There can be only one
Whilst it can initially seem a daunting and almost impossible to task to choose just one person who IS mountain biking. But it’s actually really obvious.
It’s John Tomac
Some of you may not have heard of John Tomac. He did, after all, officially retire from bike racing last century. And even if you have heard of him, you may not have experienced the Tomac era first hand.
The video above explains some of the Tomac attack. As does this excellent article on the Bell Helmets website.
What sets Tomac apart? After all, Anne-Caroline Chausson is arguably the most successful mountain biker of all time. And what about Vouilloz? Or Minnaar? Or Moseley? Or modern day marvel Nino Schurter?
It’s not just Tomac’s multi-discipline domination. Anne-Caro triumphed in MTB and BMX. Sam Hill has just been crowned King of enduro after his already legendary career in Downhill.
It’s the sheer spectrum of Tomac’s domination that wins out. Cross-country wins and Downhill wins? That’s unique. Factor in BMX wins and even road racing, and there’s not really much of an argument left.
Maybe he could have done more in road racing, so why didn’t he? “The road scene at that point was pretty bad as far as doping goes,” Tomac says. “People tend to say the EPO era was early or mid-90s, but it really probably started in ’89 or ’90. And that was a game-changer for cycling. I feel like that particular drug, and what it did to your blood, was a huge advantage if you used it. And the problem was they really didn’t have a way to monitor it. I knew I wasn’t going to be that successful if I didn’t go that direction. I didn’t want to do that.”
John Tomac is the greatest cyclist of all time
In fact, let’s not just limit this to the greatest mountain biker of all time. John Tomac is the greatest cyclist of all time.
There. We said it.
Eddie Merckx? Pfft. Come back when you can make a mullet look cool.
And yes, Tomac looked cool.
No one looked cool on a mountain bike in the 90s. Except Tomac. Arguably no one looks truly cool on a mountain bike in the year 2020. Tomac even looks cool on Plus bike (his claimed preferred type of mountain bike these days).
Tomac could look cool with bar ends, drop bars, a Tioga disc wheel or rocking a black rubber skinsuit.