Jul 31, 2002 12:35 PM
|Below is from lancearmstrong.com. People get on Lance because he "only races the Tour de France", or "doesn't race the classics" etc. I understand he gears all of his training & racing for the tour. I am not a Lance fanatic, but I am a fan and can not find fault at his schedule. Your thoughts.
~ 6-10 - Tour of Murcia, Spain
~ 23 - Milan - San Remo, Italy - 2nd in GC
~ 7 - Paris-Camembert, France
~ 7 - Tour of Flanders, Belgium
~ 10 - Gent-Wevelgem, Belgium
~ 12-14 - LAF Ride for the Roses Weekend
- Austin, TX
~ 17-21 - Tour of Aragon, Spain
~ 28 - Amstel Gold, Netherlands
~ 22-26 - Midi Libre, France
~ 9-16 - Dauphine Libere, France
Two criteriums in Holland (July 31 and August 1) and a 72 km two man time trial (with Floyd Landis) in Germany
on August 3.
Then he's back to the USA for the NYC Cycling Championships - this race will be aired live on the Outdoor Life Network Sunday, Aug 4th from 1pm-4pm ET - preliminary Postal line up for the race: Lance, Dylan Casey, Antonio Cruz, USPro Champ Chann McRae, Kenny Labbe, and Robbie Ventura.
Lance will then return to Europe to ride in the Clasica San Sebastian on August 10 and the Meisterschaft von Zürich on August 18. Lances season will finish with the San Francisco GP on September 15. -
|He basically stated that he does so out of obligation.||Quack|
Jul 31, 2002 1:02 PM
|In one of the short interviews I saw with Lance, they asked him if he felt he could be considered equal to Indurain, Merckx, etc. He more or less said that there will never again be a rider that races all of the early races and still wins the Tour. He said that the corporate pressure to win the Tour makes riding those races too risky. I guess it's no different than pulling your starters out of a pre-season football game early to protect your investment for when you need it to start paying off.|
|Re: He basically stated that he does so out of obligation.||Aristotle|
Jul 31, 2002 1:37 PM
|I've heard something similar. Now that he has several Tour victories under his belt, I would think he would be more willing to make an effort to try and compete strongly in some of the early races. He's proven he can win the Tour; why not mix it up a little.|
|why risk his chance at 6 straight wins and immortality? (nm)||ET|
Jul 31, 2002 3:24 PM
|will he go for the hour record?||DougSloan|
Jul 31, 2002 1:10 PM
|I would really like Lance to try for the hour record. While I understand that it could require some changes to his year round Tour preparation, I think he should go for it, anyway. That, combined with six Tour wins might then allow him to be considered a rival with Merckx for the greatest cyclist of all time.
After the six wins, I want to see a transcontinental RAAM record, too. Not too much to ask, is it?
|will he go for the hour record?||ishmael|
Jul 31, 2002 1:33 PM
|I'd like to see him do the hour too, its a classic in my mind, better than any race. I could see the hour record being a good advertisment for his sponsors. No one seems to know about the tour de france in this country as is maybe the hour record in a usps commercial would work. But then he shouldnt even bother worrying about what his sponsors think, he's got enough dough, he should go for glory at this point. The "I have to do what my sponsors tell me to" excuse is lame, I want him in it for the glory not the money. Thats maybe too much to ask of pro cycling though. Purgeing the sport of advertising and sponsorship would give riders a healthy motivation adjustment.|
|This argument is ridiculous in that other riders||Lazywriter|
Jul 31, 2002 1:43 PM
|race in the classics and other major tours becuase they have no chance at winning the TDF. Therefore they race because they have a better chance to win the other races or they simply are more sprint oriented and could never come close to the TDF podium. To criticize Lance in silly in that regard as he plans to peak for the TDF.
If only training for the TDF in order to win was that simple wouldn't all contenders have planned the same way by now???? If Beloki or whoever were capable, why on earth wouldn't they do the same thing? Lance is too dominant regardless of his schedule and if he had never won any TDF with his current schedule, all the retards would come out and say he doesn't race enough.
It is pure stupidity to criticize him as that is racing in the modern era. As far as the comparison to Merckx, he was by far the most dominant in his era, but I say it would have been hard for him to beat Lance in the mountains if he were a comparable rider today. For that matter, any modern day climber would probably have outclimbed Merckx for that matter as he wasn't a "small" guy. Mental toughness is a tie which is 90% of the battle.
