Mark Cavendish Discussion Thread

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Re:

SHAD0W93 said:
Didn't Cipo get help with Giro's being designed so he can win as many stages as possible?
Not really, he was an underrated climber when motivated. Guys like McEwen have regularly said that he used to be the one to get the gruppetto to sort themselves out and would normally set the pace
 
Re: Re:

42x16ss said:
Franklin said:
Leggitte said:
Mark is one of the three sprinters to make a credible claim on being the GOAT (Darrigade/Cipollini are the other two), but I think it's pretty much over now.
Freddy Maertens?
Arguably a greater rider with a GT win, 2 WC and an all round classic rider (also in his best years a beast in TT's). But Maertens was the best sprinter for just a few specific years, whereas Cipo and Maertens just stacked up multiple wins year after year. Just in absolute GT stage wins he isn't in the same category (but his average on the few GT's he rode is shocking). So even though the argument could be made I rank Mario and Mark higher as pure sprinters.

Then again, does Darrigade deserve to be in the running over Maertens? This is the perpetual problem with these kinds of lists... comparing era's and palmares is futile... and a lot of fun :)

So sure: Maertens/Cav/Cipo for the best three sprinters, followed by Darrigade and Alejet. *I wonder which superstar I'm forgetting *

The Cipo versus Cav is interesting. Cipo has an eyewatering amount of GT stage wins, but Cav has more TdF stage wins. That's partly by Cipo's choice as he couldn't be arsed to drag his body over the French cols (something he was more than capable of). I think I give the nod to Mark due to the TdF being the bigger event, but jeez.... so many stage wins by Mario is hard to dismiss... so I guess I pick Mario after al.... or.....ARRRRGH :D
Don't forget that Cipollini was effectively banned from the Tour from 2000-2003 for wearing whatever he wanted. At his strike rate, that probably would have been 5-10 stage wins.

Cipo also had slightly better results in the classics, winning E3 and 3x G-W
So 3x GW + E3 is slightly better? :surprised: :confused:
 
Re:

SHAD0W93 said:
Didn't Cipo get help with Giro's being designed so he can win as many stages as possible?
Still had to deliver though.
Cav too had a dominant support train for a couple of years that helped him a lot. Still maybe more competition. Winning the Champs-Elysees sprint 4 times in a row is amazing.

On the other hand Cipollini also had (a lot) more longevity as a top sprinter, that's counting for something. Difficult.

My gut feeling is that top Cavendish beats top Cipollini, but the numbers are in Cipo's favour. In the end it's all about the win.
 
Re: Re:

spalco said:
SHAD0W93 said:
Didn't Cipo get help with Giro's being designed so he can win as many stages as possible?
Still had to deliver though.
quote]
He did, but when he was winning all those giro stages it was not on a slightly lower level than the tour, in terms of quality it was well below. That being said he also won 4 in a row in the tour.
 
May 26, 2009
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Re: Re:

42x16ss said:
Don't forget that Cipollini was effectively banned from the Tour from 2000-2003 for wearing whatever he wanted. At his strike rate, that probably would have been 5-10 stage wins.
Although I tend to agree:

Coulda-woulda-shoulda... for the GOAT question that doesn't really matter IMHO.

Cipo also had slightly better results in the classics, winning E3 and 3x G-W
Yep. It's really hard to choose.... TdF stages should count for more than other wins, but Cipo had so many of those other wins that you need to pick up your jaw of the ground.

I prefer Cipo (also because he was so incredibly funny), but someone who argues Cav is the GOAT also has a good case.

He did, but when he was winning all those giro states it was not on a slightly lower level than the tour, in terms of quality it was well below. That being said he also won 4 in a row in the tour.
Is that really true? Alejet also focussed on the Giro and that was quite a worthy opponent then and there... Really the existence of Alejet is yet another reason to rank Cipo higher (especially since he almost had no bad years).

But the fact that he never brought home a green jersey is a serious mark (Mark^^) against Mario.

<Like I said, I can go back and forth about this one>
 
I never saw Cipo sprint and I'm biased towards Cav. But what I would say confidently to go along with Pricey is I would have HTC Cav with HTC's train over any rider and their train. HTC dominated the race, even when they were the only team working all day. There never was and never will be another train like HTC and it's a pity for Cav because if they had stuck around, he would have won many more stages.
 
Re:

SHAD0W93 said:
I never saw Cipo sprint and I'm biased towards Cav. But what I would say confidently to go along with Pricey is I would have HTC Cav with HTC's train over any rider and their train. HTC dominated the race, even when they were the only team working all day. There never was and never will be another train like HTC and it's a pity for Cav because if they had stuck around, he would have won many more stages.
Well... yeah. Sure it's a pity for him, but it isn't a pity for the rest of the world, especially his rivals that did not have the luxury of having such a team, and also not a pity for most cycling fans, who got to watch something less predictable.

I mean, whenever a leader is succesful relying on his support riders, it's also a testament of how important the rest of the team is, and that the success isn't simply because he is a great rider, but because it was a great team. Stuff like this happens, people swap teams. Other succesful riders had to cope with similar issues, so the argument can be made for many riders.
 
May 26, 2009
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Re:

SHAD0W93 said:
I never saw Cipo sprint and I'm biased towards Cav. But what I would say confidently to go along with Pricey is I would have HTC Cav with HTC's train over any rider and their train. HTC dominated the race, even when they were the only team working all day. There never was and never will be another train like HTC and it's a pity for Cav because if they had stuck around, he would have won many more stages.
Yeah, I mean there have never been teams dominating the run in for spriiters before.

