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Lance Armstrong is number five !???(15 posts)

Lance Armstrong is number five !???MXL02
Jun 30, 2003 5:36 AM
The Houston Chronicle ran several articles on LA in the Sunday Sports section, on the eve of his attempt for TdF number 5, and made the interesting comment that no matter how many TdF's he wins, he will never be considered the best cyclist in history. Here is a link for the Chronicle's top ten Tour-ists.
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/cycling/1971995
They are right...Dwayne Barry
Jun 30, 2003 6:12 AM
it's inconceivable that anyone will ever be better than Merckx. Plus he doesn't even start to hold a candle to Hinault. And then you have the old-time greats.

But he clearly is one of the all-time great TdF riders and was a good classics rider before his cancer.
I agree with 1,2 and 3. But swap 4 and 5. nmfirstrax
Jun 30, 2003 6:49 AM
Not a chance...TJeanloz
Jun 30, 2003 7:03 AM
I think Anquetil should be at least where he is, if not further up. His accomplishments far outshine Armstrong - who, let's remember, has only won 4 Tours so far, and not much else.

Anquetil has 5 Tours to his credit, 2 Giros - 1 Giro/Tour double (and 4 more podium spots at the Giro), 1 Vuelta, the hour record, and several classics. I don't see Armstrong's achievements thusfar anywhere near this level.

But this debate will go on regardless...
agreeDougSloan
Jun 30, 2003 7:25 AM
Well, there was World Champion.

Merckx will always be numero uno. In the age of specialization, I don't think anyone can win year round like he could.

Also, I think people are projecting forward with Armstrong, already crediting him 5 wins, if not 6.

Doug
Where would you put Armstrong ifOldEdScott
Jun 30, 2003 7:36 AM
he does indeed win six? Would that mititgate the (valid, I believe) knock on him, that he doesn't compete in much else?
I think I'd switch him and Indurain...TJeanloz
Jun 30, 2003 7:44 AM
With six TdF wins, plus his other achievements (Worlds, classics, etc.) I think I'd move him ahead of Indurain, who would really only have the Giro/Tour double as an advantage.
agreegray8110
Jul 1, 2003 12:31 AM
"Well, there was World Champion.
Merckx will always be numero uno. In the age of specialization, I don't think anyone can win year round like he could."

And vice versa - in an age of specialization I don't think any past rider including Merckx and Hinault could dominate to the same level. I don't doubt they would, but still ponder whether they would be considered great at all without themselves finding a specialty.

As dominating as Merckx was and as broad as his & Hinault's skills were, cycling is much less a Eurocentric sport and is exposed to a much larger base. (in terms of available athletes) This means that A: there are more athletes to choose from. B: it is more likely that more of those athletes will be premier.. that's just the law of averages. I won't say that the dominating cyclists of the 50's thru early 80's are better or worse than those who have dominated during the last 20 years.. Quite the contrary - it's a comparison that can be argued justifiably in either direction - and will always be argued because there is no method of empirical comparison. Would the fastest 100m sprinter in the world in 2003 be the fastest runner in the world in 1965?
Remember, this is just for Tour greats...Brooks
Jun 30, 2003 7:46 AM
not all-time greatest cyclists, if I read the headline correctly. For just Tours, I would put Lance a little higher, drop Hinault a bit (one can always dispute the '85 win as a gift from Lemond).

Your opinion may vary...
Me toomohair_chair
Jun 30, 2003 8:05 AM
It is a ranking of Tour riders, and I would put Lance higher. Lance is so dominant in the Tour, challengers literally shrink away. They all give up at the midpoint and race for second place instead. The only other rider that had that kind of intimidating dominance was Merckx. Lemond and Hinault had to fight to the end for some of their wins. Indurain never dominated in the mountains.
Which 'gift' would raise Greg a bit too.OldEdScott
Jun 30, 2003 8:13 AM
It's not too fashionable these days to credit LeMond, but I come from that era and his work on the bike was breathtaking. I believe history will look beyond some of his unfortunate (what people perceive as) whining/sour grapes and place him a little higher in the pantheon than current opinion holds.
AgreedWalter
Jun 30, 2003 8:22 AM
LeMond will always be the "first" (American that is). He had already won 1 Tour (86) after giving his team leader the 85 Tour before his injuries while hunting with family. He came back and won 2 more, one of those being the most dramatic final stage ever.

It's a shame that some who can't see past LA like to dump on LeMond but his spot in Tour history is pretty secure, I think.

I guess I'm as "old" as OldEdScott. :)
Not that there's anything WRONG with that! nmOldEdScott
Jun 30, 2003 8:27 AM
with Merckx, you also got to remember...Bonked
Jun 30, 2003 11:17 AM
that he won the overall, mountains, and sprint titles in his first Tour...talk about something that is likely to never happen again!
re: Lance Armstrong is number five !???aliensporebomb
Jun 30, 2003 1:04 PM
One things' for sure - I'd love to be a fly on the wall at
a tour winners' party. Would be really interesting.