The Legend of Luis “Lucho” Herrera – A man who inspired a nation

Born May 4, 1961, in Fusagaguga Columbia, Luis Herrera was a professional cyclist from 1985 to 1992 and is the greatest climber Columbia has ever produced.

Shy and reserved in nature Lucho (far left) expressed himself on the bike forging many great victories against the best of the era like Fignon, Hinault, Roche and Millar.

In his relatively short professional career Lucho racked up a total of 5 victories in the King of the Mountains classifications at the grand tours of the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and the Giro d’Italia; claiming 8 stage victories in the process.

In 1984 he became the first Columbian to win a major stage race, the Vuelta a Columbia and the Clasico RCN. Later that year he became the first Columbian to win a stage in the Tour de France, on the formidable Alpe d’Huez. His greatest achievement on the bike was becoming the first South American to win a Grand Tour when he took the Vuelta a España overall win.

Lucho on the wheel of the great Bernard Hinault.

He had the ability to out climb all the greats of an era which included legends like Delgado, Millar, Lemond, Kelly, Hinault, Hampsten and Roche. There were many victories which galvanized the legend of Lucho. The son of a gardener and nicknamed El Jardinerito (Little Gardener) he was a shy, reserved man who used the bicycle to express himself.

Perhaps his greatest feat was in pioneering the route for the next generation of Columbian riders to compete at the highest level on the world stage.

Lucho Herrera ‘dances on the pedals’ to victory up Alpe d’Huez at Le Tour in 1984


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