Top 20 Cyclists of all time

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So what if there were someone born in c1985 with exactly the skillset of Merckx, or Kelly, Hinault, Anquetil, De Vlaeminck or Bartali: what palmares might they have now, as they enter the final years of their careers?
I think their equivalents now would be:

Merckx - Nibali or Valverde. Froome if he wanted to be
Kelly - Alaphilippe
Hinault - Dumoulin
Anquetil - Dennis
De Vlaeminck - Gilbert
Bartali - the sport was so different back then I see Thomas De Gendt, riding alone or in small groups most of the time

These all time lists will always struggle because of the changing eras. More so than most sports. The likes of Binda and Girardengo have more in common with RAAM rider than Nibali. And importance of races changes. The Vuelta has never been more prestigious, while Paris-Tours was once the equal of the monuments.

And then there's the breadth of competition. In Merckx's last Tour win 125 of the 130 riders came from just five countries. The last two season's GT winners have come from Kenya, Wales, England, Ecuador, Colombia and Slovenia.

A better way of looking at it is a fairly strict Road Cycling Hall of Fame. Five current riders will have booked their place unquestionably - Froome, Nibali, Gilbert, Sagan and Cavendish. Valverde would be a sixth but may fail entry requirements. Recently retired inductees would be Contador, Boonen and Cancellara. It's strict enough to exclude Schleck and Sastre and probably Wiggins and Evans (the latter two have crossover genre appeal). Poulidor's out, Zoetemelk too.
 
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I didn’t even know there was a cycling hall of fame. I googled it but for some reason could only find the article in Spanish. Here is a bit of it for anyone interested.

In order to enter the Cycling Hall of Fame, a runner must achieve certain results:
  • Win in one of the five "Classical Monuments" (with the exception of the Paris-Roubaix , where you just have to get on the podium)
  • Qualify in the top three of the World Championship (only in the professional road race)
  • Ranked among the top three of the Olympic Games (only on the race route, from the 1996 edition open to professionals) [ 3 ]
  • Rank in the top three of a Grand Tour
  • Win in the points classification of a Grand Tour
  • Win in the classification of the Grand Prix of the mountain of a Grand Tour
All useful results are progressively added over the course of a runner's career. Based on the results obtained by a cyclist, you can enter one or more Hall of Fame rankings. The most prestigious classification is the Combined , which takes into account the results of all the competitions on the calendar.
Different races on the calendar have different scores assigned, depending on their importance and international prestige. [ 3 ]
Classical Monuments ("Classical")Edit
Great TurnsEdit
  • Tour de France : 1800 points for the first classified, 600 for the second, 450 for the third, 540 for the classification by points and 220 for the Grand Prix of the mountain.
  • Tour of Italy : 810 points for first place, 270 for second place, 210 for third place, 245 for points classification and 105 for the mountain grand prix.
  • Tour of Spain : 720 points for the first classified, 240 for the second, 180 for the third, 220 for the classification by points and 90 for the mountain grand prix
World ChampionshipsEdit
Olympic GamesEdit
  • Road race : 540 points to the first classified, 180 to the second, 135 to the third

The riders who enter the Top 100 of the Cycling Hall of Fame are considered, according to the principles described, the best riders of all time. [ 4 ]
(Date of data update: _02 May 2020):
(Active runners)
 
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I didn’t even know there was a cycling hall of fame. I googled it but for some reason could only find the article in Spanish. Here is a bit of it for anyone interested.
So on the road, LA's 7 TDF wins would be worth 12,600 points, putting him in fifth place just for that. Add in the WCRR and the TDF podium, and he's up to third.

Even if you give Contador the TDF and Giro he was stripped of, he would still fall short of Froome. Even if you give him back 2012, and assume he won the Tour, and knocked Froome down to third place, he'd still be just short (that assumes he wouldn't have entered and won the Vuelta that year).
 
This is my rushed rankings.
Mercxx

Hinault

Coppi

Bartali

Anquetil

Armstrong (?)

