Rough Attempt at an All-Time Ranking

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Time for some self ctiticism:

After reading all the comments I agree that there are some flaws in the system. Stage wins are the biggest problem. Maybe 1/10th of the GC win would be fair:

5 points for Tour stage
4 points for Giro stage
2 points for stage in Paris-Nice etc.
1 point for stage in smaller races.

Lower places in the GC should also be counted:
Tour top 10 GC: 50/25/10/8/6/5/4/3/2/1
Giro/Vuelta top 10 GC: 40/20/8/6/5/4/3/2/1/1
Paris-Nice top 3 GC: 20/10/5

That way the big sprinters would lose a few places, and climbers would get some extra points.

However I'm not going to do all that counting. An update for active riders once a year would be easy, but doing it thoroughly for the whole cycling history would be a lot of work. The biggest changes would be in the lower part of the ranking.

About Bernal: I was also surprised. He's currently at 165 points, so he's likely to make it next year.
Usually 20ish stages per GT, so divide overall by winner by 20. Round 2.5 up to 3pts for Tour stages and Giro/Vuelta 2 pts per stage. I don't think 2 stage wins should be equal to a podium place on at the biggest race on the calendar. Distribution of pts for non podium placings at Giro/Vuelta should be lower. No way should a stage win in a minor race be equal to a top 10 in the Tour. There is never going to be a perfect system, but it should be focused primarily on the major races, not minor races or stage wins. The big guns don't care about the minor races.

I am still laughing at the idea of LeMond and Fignon giving up their Tour victories for a load of sprint stages, comedy gold.
 
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It doesn't make sense. An exception disproves a rule, it cannot confirm it. Even if it's a proverb or not.
You are thinking it over too much. Proverbs (from Latin: proverbium) aren't constrained to modern scientific method and rationality, but are simple and insightful, traditional sayings that express perceived truths based on common sense or experience. So I say Oscar's "Tour win", as an anomaly, doesn't conflict with the general status of a Tour winner as being a towering figure in the history of the sport.

PS: The part about confirming the rule is for witty and dramatic effect, such as proverbs go. ;)
 
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Well maybe it suggests that you don't have to be that great a rider to win the tour.... and that there are great riders who never win the tour. :blush:
I can only agree with a great rider doesn't have to win the Tour, but only a great rider can win the Tour (Oscar aside, who, in any case, evidently had huge potential).

PS. But let's be honest, all riders who win grand tours, monuments and World's are great cyclists, just some are greater than others.
 
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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.;)
But would you say Thomas > Cancellara/Boonen?

I am still laughing at the idea of LeMond and Fignon giving up their Tour victories for a load of sprint stages, comedy gold.
Still laughing a rider would give up their career for a lesser one.
 
But would you say Thomas > Cancellara/Boonen?
Let's put it this way, I think a rider who can climb and tt is superior to others who can't do one or the other or both (like Sagan). But, like I said, I value the level of fitness it takes to win a grand tour, in particular the Tour (not hunting stages). In an endurance sport like cycling that separates the men from the boys. Having said that Cancellara and Boonen excelled in their areas to such an extent that they rightly marked an era. Thomas no.

Yet Thomas probably had the stuff to have been a great classics rider.
 
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Let's put it this way, I think a rider who can climb and tt is superior to others who can't do one or the other or both (like Sagan). But, like I said, I value the level of fitness it takes to win a grand tour, in particular the Tour (not hunting stages). In an endurance sport like cycling that separates the men from the boys. Having said that Cancellara and Boonen excelled in their areas to such an extent that they rightly marked an era. Thomas no.

Yet Thomas probably had the stuff to have been a great classics rider.
So Sagan who can't climb and can't TT is definitelly lesser rider than Thomas, if I get it right?
 
