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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?


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  • Poll closed .
Rider A peaks for one single race: Tour.
Rider B wins classics, monuments, one week stage races and looses the Tour to rider A after underestimating him and overestimating himself (Granon, 2021) and not having a good preparation (Loze, 2022).

Of course there are doubts. And reasonable. Because ceteris paribus doesn't apply.

That is why mods should be attentive to the usual trolling around this thread. The usual gang is always attempting to rewrite history by simplifying it in order to fit their own agenda. Never seen so biased posts. I stopped replying because it's insulting and I get cramps in my brain while doing it.
 
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But these are all criteria that you came up with and more so, there's plenty of similar artibtrary criteria in F1 as well. Winning TdF can be analogous to winning the F1 championship. Senna won only 3. Schumacher won 7. Why would Senna be greater than Schumacher? (it's a rhetorical question) Winning Tour and Flanders could be analogous to winning the championship in an inferior machinery or while producing extraordinary performance in the wet. Then there's the strength of the field, incredible pole laps, daring overtakes - there's plenty of options and they often can't be quantified by mere numbers. Just like in cycling...


For you, it's Senna or Clark. For somebody else, bringing glory back to Ferrari after 2 decades of drought might be worth more... And since we're talking about Clark - how many of his races have you seen? Unless you're really old, I would guess none. So where does your opinion come from? It's the legend he created, not the results he achieved...

The point I'm trying to make is that greatness can't be quantified and goat status can't be proven. There are just people who believe someone is a GOAT.
I don't come up with the criteria, but the legs do. Winning a F1 championship isn't the same as winning the Tour. It's like winning Worlds is the same as winning the Tour. F1 has no such comparable criteria. Otherwise let's call cycling a motor sport. Let's hope we haven't arrived at that. Physiology needs to be the criteria, which doesn't exist in F1.
 
Rider A peaks for one single race: Tour.
Rider B wins classics, monuments, one week stage races and looses the Tour to rider A after underestimating him and overestimating himself (Granon, 2021) and not having a good preparation (Loze, 2022).

Of course there are doubts. And reasonable. Because ceteris paribus doesn't apply.

That is why mods should be attentive to the usual trolling around this thread. The usual gang is always attempting to rewrite history by simplifying it in order to fit their own agenda. Never seen so bias posts. I stopped replying because it's insulting and I get cramps in my brain while doing it.
Let's say both peak for the Tour, but each goes about it differently. The whole shabang revolves around who can peak higher during the biggest stage of the sport. And this must be considered when talking about a GOAT. This has always been my point. It's not like winning Flanders is an excuse to not win the Tour in the game of Goatdom. Pog may yet overcome this, but right now it's premature to draw final conclusions, when Vingegaard did the best TT in the history of the sport, surpassing Lemond in 89.
 
This is gonna be a permanent thread about the subject of GOAT now?

Let me call all my tennis homies, so we can discuss weak era, surface distribution, head to head, how Pogacar is lucky Roglic got too old at 27, parcours homogenization, how modern riders are just the beneficiaries of modern tech and how they totally couldn't do it on steel bikes way back when, and finally, how these guys totally couldn't win in the early 1900s cause they don't speak French and thus wouldn't find the right train to get onto
 
Let's say both peak for the Tour, but each goes about it differently. The whole shabang revolves around who can peak higher during the biggest stage of the sport. And this must be considered when talking about a GOAT. This has always been my point. It's not like winning Flanders is an excuse to not win the Tour in the game of Goatdom. Pog may yet overcome this, but right now it's premature to draw final conclusions, when Vingegaard did the best TT in the history of the sport, surpassing Lemond in 89.
If Jonas goes to the Tour and looses it to Pogacar or Roglic of course the picture is incomplete if the form of Jonas is not addressed. The same goes for Pogacar loosing it because of duh Giro.

If you want to compare riders, let alone eras, you have to first find the rules to a fair comparison. This thread actually has many common arguments with establishing the all-time ranking thread.

And that's my whole point: comparisons are very, very context sensitive to the point that discussing about GOAT status turns into a pile of rubbish if users don't agree on a minimal set of assumptions. Otherwise they will start dumping the infamously magical w/kg diatribe and exclaim "ta-da!" here is my pre-packaged conclusion for you, courtesy of thinking about it for 2m after checking Twitter.
 
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I don't come up with the criteria, but the legs do. Winning a F1 championship isn't the same as winning the Tour. It's like winning Worlds is the same as winning the Tour. F1 has no such comparable criteria. Otherwise let's call cycling a motor sport. Let's hope we haven't arrived at that. Physiology needs to be the criteria, which doesn't exist in F1.
I probably don’t fully understand what you are trying to say. Why would physiology need to be a criteria? In cycling, physiology is important and in F1 there are other qualities which make athlete good. That doesn’t mean there can’t be analogies between these sports even if they are completely different.

And winning world championship in F1 in more analogous to winning TdF than WC in cycling, regardless of the fact the phrasing suggests otherwise.
 
I probably don’t fully understand what you are trying to say. Why would physiology need to be a criteria? In cycling, physiology is important and in F1 there are other qualities which make athlete good. That doesn’t mean there can’t be analogies between these sports even if they are completely different.

And winning world championship in F1 in more analogous to winning TdF than WC in cycling, regardless of the fact the phrasing suggests otherwise.
Because a car has a mechanized engine run on petrol, cycling a human motor driven by watts per kg. Nothing about these sports is related other than they both play out on rubber tires on the road. Everything else is misleading.
 
