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Best sprinters of the past 25 years

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SirLes said:
I've been thinking about this quite a bit and imo Cavendish is the most complete sprinter in that time. (NB not rider that can sprint!)

During the last 25 yrs there have been the super fast men who have excelled when their have been long, flat sprints and their trains have lead them out. eg Cipo and Pettacchi.

Then there have been the guys with the really fast "jump" that can read the situation and win with little support and excel when the run in is tricky. The best example here is McEwen.

Then you have the power men who still perform in uphill sprints or if the course has been tough eg Boonen, Hushovd.

In the last couple of years Cav has demonstrated the ability to win in all these ways. (OK not the really really tough finishes but certainly far from easy.)

10 tdf stages plus a few Giro stages but I can't remember exactly off the top of my head!(and neither this year's nor last could be described as sprinter friendly in the way some have been in the past) and a classic at the age of 24 is incredible.
You have to go back to '76 for someone to get more than 6 in one year and then there were 26 stages. (Cav should have got 7 if they'd hadn't misstimed catching the breakaway)

It will be interesting to see where his career takes him. He has got tougher and tougher but doesn't appear to have lost any speed.

The best rider who could sprint imo was Sean Kelly.

So my top ten:
1 Cipo
2 Zabel
3 Cavendish (he will be no 1 soon!)
4 Kelly
5 McEwen
6 Petacchi
7 Freire
8 Abdu
9 Boonen
10 Steels

and lemond out did him (kelly) at the 1989 worlds
cav could and should get even better. a big talent.
 
Jul 11, 2009
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ergmonkey said:
Cav's speed relative to his competition is unmatched. But, for me, it comes down to this: if there were a Broadway show involving nothing but Mario Cipollini sitting on a stool making imaginary victory salutes and spraying podium girls with champagne, I would buy my tickets on the internet tonight. I'm pretty sure my best friends would have their tickets, too, before I even had time to call and ask if they wanted to join me. When a Mark Cavendish interview comes on the television, I change the channel.

Gotta be one of the best 1st posts going around. Sprinting (for me) is not all about the number of wins, the style of sprint and the aura of the rider are very important. Since I was quite young I have been watching Robbie and have loved his aggressive, never give up style. Cipo was magnificent, everything he did was almost a display of excess. I will rate Cav higher when he pulls of something like Robbie's '07 stage 1 TDF win or is fighting for the Green with a broken back. He could also take some victory salute classes from Cipo. Cleaning his glasses, what was he thinking?
 
Jul 27, 2009
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53 x 11 said:
Gotta be one of the best 1st posts going around. Sprinting (for me) is not all about the number of wins, the style of sprint and the aura of the rider are very important. Since I was quite young I have been watching Robbie and have loved his aggressive, never give up style. Cipo was magnificent, everything he did was almost a display of excess. I will rate Cav higher when he pulls of something like Robbie's '07 stage 1 TDF win or is fighting for the Green with a broken back. He could also take some victory salute classes from Cipo. Cleaning his glasses, what was he thinking?

Have to say I did like the talking on the phone though...

And Cav was also going on about how for his 50th win he's going to pull out a special victory salute, I'll be interested to see what that is.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
I remember when Malcolm Elliot was kicking everyone's tail when he was riding for Chevrolet-LA Sheriff. It was almost boring to watch a crit with him riding. He was killing it. I know that wasn't against European Pros, but it was still impressive to watch someone win when everyone in the race knew he would and could do nothing about it.

Malcolm has my vote. He did ride against the Euro Pros in a few events on the east coast. He also was racing and consistently beating Gaggioli, Horner, Carney, etc.

I have his collector card somewhere and he had an amazing amount of wins, I think it was something ungodly like 35 in a year
amazing
 
runninboy said:
Malcolm has my vote. He did ride against the Euro Pros in a few events on the east coast. He also was racing and consistently beating Gaggioli, Horner, Carney, etc.

I have his collector card somewhere and he had an amazing amount of wins, I think it was something ungodly like 35 in a year
amazing

25+ years of racing - Malcolm still as awesome as ever!

Before...

ELLIOTT%20Malcolm%20-%204.jpg


After...

1236159962Elliott%20%20Malcolm.jpg
 
runninboy said:
Malcolm has my vote. He did ride against the Euro Pros in a few events on the east coast. He also was racing and consistently beating Gaggioli, Horner, Carney, etc.

I have his collector card somewhere and he had an amazing amount of wins, I think it was something ungodly like 35 in a year
amazing

Is this your collector card? ;) Nice hair

malcolm%20elliot.jpg
 
Aug 4, 2009
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sprinters

Sprinters they are show ponys what about the guys who do all the work.

McEwan won the KOM in the sun tour in Australia but now he wont work in an iron lung.

Pay them to work you may and I mean may see some work.

They can do it if they wand

Signed a often outsprinted worker.

If you have to do a turn at front do it early in the race and preferably going down hill so as pleanty of time to recover for the sprint.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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brianf7 said:
Sprinters they are show ponys what about the guys who do all the work.

McEwan won the KOM in the sun tour in Australia but now he wont work in an iron lung.

Pay them to work you may and I mean may see some work.

