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  1. #1
    Big Blade Howzit's Avatar
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    Mark Cavendish vs Alessandro Petacchi vs Mario Cipollin

    I loved Mario's sprints against Zabel, Tom Steels and crew some years ago.
    Chipo always put on a good show for the girls, the TVs and the tabloids. Everyone knew him as a flamboyant show-man and we all loved him for it.

    Then came Alessandro Petacchi, snatching 4 stages in the Tour De France, 6 stages in the Giro, and 5 stages in the Vuelta ALL IN THE SAME YEAR. He even won 9 stages (yes 9) in the Giro on one year.

    All seem to have cleaned the first week of sprints, then abandoned when the mountains come. The acceleration from the overhead camera show that all men carry greater speed than anyone in the bunch

    Is it just me, or does Cavy-boy seem a little arrogant and to ego-headed in a bad way? I mean, sure, the guy is good, but not Petacchi good, or Mario good for that matter.
    EVERY SINGLE ONE of his interviews he always says things like: "It was very easy for me to win", or "I made a bet with everyone with 10K to go that I would win because Im just that good" or "it was too easy to win, im just faster than everyone else". His over confidence almost rubs in the wrong way...

    I havent kept up with cycling like I used to, but is it just me, or is this new kid on the block need to wind his neck in a little?
    What is everyone making such a big deal out of him anyway? I mean, he is a long ways from Mario's record, and certainly I dont think he will get 9 stages in a Grand Tour like Alessandro Petacchi did.
    Is it just the boost of American fans/coverage that when any rider does half decent they make the world out of it???

  2. #2
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    Cav doesn't really strike me as arrogant so much as a little egocentric. But he seems like he is trying to be humble to some degree. As much as he is able.

    One thing that strikes me though. From watching several of the overhead sprint finishes this year. I don't think that Cav is as fast as Patacchi or even some of the other fastest sprinters. But one thing that I have noticed is that he can hold top speed for a longer period of time than most of these other guys. He seems to be able to hold top speed about twice as long as most of the other sprinters. So if the others sprinters don't move at exactly the right time Cav will catch and beat them. The one sprint in this years Giro, were Patacchi won he timed it perfectly. But if he jumps a little bit too soon Cav will take him.

    He also seems to have a naturally good sense for when it is time to go which helps him a great deal.
    Last edited by Hezz; 07-04-09 at 06:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member erader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howzit View Post
    I loved Mario's sprints against Zabel, Tom Steels and crew some years ago.
    Chipo always put on a good show for the girls, the TVs and the tabloids. Everyone knew him as a flamboyant show-man and we all loved him for it.

    Then came Alessandro Petacchi, snatching 4 stages in the Tour De France, 6 stages in the Giro, and 5 stages in the Vuelta ALL IN THE SAME YEAR. He even won 9 stages (yes 9) in the Giro on one year.

    All seem to have cleaned the first week of sprints, then abandoned when the mountains come. The acceleration from the overhead camera show that all men carry greater speed than anyone in the bunch

    Is it just me, or does Cavy-boy seem a little arrogant and to ego-headed in a bad way? I mean, sure, the guy is good, but not Petacchi good, or Mario good for that matter.EVERY SINGLE ONE of his interviews he always says things like: "It was very easy for me to win", or "I made a bet with everyone with 10K to go that I would win because Im just that good" or "it was too easy to win, im just faster than everyone else". His over confidence almost rubs in the wrong way...

    I havent kept up with cycling like I used to, but is it just me, or is this new kid on the block need to wind his neck in a little?
    What is everyone making such a big deal out of him anyway? I mean, he is a long ways from Mario's record, and certainly I dont think he will get 9 stages in a Grand Tour like Alessandro Petacchi did.
    Is it just the boost of American fans/coverage that when any rider does half decent they make the world out of it???

    i think it's too early in his career to say that cav isn't as good as cipo or petacchi. i certainly think he has the potential to be.

