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Debating with your friends who’s the best Cycling coach?

Dave Brailsford, Cyrille Guimard or Johan Bruyneel?

Here is our list of the best Cycling coaches of all time.

Do you agree with our picks?

Best Cycling Coaches:

  1. Dave Brailsford
  2. Cyrille Guimard
  3. Johan Bruyneel
  4. Shane Sutton
  5. Chris Carmichael
  6. Tim Kerrison
  7. Aldo Sassi
  8. Brian Stephens

#1 Dave Brailsford

  • πŸ† Achievements: Multiple Tour de France victories; General Manager of Team Sky/Ineos
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1990s–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Team Sky, Ineos Grenadiers
  • 🌐 Nationality: British

Dave Brailsford has been instrumental in modernizing cycling coaching and team management, notably as the General Manager of Team Sky, now known as Ineos Grenadiers. Under his leadership, the team secured numerous Tour de France victories, dominating the event for a decade.

He introduced the concept of marginal gains, which focuses on small incremental improvements in any process, leading to a significant improvement when they are all added together. This approach has been highly successful in professional cycling.

Brailsford’s expertise extends beyond the peloton, as he draws from experience in business management and athletic science to create one of the most successful cycling teams in history.

#2 Cyrille Guimard

  • πŸ† Achievements: 7-time Tour de France wins with different riders; discovered and coached several cycling legends
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1970s–1990s
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Renault-Elf-Gitane, SystΓ¨me U, Castorama
  • 🌐 Nationality: French

Cyrille Guimard is a legendary figure in cycling, credited as the mastermind behind several Tour de France victories with different riders. His strategic insight and ability to spot and nurture talent have made him one of the most successful coaches in the history of the sport.

His contributions to the world of cycling extend beyond his direct coaching as he has also worked in management and as a commentator, sharing his deep knowledge and understanding of the sport.

Guimard’s approach to coaching was revolutionary during his time, blending a deep understanding of race tactics with training that focused on the physical and psychological preparation of his riders.

#3 Johan Bruyneel

  • πŸ† Achievements: Managed teams to multiple Tour de France victories
  • πŸ“… Years Active: Late 1990s–2012
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: US Postal Service, Discovery Channel, Astana, RadioShack
  • 🌐 Nationality: Belgian

Johan Bruyneel is known for his controversial yet successful career in cycling, managing teams that won numerous Tour de France titles. He was at the helm during some of the sport’s most dominant periods, involving high-profile riders.

His management style and strategic decisions in races were considered pioneering, although later events overshadowed his successes in the sport.

Bruyneel’s career ended amidst doping allegations, resulting in a lifetime ban from the sport, overshadowing his tactical prowess as a coach and sports director.

#4 Shane Sutton

  • πŸ† Achievements: Contributed to multiple Olympic and World Championship victories; Head coach for Team Sky
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 2002–2016
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: British Cycling, Team Sky
  • 🌐 Nationality: Australian

Shane Sutton played a key role in the success of British Cycling, contributing to its dominance on the track and road. He served as head coach for Team Sky and was known for his no-nonsense approach to training and performance.

Despite his contributions to cycling, Sutton’s career was also marked by controversies, including allegations of discrimination, which led to him resigning from British Cycling.

Sutton’s coaching philosophy was deeply rooted in his own experience as a competitive cyclist, and his leadership helped elevate the performance of British cyclists to new heights.

#5 Chris Carmichael

  • πŸ† Achievements: Founder of CTS (Carmichael Training Systems); Personal coach to Lance Armstrong
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1990s–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: U.S. Cycling Team, individual athletes through CTS
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Chris Carmichael is well-known for his innovative approach to cycling training and coaching. He founded Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) that has helped countless cyclists and triathletes achieve their performance goals.

Carmichael is perhaps best known for his association with Lance Armstrong, serving as his personal coach during Armstrong’s storied but later discredited runs in the Tour de France.

Despite the controversy surrounding Armstrong, Carmichael’s influence on training methodologies and his contributions to endurance coaching are widely respected in the athletic community.

#6 Tim Kerrison

  • πŸ† Achievements: Pioneering coaching techniques in professional cycling; Part of Team Sky/Ineos coaching staff
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 2008–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Team Sky/Ineos Grenadiers
  • 🌐 Nationality: Australian

Tim Kerrison has gained recognition for his innovative approach to coaching, particularly in his work with Team Sky/Ineos Grenadiers, where he has played a crucial role in their Tour de France successes.

Coming from a background in swimming and rowing, Kerrison applied cross-disciplinary training philosophies to cycling, which proved to be highly effective.

His analytical approach to understanding the demands of stage races and tailoring training accordingly has helped to develop some of the world’s top cyclists.

#7 Aldo Sassi

  • πŸ† Achievements: Renowned cycling coach; Worked with several Grand Tour winners
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1980s–2010
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Mapei Centre, professional riders
  • 🌐 Nationality: Italian

Aldo Sassi was a highly respected figure in the cycling world, serving as a coach for numerous Grand Tour contenders and winners. He was known for his integrity and commitment to clean sport.

Sassi’s coaching philosophy emphasized the development of both physical endurance and mental fortitude. He believed in a scientific approach, utilizing data to improve performance.

Before his untimely death in 2010, Sassi was heralded for his stand against doping in cycling, and his legacy continues to influence coaches and athletes who were inspired by his methods and principles.

#8 Brian Stephens

  • πŸ† Achievements: Coach to several Australian national teams; Development of young talent
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1990s–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Australian National Teams, UCI World Cycling Centre
  • 🌐 Nationality: Australian

Brian Stephens has a long-standing reputation in cycling for his role in developing young talent and his work with various Australian national teams. His commitment to nurturing the next generation of cyclists is well-documented.

His approach to coaching combines hands-on experience with a strong belief in the long-term development of an athlete, focusing on both physical and personal growth.

Stephens’ career has taken him around the world, including a position at the UCI World Cycling Centre, where he has influenced a wide array of international athletes with his coaching philosophy.



Who is the greatest cycling coach of all time?

Cyrille Guimard is widely considered the greatest cycling coach for guiding seven Tour de France victories with different riders.

Who was the most successful cycling coach?

Cyrille Guimard was the most successful cycling coach, with his riders winning seven Tour de France titles and numerous other races.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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