Favourite rider?

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I'm a real fan of

  • Nibali

  • Evenepoel

  • Pogacar

  • Roglic

  • Sagan

  • Valverde

  • van der Poel

  • Bernal

  • Pidcock

  • none of these riders

Results are only viewable after voting.
I second what Tim Cahill said upthread about Lemond being his all-time favorite rider. When I started riding in 1982, Lemond was the rising star of American cycling and so he became a bit of a hero. His tragic hunting accident and comeback was naturally sensational, although his 86 Tour triumph already established him as the most talented. While as a pioneer in Europe he tended I think to not be as focussed as he should have been over the winter, for which, along with his hunting accident, he never achieved the palmares his talent otherwise warranted; to this day I maintain he was amongst the most genetically gifted cyclists in the history of the sport. Over the years I have come to greatly admire and like Hinault (how could you not), but at the time he was just Greg's rival, wheras I didn't realize how much I loved Fignon until sadly he departed this world (I ran into him on a training ride at Antibes in 1992 and I still remember the goosebumps). Unfortunately I could never really root for Indurain, because his rise meant the end of the Lemond era. Admittedly, however, I could never not like the Spaniard either. He was too meek and majestic not to, but I prevented myself from becoming a real fan.

Then came Pantani. I still remember him charging up the Mortirolo like a raging bull in his breakthrough 1994 Giro. Being a respectable climber myself, il Pirata was the next rider to really get me up off the couch when he attacked (and he gratefully often did). Yet in a similar, although at once very different vein (Madonna di Campiglio), his downfall was no less dramatic than Lemond's (sadly the consequences were much more costly). This seems to be, most unfortunately, a trend with just about every rider I have really become a fan of, exceptions notwithstanding. Same goes for Ullrich, who I just wished would pull it all back together and defeat Armstrong once and for all at the Tour (who I believe, like Lemond, was a genetic wonder and a superior physical specimen to the Texan with it). But alas Jan simply had too many issues and problems. Up next came Basso and just when he smashed it at the 2006 Giro, kaboom Operacion Puerto struck.

Given I was rooting for a Basso win at the Tour, when Contador exploded onto the scene, I wasn't ready to become his fan. It only took a few viscious mountain attacks and stage race wins for that to change, however. Yet, here again, just when it seemed I had found my new Lemond/Pantani to get all riled up about, Clenbutergate rather ruined the party (that and crashing out of the 2014 Tour, when he seemed to have returned to his previous greatness). And to make matters worse, I had to deal with the affront of Sky and Froome, although some vindication has ensued more recently. Especially because I think Contador was more talented and genetically gifted than Froome, who, without Sky methods, never should have risen to the top of the sport.

Of current riders I greatly admire Alaphilippe's incredible panache (who is my replacement for Paolo Bettini), as a person Roglic (what a fantastic life outlook and example of how to nobly deal with adversity and defeat). And admittedly Evenepoel has raised my curiosity to see where his talent takes him (but, even here, a massive setback struck at il Lombardia when everything was going so well). Lastly a mention goes to Pogacar, for anybody who can do what this kid has done so soon commands notice and respect. Still, I'd rather see Evenepoel doing those results, just because I got interested in him at the Junior Worlds first. Pogi, however, has come onto the scene like a meterorite that frankly I just didn't see coming.
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