De Vlaeminck

Indurain

Kelly

Gimondi

Lemond

Contador

Froome

Bobet

Moser

Cipollini

P. Thys

Cancellara

Poulidor

Nibali


Valverde, Bettini, Sagan and Boonen are hard done by to not get in. What edged it for me was Nibali's range of wins compared to Valverde's and Cancellara being so dominant in ITT's to Boonen. Cipo deserves entry because he was such a dominant sprinter, even though Cavendish would also deserve a place with that criteria.
 
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So on the road, LA's 7 TDF wins would be worth 12,600 points, putting him in fifth place just for that. Add in the WCRR and the TDF podium, and he's up to third.

Even if you give Contador the TDF and Giro he was stripped of, he would still fall short of Froome. Even if you give him back 2012, and assume he won the Tour, and knocked Froome down to third place, he'd still be just short (that assumes he wouldn't have entered and won the Vuelta that year).
Seriously a ranking that gives the Tour points jersey more importance than a frigging monument is just not worth discussing imo.
 
Edit to add... I don't understand why Contador is on so many of these lists. A GC-only rider that only won the Tour twice? Even if you give credit for 2010, then you have to deduct the gift win in 2007. Among modern (post-2000) cyclists, Valverde, Froome (and Armstrong) clearly rank above him and the only ones who should definitely be in the Top 20.
Nibali, Boonen, Cancellara and maybe Sagan and Gibert around the same level. Of those, I think Boonen and Cancellara are the only ones to consider for a top 20 list.
I'm sorry but why does Valverde clearly rank above Contador? I think Contador has more big wins and and the ones he has are even bigger than Valverde's. Now the argument usually goes to Valverde's small wins but Contador has loads of them as well. I just don't see how Valverde's palmares is the better one.
 
Seriously a ranking that gives the Tour points jersey more importance than a frigging monument is just not worth discussing imo.
Every year, riders have five chances to win a monument, and they can pick one that plays to their strengths. Monuments are often won by luck, by getting in the right break at the right time, or being the best sprinter in a mass finish.

Every year, a rider has one chance to win a Tour points jersey, and he has to do it by being consistently well placed in a variety of stages, some of which will definitely not be to his advantage.

I don't doubt that winning a monument is more prestigious than winning a green jersey, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a more difficult accomplishment. Being a famous actor or entertainer is more prestigious than being a great academic or scientist, but people frequently luck their way into the former; not the latter.
 
The Spanish Wikipedia article that Jspear refers to seems to conflate two unrelated projects.


The UCI Hall of Fame which was founded in 2002 as part of the move to Aigle. It sought to honour those whose 'great achievements or personality had greatly contributed to the development or prestige of the sport' and excluded those who had not been retired for at least 5 years at that time. 57 riders were named, but not ranked, and as far as I can see the list was never added to. The road cyclists were: Adorni, Anquetil, Argentin, Bahamontes, Baldini, Bartali, Binda, Bobet, Bugno, Christophe, Coppi, Garin, Gaul, Gimondi, Hinault, Indurain, Janssen, Kelly, Kübler, Kuiper, Leducq, Lemond, Lesna, Magne, Maertens, Magni, Merckx, Moser, Poulidor, Roche, Saronni, Schotte, Speicher, Thys, Van Loy, Van Steenbergen, Zoetemelk plus Canins and Longo from among the women.

Without making a clear distinction, it then goes on to reference a now defunct website http://www.cyclinghalloffame.com which is where the points system came from. It has no claim to any authoritative status (as far as I can see, although being shut down, the site does not display its owners) , and is only as valid as people want to consider its points algorithm to be tenable: the same is obviously true of CQ or PCS, but at least they have seemed to many people accurate enough that the websites have survived.
 
Every year, riders have five chances to win a monument, and they can pick one that plays to their strengths. Monuments are often won by luck, by getting in the right break at the right time, or being the best sprinter in a mass finish.

