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Who is more talented? Ulrich or Armstrong?(23 posts)

Who is more talented? Ulrich or Armstrong?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 15, 2002 8:33 PM
So my question of the day is; Who is more talented Armstrong or Ulrich?

My view of any athlete let alone a cyclist is its 90% shear determination, perserverance, will, whatever word you wanna use, 5% talent and 5% coaching.

Look at Ulrich this year. He trained harder than every... didn't get fat. But overtrained to the point where his knees gave out. Armstrong on the other hand survived cancer lost a lot of his muscle mass and rebuilt himself as a climber/time trialer to win the Tour. So the 90% is will but it can be affected by a coach who pushes you into the ground.

However, in my opinion the 5% is important because both riders showed talent from an early age but had to be molded into Tour winners. So in conclusion once again in my humble opinion, Ulrich is the more talented rider because he won earlier in his career. But the talent of being able to push a huge gear up the mountains has slowly blown apart his knees to the point where if he pushes to hard his knees give out.

Lance thinks Ullrich is the most talented (nm)manofsteel
May 15, 2002 8:53 PM
Absolutely wrongelviento
May 15, 2002 9:24 PM
There is nothing further from the truth than your opinion. Willpower and mental toughness is something you can work on, so people tend to overestimate its importance.

For example, Ulrich has been criticized for being lazy, fat, not dedicated, and wasting great talent. But he GOT SECOND PLACE in the TDF each year!!! If determination was 90% of the sport, he would not even be a pro.

I think talent probably counts 90%. The 5% determination is important too though. It can set Armstrong apart from Ulrich by several minutes in the whole tour. But talent sets the pros apart from us. I think the TDF would take me 50 hours more than Armstrong or Ulrich although I can summon more determination than Ulrich.
So Lance riding 6+ hours a day while Ulrich eats isn't...PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 15, 2002 9:27 PM
So Lance riding 6+ hours a day while Ulrich eats isn't determinations? Ulrich is so talented but he's lazy and has been known to be gluttoness so he has to race into his racing form physically instead of racing to train.

My 2 cents,
Nick Corcoran (and general sh1t disturber on this board!)
bite my tongue :_)bic
May 15, 2002 10:07 PM
"willpower and toughness is something you can work on, so people tend to overestimate its importance" If you can work on something and get better would not the normal expectation be to underestimate it? Talent being the other end of the scale, most are without, be overestimated? And where does the mental part of any sport, at this level, come into play.

And for a lazy, fat, and not dedicated guy? Take Lance out of the picture and Jan might of won what, three tours, a worlds or two, a gold or two. Oh, he did both. The guy has been the 2nd or some might say best cyclist the past ten years.

Not bad for someone who is lazy, fat, and not dedicated.
My point exactly! He's more TALENTED!PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 15, 2002 10:14 PM
Lance is dedicated.

Ulrich is just talented. So his lack of dedication is overcome by his talent.

neither of you guys can read...collinsc
May 15, 2002 10:43 PM
elventio's whole point was that the sport at pro level is more than just 5% talent.

elventio did not disagree with you, only corrected you, and I agree with him. Ulrich is amazing, no doubt, but what makes him 2nd to Lance is his lack of dedication as compared to Armstrong. Ulrich would beat Lance if he trained like he gave a shit. That Lance trains constantly, always in preparation for the Tour, is what edges him out over Ulrich.

Pros are Pros, and they are all 10 times the cyclist any of us will ever be. At Tour level, you just plain don't go if you don't have the talent. Lance wins because he wants to more than anything else. Ulrich takes second because he doesnt care.

Again, the point is, at talent levels like this, the only determining factor is the rider's will. If Ulrich is lazy, fat and not dedicated, then how the hell did he get 2nd in the tour? Talent.
Couple corrections...PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 16, 2002 12:02 AM
K first of all "Pros are Pros, and they are all 10 times the cyclist any of us will ever be."... I'd like to prove that wrong. In a way I already have by going to Junior Worlds but thats only a stepping stones to bigger and better things. I got my ass whooped. I can make excuses but I don't need to cus unless you were there its hard to understand what its like to go to that big of a competition after being a king at your own nationals, let alone the history of the sport in your country. Then of course I can whine I got hit by a car 8 days before nationals but what happens happens. It's a great excuse that I coulda done better but doesn't mean shit to me.

