Endurance, strength and resilience. All attributes essential to any serious endeavour into the road cycling world.
One feature you wouldn’t expect to help when you get in your lycra, though, is a good right jab. But with petty scrapping becoming more and more common in big name races, it seems you may have to train on the punching bag as well as the bike if you’re going to succeed.
Here are some of the best cycling brawls (or worst, depending on your particular view point) from the history of road cycling…
1) Gianluca Brambilla vs. Ivan Rovny, Vuelta a Espana, 2014
The latest example of cycling carnage came at the Vuelta a Espana this week, when Gianluca Brambilla and Ivan Rovny got in a rather heated argument on stage 16 of their road race.
The best things about this one? They managed to have a hilarious hit-out without ever leaving their bikes. Check it out above, with a top soundtrack added in for comedy value…
2) Leonardo Sierra vs. Ramon Gonzalez-Arrieta, Vuelta a Espana, 1995
The Vuelta a Espana seems to be a breeding ground for fights. Back in 1995, Sierra and Gonzalez-Arrieta showed how a full on fist fight should be done – ditching their rides and going all out with the arm throwing.
There are some big hits flying about in this one, and while most of the undercuts could hardly be called accurate, the intent makes for quite an entertaining watch…
3) Carlos Barreda vs. Rui Costa, Tour de France, 2010
Spain isn’t the only country to attract some angry cyclists. Back in 2010, Rui Costa, in the red corner, and Carlos Barreda, in the blue corner, had a major showdown in the Tour de France.
This scrap started when Barredo charged at Costa, brandishing a front wheel as his weapon of choice.
Unsurprisingly, Barredo was found guilty of breaching anti-doping rules less than two years later. Maybe it was roid-rage that tipped him over the edge here.
4) Vicente de Mateus vs. Enrico Rossi, Volta a Portugal, 2014
In another recent episode of ‘When Roadies Attack’, Vicente de Mateus and Enrico Rossi got down to business at the Volta a Portugal in early August.
This time, the riders dismount for a classic schoolyard fight featuring headlocks and hefty pushing. Comedy gold.
5) Michel Zanoli vs. Davis Phinney, Tour DuPont, 1992
There’s no direct footage of this hit-out from 1992, but Davis Phinney provides a pretty good description of an earlier beatdown he took from Michel Zanoli.
“He was like ‘boom’ in the face,” proclaims Phinney, and to be fair, the ‘boom’ seems to have left him with a fairly hefty nosebleed.
6) Jeroen Blijlevens vs. Bobby Julich, Tour de France, 2000
This one comes from the final day of the 2000 Tour de France, with Blijlevens and Julich needing pulled apart as they went in to brawl mode.
The video quality isn’t too good on this one, but the quality of the fight goes a long way to making up for that. Skip to 0.54 when it all kicks off.
7) Richard Groenendael vs. Any Fan Who Insults Him, Unknown Race, 2001
Here, Dutch cyclocross legend Richard Groenendael gets a bit hyped up and punches a spectator. Then threatens to do it again when someone else on the sidelines gives him lip.
It’s not road cycling, but we felt like it had to make the list. This is one guy not to heckle unless you’ve been hitting the gym.
8) Random Cyclist With Pink Jumper vs. Random Cyclist With Pink/Purple Jumper
…And finally, this random race turned absolute farce after a hilarious push from one of the competitors cued madness on the track. Enjoy.