This article originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of Cycle Sport magazine
Who are the ten riders with the barmiest beards? Cycle Sport casts an eye over the most facially hirsute cyclists in the bunch, past and present.
1. LECH PIASECKI
The original moustachioed time triallist from Poland. Wore the yellow jersey early in the 1987 Tour de France, shaming the luminous garment with his sinister, neatly trimmed, centre-parted moustache.
2. FABIO SACCHI
Less well remembered for a win in Milan-Turin than for maintaining a bleached, lovingly sculpted goatee, on a very orange fake tan. He was aiming for sophisticated élan. Unfortunately, he looked like an Oompa-Loompa.
3. ALEXANDRE VINOKOUROV
The calves! The iron constitution! The never-say-die attacking spirit! The deliberate uncommunicativeness! The blood bags! The highly intimidating goatee, cultivated in 2006, in a vain bid to make himself more interesting!
4. DAVID ZABRISKIE
There isn’t the space on this page, nay, in this entire magazine, to deconstruct the enigma that was the moustache David Zabriskie wore in early 2008. Technically known in the trade as the ‘Copstash Standard’, apparently, although it reminds us more of Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting, from Gangs of New York.
5. JONATHAN VAUGHTERS
The only sideburns in cycling that have actually received hate mail. We once received an email from a reader disparaging the Garmin manager’s choice of facial topiary. Come on Lance, knock it off with the fake email addresses — they suit him, and make him look young and exciting.
6. CHRISTOPHE MOREAU
The Frenchman has disguised the fact that he’s not actually very good at growing beards by concentrating on one of the few areas of his face with sufficient follicular coverage to push out a few hairs — his chin. Of course, one might not normally like to draw attention to the fact one has a very long face by adding a few centimetres’ worth of lustrous beard…
7. DANILO NAPOLITANO
The heaviest, darkest, most stubbly five o’clock shadow in the entire bunch. And that’s at eight o’clock in the morning.
8. OSCAR PEREIRO
The 2006 Tour de France winner has possibly the longest sideburns in cycling. If he let them go any further, they’d meet underneath his jaw, for an old-style chinstrap beard.
9. ANDREAS KLODEN
‘Klödi’ often races wearing a kind of top-heavy stubble goatee, with heavy growth around the moustache, and a patch of beard that is scarcely five minutes’ growth for Napolitano. Basically, it looks like he can’t be arsed to shave.
10. SEBASTIEN ROSSELER
Rosseler draws attention away from the most cubic head in the peloton by wearing a flat-top buzz cut, and a square-cut beard that makes him look like he’s dipped his chin in a pot of glue, then a bowl of hair.