Merckx is the "best" in cycling history based upon wins, but that still doesn't mean he could have beaten Lance if they were racing today. No one will ever know.
Jul 31, 2002 1:47 PM
|It takes far too much preparation, which would interfere with his Tour focus. Maybe after he wins his sixth Tour, he'll announce his retirement and devote the rest of the year to going for the record, like Boardman did. I doubt it. Even Boardman only got 10 meters on Merckx.|
|Doug, wake up!||cyclopathic|
Jul 31, 2002 9:44 PM
|Lance will never even try those things. First I doubt he can beat Chris Broadman record or he can compete against Wolfgang Fasching, second there's no money in either and Lance is not about "no money".
If last tour is an indication at present rate Lance can win as many as he wants. Anyone who has the potential to compete is pulling out; they ride easy and go for stage win. Does winning the race noone wants make you equal to Mrerckx?
|Best summation of this topic I've seen so far. . .||js5280|
Jul 31, 2002 1:40 PM
|It's from the WSJ. Basically Lance (and many other top athletes as mentioned in the article) can't afford to take the risk. Still he does race a number of other events as evidenced above.
As far as his legacy, I like how CyclingHallofFame.com ( http://www.cyclinghalloffame.com/gen_info.asp ) has gone about ranking cyclist because it takes into account a rider's whole career, and different types of racing. I just found this site a few weeks ago, but it's pretty cool and I don't think I've seen it mentioned here before. Here's their Top 25 all-time. You'll notice Lance isn't on there, yet. Here's 2nd to JaJa on the Current Riders. Here was just under the 4000 mark but that was before this year's tour.
Jul 31, 2002 1:45 PM
|Lance is just over 4000, but I guess not enough to make it on the Top 25 overall, hard to tell w/ the scale.|
|Interesting site, but..||SantaCruz|
Jul 31, 2002 3:25 PM
|don't you think that the list of races for gaining points is a bit too short. Yes, it covers the Classics and Grand Tours, but there are lots of other major races that appear on the UCI calendar, maybe a few of the stages races should be worth some number of points. JMHO|
|Best summation of this topic I've seen so far. . .||Bike Mike|
Aug 1, 2002 4:50 AM
|The article is a pretty good explanation of the financial considerations a top-echelon athlete faces. But...
I think the author missed two key points. First, the center of the cycling universe is in Europe. As the schedule you posted for Lance (relatively "light" as it may be) shows, if it's happening it's happening in Europe. How about we get us a killer bike race in the US with great exposure and good prize money and see who shows up? Otherwise Lance racing in Europe is just like Ichiro coming here to play baseball...and no one in Seattle seems to complain about that!
Second, the article makes it sound like Lance is hanging out in his villa eating bon bons until a week before the Tour. In reality, we know he is training, training, training, and that his training revolves around winning the Tour. I wouldn't call climbing an Alp, getting to the top, and climbing it again to make sure you "got" it lackadaisical.
Would I like to see Lance (and Erik, Robbie, Ja ja, and the rest of the fellas for that matter?) ride through my neighborhood? Absolutely! Let's pool our pennies and get them over here. Until then do I think they should use their time, energy, and resources just to "show up" at the possible expense of not winning the Tour? No.
|HOF points is accurate||mmaggi|
Aug 1, 2002 6:44 AM
|The article misses the point. The Author uses tennis and golf as a comparison. There are 4 majors that you can bet the house that Serena, Venus and Tiger don't miss out on and compete to win.
Can you imagine if Tiger Woods only trained at Augusta National and played a couple of tournaments a year on golf courses with no rough and linoleum fast greens? Would we be claiming that Tiger Woods is among the all-time greats?
Tiger competes in all the majors and he has won them all. He has dominated SEASONS, not just The Masters.
Therein lies the difference.
|Merckx said the old full schedule can no longer be done...||Tig|
Jul 31, 2002 2:23 PM
|...for a modern Tour winner. He said that in his day he raced too many races due to pressure, and that to win the TDF today you can't race a full season. I'm still looking for the original quote...|
|Character and Destiny||Me Dot Org|
Jul 31, 2002 10:26 PM
|Eddy and Lance were great because they were both products of their times, but both had temperments and talents that were suited for their times.
