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Old 07-28-09, 09:24 PM   #1
mooncricket
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Why Hasn't Armstrong won all the Big Threes?

In other sports, it's a huge honor to win all the major crowns. Few athletes would be considered all time greats unless they did just that. Look at Roger Federrer for example.

Would winning 8 TDFs be bigger than winning 7 TDFs and a Giro?
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Old 07-28-09, 09:28 PM   #2
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In other sports, it's a huge honor to win all the major crowns. Few athletes would be considered all time greats unless they did just that. Look at Roger Federrer for example.

Would winning 8 TDFs be bigger than winning 7 TDFs and a Giro?
the only time lanced raced the vuelta as i recall is when he first came back from cancer, and he did very well. the only time lance raced the giro is when he came back from retirement and he did pretty well.

during his TDF run lance didn't contest either race frankly because i believe he thought they were beneath him.

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Old 07-28-09, 09:40 PM   #3
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Lance never really raced in the others.

Probably a combination of being a TDF specific rider and that is really what he wants to do.

I wouldn't consider Pete Sampras any less of a tennis player because he only really won Wimbledon and the US Open.
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Old 07-28-09, 09:46 PM   #4
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At his prime he probably could have won them, but he chose to focus on the TdF only.
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Old 07-28-09, 09:56 PM   #5
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A lot of it depends. If you're an Italian, the Giro may be the race you try hardest to win during the season. Generally though, the Tour de France gets much greater publicity, and is generally viewed as the most prestigious race there is.
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Old 07-28-09, 09:57 PM   #6
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As has already been pointed out. He never tried. So, we'll never know if he could have, or not. 8 tours would definately be a bigger number for anyone to attempt in that one race than 7 tdfs and a Giro. However, the realative merit or difficulty of each tour varies from year to year. Some would argue that a string of Giro wins would be a bigger accomplishment. But, that's not how the guy decided to define himself. He's concentrated of TDF wins and has done that better than any other cyclist in history. I'll even go as far as to say that he hasn't always been the "strongest" rider in a number of those victories. What he has consistantly been, is the most calculating, prepared, team protected and controlling rider the peleton has ever known. There's more than one way to win grand tours and Lance has all but perfected what he has called the "formual" or "pattern" for winning the Tour De France. Next year is going to be interesting, when Alberto and Andy, with all their talent and climbing strength come up against Armstrong and his "formula". With his own team, built around select riders that arent' poodles to a government sponsor and no disagreement or breaks with regard to tactics, it'll be interesting to see if youth and enthusiasm can overcome a "JB/LA Train".
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Old 07-28-09, 10:12 PM   #7
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As has already been pointed out. He never tried. So, we'll never know if he could have, or not. 8 tours would definately be a bigger number for anyone to attempt in that one race than 7 tdfs and a Giro. However, the realative merit or difficulty of each tour varies from year to year. Some would argue that a string of Giro wins would be a bigger accomplishment. But, that's not how the guy decided to define himself. He's concentrated of TDF wins and has done that better than any other cyclist in history. I'll even go as far as to say that he hasn't always been the "strongest" rider in a number of those victories. What he has consistantly been, is the most calculating, prepared, team protected and controlling rider the peleton has ever known. There's more than one way to win grand tours and Lance has all but perfected what he has called the "formual" or "pattern" for winning the Tour De France. Next year is going to be interesting, when Alberto and Andy, with all their talent and climbing strength come up against Armstrong and his "formula". With his own team, built around select riders that arent' poodles to a government sponsor and no disagreement or breaks with regard to tactics, it'll be interesting to see if youth and enthusiasm can overcome a "JB/LA Train".
I really can't think of a stronger all around rider that Armstrong faced in his 7 wins. Ullrich was good, but not on the same level climbing wise and almost always got out TT'd by Armstrong.

I think Contador is too much for anyone at this point. I think Andy can be beaten unless he improves his TT results.
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Old 07-28-09, 10:15 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=bigfred;9375610]As has already been pointed out. He never tried. So, we'll never know if he could have, or not. 8 tours would definately be a bigger number for anyone to attempt in that one race than 7 tdfs and a Giro. However, the realative merit or difficulty of each tour varies from year to year. Some would argue that a string of Giro wins would be a bigger accomplishment. But, that's not how the guy decided to define himself. He's concentrated of TDF wins and has done that better than any other cyclist in history. I'll even go as far as to say that he hasn't always been the "strongest" rider in a number of those victories. What he has consistantly been, is the most calculating, prepared, team protected and controlling rider the peleton has ever known. There's more than one way to win grand tours and Lance has all but perfected what he has called the "formual" or "pattern" for winning the Tour De France. Next year is going to be interesting, when Alberto and Andy, with all their talent and climbing strength come up against Armstrong and his "formula". With his own team, built around select riders that arent' poodles to a government sponsor and no disagreement or breaks with regard to tactics, [COLOR="Red"]it'll be interesting to see if youth and enthusiasm can overcome a "JB/LA Train".[/[/COLOR]QUOTE]

it already happened. where were you ?

