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Best Road Cyclists of All-Time

Old 05-30-06, 05:46 PM
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alanbikehouston
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Best Road Cyclists of All-Time

Daniel Marszalek, at Cycling4all.com has attempted the impossible. He has ranked all the great road cyclists from 1900 or so up to 2004, by awarding them points for the performance in the most important races.

His rankings are both interesting and surprising. As of 2004, Lance Armstrong had not made it into the "Top Twenty". Poulidor outranks Indurain. Sean Kelly is number three, behind Merckx and Hinault.

On the Marszalek point system, it is very difficult to earn more than 600 points in a season. Over the past century, a rider has earned over 600 points in a single season only six times. All six times, the rider who did so was Eddie Merckx. In Merckx best season, 1973, he earned 791 points. In Lance Armstrong's best season, 2002, he earned 266 points. In Greg LeMond's best season, 1986, he earned 333 points.

Of the "top one hundred riders of all time", the only Americans are LeMond and Armstrong.

Under the Marszalek system, if LeMond's best year, and Armstrong's best year are added together, they don't equal Merckx's best year. In fact, when combining the points from LeMond's best year with Armstrong's best year, they don't equal Merckx's sixth best year.

Sean Kelly earned 511 points in his best year, yet here in the USA, Kelly is rarely mentioned as one of the "all time greats". The list provides interesting reading, and lots of fodder for debate and argument.

www.cycling4all.com

On the front page, click on "history", and scroll down to the bottom of the page for the link to the Marszalek 2004 rankings.

Last edited by alanbikehouston; 05-30-06 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 05-30-06, 05:51 PM
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Do you have the link? I have seen his 2004 rankings, but only have a link to the 2002 original set. It is rather interesting to compare his system to let's say the cycling hall of fame. Daniel's system is a bit classics and stage wins heavy, while TCHF is heavy on major tour wins, especially the TDF. But of course either way Eddy is on top, with at least 5 out of the 6 best years ever.
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Old 05-30-06, 05:52 PM
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What about Landis?

Cole
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Old 05-30-06, 05:56 PM
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Merckx is the best that much not debatable, below him the debate may rage for ever. Hinault, Kelly, Indurain, Anquetile (sp) were all so good. LA is the best TdF rider but not the best cyclist. It's like saying Terry Bradshaw was a better QB than Unitas just because he won more Super Bowls.
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Old 05-30-06, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fujiacerider
What about Landis?

Cole
What about him? He's done reletively little compared to hundreds of others in last 105 years.
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Old 05-30-06, 06:02 PM
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Wasn't there a year when Merckx won almost every race he entered?
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Old 05-30-06, 10:11 PM
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You might (if you haven't already) also look at http://www.cyclinghalloffame.com/index.asp. Different ranking system with different results and more up to date. Fact: anyone who knows anything about bicycle road racing KNOWS that Eddy was the best ever. Both sites agree on this and both agree that number 2 is Bernard Hinault.
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Old 05-31-06, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by fujiacerider
What about Landis?

Cole
Landis probably isn't even in the top 200 of all time.
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Old 05-31-06, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer
Wasn't there a year when Merckx won almost every race he entered?
He won 50+ races one year. 53, something like that. Freddy Maertens actually had a season with more wins, 54 or 56 or somesuch, if you can believe that! I think Kelly was the last guy to get 30+ wins in a season, with 32 in 1984. A significant numbers were big races (Paris-Nice inc stage wins, Roubaix, Liege, Blois-Chaville, Vuelta stage wins, Tour of the Basque Counties etc)
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Old 05-31-06, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by fujiacerider
What about Landis?

Cole
I think this is a joke.
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Old 05-31-06, 08:20 AM
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Today I saw a 2005 version of the Cycling4all list that I did not see yesterday. But, the rankings seem to be similar to the 2004 list:

1. Merckx
2. Hinault
3. Kelly
4. Anquetil
5. Moser
6. Bartali
7. Gimondi
8. Zoetemelk
9. Coppi
10. De Vlaeminck

And, Lance Armstrong is up to number 15 on the 2005 list.

