Teams & Riders Mark Cavendish Discussion Thread

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Bitterness? I don't think anyone denies that Cav was/is a better sprinter than both Greipel and Kittel (at least over several years; it's more difficult to compare their respective peaks), but that the latter two revealed how shallow the competition was in the first phase of Cavendish's career. I think reasonable people can disagree over whether Cav is GOAT sprinter without being bitter.
 
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Bitterness? I don't think anyone denies that Cav was/is a better sprinter than both Greipel and Kittel (at least over several years; it's more difficult to compare their respective peaks), but that the latter two revealed how shallow the competition was in the first phase of Cavendish's career. I think reasonable people can disagree over whether Cav is GOAT sprinter without being bitter.
If you add up Cipollini's, McEwen's and Zabel's TdF wins, you just about reach Cavendish (all 3 of them have 12 wins, funnily). He won so much he sucked the life out of his competition, that's why his opponents have mediocre palmares.
 
Bitterness? I don't think anyone denies that Cav was/is a better sprinter than both Greipel and Kittel (at least over several years; it's more difficult to compare their respective peaks), but that the latter two revealed how shallow the competition was in the first phase of Cavendish's career. I think reasonable people can disagree over whether Cav is GOAT sprinter without being bitter.
Greipel was literally his competition for a Tour spot at HTC until 2011. If he is being claimed as one of the best sprinters of his generation, Cav was picked over him.

let’s not forget that in one of only two years where you could actually compare Cav and Kittel at the Tour Cav went to the Giro, won 5 stages and the points jersey.

Cav making people look pedestrian doesn’t mean others would have beaten him.
 
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.
Ewan was 36 was he? Well past it, no sprinter can even dream about winning a TdF stage at 36. No way. Not a chance.

Hang on...
 
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Lots of things you can do with statistics, but I'm too lazy to run numbers cause as far as I'm aware it's all manual stuff. The main number I'd say is Cavs win% in sprints contested in GTs, and what the distributions of results look like if you take him out of the equation.

I don't find it inconceivable at all that in an era of increased specialization and team work you can find greater outliers in one specialization within the sport. I know there used to far more flat stages, yet no sprinter every came close to Cavs numbers. Either than means the entire field moved all the way to the left on a performance distribution, or it means Cav is one single outlier to the right end of it.

One outlier vs an entire population moving, I think I have a rough idea which is more likely.

And in my experience as a tennis fan, there's basically no era arguments in good faith anyway.
 
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Lots of things you can do with statistics, but I'm too lazy to run numbers cause as far as I'm aware it's all manual stuff. The main number I'd say is Cavs win% in sprints contested in GTs, and what the distributions of results look like if you take him out of the equation.

I don't find it inconceivable at all that in an era of increased specialization and team work you can find greater outliers in one specialization within the sport. I know there used to far more flat stages, yet no sprinter every came close to Cavs numbers. Either than means the entire field moved all the way to the left on a performance distribution, or it means Cav is one single outlier to the right end of it.

One outlier vs an entire population moving, I think I have a rough idea which is more likely.

And in my experience as a tennis fan, there's basically no era arguments in good faith anyway.
I’ve been waiting to get home so I can use my laptop for everyone’s wins and GT stage wins. Heck in this thread I have one from last year for everyone.
 
Bitterness? I don't think anyone denies that Cav was/is a better sprinter than both Greipel and Kittel (at least over several years; it's more difficult to compare their respective peaks), but that the latter two revealed how shallow the competition was in the first phase of Cavendish's career. I think reasonable people can disagree over whether Cav is GOAT sprinter without being bitter.
You can disagree he's the GOAT whilst being reasonable.

You can't disagree whilst being sensible, though.
 
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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???
I disagree. Take Cav out and you have some great sprints. Put Cav in and he wins a lot of sprints. He was just better than everyone. Use cycling or pick another sport, but when you have a person who is just better than the rest, that doesn't mean that the rest are "the worst".
 
I disagree. Take Cav out and you have some great sprints. Put Cav in and he wins a lot of sprints. He was just better than everyone. Use cycling or pick another sport, but when you have a person who is just better than the rest, that doesn't mean that the rest are "the worst".
Exactly. He won by bike lengths 90% of the time. Yesterday he won by a bike length after being back over Bouhanni who has won quite a bit of GT stages and Philipsen who’s up and coming.

Take him out and the sprints are far more distributed like they have been from 2018-2020. Is the field better or just more even with no top generation talent?
 
