The Most Famous

CYCLISTS from United States

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This page contains a list of the greatest American Cyclists. The pantheon dataset contains 1,613 Cyclists, 48 of which were born in United States. This makes United States the birth place of the 10th most number of Cyclists behind United Kingdom, and Denmark.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary American Cyclists of all time. This list of famous American 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 American Cyclists.

Photo of Lance Armstrong

1. Lance Armstrong (b. 1971)

With an HPI of 59.04, Lance Armstrong is the most famous American Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 82 different languages on wikipedia.

Lance Edward Armstrong (né Gunderson; born September 18, 1971) is an American former professional road racing cyclist. He achieved international fame for winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005, but was stripped of his titles after an investigation into doping allegations, called the Lance Armstrong doping case, found he used performance-enhancing drugs over his career. He is currently banned for life from all sanctioned bicycling events.At age 16, Armstrong began competing as a triathlete and was a national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990. In 1992, he began his career as a professional cyclist with the Motorola team. He had success between 1993 and 1996 with the World Championship in 1993, the Clásica de San Sebastián in 1995, Tour DuPont in 1995 and 1996, and a handful of stage victories in Europe, including stage 8 of the 1993 Tour de France and stage 18 of the 1995 Tour de France. In 1996, he was diagnosed with a potentially fatal metastatic testicular cancer. After his recovery, he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation (now the Livestrong Foundation) to assist other cancer survivors. Returning to cycling in 1998, Armstrong was a member of the US Postal/Discovery team between 1998 and 2005 when he won his seven Tour de France titles. Armstrong retired from racing at the end of the 2005 Tour de France, but returned to competitive cycling with the Astana team in January 2009, finishing third in the 2009 Tour de France later that year. Between 2010 and 2011, he raced with Team Radio Shack, and retired for a second time in 2011. Armstrong became the subject of doping allegations after he won the 1999 Tour de France. For years, he denied involvement in doping. In 2012, a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation concluded that Armstrong had used performance-enhancing drugs over the course of his career and named him as the ringleader of "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen". While maintaining his innocence, Armstrong chose not to contest the charges, citing the potential toll on his family. He received a lifetime ban from all sports that follow the World Anti-Doping Code, ending his competitive cycling career. The International Cycling Union (UCI) upheld USADA's decision and decided that his stripped wins would not be allocated to other riders. In January 2013, Armstrong publicly admitted his involvement in doping. In April 2018, Armstrong settled a civil lawsuit with the United States Department of Justice and agreed to pay US$5 million to the U.S. government after whistleblower proceedings were commenced by Floyd Landis, a former team member.

Photo of Greg LeMond

2. Greg LeMond (b. 1961)

With an HPI of 52.50, Greg LeMond is the 2nd most famous American Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Gregory James LeMond (born June 26, 1961) is an American former road racing cyclist. LeMond won the Tour de France thrice and the Road Race World Championship twice, becoming the only American male to win the former. LeMond began his professional cycling career in 1981. Two years later, he became the first American male cyclist to win the Road World Championship. LeMond won the Tour de France in 1986; he is the first non-European professional cyclist to win the men's Tour. LeMond was accidentally shot with pellets and seriously injured while hunting in 1987. Following the shooting, he underwent two surgeries and missed the next two Tours. At the 1989 Tour, LeMond completed an improbable comeback to win in dramatic fashion on the race's final stage. He successfully defended his Tour title the following year, becoming one of only eight riders to win three or more Tours. LeMond retired from competition in December 1994 and was inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1996. He was the first professional cyclist to sign a million-dollar contract and the first cyclist to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. During his career, LeMond championed several technological advancements in pro cycling, including the introduction of aerodynamic "triathlon" handlebars and carbon fiber bicycle frames, which he later marketed through his company LeMond Bicycles. His other business interests have included restaurants, real estate, and consumer fitness equipment. LeMond is also a vocal opponent of performance-enhancing drug use in cycling and is a founding board member of 1in6.org, a nonprofit charity that assists male victims of child sex abuse.