The Cycling Hall of Fame list gives much more weight to the Tour de France, moving Armstrong up in the rankings:

1. Merckx
2. Hinault
3. Coppi
4. Anquetil
5. Bartali
6. Armstrong
7. Indurain
8. Gimondi
9. Zoetemelk
10. Bobet
11. Lemond
12. Poulidor
13. Moser
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Old 05-31-06, 04:59 PM
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Daniel Marszalek seems to also listen to those who write. Because of people pointing out that his rankings (and most others) had an inherent problem. It is based on total points for a career. That sometimes makes a cyclist look good when he really just stayed long. So he started giving the best single years and best 5 and 10 years for top riders. Quite informative and also picked up by other rankings sites.
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Old 05-31-06, 05:16 PM
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Something to consider when comparing Lance and Eddy: Eddy never had the huge endorsment deals that paid huge amounts of money and took loads of time to fullfill. Eddy had to race and win to make a living, while Lance had to win, become a huge human intrest story, get endorsments, then make apperences, shoot commericals, use whatever product he was given. The sport has changed too much to make such comparisons.
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Old 05-31-06, 05:29 PM
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I don't know about rankings but from stories I've read about Merckx, he's just incredible. I read about how he would just break away from the very beginning and just ride people down and break them psychologically from the shear distance he would put between him and the rest of the pack.

Then again, a lot of people, especially non-cyclists, love Armstrong because of his story and what he did with his fame. The yellow bracelets are everywhere. His foundation raises millions for cancer research. As a person I think he ranks pretty high up.
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Old 05-31-06, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DieselDan
Something to consider when comparing Lance and Eddy: Eddy never had the huge endorsment deals that paid huge amounts of money and took loads of time to fullfill. Eddy had to race and win to make a living, while Lance had to win, become a huge human intrest story, get endorsments, then make apperences, shoot commericals, use whatever product he was given. The sport has changed too much to make such comparisons.
If you go down this route it really is more accurate to say Lance can make a good living racing just one race a year. Eddy, Jacques and Hinault all had to race more to make ends meet.
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Old 05-31-06, 07:01 PM
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They are.....
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Old 05-31-06, 09:41 PM
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My top 10:

1) Lance Armstrong
2) Tom Danielson
3) George Hincapie
4) Floyd Landis
5) Cechu Rubiera
6) Yaroslav Popovych
7) Eddy Merckx
8) Santiago Perez
9) Leif Hoste
10) Johan Bruyneel
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Old 06-01-06, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Devil
My top 10:

1) Lance Armstrong
2) Tom Danielson
3) George Hincapie
4) Floyd Landis
5) Cechu Rubiera
6) Yaroslav Popovych
7) Eddy Merckx
8) Santiago Perez
9) Leif Hoste
10) Johan Bruyneel
Devil, everyone's entitled to their opinion, but if you're going to put Mercxk 7th, you've got to give up the Molteni icon.
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Old 06-01-06, 07:38 AM
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7th? simply madness....
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Old 06-01-06, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Devil
My top 10:

1) Lance Armstrong
2) Tom Danielson
3) George Hincapie
4) Floyd Landis
5) Cechu Rubiera
6) Yaroslav Popovych
7) Eddy Merckx
8) Santiago Perez
9) Leif Hoste
10) Johan Bruyneel
Dude, you so need to replace Merckx with Dave Zabriskie.

Merckx totally raced in a different era, you retro grouch.
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Old 06-01-06, 09:39 AM
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I think rankings like Marszalek's are a bit silly even though they are interesting. There are so many ways to define "great". It is so subjective anyway. I mean look at the whole Pro Tour thing and all the problems with that "ranking" system. From Cycle Sport Sept. '05 "no one would dispute McEwens worth to davitamon lotto but that needs to be reflected by the pro tour. after all, which should be recognized as the greater achievement - mcewen's three tour stage wins or hincapie's 15th overall? both were worth 9 points" There are going to be problems with a lot of ranking systems...
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Old 06-01-06, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Devil
My top 10:

1) Lance Armstrong
2) Tom Danielson
3) George Hincapie
4) Floyd Landis
5) Cechu Rubiera
6) Yaroslav Popovych
7) Eddy Merckx
8) Santiago Perez
9) Leif Hoste
10) Johan Bruyneel

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Old 06-01-06, 11:20 AM
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Aint heard that in a while, LOL !!
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Old 06-01-06, 11:20 AM
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Aint heard that in a while, LOL !!
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Old 06-01-06, 11:38 AM
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Portrait of a Champion
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