7 Famous Female Cyclists Who Changed History

There’s no doubt that the sport of competitive cycling is one of the greater challenges that the world has to offer. In order to become ranked among the best of the best, you have to show true heart and real dedication to the activity. As such, it is important to draw attention to those who go above and beyond to not only push themselves further than they thought possible, but also advance the sport through their efforts and love.

We will be discussing seven incredible women who showed amazing skill and determination in the sport of competitive cycling. Here is a list of seven famous female cyclists who changed the history of sports forever:

1. Marianne Vos

Claim to fame: Female cyclist who won the Olympic gold twice

Marianne Vos is one of the most accomplished female cyclists in the world. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a three-time winner of the world championship road race, a seven-time winner of the world cyclocross championship, as well as a five-time winner of the UCI Women’s Road World Cup. That is an insane amount of accomplishments for one person to handle. Vos managed all of that, with many more victories to her name, and surely a few more to come eventually.

It’s safe to say that Marianne Vos has mastered riding the bicycle to a perfect and precise art form. She is a top-notch cyclist and a champion that should be watched closely by cycling fans.

2. Fabiana Luperini

Claim to fame: Female cyclist who won the Giro d’Italia Femminile five times

At the age of 45, Fabiana Leperini has established herself as one of the greatest female cyclists with a fair share of victories in her lifetime. For instance, she won the Giro d’Italia Femminile five times, which is a record in itself. Four of these wins were consecutive from the years of 1995-1998, followed by a fifth a decade later. She has also won the Grande Boucle Feminine three times consecutively frome 1995 to 1997.

Luperini also won the Tour de l’Aude in 1998, as well as the Meakumeen Bira in 2006. The wins and victories seem to stack up around the cyclist, even if the going may get rough sometimes!

3. Jeannine Longo

Claim to fame: Female cyclist who won more than 1000 cycling races

Jeannine Longo was seemingly unstoppable during her career. So much so that even casual fans of competitive cycling were familiar with the respected legend. Over the course of her career, Longo won more than 1000 races, stretching from the late 1970s to the early 2000s. In that time, she won 13 world titles in numerous disciplines.

These included four consecutive world-championship road races throughout the late 1980s, accompanied by a fifth one in 1995. Naturally, this was a record total for one competitor to have. Longo went on to win three consecutive attempts at the women’s Tour de France. She eventually did retire, but not until she was well into her 50s, meaning that she certainly did go out on top.

4. Joane Somarriba

Claim to fame: Female cyclist who won the Grand Boucle thrice


Born in 1972, Joane Somarriba is a female cyclist who grew into a cycling career that allowed her taste sweet victory on many occasions. Before her retirement in 2005, Somarriba won the Grande Boucle in the years of 2000, 2001, and 2003. The year of ‘03 was a standout for her, as she also went on to earn a time trial victory at the 2003 World Championships in Hamilton, Canada.

However, 2005 wasn’t a terrible year for her either. This famous female cyclist ranked 1st overall in the Trophée d’Or Féminin, as well as 2nd in both the Giro d’Italia Femminile and the World Championship Time Trial.

5. Beryl Burton

Claim to fame: Female cyclist who won 96 national titles in England

Arguably one of the most accomplished female cyclists, Beryl Burton saw victory in 96 national titles in England throughout a significant 30-year career. During these decades, she also claimed 25 consecutive time trial championships, as well as seven world championships in the 1950s and 1960s.

Something to truly admire about all of this, however, was that she was also a dedicated wife and mother throughout it all. Winning takes a champion, but balancing two very different worlds on your shoulders takes nothing short of a superhero.

6. Connie Carpenter-Phinney

Claim to fame: Female cyclist who won an Olympic gold medal

This story of a speed skater turned cyclist ends with Olympic gold. In fact, Carpenter-Phinney claimed America’s first gold medal in the Olympic road race. However, the story that proceeds the Olympic gold is quite interesting, as well.

Connie Carpenter-Phinney was a speed skater worthy of the Olympics throughout her teens. Unfortunately, an ankle injury took that opportunity from her for good. Carpenter-Phinney wouldn’t give up that easily, however.

She had spent plenty of time cross-training on a bicycle, becoming more than adept at cycling during that time. She went on to win 12 national championships on road and track, and finished 2nd in the 1977 world-championship road race, followed by a ranking of 3rd in 1981. Her sweetest victory came shortly after in the 1984 Olympics, where she finished 1st in a photo finish with American cyclist Rebecca Twigg.

7. Maria Canins

Claim to fame: Female cyclist who won multiple championships

A pro cyclist with an incredibly unpredictable skill set, Maria Canins found a steady stream of wins in the 1980s. She experienced two consecutive gold champion wins in 1985 and 1986. She followed these up by taking home the silver in the years of 87, 88, and 89.