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Rik Van Looy (full name Hendrik Van Looy), born in Grobbendonk on 20 December 1933, was one of the most successful cyclists in cycling history alongside Eddy Merckx and Francesco Moser. He was world champion among the road pros in 1960 and 1961 and even managed to win all five classic monuments, a result achieved only by fellow countrymen Eddy Merckx and Roger De Vlaeminck.

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The first velocipedes: the penny-farthing 

1800 – The velocipedes were machines designed with one, two, three, four or even five wheels. Some two-wheeled designs had pedals mounted on the front wheel, while three and four-wheeled designs sometimes used treadles and levers to drive the rear wheels.

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With a fifteen-year career as a professional between the 70s and the 80s and 273 road wins, Moser is the most successful Italian cyclist ever, followed by his biggest rival, Giuseppe Saronni (193 wins), and Mario Cipollini (189). 
He is also the third-best rider in the world, after Eddy Merckx (426 road victories) and Rik Van Looy (379).

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Nicknamed "the Everlasting", Gino Bartali was a great road cyclist, with twenty-seven years of career, one of the longest and most successful in the history of cycling.

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Angelo Fausto Coppi, nicknamed "il Campionissimo" ("the Champion of Champions") and "l'Airone" ("the Heron"), is considered the most famous and successful rider of the golden age of cycling, and one of the greatest and most popular Italian athletes of all time.

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