Rough Attempt at an All-Time Ranking

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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.
Only catching up now but felt it worth pointing out what a monumentally bad take this is.... Roche better than Kelly? :tearsofjoy:.... Whatever way you've been watching cycling all these years, you've been doing it wrong.

(Also Kelly finished fourth at the tour despite being forced to go after sprint stages and chase breakaways to stop them from mopping up points in the green jersey comp... I think it's a bit much to say it's undeniable that he 'couldn't' win the tour. He was never even allowed try)
 
Only catching up now but felt it worth pointing out what a monumentally bad take this is.... Roche better than Kelly? :tearsofjoy:.... Whatever way you've been watching cycling all these years, you've been doing it wrong.

(Also Kelly finished fourth at the tour despite being forced to go after sprint stages and chase breakaways to stop them from mopping up points in the green jersey comp... I think it's a bit much to say it's undeniable that he 'couldn't' win the tour. He was never even allowed try)
Nonesense, I've not only been watching cycling all these years but racing. Look I think Kelly was top notch, but as I said the Giro, Tour and World's in one year, no matter what the circumstances, is for me an ultimate trump card. Based on all the relative merit between classics and grand tours, etc., I'd challenge anyone to dispute that there is a higher feat in the sport to achieve. The level of fitness required to accomplish this was simply higher than anything Kelly could have produced. So you can take your patronizing drivel and proverbially shove it. Grazie.

PS. The difference between 4th and 1st is unbridgeable. No, Kelly could not have won the Tour, or else he would have.

PSS. I value level of fitness to achieve certain feats, over mere palmares, no matter how spectacular. Perhaps that's a different way of seeing things. So be it. And anyone is free of course to see things how they like. But please don't tell me in a condescending manner that the way I've been watching cycling for 40 years is wrong. De gustibus non disputandum est.
 
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Only catching up now but felt it worth pointing out what a monumentally bad take this is.... Roche better than Kelly? :tearsofjoy:.... Whatever way you've been watching cycling all these years, you've been doing it wrong.

(Also Kelly finished fourth at the tour despite being forced to go after sprint stages and chase breakaways to stop them from mopping up points in the green jersey comp... I think it's a bit much to say it's undeniable that he 'couldn't' win the tour. He was never even allowed try)
Don’t you know that Oscar Pereiro is top 20 cyclist of all time with his Tour win and 3 10th places? Obviously Caisse d'Epargne should have been riding for him instead of Valverde.

but as I said the Giro, Tour and World's in one year, no matter what the circumstances, is for me an ultimate trump card. Based on all the relative merit between classics and grand tours, etc., I'd challenge anyone to dispute that there is a higher feet in the sport to achieve.
I will agree with this and it’s something that most likely won’t happen again without a monster year from Pogacar. Only way you could tie it in my opinion is monument/Olympic win with the Giro and Tour or Tour, Olympics, monument, and worlds. Heck Giro and Vuelta with Olympics and World would be good too.
 
Don’t you know that Oscar Pereiro is top 20 cyclist of all time with his Tour win and 3 10th places? Obviously Caisse d'Epargne should have been riding for him instead of Valverde.


I will agree with this and it’s something that most likely won’t happen again without a monster year from Pogacar. Only way you could tie it in my opinion is monument/Olympic win with the Giro and Tour or Tour, Olympics, monument, and worlds. Heck Giro and Vuelta with Olympics and World would be good too.
Oscar's win was the result of pure chaos and confusion, a mere fluke. The exception that confirms the rule.
 
Of feats that have been done and that doesn't involve more than three races, the Triple Crown is indeed the greatest. Winning all three GTs in the same year would be greater, likewise (imho) the five monuments and the WC.
In fact, this is why they have thus far NOT been done, but of those that have the Giro, Tour and World's in one year is formidable. I recall when there was talk of attempting the Triple Crown with Contador, but that was before Clenbuteral. As far as five monuments are concerned, you'd need to break the specialization mold for that to even be attempted and you'd need someone who combines incredible explosivity with awesome endurance - a rider who usually also won the Tour, like Merckx, like Hinault who could also ride the pave. But today nobody would even attempt such a feat, because probably that rider has to focus on winning the Tour.
 
