Rough Attempt at an All-Time Ranking

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That's like saying in football, if being a striker is so difficult why are 3/4 goals scored by strikers. It's a role in the sport and a major one.
Because scoring goals is what the game of football is about and how you win matches, that is what the team is always working towards. Sprinting has little to no impact on the outcome of a Grand Tour(other than crashes) and is a sideshow in between what really matters.
 
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Are you really saying that Cav and Cipo have a better palmares than LeMond and Fignon? I would bet if you asked Cav and Cipo if they would swap their results with LeMond and Fignon, they wouldn't even have to think about it.
I'm pretty sure that they are happy with their palmares, and I don't think they would swap it with anyone else. I really don't understand your hatred for sprinters, and I'm not even a fan of sprints. There's a reason why a sprinter is a sprinter, and not a train leadout - because they can achieve the fastest speeds, and, like in any sports discipline, the ones that outperform physically in certain aspects are to be celebrated. Do you also think that 100 metres athletes don't deserve the same credit as marathonists?

A guy like Cipo, for all his contempt for finishing a GT, won 57 GT stages. In 5 consecutive years, he won stages at both the Giro and the Tour. He was also world champion and won MSR, on top of many other WT stages and one-day races, for a total of 161 wins. Doesn't that deserve to be commended as one of the best ever? I wouldn't put him in a top-20 or 30, where the top GC men belong, but he surely deserves a place in a top-100.
 
Because scoring goals is what the game of football is about and how you win matches, that is what the team is always working towards. Sprinting has little to no impact on the outcome of a Grand Tour(other than crashes) and is a sideshow in between what really matters.

Scoring goals is what football is all about, and crossing the line first is what cycling is all about. Let's give praise to the finishers.
 
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Are you really saying that Cav and Cipo have a better palmares than LeMond and Fignon? I would bet if you asked Cav and Cipo if they would swap their results with LeMond and Fignon, they wouldn't even have to think about it.
Are we sure LeMond and Fignon don’t want Cav and Cipo’s palmares? All 4 are very similar in what they achieved. As has already been said, Cav and Cipo are regarded as the greatest ever in their discipline while LeMond and Fignon would be top 30-20. Maybe lower if start putting in GT and classic success.
156 and 161 pro wins vs 31 and 55
52 and 57 GT wins vs 6 and 15
4 and 3 points classifications vs 3 and 4 GT victories. 1st place for both their specialities at a GT.
2 and 2 Azzurri d'Italia classification vs 3 and 4 secondary and third classifications. Now Azzuri doesn’t compare but sprinters can’t win KoM, young rider, combativity, or combination
2 and 2 monuments and WC vs 2 and 2
4 and 0 stage race vs 2 and 0
8 and 7 one day success vs 1 and 5
Track success with 3 worlds and Olympics vs none
 
With all due respect to the sprinters, but no sprinter, no matter how victorious, is a greater champion than a Tour de France winner. Sorry, but that's just insane. Heck, Cipollini never even finished a Tour! And there is not one Tour de France winner who would trade his win/s for even a hundred sprint victories. We are entering the ridiculous here. I'm not a fan of such analogies, but it's like comparing punters to quarterbacks. While sprinters have more opportunities to compile victories, they are hours off the pace of the GC guys. And they are generally far off the pace in most races, which are the most prestigious ones, that don't end in a field finish. The only monument a pure sprinter can win is Milano-San Remo, and that's not even a given. Stamina trumps pure velocity in rating merit in the cycling world.
 
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With all due respect to the sprinters, but no sprinter, no matter how victorious, is a greater champion than a Tour de France winner. Sorry, but that's just insane. Heck, Cipollini never even finished a Tour! And there is not one Tour de France winner who would trade his win/s for even a hundred sprint victories. We are entering into the ridiculous here. I'm not a fan of such analogies, but it's like comparing punters to quarterbacks.
Kickers vs quarterbacks is a closer comparison. But then if we want to go that route, one kicker is said to be the success for 3 out of 7 of someone’s Super Bowl wins. So there is still debate in that area.

