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Old 07-22-04, 11:56 AM   #1
jukt
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Tour de Lance

La Machine wins again.


Is Lance the greatest athlete ever ?
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Old 07-22-04, 12:26 PM   #2
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He is a great cyclist, but he is no Jim Thorpe.
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Old 07-22-04, 12:29 PM   #3
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Not the greatest athlete ever. Not even the greatest cyclist ever (there is more to cycling than just Le Tour ...)
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Old 07-22-04, 01:27 PM   #4
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You can argue on the greatest ever part but I do think he is the best in the sport today. He can win whatever he puts his mind to. Right now it is the tour. There is nobody in the tour that can keep pace with him. I would like to hear of a name on the list of the greatest riding today who is not in the tour.
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Old 07-22-04, 01:58 PM   #5
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...I would like to hear of a name on the list of the greatest riding today who is not in the tour.
Bart Wellens
Roland Green
Nicolas Vouilloz
Brian Lopes
Filip Meirhaeghe
Roel Paulissen

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Old 07-22-04, 03:08 PM   #6
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Good points all.

I would have to say that the GAofT is between Lance and Ahnuult. All AS did was pose, but it was the single minded decication of purpose that sets these two men apart, IMHO.

The constant daily routine of diet, training, and learning, the ability to respond to coaching.

Lance sits at the end of the stage he wants to win, and takes it. AS had the Mr O.

It was, and is, the will to win that separates these two men from the rest.

Greatest, ???, most dominant, yes .
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Old 07-22-04, 03:13 PM   #7
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'greatest athlete ever' is a fine description as far as i'm concerned.

i mean there are plenty of threads about how merckx is the greatest cyclist of all time and they site things like how Lance himself acknowledges it. but lance is pretty pious on camera - he says things like 'tomorrow will be a tough day and basso could put some time into me'. he's not going to call out his own heroes.

"greatest athlete of their time" is one thing, but "greatest athlete of _all time" will always be someone active in the sport at present give or take a few years.

seriously, a baseball enthusiast i know recently spoke of how in Babe Ruth's time you can see footage of him with time to step twice before a pitch got there! Wilt Chamberlain gives up like >100lbs to Shaquille O'Neal! honestly, i don't even think Ali could beat Tyson in his prime, much less Lennox Lewis!

to play pop psychologist for a minute, i think maybe we all want to find a double standard for heroes of old as a way to hang on to our own youth.

-- and i want to add that i'm _really not trying to bait anybody here, the great ones of the past can be unparalleled in terms of competitive spirit, will or even technique. i just think that we need to face facts in terms of physical ability that on some very measurable level the heroes of old are "not as great" because they didn't benefit from the science of athletics and performance as it has evolved to this point. i'd love to see a stat of an exact race where Merckx has a better standing time at that point than LA does now, but this is a race after all and if Lance will always be stronger and faster then he is better in at least that respect. focus, drive and other intangibles make a champion as much as anything but in some sense you gotta leave it to the record books and the numbers tell the story.

Last edited by boze; 07-22-04 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 07-22-04, 03:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jukt
La Machine wins again.
Shouldn't it be Le Machine ... unless you're saying Lance is a girl!
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Old 07-22-04, 03:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MacMan
there is more to cycling than just Le Tour ...
There is more to football than just the Super Bowl, more to baseball than just the World Series, more to the NBA than just the world championship and more to soccer than just the World Cup.

In individual sports, golf and tennis have their majors but is it fair to say that the Giro is to the TdF as the US Open is to Wimbledon or the Masters? I don't think so. The Tour de France is by far the pinnacle of cycling and any 10 other events combined still can't equal the value of winning one tour.

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Old 07-22-04, 03:42 PM   #10
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There is more to football than just the Super Bowl, more to baseball than just the World Series, more to the NBA than just the world championship and more to soccer than just the World Cup.

In individual sports, golf and tennis have their majors but is it fair to say that the Giro is to the TdF as the US Open is to Wimbledon or the Masters? I don't think so. The Tour de France is by far the pinnacle of cycling and any 10 other events combined still can't equal the value of winning one tour.

55/Rad
So all the people who have won Paris-Roubaix multiple times, they arenít real champions right? I mean they have never even won a tour stage for god sakes! Failures on the bike if you ask me!
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Old 07-22-04, 05:56 PM   #11
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g'day,

No-one can dispute that Lance is the greatest exponent of 3 week cycle tours, of his era. Anything beyond that is conjecture. It is difficult enough to compare cyclists from one era to another...it's impossible to compare athletes from one sport to another,

cheers,

Hitchy
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Old 07-22-04, 06:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gustaf
So all the people who have won Paris-Roubaix multiple times, they arenít real champions right? I mean they have never even won a tour stage for god sakes! Failures on the bike if you ask me!
Sure, they are champions deserving of all the spoils due and no less. But they haven't won the big one.