Every year, a rider has one chance to win a Tour points jersey, and he has to do it by being consistently well placed in a variety of stages, some of which will definitely not be to his advantage.

I don't doubt that winning a monument is more prestigious than winning a green jersey, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a more difficult accomplishment. Being a famous actor or entertainer is more prestigious than being a great academic or scientist, but people frequently luck their way into the former; not the latter.
Cavendish dropped out of the Tour in 2008 while in a position to win it. Sagan won it twice without winning a stage and they were considered failed Tours for him. He won green last year and it was considered a lost season for him as well
 
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Ok I'll give it a shot.
I'll rank riders based on big wins (GTs, Monuments, WC/Olympic RR).

Disclaimer 1: I'm reluctant to include WC/Olympic TT titles in this ranking because they're relatively young races, hence the greats of the past didn't have a chance to win them. Could be used as tie-breakers.

Disclaimer 2: races' prestige has changed over the years. Winning Fleche Wallonne or Paris-Tours was obviously rated higher 50 years ago than it is today, and that's why I decided to include only GTs/Monuments/WCs in this ranking. It's arbitrary, I know.

Disclaimer 3: I'm the biggest sucker for podiums you'll ever meet but I do believe podiums don't matter much if we're discussing the absolute best of the sport.

So let's start:

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Eddy Merckx1119333
Fausto Coppi79117
Bernard Hinault105116

This is the elite of the sport, with Eddy being clearly a few steps above anyone else.

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Alfredo Binda55313
Gino Bartali57012
Costante Girardengo29011
Roger De Vlaeminck011011
Sean Kelly19010
Rik Van Looy08210
Felice Gimondi54110
Jacques Anquetil8109

This is the tier of riders I consider a lock for the top20. You can move Anquetil up a few spots if GTs are your thing, or Kelly/Van Looy in case you like Classics more. I personally believe Gimondi is probably the most underrated rider in the history of cycling, winning as much as he did while riding in the era of Merckx.
11 of the top20 spots are filled. 9 to go.

Now things get tricky as we move down the rankning. There are 5 riders with 8 big wins and 8 more riders with 7 big wins.
Here's the list. I put a few notes for tie-breaking purposes.

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Francesco Moser1618152 wins, 2 TA
Rik Van Steenbergen05382 FW, 25 GT stages
Paolo Bettini05381 TA
Louison Bobet34181 Dauphine, 1 PN
Tom Boonen0718121 wins, 3 GW
Fabian Cancellara07076 WC/O TT, 1 TA, 1 Suisse
Moreno Argentin06173 FW, 15 Gt stages
Henri Pélissier16071 Paris-Tours
Johan Museeuw06171 Amstel, 1Paris-Tours
Miguel Indurain70072 WC/O TT

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Alberto Contador70074 PV, 2 PN, 1 TA
Chris Froome70073 Dauphine, 2 Romandie
Vincenzo Nibali43072 TA

Moser and Bobet are in for me, winning all 3 types of big races. Froome and Indurain are in too, because TdF.
Then there's a large group of Classic specialists I'd rank this way.
IN: Boonen (best cobble rider ever, number of overall wins), Cancellara (TT titles).
OUT: Van Steerbergen, Bettini, Argentin, Museeuw, Pélissier (not strictly a classic specialist, I know).

Still 3 spots to fill.
Contador and Nibali against a number of riders winning 5/6 big races. I'll name a few: Valverde, Rominger, Gilbert, Freire, Magni, Sagan, Lemond, Fignon, Bugno, Saronni...
Almost impossible to choose, so I'll take the easy way out and select the three riders with the biggest lobbies on this forum: Contador, Nibali, Valverde. Don't wanna argue forever.


Final list:
Eddy Merckx
Fausto Coppi
Bernard Hinault
Alfredo Binda
Gino Bartali
Costante Girardengo
Roger De Vlaeminck
Sean Kelly
Rik Van Looy
Felice Gimondi
Jacques Anquetil
Francesco Moser
Tom Boonen
Louison Bobet
Fabian Cancellara
Miguel Indurain
Alberto Contador
Chris Froome
Vincenzo Nibali
Alejandro Valverde
 
Ok I'll give it a shot.
I'll rank riders based on big wins (GTs, Monuments, WC/Olympic RR).

