The Greatest Road Racing Cyclist Of All Time

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The Greatest Road Racing Cyclist of all Time.

  • Fausto Coppi

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ttrider

BANNED
Apr 23, 2010
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The list of 10 should:
GT Grand Slam
Giro Tour Double
All 5 Monuments
2 GTs and 2 monuments
TDF < 4 and worlds

Therefore:
Anquetil
Gimondi
Mercx
Hinault
Contador

Add
Coppi
Roche
Indurain
Pantani

Add
Kelly

Add
Bartali

Add
Armstrong

Unfortunately thats 12 but those are the only ones with any kind of case for it
 
Mar 17, 2009
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blutto said:
...there is thankfully a benchmark that spans the various eras that helps make comparisons...the hour record...and yes Boardman, a specialist, did beat Merkx's time, but by the slimmest of margins, and on a bike that was, while nominally similar, much more advanced ( stiffer more efficient frame and wheels..) as well as having more aerodynamic clothing, better training techniques, better nutrition...and I'll mention drugs because of the potential use but in Boardman's case I really have no idea and I'll leave that to people with greater knowledge/insight on the subject...

...the bottom line is that as an athletic effort on a bike I believe Merkx's performance was the greatest hour record performance ever...and solidifies his place as the greatest ever...

Cheers

blutto
Boardman beat Merckx's record on a bike that was barely any different. It was a steel frame with conventional spoked wheels front & back. He may have had a slight advantage due to modern materials and clothing, but that has to be offset by Merckx setting his record in Mexico rather than at sea-level.

Boardman and dope is a total non starter. He bored me stupid but one thing I think is pretty certain is that he was clean as a whistle.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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I don't see how Boardman beating Merckx' his record is a bad thing. He was a good time trial specialist, but he was just that. Merckx was so much more and he broke the Worlds hour record after a serious crash in '69 and after a very busy season. While Boardman achieved pretty much nothing in the season he broke the world hour record on an old bike. Merckx also only tried once if I remember correctly. Boardman tried and broke the world hour record many times.

And Merckx was cycling in a time where they thought smoking was good for you... =/
 
Jul 4, 2009
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ultimobici said:
Boardman beat Merckx's record on a bike that was barely any different. It was a steel frame with conventional spoked wheels front & back. He may have had a slight advantage due to modern materials and clothing, but that has to be offset by Merckx setting his record in Mexico rather than at sea-level.

Boardman and dope is a total non starter. He bored me stupid but one thing I think is pretty certain is that he was clean as a whistle.
...I actually had an opportunity to ride a bike that was purported to be a close copy of Merckx's bike...it was a 12 lb noodle.. rims using more modern metallurgy and a stiffer shape could easily give you 30 to 40 sec in a 15 km TT( Crr is more important than just weight in this instance ) ...and modern steel bike tubing will also improve performance by increasing stiffness and hence energy transfer efficiency...

...so yeah, it could visually be a similar bike but functionally, I would argue, it was quite different...

...but then there is the altitude question to consider...though the downside of riding in Mexico City was the terrible air quality...

...maybe we could get Mr Webster to comment since he had track experience in Mexico at roughly around that time....and has probably forgotten more in the last week about this topic then we will ever know...

Cheers

blutto
 
Mar 17, 2009
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blutto said:
...I actually had an opportunity to ride a bike that was purported to be a close copy of Merckx's bike...it was a 12 lb noodle.. rims using more modern metallurgy and a stiffer shape could easily give you 30 to 40 sec in a 15 km TT( Crr is more important than just weight in this instance ) ...and modern steel bike tubing will also improve performance by increasing stiffness and hence energy transfer efficiency...

...so yeah, it could visually be a similar bike but functionally, I would argue, it was quite different...

...but then there is the altitude question to consider...though the downside of riding in Mexico City was the terrible air quality...

...maybe we could get Mr Webster to comment since he had track experience in Mexico at roughly around that time....and has probably forgotten more in the last week about this topic then we will ever know...

Cheers

blutto
The Hour is essentially 12 individual pursuits back to back. The very nature of the event means that the difference in stiffness between their bikes is of little signficance. Aerodynamics is a more important factor, Merckx had thinner air to combat but less available oxygen. Boardman had a heated indoor velodrome which reduced the effect of air resistance, as well as concealed nipples on his wheels.

I think Darryl is unlikely to be able to comment on the pollution in Mexico at the time since he was 10 at that time! But his view of the benefits of stiffer equipment etc would be enlightening.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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ultimobici said:
The Hour is essentially 12 individual pursuits back to back. The very nature of the event means that the difference in stiffness between their bikes is of little signficance. Aerodynamics is a more important factor, Merckx had thinner air to combat but less available oxygen. Boardman had a heated indoor velodrome which reduced the effect of air resistance, as well as concealed nipples on his wheels.