    ed rader
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  4. #4
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    He is cocky that is for sure, but I have to admit, he is damn fast and hard to beat when he has position. Like erader, I think it is too early in his career to say if he is the best or close to the top, but fun to watch. Would love to see him make the whole tour this year to see how he does after 3 weeks. Let him finish a few Tours and take home the Green Jersey several times, them we can discuss the legacy.
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  5. #5
    Cycler Suzie Green's Avatar
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    I'll agree with Ed, the jury is still out on Cav's longevity. That said, I think you have to have a certain amount of egocentricity if you're doing what he is...trying to bang handlebars at 40 mph. The peloton has had its share of loudmouth sprinters with short fuses. Cav's just another version of Cipo, or Abdujaparov, or Steels, or....

  6. #6
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    Cavendish is only 24 years old. He tied Petacchi for wins in their debut years (14).

    It's his 3rd year as a pro and he already has 41 wins to his name. Give him another 7 years and he'll surpass 200. With any luck, it'll be 250+ career wins. I wouldn't bet against him having the most stage wins in the history of the Tour.

    We'll just have to see if he loses some sprint with the amount of grand tours he will do. Happens to the best of them (Friere, Hushovd, Zabel, McEwen).
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  7. #7
    Ride for Life wearyourtruth's Avatar
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    it's true he hasn't been around long enough to really start comparing him to the greats. and it is true that he has a matter-of-fact cockiness to him, but someone can correct me if i'm wrong, but i feel like lately (past year or so) he has won pretty much everything he has been in contention for. what i mean is, you hardly see any 2nd, 3rd, 4th place finishes. am i misinformed? i can think of a couple 2nd places in the giro last year, and that's it. if he's got the position, at least for now, it seems like no one can beat him.
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  8. #8
    Big Blade Howzit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPradun View Post
    Cavendish is only 24 years old. He tied Petacchi for wins in their debut years (14).

    It's his 3rd year as a pro and he already has 41 wins to his name. Give him another 7 years and he'll surpass 200. With any luck, it'll be 250+ career wins. I wouldn't bet against him having the most stage wins in the history of the Tour.........
    Oh geez, I guess you have a point. Nice call.
    I just wish he was arrogant, but the nice kind, you know, like the Cipo kind. And I agrre with someone else said, sprinters have to be all or nothing, personality too I suppose.
    Well, I hope he gets 5 wins this Tour.

    Any bets he will take the final sprint in Paris? Thats a loaded question I know, becuase that assumes he makes it over the mountains. But make that part and parcel of the bet!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member erader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howzit View Post
    Oh geez, I guess you have a point. Nice call.
    I just wish he was arrogant, but the nice kind, you know, like the Cipo kind. And I agrre with someone else said, sprinters have to be all or nothing, personality too I suppose.
    Well, I hope he gets 5 wins this Tour.

    Any bets he will take the final sprint in Paris? Thats a loaded question I know, becuase that assumes he makes it over the mountains. But make that part and parcel of the bet!!
    you mean like robbie mc ewen? no one is worst than that little ******* ? the only humble sprinters are the ones who don't win ... you know, guys like tyler farrar.

    the thing about cavendish is i really do think he tries to control his mouth....unlike loose cannons like armstrong and mc ewen and yes cipo in his younger years when he was considered by some to be a loudmouth prima donna.

    and for the record i am a bigger fan of cipo than i am of cav but cipo sort of grew on me over the years (which is the complete opposite of how i view guys like lance today). i also suspect cav will become more likeable as he matures.

    ed rader
    Last edited by erader; 07-04-09 at 10:24 PM.
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  10. #10
    raodmaster shaman
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    I think Cav was pretty arrogant in his first year, and will maybe always have that tendency. However, every time I've seen him win in the last year, he makes sure to thank his team and acknowledge the competition. Seems like he's learning to be bit more, well, professional.

