I remember watching Gert Jan Theunisse and being amazed, I think that was my 1st tour in about 88-89 and Sean Kelly was an amazing rider but would have to say my favorites were Sean Yates, he was a monster of a domestique and Laurent Jalabert who i think was a enormous talented all rounder...... shouldn't forget Abdoujaparov !!
Ok, I am going to get TRASHED for saying this, but mine is first, Mario Cipollinni and second Sean kelly. I am a sprinter and usually an arrogant buffoon, also way too big to be any good on the climbs, so I tend to like people who are like me! (LOL). Yeah, I like Cavendish, but not yet my fave. He's arrogant enough but needs some more wins before that happens. Cipollinni also actually took ten or fifteen minutes to bull**** with me when I was in Italy researching a novel several years ago.
My favourite is definately Michael Boogerd. He was always in the front in almost every race he joined. Coloured classic finals and grand tour finals. Next to that a very nice person, he had always something funny to say after the race. You could see he just loved to cycle, a pure cyclist.
First = Jens Voigt - who puts in more consistent effort from start to finish of any race or any season?
Last = LeMond - what a dingleberry he has become. He's clearly just bitter because Lance gets more media. I was never a fan, and I have followed this sport for over 20 years and watched the hype ... Davis Phinney was 1000 times better.
Allan Pieper is a GREAT guy. Rode for 2 weeks with him in 2004 during the Tour on the Bikestyles trip. We sat on the front for hours, him talking and me trying to keep pace. Descended with him one day and Neil Stephens another day. One of the best moments on the trip was when they asked me to accompany them on their "descending ride". It was invitation only. I was very flattered.
Wow there a too many to choose from....being Aussie, I have to say Phil Anderson for the olden days, Cadel, Stuey and Robbie cause they have been doing us proud....but I also like very much Voigt, Kirchen, Big Thor (as Phil and Paul call him lol),Di luca (who until the Giro, didn't think much of really) and Haussler.
To each his own, of course. The question I raised was in relation to the guy being from Spain and picking Spanish climbers, yet leaving those two greats out.
As for the most hated, I always had a few I disliked.
Giuseppe Guerini always rubbed me the wrong way as did Stephen Roche. I can't explain why, I just never liked those two guys.
Schumacher-same as the two above, there was always something that bothered me about him. Maybe his head shape?