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Teams & Riders Pogačar as GOAT: already, never, or when?

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As of June 2024, can Pogacar be considered GOAT?


  • Total voters
    85
  • Poll closed .
As much as I like Pogačar, I think him becoming the absolute GOAT will become very difficult. This is why I voted possibly, eventually.

Merckx palmarés is by far the best ever, 11 Grand Tour wins, 19 monuments, 3 times World Champion just looking at the biggest races. If Pogačar didn't exist I would say its impossible for anyone to reach this but because Pogačar is the best rider that I have ever seen racing I still give him a little chance of reaching Merckx.

Pogačar's palmarés is already one of the best among riders this century and I have no doubt that he will become better than anyone else since the 2000s. So in a way we can say that he is going to become the GOAT of modern cycling.
 
I thought leaving MensTennisForums will free me from GOAT stuff. How wrong I was!

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Sometimes I hate this forum because valuable and insightful posts get lost in the flood and in threads which would clearly explain the issues at stake. What you get is a resonance box where some users keep repeating the same mantra every time. So I take my inspiration from one of these enlightened posts.

You can't use Merckx palmares as the objective assessment of what is the goat. You will have to find other criteria. Pogacar is so amazing that he draws comparisons but the fact that he resembles Merckx on how he wins and where he wins doesn't mean that Merckx´s or Hinault's palmares are the unbiased gauge to assess GOAT status. Why?

Because cycling was so different back then. It was the time where you could have the same build for sprinting, climbing, punching hills and TTing. Not anymore. You have to choose and you will be fortunate to have a choice. Most riders are born with a set of features and have to choose a path of racing through training and sacrifice. Look at young Remco, splitted between being an excellent TTer and a mediocre climber or an average climber and a good TTer. Merckx wouldn't be going anywhere today with that build. He would have to choose and win much less in the process.

And what does that physical build says about the sport? That it has become much, much more professional, technical, scientific where millions are invested just to get some marginal seconds. The bunch is much more leveled. Not like in Merckx days.

Merckx won MSR 7 times. Today it's the most unpredictable monument where a rider is lucky - luck counts - to win it one time. The bunch is much more leveled. Saying that Pogacar won't be the GOAT because he didn't win MSR 7 times is stupid as stupid gets.
 
Sometimes I hate this forum because valuable and insightful posts get lost in the flood and in threads which would clearly explain the issues at stake. What you get is a resonance box where some users keep repeating the same mantra every time.
Take for example the mantra: Everyone else is trolling and I‘m the only one with really insightful posts.
 
As much as I like Pogačar, I think him becoming the absolute GOAT will become very difficult. This is why I voted possibly, eventually.

Merckx palmarés is by far the best ever, 11 Grand Tour wins, 19 monuments, 3 times World Champion just looking at the biggest races. If Pogačar didn't exist I would say its impossible for anyone to reach this but because Pogačar is the best rider that I have ever seen racing I still give him a little chance of reaching Merckx.

Pogačar's palmarés is already one of the best among riders this century and I have no doubt that he will become better than anyone else since the 2000s. So in a way we can say that he is going to become the GOAT of modern cycling.
Very well explained, that's how I see it too. I still think it's silly to call someone the GOAT with constraints, in this case "of modern cycling".
 
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I've been following the sport since the early 90's. I voted GOAT now. Why? Because when I see what he is doing, I very often have the thought: "this is the best rider we will ever see."
Does that not make him GOMT? (my-, rather than all-, time)

And the impossibility of comparison accross eras in a way that all will agree is why I voted (more an active abstention) for the title being meaningless.
 
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Take for example the mantra: Everyone else is trolling and I‘m the only one with really insightful posts.
You took out the part where I said there are very good posts about this issue.
Congratulations on the likes, guess they made your day and prove my point.

Sometimes I hate this forum because valuable and insightful posts get lost in the flood and in threads which would clearly explain the issues at stake. What you get is a resonance box where some users keep repeating the same mantra every time. So I take my inspiration from one of these enlightened posts.
I can't remember the user or the thread, but I think @tobydawq was there.
 
Does that not make him GOMT? (my-, rather than all-, time)

And the impossibility of comparison accross eras in a way that all will agree is why I voted (more an active abstention) for the title being meaningless.

I don't think the title or suffix is meaningless just because there is no answer which can be given in a specific form of objectivity. Rather it massively depends on the perception and reception of a given individual. So whoever is called "great" or "greatest" is relative not only to who they're supposedly greater as, but also to how they are seen in their time and in past times in historical reflection. There is no neutral way to greatness, nor is there an objective one in the way that one knows the steps to follow how to become great, and if that works, one is "a great". But that doesn't mean that there is no orientation in the matter, it's just that it's very much more a historical problem than a statistical one, so statistics can be used as tools and sources but not decide in the matter, as the choice which statistics to use is contingent as well and has it's own historical conditions.
So the title imo is only meaningless if it is taken to have transhistorical meaning, because there simply is no transhistorical measure for greatness. Any 'objective' measure I could choose is basically more subjective than The Hegelians stance which is openly subjective and only relative to the day of the present. (If I understand it correctly).
 
