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. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    Your debate has many faults. First off, mentioning a known drug user like Carl Lewis.

    Second Ruth can not be compared to hitters now. One season he had more HRs that most teams. The pitchers were weaker. Ballparks not as big, etc.. He was well ahead of his time. Lance is not. Lance has not done anything that was not already accomplished.

    Lance is a good TDF rider and that is about it....

    Memph
     


  2. Tuschinski

    Tuschinski New Member

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    If you read the above posts of me and Roy Gardiner you will have seen that that statement is highly debatable.

    I agree that winning 33% of your rides is impossible nowadays. but strangely enough... before Merckx there wasn't anyone who won a comparable percentage. So if the theory is that the further back you go, the easier it became to be a champion, it still doesn't make up for Merckx complete dominance and the lack of it from Lance(outside TdF).

    Lance is a great athlete and one of the greatest racers of all time. But he flat-out looses against Hinault, Indurain and Mercx

    To point to recent years: if Lance is better than Indurain, how come Indurain did win two grand tours in one year? He even did it twice. Pantani managed to pull it off as well... I am 100% sure there will be another racer who will do it too. So it is definitely not impossible.

    It is Lance's choice, but it disqualifies him for the Worlds greatest racer of all time title.
     
  3. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Yeah but this still means Lance is better doesn't it?

    Whats the deal with Saddam and Santa, they look very alike :)
     
  4. tomdavis80

    tomdavis80 New Member

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    I didn't know that Carl Lewis was a doper. My bad. You're right that the pitchers were weaker than today.

    That's why I sometimes wish that Lance will try competing in more races but I can't dictate his actions and I certainly do respect him a great deal in terms of his racing ability and single focus.

    Thomas Davis
     
  5. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    Ya, the guy calling all other dopers losers. Was in fact the biggest doper of all. Just that the US was able to hide it better then Canada (Ben Johnson).

    LA is good, just not great. I shall use hockey as an example as I am Canadian. What Lance does is like a hockey player missing the entire regular season. Coming back, playing in the play-offs, having play-off scoring title & winning the Cup. Does this make him the best player that year? How about if this player does this five straight years. Is he then best ever? In my opinion, no.....

    Memph
     
  6. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    I would have liked to have seen them go head to head too. But the game is so much different now than it was in Merckx' time. The riders don't try to race every one day race or tour anymore. They tend to focus on fewer races because each race draws so much more income for the riders that they can afford to do that. Such was not the case in Merckx' time. He felt an obligation to the other riders to help popularize the sport by riding even in the less popular races. That way, he helped them make some money too by appearing in these events. It was tougher in that regard. But on the other hand, all the riders tended to have this approach then. It would be tough to compete with the current style of rider without playing the game the way they do, by riding fewer races. Even the size of the peloton is bigger now in the Tour de France. This makes it much tougher to maintain a sustained breakaway without being eventually swallowed by the peloton.
     
  7. leif_ericson

    leif_ericson New Member

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    The TDF is much different than it was decades ago.

    Indurain was great but I don't see that he really had the rivals... or the dominance. He did seem to always have full control of the race, but he couldn't just go out and win any mountaintop stage he wanted, like Armstrong could.
     
  8. Michuel

    Michuel New Member

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    I agree altho he undoubtedly had class. Armstrong's got class and aggression, but still I don't rate his rivals so much apart from Ullrich or maybe Hamilton without problems. He deserves to win 2 more Tours based on the situation as is known today.

    What would be good would be Armstrong v Merckx v Hinault v Coppi in a mountain Tour with individual TT's as opposed to team TTs, probably as already has been mentioned in the forum.
     
  9. funknuggets

    funknuggets New Member

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    Better yet, I wonder what he would do with modern training.... modern supplements and better roads.
     
  10. Michuel

    Michuel New Member

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    Better roads?

    Merckx's roads in 70's were to all intents the same as today. Some odd minor roads to mountain tops have been surfaced over that period but they weren't used then. The Ventoux from Bedoin looked pretty bad around St Esteve bend in 1958 from photos but was OK in late '60's when I was there. Even then in '58 Gaul's recod was 62min while in 1999 Armstrong/Pantani were 59min & 2002 Armstrong 57min.
     
  11. Tuschinski

    Tuschinski New Member

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    You might rewind those tapes and look over them again. Indurain owned the TdF on a major (boring?) way. He didn't win a lot of mountain stages, but he didn't loose much there (if any time) and in contrast with Lance, who is a good TT rider, Indurain completely crushed the competition in TT racing. So is Indurain better or worse cause he is better at TT and less at explosive strength?

    Rivals? I will name a few small ones: Bugno, Jalabert, Rominger, Lemond, Riis, Chiapucci, Berzin. Face it: Indurain actually had more Grand-tour winning competitors then Lance....

    One thing you can say of Miguel is that he at least has a much bigger palmares as Lance. He at least won the double Giro/tour twice.