But back to the main debate was that Ulrich's talent overcame any motivational issues which everyone has agreed with... even Lance. And as I think of it the coaching to talent to will ratio changes from person to person. With Ulrich its far more talent than actual WILL to train because he has a good coach but normally his will is spent exercising how many calories he can consume without getting fat. And the poor guy as talented as he is gets bugged about being fat in the off season far more than he should. Then he proved everyone wrong this year by being a lean machine until his knees decided to give out. Poor guy. He's an underdog, albeit more talented than any other cyclist I know of.

I think my opinion has been demoted to a hundredth of a penny... so heres my little bit,
so you agree with me.collinsc
May 16, 2002 7:27 AM
You first paragraph is irrelevant, so I'll not bother with it. My statement was simply to emphasize that the talent of the pros is huge. I did not mean to any way put down you or anyone reading this as a capable cyclist.

Your 2nd paragraph just repeats what you (and I and elventio) said from the beginning. Ulrich makes up for lack of dedication with pure talent. He's just damn good. Lance wins, however, with a scratch less talent because he just wants to win.

So again, to make it clearer, we agree, we all agree, this whole board agrees, has agreed, and will continue to agree.

I think by now they also agree that this 'arguement' (how two people can argue the same side is lost on me, but somehow we're doing it) is tired and redundant.

Cheers and best of luck next time Nick,
Stay away from those cars.
I agree with you! And thanks for the well wishes!!!! (nm)PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 16, 2002 4:20 PM
What you were sayingelviento
May 16, 2002 9:22 AM
What you were saying is when two people are ALREADY VERY TALENTED, the slight advantage of talent of one over the other can easily be overcome by determination. But the qualifier is very important, and you can't unconditionally say determination is much more important than talent.

We can do some simple math.

Your theory: 5 points for talent, 90 points for determination, 5 points for coaching, the total full score (cycling performance) at 100 points.


Lance -- 4.5 talent, 90 determination, 4.5 coaching
Ulrich -- 5 talent, 45 determination, 4.5 coaching
Elviento-- 1 talent, 60 determination, 4.5 coaching
(Suppose all of us gets a reasonably good coaching, and suppose I have reasonably good determination)

Lance gets 99 points, Ulrich gets 54.5, I get 65.6. That can't be right. I know for a fact that no matter how determined I am, I can't come close to beating Ulrich.

Under my theory: 90 points for talent, 5 for determination, 5 for coaching.

Lance -- 89.5 talent, 5 determination, 4.5 coaching
Ulrich -- 90 talent, 2.5 determination, 4.5 coaching
Elviento-- 20 talent, 3.5 determination, 4.5 coaching

Final performance: Lance gets 99 points, Ulrich gets 97, I get 28.

That's about right, isn't it?

Actually this year, Ulrich's determination went up but coaching (scientific training) was screwed up, so sad for him...
Good point. Its subjective from rider to rider and evens out(nm)PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 16, 2002 4:22 PM
neither of you guys can read...bic
May 16, 2002 6:15 AM
You can read but you sure don't understand what your reading.
care to explain? (nm)collinsc
May 16, 2002 7:18 AM
The problem with a quarrel is that it spoils a good argument.AllisonHayes
May 16, 2002 4:52 AM
Keep the good argument going you guys.

my 2 pennies:

So, when you have two competitors at the highest level, what is the differentiator? Is it raw talent? Is it determination? Is it luck?

In something like cycling where you need to prove yourself over such a long time, not to mention year-over-year, I would tend to believe that, over the long run, determination wins the day, provided you aren't injured (luck) and your physical condition is at the highest level. But, it is also possible that talent will win the day if you have a better technique or better training program.

