Who is the greatest rider of all-time

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by Kenny, Nov 23, 2002.

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Who is the greatest rider of all-time

  1. Bernard Hinault

    10 vote(s)
    1.0%
  2. Fausto Coppi

    24 vote(s)
    2.5%
  3. Francesco Moser

    28 vote(s)
    2.9%
  4. Eddy Merckx

    2 vote(s)
    0.2%
  5. Gino Bartali

    604 vote(s)
    63.1%
  6. Luison Bobet

    4 vote(s)
    0.4%
  7. Felice Gimondi

    1 vote(s)
    0.1%
  8. Rik Van Looy

    2 vote(s)
    0.2%
  9. Lance Armstrong

    2 vote(s)
    0.2%
  10. Miguel Indurain

    280 vote(s)
    29.3%
  1. pjodonnell

    pjodonnell New Member

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    i definately give credit to Lance for giving others his helmet, it shows what a great competitor he is, although i hadn't heard that anyone but Millar had one of the helmets. it's got to sting a bit now that he can't even use it anymore, although Giro is making him a new one that's up to standards.
    however, i'm speaking more of the fact that, for instance, Shimano bent over backwards to make their new D/A pedals up to Lance's standards, and that Trek designed the Madone for him. i'm sure bicycle companies of the day were glad to do what they could for Eddy, but he certainly didn't have as much help as Lance does.
     


  2. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    It's not often that I come to the defence of LA : but if you read
    Ernestro Colgnago's 50th anniversary interview on www.cyclingnews.com, EC tells how Merckx was given handmade bikes built specifically for him, by EC.
    His stories are fascinating about how EM would modify and then re-modify his modifications.
    Ok, at that stage Colnago weren't selling to the public - as they are now - but the top man of that day (EM) was as thorough with his equipment as LA appears to be now.
     
  3. tongo

    tongo New Member

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    1. Merckx
    2. Coppi
    3. Hinault
    4. Anquetil
    5. Poulidor!!!
     
  4. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Poulidor is a very interesting choice - certainly an all time great.

    1.Merckx
    2.Hinault
    3.Indurain
    4.Coppi
    5.Philippe Thys
     
  5. Le_cannibale

    Le_cannibale New Member

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    Eddy Merckx is the greatest cyclist ever. He won more races than anyone else ever has. If Lance raced to win in races other than the Tour, he could be the greatest. Only if he won the Giro multiple times, the Vuelta multiple times, and various one day classics and races would he be the greatest ever.
     
  6. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    I think I have to go with Robin Williams, (the comedian) on this one. He makes almost 3½ times more money annually than lance, rides for fun so he doesn't have to listen to any team managers or coaches, rides only the bikes he wants to ride and got naked with Pam Dawber. (Mork & Mindy) He also gets to hang with the Postal boys, watch the Tour de France in person and almost never has to ride in a dress... almost.



    :)
     
  7. Michuel

    Michuel New Member

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    Then we'l have to settle fo settle for Lance being the greatest ever Tour de France winner after July.
     
  8. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Indeed, Mr.Williams has got it made !
     
  9. creaky crank

    creaky crank New Member

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    1-Eddy Merckx
    2-Roger De Vlaeminck
    3-Fausto Coppy
    4-Rik Van Looy
    5-Greg Lemond


    Armstrong is a great rider, I just can't vote for him because he only races a few weeks a year.
     
  10. Jim Santagata

    Jim Santagata New Member

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    In the words of the announcer on last night's Road to The Tour, Eddy M. out-climbed the climbing specialists, out time trialed the time trial specialists and out sprinted the sprint specialists, and he did it at all times of the year, multiple times in all three grand tours and in all but one of the Classics. The only debate should be about who, if anyone, was a more dominating athlete and competitor in any sport? Lance has been tremendously inspirational to so many cancer patients. He is also a great current competitor, but he is really only a one-grand-tour specialist. Even if he were to win a sixth TdF, an accomplishment that his recent case of "celebrity" may well keep him from achieving, it should never be seen as a reason for calling him the greatest rider ever.
     
  11. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Jim, under the Bike Cafe category there is a thread called
    Armstrong or Merckx.
    If you haven't already read it - take a look at some of the
    results that both myself and Cipher posted re Eddy.
    The story behind the numbers is fascinating.

