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. Espada9

    Espada9 New Member

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    Based on those statistics, Merckx was only marginally better in only one area, recovery, which is deceiving because his max HR is actually lower than Indurain’s.

    Remember, there are plenty of other variables that relate to a riders physiology, others being blood lactate threshold, VO2 Max, power output, anaerobic threshold, hydration efficiency, body fat percentage, basal metabolic rate, etc.

    From what I’ve read Indurain was the genetic freak of the bunch, his lung capacity, resting HR and max power output was off the scale.
    Going against him were his size (6’ 2” and 175, not built for the high mountains).
    The other one being his laid back demeanor.

    One may be a monster in the test lab but not a champion on the road.
    The sport of cycling is very genetically selective, but lab results are only one factor that makes a champion.
     


  2. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I've got this article in front of me and your point about lab tests
    is spot on.
    How can you test Merckx's desire to crush the opposition ?
    How can one quantify Merckx achievements - when the template
    of what constitutes a season in 1970's (cycling each and every week) to the modern era (where cycling appears to be centre
    exclusively around the TDF) ?
    The person asking the question asks for some stats and I just
    happened to recall this interesting article referred to above.

    There are a multitude of variables as you point out.

    The benchmark, in my opinion, lab tests or on the road - or by any
    measurement you care to mention is our Belgian friend.

    The man and his record are taken for granted in my opinion.
    Few sports can say that a particular practitioner is the greatest in his/her field.
    Merckx is the exception - he is up there with Bradman (cricket).

    Your stats on BigMig are correct - an absolute collosus in cycling terms and a great champion.
    His ability to climb (and I well remember panatani giving BigMig
    a lot of worries in the 1995 TDF) with the moutain goats was
    awe-inspiring.
    Pretty similar to Eddy - he too was tall, but could stay with and often out climb, the goats !
     
  3. Espada9

    Espada9 New Member

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    We park our cars in the same garage on that one my man, but what I want to know is who is Bradman, and what does he have to do with an annoying insect???
     
  4. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I am glad that we argree on something !

    Very good one there, Espada, about the insect (LOL).

    For the record, Sir Donald Bradman played cricket for Australia in the 1930/1940.
    (you know that funny game where they all dress in white and there are batsmen and fielders ?? - perhaps not, California is not known as a bedrock of cricket, although Boris Karloff did have a team there in the 1920's - more useless info).

    Bradman's batting average ie the number of runs he would score per innings was 99.94 (100 is perfection).
    The closest average thoughout test cricket is average high 50's.
     
  5. Espada9

    Espada9 New Member

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    So what you’re telling me is that this “cricket master” didn’t chirp, but had F1 level hand-eye coordination? Sort of like golf, baseball, and NASCAR???
    The NASCAR part is a joke, unlike many Americans, I don’t consider white trash driving around in a big oval in front of legions of pick-up driving, wife beating inbreeds quite on the same level as Formula-1 (although it still takes some extra large testicles to stay calm at 230mph in heavy traffic).
     
  6. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    Look carefully at the voting now. Notice that when you remove the effects of our human tendency to vote for the greats of most recent times and forget about the past, Merckx still stands tall above the others. He is the only rider from the distant past that receives the lion's share of the votes, and I suspect that the recent riders will fade lower in the rankings to assume their rank as equals to the other greats as time goes on. But who will continue to stand tall as new great riders begin to receive their small share of the votes? It will be Eddie Merckx, the Cannibal. Take this poll again in 50 years. The dispersion will be different, but Eddie's share will still be the biggest. It may be a very long time before we see another Eddie Merckx. We may have to count in centuries.
     
