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. oxbow70

    oxbow70 New Member

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    I am not even keeping those feats in account though they are very big factors. Eddy merckx also never drove around with hus tubes around his neck.
    It is just there were a few guys who actualy lived for the SPORT not just for the TdF. Guys like Merckx, van Looy Hinault they drove all over 100 races a year and yes they drove them all to win not just in preperation of something to come.
    Thats what i blame Armstrong from he is not for the sport he is only interested in the TdF which is offcoarse his rigth and very understanable due to price money and sponsorship fees so please dont tell me that Arsmstrong did anything for the SPORT to suddenly become and Great of ALL TIME
    No Lance lets say your a nickel (maybe a shiny new nickel but a nickel) while guys like Merckx where Daimonds
    Dirk

     


  2. Susan126

    Susan126 New Member

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    Dear Dirk,


    How you judge and arrive at your verdict of “who is the greatest rider of all time,” is not the criteria I use to come to my conviction. What puzzles me is this forum as compared to what I’ve observed in the outside world. How opposite it is to what I see daily. My daughter works for a major airline and she said the past three weeks during the tour the terminal was unbelievable. Everywhere, she saw people sporting “Livestrong” bracelets. Passengers glued to the tour on the concourse tv’s, or their portable computers or wireless cells. Jumping up and down when Lance won a stage. People I meet daily, friends I cycle with all saying how awesome Lance is. My good friend, a nurse in a pediatric ward handing out youth size Livestrong bracelets to kids who think Lance is the greatest. Tell them he’s not. You can judge people so many different ways. Apparently how I’ve come to my conclusion that Lance is one of the greatest is not the standards you used to come to yours. No book will tell me that what has been done by Lance is pretty phenomenal. I’m not saying that who you think are great are not, because they are great. Books will give you stats, history, and biographies to help you come to a conclusion. But it still boils down to who I think is the greatest.

    By the way, did you read the tribute that Eddy Merckx wrote about Lance in the book “Lance Armstrong Images of a Champion”?

    Page 195

    Sue . . . A Lance Fan:)




     
  3. cydewaze

    cydewaze New Member

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    While I'm definitely a Lance fan, my vote had to go to Merckx. I just think that was he did, on the equipment he had to use, was simply amazing. I think his 1 hour record stood until Indurain (sporting an aero bike and a skinsuit) finally broke it, no?

    Hard to compare people with Eddie. He was a machine. But then again, Lance is still actively racing. It'll be fun to see what else he accomplishes in the years to come. What a great time to live in!
     
  4. dennis dee

    dennis dee New Member

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    Defineitely spot on. Although most people make judgements based on the TdF, I dont think it undermines all other races. To my mind the earlier Giro d'Italias are equally hard and passionate as the TdF. For the biking afficionado I suggest the video 'history of the TdF' to appreciate the accomplishments of cyclists before the modern era. Yes, it is about the TdF but I am sure that the other races of the earlier years were as hard and that the men who raced them endured the same.

    Merkx, Roger De Vlademick, Gino Bartali, Jaques Anquetil, Alfredo Binda and many more .... great stuff.
     
  5. derKaiser

    derKaiser New Member

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    oxbow - it's absolutely ridiculous to call a rider like joop zoetemelk better than lance armstrong. sure, lance may only ride the tour de france, but what did zoetemelk ever do to merit inclusion among "the greats" while armstrong does not. if i remember correctly, zoetemelk won 1 tour, 1 vuelta, 1 world championship, 2 paris-tours, and 1 fleche wallone. are those more impressive palmares than 6 tours, 1 world championship, 1 fleche wallone, and 1 san sebastien??? i certainly agree that merckx and hinault are better than armstrong, even after 6 tour victories, but to put mediocre riders like zootemelk ahead of champions like armstrong is absolutely ridiculous, even if zootemelk raced a full calendar.

    after all, who does race a full calendar these days? thats right...no one! by your logic, then, not a single cyclist of the last ten or so years merits a place among the greats. has the peloton suddenly become a bunch of no-talent losers? clearly it is a different time, and one that merits a new standard of evaluation. lance may not dominate the calendar like merckx or hinault, but he is far and away and most dominent rider of the last 6 years. is there anyone out there who wouldnt trade their palmares for lance's?

    its unfair to prejudice yourself against a rider simply because they race in a different era. put eddy merckx in the lance era and merckx wins 8 tours. but put lance armstrong in the eddy merckx era and lance wins 4-5 tours, the giro, a few of the classics, etc. merckx is still the greatest, but to blame lance for circumstances beyond his control is foolish and immature

    my top 5: 1) merckx, 2) hinault, 3) coppi, 4) lance, 5) indurain
     
  6. patch70

    patch70 New Member

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    Zabel, for one. That's how he keeps being top or near top of the UCI rankings without winning too many races.
     
  7. derKaiser

    derKaiser New Member

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    But if anything, that's indicative of changing times. Zabel fails to win as many races as he could by racing a full calendar (and b/c he's old). But he's also a sprinter who doesn't need to be in top form all the time to have a chance to win.
     
