Francesco Moser (born June 19, 1951 in Giovo, a province of Trento), nicknamed "Lo sceriffo" (The sheriff), is an Italian former professional road bicycle racer. He was one of the dominant riders from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, and won the 1984 Giro d'Italia, the 1977 world road racing championship and six victories in three of the five classics. He began his professional career in 1973. He had an almost effortless pedal stroke that provided great power. Moser was intimidating on a bicycle but his powerful build meant he wasn’t a gifted climber
After finishing second in 1974 behind Roger De Vlaeminck, and likewise in 1976 behind Marc Demeyer of Belgium, Moser finally won Paris-Roubaix, his favorite race, three consecutive times. In total, Moser has had seven podium finishes in Paris-Roubaix; only De Vlaeminck has more (9). In 1978, he preceded Roger De Vlaeminck and Jan Raas of the Netherlands; in 1979, in front of Roger De Vlaeminck and Hennie Kuiper of the Netherlands; and in 1980, in front of Frenchman Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle of France and German Dietrich Thurau.
Moser came in third in 1981 behind Bernard Hinault and Roger De Vlaeminck, and was also third in 1983 behind Hennie Kuiper and Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle. He rode Paris-Roubaix in his final season as a professional cyclist in 1987. His other major Classics victories include the 1975 and 1978 Giro di Lombardia, and the 1984 Milan-Sanremo.
Of lesser classic races, Moser won the 1974 Paris-Tours, the 1977 Züri-Metzgete, the 1979 Gent wevelgem the 1977 Flèche Wallonne.
Apart from one-day classics, Moser also enjoyed some success in the three-week Grand Tours. Moser rode the Tour de France in 1975, but the mountains did not suit his style. However, he won the 1984 Giro d'Italia, in front of Laurent Fignon of France and Moreno Argentin of Italy. Taking advantage of an unusually flat course, Moser used his time-trialing ability to clinch the overall prize from the better climbers of the peloton. Moser also won the Maglia ciclamino (points jersey) of the Italian tour in 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1982.
Moser won the 1977 world road racing championship in San Cristobal, Venezuela in front of Dietrich Thurau of Germany and Moser's countryman Franco Bitossi. Moser was also silver medallist in 1976, behind Freddy Maertens of Belgium, and again he finished second in 1978 to Gerrie Knetemann of the Netherlands.
In 1984 he broke the 1972 hour record of Eddy Merckx's, after long physical preparation. The bike Moser rode looked more advanced than that which Eddy Merckx used: in 1997 the Union Cycliste Internationale banned records which were set on bikes with technological advantages over those used in 1972. Under the new rules, Merckx's 1972 record wasn't broken until 1993. Moser auctioned his bicycle to benefit UNICEF. In 1999, he admitted having blood doping to help break the record, helped by sports doctor Francesco Conconi. His doping had not been declared illegal at the time. The 1984 record stood for more than nine years, and Moser's attempt opened the door to aerodynamic technology in cycling. Moser retired from the professional ranks in 1987.
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