Is Contador the most popular cyclist ever?

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Re: Re:

Arredondo said:
LaFlorecita said:
The Hitch said:
I'm pretty sure he is just trying to wind you up (wouldn't be out of character for him).

I've seen Purito interviewed dozens of times and he shows real character in them. Especially the Vuelta when he lost to Contador on Fuente de giving a full interview saying he was happy to be part of the spectacle. Contador and others if they don't like a result will go straight to the bus.
uhmmm :confused:
He's talking about the Ancares stage 2012 where he lost the stage in the dying seconds to Purito.
Lol but that's just one stage
 
Jul 27, 2014
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Re: Re:

Electress said:
Kittel hasn't won enough to be up their with the three respective bests of their generation. Cavendish isn't really liked either. Could he possibly be the most unpopular current cyclist. Excluding the UK?
I had just heard Kittel was a fangirl favourite; doesn't do much for me but takes all types.

I think Cav. is liked but he's more of a marmite character because more outspoken and emotional, indeed petulant. But 930,000 twitterrs aren't following a guy they dislike. I also think he's more widely popular than his English contemporaries - i.e. his fans aren't all UK based.

Whoever mentioned about the non-corporate image of AC has an interesting point. I think it is a matter of how they are presented versus reality, though. It's the difference between emphasising the 'ride on feel' vs. 'ride by the numbers'. I'm pretty sure they all have a very good idea about their numbers, but they don't all labour the point.
I just assume people don't like Cavendish because of the sadness on the forum every time he wins. And the constant shouts of him being dangerous
 
Aug 4, 2011
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Re: Re:

The Hitch said:
Arredondo said:
ray j willings said:
Arredondo quote " *** and The fact he loses big races, also helps in his popularity"

Exactly my point and no need to swear.
It's only a small part of his popularity. So you don't read or deliberatly don't want to read to make your point. And *** is not swearing in the sense you mean. But be my guest :rolleyes:
I'm pretty sure he is just trying to wind you up (wouldn't be out of character for him).

I've seen Purito interviewed dozens of times and he shows real character in them. Especially the Vuelta when he lost to Contador on Fuente de giving a full interview saying he was happy to be part of the spectacle. Contador and others if they don't like a result will go straight to the bus.
Seriously Hitch I am not trying to wind Arredondo up. I read the whole post.
I think its a psychological trait. Purito, he's a very nice chap but would he be so amenable and jokey if he was winning ?
Look at Froome, Cav, Armstrong, Evans, in-fact a lot of champions and winners who just don't want to talk when they have lost. Its not meant to be a diss on Purito but maybe it does show the hunger for victory the others have. Landa wasn't happy was he. He wanted to win and his pi%%ed about it.
So no diss intended just a point about arredondo's post.

Cheers
 
Aug 16, 2013
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Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
Arredondo said:
LaFlorecita said:
The Hitch said:
I'm pretty sure he is just trying to wind you up (wouldn't be out of character for him).

I've seen Purito interviewed dozens of times and he shows real character in them. Especially the Vuelta when he lost to Contador on Fuente de giving a full interview saying he was happy to be part of the spectacle. Contador and others if they don't like a result will go straight to the bus.
uhmmm :confused:
He's talking about the Ancares stage 2012 where he lost the stage in the dying seconds to Purito.
Lol but that's just one stage
Sure it's not my opinion, but this is one example why you can make that statement ;)
 
Re:

Netserk said:
Uh, there are far more people in Europe than in the US, and much, much more people who follow cycling. Of course Armstrong had (relatively) many fans in the US, but he wasn't popular around in Europe. I'm quite confident Contador has more fans world wide than Armstrong did.
I kept pointing out I was from the U.S. to reinforce my inherently limited perspective. I can only really speak from my perspective. However, and I know this isn't fair because other eras didn't have social media, but in order to answer, "No," all we need is to find one more popular cyclist, so let's take a look at Twitter. Others pointed out that LA has more Facebook likes, though he/she argued that shouldn't count, which makes no sense to me. We're talking about the most popular cyclist ever, not the most popular cyclist who hasn't been banned ever, or, since it has to include AC, the most popular cyclist who has been banned but won GTs outside of bans and isn't a total champion ever. Lance has 3.8 million Twitter followers. AC has 900k. HUGE difference. Is social media a perfect metric for evaluating popularity? No. But it's better than anecdotal evidence.