Kwantum Decosol for Van Poppel, with Lead out Jelle Nijdam? Rubbish.
Fassa Bortolo, the train =for the man who won more GT stages than Cav? Chopped liver.
Lampre with Alejet? Who again?

Sorry, but first you state you only saw Cav and then you say his team was the best ever... I hope you realize that's worthy of an epic facepalm... There have been many strong trains,
 
To be honest during his best years I don’t think he even needed the train, his positioning was brilliant and would often find the right wheel. Stage 19 of the 2012 Tour was one of the best sprints of his career.
 
Dec 22, 2017
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During his best years, yes....he won by lengths, not centimetres. It is also true that he could still win when the trains on any given sprint were not giving anybody a huge advantage, and in that sense he reminded me very much of Robbie McEwen in that he could poach a win.

I did watch Cipollini and I dont recall him being able to do both of those things, he was great, but he was much more one-dimensional. He was also stupendously arrogant, but of course nobody mentions that because he's not an English hate figure and few of the posters here speak good enough Italian to understand what he said when interviewed. Personally, I found him pretty funny, but my best mate, Italian, thought he was a thick, arrogant tool.

I agree that it does get boring when one rider is so dominant, but that holds for Cipo too. I think things are pretty exciting at the moment with such a big range of different sprinting styles in the peloton.
 
Re: Re:

42x16ss said:
Franklin said:
Leggitte said:
Mark is one of the three sprinters to make a credible claim on being the GOAT (Darrigade/Cipollini are the other two), but I think it's pretty much over now.
Freddy Maertens?
Arguably a greater rider with a GT win, 2 WC and an all round classic rider (also in his best years a beast in TT's). But Maertens was the best sprinter for just a few specific years, whereas Cipo and Maertens just stacked up multiple wins year after year. Just in absolute GT stage wins he isn't in the same category (but his average on the few GT's he rode is shocking). So even though the argument could be made I rank Mario and Mark higher as pure sprinters.

Then again, does Darrigade deserve to be in the running over Maertens? This is the perpetual problem with these kinds of lists... comparing era's and palmares is futile... and a lot of fun :)

So sure: Maertens/Cav/Cipo for the best three sprinters, followed by Darrigade and Alejet. *I wonder which superstar I'm forgetting *

The Cipo versus Cav is interesting. Cipo has an eyewatering amount of GT stage wins, but Cav has more TdF stage wins. That's partly by Cipo's choice as he couldn't be arsed to drag his body over the French cols (something he was more than capable of). I think I give the nod to Mark due to the TdF being the bigger event, but jeez.... so many stage wins by Mario is hard to dismiss... so I guess I pick Mario after al.... or.....ARRRRGH :D
Don't forget that Cipollini was effectively banned from the Tour from 2000-2003 for wearing whatever he wanted. At his strike rate, that probably would have been 5-10 stage wins.

Cipo also had slightly better results in the classics, winning E3 and 3x G-W
ASO stopped inviting Cipollini because he didn't give a f**k about the Tour, for him the season was done mid june, the Tour was only a PR appendix to please the sponsors and he used to come to France with half decent form after riding a lot in the spring and willing to go to the beach as early as possible, if he would have centered his season on the Tour to be at his best in july every year in his long career at the top like Cavendish did probably he would have won even more stages than the ones he actually won at the Giro considering that in the 90s and first early 00s when he was dominant the Tour was a sprint fest with the first week almost by default a prologue and a TT/TTT + seven flat stages and there was often another couple of flat stages in both the second and third week.
De facto Cipollini really cared only about Sanremo and the Giro, with this IMHO he limited a lot his career because he also missed almost every year the second half of the season and he didn't focus on the cobbles for eight straight year (from 1994 to 2001) despite being strong and capable to win also there.

Anyway i don't think classics that are not for pure sprinters should be considered when comparing sprinters for their sprinting ability, otherwise old times sprinters that were able to win one day races on every terrain, win weeklong stage races and also compete in the GT would have too much of edge due to palmares. That said regarding Cavendish i've always considered him the best of his generation but i think there were too much things that have contributed to overrate his level so i can't put him in contention with the greats of sprinting. When he was in his prime he had the HTC train that was comparable to the actual Quick-Step one in giving an advantage to the sprinter launched, the best sprinter emerged in previous years (Boonen) stopped competing in sprints at high level to focus on classics, the only sprinter of his generation (Greipel) that could have threatened him was a team mate, the old generation was declining and there was a general low level with riders like Farrar, Goss, Cielek that after a couple of years of glory rapidily disappeared when a new generation of sprinters started to come out. Not to mention that the old Petacchi was still able to beat him in 2009/2010 and when Kittel emerged he rapidly took the throne of best sprinter around.

So in the end IMHO the strongest sprinter i've seen is Cipollini but from what i've read i consider van Steembergen the strongest ever with an honourable mention for Maertens that for some years was literally unstoppable but his high levels career is too short to be in contention because after the Mugello crash during the 1977 Giro he wasn't the same anymore despite another two good seasons in 1978 and 1981.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Re:

Pricey_sky said:
To be honest during his best years I don’t think he even needed the train, his positioning was brilliant and would often find the right wheel. Stage 19 of the 2012 Tour was one of the best sprints of his career.
Aha :) I just watched it again. That was so ridiculous :) One of the best sprints in history.
 
Jan 17, 2017
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It was Stage 18, and I think it prompted my loudest reaction to a cycling victory to date. At 1km to go I'd given up, but to then win by a bucketload of bike lengths was insane.
 

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