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So Sagan who can't climb and can't TT is definitelly lesser rider than Thomas, if I get it right?
Well, first, I think Sagan is a phenomenal rider. It depends on how you assess things. If you consider power and efficiency in all terrains, over three weeks in the hardest, most prestigious event in the sport, then, yes, Thomas is superior to Sagan. If you prefer one-day efforts in the classics, then Sagan prevails over Thomas.
 
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This thread got to be really long, so I apologize if I am repeating what someone else posted. If you hear interviews with World Tour riders, they talk about how the Tour is so much harder, mor contested, than the Giro and the Vuelta. I know more hard-core cycling fans often resent the amount of attention this one race garners, but, in fact, it is the most important race of the year by a large factor. For this year, Pogacar should have significantly more points for his Tour win than Roglic for the Vuelta win or Bernal for the Giro win. Those races, while more pleasing to some, have weaker fields.

That said, I am grateful to be a fan in a time like now where there are so many exciting one-day riders along with GT riders who can compete in all kinds of races.
 
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So Sagan who can't climb and can't TT is definitelly lesser rider than Thomas, if I get it right?
Obviously not. Thomas one the most prestigious race once by doing things that Sagan cannot do. Sagan won dozens of slightly less prestigious races by doing things that Thomas cannot do.

In short..... 1 very prestigious race is less than multiple slightly less prestigious races.

The tour is important but not so important that it removes other races from the equation.
 
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Obviously not. Thomas one the most prestigious race once by doing things that Sagan cannot do. Sagan won dozens of slightly less prestigious races by doing things that Thomas cannot do.

In short..... 1 very prestigious race is less than multiple slightly less prestigious races.

The tour is important but not so important that it removes other races from the equation.
First of all it remains to be seen, and we'll never know, if Thomas could have won Flanders, Roubaix, MSR, Liege (which Sagan could not win), the World's. Had Thomas made those races a priority I'm fairly certain he could have won any of them (not all, but any one of them). By contrast, Sagan could never have won the Tour or even placed in the top 10. That's the difference. Cheerio...The freekin Tour, do you guys have any idea what that means?..Come on!
 
There are others. Look at Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt for recent examples. Lewis Hamilton maybe. And both Merckx and Bradman thrived in sports which had very few countries competing at the time. So let's throw Phil Taylor into the mix.

Cycling has been very parochial for much of it's existence. Coppi and Bartali went to the Tour and the World to show their worth, but their Giro. Lombardy and Sanremo wins were mostly Italian only affairs. In Merckx's day RVV and Roubaix typically had 7 or 8 Belgians in the top 10.
Actually, Bolt certainly is on a similar level. I'll happily admit that. Swimmers I take with a grain of salt purely because of the sheer number of events an athlete can do.
 
First of all it remains to be seen, and we'll never know, if Thomas could have won Flanders, Roubaix, MSR, Liege (which Sagan could not win), the World's. Had Thomas made those races a priority I'm fairly certain he could have won any of them (not all, but any one of them). By contrast, Sagan could never have won the Tour or even placed in the top 10. That's the difference. Cheerio...The freekin Tour, do you guys have any idea what that means?..Come on!
Yeah but he didn't win any of those races...he won the tour...once. This fetishising of a sole GT win against a career dominating opponents across multiple races doesn't really make sense.

It's the equivalent of saying a football team that wins the Champions league once and nothing else is better than a team that dominates all other competitions for the best part of a decade. It just isn't the case.

For the record I'd put 2 x Roubaix ahead of a one off tour win all day every day and twice on Sundays. Tons of riders can win a GT once if the circumstances are right. Tao won a Giro, Horner won a Vuelta. How many riders can win PR twice?
 
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Yeah but he didn't win any of those races...he won the tour...once. This fetishising of a sole GT win against a career dominating opponents across multiple races doesn't really make sense.

It's the equivalent of saying a football team that wins the Champions league once and nothing else is better than a team that dominates all other competitions for the best part of a decade. It just isn't the case.

