Is Contador the most popular cyclist ever?

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I started to watch cycling in 2008 and 2009, although I only watched the tdf in these years. In 2008 I sticked by kohl (of course because I am austrian) and in 2009 I had the decision between AC and Schleck and of course I choose Andy. Not the luckiest decisions of my life :eek:
However to return to the topic, I think the reason why contador is so popular is that he is one of the guys who still attack and with that I mean risky attacks. I doubt that someone like froome had attacked on monte ologno, in this years giro. Contador is someone who accelerates as often as possible and tries everything to shake off his rivals even when he knows that he is probably weaker because sometimes it pays off (fuente de). Personally he still isn't one of my favorites but the last years showed me why he is so popular and even I changed my mind from: don't like him at all. To: Not my favorite rider but great sportsmen, whome I don't want to miss in a gt.

ps: This forum has over 150 replies in two days I think thats answer enough if you want to know how popular contador is :D
 
Jul 17, 2011
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Looking at all the replies i see young people (who i was myself some years ago) who cheers for the underdogs (like myself years ago). That is cool, and is what it should be.
Contador has nerve, this is why he wins. He does anything to win - including injuries reports and what have you.
And he has the ability to do something about it - not to forget.
He goes to any extent to win - whatever he loses, or he wins - we love him anyways for he tried and he lost - or he tried and he won.
 
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Netserk said:
King Boonen said:
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.
Sorry to go full Godwin on you, but by that definition Hitler is more popular than Dalai Lama.
Yes.
 
Zoetemelk-fan said:
Well, I grew up with Laurent Fignon, seeing him winning his first Tour in '83, just about to enter my teenage years. And I'm not French, I'm Danish.

Haven't seen any rider as popular as Fignon, globally, and the admiration didn't stop when he parked his bike, not at all.

Second most popular <in my time> has to be another frenchman and another Laurent: JaJa.

Contador is not even close.

Ofcourse he is enormous popular in his home country. Maybe even as much as Miguel Indurain. And he's popular in Italy, we see. But still Alberto is quite unpopular as a cyclist in other countries. And it has not solely to do with clinic stuff, but primarily I suppose.

Alberto is popular 'cause he ride with his heart. Unfortunately that has become a rarity in recent years.

One thing is the Cyclingnews fanboy forum, other thing is real life. Though I admit he has many fans, including me ;-)

Edit: Oh my smartphone cheatet me. Didn't see other answers than mine. This has become a great thread. Ofcourse one have to take Il Pirato in account, too!

Contador is not the half popular that Indurain or Perico were in Spain, but it is the most popular nowadays.
But contador is not a popular cyclist among the people around cycling in Spain, lot of people dont like him for several reasons.

There are a lot of nice cyclist in Spain, but Contador is not, and he is not very popular as person, so I am very surprised by this thread.
 
Stingray34 said:
Contador is the Charles de Gaulle of cycling
What kind of nonsense comparison is that :confused: ? It sure won't make you popular in France.

Great thread The Hitch, you're not just good at drafting dopers obviously :p . It is interesting indeed to think in terms of popularity with the "outside of your town" dimension. Looking at it this way, Bertie is the most popular: he has fans all over the World. He doesn't come close to the adulation that the greats of yesteryear achieved (Coppi, Merckx, others, and yes, Pantani). But today, he is the most popular on a global scale. It's not saying much, though. He's no Alberto...Tomba. His aggressive style makes fans, but he is as bland as a piece of matzo bread. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed is king, as we say in France.

Contador the Charles de Gaulle of cycling. I can't get over it. WTF :D .
 
Great thread; I had ignored it for the past few days thinking "just another thread with ladies with wet knickers talking about Alberto". But a great OP, and some great points in the first few pages in particular.

I love Alberto's style of racing. He attacks hard and regularly, he is a stylish rider and he knows how to absolutely bury himself to limit losses or maximise gains on a bad/good day. He is the complete grand tour cyclist.

The two things that put me off about him are his fans, and the clinic stuff. But the way he dealt with Astana in this tour, as well as the way he dealt with Armstrong, oozes class. He has also been an important part of some of the great GT race days in recent times. And he also attacks in WCRR and Olympic races just for the laugh seemingly.

Most popular of all time? I don't really know, but I would have thought Pantani would give him a run for his money in recent years. And Lance up until 2008 or so.

How popular were rock hard classic riders like Sean Kelly around Europe? I grew up in Ireland in the 80s, so it is hard for me to tell objectively. But if he were around now, I would imagine he would generate a lot of love.
 
