Teams & Riders Mark Cavendish Discussion Thread

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Not really a comparison in the way you suggest. Just puts Merckx in perspective since it's much easier or at least more common for sprinters to rack up huge win totals. That Merckx did it in TT's, sprints, mountain stages, random stages where he went bananas...his records are truly incredible.

Cav's accomplishment is great. There's no part of me that thinks they are comparable, that's my point.
I disagree with this. The two riders Cav is sandwiched between are there because of time trials in a period where 4 or more TTs was not uncommon. Imagine if Cancellara had that many chances to win stages in a discipline he was dominant in to focus him on GTs (I actually think Canc is the modern day Merckx in terms of riding but that's a very different discussion). You need to go down to Darrigarde for the next sprinter at 5th, then the next 3 aren't sprinters. You have to go to René Le Grevès for the next sprinter who is level with Anquetil and Pélissier who are not sprinters. Next you have Maertens (who is arguably more comparable to Merckx in riding style and talent, sadly not fully realised) and Kittel, but both of them have less than half the wins Cavendish does. You've then got Thys and Trousselier before a big block of "sprinters" but even they are tied with Bartali and Indurain (until Sagan gets another which I'm almost certain will happen).

Now obviously many of these riders were racing a long time ago when cycling was different, which always makes these kind of comparisons difficult (silly really as we've both alluded to) but what Cavendish has done at the Tour is truly unique and I think the apparent ease with which he dominated sprinting for a period makes people downplay his record. He has 9 more wins in mass start stages than anyone else and it's very possible that number win increase. He's done that during a career that has spanned the careers of the next two most winning sprinters of this generation (Kittel and Greipel, I've left Sagan out for obvious reasons). Kittel is the second most winning pure sprinter of all time, ranked 13th in the most stage wins ever at the Tour with 14, and Cav has more than double that.

Of course, we can't compare. If Merckx didn't have that many time trials to win there's a good chance he would have just won other stages instead, he was just that good. Same with Hinault, Anquetil and so on.
 
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You need to go down to Darrigarde for the next sprinter at 5th, then the next 3 aren't sprinters. You have to go to René Le Grevès for the next sprinter who is level with Anquetil and Pélissier who are not sprinters.
Some of Merckx stage wins, while looking pretty randomly through his PCS page are just boggling. For example stage 7 of the 1974 Tour de France. I can't find a stage profile, but it was apparently a completely flat 220km course from Mons to Chalons sur Marne (maybe some Ardennes hills?), and this is a partial race report:
"After unloading several hard attacks that were brought back by a fast moving field, Merckx won a 55-man sprint for stage 7. With the time bonuses he had accrued Merckx was now in Yellow. "

Merckx *** initiated several breakaways, on stage 7 of the Tour, and then won the mass sprint for the yellow jersey anyway, on a stage where today absolutely nobody with GC interests would bother to do anything at all. Crazy.

However sprinting too has changed a lot though. I don't think Le Greves had a dedicated team catapulting him at stage finishes. Cavendish's accomplishments are his, Merckx doesn't have anything to fear in regards to his legacy.
 
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Some of Merckx stage wins, while looking pretty randomly through his PCS page are just boggling. For example stage 7 of the 1974 Tour de France. I can't find a stage profile, but it was apparently a completely flat 220km course from Mons to Chalons sur Marne (maybe some Ardennes hills?), and this is a partial race report:
"After unloading several hard attacks that were brought back by a fast moving field, Merckx won a 55-man sprint for stage 7. With the time bonuses he had accrued Merckx was now in Yellow. "

Merckx *** initiated several breakaways, on stage 7 of the Tour, and then won the mass sprint for the yellow jersey anyway, on a stage where today absolutely nobody with GC interests would bother to do anything at all. Crazy.

However sprinting too has changed a lot though. I don't think Le Greves had a dedicated team catapulting him at stage finishes. Cavendish's accomplishments are his, Merckx doesn't have anything to fear in regards to his legacy.
Agreed, and then the discussion around professionalism, in different eras, race tactics, course design etc. comes in. It's the same across all sports but particularly hard in cycling due the the different disciplines within the same race.
 
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I disagree with this. The two riders Cav is sandwiched between are there because of time trials in a period where 4 or more TTs was not uncommon. Imagine if Cancellara had that many chances to win stages in a discipline he was dominant in to focus him on GTs (I actually think Canc is the modern day Merckx in terms of riding but that's a very different discussion). You need to go down to Darrigarde for the next sprinter at 5th, then the next 3 aren't sprinters. You have to go to René Le Grevès for the next sprinter who is level with Anquetil and Pélissier who are not sprinters. Next you have Maertens (who is arguably more comparable to Merckx in riding style and talent, sadly not fully realised) and Kittel, but both of them have less than half the wins Cavendish does. You've then got Thys and Trousselier before a big block of "sprinters" but even they are tied with Bartali and Indurain (until Sagan gets another which I'm almost certain will happen).

