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Old 02-13-10, 09:32 PM   #1
Roadierookie
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Armstrong and the classics

Just thinking the other day that had Armstrong chosen to focus on the Tour in his '99-05 years, he could have been a real dominant threat for classics such as L-B-L, Flanders and Amstel etc. He never chose to peak during these races but had he, I believe he could have done some serious damage. Prior to cancer he was a strong one day rider but didn't have the tactical sense that he developped later in his career. During his Tour reign, he had the power, tactics and team that could have made him a dominant classics man.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-14-10, 03:47 AM   #2
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I thought he skipped the classics to focus on the "TOUR"
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Old 02-15-10, 01:03 PM   #3
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Just thinking the other day that had Armstrong chosen to focus on the Tour in his '99-05 years, he could have been a real dominant threat for classics such as L-B-L, Flanders and Amstel etc. He never chose to peak during these races but had he, I believe he could have done some serious damage. Prior to cancer he was a strong one day rider but didn't have the tactical sense that he developped later in his career. During his Tour reign, he had the power, tactics and team that could have made him a dominant classics man.

Thoughts?
This is probably my biggest problem with LA and what keeps him off the top rung of favorite riders. For that period he was basically a one trick pony. 7 TdF's is unprecedented. However, he never attempted to challenge for multiple grand tours in a season or, as you point out, the classics. Check out Eddy Merckx's or Big Mig's list of victories. There is something to be said for racing (to win) other major races in the season.
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Old 02-15-10, 03:54 PM   #4
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Looking at the past winners of the Classics over the last few years, you can see they favour the sprinter. Not Armstrong's forte, especially post cancer.
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Old 02-15-10, 04:18 PM   #5
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Looking at the past winners of the Classics over the last few years, you can see they favour the sprinter. Not Armstrong's forte, especially post cancer.
No, that is not true. Look up the results. Some races a sprinter wins, but not enough to make the statement they they favor the sprinter. Andy Schleck won Liège-Bastogne-Liège last year. Cancellara, Cunego, Di Luca, Valverde, Ballan, Pozzato, Devolder, etc. have all won classic races in the past 3 years. In that group are climbers, all-arounders, and TT'ers.
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Old 02-15-10, 10:59 PM   #6
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This is probably my biggest problem with LA and what keeps him off the top rung of favorite riders. For that period he was basically a one trick pony. 7 TdF's is unprecedented. However, he never attempted to challenge for multiple grand tours in a season or, as you point out, the classics. Check out Eddy Merckx's or Big Mig's list of victories. There is something to be said for racing (to win) other major races in the season.
Does Sheryl Crow or Trek have an interest in boning Boonen?
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Old 02-25-10, 01:09 AM   #7
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I thought this would be about Armstrong and using Bontrager Classics for training. Oh well.
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Old 02-26-10, 03:34 AM   #8
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you know, i think this could be the year lance wins l-b-l, roubaix, amstel, g(h)ent & flanders.
wadda ya think???
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Old 02-27-10, 05:35 PM   #9
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IMHO, LA will not be remembered as one of the top few greatest pro cyclists ever if we restrict the voting to true, knowledgeable cycling fans. However, he is the greatest TdF racer ever. Like other posters here, I have often wondered what else he might have accomplished had he broadened his focus to serious campaigns at some of the classics and more than one grand tour over the course of his career.
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Old 03-01-10, 08:10 AM   #10
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I believe chemo reduced LA's muscle mass, consequently he changed the way he rode by spinning at higher RPMs and dropping down gears; which ended up making him better suited for endurance type races than one day races. In effect he went from relying more on his legs to relying more on his aerobic capacity (and team tactics). So any references from pre cancer LA to post cancer LA are probably not valid.
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Old 03-01-10, 09:19 AM   #11
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IMHO, LA will not be remembered as one of the top few greatest pro cyclists ever if we restrict the voting to true, knowledgeable cycling fans.
What a stupid comment. What are your criteria for restricting the votes?

The greatest, no. But to say that he won't be among the pantheon of cycling greats is delusional.

Geez, I don't even like Lance that much, and here I am having to defend his legacy. Eeeww.
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