One interesting thing, though, is that Greg LeMond, who absolutely hated Lance and was determined to prove he was a doper, seems to be full of nothing but praise for Contador. So maybe that's evidence of popularity among elite cyclists. Or maybe something else.
 
Aug 16, 2013
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Re: Re:

ray j willings said:
The Hitch said:
Arredondo said:
ray j willings said:
Arredondo quote " *** and The fact he loses big races, also helps in his popularity"

Exactly my point and no need to swear.
It's only a small part of his popularity. So you don't read or deliberatly don't want to read to make your point. And *** is not swearing in the sense you mean. But be my guest :rolleyes:
I'm pretty sure he is just trying to wind you up (wouldn't be out of character for him).

I've seen Purito interviewed dozens of times and he shows real character in them. Especially the Vuelta when he lost to Contador on Fuente de giving a full interview saying he was happy to be part of the spectacle. Contador and others if they don't like a result will go straight to the bus.
Seriously Hitch I am not trying to wind Arredondo up. I read the whole post.
I think its a psychological trait. Purito, he's a very nice chap but would he be so amenable and jokey if he was winning ?
Look at Froome, Cav, Armstrong, Evans, in-fact a lot of champions and winners who just don't want to talk when they have lost. Its not meant to be a diss on Purito but maybe it does show the hunger for victory the others have. Landa wasn't happy was he. He wanted to win and his pi%%ed about it.
So no diss intended just a point about arredondo's post.

Cheers
I think the fact he served so many years as a servant for leaders, means he is just happy he is the leader of a WT team and is capable of winning races. If he wins or not, that's part of the job.

I think his hunger for victories is big too. Just look at his reaction on the podium after the Worlds in Firenze. And perhaps Purito is just a nice guy anyway, whether or not he is winning a lot. He has won big races in the past too don't forget.
 
Aug 4, 2011
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Arredondo "
I think the fact he served so many years as a servant for leaders, means he is just happy he is the leader of a WT team and is capable of winning races. If he wins or not, that's part of the job.

I think his hunger for victories is big too. Just look at his reaction on the podium after the Worlds in Firenze. And perhaps Purito is just a nice guy anyway, whether or not he is winning a lot. He has won big races in the past too don't forget"

He has had some great victory's.
My point is, [agree or not] that perhaps to win a Tour de France etc you have to have that hunger in your personality and talent alone will not do it.
A great rider [I never said he wasn't] and IMO he should have won more and maybe the Mr nice guy trait has taken away a killer instinct to win, a selfish focus that most great champions have.
 
Aug 26, 2014
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Re:

ray j willings said:
Arredondo "
I think the fact he served so many years as a servant for leaders, means he is just happy he is the leader of a WT team and is capable of winning races. If he wins or not, that's part of the job.

I think his hunger for victories is big too. Just look at his reaction on the podium after the Worlds in Firenze. And perhaps Purito is just a nice guy anyway, whether or not he is winning a lot. He has won big races in the past too don't forget"

He has had some great victory's.
My point is, [agree or not] that perhaps to win a Tour de France etc you have to have that hunger in your personality and talent alone will not do it.
A great rider [I never said he wasn't] and IMO he should have won more and maybe the Mr nice guy trait has taken away a killer instinct to win, a selfish focus that most great champions have.
I think you can be nice and have that trait. I think Purito is a nice guy and wants to win, but maybe he is less utterly driven than some?

What I would say re. Purito is that perhaps he gets some popularity from people like me, who has a big soft spot for him partly because he is the underdog. I'd love him to win more because he's not been successful in the past.
 
