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Old 01-17-06, 09:55 PM   #1
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Some dont like lance

I can recall talking to my bike trip leader who is a bike messenger, saying that she really didnt have respect for lance because all he did was the tour. He doesnt train for the giro or anthing like that. Now if this is true, it puts a damper on how I see him but bottom line. He won 7.
I can remember reading in a bike mag that said, finishing a tour was amazing, winning won:a miracle.

what do u think of this?
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Old 01-17-06, 10:00 PM   #2
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Lance is bye all means the greatest cyclist of this era. No doubt about it.
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Old 01-17-06, 10:01 PM   #3
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i'm sorry... your friends a fool. it's one thing to not like the guy for his demeanor, or not to agree with what he chooses to focus his energies toward, but to not respect his accomplishments is just assinine.


remind your friend that he's the youngest rider to wear a worlds champion jersey, among other notable acheivements earlier in his career.
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Old 01-17-06, 11:56 PM   #4
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Perhaps people who think along these lines are over-simplifyinging: they seem to think that winning a Tour de France is just a matter of focusing on it and nothing else. For better or worse, people who are exceptional at what they do (athletes, musicians, actors, public speakers, etc.) often make it look much easier than it is. It kind of reminds me of a phrase that was on one of the Richard Sachs jerseys: "Simple, but not easy". Only a handful of the 200+ riders who start the Tour can truly be considered to be contenders for the overall victory. I guarantee that most pro riders would not have the potential to win the Tour if they focused their season on it entirely. Of the real contenders, few have the leeway to base their entire season on one event, especially one that is three weeks long and subject to so many variables.

Lance has also had the luxury of riding for an American team, with American sponsors, focused on the American audience... the majority of whom would be hard pressed to name another race besides the Tour de France. (I'm referring to the general public, not the enthusiasts.) If Lance wins the Tour, he justifies his sponsors' investment, period. There's no point in Lance pushing himself to win Paris-Nice, the Tour of Flanders, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and "only" finishing in the top five at the Tour as a result. His wins wouldn't be viewed as meaningful to the American public (his sponsors' target audience) and his top five finish would be viewed as a failure. Take Jan Ullrich for example. There's a man who had never finished below second in the Tour de France, and the year that he finished fourth many people talked about how badly he had done. Of course I'd love to be that "bad" of a racer!
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Old 01-18-06, 12:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Warblade
Lance is bye all means the greatest cyclist of this era. No doubt about it.
True. Nobody's really stepped up.

Eddy Merckx though, geezus. 500+ wins includes Giros, TDF, one day classics, one hour records and he didn't need any stinking tactics or Chris Charmichael Spinervals DVDs .

The Cannibal just rode everybody off of his back wheel and straight into the ground, Belgian style! If only Boonen (too friggin' big) could climb, he could dominate too methinks.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by scarpi41
I can recall talking to my bike trip leader who is a bike messenger, saying that she really didnt have respect for lance because all he did was the tour. He doesnt train for the giro or anthing like that. Now if this is true, it puts a damper on how I see him but bottom line. He won 7.
I can remember reading in a bike mag that said, finishing a tour was amazing, winning won:a miracle.

what do u think of this?


Your friend doesn't understand professional cycling. Educate him.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:36 AM   #7
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Your friend doesn't understand professional cycling. Educate him.
Its a she.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:44 AM   #8
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Some people resent it when others are successful. I'm sure Lance isn't losing any sleep over it.
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Old 01-18-06, 01:22 AM   #9
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Lance has also had the luxury of riding for an American team, with American sponsors, focused on the American audience... the majority of whom would be hard pressed to name another race besides the Tour de France. (I'm referring to the general public, not the enthusiasts.) If Lance wins the Tour, he justifies his sponsors' investment, period. There's no point in Lance pushing himself to win Paris-Nice, the Tour of Flanders, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and "only" finishing in the top five at the Tour as a result. His wins wouldn't be viewed as meaningful to the American public (his sponsors' target audience) and his top five finish would be viewed as a failure. Take Jan Ullrich for example. There's a man who had never finished below second in the Tour de France, and the year that he finished fourth many people talked about how badly he had done. Of course I'd love to be that "bad" of a racer!

no point?

what is the point of being a pro cyclist?

you are assuming monetary motivations.