Photo of Giuseppe Enrici

3. Giuseppe Enrici (1896 - 1968)

With an HPI of 46.70, Giuseppe Enrici is the 3rd most famous American Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Giuseppe Enrici (January 2, 1896 in Pittsburgh, United States – September 1, 1968 in Nice, France) was an Italian professional road racing cyclist. The highlight of his career was winning the 1924 Giro d'Italia.

Photo of Andrew Hampsten

4. Andrew Hampsten (b. 1962)

With an HPI of 44.12, Andrew Hampsten is the 4th most famous American Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Andrew Hampsten (born April 7, 1962) is an American former professional road bicycle racer who won the 1988 Giro d'Italia and the Alpe d'Huez stage of the 1992 Tour de France. Between 1986–1994 he finished in the Top 10 of eight Grand Tours.

Photo of Floyd Landis

5. Floyd Landis (b. 1975)

With an HPI of 42.45, Floyd Landis is the 5th most famous American Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Floyd Landis (born October 14, 1975) is an American former professional road racing cyclist. At the 2006 Tour de France, he would have been the third non-European winner in the event's history, but was disqualified after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The competition was ultimately won by Óscar Pereiro.Landis was an all-around rider, with special skills in climbing, time-trialing, and descending. He turned professional in 1999 with the Mercury Cycling Team, joined the U.S. Postal Service team in 2002, and moved to the Phonak Hearing Systems team in 2005. In January 2010, a French judge issued a national arrest warrant for Landis on computer hacking charges related to the 2006 Tour de France, stage 17 doping allegations.In 2010 Landis maintained his innocence and mounted a defense. Although his legal team documented inconsistencies in the handling and evaluation of his urine samples, the disqualification was upheld. He was suspended from professional competition through January 30, 2009, following an arbitration panel's 2-to-1 ruling on September 20, 2007. He appealed the result of the arbitration hearing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which subsequently upheld the panel's ruling. In January 2011, he was unable to find a new team, which effectively ended his professional career. On May 20, 2010, after almost four years of contesting the allegations, Landis admitted to doping, and revealed that Lance Armstrong and many other top riders who rode on his team doped as well.

Photo of Sepp Kuss

6. Sepp Kuss (b. 1994)

With an HPI of 41.77, Sepp Kuss is the 6th most famous American Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Sepp Kuss (born September 13, 1994) is an American professional cyclist from Durango, Colorado who rides for UCI WorldTeam Visma–Lease a Bike. A talented climber, Kuss won the 2023 Vuelta a España, the first American to do so since Chris Horner in 2013. He has also won individual stages at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.

Photo of Levi Leipheimer

7. Levi Leipheimer (b. 1973)

With an HPI of 41.76, Levi Leipheimer is the 7th most famous American Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Levi Leipheimer (born October 24, 1973) is an American former professional road racing cyclist. He was twice US national champion, winning the time trial title in 1999 and the road race in 2007, and is an Olympic medalist. Leipheimer was born and raised in Butte, Montana and resides in Santa Rosa, California. He is the patron of the widely attended King Ridge GranFondo, a mass participation ride in Sonoma County. Leipheimer's major career accomplishments include winning the 2007, 2008 and 2009 editions of the Tour of California, the 2011 Tour de Suisse and the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. His Grand Tour results include 2nd in the 2008 Vuelta a España, and 4th in the 2009 Giro d'Italia. Leipheimer won the bronze medal in the time trial at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced in October 2012 that Leipheimer would be suspended for his involvement in doping while riding for Saturn, U.S. Postal Service, Rabobank, Gerolsteiner and Astana. Leipheimer accepted a 6-month ban from September 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013 and was stripped of all race results from June 1, 1999 to July 30, 2006, and July 7 to 29, 2007. (This included his third-place finish in the 2007 Tour.) In May 2013, Leipheimer confirmed his retirement from professional cycling following the termination of his contract with Omega Pharma-Quickstep.

