Best Professional Cyclists, History of Cycling, Books About Cycling

The Scoring System of Peloton Legends:

The Top 100 Cyclists of the Modern Era was designed to help answer the following questions:

How do cycling fans determine who were the best professional cyclists?


How do you compare riders who competed in different eras and never competed against each other?


How do you compare cyclists who had completely different types of palmarès (career victories).


The Scoring System comprises three major elements:


  1. The results in races

  2. Career Milestone Achievements and Adjustments

  3. Missing Years Adjustment


It’s important to note that the ranking system only includes those cyclists from the Modern Era, which is from 1935 to present. The earlier time period, known as the Heroic Era, is not part of the scoring. The first section of the Peloton Legends book covers the reason for this exclusion in greater detail.


If you’d like to see a Master Scoring Sheet, please click on the button below. You can also subscribe to the Peloton Legends Newsletter at the bottom of the page to receive updates during the season and notifications when there is a new blog post.

Best Professional Cyclists, History of Cycling, Books About Cycling

The Races

The general rule of thumb is that the races included in the scoring system have/had been held for at least 40 years and points were awarded for victories only (the exceptions being the World Championship Road Race and Grand Tours). The 10 categories of races included were as follows:

  • The Monuments

  • The World Championship Road Race

  • Classics/Olympics/TT Championships

  • Semi-Classics/National Championships

  • Minor Tours (week long)/Stage Races

  • Grand Tours

  • Grand Tour Classifications (Points and Mountains)

  • Grand Tour Stages

  • Season Long Competitions

  • Bonus: The Hour Record

Again, if you’d like to see the entire Master Scoring Sheet, the PDF is available by clicking the button below.

Best Professional Cyclists, History of Cycling, Books About Cycling

Career Milestone Achievements and Adjustments

The Scoring System includes three separate categories of special career achievements and adjustments -one for single-day races, one for Grand Tours, and finally a combined category. Further, each category includes three different Milestone Achievements. The goal was to make sure that the scoring didn’t favor specialists of any type, whether they were climbers, sprinters, Grand Tour, or Classics specialists.


Additional points were also awarded to the record holders of the 12 most significant races, after all these are special career achievements, as well. Those races included all five Monuments, the World Championship Road Race, and all three Grand Tours.


Again, if you’d like to see the point values assigned for this part of the scoring system, you can also see these on the Master Scoring Sheet PDF. What you won’t see on this PDF are the cyclists who actually qualified for all these Career Milestone Achievements and Adjustments. That is information that you can only get from the book.

Best Professional Cyclists, History of Cycling, Books About Cycling

Missing Years Adjustment

This part of the scoring system was designed to award additional points to those cyclists who lost at least two years of their careers due to war or injury. An entire section of the book is devoted to the rationale behind awarding these points and there is also a detailed explanation of the formula used to award these special “bonuses."

  • Gino Bartali, 49 points

  • Fausto Coppi, 36 points

  • Ferdi Kübler, 16 points

  • Fiorenzo Magni, 21 points

  • Marcel Kint, 9.5 points

  • Alberic Schotte, 9 points

  • Stan Ockers, 6 points

  • Rik Van Steenbergen, 7 points

  • Greg LeMond, 13 points