    Besides, a little good natured swagger makes for good racing and good entertainment. Perfectly polite sprinters would be very dull.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Petacchi

    2003 Giro - 6 wins
    2003 Tour - 4 wins
    2003 Vuelta - 5 wins

    2004 Giro - 9 wins
    2004 Vuelta - 4 wins

    2005 Giro - 4 wins
    2005 Vuelta - 5 wins

    2007 Vuelta - 2 wins
    pretty much locked out of the Giro/Tour 2006-2008

    Cavendish

    2008 Giro - 2 wins (Petacchi not there and Bennati won 3 stages)
    2008 Tour - 4 wins (no Petacchi, no Boonen and McEwen had no helper)

    He's winning a lot but he's not beating the top guys at their best.

  12. #12
    Descends Like Avalanche HigherGround's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadgator View Post
    Besides, a little good natured swagger makes for good racing and good entertainment. Perfectly polite sprinters would be very dull.
    I believe that Petacchi has been nicknamed "The Gentleman Sprinter".

    Also, during last year's Giro (if I remember correctly), Daniele Bennati had the chance to close the door on Cavendish in a sprint, but chose not to and allowed a head to head drag race. Cavendish beat him, but many people commended Bennati on his sense of fair play. Bennati later noted that if he had closed the door on Cavendish at full speed, and caused a serious accident, he wouldn't have been able to live with himself. A nice contrast to Abdoujaparov, eh?

    Having said all that, I loved Mario Cipollini's over the top antics like showing up dressed like Julius Caesar at the start of a Tour stage. For the most part, he was obnoxious only if you took him seriously - kind of like pcad . I think Mario added a bit of flair and drama to the sport, in a good way. Pantani was the same.
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  13. #13
    lead on macduff!
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    best of sprinters the last decade or so...

    worst temper-steels. 2nd-mc ewen.
    most flamboyant-cipollini-by a mile.
    best lead-out train-petacchi. 2nd-cipollini.
    best without a leadout teammate/team-mc ewen. 2nd-freire.
    scariest-abdou. is there anyone else even close???
    most competitive-zabel. 2nd-mc ewen.
    most consistent-zabel.
    most inconsistent-friere.
    straight up fastest-cavendish. 2nd-cipollini/mc ewen (tie).
    straight up slowest-boonen. 2nd-friere.
    best tactical acumen-mc ewen. 2nd-zabel. 3rd-cipollini.
    best classics sprinter-zabel. 2nd-bettini. 3rd-boonen. 4th-friere.
    best in a chaotic sprint-mc ewen. 2nd-zabel.
    best uphill finish sprinter(not counting valverde)-boonen. 2nd-zabel. 3rd-bettini.
    best climber-zabel. 2nd-jalabert. 3rd-bettini. 4th-friere.
    best "just win, baby" sprinter-mc ewen.
    most disqualified-steels. 2nd-mc ewen. 3rd-bettini.
    best descender-bettini.
    best tt-jalabert. 2nd-hushovd.
    most in need of a lead-out-petacchi.
    unluckiest sprinter (most 2nd places)-zabel.
    most overrated-petacchi. 2nd-friere. 3rd-boonen.
    most underrated-hushovd. 2nd-friere. 3rd-jalabert.
    most powerful-cipollini. 2nd-hushovd.
    most explosive-cavendish. 2nd-mc ewen.
    biggest whiner-mc ewen. 2nd-bettini. 3rd-steels.
    most gentlemanly/best sportsman-zabel.
    best overall sprinter-zabel.

    welcome your comments...

  14. #14
    Descends Like Avalanche HigherGround's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
    scariest-abdou. is there anyone else even close???
    Not if they know what's good for them

    Although Theo Bos has raised his hand for that title as well (pardon the pun).
    The rider in my avatar is David Etxebarria, not me.

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    Descends Like Avalanche HigherGround's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
    worst temper-steels. 2nd-mc ewen.
    Dishonorable Mention: Jeroen Blijlevens
    The rider in my avatar is David Etxebarria, not me.

  16. #16
    lead on macduff!
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    oh god-yeah!! theo bos should be awarded the annual abdou "achievement" award for dubious conduct
    befitting a sprinting situation every though the season is half over!! that was either beautiful or horrible
    depending on your viewpoint. as a long-time soccer/football defensive player, intimidation is half the
    game. no blood, no foul. blood...ok, have a free kick. bos should have a clear lane for sprinting to the
    win the next couple of years if he has a decent lead-out train. i mean who wants to ride next to him
    near the finish?? could be the next sean kelly. maybe he's on to something...a couple dq's here, a fistful
    of wins there.

