Rough Attempt at an All-Time Ranking

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Greatness (IMO) is defined by the big wins in the biggest races against the best riders. The wins in smaller races are wins, true, but I feel a bit uneasy when those wins are used to make up for the lack of 'big' wins.

I find it difficult to call a rider 'great' if they haven't won either the Tour or the Worlds RR. Of course there are some exceptions - Kelly, De Vlaeminck, Cancellara. But there's only a handful of them.
 
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You are just trying to spite me. Evidently I've become the shooting target. Ok, fair enough. Perhaps because these were the years between WWI and WWII and sport was at the dawn of modernity (and what Logic said better than me above). Thys' wins evidently got less press, poor bloke. I mean, how can you even compare cycling in 1918-1944 to what came after? What do you think?
I'm just asking how would you explain that Pelissier and Girardengo were far bigger names than Thys, even though Thys won the Tour 3 times, which is by your own words biggest race by far?
And don't give me that crap how cycling 1918-1944 wasn't professional, and how inferior it was to cycling after that, cause it ain't matter because we're talking about three riders who rode exactly in that period.
 
I'm just asking how would you explain that Pelissier and Girardengo were far bigger names than Thys, even though Thys won the Tour 3 times, which is by your own words biggest race by far?
And don't give me that crap how cycling 1918-1944 wasn't professional, and how inferior it was to cycling after that, cause it ain't matter because we're talking about three riders who rode exactly in that period.
I'm not a historian of cycling and I think that's where you'd have to investigate to see why Thys, despite having won three Tours, is less known than Pelissier and Girardengo. I suppose it's largely media driven. Girardengo was promoted in the Italian press as the first "Campionissimo," whereas Pelissier was touted as the first Gloires du sport, for his wins in the Tour, MSR, Paris-Roubaix and Lombardia.

But it's curious your using this case as being in anyway relevant to the present context of cycling. At any rate, those guys were pioneers and with 20 kilo bikes, on largely unpaved roads, without gearing, I suppose it was a rather different, much more chaotic and quirky, scenario.
 
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I'm not a historian of cycling and I think that's where you'd have to investigate to see why Thys, despite having won three Tours, is less known thad Pelissier and Girardengo. I suppose it's largely media driven. Girardengo was promted in the Italian press as the first "Campionissimo," whereas Pelissier was touted as the first Gloires du sport, for his wins in the Tour, MSR, Paris-Roubaix and Lombardia.

But it's curious that you using this case as being in anyway relevant to the present context of cycling. At any rate, those guys were pioneers and with 20 kilo bikes on largely unpaved roads, I suppose it was a rather different scenario, much more chaotic and quirky. What do you think?
I'm just pointing you that the Tour isn't now, and wasn't even back then, the absolute all-important race, as you're trying to convince us for the last 17-18 pages of this thread. There are many great champions who didn't had much success at the Tour, yet they are a legends of this sport.
 
I'm just pointing you that the Tour isn't now, and wasn't even back then, the absolute all-important race, as you're trying to convince us for the last 17-18 pages of this thread. There are many great champions who didn't had much success at the Tour, yet they are a legends of this sport.
Fair enough, but I'm just responding to the stuff that gets hurled my way. I'd have gladly stopped 17 pages ago for a hamburger today. Yet if the Tour were not as important as you say it was, it would not have become the global banner of cycling it is today.
 
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Fair enough but I'm ust responding to the stuff that gets hurled my way. I'd have gladly stoped 1 pages ago. Yet if the Tour were not as important as you say it was, it would not have become in the global banner of cycling it is today.
It is the global banner of cycling and the biggest races without a doubt, but as I said before, cycling is much, much more than the Tour.
 
I'm just asking how would you explain that Pelissier and Girardengo were far bigger names than Thys, even though Thys won the Tour 3 times, which is by your own words biggest race by far?
Are they bigger names though? Thys comes to my mind far more readily than the other two purely because he won the Tour three times. In Italy or France maybe they are bigger names. But I'm not sure many people tell you much about any of them from memory.

From those days if there's a story attached then it helps. Christophe never won the Tour but first wore the Yellow Jersey and had the Tourmalet incident (which would be forgotten if the Tourmalet wasn't a Tour regular). I know Barthelemy for his glass eye, Trousselier for losing his Tour winnings playing dice. Garin is famous as he won the first Tour, in much same way as Armstrong (not that one) is the most famous astronaut.
 
The question is why should it be used as some sort of substitute for actual wins regardless of the exchange rate.

I mean it is a bit of appeal to authority, but I have never seen Poulidor mentioned as one of the greats of the sport despite his 8 Tour podiums.
Wasnt using it as a substitute.

The "greats". Are we limiting that to a Mount Rushmore type of thing?

Because Poulidor is for sure considered to have been a great rider. Top 100 quite easily.
 
Are they bigger names though? Thys comes to my mind far more readily than the other two purely because he won the Tour three times. In Italy or France maybe they are bigger names. But I'm not sure many people tell you much about any of them from memory.

From those days if there's a story attached then it helps. Christophe never won the Tour but first wore the Yellow Jersey and had the Tourmalet incident (which would be forgotten if the Tourmalet wasn't a Tour regular). I know Barthelemy for his glass eye, Trousselier for losing his Tour winnings playing dice. Garin is famous as he won the first Tour, in much same way as Armstrong (not that one) is the most famous astronaut.
Yes they are. They were considered two greatest champions of their generation. Only Alfredo Binda was maybe a bigger rider before WW2
 
The question is why should it be used as some sort of substitute for actual wins regardless of the exchange rate.

I mean it is a bit of appeal to authority, but I have never seen Poulidor mentioned as one of the greats of the sport despite his 8 Tour podiums.
Poulidor is legendary because he never won it.

I'd argue he'd be remembered less if he won it once of those podiums., even though he'd be a greater rider.
 
This whole
Are they bigger names though? Thys comes to my mind far more readily than the other two purely because he won the Tour three times. In Italy or France maybe they are bigger names. But I'm not sure many people tell you much about any of them from memory.

From those days if there's a story attached then it helps. Christophe never won the Tour but first wore the Yellow Jersey and had the Tourmalet incident (which would be forgotten if the Tourmalet wasn't a Tour regular). I know Barthelemy for his glass eye, Trousselier for losing his Tour winnings playing dice. Garin is famous as he won the first Tour, in much same way as Armstrong (not that one) is the most famous astronaut.
Well, to be honest, Girardengo comes to my mind before Thys.

This has got me thinking about how the hell were races covered and written about back then? I mean no television, no radio, certainly no helicopters, no cars, and I doubt much controls out on 300-450 km courses. No joke, for that's exactly what they had back then in the Tour and on 20k bikes without gears on dirt roads. How the hell did they know exactly what was going on?
 
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This whole

Well, to be honest, Girardengo comes to my mind before Thys.

This has got me thinking about how the hell were races covered and written about back then? I mean no television, certainly no helicopters, no cars and I doubt much controls out on 300-450 km courses, no joke, for that's exactly what they had back then in the Tour. How the hell did they know exactly what was going on?
They didn't, so they made a lot of it up and exaggerated actual events. As long as it put the riders in a good light, they weren't complaining. Most of the races were organised by the media, so they obviously had no interest in underselling them to the public.
 
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