    Eddy is other there by himself - no one comes close.
    Indurain, Coppi, Hinault are a long way short of Merckx.
    Armstrong is miles behind Indurain Coppi and Hinault.
    QED
     
  12. utahsowle

    utahsowle New Member

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    MERCKX!!!!!! What is there to doubt MERCKX was the GREATEST. LA is just specializing in one race MERCKX did it all!!!!
     
  13. Espada9

    Espada9 New Member

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    The tour is not the only race that matters, the terrain is not always the most difficult, it just has more media attention and money thrown at it, winning it every year does not mean you’re the best cyclist of all time it just means you worship $$$

    I have a theory here on why anyone would make a retarded statement like “Armstrong is better than Merckx”. These posts must be from modern age bandwagon cycling fans, perhaps someone who started following the sport because they saw a “cool” Suburu add on TV.
    Any old school cycling fan who knows his cycling history would agree, King Eddy was so far above any other cyclist of his era or any other era.
    Even the other greats would all agree (including the not so humble Lance), Eddy was simply the best ever!

    Now I’m not biased because I found Merckx boring, the outcome was almost a forgone conclusion, unlike Armstrong who looses plenty of races.

    For the person who stated Merckx had no great rivals???

    You need to read up on the real champions of the road and not be influenced our modern day media sensationalism. Just because you’re not aware of cycling history before 1999, doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

    Armstrong’s rivals….

    Pantani-Doped up climber who EPO’s hit way to the podium, but all he could do was climb, too one dimensional with a very short career, one tour and one giro, what was in his blood? We’ll never know.

    Verinque-One show pony, plenty of doping scandals, never much of a GC threat because he couldn’t TT, no grand tours.

    Ulrich-Super talented but no focus or drive (which is perhaps why he’s so likeable), poor training habits, one tour and one vuelta.

    Armstrong raced against Indurain in the tour 3 times and got smoked (he only finished one of those tours).

    Winning two grand tours (Tour-Giro-Vuelta) in one year is not an easy task, to assume that Armstrong could win two of these races in one year is just speculation because he follows a similar program every rear, he plays it safe.

    Merckx rode every race he entered to win and he won most of the greatest races of all time, most of them he won multiple times.

    If Armstrong rode all of the classics to win, he would be fried by May, then if he rode the Giro to win, forget it because some Italian climber would shred him in the steeeeeeep Dolomites.

    As for riding the tour after completing all of these tasks, no way Lance could survive, but Merckx did it every year and WON!!!

    The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long.
     
  14. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    You hit the nail on the head here.
     
  15. Espada9

    Espada9 New Member

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    OK, I’m going out on a limb on this one, I’m sure I’ll upset plenty of overnight cycling fans but Lance Armstrong doesn’t even compare to Miguel Indurain let alone Hinault or Merckx when comparing all time greatest rider.

    The title “best ever” should be reserved for the most complete rider who won the highest number of great races, not the most commercially viable or the one who made the most cash, or appeared on the most TV commercials.

    The Tour is ONE RACE, and does not define the sport. I was in France in 98’ on Les Deux Alpes to see Pantani kill all, and saw the next day’s stage roll through Grenoble, and I would have to say I would rather see the Vuelta or Giro in person, the tour is soooo commercialized and crowded. It’s as if it’s no longer about cycling, but rather consumerism and popularity.

    I’ve heard plenty of good arguments on this thread comparing the modern era against the past. As for me, I would much rather be a pro rider now than years ago. The simple fact is that the equipment we have now (food, clothing, equipment, support staff, salary, medical technology, post career opportunity, etc…) is so much more superior to that of the past that I often see the modern pros as pampered overpaid self-indulgent crybabies.

    There are a few modern day champions who impress the hell out of me (aside from their amazing palmares) Indurain, Jalabert, Kelly, Musseuw.

    It’s the way they carry themselves on and off the bike. Never complaining when they loose, never taking credit for their victories, suffering like a man in all weather conditions from Feb to Oct.

    In order to be one of the great champions (Merckx, Hinault, Acuatiel, Indurain) it almost seems like you need to have a single minded focus on winning, almost like an addiction or obsession. It’s probably an advantage to be a little selfish or shallow so NOTHING gets in your way.