May 30, 2015
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It's such a broad question and there are quite a few angles to tackle it from. When we talk popularity are we talking amongst the truly hardcore cycling fans, or do we include the July fans as well?

Alberto Contador is the most popular active cyclist in the world. He's also the most popular current cyclist on this forum, though it would be interesting to see a poll that ranked him against past greats, as this is a forum of (mostly) informed cycling fans.

Obviously here on this particular site Armstrong will be a ridiculed choice, but he does have a lot going for him. Hitch pointed to an advanced marketing campaign to bolster his numbers. And there is truth in that. There's also truth that said marketing campaign worked. Armstrong is famous, make no mistake about it, in America and the World. There is the other argument that cycling in America is not nearly as popular as it is in other countries. True, but also a touch flawed. America's population is greater than Italy/France/Germany/Uk/Spain/Belgium/etc/etc/etc combined. And Lance clearly drove numbers in America. He was a Giant in the country. Practically everyone in a country of over 300 million people knew his name. There was a time during his run where you'd have a hard time finding anyone in the country that had a negative opinion of him. He was charitable and marketable and dating a rockstar and hanging out with presidents and his face was on every billboard and commercial and gatorade bottle and wheaties box. Kid was famous, and well liked, and well respected. I'm spent most of my life here in the states so I can't speak to his popularity in France/Germany/Italy and elsewhere. I'm not sure how popular he was in those countries. I can't imagine however that he had no fans at all. Anecdotal musings about how true cycling fans always hated him aside he did have sponsorships in countries other than the USA. The last dismissal of Armstrong was in saying that his twitter and facebook numbers don't matter. He has 4 times the number of twitter followers that Contador has. His facebook numbers are equally crazy. For a man who's popularity peaked before the advent of modern day social media that is impressive. Is he infamous more than famous, or anti-popular more than popular? probably/possibly, but those are the numbers we have and they suggest an athlete that transcended the sport in ways Contador never has. But I digress, I actually went farther afield than I meant to.

What I meant to say is it's difficult to have this discussion during a current cyclist's reign as it were. Contador is at the height of his popularity. He is highly respected (and I think beloved) amongst the core cycling community. He just won his 9th GT and he did it with class. But... He is not as popular now as Armstrong was at his height of his fame. At least not with the people who watch cycling in passing, or even the ancillary cycling fans who'll watch the Tour and maybe one or two local races. With the hardcore cycling fans, yes, he's probably as popular maybe more so. It's tough to quantify and I don't know that there's any wrong answer.

Unless you say Froome, Froome is the wrong answer.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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Google trends is obviously not the same thing as popularity of the good kind, but nontheless interesting:


Contador dominates. Tested types like Cavendish, they cannot compete with GC guys. Now if we include good old Lance:

To be fair, some of those searches for Lance might have something to do with the reasoned decision. :p
 
Aug 4, 2010
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Re:

The Hitch said:
On the other hand, his personality is pretty crap. As far as interviews go, the dialogue in sports video games are more varied than contadors responses to interviews. Same pre arranged answers from gt to gt to gt, from stage to stage to stage. You can summarizes 10 years worth of interviews in 3 or 4 sentences. Starting with an assessment of the etapa as "dura", (muy dura if it's an mtf) then something about sensations, and to conclude, an expression of hope/ contained happiness, depending on whether the stage has already taken place or not.

The closest he comes to expressing any emotion is the photos he posts for his fangirls on Twitter of him at a restuarant or in pre season trip. Even those don't express an emotion as much as imply that there might be one.
Probably even better post than the OP, which is also nice, good idea to put it like this (to open a thread). ;)
As for my opinion...I can only guess, as this is one of the biggest mysteries of cycling to me.Its not really clear to me because all these things you described in this post.Even me as a big fan of Contador, I dont like his interviews too much.OTOH he has a good story, humble face etc that can attract people (or the other way around)

My answer: Its probably cuz people feel he is so special (cycling wise mainly), one of the best riders of all time, and they witness it and they enjoy it thats why their admiration for Alberto Contador Velasco.
 