So Landis/Pereiro, Riis, etc. and greater champions than Cav, Cipo, and Petacchi? It would take a whole 3-5 time GT champion to equal them depending on their other results in my opinion.
What Cav and Cipo accomplished is the most they can achieve with their skill set. They won the “General Classification” and “secondary classification” for sprinters like how LeMond and Fignon did for the overall and secondary classifications. I’m sure none of the four want to swap results, just add to them. But to say Cav and Cipo would swap with LeMond or Fignon is asinine. They are not grand tour riders. Cav has done everything he wanted besides Olympic gold, GW, and Paris Roubaix.
 
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Kickers vs quarterbacks is a closer comparison. But then if we want to go that route, one kicker is said to be the success for 3 out of 7 of someone’s Super Bowl wins. So there is still debate in that area.

So Landis/Pereiro, Riis, etc. and greater champions than Cav, Cipo, and Petacchi? It would take a while 3-5 time GT champion to equal them depending on their other results in my opinion.
What Cav and Cipo accomplished is the most they can achieve with their skill set. They won the “General Classification” and “secondary classification” for sprinters like how LeMond and Fignon did for the overall and secondary classifications. I’m sure none of the four want to swap results, just add to them. But to say Cav and Cipo would swap with LeMond or Fignon is asinine. They are not grand tour riders. Cav has done everything he wanted besides Olympic gold, GW, and Paris Roubaix.
Sure Cav has done (almost) everything he wanted, but what's been achieved isn't of the magnitude of a Tour champion. The fact that Cav, moreover, has no shot at winning Roubaix allows us to see the caliber of his engine. Nor did Cipollini. And they are/were the greatest sprinters of their generations. We can't compare the level of a sprinter's accomplishments, no matter how numerous, to that of grand tour or monument winners. They simply aren't as illustrious, a diference of biblical proportions. In fact, between sprinters and Tour champions that biblical quote comes to mind: "I am not worthy even to untie the strap of His sandal." The rank of prestige in Tour jerseys eloquently underscores the point: first, obviously, comes Yellow, then Polka Dot and only after Green.
 
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Now a rider who sort of nicely spans the gap between a pure sprinter and a grand tour/monuments winner is Sean Kelly. Here's a guy who could win the green jersey and finish 9th on GC in the same Tour. And he won a Vuelta, when the course was far flatter than today's editions. But I still wouldn't put Kelly in the same class of Hinault, Fignon, Lemond and Roche.
 
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Sure Cav has done (almost) everything he wanted, but what's been achieved isn't of the magnitude of a Tour champion. The fact that Cav, moreover, has no shot at winning Roubaix allows us to see the caliber of his engine. Nor did Cipollini. And they are/were the greatest sprinters of their generations. We can't compare the level of a sprinter's accomplishments, no matter how numerous, to that of grand tour or monument winners. They simply aren't as illustrious, a diference of biblical proportions. In fact, between sprinters and Tour champions that biblical quote comes to mind: "I am not worthy even to untie the strap of His sandal." The rank of prestige in Tour jerseys eloquently underscores the point: first, obviously, comes Yellow, then Polka Dot and only after Green.
Cav has rode Paris-Roubaix twice. No shot he can win unless something extraordinary but if he focused on it more he could have top 20 or 10 it depending on the edition, especially if he was on a team like Quickstep working for him.

Yet they’ve both won a monument and worlds.

No one has ever had King of the Mountains over Points in a long time. Second has been points. Almost No one goes into a race focusing on KoM.
So now, not only is Landis/Pereiro, Riis, Menchov, di Luca, Schleck, Sastre, Horner, Yates, Hesjedal, Hampsten, Basso,Robic, Thomas, etc had better careers and more legendary than Cav or Cipo but also Voeckler, Sanchez, Barguil, Charteau, Moncoutie etc. have had better as well.
 