    What impressed me about Indurain is that he never seemed to loose his humanity while still slaying all. I wonder what Miguel would have accomplished if he had that selfish obsession with winning? Physiologically he was vastly superior to his rivals, it often looked like he wasn’t even trying.

    Tale a look at this website and tell me what you think about his palmares

    http://www.miguelindurain.net/

    Lance doesn’t even come close.
     
  16. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I've discussed this point elsewhere on this Forum but now that there is a bit of traffic on this subject, I feel that it is pertinent to comment once again.

    Espada9 is absolutely correct in everything posted above.
    The apologists for the modern riders (and I suggest modern is from 1996-onwards) bleat on about the need for specialisation
    etc.
    Utter rubbish.

    Before people starting posting about how "stressful" and how "demanding" the sport is nowadays, I suggest that they first
    acquaint themselves with the history of our sport and read about people like Kelly,Roche, LeMond, Robert Millar, going to France with nothing - no language, no money, no contacts.
    That's pressure !

    Go back further and look at how cyclists lived hand to mouth
    (Tom Simpson book "Put me back on my Bike").
    Read about Bartali and Coppi : how they had to race to earn money to live.
    That's pressure !

    Or how about the boys back in the early 1900's : starting stages
    at 3.00am in the morning : having to cycle TDF routes totalling
    5,500 kilomteres
    That's pressure !

    Of course Ullrich and Armstrong are NOWEHERE close to the all time greats.
    Armstrong and Ullrich's palmares is dwarfed by Merckx, Coppi,
    Hinault, Indurain, Anquetil, Kelly, LeMond, Bobet, Van Looy, Van Steenbergen.
    Indurain would crush both Armstrong and Ullrich in his (and their)
    prime.
    As for Eddy and Bernard - well it's not worth going on about what they would do to both of these three week per year cyclists, in
    any race.

    The so-called pressure of the modern era is quite frankly laughable.
    Yes, they are expected to perform - FOR THREE WEEKS EVERY YEAR.
    They are over paid and under used, cyclists : good for them if they can get away with that but as regards commanding respect of the fans - they don't command the respect of this fan.
     
  17. hemplands

    hemplands New Member

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    Well said Lim, they don't compete enough to be even spoken of in the same breath. How many days has Ullrich raced this year, or Lance? very few, This blinkered attitude that the Tour is the Holy Grail is sickening.

    Espada9 is so right too, the Tour is so commercialised. I've watched it the last 2 years at some point, usually from the finish You used to be able to get somewhere close to the line to watch the big screens and watch the race unfold. Not so much last year, the hospitality areas have now overrun them.they were cordoned off for the great and the good to have the views. The peoples race no longer belongs to the people, just the portly fat Frenchmen that run it.
     
  18. frusso

    frusso New Member

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    Eddy Merckx
     
  19. mbear37

    mbear37 New Member

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    I'd be very interested to know if anyone has info on some of these riders fitness. I hear stories that Lance's resting pulse rate is 32 and that he has the highest Vmax (lung capacity related) ever recorded. I wonder how these compare to riders like Mercx in their heyday. This may allow us to compare them to some extent.

    mbear37
     
  20. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Cycle Sport in 1994 : had measurements of the Merckx, Hinault,
    Indurain and the then current fittest riders (Jalabert, Rominger).
    Armstrong although cycling in 1994, was not included (not considered to be included).

    They measured heart rate, lung capacity and return to resting heart beat following maximum effort.

    Overall Merckx stats were the best on average.
    (HR 38 bpm, 6.9 litre lung capacity, max rate 180 returning to
    38 bpm in 1min 25 secs)
    Indurain was second :
    (HR 28 bpm, 7.8 litre lung capacity max rate 190 returning to
    28bom in 1min 30 secs)
    Hinault was third
    (HR 42bpm, 6.8 litre lung capacity, max rate 185 returning to
    42bpm in 1min 33secs)
    Jalabert :
    (HR 43bpm, 6.7lung capacity, max rate 191 returning to
    43bpm in 1min 36 secs)
    Rominger
    (HR 35bpm, 7.0 lung capacity, max rate 182 returning to
    35bpm in 1min 42 secs)
     
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