Early 20th journalists started creating nicknames for the cyclists. This effort popularized the cycling sport and make the racers interesting to the people who were not interested in cycling much. This tradition is still continuing today. Here the list of cyclists’ nicknames in alphabetical order (by surname, starting with H):
By Surname: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
Table of Contents
Alfred Hamerlinck (Assenede, 27 September 1905 – Ghent, 10 July 1993) was a Belgian professional road bicycle racer, who won many small races in his career – he achieved 82 wins. He also won two stages in the 1931 Tour de France, and wore the yellow jersey for one day.
He was professional between 1927 and 1936. In his prime time, he was one of the best-known and most popular Flandrian cyclists. His predominance in sport was even compared to the Soviet rule in Russia in a humorous song as follows:
Hammer and Sickle,
Hamerland and Sikkelland,
Hamerlinck are inner bands,
Dominate the World.
Andrew Hampsten (born April 7, 1962 in Columbus, Ohio) 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.
His Passo di Gavia ride at the 1988 Giro d’Italia was sensational. In the legendary stage fourteen of the 1988 Giro d’Italia with its crossing of the Aprica, a 120-kilometer trip partway up the Tonale and then a left turn up the south face of the Gavia pass with a final steep, technical descent into Bormio. The day was wet and cold. Until the start, the race director Vincenzo Torriani had been considering an alternate route because of the possibility of bad weather. It would end up being, in the words of La Gazzetta, “the day the big men cried.”
Over the first two climbs, the cold, wet riders stayed together. When they began ascending the Gavia with its patches of fifteen percent gradient (back then, only the Gavia’s switchback turns were paved), it began to snow and as the riders continued up the pass, it got ever colder. Johan Van der Velde, in just shorts and short sleeves, was first over the top. He was followed a few seconds later by Breukink, Hampsten and then by Chioccioli and Marco Giovannetti.
Breukink and Hampsten had dropped the Italians well before the summit and crested together. The conditions were appalling; the road was frozen and when the riders began the descent, their brakes wouldn’t work on the frozen rims. Some had their gears jammed up with ice. Van der Velde gave up, dismounted his bike, waited for warmer clothes to be brought from the team car and descended the steepest part of the pass on foot. He lost 47 minutes that day.
Hampsten and Breukink pressed on down the steep, icy descent and into Bormio where Breukink won the sprint.
Andy Hampsten became the first American, and non-European, to win the Giro d’Italia.
“The Clown”, “The Bandit”, “Rabid Hassen”, “boute-en-train”
Roger Hassenforder (born 23 July 1930, in Sausheim) is a former French professional racing cyclist from Alsace. He was a professional cyclist from 1952 to 1965. He was known as the joker of the pack, earning him the nickname “boute-en-train”. He was known for his interviews during the course. His major victories as cyclist were in the Tour de France, but he did not win much in other races. His best years were 1955-1959, when he won eight stages in the Tour and wore the yellow jersey for four days.
After his cycling career ended, he opened a restaurant in Kaysersberg, that was a favorite meeting place for cycling fans in the 1960s, and is still run by the Hassenforder family (now his family owns also a hotel there).