  17. #17
    Big Blade Howzit's Avatar
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    Zabel retired last year right?

    I remember watching him win stages in the 1996, 1997 and I especially remember him in the 1998 Tour.
    Twelve years later, the guy is still getting 3rd in the green jersey competition. Thats just crazy how time flies.

    So Cipo and Zabel are both equal on 12 stages total for the Tour. Zabel clocks in with 192 career race victories, while Cipo clocks in at 191. The main difference between the two is that Zabel won 6 Green jerseys, while good 'ol Mario won ZERO, LOL

    Cavi might be set to get more career wins than those two.

  18. #18
    Cycler Suzie Green's Avatar
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    Heh, sprinters with attitudes, what a surprise! I loved the Tom Steels / Frederic Moncasin incident...

    Cipo warms up his arm too...

    Some more rumble in the jungle...

  19. #19
    Cycler Suzie Green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HigherGround View Post
    Not if they know what's good for them

    Although Theo Bos has raised his hand for that title as well (pardon the pun).

    And if a branch out into track sprinting is counted, THIS might qualify!

  20. #20
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubbayoo View Post
    Petacchi

    2003 Giro - 6 wins
    2003 Tour - 4 wins
    2003 Vuelta - 5 wins

    2004 Giro - 9 wins
    2004 Vuelta - 4 wins

    2005 Giro - 4 wins
    2005 Vuelta - 5 wins

    2007 Vuelta - 2 wins
    pretty much locked out of the Giro/Tour 2006-2008

    Cavendish

    2008 Giro - 2 wins (Petacchi not there and Bennati won 3 stages)
    2008 Tour - 4 wins (no Petacchi, no Boonen and McEwen had no helper)

    He's winning a lot but he's not beating the top guys at their best.
    Really? Why don't you do a fair comparison?

    Pettachi went pro in 1996. What are Pettachi's achievements in his second year, in 1997? Cavendish went pro in 2007. What are Cavendish's achievements in his second year, in 2008?

    Cavendish won those 6 stages in grand Tours at 23 years old (his second year as a pro). What did Pettachi win at 23 years old? That was 1997 (also his second year as a pro).

    It took Petacchi 5 years before he got his first grand tour win.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
    best of sprinters the last decade or so...


    scariest-abdou. is there anyone else even close???

    welcome your comments...
    Please research Graeme Brown.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubbayoo View Post
    Please research Graeme Brown.

    Quote Originally Posted by JPradun View Post
    Really? Why don't you do a fair comparison?

    Pettachi went pro in 1996. What are Pettachi's achievements in his second year, in 1997? Cavendish went pro in 2007. What are Cavendish's achievements in his second year, in 2008?

    Cavendish won those 6 stages in grand Tours at 23 years old (his second year as a pro). What did Pettachi win at 23 years old? That was 1997 (also his second year as a pro).

    It took Petacchi 5 years before he got his first grand tour win.
    Petacchi's first year on a team that rode grand tours he won two Vuelta stages...and he came up during the Cipollini/Zabel/McEwen hey day. There is nobody at the top of their game right now other than Cav and Ale-jet and they rarely race head to head.

  23. #23
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    I think Cav learned some restraint after he blew his stack in... 2006\T-Mobile ??, when he had a mechanical. Looked like a 3 year old having a hissy on the side of the road. I remember Phil just slamming him for that.
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  24. #24
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    Whats wrong with being a little cocky? He is grateful to his team, and always thanks them immediately after a stage win. I don't think he is disrespectful at all. He does make it look easy, so all he does it tell the truth

  25. #25
    Senior Member yellowjeep's Avatar
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    The Interview they showed during today's stage Cav said it was easy because he had the best train. He listed his guys by name and said it was easy to win when you have a train like that. Pretty classy in my book.
    When in doubt, style it out.

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