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‘Brothers in Arms’ – Famous Siblings of the Peloton

Rider Feature: There have been quite a few brothers in the peloton over the years, so Ed Hood has picked just a few of the cycling siblings (maybe more to come) to compare the brotherly love and palmarès.

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Simmons brother No. 1 Quinn winning in Wallonie

If you’re a fan of Trek Segafredo’s American ‘enfant terrible,’ former Junior World Road Race Champion, Quinn Simmons then you’ll be pleased to know that ‘little bruv,’ former US Junior Road Race Champion, Colby Simmons is with the top line Jumbo-Visma Development team and at 19 years-old posting promising results for the Dutch Continental team. Simmons senior is 21 years-old now and getting stronger and more aggressive as each year passes – and also developing into a man who can tackle the hills, witness King of the Mountains in Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour de Suisse. He debuts in 2023 at the Tour of San Juan in Argentina later this month and he’ll be tackling the Ardennes Classics this year. The Simmons Boys got us to thinking about ‘Brothers in Arms,’ in the sport.

Colby Simmons
And Colby Simmons

INEOS have added ‘Brit,’ Ethan Hayter’s younger brother, 21 years-old Leo Hayter to their line-up. Big brother is 24 years-old now and already a big winner, the Tour of Norway and British Elite Time Trial Championship among his fine road palmarès for 2022 at just 24 years-of-age. Meanwhile, on the boards, he’s World Omnium Champion and a member of the winning GB Worlds team pursuit squad. Leo ‘did a Pidcock,’ in the 2022 Baby Giro, winning the Queen Stage, another stage and taking the GC. He was third in the Worlds iTT in Australia and is certainly one to watch in 2023.

Leo Hayter
Leo Hayter now with INEOS

But let’s go back a decade or two to the 60’s and the most famous ‘band of brothers,’ that ever rode together; four of them, the mighty Pettersson Brothers from Sweden – Gosta, Tomas, Sture and Erik. Three times they won the World 100 Kilometre TTT title, 1967, 68 and 69 but were denied the Olympic title in Mexico in 1968 by a very strong Dutch quartet which included Fedor Den Hertog and Joop Zoetemelk. The brothers turned pro in 1970 with Italian kitchen company, Ferretti; Gosta won the Tour of Romandie, finished third in the Tour de France and with brother Tomas, the then very prestigious, two-up TTT the Trofeo Baracchi. In 1971 Gosta reached the pinnacle of his career, winning the Giro d’Italia from Van Springel and Colombo. Gosta was the undoubted best of the four, after his three seasons with Ferretti he rode for SCIC in ’73 and Magniflex in ’74; Tomas followed him to SCIC but Sture finished after his three years with Ferretti whilst Erik only raced two years with the blue and white team.

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The Pettersson brothers

But the Petterssons are not alone in being four brothers to race with success in the professional world, the Simon Brothers, Francois, Jerome, Pascal and Regis all enjoyed success in their home race, the Tour de France. Francois held the yellow jersey for three days in 2001, Jerome won a stage in 1988, Regis won a stage in 1985 whilst Pascal won a stage in 1982 and but for a crash and broken shoulder in the 1983 Tour with the yellow jersey on his back might just have won that Tour. He soldiered on for another six days in extreme pain but eventually had to abandon.

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Three of the Simon brothers: Jerome, Regis and Pascal

Then there were the four Moser Brothers, Aldo, Diego, Enzo and Francesco. Diego and Enzo had unremarkable careers but Aldo was a ‘chronoman’ of note in the late 50’s with two wins in the Trofeo Baracchi and a win in the GP des Nations. The most famous of the quartet however was the prolific and versatile Francesco, in the 70’s and 80’s he accumulated 273 road victories, six Giro podium finishes including one win; five Trofeo Baracchi, three Paris-Roubaix; two Tours of Lombardy; a Milan-Sanremo; Gent-Wevelgem; world titles in the road race and pursuit – and of course, the Hour Record.

