Early 20th journalists started creating nicknames for cyclists. This effort popularized the cycling sport and make the racers interesting to people who were not interested in cycling much. This tradition is still continuing today. Here is the list of cyclists’ nicknames in alphabetical order (by surname, starting with N):
Il Leone del Mugello (The Lion of Mugello), Faccia di fatica (Fatigue-face)
Gastone Nencini (1 March 1930 – 1 February 1980) was an Italian road racing cyclist who won the 1960 Tour de France and the 1957 Giro d’Italia.
He also won the mountain classifications at the Tour de France in 1957 and at the Giro d’Italia in 1955.
He won 4 individual stages at the Tour de France (1956, 1957, 1958) and 7 individual stages (1955, 1958, 1959, 1960) at the Giro d’Italia.
Nencini was a gifted descender. Raphaël Géminiani once said, “The only reason to follow Nencini downhill would be if you had a death wish”.
Nencini died in 1980 after a short illness, at only 49 years old. He was a chain smoker.
“Lo Squalo” “The Shark of Messina” “Il Roditore” “The Nibbler”
One of the greatest stage racers of his generation, Vincenzo Nibali (born 14 November 1984) is an Italian cyclist. He is one of the 7 cyclists who won all grand tours (others being Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Alberto Contador, and Chris Froome.
Nibali won the Tour de France in 2014, Giro d’Italia twice (2013, 2016), and Vuelta a España in 2010.
At the Tour de France, he also won 6 individual stages (2014, 2015, 2019). At the Giro d’Italia, 7 individual stages (2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017). At the Vuelta a España, 2 individual stages (2010, 2017) and the combination classification (2010).
Nibali also won the Tirreno-Adriatico twice (2012, 2013), Giro del Trentino twice(2008, 2013), Tour of Oman (2016), Giro di Lombardia twice (2015, 2017), Milan-San Remo (2018), GP Ouest-France (2006), and Tre Valli Varesine (2015).
He became the Italian champion twice (2014, 2015).
Related: Nibali joins the greats
“Brontolo” (Grumpy), from the Seven Dwarves”
Andrea Noè (born 15 January 1969) is an Italian former professional road bicycle racer. He won stage 11 in the 1998 Giro d’Italia.
Also in the 2007 Giro d’Italia, Noè, aged 38 at the time, took the general classification leader’s pink jersey on the extremely long stage 10, becoming the oldest cyclist wearing the maglia rosa.
Noè is nicknamed “Grumpy” by his colleagues for his characteristic of complaining often.
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