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I've been following the sport since the early 90's. I voted GOAT now. Why? Because when I see what he is doing, I very often have the thought: "this is the best rider we will ever see."

Of course I did not see Merckx, and the rational approach is to evaluate based on palmares at the end of it all. And maybe in terms of palmares he looks a rainbow jersey short.

Nonetheless, in real time, I honestly think "he is the GOAT".
I think that is the realistic answer that he needs a worlds or Olympics road race win plus a grand tour double.
 
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You took out the part where I said there are very good posts about this issue.
Congratulations on the likes, guess they made your day.


I can't remember the user or the thread, but I guess @tobydawq was there.
The rest of the post was definitely something I would agree with, but I believe you‘ve now written about your disappointment about other posters and their posts plenty of times, so I found the mantra bit to be ironic.



In my opinion, Pogačar isn‘t the GOAT yet, there are few sports where someone is so far ahead of the other greats in success as Merckx is in cycling. But if Pogačar can add two or three Tours and most importantly can win Sanremo and Roubaix as well as the other most important races, he is going to be up there with Merckx for sure due to having such versatility in a Peloton of incredible professionalism. He will never be as unanimous a choice for this as Merckx, but LeBron James is also never going to be the clear number one in Basketball , because Jordan has won more.
 
Does that not make him GOMT? (my-, rather than all-, time)

And the impossibility of comparison accross eras in a way that all will agree is why I voted (more an active abstention) for the title being meaningless.
Sure - if this was purely a task of reason, no one could ever be the GOAT, because no person would meet the sufficient criteria of being able to judge objectively.

But some other part of my mind, having seen a lot of exceptional riders, and knowing the rich history of different eras, can still watch Pogacar and unavoidably think 'pay attention to this, because you won't see better in your lifetime and it is probably unparalleled'.

Such a claim may not stand up under proper scrutiny, and I am not particularly invested in him as a rider, but nonetheless, I have those thoughts.
 
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I do think the palmares rather than the eye test is what should determine, whether we call someone the GOAT. But I also think it's possible to have a palmares that is on paper worse than that of Mercx and still have a legitimate claim to be greater than him, due to the arguments made already (different era, worse competition,...). But this only really applies to classics and not to GTs because I don't actually think it's much harder to win 11 GTs and 5 Tours than it was during Mercx's time.

Without his disqualifications Contador, who many don't even consider the best GT rider of his own era, had 9 GTs, Froome easily could have gotten 5 Tours with a bit more luck and not that long ago Armstrong won 7. I absolutely expect both the 11 GT and the 5 TdF victory records to be broken in the next few decades so if you want to be called GOAT nowadays you better win more than 2 Tours. Now if he wins it this year against an injured Vingegaard and manages to win one Tour against a healthy Vingegaard in the future I'm willing to mark this box as checked. 1 TdF less than Mercx seems okay if he wins an abundance of other GTs and monuments. But as of now I'm not sure at all this is going to happen so I cannot act like him becoming the GOAT is just a question of "when" rather than "if".
 
Like by including the words "of all time"? It is only meaningless if it is understood by the precise terms that is uses?

Yes in a way. I read the "of all time" as an expression of magnitude of greatness. I mean it is already in the idea of the "greatest who ever lived" that this greatness is finite, someone else might be greater, so it's the greatest up untill now when we make the judgement, it's not a possible judgement about the future, so it's not as "transhistorical" truth like that water is H2O. (This ofc can be disputed as well, but that leads way to far). So if one takes "of all time" to literally than it becomes a meaningless statement. It isn't though when one looks at perception and reception of someone or something as great, or even the greatest of all time , because it's possible to see what is actually expressed by the term. So if one did a comperetative study of Greatness in Cycling for example, one could start by looking at what direct peers said or say, the media, online discussions, accessible data at the time etc. etc. - This is why I don't think the term is meaningless, not because I think it's a logically well build term.

Also: of all time, isn't as precise as it looks at first glance imo, because it is really not clear that e.g. the common thing among thes claims to all time greatness. Is it "all time" in for example the statement "all time in the universe", or "all time on earth". It could as well mean "all the time that matters to the discussion" or "the time of pro cycling" meaning an Era rather than a time-slot etc.

Maybe I made myself a little clearer now, but I am tired so apologies if it's still unclear what I am trying to say.
 
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