  7. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    I suspect that if Indurain would have been as deeply concerned with minimizing his weight as Eddie Merckx was, he would have been in better contention to compete historically with Eddie Merckx. He was not overweight in his riding days, but his body mass probably could have been quite a bit lower if he had been overly concerned with it. Merckx used to ride up to 200 miles in training up to a day before a major tour just to keep his weight down. Those last few pounds make a huge difference in the mountains, not only for having less weight to push up the hill, but also to stay cool easier. As you may know, the biggest moose in the world live in the interior of Alaska where the climate is coldest in the winter. This is because they stay warm easier when they are bigger, and it's not fat. They are lean and huge. Indurain was lean, but he could have taken off some more muscle. It would have helped him. But you have to do it right. You have to get the nutrition right or else it works against you. It seems that Merckx' magic weapon was mostly his ability to train enormous miles and still recover, thereby keeping his weight down without caloric restriction.
     
  8. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Agreed !
     
  9. WARrider

    WARrider New Member

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    Greg Lemond. Best ever. Too bad he had that hunting accident and and a greedy manager or he would have won the 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, and 90 Tours.
     
  10. nferyn

    nferyn New Member

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    Although I do agree that Greg Lemond was a great racer and I was a fan of his at the time, I cannot understand that you would give him the "greatest rider of all-time" title. Especially in light of all that has been written in this thread.

    Care to ellaborate?

    Niek
     
  11. iBanesto

    iBanesto New Member

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    Merckx easily!
     
  12. Susan126

    Susan126 New Member

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  13. bwalt17

    bwalt17 New Member

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    Eddie. He's just a beast.
     
  14. steve007

    steve007 New Member

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    I'll reserve judgement until later this month.....
     
  15. DeRosa_AV

    DeRosa_AV New Member

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    Why? It will not change the fact that Merckx is the best rider.
     
  16. Susan126

    Susan126 New Member

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    Because:

    Out of all riders named he alone had cancer so bad (last stage when it was caught) that his chance of survival was slim. It spread throughout his body in the last stage. Brain and lungs were the worst. His chemo was severe, only for the worst cases. To save him he was literally poisoned. He waited an entire year before he could claim he was cancer free and then the fight back. He could not walk a block! But his heart, his will, his determination were so strong that he did something no other ever had. This ordeal/feat alone puts him a step above.

    Plus, unlike the others he has brought cycling into the hearts of nations, were cycling was not thought of as a sport (at least here in the states). Before Lance you may have heard briefly on the 11 o'clock news about someone winning some bike race in France and that was it. Now you ask almost anyone what the Tour de France is or who is Lance Armstrong or even Jan, or Tyler and thanks to Lance you will get an answer. It's now covered on TV. People now know of Lance, the Tour, time trials, and L' Alpe d' Huez. He brought cycling into the living rooms of world.

    That's why I believe Lance is the greatest! He crossed many barriers, he's touched many people, and he showed us his human side.
     
  17. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    No disrespect - but there is no comparison.

    Eddy Merckx is the greatest ever.
    Palmares is the only way to objective judge of greatness and there is no one that has ever been (or will ever be) close to Eddy.

    In fact, as time goes by - Eddy's greatness simply magnifies because the modern day rider is totally incapable of matching his record especially Lance Armstrong.

    Your message is based on subjectivity - not objectivity.
     
  18. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    You are correct - EM is the greatest.

    Armstrong can win 10 T'sDF - it would be immaterial.
    He's not even up there with Hinault or Indurain or Coppi.
    He's on the rung below them (even if he does win 04 TDF).
     
  19. marv800

    marv800 New Member

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    Wha about Greg Lemond or Anton Villatoro?
     
  20. Susan126

    Susan126 New Member

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    None taken. Like you I am just answering the question "who is the greatest rider of all-time" . . . for you it's Eddy for me I truly believe it's Lance.

    Objective . . . like a goal? Striving to become the first to win six?

    Incapable . . . nothing is impossible.

    I truly admire Eddy Merckx, too! He was a great cyclist. But there is always someone who will come along and do better. The Nike commercial with the little boy on the cycle chasing Lance . . . he could be that young nine year old screaming down your block who will some day top Lance and the rest! I can accept that. In fact I believe it.

    You are being subjective when you say the modern day rider is incapable of matching Eddy's greatness. That belief exists in your mind. Don't be surprised to see that nine year old kid in about 10 years putting his own mark on the cycling world.
     
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