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Enzo and Enzo Moser

Staying with la Bella Italia, there were the three Saronni Brothers; Alberto’s career was unspectacular and whilst Antonio was no star on the road he was a solid cyclo-cross rider with multiple podium finishes including four wins in the Italian Nationals. The most successful of the three though was Francesco Moser’s bitter rival, Giuseppe who won two Giros, two Trofeo Baracchi, Milan-Sanremo, the Tour of Lombardy and the Worlds in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

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Giuseppe Saronni, Francesco Moser, Alberto Saronni and Antonio Saronni

The toughest, wiliest trio of brothers who ever put a leg over a bicycle have to be The Planckaerts, Flemish to the core, hard, cunning men. Willy is the oldest, he took stages in the Giro and Tour, with the green jersey his in 1966. The middle brother is Walter who won the most important race in the world if you’re Belgian – de Ronde. And there was The Amstel, E3, Dwars door twice and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne twice – no ‘soft’ wins there. The ‘baby’ of the three is Eddy who has the best palmarès of all; he emulated Willy in taking a Tour green jersey and took Giro and Vuelta stages too. He emulated Walter in winning de Ronde but added Paris-Roubaix – by millimetres from Steve Bauer – two E3’s and two Het Volks. Few of the hardest Northern Classics evaded this trio. It’s not always the case but often the ‘udder brudder’ is there to just give moral support, fetch bottles and not much else.

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Planckaerts: Willy, Walter and Eddy

Prudencio Indurain was four years the junior of legendary brother Miguel Indurain and spent six years ‘in service’ to the first man to win five consecutive Tours de France. Miguel wheeled off to the team hotel on Stage 13 of the 1996 Vuelta and that was the end of his career. Whilst his ’96 Tour was a disaster by his own standards – 11th place; remember that this was a season where he’d won the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal, the Vuelta Asturias, the Euskal Bizikleta, Dauphine and Olympic Time Trial title. Prudencio did have a few wins in minor Portuguese and Spanish races; he spent ’97 with Banesto then had two years at Vitalicio Seguros before he followed Miguel into retirement.

Prudencio Indurain and Miguel Indurain (Banesto)
Prudencio Indurain helping brother Miguel Indurain train for the hour record

Then there’s Dayer Quintana, two years the junior of 32 years-old Nairo Quintana and winner of the 2015 Tour of San Juan in Argentina; and whilst he’s had wins in Columbia since then, his main function these last seven years has been, ‘to be there for Nairo,’ through his tenure at Movistar then Arkea. But unless Nairo joins Dayer at Colombia Pacto el Deporte for a season 2023 then the partnership is over.
Nairo’s early achievements including a Vuelta and Giro win and two second places in le Tour had us thinking that it wasn’t ‘if,’ it was ‘when’ Nairo wins le Tour; but that’s not going to happen now – and definitely not without a team to ride for.

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The Quintana Bros.

And whilst we all remember Freddy Maertens, who remembers ‘the other’ of the Maertens Brother? Freddy; three times Tour green jersey, multiple Grand Tour stage winner – 13 in the one Vuelta – World Champion, Classics winner. Marc was seven years Freddy’s junior and wasn’t a bad rider in his own right, he joined Freddy at Boule d’Or in 1982, the year after Freddy’s miraculous return to the top with five stages and the green jersey in the Tour de France and his second rainbow jersey. But ’82 was a flop for Freddy and Marc followed his brother to Masta for ’83 and then AVP in ’84. But in ’85 Marc branched out on his own as Freddy rode for ever smaller teams with zero results. Marc, on the other hand had very successful seasons with TeVe Blad, including the ‘cult’ US race, the Tour of Sommerville in ’86 and whilst there were wins in ’87 and ’88 his best years were behind him.

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Marc Maertens in Flanders’84

But it’s not all about, ‘big brother and his shadow,’ take those Schleck Boys, Frank and Andy, when Frank finished season 2005 on a high note with second places in the Zurich Classic, and Giro dell Emilia then third in the Tour of Lombardy before going on to win the 2006 Amstel Gold Race he warned us that little brother Frank was on the way and even better than he was. Andy didn’t take long to confirm that contention – he was second in his first Grand Tour, the 2007 Giro and went on to three consecutive Tour de France podiums, including the win in 2009. Second in the 2009 Fléche Wallone, he made no mistake in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, winning after a 20 kilometre solo. But those boys had good genes, their father, Johnny was a solid professional for a decade in the 60’s and 70’s.

