We read recently that retired Italian cyclist Claudio Chiappucci told reporters at Cycling Weekly that Sagan was the only rider in the pro peloton with character.
The three time Tour de France podium racer told them: “If you look at somebody interesting today it’s Sagan. Sagan is a good cyclist but on the other hand he’s got character, he’s got personality. All the others are just machines, paperwork, numbers.”
Of course, everyone is welcome to an opinion, and we’ve got to admit that Sagan does hold a special place in our hearts. However, we wonder if Chiappucci considered the female members of the pro peloton before making that statement.
In women’s cycling, media attention is harder to come by, so athletes have to dig a little deeper – share more if their personalities to make headlines and please sponsors. If this should be the case is clearly questionable, but as the matter stands it is the way the current sporting world works. As manager of successful women’s team Rochelle Gilmore told us recently: “It doesn’t matter if you win… you have to open your personal life and give yourself in the lead up for that for it to have significance.”
Perhaps the reason behind the incredible personalities in women’s cycling is not only that a remarkable character is necessary to succeed, but because these women have fought so hard to get media attention in the first place that they’re more willing to share.
Regardless, we thought we’d highlight some of our favourite personalities in women’s cycling. Not everyone will be on here, we could only pick ten – so if you’re a pro, no feeling left out if you’re not on the list (sorry!)