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. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    It's not that it's harder to win the Tour of Switzerland; it's that it's closer in time to the Tour de France than the Giro. That's the key--much closer. It's almost like riding one super Grand Tour from the Tour of Switzerland to the Champs Elysees in Paris. The Giro followed by the Tour de France gives you a much longer time to rest.

    It will take much longer for someone to match this feat than it will for someone else to win another Giro/Tour de France double simply because this feat is much more difficult to accomplish. It takes a great champion to accomplish this. Switzerland may not be a grand tour, but it's 9 stages and includes mountains, and no one else in history except Lance Armstrong has ever won the Tour of Switzerland and the Tour de France in the same year.
     


  2. ron toppi

    ron toppi New Member

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    That's like wondering if Hank Arron was a better homerun hitter than Babe Ruth. Different time, different equipment, different competition. You can discuss or argue all you want, but the truth is we'll never really know. I choose appreciate the greatness of them all.
     
  3. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    Might also be because no one really has attempted to accomplish this?

    What ever LA has done in his career, shall be topped. He is good, not GREAT....

    Memph
     
  4. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    The reason why they don't try is because of the difficulty of winning both with such little rest.

    I don't deny that the 5 riders winning 5 TdF's will have their records broken some day. What makes these riders great is that there have been so few who have done it. Will there be more than 5 riders accomplishing this feat during the next 10 years? Time will tell. But if there are 5 during this century as there were in the last, I don't deny them their greatness. They deserve all the acclaim they get, Canadian, European or otherwise.
     
  5. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    Never once ever wrote that LA was not a great TdF rider. His record proves that, could even be the best if he wins again. But that is only 1 race of many. For this reason, is why I don't consider him with the true GREATS of cycling.

    Memph
     
  6. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    This ought to be easy: Which of these 2 is harder to breakaway from without being swallowed back up? A peloton of 130 riders or a peloton of 200 riders?
     
  7. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    Like that counts for much. Whenhas LA ever showed strength by solo breaks? 4-5 Stage wins in single TdF? LA has a stronger team to pull his arse to the finish then alot of the GREATS did. Better equipment, training, drugs, etc...

    He just has the lack of outside TdF victories to put his name on same page.....

    Memph
     
  8. Tuschinski

    Tuschinski New Member

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    That question has no real answer. Not everyone works in a peloton and thats more true for the pros.

    Don't get me wrong, I believe Lance is among the greatest, but Hinault and Merckx (and some others for that matter!) are a completely different ball game. I am kind of wondering why you disagree with this as the facts simply are to overwhelming. Do you seriously believe Lance is the greatest rider ever????
     
  9. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    I voted for Merckx as the greatest. But I think you and Memphman underestimate a current dominant Tour de France rider such as Lance when you compare him with Merckx' dominance when he was riding. Back then, the peloton was much smaller. This means it was much easier to mount a sustainable breakaway. As you say, it was a completely different ball game back then. The home run walls have been moved further out by about 50% now compared to the way they were. To be dominant now is much tougher than it was then.

    I didn't say he was the greatest. You're jumping to conclusions here. Memphman said he isn't a great rider. I say that he is among the greatest. I still say Merckx is the greatest, but mentioning Lance among the other greats, the others who have won 5, is not playing favorites. After all, consider he's still hitting home runs with the wall out 50% farther.
     
  10. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    Lance wins in the mountains by large margins, and in the time trials by modest margins. All the riders now have better equipment, training, and of course, are eliminated when they test positive for banned drugs. None of this gives the edge of one rider over another. But the size of the peloton is a huge factor in comparing one rider's performance in the race with others in the same race. This minimizes the appearance of dominance in long-ago tours compared to the way they are now. They could stand further ahead of the crowd back then because the crowd was much smaller. That's not the case today.
     
  11. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Just joining this thread belatedly.
    It kills me to say this but Armstrong is a very, very good cyclist since 1998.
    His record since 1998 is very impressive.
    His record to 1996 is that of a one day specialist.
    In my mind, his record to 1996 takes away from his record since 1998 (and I'm not going to get in to that particular discussion because the LA fans will bombard this site with every reason under the sun to inform us as to why LA is the greatest ever etc).
    In my opinion his lack of stage race success to 1996 completely clouds anything that he has done since 1998 to date.
    As for putting him on the same level as Merckx, Hinault, Coppi,
    Kelly, Bobet, Anquetil or Indurain, this is simply wrong.
    He's a very good cyclist - but all those other giants of the road showed their pedigree from day 1, unlike our Texan friend.
    He can go on to win 10 T'DF consecutively, as far as I am concerned, he cannot be considered a great until he extends his
    palmares.
     
