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5 grand tours maybe Cantador is the best ever

Jul 20, 2010
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If one only focuses on the Tour de France then one may say that Armstrong is the best. However I believe Indurain has and now Contador has surpassed Armstrong. The three grand tours require a different style of riding and the Giro and the Vetula are far more difficult to control than the tour. Especially when your sponsor and your public are educated to believe that it is the only race to win during the year one can believe that Armstrong was the best. I beg to differ. Other opinions
L'arriviste said:
Not (yet) the best ever but certainly a palmares that can be well appreciated by people who watch more than the obligatory three weeks in July. I actually now rate him as a great because he has shown weakness.

....and persevered and came out the victor. In a less than stellar performance he was still able to overcome his opponents. I'm of the belief that this was an aberration and that he will return to the dominant form of 2009 that he displayed in the mountains and the time trials. For me, he is an exceptionally exciting rider to watch, one that I look forward to watching his progression through the coming years. What is really scarey is that if you look at riders like Menchov, Evans, Leipheimer, and Samuel Sanchez they didn't have their greatest successes until they were in their 30's. What if Contador is simply warming up?
Mar 13, 2009
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The two greatest stage racers IMO (Hinault and Merckx) both retired at the age of 32. Maybe the constant pressure to perform at such a high level burned both of them out, forcing them to retire early?

I hope Contador continues well into his 30s.
Mar 18, 2009
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Don't know who Cantador is ... Maybe he should start winning some races ...

On the other hand, there is a guy named Contador ...
Mar 31, 2010
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not yet. and lance is never even close because indeed winning all 3 gt's take a much different aproach and a way of riding and racing. all three gt's are so different from each other that only the truely great can win all 3 of them or also impressive win 2 of them in one year like pantani with the giro and tour in 1998.

the tour is no doubt the hardest to win though.

contador if he wins a few more he will be the best ever, because mercks ronde in a period when cycling was much less global.

I have my doubts though wether contador will win many more gt's.
Contador best ever? Uh, no. See Merckx, E. and Hinault, B. Maybe you can bring this topic up again after Bertie wins a few more GTs (inc polka dots and/or green jerseys), at least a dozen one day races (inc multiple classics and monuments) and the road WC.
Apr 20, 2009
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He's got a great chance to go down as one of the best GT riders ever, but that is a far cry from the "best ever" in cycling. And even in GT's, he's got a long way to go to catch the best few.
Contador has a lot to do still to be considered but the one thing I do like about him vs. many other contenders for 'hall of fame' status is that he goes into almost every race with the goal to win or at least win a stage en route to a high placing. So even if his sole focus is to win a GT at least he gives it his all in the races he uses to prepare for it. It's a sign of respect to the sport. His biggest 'flaw' in terms of becoming 'the greatest ever' in my opinion is his personality. He needs to find some attitude and sling it around a bit, show some supreme confidence. Intimidate. Become the boss.
Jul 10, 2009
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El Pistolero is only halfway to Hinault, and not even halfway (OK, so you can't win half a GT) to Merckx. Look, Contador is great. But the best ever? He's got a long way to go.
Jul 16, 2010
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It's stupid to even compare cyclists of different generations. People didn't specialize on one thing during the time of Merckx, Hinault, etc. Nowadays people do specialize/focus on one particular aspect of the sport making it impossible to ride a full season of classics, stage races, other important one day races, Grand Tours, World championship, etc. and win in every aspect of the sport on a common basis.

You can only compare Contador to cyclists of his generation. And he's one of the best cyclists in this generation. Thus making him one of the best cyclists of the sport. At the age of 27.

He doesn't have a long way to go.
Jul 16, 2010
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Contador isn't even close...yet. No one can say what the future holds for him but Merckx gets my vote for GOAT. 5 Tour wins, probably a 6th were it not for an irate spectator,5 Giro wins, 1 Vuelta and numerous classics victories plus a 1 hour record. He pretty much tried everything a road cyclist could and did them all exceptionally well.
Nov 17, 2009
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Contador has a realistic shot at entering the discussion for "best ever".

Yes... even including Eddy.

Now I'm not saying he'll do it... but he showed some talent in the Ardennes this year. He'll never win the cobbled races like Eddy did, or Milan-Sanremo... but if he wins a couple of Liege-Bastogne-Liege's and a couple of La Fleche Wallones... 3 more Tours, 2 more Vuelta's and 1 more Giro... 3-4 more March races (T-A or P-N) and 3-4 more June races (DL or TdS)...

