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Old 12-30-04, 09:44 PM   #1
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i have a feeling i'm about to open a pandora's box...

about a third of an espn article questioning the popular claim of lance armstrong's position as the world's greatest athlete

[That's right, Lance lovers: Armstrong himself is quick to admit he is lousy at baseball, basketball and football. Does this make him any less of a cyclist, or a man? NO! Though by now your eyes probably have glazed over with anger and your brain has defaulted into MUST ATTACK mode, try to remember that I said Lance was the world's greatest endurance athlete.

And that's tough for me, because I'm partial to marathon running. To me, the greatest single-day endurance feat is Kenyan Paul Tergat's world marathon record of two hours four minutes 55 seconds, set in 2003 in Berlin. Try running one sub-five-minute mile, then imagine running 26.2 of them. Try doing this on pavement, when you're striking with eight times your body weight. The pounding is so severe that they say great marathoners have only one great marathon in them.

Tergat is faster than Armstrong, who has shown only good speed in 10K (6.2-mile) races. Tergat has similar VO2 max. Tergat's sport requires him to maintain efficient mechanics no matter how tired he gets. Armstrong's bicycle ensures that he'll always have a perfect "stride" and his bike keeps him above the pavement -- unless, of course, he crashes. But riding a bike helps allow Armstrong to avoid pavement-pounding injuries through 20 Tour Stages in 23 days. No way Tergat could run world-record marathons on back-to-back days.

No one is questioning Lance's grit and determination.
No way would I call Tergat the world's greatest athlete.

And please don't tell me I'm just some non-athletic, hot-dog-stuffed sportswriter who has no idea what he's talking about. For the record, I've run 10 marathons, with a best of two hours 47 minutes. And I at least started for my high-school baseball and basketball teams.

Still, after watching him win six straight Tours, I give it up to Lance. Once more: Greatest endurance athlete.

But Vick is much more all-around blessed. So is Randy Moss, who can fly and catch bullets. So is Kobe, and he's 6-7. Barry Bonds in his prime was much more multi-gifted. And who has ever been all-time greater than Bo Jackson, who dominated pro football and baseball?

Frankly, I could name dozens and dozens of "ball" sport stars who were, or are, greater athletes than Armstrong. But for each one, I would receive another 100 e-rants.

I thought marathon runners were consumed. But cyclists are the world's most zealous sports cult. Unlike marathoners, cyclists battle an inferiority complex. They cannot stand anyone suggesting they're not superior athletes. It's as if their manhood has been questioned. Maybe they're just self-conscious about those Euro riding costumes.

At least their idol keeps his ability in perspective.]
go here for the whole thing.

whaddya think? he may have a point concerning the mindset of cyclists, given what i've seen here in the past couple months... i recall a recent thread in which someone commented that cyclists' lack of rights on the road is similar to blacks' lack of rights during jim crow and apartheid. and i was surprised to not see anyone follow up that comment with a statement like, "are you f-ing serious??" and i didnt wanna be the first; i thought i'd seem like the only one on this board who feels like cyclists need to tone it down a bit.
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Old 12-30-04, 09:54 PM   #2
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He assumes there is no skill involved in riding a bike, just fitness and stamina.

Probably only Americans who have (?) an inferiority complex because cycling is a minority sport in that country. Europeans see things somewhat differently.

It amazes me that anyone could consider baseballers as athletes. That's like saying golfers are athletes. Any sport where you don't work up a sweat probably isn't an athletic pursuit.
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Old 12-30-04, 10:02 PM   #3
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Well then, maybe these awards should just go to decathletes every year...
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Old 12-30-04, 10:04 PM   #4
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Hello everyone!

It's already being discussed here:

Please continue your discussions there.



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