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Exactly. He won by bike lengths 90% of the time. Yesterday he won by a bike length after being back over Bouhanni who has won quite a bit of GT stages and Philipsen who’s up and coming.

Take him out and the sprints are far more distributed like they have been from 2018-2020. Is the field better or just more even with no top generation talent?
Uh, it's quite clear that the present field is horrible. We know this because neither Bouhanni nor Philipsen has won much in the past year. Whereas the field was quite strong in 2019.
 
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Bitterness? I don't think anyone denies that Cav was/is a better sprinter than both Greipel and Kittel (at least over several years; it's more difficult to compare their respective peaks), but that the latter two revealed how shallow the competition was in the first phase of Cavendish's career. I think reasonable people can disagree over whether Cav is GOAT sprinter without being bitter.
I think that people can disagree over it without being bitter too, but not recognizing him as the *best pure sprinter of all time is just about disliking him, not recognizing what he did on the road.

Let me skate of topic her for a second: Merckx really wasn't that good because the other riders he raced against sucked... ;)

*Can there be a discussion about Abdou, Cipo, Zabel, Petachi, Kelly, Maetens, Freier, Kittle, Greipel... ? Yes. But, does anyone really think that any of those guys are really better than Cav? Peak vs. Peak? Best 3 years? Best 5 years? Really? Really?
 
I think that people can disagree over it without being bitter too, but not recognizing him as the *best pure sprinter of all time is just about disliking him, not recognizing what he did on the road.

Let me skate of topic her for a second: Merckx really wasn't that good because the other riders he raced against sucked... ;)

*Can there be a discussion about Abdou, Cipo, Zabel, Petachi, Kelly, Maetens, Freier, Kittle, Greipel... ? Yes. But, does anyone really think that any of those guys are really better than Cav? Peak vs. Peak? Best 3 years? Best 5 years? Really? Really?
I am fairly confident that Peak Cavendish would have outsprinted Peák Barnabas
 
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Discussing the quality of opposition seems a bit pointless when he was beating the only available opposition by 10 bike lengths. His 2 stage wins in 2010 after Renshaw was sent home are just obscene how much better he was than everyone else. The sprinting equivalent of peak Cancellara timetrial or Contador bouncing off in to the distance.
 
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I think that people can disagree over it without being bitter too, but not recognizing him as the *best pure sprinter of all time is just about disliking him, not recognizing what he did on the road.

Let me skate of topic her for a second: Merckx really wasn't that good because the other riders he raced against sucked... ;)

*Can there be a discussion about Abdou, Cipo, Zabel, Petachi, Kelly, Maetens, Freier, Kittle, Greipel... ? Yes. But, does anyone really think that any of those guys are really better than Cav? Peak vs. Peak? Best 3 years? Best 5 years? Really? Really?
If there is any bitterness, it is toward sprinters in general who IMO are the overhyped clowns rolled out when there is little real racing happening.

Well the argument about Cav being the best pure sprinter of all time is based primarily on the number of Tour stages he has won, which is what I take issue with as I believe to be over-inflated due to a lack of a in their prime top-tier opponent from 08-11. Petacchi, McEwen, Zabel all would fall into that bracket, but they were all past their prime when they took on Cav 08-11.

Just as a comparison, Cipo faced off against Abdu and Van Poppel until the mid 90s, then Zabel came along and Steels a few years later. You could argue McEwen/Petacchi at the end of Cipo's career. There was never a point when Cipo was not competing with an in their prime top sprinter. I don't think the likes of Farrar, EBH, Hushovd fall into the category of those just listed.

Kittel and Greipel fall into that bracket though and I have no argument with people saying Cav was better than the Gorilla when they were at HTC, but it was the fact that Greipel was probably the 2nd best sprinter at the time, but was not allowed to race against Cav. If he had been on another team, he would probably have taken some victories away from Cav as he did once he got free.

People are claiming Cav was way ahead of everyone else, but we already know that not to be true as Kittel/Greipel beat him regularly. The only difference beforehand is there was nobody on the level of Kittel/Greipel.

As I said, before this Tour, people were saying Ewan would likely win a bagful of stages, maybe 4-6. Would they have been saying that if the 2019 versions of Bennett, Gronewegen, Ackermann, Jakobsen were at the Tour or if even Bennett was there alone? Don't think so, but apparently using this same logic towards Cav is somehow sacrilegious.
 
If there is any bitterness, it is toward sprinters in general who IMO are the overhyped clowns rolled out when there is little real racing happening.