Le Tour might be the pinnacle, but what existential manifestation does it provide. It obviously is part of Lances identity, not Le Tour per se, but his single mindedness, and objective setting, pure mental strength and discipline.

Though it might seem antithethical, Le Tour allows him to eliminate all the intagibles that exist so he optimisies his chance at winning. The tour has many intangibles like illness and crashes that to an extent Armstrong cannot control. But he controls all those factors he can, which enables him to be dominant and win. I think this is Armstrong's, and to an extent his national (US) psychology, that is, winning. the best, the brightest, the richest event. Media driven, but in any arbitrary analysis, it is the pinnacle of the sport.

Armstrong can't control the one day races, and the factors that are a function of winning tothe same degree, and his personality will not allow him concede victory. Whenever Armstrong talks of second place he says he can understand the mentality. He is driven by this winner/loser mentality.

It would be great to see a rider who appreciates all the races and moves on to conquer, or atleast compete to win, all te races on the calendar, albeit not in the one year. But finanical imperatives dictate the best riders race the tour to win, if they wish to maximise their economic compensation.

The pertinent trivia is, Armstrong had enough money to live on for the rest of his life, and his descendants also 3 years ago, so he was not compelled to ride the tour afterwards. One can only spend so much money. The opposing factor is Armstrong's position in history and he wanted to secure his place and his record. This is an extrapolation of the winner (and ego) mentality.

Armstrong is a champion rider whichever way you cut it. He deserves respect for his work ethic and accomplishments.
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Old 01-18-06, 10:23 AM   #10
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True. Nobody's really stepped up.

Eddy Merckx though, geezus. 500+ wins includes Giros, TDF, one day classics, one hour records and he didn't need any stinking tactics or Chris Charmichael Spinervals DVDs .

The Cannibal just rode everybody off of his back wheel and straight into the ground, Belgian style! If only Boonen (too friggin' big) could climb, he could dominate too methinks.
Gone are the times when a single cyclist can dominate entire seasons. The competition and the science of training has come a too far in the past 30 years to allow someone to replicate what Merckx did. In that light, Lance's consecutive TdF wins should be appreciated all the more.

I wish Boonen the best, but it's not possible for him to dominate all races. Even he has to pick and choose.
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Old 01-18-06, 10:26 AM   #11
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you got to respect him no matter what. he's earned it. however, i can say that i would respect him more if he raced in the other grand tours as well.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:43 AM   #12
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Gone are the times when a single cyclist can dominate entire seasons. The competition and the science of training has come a too far in the past 30 years to allow someone to replicate what Merckx did. In that light, Lance's consecutive TdF wins should be appreciated all the more.

I wish Boonen the best, but it's not possible for him to dominate all races. Even he has to pick and choose.
What makes you think those times ever existed?

No I'm serious. Let's look at the big 9 races. The Three Grand Tours, The 5 Monuments and the Worlds. Many riders have won 2 in a year. (I think one year 3 different riders did that). But how many won 3 or more? How many times has it happened (a different question)?

The answer is only 6 riders. and only for a total of 12 times.

The first was Coppi in 49 winning 4 including a Tour Giro double which was 'impossible' until Fausto did it.

Next was Rik Van Looy in 61. Others were Hinault in 80 and Roche in 87.

The most recent was Boonen in 2005.

Each of these won 3 out of 9, no one has matched Coppi's 4 wins. It was just no longer possible.

Oh wait, except for Eddy who won at LEAST 3 of these 9 for 7 years in a row. Winning as many as 5 in one year.

While there have been changes that make it harder to duplicate Eddy's feats the biggest thing is that there is no Eddy. When Eddy rode it was not possible to dominate like he did, it was not possible to duplicate the feats of Coppi. Things were different. Until Eddy did it any way.

Perhaps Boonen will duplicate 4 of Coppi, perhaps not. But he has shown it is possible. Of course if he does he will surely be saddled with the title of the Next Eddy Merckx.

BTW try to name anyone besides Coppi, Hinault or Merckx who was strong in both tours and classics in the same year, or harder still for an entire career.

There is a reason they are considered great.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:17 PM   #13
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There is a reason they are considered great.

Keith,great post!
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Old 01-18-06, 01:08 PM   #14
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Keith,great post!
Thank you.

I forgot one other thing that I always want to brint up when people say times have changed.

