Il Mangiapietre, The Cobble Eater


1978: A rainbow win

Few champions have returned to the cruel cobblestoned pave of the Hell of the North to recapture victory. Francesco Moser was one who was made for Hell.

Nicknamed "The Sheriff" and my favorite "Il Mangiapietre" or The Cobble Eater, Moser's dominion was the peloton, and his power was the Classics. His 7 podium finishes and 3 consecutive titles at Paris-Roubaix (1978-1980) cemented Moser's position as one of the best cyclists of all time. His first win was perhaps the most memorable as he did so as World Champion. He went further... capturing 3 more Monuments, Il Lombardia ('75, '78) and Milan-San Remo ('84). 

Devouring the cobbles of Roubaix required a bike that could be pushed past its limits, Moser fought Hell with bikes built by legendary frame builder, Ugo de Rosa. In fact, De Rosa went on to produced Moser's own brand of bicycles that were designed specifically for a rider of his pedigree. This Sunday, Paris-Roubaix is postponed due to the pandemic but come October 3rd, who will be the next "Il Mangiapietre"?