  8. silverbullet84

    silverbullet84 New Member

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  9. Susan126

    Susan126 New Member

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    I saw this posted at another cycling forum and would like to hear thoughts from everyone here . . .

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The media struggles to compare LA with past riders. Is there any metric that can work?

    I argue here that the length of the Palmeres (list of victories) is NOT a good metric. This is because modern training (periodization) allows riders to be much better than they used to be, but only for a select few races each year. Because everybody is focussing, it is nearly impossible to win races that are off your peak (somebody else is peaking then!). Hence, the best riders win less frequently.

    The incomparable Merckx (Palmeres Superman) and his best contemporaries raced all season, focussing on races as they came. They might not race all three grand tours in one season, but sometimes they did. Merckx's extraordinary talent allowed him, in countless races all season, to dominate a field that was not effectively peaking for any event. His talent and drive resulted in a huge Palmeres.

    But modern riders know that they can only be at their absolute best for a few races each year, and they select these races very carefully. Hence, the winners of each event, such as the Vuelta, Giro, TdF, Liege B L, FlWall, etc., are very likely to be those who focus their training on those events. Lance Armstrong is the most famous here, focussing only on the TdF, but others do this for other races.

    In the old days, the best rider won the most races - it was an idyllic period when fans could watch their heroes compete weekly, and in the case of extraordinary talent (i.e. Merckx) expect them to win weekly. Today, modern training methods yield a different test: The best rider in a given specialization wins the biggest race in that specialization, and Lance is the modern champ of stage races.

    But modern training has made comparisons across the ages impossible. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this...
     
  10. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    All I can say is that (at least in my opinion), it's literally impossible to directly compare athletes from different time periods in any sport. You could go around in circles all day. Is Sammy Sosa a better power hitter than Babe Ruth? Is Shaquille O'Neil a better center than Kareem Abdul Jabar? Who would have won in a boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano? Who the hell knows??? (sorry about the decidedly American slant)

    Having said that, Eddy Merckx is without question the greatest cyclist of all time in my opinion. :D
     
  11. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    There are indeed ways of comparing - on a statistical basis - the performances of cyclists based on weighted average performance index such as www.cyclinghalloffame.com

    The argument about periodization is a condition.
    This condition is intangible - how do we weight something that is intangible ?

    Since 1990 - specialisation has been the way, cyclists take part in selective races therefore their results should be viewed within that constraint - in other
    words their choice not to participate is to their detriment and they themselves
    impose this condition and are, rightly, penalised when their palmares is
    put up for scrutiny.
    These guys have a choice - they could take part in more races if they have the ability and confidence to take part in more races.
    But Indurain, Ullrich and Armstrong chose not to do so.
    Therefore, their choice informs their ultimate palmares.

    Of course, we can debate what informs the decision to periodisation - I suppose when you're being paid a wad load of money to perform less (compared to the older greats) why should you kill yourself cycling more than you ought.

    My own personal view is that if you are a champion you should try to maximise your palmares - maybe this explains why I am sitting here typing
    mails rather than winning the TDF ?
     
  12. paris_boy

    paris_boy New Member

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    it is obvious that the only thing we can conclude about Lance is that he has won the most TDFs. that is what he and his team have wanted to do and have done. I don't think he ever wanted to be the greatest rider of all-time. if he did he would have ridden a lot more races. Lance is a "tour specialist" and was lucky to find a team with the money to allow him to be one. if he was racing at another time or for another team I don't think he could have won the tour, or at least not 6 times. being an American with a big money American sponsor has to do as much with his success as his legs.
     
  13. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Yes LA is certainly a contender for the greatest TDF rider ever.
    In my opinion, I think Merckx is still the greatest TDF rider of all time and the
    greatest rider of all time.
    His 35 stage wins - 90 odd days in yellow are still way ahead of LA's record
    in the TDF.
     
  14. patch70

    patch70 New Member

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    His effort in '69 of winning each of the yellow, green and polka dot jerseys still amazes me...
     
  15. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Yeah, it is mind blowing just how good EM was.
    The more you read about him the more you appreciate how good he was.
     
  16. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    That was his first year of riding the Tour. After that, my guess is he was a marked man. Either that or he changed his objectives. He never repeated that feat. Nobody else did either.
     
  17. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    I concur with this completely. I might postulate that if Lance even wanted to ride a full season, USPS, Subaru, Trek, and Nike would not have been his sponsors. That would have been money wasted.
     
  18. holli

    holli New Member

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  19. gavin11756

    gavin11756 New Member

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    I saw the poll, voted for Merckx, and then I see who's ahead and it's merckx by a mile! :D
     
  20. gavin11756

    gavin11756 New Member

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    ALSO< THE REASON Merckx failed to win one more TDF is because some bastard punched him in the kidneys near the finish as he was leading. It was a spectator ! I saw it on TV. They showed this old footage during a break in the last TDF telecast. It was Merckx's last attempt I think


    Gavin :eek:
     
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