Disclaimer 1: I'm reluctant to include WC/Olympic TT titles in this ranking because they're relatively young races, hence the greats of the past didn't have a chance to win them. Could be used as tie-breakers.

Disclaimer 2: races' prestige has changed over the years. Winning Fleche Wallonne or Paris-Tours was obviously rated higher 50 years ago than it is today, and that's why I decided to include only GTs/Monuments/WCs in this ranking. It's arbitrary, I know.

Disclaimer 3: I'm the biggest sucker for podiums you'll ever meet but I do believe podiums don't matter much if we're discussing the absolute best of the sport.

So let's start:

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Eddy Merckx1119333
Fausto Coppi79117
Bernard Hinault105116

This is the elite of the sport, with Eddy being clearly a few steps above anyone else.

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Alfredo Binda55313
Gino Bartali57012
Costante Girardengo29011
Roger De Vlaeminck011011
Sean Kelly19010
Rik Van Looy08210
Felice Gimondi54110
Jacques Anquetil8109

This is the tier of riders I consider a lock for the top20. You can move Anquetil up a few spots if GTs are your thing, or Kelly/Van Looy in case you like Classics more. I personally believe Gimondi is probably the most underrated rider in the history of cycling, winning as much as he did while riding in the era of Merckx.
11 of the top20 spots are filled. 9 to go.

Now things get tricky as we move down the rankning. There are 5 riders with 8 big wins and 8 more riders with 7 big wins.
Here's the list. I put a few notes for tie-breaking purposes.

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Francesco Moser1618152 wins, 2 TA
Rik Van Steenbergen05382 FW, 25 GT stages
Paolo Bettini05381 TA
Louison Bobet34181 Dauphine, 1 PN
Tom Boonen0718121 wins, 3 GW
Fabian Cancellara07076 WC/O TT, 1 TA, 1 Suisse
Moreno Argentin06173 FW, 15 Gt stages
Henri Pélissier16071 Paris-Tours
Johan Museeuw06171 Amstel, 1Paris-Tours
Miguel Indurain70072 WC/O TT

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Alberto Contador70074 PV, 2 PN, 1 TA
Chris Froome70073 Dauphine, 2 Romandie
Vincenzo Nibali43072 TA

Moser and Bobet are in for me, winning all 3 types of big races. Froome and Indurain are in too, because TdF.
Then there's a large group of Classic specialists I'd rank this way.
IN: Boonen (best cobble rider ever, number of overall wins), Cancellara (TT titles).
OUT: Van Steerbergen, Bettini, Argentin, Museeuw, Pélissier (not strictly a classic specialist, I know).

Still 3 spots to fill.
Contador and Nibali against a number of riders winning 5/6 big races. I'll name a few: Valverde, Rominger, Gilbert, Freire, Magni, Sagan, Lemond, Fignon, Bugno, Saronni...
Almost impossible to choose, so I'll take the easy way out and select the three riders with the biggest lobbies on this forum: Contador, Nibali, Valverde. Don't wanna argue forever.


Final list:
Eddy Merckx
Fausto Coppi
Bernard Hinault
Alfredo Binda
Gino Bartali
Costante Girardengo
Roger De Vlaeminck
Sean Kelly
Rik Van Looy
Felice Gimondi
Jacques Anquetil
Francesco Moser
Tom Boonen
Louison Bobet
Fabian Cancellara
Miguel Indurain
Alberto Contador
Chris Froome
Vincenzo Nibali
Alejandro Valverde
solid. :)

but no lemond? 3TDFs (including two other podiums) and 2 Worlds, while having a shortened career...?
 
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The secondary jerseys are badly damaged in modern cycling. If we're taking points jerseys into account we should take KOMs into account too, both were far more prestigious 50 years ago, especially in Spain and Italy, and both are badly damaged in terms of credibility as achievements now.

