Question Which professional cyclist has the biggest come back story?


Staff member
Apr 23, 2019
Hi there, cycling fans!

For our latest question of the week we want to look back through the history of pro cycling and find your favorite comeback stories.

They can be from any era, we'd just love to hear stories of cyclist people had counted out, but who came back to accomplish something great.

We look forward to hearing from you!
There are a lot of great comeback stories in cycling, especially after major injuries and long revalidations. Lemond, Pantani and Museeuw have been mentioned. Before that there was Freddy Maertens, and also those whose career was interrupted by a world war, like Gino Bartali and Briek Schotte. I think I'll stick with Greg Lemond. He won the Tour and the world championship before and after receiving a bullet in his chest during a hunting accident. He won the Tour 1989 with José De Cauwer's ADR, a team that was built for the classics with Planckaert and Museeuw, because the big GT teams didn't believe he could make it back to the highest level.
Trying to think of some smaller stories but it's really the big comebacks that stay in your mind.
One thing I thought about was Matthews in the tdf points classification in 2017 where he was about to completely turn it around after Kittel dominated it early on. But then again, Kittel retired due to a crash so Matthews would have won it anyway and also the battle wasn't fought out till stage 21, so Kittel still might have won in the end.
The hayman story with the broken elbow to a stunning Roubaix victory is in with a shout for me as well. That picture of hayman on the home trainer with his arm in a cast resting on a set of portable stairs is one for the history books.
Reactions: Big Doopie
For career comebacks: LeMond obviously. Pantini from his injury. And Armstrong from cancer. Museeuw. Chaves's injuries were also pretty bad.

Another strange one: Bobby Julich. Disappeared as a contender after the 1998 Tour but resurfaced in 2004-5. Make of that what you will.

Race comebacks: Eurosport are reshowing the 2018 Giro this week. Today they got to the point the pundits were saying that Froome should pack it in.

BUT MY NUMBER 1 PICK: Keagan Girdlestone. He was proclaimed dead. There were tributes on twitter. But he's still he's doing a lot of cycling/
Last edited:
Reactions: 42x16ss
Not mentioned or as big comebacks but Ivan Basso's comeback from his ban and winning the Giro. Mark Cavendish when he missed the start of the Giro stage and still won the stage and his comeback in 2016 after many had written him off. Jan Ullrich returning from a non existent drama filled 2002 with 2001 being filled with disappointment from losing again to Armstrong to a new team in 2003 with the best form seen by him since 1997 and arguably 1998 and if not for some better choices could have won the Tour. Alessandro Petacchi returning from his ban at an older age and winning 6 additional GT stages and the green jersey.