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Are they all just bitter...

Old 11-23-04, 08:19 AM
  #26  
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Personally, I'm tired of the whole arguement.
Wabbit, I don't think Lance's being American has anything to do with it.
Mateo, good to see you back

I'm going to reserve judgement until after this season at least.
Lance isn't Big Mig who wasn't The Badger who wasn't The Cannibal
who wasn't Anquetil (did he have a nickname?) who wasn't Il Campionissimo

Marty
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Old 11-23-04, 09:17 AM
  #27  
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On further thought, getting back to the original topic
I don't think what Moser and Merckx said is in the
same vein as Lemond. Greg sounds bitter, and his whole arguement seems
to revolve around doping (and that he could have won more tours if
everyone wasn't doping when he returned).
Messrs Moser and Merckx are speaking more of Lance's short season
and his total concentration on the Tour to the exclusion of all other races.

I'm still tired of the whole issue.

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Old 11-23-04, 09:18 AM
  #28  
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The idea that Merckx or Hinault or whomever, if riding today, would approach the racing season as Lance does seems reasonable on the surface, but it ignores the environmental influences that form individuals.

If Merckx was born on the same day as Lance Armstrong, he would have still been raised in bike racing central, Belgium, and as a child dreaming of being like his idols, he would have wanted to ride classics and win Belgian races, especially Flanders, then P-R, etc.... Plus, the peer group he responded to would have given him lots of pressure to succeed and then positive reinforcement for success in those races, quite possibly as much as lance receives for success in the TDF.

So it would seem more reasonable to believe that he would still race a full schedule.

Hinault, on the other hand, would be more inclined to be the one who would narrow his focus somewhat onto the TDF because that is the most important race in France. Still, since he would be raised with a much deeper racing heritage and broader racing knowledge than US riders, he would no doubt be riding Paris-Nice, French classics, possibly French Cup races, etc..., ie a fuller schedule.

It is quite possible that Italy has never produced a great TDF champion because they have a more insular attitude towards racing. Coppi was a great rider, but his focus was never on the TDF like French riders Anquetil and Hinault.

In America, modern racing fans have had their heads turned towards European racing by Lemond and his TDF wins. This is where their focus has remained, so it is not particularly surprising that that is where Lance's focus is. Who even knows or remembers the unheard of, jaw dropping victory by Lemond when he won the Junior World Championship? How many Lance fans know about his World Championship victory? It is hardly ever mentioned. Who here has heard of American Michael Hiltner and knows of his successful racing in Italy in the 60's? He never won the TDF.

Riders like Bettini, Zabel, Freire, Boogerd, Garzelli, Jalabert, and on and on prove that even though they are rich beyond need, they will still race a full schedule of races, even though their status and bargaining power would no doubt allow them to get by with much less. Even Cipollini wanted to do a full schedule, even though he is a highly specialized talent.

In many ways I think Lance is only doing what he has to do to satisfy his ideas of what success as a bike racer means to him. Nothing wrong with that on the surface, but it does make him appear somewhat one dimensional, even though he is not(IMHO), and leaves him open to what I think is perfectly understandable criticism, considering it's sources.
 
Old 11-23-04, 09:46 AM
  #29  
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Excellent post, Don.

Since your average American bike fan is only aware of and/or only really cares about the TDF, it makes sense that an American rider would follow suit.

I've always felt that riders like Bettini, Zabel, et al have a much deeper understanding and respect for the traditions and history of bike racing.
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Old 11-23-04, 10:13 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior
Sorry, not true...If you look at 1997 in the timeline, you will see Cippolini was in yellow at the Tour on a CAAD3 Cannondale

Cannondale was active and winning in Europe well before Trek and Lance were doing anything..

This is why I said "to a lesser extent".
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Old 11-24-04, 04:47 PM
  #31  
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[QUOTE=Laggard]Excellent post, Don.

Since your average American bike fan is only aware of and/or only really cares about the TDF, it makes sense that an American rider would follow suit.

