Which riders have the biggest social media following?

From riders to teams and races, who has the biggest online presence?

Peter Sagan, Letizia Paternoster, Marianne Vos and Rigoberto Uran
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Social media seemingly controls our lives these days but it can also give us an inside look some of the sports biggest names - Some more so than others.

Riders, teams and races are all keen to try and bring in as big an audience as possible with some going all out to interact with their fans and others just doing their own things.

It is safe to say that big races and the WorldTour men mostly steal the top spots for numbers of followers over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but some riders from the women's side of the sport also have a good following too.

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It may come as no surprise that the most followed cycling related page on all of the three main social medias is the Tour de France with 7,953,108 followers. Leading the list for riders though is Peter Sagan with a huge 4,445,00 followers across the board.

Rigoberto Urán is extremely popular on social media with around the same amount of followers on all three platforms. His main popularity comes from Colombia and generally South America as a whole, which is perhaps not too surprising for the rider nicknamed Mick Jagger.

Wine and Wheels on Twitter

(Image credit: Wine and Wheels)

The tables, which are made by Ian Warren from the Wine and Wheels Twitter account, are regularly updated with riders from both men's and women's races ranked, plus teams and races.

Ian Warren spoke to Cycling Weekly about the potential growth teams could get from their riders: "Peter Sagan is clearly ahead in terms of his reach, and his new team TotalEnergies would be wise to exploit his reach to grow their own profile. Similarly, Chris Froome has 1.5m followers on Twitter but his trade team Israel Start-Up Nation only have 29,000."

In the women's side of the sport it is Italian sprinter and track star, Letizia Paternoster of Trek-Segafredo who holds the top spot ahead of some of the sports biggest stars.

"There is massive scope for the riders in the women's tour to grow their audience now that we have the Tour De France Femmes next year," Warren continued. 

"Letizia Paternoster has over 400,000 followers across all platforms, putting her in the lead ahead of Marianne Vos (350,200) and the retiring Anna Van Der Breggen (322,300). I would expect the audience for women's cycling to continue to grow, and the profiles of the riders to go with it."

Wine and Wheels on Twitter

(Image credit: Wine and Wheels)

This following puts Paternoster ahead of the likes of Filippo Ganna, Sam Bennett, Caleb Ewan, Sonny Colbrelli and many more of the biggest names on the men's side of the sport.

However, Dutch rider Puck Moonen has 300,000 more followers than Paternoster, with just over 700,000 followers, even though she is not a WorldTour rider or one of the big name stars yet. She has been known as a cycling influencer but has said in the past that she doesn't want to be one.

On the team front, it is perhaps unsurprising that it is Ineos Grenadiers who lead the way just ahead of Movistar Team who likely gained followers due to the Netflix series about the trials and tribulations of their team during a season.

Wine and Wheels on Twitter

(Image credit: Wine and Wheels)

There are some odd ones in there as Israel Start-Up Nation overall are ranked ninth but are second on their Facebook following behind Ineos with teams like Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux struggling on Instagram but ranking fifth on Twitter and Facebook.

Races are also keen to create a good following on social media as it promotes so much more than just the race but also the surrounding area and the race's sponsors.

Wine and Wheels on Twitter

(Image credit: Wine and Wheels )

Warren added: "Paris-Roubaix is clearly the largest race in terms of reach outside of the grand tours. In fact, some of the WorldTour events have pitiful follower numbers. The Bretagne Classic, a WorldTour race, has just 4,600 followers across all social media and a race as prestigious as Amstel Gold only has 30,000 followers. 

"Non-WorldTour races like the Tour of Britain far outstrip those numbers, with 246,000 followers, which would put it 5th in all men's road races if it were on the list." 

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.