How about the double? Either way, multiple jerseys in a major tour or two tours. When asked why Lance never tried to do a double we hear times have changed. But when was the last Tour-Giro double? The year before Lance's first Tour win.

Oh and starting in 2004 times changed. They changed the rules to favor GC riders in the Mountians competition.
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Old 01-18-06, 02:50 PM   #15
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Its a she.


Of course....that's abundantly clear from here.
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Old 01-18-06, 03:01 PM   #16
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Of course....that's abundantly clear from here.
i knew from the OP's first sentence...
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Old 01-18-06, 03:21 PM   #17
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i knew from the OP's first sentence...
Oh yeah....ooops!!!



note to self....read more carefully.
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Old 01-18-06, 04:13 PM   #18
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What makes you think those times ever existed?
Because I've read countless posts here and other places on the web praising how Merckx dominated the competition. Your post enlightens me considerably. Thanks.


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While there have been changes that make it harder to duplicate Eddy's feats the biggest thing is that there is no Eddy. When Eddy rode it was not possible to dominate like he did, it was not possible to duplicate the feats of Coppi. Things were different. Until Eddy did it any way.
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BTW try to name anyone besides Coppi, Hinault or Merckx who was strong in both tours and classics in the same year, or harder still for an entire career.
I think this gets to the issue of what I was referring to. If Boonen wants to compete for the GC in the Tours, it follows that he'll have to trim down his weight to effectively compete with the likes of Ulrich and Basso--two very talented riders focusing almost exclusively on the Tour. The question, then, is can Boonen either drop weight after his dominating Classics form in a manner still allowing him to be properly fit for the Grand Tours, or can he trim down his weight at the start of the season and still be competitive in both the Classics and Grand Tours? History seems (as shown in your insightful post) to show that this has always been a long shot.

Either way, with so many teams dedicating certain racers only toward specific races, and training with increasingly advanced training techniques (especially with regard to talents like Basso and Ulrich) the probability of someone emerging as a Merckx or Coppi-like seems, anecdotally, to be falling.

BTW, CycleSport has a good profile of Boonen in this month's edition.
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Old 01-18-06, 04:55 PM   #19
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Your friend doesn't understand professional cycling. Educate him.
I think his friend has a valid opinion. It takes much more to race the entire Protour than just one race, even if it is the TDF. This is why the Protour champion is DeLuca, and why the winningest rider in 05 was Boonen.
Winning the TDF is amazing, but training for only one race is not any evidence of the greatest current rider. While LA does this one race a year, his rivals, like Basso, are doing many more.

The hills of the Giro are brutal, and LA never won the Paris-Roubaix, he dropped out of the Paris-Nice last year in 100+ place. Other great historical cyclists have done the Giro and the TDF. As an American, the smartest pro move to make is only ride the TDF, because this is the only international race of any impact in the US, the source of LA's sponsor dollars. LA is a very smart guy, which is why he should get into politics.
So while 7 TDFs is incredible, I doubt ever before in history has a pro rider ever been so focused on just one race.
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Old 01-18-06, 05:06 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by scarpi41
I can recall talking to my bike trip leader who is a bike messenger, saying that she really didnt have respect for lance because all he did was the tour. He doesnt train for the giro or anthing like that. Now if this is true, it puts a damper on how I see him but bottom line. He won 7.
I can remember reading in a bike mag that said, finishing a tour was amazing, winning won:a miracle.

what do u think of this?
I would ask this person how many Tours she has won . . . competed in . . . trained for . . . OK, she's a she, so probably zero . . . how about how many major women's stage races she's won . . . competed in . . . trained for . . . ?

Yeah, that Lance, he sucks. "All he did was the Tour", 7 times. A bit like saying a runner doesn't deserve respect because "all he did was Boston".

Cripe, a single *day* of Lance's or any other Tour athlete's training puts many of us to shame -- today or in any other era (OK, maybe not the smoking era).

I think I'm with you on this one
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Old 01-18-06, 05:13 PM   #21
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What makes you think those times ever existed?

No I'm serious. Let's look at the big 9 races. The Three Grand Tours, The 5 Monuments and the Worlds. Many riders have won 2 in a year. (I think one year 3 different riders did that). But how many won 3 or more? How many times has it happened (a different question)?

