19 June 1951 |
Palù di Giovo, Italy
|Rider type||Time-Trialist/Classics specialist|
|Infobox last updated on
April 28, 2008
Francesco Moser (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmɔːzer] or [moˈzɛr]; German pronunciation: [ˈmoːzɐ]; born 19 June 1951 in Palù di Giovo, Trentino), nicknamed "Lo sceriffo" (The sheriff), is an Italian former professional road bicycle racer.
Moser was one of the dominant riders from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, and won the 1984 Giro d'Italia, the 1977 world road racing championship and six victories in three of the five Monuments. He began his professional career in 1973. He had an almost effortless pedal stroke that provided great power. Moser was intimidating on a bicycle but his powerful build meant he wasn’t a gifted climber. With 273 road victories during his career he is the third most prolific road bicycle champion in the world, behind Eddy Merckx (525) and Rik Van Looy (379), but ahead of Rik Van Steenbergen (270) and Roger De Vlaeminck (255). In addition, he was an accomplished track rider, riding 1 to 6 Six-Day races during almost each winter throughout his professional career. He rode 35 in total, 14 of which with Six-day specialist René Pijnen, and winning 15 in total. A nephew Moreno Moser (born 25 December 1990) is an Italian professional road bicycle racer.
After finishing second in 1974 behind Roger De Vlaeminck, and likewise in 1976 behind Marc Demeyer of Belgium, Moser finally won Paris–Roubaix, his favorite race, three consecutive times. In total, Moser has had seven podium finishes in Paris–Roubaix; only De Vlaeminck has more (9). In 1978, he preceded Roger De Vlaeminck and Jan Raas of the Netherlands; in 1979, in front of Roger De Vlaeminck and Hennie Kuiper of the Netherlands; and in 1980, in front of Frenchman Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle of France and German Dietrich Thurau. Moser came in third in 1981 behind Bernard Hinault and Roger De Vlaeminck, and was also third in 1983 behind Hennie Kuiper and Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle. He rode Paris–Roubaix in his final season as a professional cyclist in 1987. His other major Classics victories include the 1975 and 1978 Giro di Lombardia, and the 1984 Milan – San Remo.
Apart from one-day classics, Moser also enjoyed some success in the three-week Grand Tours. Moser rode the Tour de France in 1975, and although he won two stages, led the general classification for seven days and won the young rider classification, he never rode the Tour again, as the mountains did not suit his style. However, he won the 1984 Giro d'Italia, in front of Laurent Fignon of France and Moreno Argentin of Italy. Taking advantage of an unusually flat course, Moser used his time-trialing ability to clinch the overall prize from the better climbers of the peloton. Moser also won the Points classification in the Giro d'Italia in 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1982.
Moser won the 1977 world road racing championship in San Cristobal, Venezuela in front of Dietrich Thurau of Germany and Moser's countryman Franco Bitossi. Moser was also silver medallist in 1976, behind Freddy Maertens of Belgium, and again he finished second in 1978 to Gerrie Knetemann of the Netherlands.
On 19 January 1984, in Mexico City, Moser broke the famous 1972 hour record of Eddy Merckx, after long physical preparation and training. Moser rode 50.808 kilometers, on a radical and high-tech aerodynamic bike (with aero bars and full disc wheels), which was far more advanced than the conventional track bike which Merckx had used in 1972. As a result, in 1997 the Union Cycliste Internationale banned hour records set on bikes featuring technological advantages over those used in 1972. Under the new rules, Merckx's 1972 record wasn't broken until 2000. Moser auctioned his bicycle to benefit UNICEF.
In 1999, he admitted using blood doping in breaking the record, helped by sports doctor Francesco Conconi; his doping had not been declared illegal at the time. The 1984 record stood for more than nine years, and Moser's attempt opened the door to aerodynamic technology in cycling. Moser retired from the professional ranks in 1987.
Moser's biggest rival was Giuseppe Saronni.
Francesco Moser has since 1999 been chairman of the Cyclistes Professionels Associés, CPA, founded 19 May, after the 1999 Giro d'Italia. The CPA is a union for professional riders of TT/I and TT/II league of teams (now UCI ProTeams and UCI Professional Continental Teams, respectively).
- Giro d'Italia
- World Road Cycling Championships (1977)
- Milan – San Remo (1984)
- Paris–Roubaix (1978, 1979, 1980)
- Giro di Lombardia (1975, 1978)
- La Flèche Wallonne (1977)
- National road race champion (1975, 1979, 1981)
- Gent–Wevelgem (1979)
- Milano–Torino (1983)
- Paris–Tours (1974)
- Giro del Piemonte (1974)
- Volta a Catalunya (1978)
- Giro del Lazio (1977, 1978, 1984)
- Tirreno–Adriatico (1980, 1981)
- Züri-Metzgete (1977)
- World championship individual pursuit (1976)
- Italian championship individual pursuit (1984)
- 1975 Tour de France: Winner prologue and stage 7, yellow jersey for six days
- Trofeo Baracchi (1974 with Roy Schuiten, 1975 with Gianbattista Baronchelli, 1979 with Giuseppe Saronni, 1984 with Bernard Hinault and 1985 with Hans-Henrik Ørsted)
Grand Tours overall classification results timeline
WD = Withdrew
- Francesco Moser profile at Cycling Archives
- Francesco Moser and his latest son Ignazio are among the characters of the cycling film "The Last Kilometer"
- (Italian) Dizionario d'ortografia e di pronunzia