Now obviously many of these riders were racing a long time ago when cycling was different, which always makes these kind of comparisons difficult (silly really as we've both alluded to) but what Cavendish has done at the Tour is truly unique and I think the apparent ease with which he dominated sprinting for a period makes people downplay his record. He has 9 more wins in mass start stages than anyone else and it's very possible that number win increase. He's done that during a career that has spanned the careers of the next two most winning sprinters of this generation (Kittel and Greipel, I've left Sagan out for obvious reasons). Kittel is the second most winning pure sprinter of all time, ranked 13th in the most stage wins ever at the Tour with 14, and Cav has more than double that.

Of course, we can't compare. If Merckx didn't have that many time trials to win there's a good chance he would have just won other stages instead, he was just that good. Same with Hinault, Anquetil and so on.
You mention that Cav competed against Kittel and Greipel, but that was only part of his career.

Cav took 20 wins in 4 Tours(08-11), only Greipel was present in one of those, 2011.
Over the next 6 Tours with Greipel/Kittel, Cav had 10 wins. Serious, serious difference there. In fact if you go from 12-17 Kittel has the best record with 14 wins and Cav and Greipel are level on 10. In fact Kittel has a better strike rate at the Tour than Cavendish if you average it out over Tour appearences,

As I keep pointing out, that 08-11 was one of the worst eras of sprinters ever.....well until the current field in this years Tour and that skewers things heavily in favour of Cav.

Kittel and Greipel always had Cav and each other to go against. What other major sprinter was around in 08-11???
 
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You mention that Cav competed against Kittel and Greipel, but that was only part of his career.

Cav took 20 wins in 4 Tours(08-11), only Greipel was present in one of those, 2011.
Over the next 6 Tours with Greipel/Kittel, Cav had 10 wins. Serious, serious difference there. In fact if you go from 12-17 Kittel has the best record with 14 wins and Cav and Greipel are level on 10. In fact Kittel has a better strike rate at the Tour than Cavendish if you average it out over Tour appearences,

As I keep pointing out, that 08-11 was one of the worst eras of sprinters ever.....well until the current field in this years Tour and that skewers things heavily in favour of Cav.

Kittel and Greipel always had Cav and each other to go against. What other major sprinter was around in 08-11???
"Excluding someones 4 best years, he hasn't been the winningest sprinter"
 
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Hushovd, Zabel, McEwan, Petacchi, Farrar, Boassen Hagen and Sagan.

In 2014 Cav crashed out. He won 4 in 2016, the same as Sagan, Kittel and Griepel combined, and left for the Olympics before the end and he crashed out of 2017. Kittel left in 2012 in stage 5 and didn't race 2015, so if you want to compare him to Kittel that's 2013 and 2016 you can use, which I think means 6-5 to Cavendish.
 
You mention that Cav competed against Kittel and Greipel, but that was only part of his career.

Cav took 20 wins in 4 Tours(08-11), only Greipel was present in one of those, 2011.
Over the next 6 Tours with Greipel/Kittel, Cav had 10 wins. Serious, serious difference there. In fact if you go from 12-17 Kittel has the best record with 14 wins and Cav and Greipel are level on 10. In fact Kittel has a better strike rate at the Tour than Cavendish if you average it out over Tour appearences,

As I keep pointing out, that 08-11 was one of the worst eras of sprinters ever.....well until the current field in this years Tour and that skewers things heavily in favour of Cav.

Kittel and Greipel always had Cav and each other to go against. What other major sprinter was around in 08-11???
Cav also rode and finished the Giros he did before the Tour, something the Germans never did.
 
"Excluding someones 4 best years, he hasn't been the winningest sprinter"
Where did I exclude Cavs best 4 years.? I compared his win rate before/after Kittel and Greipel became his main competitors. 20 wins in 4 years v 10 over the next 6, make it 4 if you want due to him dropping out. Still a big drop in win rate from 5 to just over 2. The only year Cav was undeniably the best sprinter after 2011 was in 2016.
 
Where did I exclude Cavs best 4 years.? I compared his win rate before/after Kittel and Greipel became his main competitors. 20 wins in 4 years v 10 over the next 6, make it 4 if you want due to him dropping out. Still a big drop in win rate from 5 to just over 2. The only year Cav was undeniably the best sprinter after 2011 was in 2016.
So what? Longevity is an achievement also. Tom Brady wouldn't have won 7 Super Bowls if he had only played for 5 years.

It's not his fault if other sprinters get injured/DQ'd/don't participate/etc. If he wins another 2,3 stages in this Tour he'll be "undeniably" the best sprinter of this year also.
 
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You mention that Cav competed against Kittel and Greipel, but that was only part of his career.

Cav took 20 wins in 4 Tours(08-11), only Greipel was present in one of those, 2011.
Over the next 6 Tours with Greipel/Kittel, Cav had 10 wins. Serious, serious difference there. In fact if you go from 12-17 Kittel has the best record with 14 wins and Cav and Greipel are level on 10. In fact Kittel has a better strike rate at the Tour than Cavendish if you average it out over Tour appearences,

As I keep pointing out, that 08-11 was one of the worst eras of sprinters ever.....well until the current field in this years Tour and that skewers things heavily in favour of Cav.