Aug 4, 2010
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I'll add one more story to actually hype the OP even more. :)

As I'm from a country where cycling is starting to be popular recent 3-6 years its pretty amazing how much people do know Contador (the name and connection with cycling).
As I sometimes wear my trademark I Love cycling t shirt :) and watching cycling races in school lectures :D people ask me about cycling.Its always a chat for few seconds but Im brutally shocked how many people mention Contador not Armstrong first.Even my older relative (and girl) who is graduated, that means about 25 years old...when we played some knowledge game orso, she had task to name a cyclist.She mentioned Contador and when I asked her about Armstrng she said 'yea, I heard that somewhere, but I know Contador because he is probably more popular'.I was really surprised cuz people who are 20+,I thought usually know Armstrong more as a Cyclist, but it looks like Contador is their first option.(even older people)

Second story is from my dad, who never followed cycling, he doesnt cycle at all (says he doesnt need more suffering :D ), he only knows it from my talk and maybe pubs in recent years.From about 2-3 years ago he started to ask me about it (czech trend because of Kreuziger, Stybar,Sagan and Konig ofc), but last year he called me from some conference or something that he is really busy, but he heard Contador crashed out from Tour and he wants to know fast details.That means even folks who doesnt know *** about cycling really understand that Contador is probably some big Deal.Also he called me week ago about Mortirolo that some friend heard Contador made some spectacular performace which was in main czech news.

just my 0.02
 
Re: Re:

ray j willings said:
The Hitch said:
Arredondo said:
ray j willings said:
Arredondo quote " *** and The fact he loses big races, also helps in his popularity"

Exactly my point and no need to swear.
It's only a small part of his popularity. So you don't read or deliberatly don't want to read to make your point. And *** is not swearing in the sense you mean. But be my guest :rolleyes:
I'm pretty sure he is just trying to wind you up (wouldn't be out of character for him).

I've seen Purito interviewed dozens of times and he shows real character in them. Especially the Vuelta when he lost to Contador on Fuente de giving a full interview saying he was happy to be part of the spectacle. Contador and others if they don't like a result will go straight to the bus.
Seriously Hitch I am not trying to wind Arredondo up. I read the whole post.
I think its a psychological trait. Purito, he's a very nice chap but would he be so amenable and jokey if he was winning ?
Look at Froome, Cav, Armstrong, Evans, in-fact a lot of champions and winners who just don't want to talk when they have lost. Its not meant to be a diss on Purito but maybe it does show the hunger for victory the others have. Landa wasn't happy was he. He wanted to win and his pi%%ed about it.
So no diss intended just a point about arredondo's post.

Cheers
I think he's (Purito) just as hungry as any of his contemporaries. He could be a world road race champion, a Giro and Vuelta champion. He is still one of the elite riders of the sport with wins in some of the biggest races on the calendar. I doubt additional success would have any bearing on his personality. He seems to be a fun-loving guy that has had some disappointments and successes in his career.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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Who wouldn't be frustrated? Purito wheelsucked the entire vuelta to then sprint away, deserved to lose it.
 
Re: Re:

Carols said:
Red Rick said:
Btw, was Pantani also that popular when he was still riding or did the hype just completely explode after he died?
Yes he was a living legend, adored by most during his riding days. Dying tragically only cemented his place.
Just rewatch some of his stage wins and see the enthusiasm he created with his attacks.

As Indurain once said: Pantani got people hooked into cycling,

Even people which have no business in cycling know him. My father, who never had any relation to cycling, once sprinted away from us during a bike tour on Texel and yelled: "Pantani attacks. Pantani leaves them all alone!" :D

My mother knows him, one of my best friends who hates cycling because for him its pharmacy rallye knew 2 cyclist before we met each other : Pantani & Armstrong.

When Pantani died, a classmate who knew that I was watching cycling sometimes came to me to talk about Marco.