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The Schleck brothers sharing the Luxembourg championship

Another two brothers with excellent genes are those Van der Poel Boys, Mathieu and David. Their father, Adrie, as well as being ‘Capo’ of the pro peloton was World Cyclo-cross Champion and won de Ronde, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Amstel Gold, Paris-Tours and San Sebastian. And their grandad on their mum’s side was Raymond Pouildor. Mathieu is four times World Cyclo-cross champion, a double dwars Door and Ronde winner as well as a stunning winner of the 2019 Amstel Gold Race, Strade Bianche and a Tirreno and Tour de France stage winner. David’s palmarès are much less grand than his younger brother’s but he’s a solid ‘crosser with National junior and u23 titles to his name not to mention good ‘cross wins from the USA to the Czech Republic and all points between. Sadly, this will be his last winter as back issues bring the curtain down on his career.

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Mathieu and David with their father, Adrie and mother, Corinne Poulidor

Then there’s England’s 30 years-old Yates twins, Simon and Adam. Both are quality riders but Simon’s 2018 Vuelta win puts him above Adam in the family standings, he’s also won six Giro stages, two Tour de France stages and was third in the 2021 Giro. He’s spent his whole career with the various incarnations of GreenEDGE and is on their books until 2024. Adam meanwhile is no slouch with the Tours of Catalonia, UAE, Germany and Turkey to his credit, not to mention the San Sebastián Classic. Adam is with Team UAE Emirates having left his brother at GreenEDGE after season 2020, spending two years with INEOS before joining UAE, where he stays until at least 2025.

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The Yates twins

The Sagan Brothers have topped the Slovak National Champions list for a dozen years, eight times for three times World Champion, Peter and four times for his elder brother Juraj, so it’s not that Juraj is a bad rider; just that Peter is one of the best ever with de Ronde, Paris-Roubaix, three Gent-Wevelgems, seven Tour de France green jerseys and a huge number of stage wins across the Tour de France, Vuelta, Tirreno, California and Suisse to his name. But for season 2023 Peter will need a new roommate and training partner as Juraj settles behind the wheel of a team car with Continental team, RRK Group – Pierre Baguette.

Juraj Sagan
Juraj wasn’t a bad rider

On the subject of multiple world champions, we have the Alaphilippe Brothers, Julian needs no introduction; double Champion du Monde – Fléche, Primavera, San Sebastián and Strade Bianche winner, not to mention long term Tour de France maillot jaune. Younger brother, Bryan was a pro with the French Army, ‘Armee de Terre’ team for three years then took a break but inspired by Julian’s successes he came back with Continental team, St. Michel Auber93 in 2020; but 2021 was his final season, riding for French Division 1 amateur team, U Nantes Atlantique.

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Bryan Alaphilippe can win races

And before we settle back and await the emails about; ‘why didn’t you include. . .’

Let’s go back the 70’s and the Isle of Man Cycling Festival; every summer there was a week of cycling on the island that gave us Cav. There was light hearted stuff – races where a rider towed a young lady in a baby’s push chair, criteriums, time trials and big road races, which in the 60’s saw the likes of Tom Simpson, Rudi Altig and Jacques Anquetil as winners.

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Party like Jacques!

Huge numbers of club cyclists from the UK would take the ferry over, among them the Scottish Agnew Brothers. On the outward bound journey their neat Harry Quinn machines would be sporting a full Campagnolo groupset. Not so on the way back, the ‘bars would be bare from the brake levers down with Weinmann levers and brakes replacing the Campag gems, likewise the Campag chainset would be replaced by Stronglight and a Simplex rear mech. graced the hanger. You see, a man needs beer money when partying on the Island.

Weinmann
Weinmann, no replacement for Campagnolo

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