The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary German Cyclists of all time. This list of famous German 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 German Cyclists.
With an HPI of 53.69, Rudi Altig is the most famous German Cyclist. His biography has been translated into 22 different languages on wikipedia.
Rudi Altig (German pronunciation: [ˈʁuːdiː ˈaltɪç] (listen); 18 March 1937 – 11 June 2016) was a German professional track and road racing cyclist who won the 1962 Vuelta a España and the world championship in 1966. After his retirement from sports he worked as a television commentator.
With an HPI of 52.32, Josef Fischer is the 2nd most famous German Cyclist. His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.
Josef Fischer (20 January 1865 – 3 March 1953) was a German road bicycle racer. He is best known for winning the first edition of Paris–Roubaix in 1896 and Bordeaux–Paris in 1900.
With an HPI of 50.38, Jan Ullrich is the 3rd most famous German Cyclist. His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.
Jan Ullrich (German pronunciation: [jan ˈʊlʁɪç] (listen); born 2 December 1973) is a German former professional road bicycle racer. Ullrich won gold and silver medals in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. He won the 1999 Vuelta a España and the HEW Cyclassics in front of a home crowd in Hamburg in 1997. He had podium finishes in the hilly classic Clásica de San Sebastián. His victorious ride in the 1997 Tour de France led to a bicycle boom in Germany. He retired in February 2007. In 2006, Ullrich was barred from the Tour de France amid speculation of having doped. In February 2012, Ullrich was found guilty of a doping offence by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. He was retroactively banned from 22 August 2011, and all results gained since May 2005 were removed from his palmarès. He admitted to blood doping in 2013.
With an HPI of 48.49, Heinz Müller is the 4th most famous German Cyclist. His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.
Heinz Müller (16 September 1924 – 25 September 1975) was a German road bicycle racer who won the UCI Road Cycling World Championship in 1952. He also won the German National Road Race in 1953.
With an HPI of 47.60, Albert Richter is the 5th most famous German Cyclist. His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.
Albert Richter (14 October 1912 – 2 January 1940) was a German cyclist who won the world sprint championship. He was taken from a train by the Gestapo and never seen alive again.
With an HPI of 47.15, Rolf Wolfshohl is the 6th most famous German Cyclist. His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.
Rolf Wolfshohl (born 27 December 1938) is a former professional road bicycle racing and cyclo-cross racing cyclist from Germany. Wolfshohl is best known in cyclo-cross for winning the world championship three times, and in road racing for winning the 1965 Vuelta a España. He won the German National Road Race in 1968.
With an HPI of 45.60, Olaf Ludwig is the 7th most famous German Cyclist. His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.
Olaf Ludwig (born 13 April 1960 in Gera, Bezirk Gera) is a former German racing cyclist. His career began at the SG Dynamo Gera / Sportvereinigung (SV) Dynamo. As an East German, he raced as an amateur until reunification of Germany allowed him to become professional with Panasonic team. As a sprinter, the highlight of his career was winning the points classification in the 1990 Tour de France. Other highlights include the Olympic road race in Seoul in 1988, a record 38 stage victories in the Peace Race, winning the Amstel Gold Race in 1992, and podium placings in the Paris–Roubaix. He also won the 1992 UCI Road World Cup. In 1992 he won the Champs-Élysées stage in the Tour de France and won the third Tour stage of his career the following year.His sprinting rivals included Mario Cipollini, Wilfried Nelissen and Djamolidine Abdoujaparov. In 1993 he joined Team Telekom, later T-Mobile Team. On retirement in 1996 he took up public relations for the team. He subsequently became principal team manager, but his involvement with the team finished at the end of 2006.
With an HPI of 44.40, Dietrich Thurau is the 8th most famous German Cyclist. His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.
Dietrich "Didi" Thurau (German pronunciation: [ˈdiːtʁɪç ˈtuːʁaʊ] (listen); born 9 November 1954) is a retired German professional road bicycle racer. His biggest career achievements include winning the one-day classic, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, his home country's Deutschland Tour and surprising the field at the 1977 Tour de France by capturing four stages and holding the yellow jersey as leader of the general classification from the prologue for 15 days. Thurau did win the young rider classification although he lost the overall lead to eventual winner Bernard Thévenet. Thurau was German pursuit champion three times and won 29 six-day races. He is the father of former professional cyclist Björn Thurau. In 1989, he revealed he had doped throughout his career.
With an HPI of 43.35, Erik Zabel is the 9th most famous German Cyclist. His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.
Erik Zabel (German pronunciation: [ˈeːʁɪk ˈt͡saːbl̩] (listen); born 7 July 1970) is a German former professional road bicycle racer who raced most of his career with Telekom. With 152 professional wins and 211 wins in his career, he is considered by some to be one of the greatest German cyclists and cycling sprinters of all time. Zabel won a record nine points classifications in grands tours including the points classification in the Tour de France six consecutive years between 1996 and 2001 and the points classification in the Vuelta a España in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Zabel won the Milan–San Remo four times and numerous six-day track events. He was one of the few road cyclists of recent times who raced all year, including track cycling in winter. For season 2012 he joined Team Katusha as sprint coach. He previously held that same position with the HTC–Highroad team until their dissolution. Zabel admitted to doping from 1996 to 2004. He is the father of cyclist Rick Zabel.
With an HPI of 43.22, Joseph Rosemeyer is the 10th most famous German Cyclist. His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.
Joseph Rosemeyer (13 March 1872 in Lingen – 1 December 1919 in Cologne), was a German track cyclist. He competed at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens.Rosemeyer finished fourth in the 10 kilometres event. He also competed in the time trial competition and finished eighth. In the sprint event he was unable to finish the race due to having mechanical problems. He also did not finish the 100 kilometres contest.
Pantheon has 83 people classified as cyclists born between 1865 and 1996. Of these 83, 72 (86.75%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living cyclists include Jan Ullrich, Rolf Wolfshohl, and Olaf Ludwig. The most famous deceased cyclists include Rudi Altig, Josef Fischer, and Heinz Müller. As of April 2022, 9 new cyclists have been added to Pantheon including Rolf Wolfshohl, David Kopp, and Lisa Brennauer.
1973 - Present
1938 - Present
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1937 - 2016
1865 - 1953
1924 - 1975
1912 - 1940
1872 - 1919
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1956 - 2017
1942 - 2019
1965 - 2018
1961 - 2017
1938 - Present
1979 - Present
1988 - Present
1982 - Present
1996 - Present
1993 - Present
1989 - Present
1996 - Present
1993 - Present
Which Cyclists were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 10 most globally memorable Cyclists since 1700.