Favourite Rider

Apr 12, 2009
Past: Greg Lemond

Present: Boonen, Contador

Since present day riders can't keep their noses clean;). I like Boonen and Contador riding ability doping or not
Mar 19, 2009
Past - De Vlaeminck (surprise, surprise), Merckx, Moser.

Near Past - LeMond, Hampsten, Bartoli, Tafi, Museeuw.

Present - Haussler, Boasson Hagen, Farrar, Boonen.
Apr 1, 2009
Past - Coppi, Bahamontes, Bartali

Recent past - LeMond, Kelly, Pantani

Present - Voigt, Sastre, Voeckler
Apr 10, 2009
Past: Coppi and Bartali. (yes, both of them my Italian friends, yin and yang)
Not too distant past: Merckx, Hinault and LeMond.
Present: Cancellara, Voigt and Hincapie. (and anybody that beats Boonen)
Apr 3, 2009
I can't really say anything about the past, since I've been only following cycling since let's say the mid nineties. Back then I was a big fan of Museeuw, more because he was the Belgian hero at that time than anything else. I was too young to put other riders' performance into perspective, so I missed out on some other legens of that time (Bartoli, to name one). The first climber/GT rider that really moved me was Marco Pantani. He was so graceful and almost mythic, I always looked forward to seeing him race. I've never been an Armstrong fan, so I always rooted for his challengers: Basso, Beloki, Vinokourov - all except Ullrich :p

If I had to make a list of fairly recent racing favourites of mine, this would be my choices:

Axel Merckx: It was almost impossible for him to live up to his fathers legacy, especially since he did not nearly have the same amount of talent. But he took it with pride none the less and always rode with his heart, a true professional. His epic stage win in the 2000 Giro after riding into a ravine was truly unforgettable.

Oscar Freire: The phenomenon. A very humble, almost wary rider, but with a palmares 99% of the peloton could only dream of. So much more than just a sprinter.

Tom Boonen: Obviously. Despite his turbulent private life, he's still Belgiums biggest cycling champion and one of the best classics riders of the past few years. Strenght, speed, stamina, grinta, humility ánd arrogance, he has it all.

Philippe Gilbert: Belgiums number 2. Full of fighting spirit, always up for the attack, agressive riding style and the ability to finish it off as well. The peloton needs more gutsy riders like him, that rather die trying than do nothing.

Fabian Cancellara: What a monster. probably the biggest engine in the peloton. Just as bold and straightforward as Gilbert. This years spring campaign was neutered without him.

Alberto Contador: Gives me the same feeling as Pantani back in the days. Probably the best climber in the peloton, with a beautiful style, panache and always the intention to attack. His recent stellar improvement in timetrialling not only makes him the best GT rider around, but it makes me frown as well. But for now, I'll just give him the benefit of the doubt.

Frank Vandenbroucke: In his 1998-1999 glory period. Seriously. The epic battle with Bartoli and Boogerd in 1999's Liège, his impressive Avila win in the Vuelta, breaking both wrists in the world championships and still finishing 7th. Not to mention his excentric personality and extreme self confidence. Too bad he was as weak as Pantani...
Mar 13, 2009
Miki Bartoli, Gianni Bugno

I don't got a favorite these days. I support any rider that attacks and shows some great moves, whether it is Boonen, Cancellara or Pozzato. I allways kind of liked the classic-riders more than the mountain guys.
Apr 21, 2009
My faves:

Past - Hampsten - seemed like a good guy and a great rider.

Near Present: Zabel - great rider, consistent, and seems like a guy who you could hang around with and share a beer.

Present:Boonen - just leave the nose candy home. Big Phil Gilbert - kid works hard, like to see him win a stage at the Tour.

Tyler Farrer - Seems to have a good attitude and will take another year to develop into a winner.

Ed Boassen-Hagen - guy is a machine.

Dave Zabriskie - funny guy, who has talent.
All time - Davis Phinney, Andy Hamsten, Phil Anderson. Greg Lemond had a huge impact too.

Historical (for me) - Merckx, Hinault, Fuente, Gaul.

Current - Simoni, Andy Schleck, Sanchez, Sastre, Contador. Anyone who will attack in the mountains and isn't afraid to lose.

Other names through the years - Pascal Richard, Laurent Jalabert, Giles Delion, Charley Mottet, Christoph Bassons. Liked watching Museeuw, Rominger, Zabel and Bugno ride, even if their pasts weren't spotless. Was a huge Heras fan before the floor fell out under him. Still seems like a nice guy, and contrite about his past. Wish he could come back.

Least - AV, AK, LA, RV, TH, EM.

