Top five Riders of All Time

Mar 13, 2009
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The all time toughest question. The list would be incomplete without the Badger himself in there somewhere. Then there's Kelly and Indurain. Maybe a Top 50 would be a better list;)
 
Apr 10, 2009
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This will be an interesting thread, and a long one.
My list would start like this.

1. Eddy Merckx
2. Bernard Hinault
3. Jaques Anquetil
4. Fausto Coppi

Then alot of different riders....quite honestly don't know how they would rank after these four, and 3 and 4 may change depending on my mood :).
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Statistically, from cyclinghalloffame.com:

1. Eddy Merckx
2. Bernard Hinault
3. Lance Armstrong
4. Jacques Anquetil
5. Fausto Coppi

Personally, my top three are the only guys that have won the 5 Monuments in their respective careers. MSR, Flanders, Roubaix, LBL, Lombardia. If a current or future racer is lucky enough to join this list, it's going to be a very, very big deal.

1. Eddy Merckx
2. Roger De Vlaeminck
3. Rick Van Looy
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Statistically, from cyclinghalloffame.com:

1. Eddy Merckx
2. Bernard Hinault
3. Lance Armstrong
4. Jacques Anquetil
5. Fausto Coppi

Personally, my top three are the only guys that have won the 5 Monuments in their respective careers. MSR, Flanders, Roubaix, LBL, Lombardia. If a current or future racer is lucky enough to join this list, it's going to be a very, very big deal.

1. Eddy Merckx
2. Roger De Vlaeminck
3. Rik Van Looy
 
Mar 11, 2009
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no point in trying

still trying:

eddy merckx
fausto coppi
bernard hinault
philippe thys
jacques anquetil
 
Mar 11, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
Was thinking about this recently

1-Eddy Merckx
2-Bernard Hinault
3-Fausto Coppi
4-Jacques Anquteil
5-Lance Armstrong/Miguel Indurain/ Roger De Vlaeminck
+1 was actually thinking about this as I went to bed last night and decided I would post the thread asap!!

1. Merckx
2. Coppi
3. Hinault
4. Anquetil
5. Indurain/De Vlaeminck

But given I've not seen them race live, only with historical footage, I think there should also be favourites currently riding:

1. Cancellara
2. McEwen (would be Zabel if he'd not retired)
3. Boonen/Cavendish/Pettachi
4. Contador/Armstrong
5. Jens Voigt
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
i think its almost impossible to answer...

what criteria.. grand tours, classics, individual races, do you count against sprinters because they dont win grand tours, or count against climbers who dont win classics.. or are we voting for best top 5 all round riders..

then, having not seen merckx or anquetil race, well the odd race here and there i cant comment on those.. then theres the matter of personal favourites, riders i prefer.. its impossible...

5 favourites that i have watched...
sean kelly - no 1 in the last 25 years for me
lance armstrong - you cant argue with his record in the tour, even if he did focus on it
sean yates - when the tour came to britain before his retirment was a wonderful moment..
super mario - dont know what i preffered, his riding, or his attitude.. the only guy to rack up more in fines that winnings..
robert miller - if i couldnt be sean kelly i would be rob miller..

not the five greatest.. but like i say.. thats impossible.. :D
 
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Anonymous

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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
There is a very interesting graph of the All-Time top 25 riders which shows the individuals' ratio of points in Grand Tours to One Day races.

Check it out:

http://cyclinghalloffame.com/riders/alltime25graph.asp
looking at that then arguably

merckx (but then he only won the veulta once)
hinault
coppi (only won two tours and didnt win a vuelta - best italian of all time.. best cyclist? no..)
bartoli (probably the cleanest of the five)
bobet (didnt win a major tour outside of france)

for variety...
but then can we really try and purseude ourself that jan ullrich is a better rider than sean kelly...?
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Ok, from a bit different perspective:

Aesthetically speaking regardless of wins and points, I'm predominantly looking at the riding style of riders I deem graceful, powerful, attacking, or whatnot.

1. Michele Bartoli
2. Andea Tafi
3. Miguel Indurain
4. Joop Zoetemelk
5. Pascal Richard
 
Apr 1, 2009
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dimspace said:
looking at that then arguably

merckx (but then he only won the veulta once)
hinault
coppi (only won two tours and didnt win a vuelta - best italian of all time.. best cyclist? no..)
bartoli (probably the cleanest of the five)
bobet (didnt win a major tour outside of france)

for variety...
but then can we really try and purseude ourself that jan ullrich is a better rider than sean kelly...?
Don't forget that Coppi raced during the 1940's, so he missed out on a lot of racing due to WWII. He was good both in GT's and classics.
 
Apr 10, 2009
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Zoncolan said:
Don't forget that Coppi raced during the 1940's, so he missed out on a lot of racing due to WWII. He was good both in GT's and classics.
You can make the same argument for Gino Bartali. Had the question been posed as "Your Favorite 5 riders" Gino would have definitely made my list.
Bartali won the Tour in 1938 and again in 1948. Ten year span, the only rider to have done that. Classy on and off the bike.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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slowoldman said:
You can make the same argument for Gino Bartali. Had the question been posed as "Your Favorite 5 riders" Gino would have definitely made my list.
Bartali won the Tour in 1938 and again in 1948. Ten year span, the only rider to have done that. Classy on and off the bike.
He wasn't named "Gino the Pious" for nothin' Bartali was a true gentleman, on and off the bike.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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slowoldman said:
You can make the same argument for Gino Bartali. Had the question been posed as "Your Favorite 5 riders" Gino would have definitely made my list.
Bartali won the Tour in 1938 and again in 1948. Ten year span, the only rider to have done that. Classy on and off the bike.
He wasn't named "Gino the Pious" for nothin'.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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slowoldman said:
You can make the same argument for Gino Bartali. Had the question been posed as "Your Favorite 5 riders" Gino would have definitely made my list.
Bartali won the Tour in 1938 and again in 1948. Ten year span, the only rider to have done that. Classy on and off the bike.
Yeah, absolutely classy. Bartali definately had the mind/dedication of a true champion. It's really hard to compare riders from the past with riders of recent history though - it's all changed so much. And there were plenty of riders who died or were otherwise affected during the war periods that may have been greater than someone like Merckx.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Merckx
Bartali
Hinault
Anquetil
Coppi
in that order, and this list includes current history. Sorry Armstrong, et al.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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I personally feel that it's easier to construct a series of "tiers" than to weigh the palmares of a Sean Kelly against those of (say) an Indurain. So, as I see it:

Top Tier: Merckx (won more of every kind of race than anybody: more Grand Tours than Armstrong, more classics that Van Looy)

Tier 2: Hinault, Coppi (Both hold candles to Merckx in terms of versatility, even if they didn't win as often.)

Tier 3: Armstrong, Anquetil, Indurain, Van Looy, Kelly, De Vlaeminck (Specialists: guys who primarily won one kind of race, but did that very well. I'll admit that Kelly sits a bit oddly here, since he wasn't a specialist: he could seemingly win anything BUT the TDF.)

Not sure what to do with Lemond . . . He had a versatility to match Hinault's, and during his high period of 1983-86 had podiums in an amazing breadth of races, but his actual victories were few. After his comeback he narrowed his focus out of sheer necessity. I think that if he hadn't had his accident, he could have made it onto one of these tiers.

By the way, kudos to the guy who put Philippe Thys on his list. Thys was the first guy to win 3 TDFs, and he did it on either side of World War I (1913, 1914, 1919). Is there any doubt that, but for the war, he would have been the first five-timer . . . or even the first seven-timer?
 

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