I've always felt that riders like Bettini, Zabel, et al have a much deeper understanding and respect for the traditions and history of bike racing.[/QUOTE

That's what I meant about Lance being american. This whole 'you should never criticize lance' comes from american fans, becuase cycling wasn't all that big until the last few years and also because the tour is one of the only races even seen on tv. Americans have seen him win that race every year for six years, and for most north americans, our cycling knowledge doesn't extend back that far. IF we all knew cycling as well as we know football we'd think differently. Let's face it, if we only got to see the superbowl or the world series, we'd think, huh? and if players decided they'd only play one big game a year we'd think they were mazzo. BUt I also agree, the whole issue is ridiculous- imagining that Eddy Merckx is bitter is like saying BIll gates resents that he hasn't made enough money.
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Old 11-26-04, 02:40 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by wabbit
...imagining that Eddy Merckx is bitter is like saying BIll gates resents that he hasn't made enough money.
I'm pretty sure Bill Gates actually does resent that he hasn't made enough money.
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Old 11-26-04, 07:53 PM
  #33  
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I'd be bitter.........

Armstrong doesn't have to charge around Europe with his bike in the car, chasing appearance money in some meaningless august criterium. He doesn't see the sharp end of team orders, he stays in 5-star luxury, with Girlfriend in tow, if required. Schedule is tailored to his strengths, opinions, wishes; training can take place wherever he thinks convenient. He can live where he wants to and spend as little time away from that base as he desires. He can choose his own team, including Directeur Sportif, for each and every race. Corporations fall over themselves to offer him endorsement deals and bridge any technology gaps that might appear, be they equipment, medical support or physiological .....

need I go on? What's not to envy? Guy has the pressures of leadership his predecessors had for 30 days a year. And he's minted.
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Old 11-28-04, 11:13 PM
  #34  
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personally i like lances specialized and narrow approach. it keeps him out of other races and i get to hear about other cyclists besides lance
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Old 11-28-04, 11:32 PM
  #35  
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We do? Since when? Thanks to lance, the tour has become the only race we hear about and OLN has nearly abandoned the other grand tours. I know it's not entirely his fault, but if he did other races, we'd probably see them on tv. Instead, people still believe that the racing season in europe is three weeks in july. If we do notice other cyclists in other races it's because we make the effort and we know about cycling, but in a lot of ways lance's popularity has kind of backfired for every other race except the tour.
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Old 11-28-04, 11:39 PM
  #36  
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u ever try reading a magazine?? maybe cycling to the nominal lance fan is just three weeks in july but some people actually do a little research about the rest of the season.
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Old 11-29-04, 12:21 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by extomesm
u ever try reading a magazine?? maybe cycling to the nominal lance fan is just three weeks in july but some people actually do a little research about the rest of the season.
ya what he said, poeple who think that the season is 3 weeks in july are dumb, just like people who only care about baseball during the world series. people who are interested in cycling know whats going on, and it's not like lance hasn't done any races besides the tdf, check his website for all the other races he has participated in during the last 6 years
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Old 11-29-04, 08:29 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by wabbit
We do? Since when? Thanks to lance, the tour has become the only race we hear about and OLN has nearly abandoned the other grand tours. I know it's not entirely his fault, but if he did other races, we'd probably see them on tv. Instead, people still believe that the racing season in europe is three weeks in july. If we do notice other cyclists in other races it's because we make the effort and we know about cycling, but in a lot of ways lance's popularity has kind of backfired for every other race except the tour.

OLN does broadcast the spring classics. Not to go to far off topic but for those of us old enough to remember what kind of coverage we used to get OLN is a god send. Sure they didn't broadcast the Veulta but they did broadcast the Giro. The fact that we got the tour live is lightyears better than the 30min we used to get on ESPN.

As for how much Americans care about cylcing (or anyother non-American sport) lets face it we don't care about anything that we didn't invent. Soccer is bigger outside the US than any of our "homegrown" sports are here at home. If you come to cycling as a non-cyclist it's pretty confusing. I'm not surprised that cylcing has about 1% of the following here as it does in Europe it's their sport.
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Old 11-29-04, 09:55 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Flaneur
......... he stays in 5-star luxury, with Girlfriend in tow . . .
I believe that she tows him around. . . .

marty
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Old 11-29-04, 09:50 PM
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I think it's true, we don't care much for sports that aren't native. Soccer, cycling- huge in europe,and here we could care less. RUgby too- it's popular in universities, but how much is it on tv? I know OLN shows all that other stuff, but I wonder how long that will last. I fear that after LA retires, cycling on tv will vanish in favor of bull riding or something. LEt's hope that doesn't happen.
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