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How long can Lance keep it up?(14 posts)

How long can Lance keep it up?LeanneWilde
Jul 8, 2002 12:24 PM
Pro cyclists have to be the hardest men there are and Lance has to be the best of the best. Don't you agree?
oops, meant to say hardiest not hardestLeanneWilde
Jul 8, 2002 12:26 PM
Its hard to keep all those big words straight isn't it.Hmmm
Jul 8, 2002 1:47 PM
I bet with all that riding and a baby, he's not even trying to keep it up.
These Freudian slips keep poping up... oops! LOL -nmTig
Jul 8, 2002 4:45 PM
Sort ofMcAndrus
Jul 8, 2002 12:58 PM
Lance is one of the best. If you slice cycling into specialties you'll find guys like Zabel, Dekker, Museuuw, etc., are the best or among the best at what they do.

To be specific, Lance is the best Tour de France rider of the late 90s and early 00s. If he wanted to be, he could be the best classics rider, but he doesn't want to be. He could not be the best sprinter.

How long will he go on? Based on averages in the sport, two or three more years. Then either time or lack of motivation will catch up with him. Indurain was unbeatable in leTour in the early 90s but all he had to do was lose one Tour - in 96 - and he said, enough, I'm out of here.
Tour-Class riders ARE the best athletes...GK
Jul 8, 2002 1:15 PM
The fact is Tour-class riders typically race in excess of 100 miles per day, in all weather conditions, at phenomenal paces, for three weeks straight. Add in those mountain stages and the effort becomes monumental. Cyclists can play lots of sports, but other athletes can't do what tour-class cyclists do, unless maybe you're an ultra-endurance cross-country skier.

I'm no expert, but professional cyclists have the highest caloric intake this side of Sumo wrestling, and yet all these guys have bodyfat content next to nil. They're incredibly efficient cardio-vascular machines.

No other sport I can think of demands so much for so long, with so little room for error. Now, could Kevin Livingston do what Brett Favre does? No. And Brett Favre can't do what the 189th rider in the TdF can do. Muscle and bulk are not the measures of athleticism. Physical endurance, power output, and precision-dexterity are.

The NBA (laughably) markets their players as the "world's best athletes" -- remember that mumbo-jumbo from a couple years ago? Yeah right. What percentage of those guys smoke weed with regularity?

GK
Tour-Class riders ARE the best athletes...Rubberbandman
Jul 8, 2002 2:38 PM
You are obviously biased. Your criteria for an athlete is slanted toward cycling. I've heard many discussions for greatest athlete and I've never heard anyone mention a cyclist.

Your weed comment is laughable with all the problems with drugs in cycling.

RBM
who is normally mentioned? nmcollinsc
Jul 8, 2002 2:45 PM
He'll no doubt say "contortionists" nmCrankist
Jul 8, 2002 2:52 PM
Yeah...so?GK
Jul 8, 2002 7:33 PM
Bias doesn't mean one is not right, wouldn't you agree?

>I've heard many discussions for greatest athlete and I've never heard anyone mention a cyclist. <

Well since you seem to be the encyclopedic one, name two athletes or sports that are tougher than TOUR-CLASS cycling. (Important distinction...just because I ride a bike doesn't mean I'm a better jock than the guy who wrestled that Russian Mammoth for Gold in the Olympics.) I'm talking about *tour class* riders: 3 relentless weeks. A couple thousand miles. Mountain ascents. And flat stages that are 2x as long as many of us can do in a weekend. Day after Day. Caloric requirements in the 10,000-15,000 range.

I guess what it boils down to is how you measure athletic performance. Lance can't bench what the worst guy on the U of Texas football team can, but OTOH no one puts out the watts tour class cyclists do. And few others have the endurance to do it for 20 out of 22 days (or whatever it is).

I also expect more from you in regard to the doping problem. No other sport "has" the problems with doping that cycling does because no other sport polices itself as thoroughly as cycling does. NBA drug use problems are well-known and widespread -- it's more recreational than performance enhancing, but who's keeping track? The players union has been successful at keeping testing off the table. Baseball? Football? 'Roids, and everyone knows it. I'll take a stab and suggest that International Track and Field is the only sport that comes close to cycling in it's self-policing. Interestingly, the search and seizure tactics that some European police employ (e.g the Italian raids on hotel rooms and homes) wouldn't withstand a legal challenge in the US.

Much as we all regret and hate it, you can't say the sport isn't taking great leaps to combat it. Mapei yanking its sponsorship because Garzelli's last straw would be like Jerry Jones giving up on the Dallas Cowboys because that idiot player got caught with a van full of weed. Pro cyclists who dope are scum. And sooner or later they're caught. You can't say as much for other pro sports. No one likes having to read the bad news, but I prefer it that way.

GK
Tour-Class riders ARE the best athletes...Wise
Jul 8, 2002 9:28 PM
I'd venture to say that endurance triathletes are among the "world's best athletes". I guess triathlons dont have the same kind of everyday suffering as the tour, but some of those guys that finish the Ironmans in under 8 hours could probably win single stages of the tour without too much trouble... Well, as long as there were no corners and no (just kidding)

As for a cardio vascular machine, anyone swimming 2 miles, riding 140 miles and running 23 miles in 8 hours qualifies, more so than maybe that 189th rider.

But in an evaluation of ironman participants, we are, of course, overlooking both style and personality...
Tour-Class riders ARE the best athletes...PhatMatt
Jul 9, 2002 5:26 AM
I agree. Basketball blows. I think a hockey players are in far better sahpe than basketball. IMHO I think the closet athletes to a GC contender would be a Ironman Tri's and High Altitude Mountaineering. (Not just the normal routes up everest either)

Matt
A great Freudian combo, Leanne nmPdxMark
Jul 8, 2002 1:52 PM
Depends on how much Ginseng Up he drinks (nm)ColnagoFE
Jul 8, 2002 1:54 PM