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. Michuel

    Michuel New Member

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    Hi Roy

    Many thanks for your reply. I've seen your other thread re most admired rider and see you've netter knowledge of Anquetil than I have. In the l 60s certainly Anquetil was the rider held in most respect in UK for the Tour. In the late 50's he was spoken of in respect by UK riders who rode against him in worlds.

    Computing the best tour rider (which this thread isn't about) can produce variations dependent on method used. Outside ranking histories it's the Tour win that counts and the 2ns, 3rds are forgotten in time.

    A respected ranking of tour winners is at http://www.memoire-du-cyclisme.net/dossiers/dos_marszalek_tdf.php by Daniel Marszalet on maybe the best cycling archive site:-

    1. Eddy MERCKX (Bel) - 1589 points
    2. Bernard Hinault (Fra) - 1335
    3. Joop Zoetemelk (Hol) - 1053
    4. Jacques Anquetil (Fra) - 966
    5. Miguel Indurain (Esp) - 945
    6. Lance Armstrong (Usa) - 925 (+7)

    Guess who is no. 33 - Fausto Coppi,

    Anyway for my money the photo that best sums up the tour is the shoulder to shoulder struggle on the Puy de Dome of Anquetil and Poulidor.
     


  2. Daremo

    Daremo New Member

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    Coppi only rode in the Tour like three times .... and won two .........

    I would argue that he was/is the best climber ever ....... Bahomontes was d a m n good, but Coppi is still the man.

    Virenque is an opportunist ... not really a pure climber.
     
  3. Michuel

    Michuel New Member

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    Yes he was good. Look at his winning margins. And he beat the top-rated climber Bartali. I always regret not going to see Coppi at Isle of Man.

    But alongside Bahamontes there's <Gaul. In '59 he rode Ventoux from Bedoin on a rough cementy surface in 62 mins - - 44 years later Armstrong rode it in 57m with Vaughters holding the record with 56m around 2000.
     
  4. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner New Member

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    The two greatest climbers of the time, possibly of all time. In 59 Gaul had already won the Giro, murdering none other than Anquetil on the St Bernard. But for one day in the heat in the '59 TdF Gaul might easily have joined the greats in a Giro/Tour double.
     
  5. Brett147

    Brett147 New Member

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    Did you hear that Ullrich is switching to giant next year.
     
  6. Tuschinski

    Tuschinski New Member

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    What about Freddy Maertens?

    373 wins

    Won 13 Stages in the 76 Vuelta and leaded the general ranking from day 1 to end.

    Holds the 8 stages in one TdF record with merckx and Eclassan
     
  7. Tuschinski

    Tuschinski New Member

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    Anyways, Merckx wins this poll by his staggering palmares.

    The argument that Lance faces the stiffer competition than Merckx seems to be rather arguable:

    Merckx faced among others:

    -Luis Ocana
    -Lucien van Impe
    -Bernard Thevenet
    -Hennie Kuiper
    -Joop Zoetemelk


    In single day courses:
    - Jan Raas
    - Freddy Maertens

    Lemond and Hinault faced (besides each other) Fignon, Zoetemelk, van Impe.

    The only ones comparable racing today are Lance, Pantani and Jan Ulrich. This doesn't show a stiffer competition for Lance imho.
     
  8. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner New Member

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  9. mister.G.

    mister.G. New Member

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    There's only one .........................E. Merckx
     
  10. runfaster

    runfaster New Member

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    While I am not saying that he is the greatest of all time, not including Sean Kelly on your list was a huge oversight. For those of you not familiar with the Irishman, Here is a short list of his accomplishments:

    7 consecutive wins in Paris-Nice
    2 wins at Milan-San Remo including one at age 36
    mulitiple runner-up finishes at Tour de Flandres
    2 wins at Paris-Roubaix
    2 wins at Liege-Bastongne-Liege
    1 win at Tour of Spain
    4 time Points winner at the Tour de France
    4 time top ten GC rider at the Tour de France
    several World championship medals (no wins)
    2 or 3 wins at the Tour of Lombardy
    and most amazing--from the establishment of the ranking system in 1983 to 1989 he was the uninterrupted worlds number one ranked rider.
    He was a singularly amazing rider who started out as a road sprinter and turned himself into the most cosistent rider of his generation.

    My vote is for Sean Kelly
     
  11. silly

    silly New Member

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    Eddy Merckx is really the greatest rider ever!!!
    And I don't understant the people who vote for Lance Armstrong. He's ok, but he doesn't even come close to merckx.......
     