Now a rider who sort of nicely spans the gap between a pure sprinter and a grand tour/monuments winner is Sean Kelly. Here's a guy who could win the green jersey and finish 9th on GC in the same Tour. And he won a Vuelta, when the course was far flatter than today's editions. But I still wouldn't put Kelly in the same class of Hinault, Fignon, Lemond and Roche.
He absolutely doesn't compare to Hinault, who is top 3 on almost everyone's list of greatest.
But 1 GT, 8 points classification, 21 GT stages, 17 stage races, 9 monuments, and 2 one day is not on par with;
3 GTs, 1 Youth, 1 KoM, 1 Combativity, 1 Combination, 15 GT stages, 2 monuments, and 4 one day
3 Gt, 1 Youth, 2 Combination, 6 Gt stages, 2 stage races, and 2 WC
2 Gt, 5 GT stages, 7 stage races, and 1 WC
?
That is quite frankly crazy. The only reason Roche is a legend is from the "Grand Slam".
 
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I'm pretty sure that they are happy with their palmares, and I don't think they would swap it with anyone else. I really don't understand your hatred for sprinters, and I'm not even a fan of sprints. There's a reason why a sprinter is a sprinter, and not a train leadout - because they can achieve the fastest speeds, and, like in any sports discipline, the ones that outperform physically in certain aspects are to be celebrated. Do you also think that 100 metres athletes don't deserve the same credit as marathonists?

A guy like Cipo, for all his contempt for finishing a GT, won 57 GT stages. In 5 consecutive years, he won stages at both the Giro and the Tour. He was also world champion and won MSR, on top of many other WT stages and one-day races, for a total of 161 wins. Doesn't that deserve to be commended as one of the best ever? I wouldn't put him in a top-20 or 30, where the top GC men belong, but he surely deserves a place in a top-100.
I often see this false dichotomy comparing sprinters to 100m sprinters to cycling sprinters, that is nonsense. Track sprinters are comparable to 100m runners. Middle distance or long distance runners who can turn on the speed after a tactical race are more like road sprinters. In a slow tactical race, the weaker runners who have a kick always have a chance at winning, but in a true run race are less unlikely to win, just like in cycling.

Cipo won his WC on a pan flat course with a team totally devoted to shutting down the race and giving Cipo an armchair ride to the final 200m. Same as the year Cav won. I don't think Cipo ever made an Italian WC team any other year, maybe he did, but it was rare. What actual racing did Cipo have to do for his World Title? Flat courses are an insult to World Championships. People think sprinters should be given a chance, well learn to how actually race like a Sagan, Freire or Zabel and you will get more respect.

I simply cannot entertain the idea that someone who wheelsucks an entire race and is pretty much reliant on their team is the same level as a TDF winner, regardless of how many races they win.
 
Cav has rode Paris-Roubaix twice. No shot he can win unless something extraordinary but if he focused on it more he could have top 20 or 10 it depending on the edition, especially if he was on a team like Quickstep working for him.

Yet they’ve both won a monument and worlds.

No one has ever had King of the Mountains over Points in a long time. Second has been points. Almost No one goes into a race focusing on KoM.
So now, not only is Landis/Pereiro, Riis, Menchov, di Luca, Schleck, Sastre, Horner, Yates, Hesjedal, Hampsten, Basso,Robic, Thomas, etc had better careers and more legendary than Cav or Cipo but also Voeckler, Sanchez, Barguil, Charteau, Moncoutie etc. have had better as well.
Yeah a team like QS are going to focus on a rider who in the shape of their life might possibly get a Top 20 at P-R or Flanders. So as I said, kinda like any other low level WT domestique. Cipo actually did race properly at the classics early in his career and the best he could do was Top 30 I think, Better than Cav, but hardly noteworthy.
 