Then I think there'd be room for discussion.
Jul 26, 2010
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Contador is great - at Grand Tours and Paris-Nice. Certainly not the best ever - but he's only 27 and he has another decade to work on that. But, there's the possibility he'll get Schlecked a few times in the coming years - let's hope for many more exciting, competitive Tours like the 2010 version.
Jul 1, 2010
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He may well be adding 2 more GT's to his Palmere's next year. I agree he can only be compared to this generations group of riders. Only time will tell if he can keep up his domination. I also think that you will never have the kind of rider from the past i.e EM BH... nearly every rider who experienced a win/failure was shedding tears... something I don't think you would have seen 15 years ago. It just goes to show a more enlightened athlete as opposed to the manly man of yesteryear... just an opinion.
i think contador will be better next year than he was this year.

Mercx will always be the best ever because he is on the 3 big cycling lists.
1 win all 3 gt's - check
2 win 5 tdf's - check
3 win all 5 monuments - check

Contador has made 1, and will make the 2nd, but the 3rd is what will seperate mercx from everyone else.

I think what seperates Albert from many great gt riders is the stage races he wins - Paris nice, vuelta a castille y leone, vuelta a pais vasco, vuelto a algarve, he wins them all.

Well see how it goes, but id say if he continues like this he will end up the greatest gt rider of all time, and top 3 greatest cyclists of all time.

Actually, i believe he will end up 2nd to Mercx, and above Hinault, Armstrong, Coppi and the classics specialists de Vlaeminck , van looy, Kelly.
Aug 4, 2009
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pfft! palmares

Let's see Berto match something like the following:

Grand Tours

Tour de France

Jersey yellow General Classification (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974)
Jersey green Points Classification (1969, 1971, 1972)
Jersey polkadot Mountain Classification (1969, 1970)
Jersey red number Combativity award (1969, 1970, 1974, 1975)
Jersey Combination Classification (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974)
34 Individual Stages (1969–1975)

Giro d'Italia

Jersey pink General Classification (1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974)
Jersey violet Points Classification (1968, 1973)
Jersey green Mountain Classification (1968)
24 Individual Stages (1968–1974)

Vuelta a España

Jersey gold General Classification (1973)
Jersey blue Points Classification (1973)
Jersey white Combination Classification (1973)
6 Individual Stages

Other Stage Races


Jersey yellow General classification (1969, 1970, 1971)

Tour de Suisse

Jersey yellow General classification (1974)

Single-Day Races and Classics

Maillot Mundial Road Race World Championships (1967, 1971, 1974)
Jersey belgianflag Belgian National Road Race Championship (1970)
Milan – San Remo (1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976)
Ronde van Vlaanderen (1969, 1975)
Paris–Roubaix (1968, 1970, 1973)
Liège–Bastogne–Liège (1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975)
Giro di Lombardia (1971, 1972)
Super Prestige Pernod International (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975)

World Championships
Gold 1967 Heerlen Professional road race
Gold 1971 Mendrisio Professional road race
Gold 1974 Montréal Professional road race

Oh...guess who?
Feb 14, 2010
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Alberto is off to a heckuva start, so it's good to pay attention now. But there's a lot still to be written, so I think this discussion is a bit premature. Right now he's younger than Armstrong was when he won his first Tour, so there's no telling what the rest of his career will look like. The decision about his team for 2011 could affect that.

I've watched tennis longer than cycling, and I was amazed a few years ago that legends like Laver and McEnroe were calling Roger Federer the best ever. Then Rafa Nadal came along, and started beating him, and the whole conversation changed. Who's to say some new young champion won't arrive with a team willing to work for him to knock Contador off the top of the podium?

I haven't seen the older guys race. But at the age of 27, I wouldn't put limitations on Alberto either. He's tried some new things this year. I haven't seen any mention of it, but he claims to be less fit this year, and he's changed his preparation. He dropped a couple of tough UCI stage races because he didn't want his team to suffer like Paris-Nice. He extended his early season by a couple of weeks to ride the Ardennes Classics.

It was great experience, and he might decide on a more well-rounded schedule in the future, but it meant he had to maintain form when he'd normally be on vacation, then start his Tour build-up two weeks later than usual, naturally shortening the preparation.

It's a real shame if he is done racing for the year, because he'll probably be fitter ten days from now than he was in France. Then it's just a question of getting some racing in his legs. He, like Sastre, had way too long an off-season last year, and as I've read elsewhere, that could hurt his base conditioning. It's way better if he keeps training for a couple of months, and does some less demanding races.