They can do it if they wand

Signed a often outsprinted worker.

If you have to do a turn at front do it early in the race and preferably going down hill so as pleanty of time to recover for the sprint.

If you are paid a **** load of money to hide yourself in the peloton so that you can unleash a devastating sprint at the finish and you have team mates who are paid to do the "work" for you, why would you do otherwise? Unless you are a New Zealander.....
 
A

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runninboy said:
Malcolm has my vote. He did ride against the Euro Pros in a few events on the east coast. He also was racing and consistently beating Gaggioli, Horner, Carney, etc.

I have his collector card somewhere and he had an amazing amount of wins, I think it was something ungodly like 35 in a year
amazing

and hes not finished yet...
 
May 26, 2009
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25 years is a long time. Notable absentees;

Bontempi
Nijdam (Well, I guess his bunch sprint wins were a bit unconventional^^)
Urs Freuler
Beppe Saronni
Vanderaerden


About sprinters winning GT's... it's rare, but it happened before.

The best is probably Jan Janssen who won both a Vuelta and the TdF though he started out as sprinter.
Then there are Freddy Maertens, Kelly and Jalabert who won the Vuelta.
 
Jul 11, 2009
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brianf7 said:
Sprinters they are show ponys what about the guys who do all the work.

McEwan won the KOM in the sun tour in Australia but now he wont work in an iron lung.

Pay them to work you may and I mean may see some work.

They can do it if they wand

Signed a often outsprinted worker.

If you have to do a turn at front do it early in the race and preferably going down hill so as pleanty of time to recover for the sprint.

I think someone is cranky about people sitting on in the local crits:p
 
Apr 1, 2009
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1 Freddy Maertens

2 Mario Cippolini
2= Mark Cavendish

4 Djamolidine Abdoujaparov
4=Alessandro Petacchi
4=Robbie McEwen
4=Eric Zabel

8 Tom Steels
8= Eric Vanderaerden
8= Sean Kelly

couldn't separate a few of them another great one but outside the 25 year.
Andre Darrigade
 
Mar 13, 2009
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campagchris said:
1 Freddy Maertens

2 Mario Cippolini
2= Mark Cavendish

4 Djamolidine Abdoujaparov
4=Alessandro Petacchi
4=Robbie McEwen
4=Eric Zabel

8 Tom Steels
8= Eric Vanderaerden
8= Sean Kelly

couldn't separate a few of them another great one but outside the 25 year.
Andre Darrigade
overrate Cav, underrate Hushovd, who has 3 green jerseys, 2 yellow jerseys and about 7 or so stage wins.

Mcewen is ahead of Cav, and Zabel should be on par with Cipo.
 
The definition of "best" is uncertain and people will always interpret it differently. If it means who has had the best career then then Cav doesn't yet feature in the top 3 because he hasn't been around enough yet. Cipollini probably tops these rankings.

But if you interpret it as:
"In a hypothetical race matching including all the top sprinters of the last 25 years at their absolute career peak, with identical quality teams around them, who would you be backing to win?"

To me the answer to that question is easy - CAVENDISH.
 
Jul 2, 2009
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The Barb said:
The definition of "best" is uncertain and people will always interpret it differently. If it means who has had the best career then then Cav doesn't yet feature in the top 3 because he hasn't been around enough yet. Cipollini probably tops these rankings.

But if you interpret it as:
"In a hypothetical race matching including all the top sprinters of the last 25 years at their absolute career peak, with identical quality teams around them, who would you be backing to win?"

To me the answer to that question is easy - CAVENDISH.

You're right. It's always a little daft to compare current performers to those who have retired. By comparison, at Cav's age (24), Cipo had won six Giro stages but little else (he was about to start his period of dominance), while Petacchi had only a stage of the Tour of Langkawi to his name (his best years were 29-31).

Cavendish has the potential to be the best of all time, but you never know who's around the corner.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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Franklin said:
Freddy falls just outside the 25 year mark imho.

Maths was never my best subject but,Freddy retired in 1986 and his last win was in 1985.

blackcat
"overrate Cav, underrate Hushovd, who has 3 green jerseys, 2 yellow jerseys and about 7 or so stage wins.

Mcewen is ahead of Cav, and Zabel should be on par with Cipo."

thats your opinion and I gave mine on what I think.I tried to go off raw speed and Cavendish has that.Zabel himself said Cav was in his top 3 of sprinters of all time,so good enough for me.At least its brought good debate to the table.
Sprinting isn't just about green jersey's as the best sprinter in this years tour didn't win it.;)
 
May 14, 2009
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I asked Allan Davis how good Cavendish is compared to all the guys he has sprinted at their peak. Davis has been in the peloton for about a decade and stated cavendish is the fastest he has ever faced. That was including Zabel, Cippolini and McEwan at their peaks. I found that an interesting statement.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Cavendish is undoubtedly the fastest right now but he, like many of the other top sprinters in the past, has the best lead-out train in the peloton and a team that is almost completely dedicated to getting him to the line first at the expense of everything else. How many times has he won this season when his team hasn't controlled the finish? I'd like to see how he does when the support isn't there. My guess is that he's still win but maybe not as dominantly.