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Where do you think Armstrong ranks, objectively...(20 posts)

Where do you think Armstrong ranks, objectively...Dwayne Barry
Jul 28, 2003 8:38 AM
in TdF history? Somebody's taken the trouble to assign points based on stage/GC/Jersey placings for riders over their careers. (no cheating, don't go looking for it!)

If you don't think Armstrong is 1st who rates above him?
How about Ullrich's ranking?
Never higher than #2mohair_chair
Jul 28, 2003 8:40 AM
I don't know where Armstrong ranks and I find these exercises kind of silly, but know one thing: no one will ever rank above Eddy Merckx. Retire the #1 ranking in any poll like this, because it can never be anyone but Eddy.
Since you specify 'TdF history,' he has to beOldEdScott
Jul 28, 2003 8:44 AM
ranked with the greats. 5 wins is 5 wins, a monumental achievement no matter how you slice it.

Where he ranks generally as a bike racer is another matter. By historical standards, upper tier but not off the chart. By the standards of the 'new era.' -- marked by specificity, targeting of certain races etc -- he's SET the standard, and may be regarded as the living definition of greatness in New Age bike racing. It's a New Age still unfolding.

Ask in a hundred years.
I say he ranks #1 all time...ajoc_prez
Jul 28, 2003 9:01 AM
The quality of riders today is much higher than in the past, mainly due to all the advances in training and technology. And Lance still has smoked the field 5 times.

PS - saying Eddie is #1 is like saying Babe Ruth was the best baseball player in history. Babe would be a minor leaguer in todays game...the quality of the athletes is just higher nowadays.
The ranking is based on results...Dwayne Barry
Jul 28, 2003 9:10 AM
not on sentiments, so there's no need to worry about the quality of riders today vs. the past, as each rider's results necessarily came against the riders of their day.
This is what Bernard Hinault said about the "greatest"...BrianNYC
Jul 28, 2003 9:08 AM
Perhaps he is worried about his own place in history (Lemond was a great rider too and for the most part in the same era), but I agree with Hinault: you can't compare riders of different eras/generations. The most you can say is that (pick one Merckx, Indurain, Armstrong, etc.) they were/are the best of their era.

Hinault: Armstrong not the greatest

By Matt Majendie
BBC Sport in Paris

US Postal star Armstrong is aiming for a fifth straight win
Lance Armstrong profile
Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault insists Lance Armstrong cannot call himself the greatest cyclist of all time even if he wins the next two Tours.

Armstrong is this year bidding for a fifth win to match the feat of Hinault, Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil and Miguel Indurain.

And such is his billing as favourite - bookmakers have him at 2-7 to win come the end in Paris on 20 July - followers of the Tour are already talking about the Texan winning a record sixth time in 2004.

But Hinault told the BBC Sport website: "Even if he does do win the next two, he cannot go around calling himself 'the greatest'.

"Sure, he is a great cyclist - one of the best there has ever been.

"But all this talk of who is the greatest is too difficult to work out.

"I'm too old to race him now of course but who knows what would have happened if he'd been riding in my era.

Rivals predict Armstrong win

"The same goes for Merckx, Anquetil and Indurain. It's just speculation and no one will ever really know who is the greatest."
In the Tour, tied for 2nd...Slowclimber
Jul 28, 2003 9:17 AM
If we are only counting the tour, I think he is tied for second with Indurain. 5 wins is 5 wins and the fact that they are back to back makes it all that more impressive.

The #1 tour rider is Eddy Merckx. Eddy has the most days in yellow and holds the most stage victorys as well. Lance is nowhere near Eddy in stage victorys (behind by I belive 20 wins) and has only half as many days in yellow compared to Eddy.

The argument that Armstrong would beat all others due to better athletes, training methods and better equipment isn't valid. If you put Armstrong back in the time with Eddy Merckx he doesn't win one tour because he would have died of cancer before ever winning a single tour. If you take out the cancer argument then you have to put Lance in the same training regim, equipment, etc. as riders back then. In this scenario, Eddy dominates Armstrong hands down. If you put Eddy in todays time with todays training and equipment I don't know how he would compare, he may dominate he may be a good domestique, who knows?