Well the argument about Cav being the best pure sprinter of all time is based primarily on the number of Tour stages he has won, which is what I take issue with as I believe to be over-inflated due to a lack of a in their prime top-tier opponent from 08-11. Petacchi, McEwen, Zabel all would fall into that bracket, but they were all past their prime when they took on Cav 08-11.

Just as a comparison, Cipo faced off against Abdu and Van Poppel until the mid 90s, then Zabel came along and Steels a few years later. You could argue McEwen/Petacchi at the end of Cipo's career. There was never a point when Cipo was not competing with an in their prime top sprinter. I don't think the likes of Farrar, EBH, Hushovd fall into the category of those just listed.

Kittel and Greipel fall into that bracket though and I have no argument with people saying Cav was better than the Gorilla when they were at HTC, but it was the fact that Greipel was probably the 2nd best sprinter at the time, but was not allowed to race against Cav. If he had been on another team, he would probably have taken some victories away from Cav as he did once he got free.

People are claiming Cav was way ahead of everyone else, but we already know that not to be true as Kittel/Greipel beat him regularly. The only difference beforehand is there was nobody on the level of Kittel/Greipel.

As I said, before this Tour, people were saying Ewan would likely win a bagful of stages, maybe 4-6. Would they have been saying that if the 2019 versions of Bennett, Gronewegen, Ackermann, Jakobsen were at the Tour or if even Bennett was there alone? Don't think so, but apparently using this same logic towards Cav is somehow sacrilegious.
So you also agree that EM wasn't that great really either?
 
If there is any bitterness, it is toward sprinters in general who IMO are the overhyped clowns rolled out when there is little real racing happening.

Well the argument about Cav being the best pure sprinter of all time is based primarily on the number of Tour stages he has won, which is what I take issue with as I believe to be over-inflated due to a lack of a in their prime top-tier opponent from 08-11. Petacchi, McEwen, Zabel all would fall into that bracket, but they were all past their prime when they took on Cav 08-11.

Just as a comparison, Cipo faced off against Abdu and Van Poppel until the mid 90s, then Zabel came along and Steels a few years later. You could argue McEwen/Petacchi at the end of Cipo's career. There was never a point when Cipo was not competing with an in their prime top sprinter. I don't think the likes of Farrar, EBH, Hushovd fall into the category of those just listed.

Kittel and Greipel fall into that bracket though and I have no argument with people saying Cav was better than the Gorilla when they were at HTC, but it was the fact that Greipel was probably the 2nd best sprinter at the time, but was not allowed to race against Cav. If he had been on another team, he would probably have taken some victories away from Cav as he did once he got free.

People are claiming Cav was way ahead of everyone else, but we already know that not to be true as Kittel/Greipel beat him regularly. The only difference beforehand is there was nobody on the level of Kittel/Greipel.

As I said, before this Tour, people were saying Ewan would likely win a bagful of stages, maybe 4-6. Would they have been saying that if the 2019 versions of Bennett, Gronewegen, Ackermann, Jakobsen were at the Tour or if even Bennett was there alone? Don't think so, but apparently using this same logic towards Cav is somehow sacrilegious.
Based on what notoin are guys like Abdou, Zabel or McEwen any better than Greipel? They didn't win more despite never even racing against a guy like Cavendish. How is Zabel better than Sagan?
 
So you also agree that EM wasn't that great really either?
Who ever said Cav was not that great? There are many people who have Cav far and above anyone else as the greatest sprinter of all time and I don't agree, will he be deservedly in any conversation of greatest ever? Of course, I just don't see it as clear cut as others for the reasons outlined.

As for the silly comparison to Merckx. Cav was top sprinter 08-11 and 2016. Other years are debatable. Merckx was pretty much undisputed top dog for 10 years solid, so yeah no comparison at all.
 
There was just a debate of Farrar being a top sprinter on his day. Without Cavendish all of the wins would be spread out like it is now. Would we be saying that there was a weak era of sprinting or that everyone is good? Again, Cavendish had completed the Giro before going onto the Tour, something the Germans never did. Kittel’s team got away for 2-3 years of not working (there was 1 stage in 2013 that Shiimano had spent 0% at the front until 10k) in his prime allowing them to be fresher for him. Greipel has shown to be lost without his lead out the majority of the time and Kittel has performed on and off without it.

These sprinters have been more spread out in wins, when before they were struggling to get any at the top level. The same argument can be said towards them.

Before the Tour many picked Cavendish to win stages, the question was his endurance.
 
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