The marginal difference is so small at this level that any can carry the day. So, I argue you need all three.
I agree with you,elviento
May 16, 2002 7:59 AM
And your thoery is very different from PODIUM's. Because you limit the discussion to "the highest level", therefore narrowing he statement to "When the subjects already have very high talent, then determination makes a big difference."
I agree to... there are so many outside influences (nm)PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 16, 2002 4:25 PM
in defense of UllrichDuane Gran
May 16, 2002 4:18 AM
I really get weary of people classifying Ullrich as a lazy donut eater. After he won the tour in 1997 he came back 10 kilos overweight and suffered for it. Consequently he placed second instead of first. Not too shabby considering the circumstances.

Every year since that time he has shown up on form in excellent fitness, it just happens that someone has been a little bit better. I suspect that Armstrong is more dedicated to success, but Ullrich isn't a slouch. Jan spends a half an hour on the trainer every morning before doing his daily rides. For that alone he has my respect.

In answer to the question, I think Ullrich has more raw talent than Armstrong, but it really aggrivates me when people say that Ullrich wastes his talent.
totally agree with duanetarwheel
May 16, 2002 5:31 AM
So what was Lance Armstrong's excuse when Ullrich beat him at the Olympics, the World Championships? I guess Lance just ate too many donuts that summer. You guys are ridiculous. Ullrich was the 2nd best rider in the TDF several times running, and won it once. That's better than 99.9999% of the world's cyclists. People who call Ullrich fat and lazy are clueless. You don't get to his level as an athlete by being fat and lazy. Only one person can win a race. The fact that someone comes in 2nd, 3rd or 4th place does not make them a slouch. Has any of you ever trained with Ullrich? Do you have any real idea of how hard he works? And if Ullrich is fat and lazy for placing 2nd in the TDF, what does that make you? We must all be lazy slobs because we aren't the best.
Agree - Ullrich doesn't get enough creditwonderdog
May 16, 2002 5:59 AM

Look at all of Jan's achievements outside of the TdF. German National champ, Gold/Silver at the Olympics, won the Vuelta, etc. So many people dismiss him as fat and lazy, when in reality, he wins a lot of big bike races. As for Lance and the bandwagon, where is Lance after July? Home in texas eating burritos and drinking margaritas.

To answer the original question, pros are basically on the same athletic plane. I believe that mental toughness and willpower seperate the greats from the rest.

in defense of UllrichRay Sachs
May 16, 2002 6:23 AM
I agree too. Ullrich had some weight problems a couple of winters ago, but last year he went into the Tour in great form and rode a great race. I read somewhere that his manager indicated that his training times on some specific climbs or TT courses or something were better than when he won it in '97 and that he was riding as well as he ever had. He just ran into Lance. After the last mountain stage last year, Ullrich himself mentioned Lance's frequent quote about Jan being the most talented and said that this didn't appear to be the case, particularly because he felt he was riding as well as he was capable of and Lance was still outclimbing him by quite a bit.

And then this year he blows out from OVERtraining. That doesn't happen to people who are fat and lazy.

Sometimes you're just second best. I wish I was anywhere near as fat and lazy as Ullrich.

May 16, 2002 7:23 AM
You can't waste talent. You take from it as much as you want and then what you can't make up for in talent comes from perserverance. Victory comes to those who perservere. And pehaps Ullrich could have let his knee heal better... but if he spent an entire winter training... he doesn't want to. And thats because of all the naysayers who make fun of the poor guy. But at the same time he coulda perhaps won the TT a couple years ago but never used a aero front wheel. I don't think this is coincidence... its like Lance letting Pantani win. Or Amstrong slowing when Ullrich crashed in the mountains. They compete but they have an amazing rivalry. One which all those money drives... we can learn from.

yes, thanks Duane, for clarifyingcollinsc
May 16, 2002 7:31 AM
I believe thats what we have all been at least trying to say from the beginning.

" suspect that Armstrong is more dedicated to success, but Ullrich isn't a slouch."

It takes a lot to be 2nd in the Tour.