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Let's talk about Lance(5 posts)

Let's talk about Lancejptaylorsg
Jul 1, 2003 10:25 PM
Here's a question, and hopefully I won't get flamed: I've heard Lance disparaged, or at least downplayed, because he "Only concentrates on winning the Tour." He's often compared unfavorably with likes of Merckx or other riders because he doesn't try to win classics, too. I seem to remember that earlier in his career, he won some classics and a world championship. Am I wrong? Do these wins no longer count? I'm not saying he's Merckx, but isn't it a bit unfair? Shed some light here...
re: Let's talk about Lancedivve
Jul 2, 2003 3:43 AM
In general I think it's really difficult if not impossible to compare sportsmen from differing generations. Today cycling has changed/evolved to the extent that it's very much a specialists game. The performance of current professional cycling is at such a high level that cyclists now have to specifically focus on certain types of events and only can perform at the required level for a certain period in time. The age of riders being able to go from one race event to another, and being successful, has long since passed.
Armstrong's career can...Dwayne Barry
Jul 2, 2003 5:43 AM
neatly be divided in two. Prior to cancer he had a bigger build and was a good classics rider (World Champion Road Race, tour stage win, San Sebastian, Fleche Wallone) but would never have been able to win a grand tour.

After cancer he became a TdF specialist, to a degree that few other riders have ever done. Including modern tour winners such as Lemond, Indurain, Hinault, Ullrich and Pantani. He hasn't won a significant one-day event since his return from cancer (maybe he won Classiques des Alpes a few years ago?, but hardly a true classic). Plus, even as a stage racer he only wins the TdF and one or two stage races (maybe) in the immediate build up to it.

So while he has some good one-day races on his palmares they are distinctly separate from his TdF wins and come prior to his being recognized as one of the very top cyclists in the world. So, I think the criticism is somewhat justified, not because he only wins the tour but because he doesn't seem interested in hardly anything else. Even Pantain and Indurain did the Giro/Tour double. In fact Indurain did it twice, I think, so just remember that if Armstrong ties his TdF record.
Look at the facts...pnitefly
Jul 2, 2003 8:54 AM
Hello...McFly! Last year Lance's UCI ranking was number two. For the huffy and trek 1000 riders on this board that means he was ranked second of all UCI (professional) registered cyclists IN THE WORLD. That's pretty damn good for a guy who "just focuses on the tour." Sure the tour is worth a lot of UCI points but I think that is well deserved. How many other UCI races are 3 weeks long and span at least 2500 miles? So what if you don't see much of him after the tour. He's earned enough points from the TDF to secure a high ranking at the end of the year. That has to show people how big the tour is. Lance had no Giro or Vuelta last year and still finished 2nd largely because he won the tour. People can criticize all they want, but Lance knows what races to win and trains like a madman to win them.
I'm confused...Dwayne Barry
Jul 2, 2003 9:16 AM
the facts seem to indicate that he almost solely focuses on the Tour and that gets him a high ranking? How does that contradict anything that I said?

The criticism is that he seems to be capable of more but doesn't try, so we'll never know.

Shouldn't the best cyclist in the world be ranked #1?
(BTW, Lance is currently 5th)