    If you look at grand tours Lance really is not yet the greatest even if he wins six times. Alltough the americans seem to be blinded, Cycling is not "just the Tour de France". If Lance doesn't win more than just the Tour he remains in the shadow of the truly complete grand tour cyclists.
     
  12. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    Could not agree more. LA is not a great cyclists compared to THE greats & hardly a great TdF champ at that. Remember americans are always right & the best at everything.....

    Memph
     
  13. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    You have a point about Indurain. His strategy was the flip side of Armstrong's, and he lucked out in that the tours were flatter when he was winning them. They were tailor made for a man of his talents--big motor in the time trials, and ability to hold his own in the mountains. But it's not necessarily a matter of how many grand tour contending competitors a champion has, but how good they are. Look at Jan Ullrich. His record speaks for itself in the number of 2nd places in the tour. He is a force to be reckoned with. Indurain didn't have to go up against anyone like him.

    As for going against Lemond, Lemond won in 1990 and in 1991, the first year Indurain won, Lemond was diagnosed with a career ending muscle disease. So he never really competed against Lemond, except to lose. By the way, Lemond still has the fastest speed ever in a time trial in the Tour de France.
     
  14. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    You forget about the Tour of Switzerland in 2001. It's not a "Grand Tour", but it is a 9 stage event, and it ends only a couple of weeks before the TdF. Only one rider in history has ever won the Tour of Switzerland and the Tour de France in the same year. Guess who it was? No, not Indurain. It was Lance Armstrong. Plenty have won the Giro and the Tour in the same year. Most recently was Pantani in 1998. It is often used, although riders probably don't like to admit it, as a buildup to the TdF.
     
  15. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    WOW, LA has done 1 thing the GREATS haven't. Still barely puts him on the same page as the true GREATS. If he is such a great TT. Why did he not win both at last years ('03) TdF? He shall not win either this up coming year.....

    Memph
     
  16. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    We all know, if you watched the 2003 TdF, that Lance wasn't up to form last year until the last few climbs. He was still feeling the lingering effects of a viral infection earlier in the season. In spite of this, he still won the Tour. It's kind of surprising that he did, but it shows that he has the ability to dig down deep and pull out a victory from the jaws of defeat. Lemond was good at this too. I think they both have exceptional psyches.

    As for why Lance backed off when he saw that he had pressured Jan Ullrich into crashing during the last time trial around that slick corner, and settled for a Tour win rather than a time trial win, I'd say that that decision was wise considering the conditions that day. Would you have taken big risks when you knew at that point that you had the Tour won?

    And to include double wins in the Giro and the TdF as a condition of being considered among the truly greats, why is it that there are other riders who have done this but have not won 5 TdF's. Pantani is one of them. If you want, you can look back and find more. What you say doesn't make much sense, but again, you like to find some reason, however weak, to criticize the Americans. You better find some stronger reasons.
     
  17. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    That infection would have been a sweet excuse for LA not to win 5th TdF. Or make him look better if he did win. Seems like many american pro athletes use same excuse. A reason for defeat before sporting event occurs.

    It was raining & slippery. Another excuse for LA. Wh did he not win 1st TT? What was his excuse then? This is not a question of what I would have done. I'm old school, ride every stage like it meant a win. So yes I would have pushed harder to win TT, the TdF & prove a point. He proved nothing this Tour....

    Memph
     
  18. tomdavis80

    tomdavis80 New Member

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    Memph, no offense, but your old school tactic would mean you'd drop at the end of the second week or earlier. In today's TDF, it's nearly impossible to win without using energy conservation tactics, meaning resting in the stages that you would be weak in, climbing or sprinting. No rider plays old school nowadays because that's a recipe to getting slaughtered and dropping out.

    Thomas Davis
     
  19. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    I fully agree with you. No one wins like Eddie use to. Also the reason when I use to race why I never won. Have a few 2nd & 3rd & bunch of top 10's. I would race like this. Would hate sitting in the pack waiting, watching the cat 'n mouse games at a pace below my training. So I would always jump early to control the race better. Sometimes I would get away alone. This was awesome. If I desired the win bad enuf & was strong enuf, it was mine. Usually got caught by break away & hung on to them. This worked for me. Even if a small group came with. Easier to watch that group then entire pack. Never had a strong enuf sprint for that victory. I knew that, so solo break was all I had.

    Miss those days & training for more.....

    Memph
     
  20. Tuschinski

    Tuschinski New Member

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    LOL... sorry... the tour de Suisse is a big course indeed (no sarcasm!) But do you really dare to say it is more important, harder to win as the Giro?

    I am sure Lance could win a double Giro/Tour in his greatest years (maybe even now), yet he hasn't done so... that simply disqualifies him to be ranked with Hinault and Merckx. Maybe he is much better than they were... too bad he has not given us the chance to see that.
     
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