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Old 07-28-09, 10:33 PM   #9
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I think Merckx's 5 Giros and 5 TDFs far outshine Lance's 7 TDF wins.
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Old 07-28-09, 10:37 PM   #10
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I think Merckx's 5 Giros and 5 TDFs far outshine Lance's 7 TDF wins.
along with all his other wins there's no doubt that merckx was the best ever.

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Old 07-28-09, 10:37 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=erader;9375710]
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As has already been pointed out. He never tried. So, we'll never know if he could have, or not. 8 tours would definately be a bigger number for anyone to attempt in that one race than 7 tdfs and a Giro. However, the realative merit or difficulty of each tour varies from year to year. Some would argue that a string of Giro wins would be a bigger accomplishment. But, that's not how the guy decided to define himself. He's concentrated of TDF wins and has done that better than any other cyclist in history. I'll even go as far as to say that he hasn't always been the "strongest" rider in a number of those victories. What he has consistantly been, is the most calculating, prepared, team protected and controlling rider the peleton has ever known. There's more than one way to win grand tours and Lance has all but perfected what he has called the "formual" or "pattern" for winning the Tour De France. Next year is going to be interesting, when Alberto and Andy, with all their talent and climbing strength come up against Armstrong and his "formula". With his own team, built around select riders that arent' poodles to a government sponsor and no disagreement or breaks with regard to tactics, [COLOR="Red"]it'll be interesting to see if youth and enthusiasm can overcome a "JB/LA Train".[/[/COLOR]QUOTE]

it already happened. where were you ?

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Did you miss the qualifiers in there? Or, do you prefer to post after having only selectively read what you would like to hear instead of what is actually written?
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Old 07-28-09, 10:39 PM   #12
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along with all his other wins there's no doubt that merckx was the best ever.

ed rader
Best at more than just GT's. Let's not forget 4x's busted for use of banned substances. A record that Lance doesn't have a chance of ever getting close to.
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Old 07-28-09, 10:41 PM   #13
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Best at more than just GT's. Let's not forget 4x's busted for use of banned substances. A record that Lance doesn't have a chance of ever getting close to.
"the glove doesn't fit so you must acquit".

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Old 07-28-09, 11:19 PM   #14
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In other sports, it's a huge honor to win all the major crowns. Few athletes would be considered all time greats unless they did just that. Look at Roger Federrer for example.

Would winning 8 TDFs be bigger than winning 7 TDFs and a Giro?
As has been mentioned, Lance hasn't one the other because he really hasn't raced them. Only the first time for him in the Giro this year. And the Vuelta at the beginning of his career.

I view Lance as the greatest TdF rider. 7 wins. However, not the greatest racer of all time. For me you have to win other big races. Lance pretty much just specialized at the TdF. Its very difficult to try and win multiple grand tours in one season. Especially the Giro and the TdF. Or the TdF and the Vuelta. Or the spring classics. Why? Because they are relatively close together. Its tough to be riding at your peak at different times in the season.

If you take away the TdF wins, Lance doesn't have a lot of other major wins. He's got a World Championship going back to 1993. Again, before he was specializing at the TdF. Lance had a stretch where he seriously focused only on the TdF. But didn't compete in any other major races.

Take Indurain for example. 5 TdF's, 2 Giros. His Giro wins were in years that he also won the TdF. Olympic and World TT championships (the world in a year that he won a TdF).

And this before we even get into Eddy Merckx.

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Old 07-29-09, 08:36 AM   #15
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In other sports, it's a huge honor to win all the major crowns. Few athletes would be considered all time greats unless they did just that. Look at Roger Federrer for example.

Would winning 8 TDFs be bigger than winning 7 TDFs and a Giro?
The analogy doesn't quite work, at least in this era for a couple of reasons.

1) In Tennis, Wimbledon and the US Open are essentially equal in terms of prestige, fields,fan, and media attention. In Cycling, the TDF is on another plane above the Giro, and arguably 2 steps ahead of the Vuelta.