Are we sure LeMond and Fignon don’t want Cav and Cipo’s palmares? All 4 are very similar in what they achieved. As has already been said, Cav and Cipo are regarded as the greatest ever in their discipline while LeMond and Fignon would be top 30-20. Maybe lower if start putting in GT and classic success.
156 and 161 pro wins vs 31 and 55
52 and 57 GT wins vs 6 and 15
4 and 3 points classifications vs 3 and 4 GT victories. 1st place for both their specialities at a GT.
2 and 2 Azzurri d'Italia classification vs 3 and 4 secondary and third classifications. Now Azzuri doesn’t compare but sprinters can’t win KoM, young rider, combativity, or combination
2 and 2 monuments and WC vs 2 and 2
4 and 0 stage race vs 2 and 0
8 and 7 one day success vs 1 and 5
Track success with 3 worlds and Olympics vs none

Greg LeMond lived for the TDF, you seriously think he would swap 3 titles for Cavs or Cipos palmares, that is perhaps one of the stupidest ideas I have ever seen on here.
 
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Yeah a team like QS are going to focus on a rider who in the shape of their life might possibly get a Top 20 at P-R or Flanders. So as I said, kinda like any other low level WT domestique. Cipo actually did race properly at the classics early in his career and the best he could do was Top 30 I think, Better than Cav, but hardly noteworthy.
Yes, every low level WT domestique can totally get a top 20 at Paris Roubaix. Cav has better result in Paris-Roubaix, Cipo in Flanders and even has a 9th. Cav has raced classics "properly" and almost won a second WC from a breakaway group.

Greg LeMond lived for the TDF, you seriously think he would swap 3 titles for Cavs or Cipos palmares, that is perhaps one of the stupidest ideas I have ever seen on here.
Just like stating Cav or Cipo would swap with LeMond is the dumbest thing in this thread. You have stated nothing but garbage this year and gloss over anytime someone questions you or move the goal posts.
 
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He absolutely doesn't compare to Hinault, who is top 3 on almost everyone's list of greatest.
But 1 GT, 8 points classification, 21 GT stages, 17 stage races, 9 monuments, and 2 one day is not on par with;
3 GTs, 1 Youth, 1 KoM, 1 Combativity, 1 Combination, 15 GT stages, 2 monuments, and 4 one day
3 Gt, 1 Youth, 2 Combination, 6 Gt stages, 2 stage races, and 2 WC
2 Gt, 5 GT stages, 7 stage races, and 1 WC
?
That is quite frankly crazy. The only reason Roche is a legend is from the "Grand Slam".
Like I've said elsewhere, if you havn't won the Tour there is somebody with a bigger, better engine than you. Now you can argue that Roche only won the Tour because Lemond got shot. But you can't rewrite history. The Irishman got his Tour and that is that. All the more splendid and memorable in a magical 87 in which he got the "Grand Slam". Kelly could not win the Tour. This is also undeniable. Ergo, in my book, Roche was the greater champion.

Getting back to sprinter issue. The Tour is the greatest and most prestigious race in pro cycling and it can never be won by a sprinter, ergo a sprinter can't be ranked above a Tour winner. And sprinters also can't win the Giro and Vuelta, almost all monuments, just about any of the secondary stage races, and most World's too are beyond their reach. This is why climbers, puncheurs and rouleurs are given a higher status in the cycling hierarchy than pure sprinters.
 
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Some of the results are surprising, but there's always an explanation. Guys like Pantani and Roche had one super season, but didn't take that many points in the rest of their career. LeMond and Fignon reigned for a few years, but their reign was shortened by a hunting accident or injuries. Bad luck can be a factor.

Poulidor finishes above several multiple Tour winners, because he performed at a constant level over a decade and a half. Perhaps he would gladly have swapped his eight podium spots for one Tour victory, but that's not what this ranking is about.

Sprinters of course rely very much on their train, so the expression "it's a victory for the whole team" is more than true in their case. I enjoy a stage win by Mollema, De Gendt or Dierckxsens much more than another bunch sprint, but objectively each stage is worth the same.
 
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We start the day with the strongest Dutchman and the strongest two Swiss.

20 Joop Zoetemelk 590
19 Tony Rominger 636
18 Fabian Cancellara 651
17 Freddy Maertens 654
16 Laurent Jalabert 671

Zoetemelk and Jalabert are two more examples of riders who don't have that many major wins (three and four), but who kept taking points for over a decade. Maertens is an exception to the rule that you need a long and steady career, but he took a ridiculous amount of points in '76 and '77, followed by a surprise comeback in '81.