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Old 07-22-04, 07:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MacMan
Shouldn't it be Le Machine ... unless you're saying Lance is a girl!

well, "machine" is feminine, so "La Machine" would be correct
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Old 07-22-04, 09:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Iron Chef
Bart Wellens
Roland Green
Nicolas Vouilloz
Brian Lopes
Filip Meirhaeghe
Roel Paulissen

Who?
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Old 07-23-04, 12:07 AM   #15
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So, if all goes well, Lance will be the first to do 6 consecutive TDF's. Will that put him above Eddy Merckx as the greatest biker ever? Then again, Eddy didn't have a carbon Trek to ride...
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Old 07-23-04, 06:50 AM   #16
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So, if all goes well, Lance will be the first to do 6 consecutive TDF's. Will that put him above Eddy Merckx as the greatest biker ever? Then again, Eddy didn't have a carbon Trek to ride...
NO.

Lance is great but Merckx was a badass for sure.

PJ
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Old 07-23-04, 07:41 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Iron Chef
Bart Wellens
Roland Green
Nicolas Vouilloz
Brian Lopes
Filip Meirhaeghe
Roel Paulissen


Can you elaborate on why these guys aren't in the Tour? I could see not fitting in with professional cycling, etc., but what measure do you have to say they are greater than those in the Tour?

-murray
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Old 07-23-04, 08:05 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Merckxrider
So, if all goes well, Lance will be the first to do 6 consecutive TDF's. Will that put him above Eddy Merckx as the greatest biker ever? Then again, Eddy didn't have a carbon Trek to ride...
Eddy had access to the very best available at the time, from equipment to training methods to drugs. Just like everybody else.

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Old 07-23-04, 08:09 AM   #19
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Cant remember what channel i was watching but they called it Tour de boring. He really cracked himself up.
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Old 07-23-04, 08:14 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by KennethToronto
well, "machine" is feminine, so "La Machine" would be correct
Right, but would this still apply in the context where the machine in question isn't an object but is male?

(Serious question ... my French is terrible after years and years of neglect )
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Old 07-23-04, 08:16 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Murrays
Can you elaborate on why these guys aren't in the Tour? I could see not fitting in with professional cycling, etc., but what measure do you have to say they are greater than those in the Tour?

-murray
They are professional cyclist. What messure do you have to say the average Tour de France rider is greater than the guys I listed?

Someone wanted to hear of a name on the list of the greatest riding today who were not in the Tour de France. I though my list had some pretty good cyclist in it.
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Old 07-23-04, 08:20 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
There is more to football than just the Super Bowl, more to baseball than just the World Series, more to the NBA than just the world championship and more to soccer than just the World Cup.

In individual sports, golf and tennis have their majors but is it fair to say that the Giro is to the TdF as the US Open is to Wimbledon or the Masters? I don't think so. The Tour de France is by far the pinnacle of cycling and any 10 other events combined still can't equal the value of winning one tour.

55/Rad
I get your point, but I don't necessarily think that TdF eclipses all other to the degree you suggest - but that is probably an individual perception, since I don't think that the Masters is the greatest Golf major either (I think the US Open and THE Open (!) are better). I don't think you can rank the outher Grand Tours so low. The Classics are a different ballgame altogether and certainly while I would put a win in the TdF over them on a personal level, I don't think they can be so easily discounted.
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Old 07-23-04, 08:36 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Iron Chef
They are professional cyclist. What measure do you have to say the average Tour de France rider is greater than the guys I listed?
Sponsorship dollars I donít doubt they are all good riders, but Iím sure thereís not some rider with top 20 TdF talent packing his bags for RAGBRAI next week. If they have enough talent to be a contender in the TdF, they will be picked up by a big team unless there is some underlying reason (personality, donít like Europe, etc.)

There may be better riders than Lance now or in the past, but Lance has shown that nobody can beat him when he truly sets his sights on victory. The comparison to past champions makes for good debate, but unfortunately, thatís all it will ever be.

Just out of curiosity, are there any comparisons of times for similar stages in recent tours to 20-30 years ago? Of course equipment and nutrition have helped boost the speeds, but I wonder if Merckxí well known breaks would stay away today?

-murray
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Old 07-23-04, 08:39 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by MacMan
I get your point, but I don't necessarily think that TdF eclipses all other to the degree you suggest - but that is probably an individual perception, since I don't think that the Masters is the greatest Golf major either (I think the US Open and THE Open (!) are better). I don't think you can rank the outher Grand Tours so low. The Classics are a different ballgame altogether and certainly while I would put a win in the TdF over them on a personal level, I don't think they can be so easily discounted.
MacMan - In my opinion, the US Open (golf) is on par with the Masters and the British and it comes down to a matter of personal preference. The French and US Open (tennis) is on par with Wimbledon...okay, strike that. But they are closer to being on-par with Wimbledon than anything is to the Tour.

That is my perception. A perception created here in the western part of the US by all the colorful, well rounded coverage and heritage I've been exposed to over my entire 44 year life. And since I am American, I know I am right dammit.

Now, anybody want to talk Futbol vs. Football?



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Old 07-23-04, 08:49 AM   #25
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Now, anybody want to talk Futbol vs. Football?



55/Rad
No. How about Rugby vs. American Football ... ya bunch of pansies

As a complete aside, and not to start another debate, but which Grand Tour is regarded as the most physically demanding? Or are they all as brutal as each other. Some of those stages in the Giro this year seemed impossible ... but I haven't been able to watch the mountain stages in TdF this year so I don't know.
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