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If Jonas goes to the Tour and looses it to Pogacar or Roglic of course the picture is incomplete if the form of Jonas is not addressed. The same goes for Pogacar loosing it because of duh Giro.

If you want to compare riders, let alone eras, you have to first find the rules to a fair comparison. This thread actually has many common arguments with establishing the all-time ranking thread.

And that's my whole point: comparisons are very, very context sensitive to the point that discussing about GOAT status turns into a pile of rubbish if users don't agree on a minimal set of assumptions. Otherwise they will start dumping the infamously magical w/kg diatribe and exclaim "ta-da!" here is my pre-packaged conclusion for you, courtesy of thinking about it for 2m after checking Twitter.
I think it's fair to say the GOAT has to be the dominant Tour champion of his era as a starting point. Pog may yet become that, but a fish monger has gotten in the way.
 
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I think it's fair to say the GOAT has to be the dominant Tour champion of his era as a starting point. Pog may yet become that, but a fish monger has gotten in the way.

I agree that it's a good starting point, but actually already on the second look it becomes clear - I think - that it's really about being super dominant in GTs full stop. So far Pogacar is on a pretty good track, winning half of the GTs entered and with 3rd as the worst result, but not as good a track as Merckx and Hinault in their first 6 GTs (4 and 5 won respectively), Hinault's worst result except one DNF was second (!) , Merckx got a few more "bad" places and one DNF as well, but also won 10 GTs in a row at one point.
It's going to be really hard for Pogacar to emulate this, and it's pretty clear it's not going to be possible if he can't beat Vingegaard on a regular basis in GTs, basically every GT they enter.

Having said that, it's of course a cross era comparison, so only looking at naked win statistics doesn't really give a full picture of what is to be evaluated at all. So even though this is a nice probe to see what can be compared, and how high the bar actually is set in certain areas, it doesn't mean that Pogacar couldn't end up being considered the Greatest on basis of him ruling modern cycling, seen as a pretty different sport than the Cycling of Merckx and Hinaults eras.

But given how utterly dominant riders like Hinault and Merckx were in GTs it's hard to see making a case for Pogacar without him being super super successful in that regard. A few doubles would help a great deal, as they are so much rarer than they used to be. It seems clear to me that to be considered the greatest, after his career, his GT accomplishments should look similarly outstanding, relative to his era, as Hinaults and Merckx were relative to theirs. What is clear already that in versatility he is completely unmatched, and if he manages to be the best classics and GT rider of his era for example, the case get's much more solid simply because that is totally unheard of in modern cycling.
 
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But what does it mean - “faster”? If you are referring to his speed in TT, he probably was - he was the best TTer of his era and Pog isn’t. If you are referring to his speed in the climbs, that simply can’t be true. If it was, Indurain would have won a couple of MTF finish stages in TdF. He won none. Pog already won what, 10? And in the classics terrain, I think we can all agree Pog is faster.

So peer-based comparison tells us apart from TT, Pog is faster in pretty much every other context, I’d say…
Just caught up on this thread. I can’t agree with the bolded statement. Indurain didn’t have to win MTFs he could destroy the rival GC riders by 3 minutes in a single 50km TT - example, Luxembourg TT in 1992. For just one example of Indurain’s climbing check out his 2nd place to Luc Leblanc on Hautacam (1994 TdF). He let Leblanc take the win. But check who he left behind - riding off the front of the GC group. Pantani was there. Astonishing. He also rode away with one or two climbers and them win the stage on many occasions - because of his unrivalled time trialling ability. All of this easily verified with a quick Google search.

As for Pog he might well end up the GOAT but has a lot more work to do before he can be considered a candidate. But I am enjoying watching him try.
 
I agree that it's a good starting point, but actually already on the second look it becomes clear - I think - that it's really about being super dominant in GTs full stop. So far Pogacar is on a pretty good track, winning half of the GTs entered and with 3rd as the worst result, but not as good a track as Merckx and Hinault in their first 6 GTs (4 and 5 won respectively), Hinault's worst result except one DNF was second (!) , Merckx got a few more "bad" places and one DNF as well, but also won 10 GTs in a row at one point.
It's going to be really hard for Pogacar to emulate this, and it's pretty clear it's not going to be possible if he can't beat Vingegaard on a regular basis in GTs, basically every GT they enter.

Having said that, it's of course a cross era comparison, so only looking at naked win statistics doesn't really give a full picture of what is to be evaluated at all. So even though this is a nice probe to see what can be compared, and how high the bar actually is set in certain areas, it doesn't mean that Pogacar couldn't end up being considered the Greatest on basis of him ruling modern cycling, seen as a pretty different sport than the Cycling of Merckx and Hinaults eras.

But given how utterly dominant riders like Hinault and Merckx were in GTs it's hard to see making a case for Pogacar without him being super super successful in that regard. A few doubles would help a great deal, as they are so much rarer than they used to be. It seems clear to me that to be considered the greatest, after his career, his GT accomplishments should look similarly outstanding, relative to his era, as Hinaults and Merckx were relative to theirs. What is clear already that in versatility he is completely unmatched, and if he manages to be the best classics and GT rider of his era for example, the case get's much more solid simply because that is totally unheard of in modern cycling.
Good points. I'm aware of the differences among eras and that it's harder to win as much today. Yet if Vingegaard in the end is the dominant Tour champion of this generation, then Pogacar isn't the GOAT. I think that's pretty clear. If Pog turns over the situation, then we can have a conversation about him and Goatdom.
 
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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".