Contador maybe is one of the last cyclists who really is famous outside the cycling community or cycling countries. For most persons here in Germany Chris Froome is as known as "that Indian guy who once was cricket world champ".

Pantani still is widely known in and outside the sport. And if you talk with a cycling fan about Pantani, most of them will get stars in their eyes. No matter if from Italy, the Netherlands , Germany etc.

That leads me to clearly assume : Pantani > Contador
 
Jul 17, 2011
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I think (most?) people who watch/follow cycling loves him. People outside cycling don't care. Why we (at least most of us) loves him, is his nerve. He is calculating what is necessary to win, and he goes for it. It takes him often out on deep deep water. We don't see any other of the top riders do that.

He won this giro all by himself. He did the same years ago riding for Astana. He is truly one of a kind.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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The most popular active cyclist, you can't dispute that.
I respect him, even if I always end up cheering for someone else in every single GT he rides :)
Ok, I didn't watch the 2008 Vuelta but probably I would have cheered for Sastre.
 
Interesting discussion. It obviously depends on what definition of popular you use and when you measure it.

For instance, if you asked the question directly after the Olympic Games Chris Hoy might come out on top. If it's after the Tour, Contador probably would. If it's over a long period then no chance for a track cyclist but Lance wins unless we take the definition of popular to include liked and miss out the period where his doping was known. As such, using this definition makes it much too subjective and I'd personally subscribe to the definition of most well known.

If we use that definition, and take it at the height of their fame, it's Armstrong, without a doubt.

If we are saying right now, it's Contador for cycling fans, but probably still Armstrong overall.
 
Re:

IndianCyclist said:
Since we are considering all cyclist and also taking into account the media explosion w.r.t the internet, IMO Merckx remains the most popular ever.
Popularity depends on a number of parameters including attacking style, panache, dealing with adversity. engaging personality etc.
But Contador would be 2nd. Binda, Coppi and Bartali would be too focused on Italy. Anquetil was never popular. Hinault was too grumpy. Indurain was a robot. No need to say anything about LA
I always liked Miguel - I tend to appreciate the riding rather than the personalty. Erik Zabel was always good value as well. :D
 
Re:

leon993 said:
I think (most?) people who watch/follow cycling loves him. People outside cycling don't care. Why we (at least most of us) loves him, is his nerve. He is calculating what is necessary to win, and he goes for it. It takes him often out on deep deep water. We don't see any other of the top riders do that.

He won this giro all by himself. He did the same years ago riding for Astana. He is truly one of a kind.
To me he came over as a massive tosser in this race. :confused:
 
Re: Re:

sienna said:
leon993 said:
I think (most?) people who watch/follow cycling loves him. People outside cycling don't care. Why we (at least most of us) loves him, is his nerve. He is calculating what is necessary to win, and he goes for it. It takes him often out on deep deep water. We don't see any other of the top riders do that.

He won this giro all by himself. He did the same years ago riding for Astana. He is truly one of a kind.
To me he came over as a massive tosser in this race. :confused:
How so?
 
Re: Re:

VayaVayaVaya said:
sienna said:
leon993 said:
I think (most?) people who watch/follow cycling loves him. People outside cycling don't care. Why we (at least most of us) loves him, is his nerve. He is calculating what is necessary to win, and he goes for it. It takes him often out on deep deep water. We don't see any other of the top riders do that.

He won this giro all by himself. He did the same years ago riding for Astana. He is truly one of a kind.
To me he came over as a massive tosser in this race. :confused:
How so?
The shoulder bollocks for starters along with all the false modesty. :eek:
 
Re:

Jagartrott said:
His attacking style, his tactical nous, his lack of arrogance, his 'nice guy aura' - all things that make him very well liked and make it hard for anyone to dislike him. He only seems to lack personality off the bike to make him unforgetable. He never shows the back of his tongue, never makes a wild statement.
Okay you convinced me. He is actually dull ! Needs a dash of Vino, a splash of Evans, a portion of Aru and a dose of Hornerspeak !
 

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