It's a fun arugmnet but totally unrealistic to compare athletes from different times. There are just too many variables.

Who's to say that one of the riders from the early 1900's that only won the tour once wouldn't dominate today? Riding thousands of miles on dirt roads had to take it out of you, especially carrying your own spare tires, equipment, stopping for food, bathroom, etc. The best cyclist ever may have had a short career due to the serious strain put on riders back then.

Anyway, for me Eddy #1, Armstrong & Indurain tied for #2.
In the Tour, tied for 2nd...dlbcx
Jul 28, 2003 9:44 PM
I think I would put Lance in a third place tie with Indurain and move Hinault up into second. Hinault probably would have taken 5 in row if he hadn't had the knee injury that made him quit while in yellow. Also, Hinault was probably the last strong patron of the Tour, meaning he imposed his will on peloton to the point that if anyone were to attack him, he made sure to crush that rider like a bug.
I'm sure that Lemond still wonders how many Tours he would have won had he not been shot.
Among the greatest - but I hope he doesn't win 6...Ray Sachs
Jul 28, 2003 9:37 AM
Now that he's tied the record, and won the fifth under such trying circumstances, I think almost all observers are giving him his due as being among the greatest cyclists of all time and certainly the best of his era. Next year, I'd like to see him give it his all and fall just slightly short to Ulrich or Tyler or Vino or someone that comes out of nowhere.

Think about it - now he's achieved an extremely high level of respect, as is his due. If he wins six, all it will due is start the whole crazy debate about who's the greatest of all time (as others have pointed out, all we'll know for sure is he's the greatest of HIS time), he'll be criticized yet again for being a TDF specialist and not being an all rounder / winning enough classics, how he's a heartless dominator, etc. At five, he's achieved all there is to achieve in the sport. Winning a sixth just guarantees the arguments last forever and that more people will feel the need to dis-credit his victories in order to defend their own favorite of the five-timers.

I'm not suggesting he should intentionally lose - I'm just sort of hoping he gets beat by someone a bit stronger. And then retires gracefully before becoming a shadow of himself. Of course, if he's going well next year, I'm sure I'll get caught up in it and root for him, but I think history will treat him better if he "only" wins five.

why not 8 or 9?DougSloan
Jul 28, 2003 10:05 AM
5 or 6 is an arbitrary number, right? If he has it in him, why not continue until midlife crisis?

No one could ever dispute Merckx as the greatest cyclist of all time, even TdF cyclist (although one of his wins came solely because of the GC leader's crash when he had 10 minutes of GC time on Merckx).

Besides, arguments are fun.

Among the greatest - but I hope he doesn't win 6...Grand Pooh Bear
Jul 28, 2003 5:32 PM
So should Cal Ripken jr. have sat out the game after tying Lou Gherig's record? Should Pete Rose have retired after tying the hitting record? Should Indurain have retired after #5? No to all three. Regarding Indurain; he failed to achieve #6, then retired. That makes Lance going for it all the more exciting. It's damned hard. Not going for #6 out of respect makes absolutely no sense. The thrill of records is trying to break them. Without records, where would Guinness be? (OK, poor example)
Let the debate rage. It does in all other sports.
Lance has more class than Hinault, who stuck it to Lemond. Since he doesn't dope a la Mercx, he's better than both.
I never said he shouldn't TRY for six...Ray Sachs
Jul 29, 2003 4:55 AM
...I just said there's a part of me that hopes he doesn't WIN a sixth. He should give it his all. And I acknowledged that I'll probably get as caught up in it as anyone and pull for him to win when the time comes. But in terms of where he ranks historically, I'd rather see him be stopped at five along with the other greats. But if it happens, I hope he loses a great battle to Ulrich or Tyler or someone -I don't want him to sit it out.

re: Where do you think Armstrong ranks, objectively...Alpedhuez55
Jul 28, 2003 10:23 AM
Merckx has to be #1. Much better all around than Lance. I gess these are good for arguments. I always thought Indurain is overrated and after reading more about Hinaut, think he is underrated.

