mile race.He also competed in the following events: 1/3 mile - fourth position 1/2 mile - eliminated in the semifinals 1 mile - eliminated in the first round 2 miles - place unknown 25 miles - did not finish

Pantheon has 44 people classified as cyclists born between 1873 and 1998. Of these 44, 39 (88.64%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living cyclists include Bjarne Riis, Tony Rominger, and Michael Rasmussen. The most famous deceased cyclists include Henry Hansen, Willy Hansen, and Axel Schandorff. As of October 2020, 13 new cyclists have been added to Pantheon including Leif Mortensen, Axel Schandorff, and Gunnar Asmussen.

Living Cyclists

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Deceased Cyclists

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Newly Added Cyclists (2020)

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Which Cyclists were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 3 most globally memorable Cyclists since 1700.