I think a GT points jersey is a pretty worthless achievement now, with the huge sprint-weighting in both the Giro and the Tour meaning that you can win it practically by default without any versatility if you're the best sprinter (because they were upset that people like Hushovd and Petacchi were winning it in the way you describe, over Cavendish who was winning sprints but nothing else, so they purposefully took away the need to show versatility to win those jerseys), while the Vuelta's obsession with MTFs and refusal to sprint weight at ALL means it's just a consolation prize for a failed GC bid unless it's won by accident by the GC winner.

The idea that a points jersey is worth more than a monument win is not one I can even remotely get on board with. The points jersey nowadays is barely a more worthy achievement than winning the S**s. I rank a single stage win higher than the points jersey now. Stage wins are the sprinters' currency, not points jerseys, which come as a by-product of the stage wins. Similarly, the GPM, once the second most important thing to the actual win, are now either an irrelevance fought over by break specialists, or a consolation prize for a GC bid gone awry, or, at least in the Tour where, again, they've made the competition completely artificial to try to get GC contenders winning it, an accidental acquisition as part of a GC bid.
 
I'm not sure about your logic there for points jersey? Ewan won 3 stages and had 7 podiums off sprints last year to Sagan's 1 stage win and 3 podiums. Ewan was a close second i nthe point competition, but clearly not as consistent despite the better sprinter. It's more about consistently high sprinting across 3 weeks than best sprinting to get points jersey really at the moment anyway.
 
May 9, 2016
15
2
2,535
Ok I'll give it a shot.
I'll rank riders based on big wins (GTs, Monuments, WC/Olympic RR).

Disclaimer 1: I'm reluctant to include WC/Olympic TT titles in this ranking because they're relatively young races, hence the greats of the past didn't have a chance to win them. Could be used as tie-breakers.

Disclaimer 2: races' prestige has changed over the years. Winning Fleche Wallonne or Paris-Tours was obviously rated higher 50 years ago than it is today, and that's why I decided to include only GTs/Monuments/WCs in this ranking. It's arbitrary, I know.

Disclaimer 3: I'm the biggest sucker for podiums you'll ever meet but I do believe podiums don't matter much if we're discussing the absolute best of the sport.

So let's start:

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Eddy Merckx1119333
Fausto Coppi79117
Bernard Hinault105116

This is the elite of the sport, with Eddy being clearly a few steps above anyone else.

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Alfredo Binda55313
Gino Bartali57012
Costante Girardengo29011
Roger De Vlaeminck011011
Sean Kelly19010
Rik Van Looy08210
Felice Gimondi54110
Jacques Anquetil8109

This is the tier of riders I consider a lock for the top20. You can move Anquetil up a few spots if GTs are your thing, or Kelly/Van Looy in case you like Classics more. I personally believe Gimondi is probably the most underrated rider in the history of cycling, winning as much as he did while riding in the era of Merckx.
11 of the top20 spots are filled. 9 to go.

Now things get tricky as we move down the rankning. There are 5 riders with 8 big wins and 8 more riders with 7 big wins.
Here's the list. I put a few notes for tie-breaking purposes.

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Francesco Moser1618152 wins, 2 TA
Rik Van Steenbergen05382 FW, 25 GT stages
Paolo Bettini05381 TA
Louison Bobet34181 Dauphine, 1 PN
Tom Boonen0718121 wins, 3 GW
Fabian Cancellara07076 WC/O TT, 1 TA, 1 Suisse
Moreno Argentin06173 FW, 15 Gt stages
Henri Pélissier16071 Paris-Tours
Johan Museeuw06171 Amstel, 1Paris-Tours
Miguel Indurain70072 WC/O TT

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Alberto Contador70074 PV, 2 PN, 1 TA
Chris Froome70073 Dauphine, 2 Romandie
Vincenzo Nibali43072 TA

Moser and Bobet are in for me, winning all 3 types of big races. Froome and Indurain are in too, because TdF.
Then there's a large group of Classic specialists I'd rank this way.
IN: Boonen (best cobble rider ever, number of overall wins), Cancellara (TT titles).
OUT: Van Steerbergen, Bettini, Argentin, Museeuw, Pélissier (not strictly a classic specialist, I know).