  12. runfaster

    runfaster New Member

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    Eddy Merckx certainly has the best resume of all time, but he was still riding at a time when the peloton was mostly just a Western European race. No Americans, no Australians, Germans, Columbians or any riders that came from countries in the former Soviet Union or Eastern Bloc countries. That he was a great rider cannot be doubted, but I don't believe that he could be as dominant in today's peloton.

    As for Lance, saying he is anything but a great Tour de France rider would be stretch. As a young rider he was very competitive at one-day races, winning some of the lesser classics and one World Championship. Now he doesn't even start racing until the end of April and he is done after the Tour. Like Indurain, you can do that if you win the Tour every year, but have a bad tour and the year was a loss.

    It may be impossible to be a great one-day rider and win the Tour de France, but we will never know, because none of the recent tour champions have ever tried.
     
  13. silly

    silly New Member

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    Yes, if you put it that way..... I guess you are right at some points.....
    But I still think that Lance would get a lot more sympathy from the critics and the fans, if he would ride more races and stopped acting like he's the king of the world. Cause remember the Amstel Gold Race, when he got beaten bij Vino, he just wouldn't say that on that point Vino was better then him. Instead he blamed some parked cars along the track.
    I mean he is a good rider, I just dislike his attitude.
     
  14. Smitty

    Smitty New Member

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    You quite obviously have never seen footage of Merckx racing, if he would be racing today he would (even more so) absolutely demolish Lance Armystrong, Jan Ulrich, Beloki... and others if he had all the updated bike technology and nutrition.
    Also Lance doesn't have as strong a competition that Merckx had, sure Lance has overcome a lot of struggles to become what he has over that last 5 years but he's nowhere near as good as legends like Merckx.
     
  15. doubledog8

    doubledog8 New Member

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    Well, there is the fact that he won over 500 races as a pro, nearly a third of all the pro races he ever did
     
  16. doubledog8

    doubledog8 New Member

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    Spoken like a true '99er...too many 'what if's' in this thread. Fact is, Eddy won just about every major European race at least once. Lance is, at this point strictly a TDF rider, but even if he wins 6, I still won't consider him the greatest Tour rider. Eddy still has more stage wins, days in the yellow jersey, bigger margins of overall victory, not to mention winning the green and polka-dot jerseys as well. Lance is a great rider, don't get me wrong, but I don't think he can be considered in the discussion of 'greatest of all time'...just my .02
     
  17. CyclegurlLx5

    CyclegurlLx5 New Member

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    Lance of modern day,but if he wouln't have had all the tech gear,I hate to say it,but Merckx
     
  18. Smitty

    Smitty New Member

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    I don't even know why Lance is being considered for this title... since Lance only does the bare minimum races in order to qualify for the TdF. He is not a real rider like Merckx was (and pretty much every other rider out there), he's just going for one thing, the TdF.
     
  19. tomdavis80

    tomdavis80 New Member

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    There is one problem with this perception, one is the insistence to stay with the past greats as the greatest of all time, rather than recognizing that different eras change and as cycling opens up as a sport, there will be more talent and more possibility of very powerful potential cyclists much in the mold of Lance but perhaps better than he is.

    Other sports have had this issue with greatest player of all time, one sport that has this issue is comparing Babe Ruth with the powerful hitters we have today. To be honest, in comparing the two, the powerful hitters we have today are going to be much more refined and much more talented in terms of eye-hand coordination, power, speed, and such due to an expanding talent pool. This sort of talent pool didn't exist so much in the 1920s and 1930s in baseball because of the exclusion of minority and international talent. If you can see my point with how this relates to cycling, as the talent pool of cycling increases so will the ferocity of the competition and the strength of the cyclists that once every 20 years or so, there definitely will come along a champion much in the mold of Lance and Eddy Merckx. The defining line of champ and chump in cycling is very thin when comparing talent but has much more to do with the mental makeup of the person: the desire to dominate.

    If you look at every great champion in any sport in the past 50 years, there is that consistent appearance of the mental aspect. Basketball? Michael Jordan. Baseball? Ted Williams and Barry Bonds. Track? Carl Lewis. Wrestling? Dan Gable (Legend at Iowa State, only one to have won 3 national champs in weight class and be undefeated) All of them had that mental aspect, that uncanny ability to focus on the one thing that they wanted most, to dominate.

    Thomas Davis
     
  20. leif_ericson

    leif_ericson New Member

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    Yeah, its Armstrong's fault that he is in a much more challenging era?
     
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