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PSS. I value level of fitness to achieve certain feats, over mere palmares, no matter how spectacular. Perhaps that's a different way of seeing things. So be it. And anyone is free of course to see things how they like. But please don't tell me in a condescending manner that the way I've been watching cycling for 40 years is wrong. De gustibus non disputandum est.
Oh come on, the remark was tongue in cheek. You're obviously free to interpret things whatever way you want....That said I stand by my assertion that Kelly was a better rider than Roche.... Honestly, I'd be surprised if you could find another person anywhere who'd disagree with that.
 
It's a proverb that has its validity. That Oscar was a "fluke" under utter chaos, although he must have had a formidable engine, however tricked, is indesputable however.
It has no validity.

And of course it's clear that Roche has had the best sesson in history apart from Merckx but the rest of his career was comparatively very ordinary and you cannot automatically say that he was a bigger champion than Kelly which he wasn't.
 
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It has no validity.

And of course it's clear that Roche has had the best sesson in history apart from Merckx but the rest of his career was comparatively very ordinary and you cannot automatically say that he was a bigger champion than Kelly which he wasn't.
It's a way of saying a "rule" has exceptions, anomalies, quirks, which seem to defy common logic, but in fact confirm it. We're not talking about so-called hard science, but the human condition, which can't be pigionholed into a meer rationalistc scheme. There is too much chaos for one thing. And for another, unquantifiable variables inevitably play a role.

PS. As I've said, my assesment considers level of fitness to acheive certain results. Roche simply displayed one that was unobtainable for Kelly, no matter what else. Having said that I do think the same level of fitness required was obtainable, if not actually achieved, for other BIGS. With Roche all the cards simply fell into place, as he certainly was no Lemond. Lucky bloke with a tremendous engine. Although he was fraught with injury as well, and probably liked to drink too much.
 
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I think simply focusing on Roche's 'big engine' during one season is strange. Kelly displayed grit, determination, tactical nous, raw power, incredible handling skills, insane descending prowess and a powerful sprint at the end of some of the toughest races in the sport not to mention his unreal TT. And he did it week in week out, year after year, from one end of the season to the next. There's a reason why he was the untouchable world no.1 for five years running. You talk about the one thing that Kelly couldn't do that Roche could when there was literally hundreds of races Kelly won that Roche wouldn't have come near him in. (Okay Kelly only won 197, but who's counting)..... There's a genuine argument to be said that Kelly is in the top 5 of all time could you really say the same about Stephen Roche?
 
Is the level of fitness required for the triple crown really 'that' much more impressive than someone getting 2 1st and 2nd places in the monuments twice in the same season? While also winning catalunya, PN and tour of the Basque country. While also podiuming the vuelta one year and top 5 TdF the other.
Clearly Roche had the best season, but he did it once. Kelly was winning races all over the place from 83-92.
 
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Is the level of fitness required for the triple crown really 'that' much more impressive than someone getting 2 1st and 2nd places in the monuments twice in the same season? While also winning catalunya, PN and tour of the Basque country. While also podiuming the vuelta one year and top 5 TdF the other.
Clearly Roche had the best season, but he did it once. Kelly was winning races all over the place from 83-92.
Undubitably yes. To win the Giro and Tour alone in the same season is freakish.
 
Undubitably yes. To win the Giro and Tour alone in the same season is freakish.
Yet quite a few people did it around that time (nearly 1 year in 3 from 1970-98). How many people podiumed 4 monuments twice in the same season (and it wasn't the same 4 showing his versatility)?
The skill set for a grand tour is very similar whichever one you win, the monuments all require different skills.
 