Rominger was a late bloomer, born three months before LeMond. Cancellara is at the same level as Boonen in the classics, but he also took five gold medals in time trials.
 
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How is 203 more than 10 editions? There are 21 in each GT apart from silly corona-Vueltas, and back in the 90s there were even more stages.
I did 20 stages instead of counting the prologue but if we do 21 than it is 9.7.

Like I've said elsewhere, if you havn't won the Tour there is somebody with a bigger, better engine than you. Now you can argue that Roche only won the Tour because Lemond got shot. But you can't rewrite history. The Irishman got his Tour and that is that. All the more splendid and memorable in a magical 87 in which he got the "Grand Slam". Kelly could not win the Tour. This is also undeniable. Ergo, in my book, Roche was the greater champion.

Getting back to sprinter issue. The Tour is the greatest and most prestigious race in pro cycling and it can never be won by a sprinter, ergo a sprinter can't be ranked above a Tour winner. And sprinters also can't win the Giro and Vuelta, almost all monuments, just about any of the secondary stage races, and most World's too are beyond their reach. This is why climbers, puncheurs and rouleurs are given a higher status in the cycling hierarchy than pure sprinters.
Winning is also a part of cycling and that is what they did. If they were given less hierarchy than they would make as much or receive the same support. The only time sprinters have not been supported is if they have a legit general classification leader with the one's in recent memory was Cav and WVA though Cav got Sky's support at the end. I don't think anyone will argue Gerrans had a better career than Cav or Cipo.

Now is every race Boonen won in a sprint lessened?
 
Like I've said elsewhere, if you havn't won the Tour there is somebody with a bigger, better engine than you. Now you can argue that Roche only won the Tour because Lemond got shot. But you can't rewrite history. The Irishman got his Tour and that is that. All the more splendid and memorable in a magical 87 in which he got the "Grand Slam". Kelly could not win the Tour. This is also undeniable. Ergo, in my book, Roche was the greater champion.

Getting back to sprinter issue. The Tour is the greatest and most prestigious race in pro cycling and it can never be won by a sprinter, ergo a sprinter can't be ranked above a Tour winner. And sprinters also can't win the Giro and Vuelta, almost all monuments, just about any of the secondary stage races, and most World's too are beyond their reach. This is why climbers, puncheurs and rouleurs are given a higher status in the cycling hierarchy than pure sprinters.
If we were to take this logic at all seriously - and I’d suggest that we should not - this whole discussion could be replaced in its entirety by a simple tally of Tour de France wins.
 
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Like I've said elsewhere, if you havn't won the Tour there is somebody with a bigger, better engine than you. Now you can argue that Roche only won the Tour because Lemond got shot. But you can't rewrite history. The Irishman got his Tour and that is that. All the more splendid and memorable in a magical 87 in which he got the "Grand Slam". Kelly could not win the Tour. This is also undeniable. Ergo, in my book, Roche was the greater champion.

Getting back to sprinter issue. The Tour is the greatest and most prestigious race in pro cycling and it can never be won by a sprinter, ergo a sprinter can't be ranked above a Tour winner. And sprinters also can't win the Giro and Vuelta, almost all monuments, just about any of the secondary stage races, and most World's too are beyond their reach. This is why climbers, puncheurs and rouleurs are given a higher status in the cycling hierarchy than pure sprinters.
Tour is the biggest race out there, but let's not pretend that the Tour is everything in cycling. Not even close...
Yes, if you haven't won the Tour, you can still be a great champion, a legend. Or do you think Girardengo, Binda, Van Steenbergen, Van Looy, De Vlaeminck, Moser, Kelly, Bettini, Cancellara... aren't legends?!
Yes, a sprinter can be ranked above Tour winner. Cav and Cippo are certainly bigger champions than Thomas, Schleck, Sastre, Pereiro, Riis, Pingeon, Aimar, Walkowiak...
And no, Stephen Roche certainly isn't a bigger champion than Sean Kelly. Nor is Greg Lemond for that matter...
 

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