Photo of Tommy Godwin

8. Tommy Godwin (1920 - 2012)

With an HPI of 41.11, Tommy Godwin is the 8th most famous American Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Thomas Charles Godwin (5 November 1920 – 3 November 2012) was a British track cyclist, active during the 1940s and 1950s. He held national records and raced abroad. He later became a coach, manager, and administrator. In 2010 he was selected as an ambassador for the 2012 London Olympics. In 2012, aged 91, he was selected to take part in the Olympic torch relay, carrying it through Solihull.

Photo of Tyler Hamilton

9. Tyler Hamilton (b. 1971)

With an HPI of 41.04, Tyler Hamilton is the 9th most famous American Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Tyler Hamilton (born March 1, 1971) is an American former professional road bicycle racer. He is the only American rider to win one of the five Monuments of cycling, taking Liège–Bastogne–Liège in 2003. Hamilton became a professional cyclist in 1995 with the US Postal Service cycling team. He was a teammate of Lance Armstrong during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tours de France, where Armstrong won the general classification. He was a key asset for Armstrong, being a very good climber as well as time-trialist. Hamilton appeared at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics. In 2004, he won a gold medal at the individual time trial. The first doping test after his Olympic victory gave a positive result, but because the backup sample was frozen, no doping offence could be proven. After he failed further doping tests at the 2004 Vuelta a España, Hamilton was suspended for two years from the sport. Hamilton came back after his suspension and became national road race champion in 2008. In 2009, Hamilton failed a doping test again, and was banned for eight years, which effectively caused him to retire. In July 2010, he was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury for the use of performance-enhancing drugs in cycling. In May 2011, Hamilton admitted that he had used banned substances in competition, and returned his gold medal. In 2012, he co-authored a book The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs, which details his doping practices and experience in the world of cycling. On August 10, 2012 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped Hamilton of his 2004 gold medal.

Photo of Bobby Julich

10. Bobby Julich (b. 1971)

With an HPI of 38.96, Bobby Julich is the 10th most famous American Cyclist.  His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Robert "Bobby" Julich ( JOO-lik; born November 18, 1971), popularly called Bobby Julich, is an American former professional road bicycle racer who last rode for Team CSC in the UCI ProTour racing series. He got his international breakthrough when he finished 3rd overall in the 1998 Tour de France, becoming only the second American to finish on the podium. He is a strong time trialist who won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Individual Time Trial, and combined with his high versatility he has won a number of stage races on the international circuits including the 2005 edition of Paris–Nice. In September 2008, he announced his retirement as a professional cyclist.He served as a technical director for Team Saxo Bank until November 2010, when it was announced that he would move to Team Sky for the 2011 season as a race coach. On October 25, 2012, Team Sky announced that Julich would part ways with the team due to his admission to doping in the past. This departure is therefore in line with Team Sky's policy (re-asserted in the wake of the USADA Reasoned Decision and subsequent UCI/Lance Armstrong fall-out) of asking all current team personnel to admit to any past doping offences. After leaving Sky Julich worked as a coach for CCC Pro Team in 2014 before being announced by Team Tinkoff–Saxo as the team's head coach (Directeur Sportif) for 2015, however in August 2015 he confirmed that he would leave the team at the end of the year.

People

Pantheon has 53 people classified as American cyclists born between 1878 and 2002. Of these 53, 49 (92.45%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living American cyclists include Lance Armstrong, Greg LeMond, and Andrew Hampsten. The most famous deceased American cyclists include Giuseppe Enrici, Tommy Godwin, and Major Taylor. As of April 2024, 5 new American cyclists have been added to Pantheon including Neilson Powless, Megan Jastrab, and Emma White.

Living American Cyclists

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Deceased American Cyclists

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Newly Added American Cyclists (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Cyclists were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 4 most globally memorable Cyclists since 1700.