  12. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    That's not exactly accurate, though. Lance was a young rider in 1996; he was 25 and had cancer. The year before, he was only 24. Indurain rode for a few years in the Tour de France before he started winning. I think his first year he got 90th. I don't know about the other riders. I think Merckx was firing on all cylinders right from the get go, but he's the exception.

    If you look at any pictures of Lance before he got cancer, you'll notice that he was built like a tank. He lost a lot of weight that he needed to lose for the tour. He could carry it for 1 day races, but that really weighs you down for tours when you compete for the GC.

    I agree that cancer was the best thing that could have happened to Lance as far as his racing was concerned because it changed his attitude about training, and it made him lose weight.
     
  13. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    Lets use your HR statement. Even with the ballpark fences further out. McGwire & Bonds smashed the single season HR record (watered down pitching, batters on drugs, etc..). What records has LA smashed in cycling? Most stage victories in single TdF? Most races won in season? Most Tours won in season? He has done nothing except win the TdF.....

    Memph
     
  14. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    That's the point I'm making. If you're riding against a larger group, it's like moving the fence out. It's harder to hit a home run. The analogy is the margin of victory would shrink. But it hasn't shrunk, except last year when he wasn't up to top form until the end of the tour. He wins by a large margin even with the larger peloton vs. the 60's and early 70's.
     
  15. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    By your analogy, LA or any GREAT rider should be winning more stages or more races with a larger peleton. Like Bonds set the record with the fences moved further. So why hasn't LA won more other races???

    Memph
     
  16. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    He has won 5 so far. Give him time to finish. He's not done yet. Better balls make for more home runs, but if you moved the fence out in any one year, you get less home runs. Just like if you increase the size of the peloton, you get less successful breakaways.
     
  17. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    This is going no where. You like LA & I don't. You think he is great, I dont (great at TdF, thats it). So lets leave it at that. Even if others disagree with you also....

    Memph
     
  18. Tuschinski

    Tuschinski New Member

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    Mea Culpa, I did think you placed Lance as No1:)

    On the Merckx/Hinault vs lance part I do have to say something though.

    Lance CAN/could win more besides the TdF. I do not buy that it is impossible nowadays as relatively recently competitors have proven that it can be done. Indurain and especially Pantani are really close to Lance in time. I do not blame Lance... I think he makes a good chance to win more TdF's than anyone before him and I deeply respect that. But what it does is denying him to be on a par with Merckx/Hinault/Anquetill etc.

    Lance will not give a toss about this all and rightly so! But as a silly cycling fan I think he is selling the world short by denying us to see more of him. I am wrong, he is right... but that doesn't change my opinion:)

    I hope you understand what I try to say... it might very well be Lance can be more dominating as anyone before him, but as he never will show that he will not be among the top three ever (MY top three ever:). I am also convinced there will be a cyclist who will win 5 TdF's again who will show himself more in other courses.

    I think it boils down that he is an American: The american public and his sponsors only care about the TdF.
     
  19. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    Or maybe to keep him from getting cancer again.
     
  20. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Gntlmn,
    I agree that perhaps Indurain did make slow progress on his rise to greatness.
    Indirain came 10th in the TDF in 1990 at 26.
    Hinault world amateur champion, in his first season as a pro went out and won the TDF as well as four classics, at 23.
    Merckx, world amateur champion turned pro and wins all five jerseys in his first TDF (as well as winning classics in that season)
    at 22.
    Ullrich, turns pro in 1996 - comes second in his first TDF and goes on to win it in his second season (was also amateur world champion in 1994 !), at 23.
    Le Mond, world amateur champion, made progress through the TDF was podium placed before winning it in 1986, 1989 and 1990
    (also managed to win the world title).
    Need I go on here ?
    Lance - eh, won the Tour Du Pont prior to his illness.
    Tour Du Pont, indeed : some pedigree.
    The fact of the matter is that Armstrong was a one day cyclist to
    1996.
    For whatever reason, he metamophisised in to a mountain climber, rouleur par excellence after he overcame cancer.
    Now we can discuss how this miraculous transformation occured
    and whether what we have seen since 1998 is genuine.
    (another days discussion !).
    I will be charitable and say that Armstrong is a good cyclist and,
    from one who is very close to the sport here in Europe, I am prepared to give him the benefit of a very, very considerable doubt concerning what has transpired since 1998.
    You know, because there were so few english speaking cyclists
    in the european pro scene, we, in english speaking european countries always watched the progress of Irish/British/Australian/Canadian/American cyclists with great interest.
    I watched Armstrong from day one and I can tell you, that his form
    to 1996, gave absolutely no indication of what he would do since
    1998.
    His fans will claim that his body has transformed, his weight reduced, his facing mortality makes him train harder etc.
    Perhaps, perhaps.
    I just doubt what we've seen since 1998.
     
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