Riders and their nicknames

May 19, 2011
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Came to think of a funny little thread now in the offseason...

Well in cycling alot of the riders go by funny nicknames but where does the name originate from and maybe a bonus who founded the nickname for good measure :)

For example Fabian Cancellara is nicknamed Spartacus because I guess he is strong as a gladiator.

Fill in the list with funny nicknames and the story behind it!
 
Chris Anker is called The Ox from Hammel because of this character:



Basically back in around 2004 a Danish comedy trio invented a bike team called Team Easy On Sponsored by a condom company, on which one of the riders was a climber from Hammel known as... well, I think you can guess that!

Then in 2008 Chris Anker had his big breakthrough with his Dauphiné stage win, and a major part of the Danish public basically went "THERE'S ACTUALLY A CLIMBER FROM HAMMEL???" and promptly gave him the nickname!
 
Mar 26, 2009
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Herr Katt said:
Came to think of a funny little thread now in the offseason...

Well in cycling alot of the riders go by funny nicknames but where does the name originate from and maybe a bonus who founded the nickname for good measure :)

For example Fabian Cancellara is nicknamed Spartacus because I guess he is strong as a gladiator.

Fill in the list with funny nicknames and the story behind it!
Cancellara nickname come from the Fassa Bortolo years, I think it was the older bunch of italians who nicknamed him Spartacus cause of his look.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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Riccò was called "il cobra" cause....he simply asked to be called like that. I remember italian journalist De Stefano saying that it wasnt so nice but he kepts saying he wanted to be called like that. :p

Sella is called something like "el sambaneo" which in local dialect just mean a young (shorty) kid who jump around, easygoing.
 
Valverde's many nicknames are pretty easy to pick out too.

El Imbatido (The unbeaten) is because he won some stupid number of races consecutively as a youth competitor. Bala Verde/The Green Bullet is because it's a virtual homonym of his surname and his fast finish for a rider of his type. Don Alejandro as an honorific because of his position as a leading figure in the peloton. Piti because of his Operación Puerto codename.

Domenico Pozzovivo is Il Dottore because he's entitled to that title thanks to his studies.
 
Michael Mørkøv is called "The Swan from the Track". In Danish "The Swan from the Track" is "Svanen fra Banen" which rhymes. And Mørkøv is a former track rider who, according to the Danes, have developed like a swan. Yes, I know. It's absolutely horrendous.
 
Oh and regarding Michael Rasmussen: His nickname "The Chicken" does go way back. And on the other hand it doesn't. His old nickname was indeed "The Chicken" but Rasmussen started complaining about this nickname because he wanted something cooler. Danish television then started a campaign in which the TV viewers could propose and vote for a new nickname for everyone's favorite rider. His old nickname "The Chicken" won the contest overwhelmingly.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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IndianCyclist said:
Pantani- Il Pirata
don't know the exact story but probably because he used to steal stages from the strongest climbers.
Also in this case I think it was just related to his look since he started using ear ring and the mustache (donno how you guys call it).
 
Mar 26, 2009
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Luca Paolini is called "il Gerva" by his mates like Pozzato, and as far as I can guess it must be related to an italian tv show caracted called like that (the guy on the left side).

 
Hugo Koblet said:
Michael Mørkøv is called "The Swan from the Track". In Danish "The Swan from the Track" is "Svanen fra Banen" which rhymes. And Mørkøv is a former track rider who, according to the Danes, have developed like a swan. Yes, I know. It's absolutely horrendous.
I hate forced nicknames like Mørkøv's. Ugh :mad:
 
Aug 16, 2011
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I've always loved the story of how Purito (which is Spanish for small cigar) got his nickname. Via Inrng:

Thanks to Vélo Magazine it appears that it comes from 2001 when the Catalan was a neo-pro with the ONCE team. He left everyone trailing one day on the final climb of a training camp. Remember, this was a team with riders like Laurent Jalabert, Carlos Sastre, Abraham Olano and more. Not content with dropping them, he made a “I’m-smoking-a-cigar” gesture to his straggling team mates as if to suggest it was all so easy.

Annoyed with this cheeky display, the senior riders said he had to smoke a real cigar at the dinner table in front of team boss Manolo Saiz. The idea was to bring him down a bit since Saiz was known for his strict ways and would surely punish a rider who started smoking at the dinner table. But a fearless Rodriguez walked into the dining room, sat down and smoked a cigar in front of everyone. Saiz’s reaction isn’t known.
Purito, that fearless b@stard, smoking in front of Saiz. :D Great sounding nickname as well. Just rolls off the tongue.
 

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