For the record I'd put 2 x Roubaix ahead of a one off tour win all day every day and twice on Sundays. Tons of riders can win a GT once if the circumstances are right. Tao won a Giro, Horner won a Vuelta. How many riders can win PR twice?
More riders than that can win Sanremo twice.
 
Yeah but he didn't win any of those races...he won the tour...once. This fetishising of a sole GT win against a career dominating opponents across multiple races doesn't really make sense.

It's the equivalent of saying a football team that wins the Champions league once and nothing else is better than a team that dominates all other competitions for the best part of a decade. It just isn't the case.

For the record I'd put 2 x Roubaix ahead of a one off tour win all day every day and twice on Sundays. Tons of riders can win a GT once if the circumstances are right. Tao won a Giro, Horner won a Vuelta. How many riders can win PR twice?
When you made a comparison between football (soccer) to cycling, I threw my arms up.

Football (soccer) is played on the same damn field whether it is the Champions League or whatever else.

The real question is how many can win PR twice and win the Tour twice? Or how many won the Tour 5 times and ALSO PR? Or how many won PR, but could never have won the Tour? Think about it. There is NO COMPARISON!

On the football (soccer) comparison...Cycling is infinitly more varied: in terrain, complexity in team (PLURAL) strategies, grueling and arduous (in the physical suffering), such that football (soccer) is a game, requiring great skill I'll admit, but cycling is a real sport from the physiological standpoint. And no other sport requires athletes to be on game for 5, 6, 7 hours over high mountains and all the rest to get through an event. To mention nothing of descending! If you haven't done it then shut up.
 
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It seems to me that you're overestimating a Tour quite a bit. We all here love and follow cycling, we're not some bunch from the street who knows only about the Tour and nothing else.
Not at all. It rather seems to me that you are underestimating the Tour from the physiological and psychological standpoints. Cheers
 
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This thread got to be really long, so I apologize if I am repeating what someone else posted. If you hear interviews with World Tour riders, they talk about how the Tour is so much harder, mor contested, than the Giro and the Vuelta. I know more hard-core cycling fans often resent the amount of attention this one race garners, but, in fact, it is the most important race of the year by a large factor. For this year, Pogacar should have significantly more points for his Tour win than Roglic for the Vuelta win or Bernal for the Giro win. Those races, while more pleasing to some, have weaker fields.

That said, I am grateful to be a fan in a time like now where there are so many exciting one-day riders along with GT riders who can compete in all kinds of races.
No, I didn't heard World Tour riders talking how the Tour is much harder than the Giro and Vuelta. I've heard them talking how it is harder, but I also heard them talking how Giro and Vuelta are bloody hard too.
Pogacar should have more points for his Tour win than Roglic for Vuelta, but not significantly, maybe 20-30% more at most.
That's how much is the Tour value bigger than the Giro and Vuelta.
 
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No, I didn't heard World Tour riders talking how the Tour is much harder than the Giro and Vuelta. I've heard them talking how it is harder, but I also heard them talking how Giro and Vuelta are bloody hard too.
Pogacar should have more points for his Tour win than Roglic for Vuelta, but not significantly, maybe 20-30% more at most.
That's how much is the Tour value bigger than the Giro and Vuelta.
In the commercial sense, no, the Tour is much bigger. This is also something to consider. It's not the Alpes or the Pyrenees, but the pressure to deliver for the sponsors, in addition to all the rest of the level being higher for this very reason. Compared to the Tour, the Giro and Vuelta for are much more relaxed. Ask Primoz...
 
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Wait, are you implying that Lance wasn't the greatest cyclist of all time? After all he did reach the pinnacle of the sport seven times.
Sarcasm aside, when Lance was on top I was crying fraud from day one and don't know how many times I was ridiculed for it by patriotic dimwits who didn't know anything about the sport. But to your final statement, you are trying to ridicule me by dirisively inflating a point, which you agree with by the way, to insinuate that I have no other coniderations. But nothing could be further form the truth. Cheerio
 

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