Kittel and Greipel always had Cav and each other to go against. What other major sprinter was around in 08-11???
In effect, Cav was competing against Greipel in 08-10 as they were in the same team. If Greipel wasn't considered good enough to be selected ahead of Cav and given the number of stages Cav amassed in that era then there can be no argument as to who is the better sprinter. Kittel, on the other hand, was a beast and his record speaks for itself.

As for other competition in 08-10. Robbie McEwan and Erik Zabel were coming to the end of their careers like Cav is now and yet they couldn't live with him. Alessandro Pettachi, on the other hand, he was 36 in 2010 and claimed a couple of victories including the green jersey. So to say it was the worst era for sprinters ever, especially considering Thor Hushovd was also World Champion during that time, smacks of bitterness on your part if you ask me.
 
Hushovd, Zabel, McEwan, Petacchi, Farrar, Boassen Hagen and Sagan.

In 2014 Cav crashed out. He won 4 in 2016, the same as Sagan, Kittel and Griepel combined, and left for the Olympics before the end and he crashed out of 2017. Kittel left in 2012 in stage 5 and didn't race 2015, so if you want to compare him to Kittel that's 2013 and 2016 you can use, which I think means 6-5 to Cavendish.
I said major sprinter, not who the opposition was. Zabel and McEwen were 38 and 36 in 2008 and both past it. Petacchi didn't ride in 08/09 and then at 36, was somehow the best after Cav and won the green jersey which reflects how feeble the competition was. Hushovd, 3 Sprint wins in 6 Tours before Cav does not make you a top class sprinter. Sagan didn't ride until 2012, never a pure sprinter anyway. Farrar and EBH, you are having a laugh.

Where was the prime Cipo, Abdu, McEwen, Zabel, Kittel in 08-11? A clue? There was none. Hence the domination.
 
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In effect, Cav was competing against Greipel in 08-10 as they were in the same team. If Greipel wasn't considered good enough to be selected ahead of Cav and given the number of stages Cav amassed in that era then there can be no argument as to who is the better sprinter. Kittel, on the other hand, was a beast and his record speaks for itself.

As for other competition in 08-10. Robbie McEwan and Erik Zabel were coming to the end of their careers like Cav is now and yet they couldn't live with him. Alessandro Pettachi, on the other hand, he was 36 in 2010 and claimed a couple of victories including the green jersey. So to say it was the worst era for sprinters ever, especially considering Thor Hushovd was also World Champion during that time, smacks of bitterness on your part if you ask me.
Well if Cav was now beating
Aha, so the competition was weak because they didn't win many races in which Cavendish participated, and yet Cavendish's many victories are meaningless because others didn't beat him often. And when they did beat him that proves Cavendish was weak himself also. Ok.
Well yes, because Kittel and Greipel destroyed most of those guys as well illustrating they were not a very good level of sprinters.

It's the difference between Caleb Ewan facing off against who is at this years Tour versus Ewan facing off against Bennett, Gronewegen, Ackerman, Jakobsen in their pre-Covid/Crash Form. Big, big difference in quality
 
Well if Cav was now beating


Well yes, because Kittel and Greipel destroyed most of those guys as well illustrating they were not a very good level of sprinters.

It's the difference between Caleb Ewan facing off against who is at this years Tour versus Ewan facing off against Bennett, Gronewegen, Ackerman, Jakobsen in their pre-Covid/Crash Form. Big, big difference in quality
All of which are the same level of sprinter that Cav, Greipel, and Kittel dominated. Take Cav out of those Tours and suddenly the wins are a lot more spread out, just like these years. On top of Sprinters have a 2-5 year shelf life of being on top with major wins. Kittel isn’t even riding anymore nor did he reach 100 wins. Gaviria considered the next top rider isn’t even riding at a top level anymore. In fact, none of these sprinters were winning when Cav, Kittel, and Greipel were on top not the best sprinters. Only after they were gone did they start rising in stock yet still on the same level.

Cav has more wins in the Giro from 4 attempts than Kittel and Greipel on more attempts at the Tour. On top of more wins alone at the Giro than others have at all the GTs in their career.
 
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I said major sprinter, not who the opposition was. Zabel and McEwen were 38 and 36 in 2008 and both past it. Petacchi didn't ride in 08/09 and then at 36, was somehow the best after Cav and won the green jersey which reflects how feeble the competition was. Hushovd, 3 Sprint wins in 6 Tours before Cav does not make you a top class sprinter. Sagan didn't ride until 2012, never a pure sprinter anyway. Farrar and EBH, you are having a laugh.

Where was the prime Cipo, Abdu, McEwen, Zabel, Kittel in 08-11? A clue? There was none. Hence the domination.
So you ignored the second half of what I said. In the years Cav and Kittel both rode the majority of the Tour, Cav won more total stages. Others have pointed out he was better than Greipel every year he was selected over him.

honestly, the bitterness from some is astounding.
 

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