He began cycling late, allegedly spurred by competition with his brother. Rominger's strengths were time-trialling, climbing and recuperation.
He was a challenger to Miguel Indurain in the Tour de France, placing second in 1993 and winning the polka dot jersey. His three wins in the Vuelta is a record. In 2005 Roberto Heras broke that record but two months later tested positive for the blood-boosting drug EPO and was disqualified.
In 1994 Rominger broke the world hour record twice in a few days. He used Bordeaux velodrome to ride 53.832 km and then 55.291 km, although a track novice.