I think Darryl is unlikely to be able to comment on the pollution in Mexico at the time since he was 10 at that time! But his view of the benefits of stiffer equipment etc would be enlightening.
...ok...lets compare something like a glued alloy frame like a Vitus with wheels shod with something like the famously spongy Fiamme Ergals ...now run that frame with a large gear all-out for an hour...for starters the frame will not track straight as in it does ride straight, it actually tracks from side to side...and if you ever rode behind someone powerful on one of those frames you can actually see the track snaking...so lets say you add one percent more distance travelled because of the snaking versus a stiff modern steel frame( that not only pays dividends in running straight but uses less energy doing so...the rider you see actually has to use his trunk to keep the noodle frame going straight...less energy used here more energy to be used to move the bike forward )...

...now if you replace the rims with something like a Wolber 20 V-section which vastly improves the wheel Crr..from personal experience that is in the order of 40 sec for a 15 km TT...

...then throw in a real skinsuit and that is 20 sec in the same TT...

...add up the gains with the straight riding bike, and with rims that give good Crr and a modern skinsuit and difference is around 4 minutes (... just under 4 km... )...Boardman beat Merckx by 6 ft...

...sorry got to run...a New Year's Eve party calls...so in parting, the best to you and everyone here in the coming year..and we'll pick up the discussion next year...

Cheers

blutto
 
Nov 26, 2010
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I think Boardman himself is of the belief that the biggest difference between the two hour record rides was that he had a plan to beat the hour record. Eddy being the cannibal wanted to break lesser records along the way, which he did. I recall reading somewhere that Hutchinson (not Boardman) thought it was possible for Eddy to break the 50 km barrier if he just had had a sound pacing strategy.
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
uhh, no. back then there was no specilaisation so all riders rode all races
NO! Leman, Van Impe, Ocaña, Fuente, Thévenet were "specialized".

Ryo Hazuki said:
so the natural fittest oners came on top. that doesn't make you the best cyclist ever
If you are the fittest, you're the best, aren't you? :D
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
ugh you flemish chauvinists make me sick. you do know that cycling in europe was unglobal until the 80s and 90s right?? merckx always rode against the same guys and has been caught on doping no less than twice during his career :rolleyes:
His record speaks for itself. No one will ever even approach a third of what he did. No chauvinism dude, just reality.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Suedehead said:
I think Boardman himself is of the belief that the biggest difference between the two hour record rides was that he had a plan to beat the hour record. Eddy being the canibal wanted to break lesser records along the way, which he did. I recall reading somewhere that Boardman thought it was possible for Eddy to break the 50 km barrier if he just had had a sound pacing strategy.
That's right -- the amazing thing about Merckx's hour record was that he broke two shorter records (5k and 10k, I think) along the way. So, indeed, proper pacing could well have put him over 50k. I believe that his opening kilometer split remains the fastest of any hour record attempt -- or close to it.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Speaking of the hour record, I sometimes wonder what Hinault or Lemond could have done if they'd tackled it in their primes. (I also wonder what Hinault would have done if he'd had access to tri-bars in the final years of his career.)
 
Mar 10, 2009
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... and Merckx will be the greatest of all time, because his tally of wins will never be challenged ... ever!
 
Sep 2, 2009
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Job done. A little click in the box related to Merckx and I can go back to my couch. I'm looking forward to the next similar poll

I have to tell ya, this poll belongs in the tricky category. It was a real challenge to distinguish Merckx's name within that long list of names.
 
Dec 30, 2010
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:cool:
ultimobici said:
Bartali, Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx & Hinault are the only ones who should be on the short list.

Numerically, Merckx has to take it, but Coppi had a world war interrupt his career so we'll never know. Hinault isn't far behind Merckx in what he won but loses out on sheer volume.

The rest - They all have some sort of shortcoming. Either a lack of GT's ot Monuments, or they are too one-dimensional.

Lemond only won the Tour and as Hitch said no classics. Kelly was predominanly a classics man, points winner & shorter stage race winner. His Vuelta is from when a sprinter could win it. Indurain & Armstrong were only really interested in the Tour, with anything else being a bonus. Gimondi was unfortunate to turn pro in the same year as Merckx, hence his less full palmares.

If you stick with 10 to choose from there are a few that should be in over some of the five here. Maertens & De Vlaeminck come to mind immediately.
Very well put . My vote goes to Fausto Coppi , just because it was a different time period and people went through Hell during those war years .
I believe there should be 2 categories , The pre -war and war years and recently after the war . The second category is the post war where rebuilding has begun for all nations . The 2 era's are uncomparable as to who is the greatest of all time .:cool:
 

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