Born on June 19, 1951, Francesco Moser was one of the dominant riders from the mid-1970’s till the mid-1980’s. He won one Grand Tour title, one World Championship Road Race title, and six victories in cycling’s five monuments, including three consecutive victories in the Paris-Roubaix Classic.
Moser began his professional career in 1973. He had an almost effortless pedal stroke that provided great power. Moser was an intimidating figure on the bicycle, but due to his powerful build, Moser wasn’t a gifted climber.
Moser won the 1978 Paris-Roubaix Classic in front of Roger De Vlaeminck of Belgium and Jan Raas of Holland.
Moser won the 1979 Paris-Roubaix Classic in front of Roger De Vlaeminck of Belgium and Hennie Kuiper of Holland.
Moser won the 1980 Paris-Roubaix Classic in front of Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle of France and Dietrich Thurau of Germany.
Moser was also 2nd in 1974 behind Roger De Vlaeminck, and was 2nd in 1976 behind Marc De Meyer of Belgium.
In addition, Moser was 3rd in the 1981 Paris-Roubaix Classic behind Bernard Hinault of France and Roger De Vlaeminck of Belgium, and Moser was also 3rd in the 1983 Paris-Roubaix Classic behind Hennie Kuiper of Holland and Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle of France.
In other cycling monument races, Moser won the Milan San Remo Classic in 1984, and the Tour of Lombardy Classic in 1975 and 1978.
In the other one-day events, Moser won the Paris-Tours Classic in 1974, the Championship of Zurich in 1977, the Ghent-Wevelgem Classic in 1979, and the Fleche-Wallone Classic in 1977.
In the Grand Tour events, Moser won the 1984 Giro d’Italia in front of Laurent Fignon of France and Moreno Argentin of Italy. Moser used his superior time-trialing ability to clinch the overall prize. Moser’s other podium places include the following:
Moser was 2nd in the 1977 Giro d’Italia behind Michel Pollentier of Belgium. Moser was 2nd in the 1979 Giro d’Italia behind Giuseppe Saronni of Italy. Moser was 2nd in the 1985 Giro d’Italia behind Bernard Hinault of France. Moser was 3rd in the 1978 Giro d’Italia behind Johan De Muynck of Belgium and Gianbattista Baronchelli of Italy. Moser was 3rd in the 1986 Giro d’Italia behind Roberto Visentini of Italy and Giuseppe Saronni of Italy.
Moser also won the Points Jersey four times, in 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1982.
Moser did ride the Tour de France, once, in 1975, but the high mountains didn’t suit him.
Moser won the 1977 World Championship Road Race in front of Dietrich Thurau of Germany and Franco Bitossi of Italy.
Moser was also 2nd in the 1976 World Championship Road Race behind Freddy Maertens of Belgium, and was 2nd in the 1978 World Championship Road Race behind Gerrie Knetemann of Holland.
Moser’s lasting accomplishment may be that in 1984, he broke Eddy Merckx’s 1972 hour record. However, the bike Moser used didn’t look anything like that which Eddy Merckx used and in 1997 the Union Cyclist International banned all records which were set on bikes with technological advantage over those used in 1972.
The record did, however, stand for years and the attempt further opened the door to new technology in cycling. Moser retired from the professional ranks in 1987.