I think simply focusing on Roche's 'big engine' during one season is strange. Kelly displayed grit, determination, tactical nous, raw power, incredible handling skills, insane descending prowess and a powerful sprint at the end of some of the toughest races in the sport not to mention his unreal TT. And he did it week in week out, year after year, from one end of the season to the next. There's a reason why he was the untouchable world no.1 for five years running. You talk about the one thing that Kelly couldn't do that Roche could when there was literally hundreds of races Kelly won that Roche wouldn't have come near him in. (Okay Kelly only won 197, but who's counting)..... There's a genuine argument to be said that Kelly is in the top 5 of all time could you really say the same about Stephen Roche?
Chapeaux Kelly. He was great. Authoritively and with panache he admirably spent all that energy on being great, considering the setskills with which he had to work. And they were formidable. BUT he lacked something in his engine to do the pinnacle feats of the sport, like Hinault, like Fignon, like Lemond, and yes, in the final analysis, Roche.
 
Yet quite a few people did it around that time (nearly 1 year in 3 from 1970-98). How many people podiumed 4 monuments twice in the same season (and it wasn't the same 4 showing his versatility)?
The skill set for a grand tour is very similar whichever one you win, the monuments all require different skills.
Yea and between 1970 and 1998 you had Merckx and Hinault in the intial phase, when the cycling season was raced entirely differently, afterward Indurain and Pantani under a new regime. But Merckx and Hinault, before everything changed, also crushed the monuments. Whereas the pure monument specialists, before and after, accept for Merckx and Hinault and before Coppi, never also dominated the gran tours. Herein lies the difference between the two categories. Because to win a grand tour requires a more efficient and enduring engine than any of the pure monument specialists can muster.
 
Chapeaux Kelly. He was great. Authoritively and with panache he admirably spent all that energy on being great, considering the setskills with which he had to work. And they were formidable. BUT he lacked something in his engine to do the pinnacle feats of the sport, like Hinault, like Fignon, like Lemond, and yes, in the final analysis, Roche.
Agreed. The likes of fignon and lemond were great at focusing their efforts into short blocks.
 
Agreed. The likes of fignon and lemond were great at focusing their efforts into short blocks.
Indeed, but my point is that even if Kelly had focussed all his efforts on the Tour, he would not have succeeded. Because there was a Hinault, a Fignon, a Lemond, a Roche and a Delgado in the scheme. Kelly had a skillset that allowed him to be versatile without having to compromise anything to win the classics, because he was never going to have to go all in for the Tour. Hinault didn't have to comromise anything either, but still won the Tour, Giro and Vuelta, but then came Fignon and Lemond. The Merckx and pre-Merckx era of cycling was over.
 
Yea, but my point is that, with such phenomenal aerobic capcity (if it is not the stuff of Paul Bunyan), why did he not excel from his first years at the Tour the way Hinault, Fignon and Lemond did? I get the clinc stuff and we can't talk about it here. Whatever the case, to me his early career remains a mystery. Lemond, for example, also had phenomenal aerobic capacity with a Vo2 max of 92.4 (92,4 mlO2/kg/min - for a long time only a world class cross country skier measured higher) and, if he weren't American on a French team, may well have won his first Tour, but finished third, then second at his second attempt and finally first on his third attempt. Indurain was nowhere near that level during his early career.
My problem with this is the Clinic landscape didn't benefit everyone equally. Look at the size of GT contenders in the 90s vs now. Even Big Tom would be 10kg less than Indurain.
Fair enough. It's possible that Indurain, while having a huge engine (big cardiac output and lungs) lacked in natural blood parameters department. In this case the EPO era would have helped him more than others (i.e. 10% vs 5% progress).
 
But just to clarify you're not implying Geraint Thomas is better than Moser, Kelly or devlaeminck right? I'm not sure I could handle that :tearsofjoy:
But Thomas is riding in a different era! Fact is he won the Tour, so his engine is formidable, against Kelly I have no idea, all chemical advancements considering. So you explain.;)
 

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