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Cycling's best, worst and strangest victory salutes – Gallery

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DUBENDORF SWITZERLAND FEBRUARY 02 Arrival Mathieu Van Der Poel of The Netherlands Celebration Canyon Bike Mud during the 71st Cyclocross World Championships Dbendorf 2020 Men Elite UCICX Dubendorf2020 on February 02 2020 in Dubendorf Switzerland Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Mathieu van der Poel celebrates his cyclo-cross World Championships win (Image credit: Getty Images Sportt)
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The Shark of Messina attacks in Andorra

The Shark of Messina attacks in Andorra (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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TOPSHOT Italys Vincenzo Nibali celebrates as he wins on the finish line of the twentieth stage of the 106th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Albertville and Val Thorens in Val Thorens on July 27 2019 Photo by Marco Bertorello AFP Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLOAFP via Getty Images

Nibali paid tribute to his grandfather at the 2019 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Mark Cavendish would neither confirm or deny his salute in the 2009 Tour of California was on a bet with DZNuts' Dave Zabriskie.

Mark Cavendish would neither confirm or deny his salute in the 2009 Tour of California was on a bet with DZNuts' Dave Zabriskie. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Peter Sagan wins Gent-Wevelgem 2013 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Alexey Lutsenko points to the sky

At the Tour of Oman, Alexey Lutsenko paid tribute to his wife, who miscarried twins in late 2018 (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Young cyclocross sensation Tom Pidcock already has an array of celebrations in his locker, such as this superman pose in the European champion's jersey

Young cyclocross sensation Tom Pidcock already has an array of celebrations in his locker, such as this superman pose in the European champion's jersey (Image credit: SWpix.com)
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Juan Jose Lobato tried to squeeze in a celebration for his family and his sponsors on the Hatta Dam in Dubai

Juan Jose Lobato tried to squeeze in a celebration for his family and his sponsors on the Hatta Dam in Dubai (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Caleb Ewan celebrates too early and gets pipped at the line by Marcel Kittel at the Tour of Oman

Caleb Ewan celebrates too early and gets pipped at the line by Marcel Kittel at the Tour of Oman (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Diego Rosa (Astana) celebrates his 100km solo victory ride

Diego Rosa winning at Itzulia Basque Country in 2016 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alejandro Valverde fires an arrow at the Fleche Wallone

Alejandro Valverde fires an arrow at the Fleche Wallone (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan does the Hula at the Tour de Suisse

Peter Sagan does the Hula at the Tour de Suisse (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lars Boom clearly had a message for someone

Lars Boom clearly had a message for someone (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru won the Italian national championships wearing the late Michele Scarponi's jersey after it was lent to him at a training camp, Aru dedicated the win to Scarponi's family

Fabio Aru won the Italian national championships wearing the late Michele Scarponi's jersey after it was lent to him at a training camp, Aru dedicated the win to Scarponi's family (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Filippo Simeoni stopped and lifted his bike after winning a Vuelta stage in 2001.

Filippo Simeoni stopped and lifted his bike after winning a Vuelta stage in 2001. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Chris Horner gave a 'karate kid' salute after winning a stage of the Tour de Suisse in 2006.

Chris Horner gave a 'karate kid' salute after winning a stage of the Tour de Suisse in 2006. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Pavel Tonkov flipped off the world after winning a Giro d'Italia stage in 2004.

Pavel Tonkov flipped off the world after winning a Giro d'Italia stage in 2004. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Brice Feillu forgot to zip up before winning his Tour stage in 2009.

Brice Feillu forgot to zip up before winning his Tour stage in 2009. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alberto Contador's 'pistolero' salute never fires blanks.

Alberto Contador's 'pistolero' salute never fires blanks. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish's clever tribute to cell phone maker and sponsor HTC

Mark Cavendish's clever tribute to cell phone maker and sponsor HTC (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Paolo Bettini fired back at the UCI after it tried to keep him out of the 2007 World Championships.

Paolo Bettini fired back at the UCI after it tried to keep him out of the 2007 World Championships. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Robbie McEwen has a little fun with the running man

Robbie McEwen has a little fun with the running man (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Carlos Sastre pulled his baby's "dummy" (pacifier) from his pocket and put it in his mouth as he won the Tour de France stage at Ax-3 Domaines in 2003.

Carlos Sastre pulled his baby's "dummy" (pacifier) from his pocket and put it in his mouth as he won the Tour de France stage at Ax-3 Domaines in 2003. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Alessandro Petacchi won so many stages in 2003 that he began counting each one. He ran out of fingers by the Vuelta.

Alessandro Petacchi won so many stages in 2003 that he began counting each one. He ran out of fingers by the Vuelta. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Johan Musseuw's 2000 Paris-Roubaix salute was a tribute to his nearly ruined knee.

Johan Musseuw's 2000 Paris-Roubaix salute was a tribute to his nearly ruined knee. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Bernard Hinault and Greg Le Mond ride to the summit of Alpe d'Huez raising each other's arm aloft.

Bernard Hinault and Greg Le Mond ride to the summit of Alpe d'Huez raising each other's arm aloft. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Juan Antonio Flecha's Robin Hood salute was a tribute to his name, which translates as "arrow"

Juan Antonio Flecha's Robin Hood salute was a tribute to his name, which translates as "arrow" (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Mario Cipollini would win by such a large margin sometimes he'd check to see if anyone was still there.

Mario Cipollini would win by such a large margin sometimes he'd check to see if anyone was still there. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Mark Cavendish' salutes got strange when he tried an Oakley tribute

Mark Cavendish' salutes got strange when he tried an Oakley tribute (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Jimmy Casper had won a few races before his 2006 Tour de France stage win, but it didn't show.

Jimmy Casper had won a few races before his 2006 Tour de France stage win, but it didn't show. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Judith Arndt gave the finger when she took second at the Olympic Games in 2004.

Judith Arndt gave the finger when she took second at the Olympic Games in 2004. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Lance Armstrong's memorable 1995 Tour de France stage win

Lance Armstrong's memorable 1995 Tour de France stage win (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) thinks he is winning the 2004 Milan-San Remo, but Oscar Freire (Rabobank) wins instead.

Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) thinks he is winning the 2004 Milan-San Remo, but Oscar Freire (Rabobank) wins instead.

Winning a race is something that every rider strives for and the victory celebration is a chance to revel in the moment, honour your sponsors and pay homage to those close to you. It's an image that will be beamed around the world and may well be slapped across the publicity campaigns of your team's sponsors.

Most riders will opt for the simple punching of the air or lift their arms aloft, wrapped up in the moment of joy. Some riders like to think theirs through a little bit more.

At this year's Cyclo-cross World Championships, for example, Mathieu van der Poel stopped after crossing the line to show off his Canyon bike. Other riders have signatures moves, such as Vincenzo Nibali, who often makes a nod to his nickname 'the Shark of Messina' when he crosses the line first.

Mark Cavendish and Lars Boom are among riders to have gotten in trouble for their celebrations in the past, with the Dutchman being fined and Cavendish getting sent home from the 2010 Tour de Romandie.

Perhaps the rider with the widest variety of finish line celebrations, thanks largely to his substantial number of wins, is Peter Sagan. In the early part of his career he had a different one each week, including the running man at the Tour de France in 2012 and wheelying across the line at Gent-Wevelgem the following year.

There are those that celebrate a bit early too, like Erik Zabel at Milan-San Remo in 2004, and Caleb Ewan at the Abu Dhabi Tour in 2017.

Flick through the gallery above to see some of the best, worst and strangest celebrations in cycling.