Still 3 spots to fill.
Contador and Nibali against a number of riders winning 5/6 big races. I'll name a few: Valverde, Rominger, Gilbert, Freire, Magni, Sagan, Lemond, Fignon, Bugno, Saronni...
Almost impossible to choose, so I'll take the easy way out and select the three riders with the biggest lobbies on this forum: Contador, Nibali, Valverde. Don't wanna argue forever.


Final list:
Eddy Merckx
Fausto Coppi
Bernard Hinault
Alfredo Binda
Gino Bartali
Costante Girardengo
Roger De Vlaeminck
Sean Kelly
Rik Van Looy
Felice Gimondi
Jacques Anquetil
Francesco Moser
Tom Boonen
Louison Bobet
Fabian Cancellara
Miguel Indurain
Alberto Contador
Chris Froome
Vincenzo Nibali
Alejandro Valverde
This is really excellent. Top 11 + Moser and Bobet is spot on and there can be very little debate there. You can argue about the other seven names forever.
I have a hard time especially with the classic riders: just to stay with the contemporary names, the level of separation between Boonen - Cancellara - Bettini (3 monuments + (2) WR + OR) - Gilbert 4! monuments) is minimal. You can make a serious argument for any of them.
Lemond and Fignon might have a case over Valverde and Nibali, but then again, the latter have splendid cases to be in as well, and are probably 1 big win away from being a lock.
And finally you can even make a case against Froome and Contador (and perhaps to a lesser extent, Indurain) for only winning GTs, but well, the triple crown and a level of dominance that few other had at the peak of their careers.

So just for the sake of it, I'll swap in Bettini for Cancellara, and Fignon and Lemond for Nibali and Valverde while we wait for their careers to be over (same with Gilbert).
 
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Ok I'll give it a shot.
I'll rank riders based on big wins (GTs, Monuments, WC/Olympic RR).

Disclaimer 1: I'm reluctant to include WC/Olympic TT titles in this ranking because they're relatively young races, hence the greats of the past didn't have a chance to win them. Could be used as tie-breakers.

Disclaimer 2: races' prestige has changed over the years. Winning Fleche Wallonne or Paris-Tours was obviously rated higher 50 years ago than it is today, and that's why I decided to include only GTs/Monuments/WCs in this ranking. It's arbitrary, I know.

Disclaimer 3: I'm the biggest sucker for podiums you'll ever meet but I do believe podiums don't matter much if we're discussing the absolute best of the sport.

So let's start:

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Eddy Merckx1119333
Fausto Coppi79117
Bernard Hinault105116

This is the elite of the sport, with Eddy being clearly a few steps above anyone else.

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Alfredo Binda55313
Gino Bartali57012
Costante Girardengo29011
Roger De Vlaeminck011011
Sean Kelly19010
Rik Van Looy08210
Felice Gimondi54110
Jacques Anquetil8109

This is the tier of riders I consider a lock for the top20. You can move Anquetil up a few spots if GTs are your thing, or Kelly/Van Looy in case you like Classics more. I personally believe Gimondi is probably the most underrated rider in the history of cycling, winning as much as he did while riding in the era of Merckx.
11 of the top20 spots are filled. 9 to go.

Now things get tricky as we move down the rankning. There are 5 riders with 8 big wins and 8 more riders with 7 big wins.
Here's the list. I put a few notes for tie-breaking purposes.

