There is no way of denying it but most pro cyclists are not cool. They lead dull lives and ride like programmed robots. The bikes are much more interesting to look at than they are. But every so often someone comes along and they ooze class. Some like to think they are the coolest thing out there but come on I am not fooled! Mario Cippollini...the Lion King, Super Mario...exhibit 'a' below...I think not! Beyond this self-proclaimed God the real Gods of Cool can be found.
This is my list of 5 cool pros...
Number 5: Laurent Jalabert
It hurts to put a Frenchman on the list, but 'Jaja' just looked so right on a bike. Just watch a clip of him in the latter stages of his career, the wins may have dried up but boy did he look cool! I think it might just be the way he wore his hat...yep I am that shallow.
Number 4: Bradley Wiggins
Again, a shallow reason gets him into my top 5. He looks like a mod and has that mod belief of it doesn't matter if you come from a crap council estate you have to make an effort to look good. It's a shame his form seems to be mirroring Paul Weller's career - at the moment he is in the Style Council wastelands. Let's hope for a Stanley Road resurgence.
Number 3: Bernard 'the badger' Hinault
Damn another Frenchman. But hell this bloke rocked! So much passion and dominance. Apparently he is really nice guy now unless someone dares to invade the podium when he is doing his Tour ambassador duties. Oh and anyone who winds up Greg LeMond gets a tick in my book. But Google needs to sort out their rankings of people named Bernard. Bernard Matthews number 2?!
Number 2: Marco Pantani
The Italians tend to spend more time trying to look good on a bike than actually winning a race but now and then when they manage both they set the cool benchmark. Ok, I struggle with 'Il Pirata'. He was an out and out doper. But on the bike he was compelling, no race radio, no respect for egos, to hell with team orders and a climbing style that when it clicked was poetry. I like to think I am same when I hit Hucking Hill in Kent (no prizes for guessing that climbs nickname amongst the non-mountain goat fraternity...er, me and all of my clubmates).
Number 1: Fausto Coppi
Yep, for once a list which does not have Eddy Merckx at the top (or actually anywhere else...ooops). Coppi looked the part on and off the bike, and compared to goodie two shoes Bartali was ready to shake the conservative establishment...religion...'no thanks'...sexual morals...'you keep them'. Ok, the the detail of the latter was not so cool, but in the wider context of trying to stop Italians being so strait-laced he did the business. Hmmm...maybe a bit too much so. And, yes I know he was also a doper, sadly like many Italian pros.
Damn...look I forgot Lance. But I think most people would agree that Texas and cool is an oxymoron.