2) In an era of specialization, it's extremely difficult to win 2 Grand Tours in the same year, particularly the Giro and the Tour. ( A Giro, Vuelta double is a bit easier due to less competition, and more time for recovery.)

It would be a closer, but not perfect, analogy to compare Armstrong not winning the Giro, to McEnroe not winning the Australian Open.
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Old 07-29-09, 08:55 AM   #16
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He focused entirely on the Tdf, which arguably was the biggest of the 3 GTs.
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Old 07-29-09, 09:09 AM   #17
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along with all his other wins there's no doubt that merckx was the best ever.

ed rader
In all fairness, LA even refers to EM as the "greatest of all time." Every time there is a mention or picture of him on his twitter account he refers to him as such. I actually believe that's one of the few times he's probably not using thinly-veiled modesty (a la his recent "But I'm no legend" comment). I could be wrong, of course . . .
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Old 07-29-09, 09:15 AM   #18
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In all fairness, LA even refers to EM as the "greatest of all time." Every time there is a mention or picture of him on his twitter account he refers to him as such. I actually believe that's one of the few times he's probably not using thinly-veiled modesty (a la his recent "But I'm no legend" comment). I could be wrong, of course . . .
True. Merckx is the greatest cyclist. LA, on the other hand, is the most famous. He's fine with that.
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Old 07-29-09, 09:17 AM   #19
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Even Versus, with their lips surgically attached to Armstrong's butt, have taken to calling Armstrong "the Greastest Tour De France Rider of all time" as oppossed to greatest cyclist ever.
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Old 07-29-09, 09:43 AM   #20
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The analogy doesn't quite work, at least in this era for a couple of reasons.

1) In Tennis, Wimbledon and the US Open are essentially equal in terms of prestige, fields,fan, and media attention. In Cycling, the TDF is on another plane above the Giro, and arguably 2 steps ahead of the Vuelta.

2) In an era of specialization, it's extremely difficult to win 2 Grand Tours in the same year, particularly the Giro and the Tour. ( A Giro, Vuelta double is a bit easier due to less competition, and more time for recovery.)

It would be a closer, but not perfect, analogy to compare Armstrong not winning the Giro, to McEnroe not winning the Australian Open.
Sorry, that does not fly. Or perhaps I should say it only flies because there was a 7 year gap when a top Tour rider was focusing on the TDF. Two tours was done last year, the TDF Giro was done in '98. A double was never common. Before 1949 it was thought impossible.

Speaking of '49 Coppi deserves some mention. He is the only one that one can make a decent case for as greatest of all time besides Eddy. (I'm not saying Coppi was better, simply that the argument can be made, and that in cycling terms Coppi and Hinault are the only ones even on Eddy's wheel).
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Old 07-29-09, 09:44 AM   #21
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Go check were the guy who won the Giro finished the Tour. Lance wanted the Tour, very few can do both, especially these days with such targeted training programs.
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Old 07-29-09, 09:47 AM   #22
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In other sports, it's a huge honor to win all the major crowns. Few athletes would be considered all time greats unless they did just that. Look at Roger Federrer for example.

Would winning 8 TDFs be bigger than winning 7 TDFs and a Giro?
Not in the US. Heck I'd bet a TDF win in the US would be sinsidered a greater feat than winning the 5 monuments and the Worlds all in hte same year.

And that puts Lance's concentration on the TDF into focus. He is American and his sponsors have until this year been American. He focused on what was going to pay off for him and his sponsors. I've always thought he was pretty up front about this and think he has done what he set out to do. No problems until people start making it into more than it is.
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Old 07-29-09, 09:52 AM   #23
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Go check were the guy who won the Giro finished the Tour. Lance wanted the Tour, very few can do both, especially these days with such targeted training programs.
indurain won the tour and the giro twice in consecutive years. pantani also won the tour and giro in the same year. armstrong raced with both of those guys.

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Old 07-29-09, 09:59 AM   #24
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Armstrong realized that the TdF alone could win celebrity recognition, with its glamor and prestige. He went all out for it.
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Old 07-29-09, 10:05 AM   #25
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The Tour De France overshadows every other cycling event, so it was a smart move for Lance to concentrate on the TDF. The tennis analogy is close, but the TDF is far more important to cycling, than say Wimbledon is to Tennis, or the Masters is to golf.

http://www.google.com/trends?q=giro%...ate=all&sort=1
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