I already said, re lance he had way more plastic fans than Contador could ever get and that's because he was an all round celebrity with the cancer story.

Contador has a similar story - the brain thing, but for background reasons that neither can do anything about - a) Lance came 1st, b) Lance was American and Contador is Spanish, Armstrong was able to ride that way higher.

But on a grassroots level Contador has more support. Many Lance fans didn't even know that LA was a world champion. It was just - he won x many TDFs, and many fans - like people in my family, never even watched the tdfs, they just vaguely knew that he won.

Most Contador fans can quote to you his entire palmares starting with the tt at the Tour of Poland.
 
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myrideissteelerthanyours said:
What about Lance's better results against a significantly stronger field does that not factor in? I think that is why he was vastly more popular in his time.
No Lance was more popular because he transcended the sport. Cancer survivor makes comeback, wins etc. The entire marketing myth that was built around him was enormous, at least here in the US. The common man on the street knew who Lance was and may never have watched a bike race in their lives and never would.
 
Aug 26, 2014
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LaFlorecita said:
barmaher said:
Great thread; I had ignored it for the past few days thinking "just another thread with ladies with wet knickers talking about Alberto". But a great OP, and some great points in the first few pages in particular.
:p
Frankly, I find that insulting and not remotely amusing.
 
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Carols said:
myrideissteelerthanyours said:
What about Lance's better results against a significantly stronger field does that not factor in? I think that is why he was vastly more popular in his time.
No Lance was more popular because he transcended the sport. Cancer survivor makes comeback, wins etc. The entire marketing myth that was built around him was enormous, at least here in the US. The common man on the street knew who Lance was and may never have watched a bike race in their lives and never would.
And now the common man assumes that cycling is full of people like Armstrong. Of course he did not invent cheating but his huge success made the fall from grace even greater, personally and for the sport. But you are right, his story transcended the sport and many fans and cancer survivors will never forgive him. I see him as more of a pathetic figure now.
 
Is Alberto the most popular rider these days? Of course he is, by a mile. Of all time? Not even close. The golden era of the general public's fascination with cycling has come and gone. There was a time when it was on a par with how we see football or rugby today but it's probably been on the decline since the second world war. Much easier access to other sports since the advent of TV.
 
Aug 26, 2014
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barmaher said:
Apologies, Electress. I didn't mean to offend anyone. It was my rather course way of saying that a lot of female Contador fans seem to like him because they find him attractive.
Thank you for apologising. No bother. :)
 
Jul 16, 2011
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I started following cycling in 1986 after seeing the epic Alpine stage where LeMond and the Badger crossed the line hand in hand and Robert Millar cracked while in the polka dot jersey. The tour was the only thing we really saw in the UK at that time and I always supported the pure climbers, of course Millar above all. In these days when all races are available, the ones I look forward to the most are Flanders and P-R. The types of riders I support have also evolved. My favourite riders are G, Stannard and Kwiatkowski. Why? It's a mixture of where I'm from/live now, the style of the riders and that they seem down to earth blokes.

However, I still admire the climbers and almost certainly Bertie above all. I don't shout for him, but I definitely don't shout against him (after Armstrong won the TDF once I would always support Ullrich, or anyone, against him). His style is graceful (although I would see watching Moncoutie in his Vuelta breakaways as being aesthetically more pleasing and Pantani in full flow was something to behold). Contador goes on the attack at unexpected moments and it 's clear that he loves to race.

I guess in theory I should prefer Froome. The way he won on Pena Cabarga, first head down and pedal until Cobo couldn't hold the wheel, made me initially a fan, but on the bike he looks too much like a crazed preying mantis and his style of racing seems to have become too calculated. Maybe one day he'll go full genius from halfway through a stage and I'll rediscover him, but I'm not holding my breath.
 
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happytramp said:
Is Alberto the most popular rider these days? Of course he is, by a mile. Of all time? Not even close. The golden era of the general public's fascination with cycling has come and gone. There was a time when it was on a par with how we see football or rugby today but it's probably been on the decline since the second world war. Much easier access to other sports since the advent of TV.
Who cares about rugby :p
I mean I know that rugby is pretty popular in many countries, but really as popular as sports like football?
 
Jun 4, 2015
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We have to make a difference:
There are some people who are famous and others who are loved. For example, there is no denying that Armstrong is worldwide known, but his personn is not really appreciated. Maybe Contador is not as famous around the no fan of cyclism around the world as Armstrong but he got more people who got sympathy for him.
 
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