I think both Eddy and Lance realize that cycling is a different sport today than it was when Eddy was racing.
Lance talks about applying the same template over again. With Lance you get the feeling he's talking about rebuilding a machine.
I've seen film of Eddy doing training rides, and Eddy on rollers. My sense of Eddy was much more visceral, much more seat of the pants (even if he was rather obsessive about the height of his saddle!). Attack from the front. Attack when you don't need to. I'm not sure Eddy's style would do well today, but could USPS be as organized without radios in 1973? Could Lance have reshaped his body with someone like Chris Carmichael in 1973?
The ultimate truth is that Lance and Eddy ARE from different eras, and we will never know how they would have done against each other. Perhaps thats one reason why these two great competitors are so gracious with each other: They can each give each other their "props" while secretly believing that they are the best.
Some baseball fans only like pitchers from the 1940s or earlier, because they feel relief pitchers ruined baseball. Now we have middle-set up men, late set-up men, and closers. A complete game is a rare commodity. Like pitching, cycling has become more specialized. Who is better?
They're probably arguing about it in heaven...and somebody from hell is probably trying to bring EPO through the back gate.
|A couple of things...||mmaggi|
Aug 1, 2002 6:24 AM
|1) Johan Brunyeel stated last Sunday that the USPS team is very fortunate that they are NOT obligated to race certain races compared to other teams. It sounded like the only race they're obligated to do is the TdF. Other teams are obligated to do many races during the course of the season because of the business interests the sponsors have in a particular country. He stated that this is a huge advantage for them and for Lance.
2) Lance Armstrong will go down in history as one of the best TOUR DE FRANCE riders of all time. He will NOT go down in history as one of the greatest cyclists of all time. Why? Because he has never dominated a cycling SEASON. Merckx, Anqutiel, Coppi, Bobet, Bartali, Hinault, Indurain have and are mentioned as all-time greats in the sport (rightfully so).
3) Although LA has participated in the races you mentioned, with the exception of Dauphine Libere, he has NOT raced to win. This falls back to my previous argument that he has not dominated a cycling season. Winning the Dauphine Libere and TdF (last season was TdS and TdF) doesn't qualify for dominating a cycling season. Sorry.
IMO, Miguel Indurain is the last of the all time greats. 5 TdFs (91-95) in a row and during that reign he was able to win back-back Giro d'Italias (92-93). He also was the hour record holder. If LA could win a Giro, Tour and/or Spring Classic/set hour record in ONE season, then we're talking. Not until then.
|A couple of things...||mr_spin|
Aug 1, 2002 6:47 AM
|This whole topic has been tired and idiotic for years, but just to point out something about your #2. NO rider has dominated an entire season since Merckx had that one great season in the early 70s where he won half of the races he entered. And quite frankly, no rider ever dominated an entire season before that. Therefore, by your logic, Merckx is the only great rider. The other guys you mentioned, Anqutiel, Coppi, Bobet, Bartali, Hinault, and Indurain, can't be considered.
Can you see where this idiotic logic is going? Now we have to change what "domination" means to allow more guys in. Indurain won the Giro and the Tour in a year, but no classics and no world titles, and that is supposed to qualify as dominating a season? That makes Pantani one of the greats, and Stephen Roche even greater.
Naturally, you can change the definition of "dominate" to include any of your favorite riders, but not beyond the point where it would let Lance in.
I wish people would just admit they don't like Lance and stop trying to prove it mathematically.
|A couple of things...||mmaggi|
Aug 1, 2002 6:55 AM
No. Indurain won the Giro & Tour back-back (92, 93) in the same season. There are 3 majors in cycling and winning 2 of them in back-back years is quite an accomplishment. In my book, that's dominating. Don't know what your definition is.
Pantani did it as well as, but he only dominated ONE season. That doesn't make Pantani a better cyclist than LA.
The others mentioned have had better seasons than Lance over a the course of their career, therefore (IMO) qualify as a better all time cyclist than LA. Plus, if you look at their year to year results compared to others, you will realize that they dominated the season in question.
Winning the Tour de France doesn't mean a cyclist DOMINATED a season. Maybe it does in your book, but not mine.