One final thought - To anyone on the American side of the pond who watched during the 1980's, Team 7-11 was a huge, huge inspiration. They knew so little about European cycling, but headed over there and gave it everything they had. Nearly every guy on that team is a hero to me.
Mar 10, 2009
1. Eddy Merckx
2. Bernard Hinault
3. :confused: Still taking applications for 3rd :D

In general I like them all, its only after they do something dumb outside of racing that moved them down the list :rolleyes:, something dumb that gets them banned, hurt, put in a bad light.
Mar 19, 2009
Alpe d'Huez said:
One final thought - To anyone on the American side of the pond who watched during the 1980's, Team 7-11 was a huge, huge inspiration. They knew so little about European cycling, but headed over there and gave it everything they had. Nearly every guy on that team is a hero to me.

No Doubt! I followed (local kid) Eric Heiden from speed skating to cycling. Wasn't he one of the major forces behind the formation of 7-Eleven?
Apr 29, 2009
For some reason there are always some riders that I look out for in the peloton despite being mid pack riders, hoping they will get a result.

Di Gregorio

Of the top top riders, I gotta admire Boonen, but dislike Devolder. I love Cervelo but am not a fan of Saxo Bank. Like to see Rabobank get results too.

Also, hate to say it and the effect is wearing a bit thin now, but I do like to see Cavendish win. Everybody seems to give him stick, but in interviewes he remarkably down to earth. He wanted to get a new car if he won MSR, but decided not to in the end because he doesnt want to become a prima donna and lose sight of why he's in the sport. Good on him.
Mar 10, 2009
Lance Armstrong. Because procycling is not important, but the fight against cancer is. Hope that's what it's all about when you're sick. He has provided that as a survivor and a media star.
Mar 16, 2009
Recent Past: Ludo Dierckxsens - I just loved his whole "working man" shtick. Certainly not the greatest tactician, he dragged along many a break only to have others take the wins (I wonder if he padded his income by making deals in the breaks). Also, I loved Andy Hampsten - more than LeMond, Andy was my hero in those early days of Americans in Europe.

Current: Stuey O'Grady - he attacks and keeps races interesting; also seems like a good guy. I'm starting to like Thomas Voeckler, as he is not at all afraid to stick his nose in the wind and mix things up a bit. Finally, Jens Voigt also helps keep the sport from becoming to formulaic and dull - he'll keep trying and trying to stay away.

May 26, 2009
Going through my memories starting in the 80ies.

Hinault. That guy had a facial expression which I never saw again. WILLPOWER.
Laurent Fignon. He had courage and panache... an attacker.
Greg Lemond. His nemesis, same qualities
Claudio Chiapucci. The crazy attacker...
Jan Ulrich. Jan is a very nice down to earth guy (I met him). oh and when people called him fat take that with a grain of salt. He was (like any pro) skin and bones. Just not as crazily thin as some others^^
And recently... Lance Armstrong. Something I never would have guessed, but i'm fooled by his little movies and Twitters... he became more human to me. I know, I'm a dupe^^

The "I don't really like" list, but I never met them, so who am I to judge?:

Jan Raas. He was so rude and sneaky. Great rider.
Stephen Roche. Never understood why I didnt like him. His grand slam year was amazing.
Virenque. Great attacker. Never liked him, don't know why.
Pantani. I was so shocked after seeing pictures of him early career and later on (Squared chin, huge ears). The doping altered his face :( I don't judge, but that was just gross.
Lance. He makes both lists^^. I rooted for Jan, so I was anti Lance.
Alberto Contador. Ok... this guy has a whiff of ratty slimey dirtbag over him. The way he got off Puerto is shocking (same as Piti). The spanish protected their golden boys and sacrificed the elder less talented. (Tennis players, Soccer players, moto sport and formula one drivers were also protected beyond belief)

But I have to say again I don't know them personally, so my judgments are superficial. It's how I feel about them though. And yet if I see them ride I will cheer them on :)
Apr 29, 2009
I didn't like Contador in 2007, but 2008 impressed me. He showed some grinta in the giro i think, clearly wasnt in top form but somehow got the win. Wasnt spectacular racing like 2007 but he got the job done. Then again I criticise other riders for not attacking enough, but then I suppose the difference is that Contador got the win and didn't follow wheels into second.

Also his PN this year was pretty epic, cracking one day and then attacking from miles out to try and get back into the race.

And doping altering pantanis face??? I would like to see some proof of that.
Mar 18, 2009
O'Grady, Voigt, Cancellara, Valverde, Andy Schleck, McEwen, Flecha
Pantani, Zabel, Julich, Vinokourov
Merckx, Coppi, Binda, Sean Kelly, Phil Anderson
I've only been following since about 2004, but I like riders who attack and fight. I think the first memories I have were of Voeckler in yellow and Virenque's stage win in tdf04.

I like Moreau as well, and Sylvain Chavanel. Oh, and Gilbert. I've always like FDJ & Bouygues too - I think I like something about France and the fighting underdog spirit.

The spanish protected their golden boys and sacrificed the elder less talented. (Tennis players, Soccer players, moto sport and formula one drivers were also protected beyond belief)

Alonso was in Op. Puerto? I've heard of football, tennis etc.. but never mention of F1...