Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry

As you may or may not be aware, English cyclist Adam Yates joined INEOS Grenadiers cycling team over the winter break and, as a result, he and his brother Simon now find themselves in direct competition with each other. With the latter still riding for Team BikeExchange, Simon and Adam may well find themselves going head-to-head as parts of different teams leading into the 2021 racing season. Simon said, at the Team BikeExchange media summit in Spain: “For sure, it’s going to be hard to race against each other. I don’t think that it’s going to be a problem though, I just have to think of him as someone else. It’s just that I know how good he is, so unfortunately it’s going to be hard.”

Simon leads Team BikeExchange whereas Adam will likely play support to one of the race leaders, such as Geraint Thomas or Egan Bernal, so it is uncertain whether the two will actually meet this year, but the concept of a sibling rivalry in sports is always an intriguing one. Let’s have a look at some of the other great sibling rivalries in sports.

  1. Serena and Venus Williams - Tennis

One is the biggest star in the history of Women’s Tennis, holding every record one could possibly hold, with wins over every other name worth playing in the division. The other is Venus. A very unfair characterisation, seeing as Venus is incredibly successful in her own right – a former world no.1 with seven Singles grand slam titles and fourteen Doubles grand slam titles to her name. Serena, however, has always been the superstar which, no doubt, has drawn a degree of ire from her ever-competitive older sister. Whoever is considered greater, both sisters will go down as two of the greatest to ever do it, be it on grass, asphalt or clay.

  1. Michael and Ralf Schumacher – Formula One

The only pair of siblings to win at least one Formula 1 race each, the two Germans are, to say the very least, well-regarded in the racing world. This, however, is the opposite case of Serena and Venus, where the younger sister was the more successful. This time, while the younger Ralf was a respectable driver, with six Grand Prix wins to his name, his older brother Michael is arguably the greatest ever to do it. With seven Drivers Championships to his name, the German is joined in the “greatest ever” conversation only by British speedster Lewis Hamilton. Between then they hold every record imaginable in the F1 driving world, leaving little room for Ralf in the contest of which sibling is the better driver.

  1. Vladimir and Vitali Klitschko – Boxing

At 6’6” and 6’7”, respectively, the Klitschko brothers were Ivan Drago, the Soviet powerhouse incarnate, and bloody good boxers too. Vladimir, the younger, is considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, but his brother’s achievements are not to be sniffed at either, with the elder Vitali holding a record of 45 and 2 along with reigns as WBO, WBC and “Rings” Heavyweight champion. Whichever you found yourself facing across the ring, the Klitschko brothers were to be feared and respected, unless you felt like going to sleep early that night.

  1. Gary and Phil Neville – Football

The sons of Neville Neville both came through the Manchester United youth system in the 90s as part of “Fergie’s Fledgelings” – an affectionate name for those young players developed under the tutelage of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Both went on to become first team starters for the Manchester United first team, winning multiple league titles along with the Champions league, FA Cup, League Cup and any other trophy you might care to mention. Phil spent over 10 years at United before joining Everton FC, while Gary remained with the Red Devils for the entirety of his career, spanning almost 20 years of football. Both men were regulars in the England team throughout their careers also and are well beloved by any Northerner who doesn’t support Liverpool or Manchester City.

  1. Andy and Jamie Murray – Tennis

Back to the court we go, as Andy and Jamie Murray make up the final sibling rivalry of the list. Andy, of course will be the player you’re more familiar with, as the multiple-grand-slam winner is one of the most successful players in Britain’s history (or just Scotland’s, if you’re reading from beyond the border). Jamie is successful in his own right, however, as a multiple-time doubles champion in Men’s and Mixed doubles, even beating Andy on numerous occasions. Both hold the upper hand in each of their specialisms. I wonder who Judy gives the extra helping of stuffing at Christmas?