Mike Y.
re: Where do you think Armstrong ranks, objectively...Jon Billheimer
Jul 28, 2003 11:56 AM
I'd rank Lance #2. He's only the 2nd guy to win five in a row, has set av. speed records on every Tour win, and won more stages than Indurain. Merckx of course holds the record for stage wins and overall margins of victory.
Merckx doesn't deserve 1st placeBAi9302010
Jul 28, 2003 12:14 PM
He doped in the '69 Giro, was caught and went on to win the TDF that year. Under today's rules he would have been suspended and unable to compete in the Tour that year which would make him only a 4 time winner.

Assuming he never doped after that incident, he would still be the most succussful rider to date but he shouldn't be given credit for a win in a race that he shouldn't have been alowed to compete in.

1st Hinault
2nd Armstrong
3rd ???
Objectively (by the numbers)...3rdDale Brigham
Jul 28, 2003 1:53 PM
Of the 5-Time TdF winners...

Stage wins:
Merckx - 35
Hinault - 28
Armstrong - 17
Anquetil - 16
Indurain - 12

Days in Yellow Jersey:
Merckx - 96
Hinault - 79
Indurain - 60
Armstrong - 59
Anquetil - 51

Armstrong edges Indurain by virtue of five more stage victories, offsetting one fewer day in Yellow.

I cheated. So I won't answer, but...........lanterne rouge
Jul 28, 2003 8:36 PM
a very interesting question. I wasn't too suprised by the answer, that is if you and I are looking in the same place. (I was close with my guess regarding the position of Armstrong but a few of the surrounding riders were names I wouldn't have picked.) The position of Ullrich was a little suprising though.
THE ANSWER IS...Dwayne Barry
Jul 29, 2003 4:44 AM
6th! Remember this is based on points assigned for stage/GC, etc. results solely at the TdF over a rider's career. The numbers:
Merckx (1589)
Hinault (1335)
Zoetemelk (1053)
Anquetil (966)
Indurain (945)
Armstrong (925)

Armstrong was 13th prior to this year and picked up roughly 250 points. So, one more year like this year should move him into 3rd all time, 2 more years maybe gets him past Hinault and 3 maybe pass Merckx.

Ullrich currently rates 16th (just ahead of Lemond) with 675 points and only gained around 100 points for this year's performance (must be weighted heavily toward taking the overall GC).

Other active riders; Virenque at 30th (485 points), Pantani at 49th (360) and Zabel at 52 (343).

See for the analysis.
Interesting....different website, similar results!lanterne rouge
Jul 29, 2003 7:42 AM
I went to and their results were very similar......Lance was still rated 6th(or tied for 5th.)

Name Points

Eddy Merckx, BEL 7500
Bernard Hinault, FRA 6800
Jacques Anquetil, FRA 5400
Lucien Van Impe, BEL 5100
Miguel Indurain, ESP 5000
Lance Armstrong, USA 5000 Federico Bahamontes, ESP 4300
Joop Zoetemelk, HOL 4000
Greg Lemond, USA 3900
Louison Bobet, FRA 3800
Raymond Poulidor, FRA 3500
Jan Ullrich, GER 3500

Lucien Van Impe, Federico Bahamontes and Joop Zoetemelk are names most people wouldn't put up there although they do belong there.
Sorry about the cut and paste, let's try this again.lanterne rouge
Jul 29, 2003 7:48 AM
I went to and their results were very similar......Lance was still rated 6th(or tied for 5th.)

Name- Points

Eddy Merckx, BEL- 7500
Bernard Hinault, FRA- 6800
Jacques Anquetil, FRA- 5400
Lucien Van Impe, BEL- 5100
Miguel Indurain, ESP- 5000
Lance Armstrong, USA- 5000
Federico Bahamontes, ESP- 4300
Joop Zoetemelk, HOL- 4000
Greg Lemond, USA- 3900
Louison Bobet, FRA- 3800
Raymond Poulidor, FRA- 3500
Jan Ullrich, GER- 3500

Lucien Van Impe, Federico Bahamontes and Joop Zoetemelk are names most people wouldn't put up there although they do belong there.