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Francesco Moser1618152 wins, 2 TA
Rik Van Steenbergen05382 FW, 25 GT stages
Paolo Bettini05381 TA
Louison Bobet34181 Dauphine, 1 PN
Tom Boonen0718121 wins, 3 GW
Fabian Cancellara07076 WC/O TT, 1 TA, 1 Suisse
Moreno Argentin06173 FW, 15 Gt stages
Henri Pélissier16071 Paris-Tours
Johan Museeuw06171 Amstel, 1Paris-Tours
Miguel Indurain70072 WC/O TT

GTsMonumentsWC/O RRTotalNotes
Alberto Contador70074 PV, 2 PN, 1 TA
Chris Froome70073 Dauphine, 2 Romandie
Vincenzo Nibali43072 TA

Moser and Bobet are in for me, winning all 3 types of big races. Froome and Indurain are in too, because TdF.
Then there's a large group of Classic specialists I'd rank this way.
IN: Boonen (best cobble rider ever, number of overall wins), Cancellara (TT titles).
OUT: Van Steerbergen, Bettini, Argentin, Museeuw, Pélissier (not strictly a classic specialist, I know).

Still 3 spots to fill.
Contador and Nibali against a number of riders winning 5/6 big races. I'll name a few: Valverde, Rominger, Gilbert, Freire, Magni, Sagan, Lemond, Fignon, Bugno, Saronni...
Almost impossible to choose, so I'll take the easy way out and select the three riders with the biggest lobbies on this forum: Contador, Nibali, Valverde. Don't wanna argue forever.


Final list:
Eddy Merckx
Fausto Coppi
Bernard Hinault
Alfredo Binda
Gino Bartali
Costante Girardengo
Roger De Vlaeminck
Sean Kelly
Rik Van Looy
Felice Gimondi
Jacques Anquetil
Francesco Moser
Tom Boonen
Louison Bobet
Fabian Cancellara
Miguel Indurain
Alberto Contador
Chris Froome
Vincenzo Nibali
Alejandro Valverde
I think your list is solid. It is hard to digest not having Greg Lemond in there. But he was one of the first ones specializing in the Tour de France. Some people say that he raced all year round which might be truth, but did not win much in the process other than the WC.

Reading about the hall of fame, I saw the riders inducted in there. It is hard to believe for me not having a Colombian in there and the United States have 4 cyclists. 3 of which I have not clue who they are. Maybe they are made for the die hard fans but we should be more objective when inducting someone to the hall of fame. :disappointed:
 
I'm not sure about your logic there for points jersey? Ewan won 3 stages and had 7 podiums off sprints last year to Sagan's 1 stage win and 3 podiums. Ewan was a close second i nthe point competition, but clearly not as consistent despite the better sprinter. It's more about consistently high sprinting across 3 weeks than best sprinting to get points jersey really at the moment anyway.
Oh Ewan was clearly the consistantly better sprinter. It's just not about sprinting that much. It's the fact that Sagan gets over climbs relatively well that gives him the chance to win points in breakaways all the time.

Frankly, Sagan has a very unique skillset that right now makes him almost unbeatable in a competition that fits this skillset to the toe. Riders who climb better but sprint worse are solely going for breakaway stage wins and guys who sprint better but climb worse are solely going for wins in bunch sprints. The thing is, if the green jersey was that important people from both those sides of the spectrum would suddenly center their season, training and race around the points competition. But they don't, because they don't see why they should go from what they are already good at to something that isn't even regarded higher than their current goals.
 
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I know nothing about cycling before the 90s, so I can't contribute much to this discussion anyway, but the first thing I would do (and what of course you are doing here all the time, but more by the way) is to set criteria? Then rate the criteria and then see how you can best measure how far the criteria are met?
So what makes the best cyclists of all time?

  • pure strength (as also in "potential")
  • versatility
  • results overall
  • results in the most important races
  • "resilience": ability to overcome unexpected problems, illnesses...
  • consistency
  • mental strength
  • technical abilities?
  • riding style?
and also, I guess, popularity and influence on future riders?

Which factors should be considered?

  • number and strength of competitors
  • strength of teams
  • help of teams in terms of equipment, mental support...
  • known and strongly assumed clinic issues
more?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY