Biggest Upset in Cycling History

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Mar 14, 2009
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I have to agree that Armstrong winning 7 Tours without getting busted is the biggest "upset" in cycling history.

As per the biggest "surprise" winner, well, in one-day races, anything is possible so the winner must be a GT winner like Horner winning Vuelta at 41 years and 307 days old.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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I don't think Voeckler in Tour 2011 was that crazy. He had that huge boost in 2004 too against a crazy Basso and Armstrong and he won some respectable races in 2011 iirc. I think he looked pretty ok in the dauphine that year.

They also gave him 3-4 min. And you gotta keep in mind that the GT riders rode like pussies on the first 2 MTF's (there were only 4 real MT stages that year). And on the last MTF voeckler completely cracked.

Evans actually winning that tour might be crazier, who would have thought he still had it in him? :p
 
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Miburo said:
I don't think Voeckler in Tour 2011 was that crazy. He had that huge boost in 2004 too against a crazy Basso and Armstrong and he won some respectable races in 2011 iirc. I think he looked pretty ok in the dauphine that year.

They also gave him 3-4 min. And you gotta keep in mind that the GT riders rode like pussies on the first 2 MTF's (there were only 4 real MT stages that year). And on the last MTF voeckler completely cracked.

Evans actually winning that tour might be crazier, who would have thought he still had it in him? :p
Pereiro got given half an hour. Arroyo got given 13 minutes. Both of those are much better climbers than Titi.
 
Surprised nobody has mentioned Santi Perez from the 2004 Vuelta.

While he didn't come out of nowhere, certainly it was unexpected that he won 3 stages and almost beat Heras, at the time considered the greatest climber in the world. 4th in Tour de Romandie 2002 and a 2nd place finish on a Giro stage was the best results he had before that Vuelta.
 
Re: Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Miburo said:
I don't think Voeckler in Tour 2011 was that crazy. He had that huge boost in 2004 too against a crazy Basso and Armstrong and he won some respectable races in 2011 iirc. I think he looked pretty ok in the dauphine that year.

They also gave him 3-4 min. And you gotta keep in mind that the GT riders rode like pussies on the first 2 MTF's (there were only 4 real MT stages that year). And on the last MTF voeckler completely cracked.

Evans actually winning that tour might be crazier, who would have thought he still had it in him? :p
Pereiro got given half an hour. Arroyo got given 13 minutes. Both of those are much better climbers than Titi.
Plus without his bad descending before and the tactical mistake on the Huez stage, there's a chance he could've somehow managed to defend himself miracly in the tt.

That's what actually stays the unbelievable thing about his 4th place.
 
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RedheadDane said:
Echoes said:
gunara said:
Echoes,what do you want from this forum, really? You have such a deep knowledge in cycling, anyone could appreciate and make a good use of it, yet for years you've been more focused on calling other people - a large and random group of people - wrong and stupid, it's a bit of a waste, of everything, for everyone.
To be honest, I no longer expect a lot from this forum. I'm only posting because it's a good English practice for me. When four or five years ago, I tried to ask questions that interested me nobody really answered because it was indeed about classics that everybody forgot about. I don't claim to be more knowledgeable than any other poster, I'm just interested inother races than the average poster here, I feel like an alien sometimes. What is crazy is that irl I could talk about the classics with non-cycling fans but here on an Internet forum supposed to be frequented by cycling fans, it seems impossible. There has recently been a similar thread on the French forum velo-club.net (to which Veji contributed) and guys like Gregor Gwyazdowsky or Maxim Iglinsky were immediately named.

For the record, I shared a lot of stuff on Velorooms in the last few years. Thanks for the compliments though. :)
I'm happy talking about classics too, when it's classics-time. Problem with you is that you seem upset when people want to talk about GT/stage races as well.
That's it. There are plenty of people willing to talk about the classics. I love the spring, specially the cobbles period
Echoes just doesn't want to hear people who like stage racing.
 
Jan 8, 2013
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You guys are all wrong. By far, the biggest upset had to be the 1989 Tour De France. France's own Laurent Fignon (RIP) is leading by 52 seconds in the final stage. Only time ever (since I was born, anyway, 1974) that it was a final stage TT to the Champs-Elysees. A 25 km stage, mostly flat/downhill. Everyone knew it was just a formality. Now, Greg Lemond uses that funny stuff from triathlons, aerobars, aero helmet. Fignon had his pony tail and an aero wheel. Greg Lemond had done a kickass job at the Giro's final stage, also a TT (50km). Some say he also had the same "iron injection" he had in Italy that day. Regardless, no one believed he had a chance, including me, watching it on TV, as the commentators where busy talking about Fignon's career and how he deserved it and how hard he worked. I never really liked Fignon and really liked Lemond, how had to struggle in French teams to be accepted in the peloton. He was coming back from being shot in that hunting accident, mind you.
Anyway, watching Lemond go and listening to the commentators continuing to ignore Lemond, it was shocking he was making up the time. At the end, Lemond's celebration was great, the stereotypical american yell ("Wooho/Yahoo") when he won was just as emotional as Fignon's collapse and cry. 8 seconds. He won by 8 seconds. Biggest upset ever. France was devastated as well. Never again will they do a final stage TT to the Champs-Elysses. The Giro has done it a few times since (loving the entrance to the Colosseum, btw) but France still feels the pain of Fignon.

TL;DR; Lemond beats Fignon.
 
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Cannibal72 said:
ice&fire said:
Zoetemelk at the '85 worlds can be considered the equivalent of Horner's Vuelta in 1-day races.
Maertens '81 beats that, for me.
Maertens '81 was a big upset, but that was not close to Horner's Vuelta regarding age. Maertens was 29 yo in '81; Zoetemelk was almost 39 yo in '85. Unlike Horner, Zoetemelk had planned to retire at the end of 1985 and had to be asked to race one more year.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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Re: Re:

ice&fire said:
Cannibal72 said:
ice&fire said:
Zoetemelk at the '85 worlds can be considered the equivalent of Horner's Vuelta in 1-day races.
Maertens '81 beats that, for me.
Maertens '81 was a big upset, but that was not close to Horner's Vuelta regarding age. Maertens was 29 yo in '81; Zoetemelk was almost 39 yo in '85. Unlike Horner, Zoetemelk had planned to retire at the end of 1985 and had to be asked to race one more year.
To be clear, I wasn't thinking about age, but about the rainbow jersey in particular. On further reflection, Camenzind, Vainsteins, and Brochard are probably more surprising world champions than the two men from the Low Countries.
 
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Hayman PR was a pretty big upset, if we talk classics

GT, Pereiro, Horner, Cobo.. but personally the biggest upset for me was Froome's breakthrough, from ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE, in the Vuelta 2011. You can say whatever you want, but none of his results before the Vuelta suggested he could do anything like this. And don't come with a 29th place in a Tour mt stage.

It would be like, I dunno, Cyril Gautier suddenly being able to climb like a god and doing a podium TT performance. And even Gautier showed more than Froome before that Vuelta.
plenty of posters in this forum were tipping froome as a contender for 1st place in tdf before vuelta 2011. does every thread have to be an anglo hate thread?
 
It's true. If you do a forum search for "Froome" and go read the oldest results, you'll see blackcat talked about Froome's "potential for a Landis-like transformation", and some other forumer tipped him as a potential GT winner together with Dan Lloyd.
 
Hmm, it does seem there was a fair bit of hope and hype around Froome back in 2009.

But then given the first 18 months of his career with Sky, I think it's fair to say that a lot of that expectation would have disappeared.
 
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hrotha said:
It's true. If you do a forum search for "Froome" and go read the oldest results, you'll see blackcat talked about Froome's "potential for a Landis-like transformation", and some other forumer tipped him as a potential GT winner together with Dan Lloyd.
It's a tragedy that Dimension Data welched on their signing of Lloyd earlier this year.
 
Any one day race doesn't come close to a GT win. It's so much easier to create a huge upset on a single day of racing than throughout three weeks. That's also why Leicester winning the Premier League is a much bigger upset than Denmark or Greece winning the European Championship.

Walkowiak has to be the biggest upset ever.
 
There was that story in the UK press of a guy winning something like £12K when Wiggins won Tour de France. He put a bet on Wiggins from his Junior days or something like that. I know the odds were 1000's to 1. As for sporting upsets, I think Team Sky achieving their win Le Tour with a British rider in 5 years definitely upset a few people who said they would never do it at the time in 2010 when Brailsford came out with that line when launching the team.
 
Apr 15, 2013
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Re: Re:

Echoes said:
gunara said:
Echoes,what do you want from this forum, really? You have such a deep knowledge in cycling, anyone could appreciate and make a good use of it, yet for years you've been more focused on calling other people - a large and random group of people - wrong and stupid, it's a bit of a waste, of everything, for everyone.
To be honest, I no longer expect a lot from this forum. I'm only posting because it's a good English practice for me. When four or five years ago, I tried to ask questions that interested me nobody really answered because it was indeed about classics that everybody forgot about. I don't claim to be more knowledgeable than any other poster, I'm just interested inother races than the average poster here, I feel like an alien sometimes. What is crazy is that irl I could talk about the classics with non-cycling fans but here on an Internet forum supposed to be frequented by cycling fans, it seems impossible. There has recently been a similar thread on the French forum velo-club.net (to which Veji contributed) and guys like Gregor Gwyazdowsky or Maxim Iglinsky were immediately named.

For the record, I shared a lot of stuff on Velorooms in the last few years. Thanks for the compliments though. :)
See, this post is just perfect, civil, and I can perfectly relate. The issue was the previous post where suddenly you shoot out that "some posters here have admitted to looking at the Classics with utter disdain" type of sentence...

There is a fair debate to be had about what an upset is, you can perfectly consider that an upset in a classic is just as big as in a GT (i disagree but we could debate it) or we could simply say "let's name the biggest upsets in a stage race and in a classic), in which case I would go for Walkowiak and for Durand in RVV personnaly.
 
Apr 15, 2013
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Cance > TheRest said:
Surprised nobody has mentioned Santi Perez from the 2004 Vuelta.

While he didn't come out of nowhere, certainly it was unexpected that he won 3 stages and almost beat Heras, at the time considered the greatest climber in the world. 4th in Tour de Romandie 2002 and a 2nd place finish on a Giro stage was the best results he had before that Vuelta.
yeah but Santi Perez is pure nuclear Clinic topic though !
 
Apr 15, 2013
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Re:

gospina said:
You guys are all wrong. By far, the biggest upset had to be the 1989 Tour De France. France's own Laurent Fignon (RIP) is leading by 52 seconds in the final stage. Only time ever (since I was born, anyway, 1974) that it was a final stage TT to the Champs-Elysees. A 25 km stage, mostly flat/downhill. Everyone knew it was just a formality. Now, Greg Lemond uses that funny stuff from triathlons, aerobars, aero helmet. Fignon had his pony tail and an aero wheel. Greg Lemond had done a kickass job at the Giro's final stage, also a TT (50km). Some say he also had the same "iron injection" he had in Italy that day. Regardless, no one believed he had a chance, including me, watching it on TV, as the commentators where busy talking about Fignon's career and how he deserved it and how hard he worked. I never really liked Fignon and really liked Lemond, how had to struggle in French teams to be accepted in the peloton. He was coming back from being shot in that hunting accident, mind you.
Anyway, watching Lemond go and listening to the commentators continuing to ignore Lemond, it was shocking he was making up the time. At the end, Lemond's celebration was great, the stereotypical american yell ("Wooho/Yahoo") when he won was just as emotional as Fignon's collapse and cry. 8 seconds. He won by 8 seconds. Biggest upset ever. France was devastated as well. Never again will they do a final stage TT to the Champs-Elysses. The Giro has done it a few times since (loving the entrance to the Colosseum, btw) but France still feels the pain of Fignon.

TL;DR; Lemond beats Fignon.
First of all, this never happened, this is some painful propaganda. Fignon won the tour in 89 and the worlds and that's all there is to it.... :mad:

Second, this is more like the "most upsetting ending in cycling history" than the "biggest upset" to me... God still a painful memory, I cried like a baby and cried again a few times that week. Was 9 years old a the time and can still remember hearing it all on the radio and going from beaming with happiness little kid to devastated little boy.. my mom even tried to cheer me up by buying me a water pistol ! :D
 
Apr 15, 2013
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Re:

Hugo Koblet said:
Any one day race doesn't come close to a GT win. It's so much easier to create a huge upset on a single day of racing than throughout three weeks. That's also why Leicester winning the Premier League is a much bigger upset than Denmark or Greece winning the European Championship.

Walkowiak has to be the biggest upset ever.
Pretty good parallel yes.
 
Not sure that is would count as the biggest 'upset' but Charly Gaul on stage 21 of the 1958 Tour is definitely the greatest 'comeback' in the history of cycling and probably the greatest single ride.
 

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