The answer is only 6 riders. and only for a total of 12 times.

The first was Coppi in 49 winning 4 including a Tour Giro double which was 'impossible' until Fausto did it.

Next was Rik Van Looy in 61. Others were Hinault in 80 and Roche in 87.

The most recent was Boonen in 2005.

Each of these won 3 out of 9, no one has matched Coppi's 4 wins. It was just no longer possible.

Oh wait, except for Eddy who won at LEAST 3 of these 9 for 7 years in a row. Winning as many as 5 in one year.

While there have been changes that make it harder to duplicate Eddy's feats the biggest thing is that there is no Eddy. When Eddy rode it was not possible to dominate like he did, it was not possible to duplicate the feats of Coppi. Things were different. Until Eddy did it any way.

Perhaps Boonen will duplicate 4 of Coppi, perhaps not. But he has shown it is possible. Of course if he does he will surely be saddled with the title of the Next Eddy Merckx.

BTW try to name anyone besides Coppi, Hinault or Merckx who was strong in both tours and classics in the same year, or harder still for an entire career.

There is a reason they are considered great.
THIS is how to back up an "argument" (bad choice of words, I realize). Brilliant Keith!!
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Old 01-18-06, 05:16 PM   #22
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So while 7 TDFs is incredible, I doubt ever before in history has a pro rider ever been so focused on just one race.
From the journalism hype about TdF 2006, do you think he started a trend?
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Old 01-18-06, 05:23 PM   #23
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I would ask this person how many Tours she has won . . . competed in . . . trained for . . . OK, she's a she, so probably zero . . . how about how many major women's stage races she's won . . . competed in . . . trained for . . . ?

Yeah, that Lance, he sucks. "All he did was the Tour", 7 times. A bit like saying a runner doesn't deserve respect because "all he did was Boston".
Oh boy...mention Lance and do not include "the greatest" and you are asking for trouble . Not to be confrontational but this person is entitled to her opinion, as you are to yours. I do not see anywhere where she said that Lance sucks, if you can find that please forgive me. I happen to agree with her to a degree. I would also have alot more respect for Lance if he ever rode ANY of the other grand tours like some of the other riders. I do have alot of respect for his TdF wins, afterall what he has done in the tour is astonishing...but lets see it for what it is here...not a matter fo someone thinking "Lance sucks,' but rather someone else (one of many) who wished he rode in more of the bigger races. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I have never been a big fan of LA, and a huge fan of the likes of Merckx, Hinault, Roche and LeMond....yeah I'm old.

And what does her sex have to do with it?...there are many people with the same opinion (with whom you would not even bring up that angle) who have accomplished the same as her, ie: nothing.
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Old 01-18-06, 05:30 PM   #24
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From the journalism hype about TdF 2006, do you think he started a trend?
I think this may be an interesting point, and as yet, remains to be seen. I do think there are still a few european teams and sponsors who do not see the TdF as the be all and end all of the Pro cycling season.
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Old 01-18-06, 06:35 PM   #25
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Oh boy...mention Lance and do not include "the greatest" and you are asking for trouble . Not to be confrontational but this person is entitled to her opinion, as you are to yours. I do not see anywhere where she said that Lance sucks, if you can find that please forgive me. I happen to agree with her to a degree. I would also have alot more respect for Lance if he ever rode ANY of the other grand tours like some of the other riders. I do have alot of respect for his TdF wins, afterall what he has done in the tour is astonishing...but lets see it for what it is here...not a matter fo someone thinking "Lance sucks,' but rather someone else (one of many) who wished he rode in more of the bigger races. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I have never been a big fan of LA, and a huge fan of the likes of Merckx, Hinault, Roche and LeMond....yeah I'm old.

And what does her sex have to do with it?...there are many people with the same opinion (with whom you would not even bring up that angle) who have accomplished the same as her, ie: nothing.
Well, there is a device known as "sarcasm" which I used for effect, which you may have overlooked.

I bring up her sex because: a) it seemed to be in question in previous posts; and b) I don't know of too many female Tour riders.

The point is that you shouldn't judge someone before you've walked a mile in his shoes. I'm willing to bet you haven't even tried those shoes on. If you're going to knock someone because he "only won the Tour", I think you should be able to back up your opinion with similar or superior accomplishments. Otherwise, shut up.
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