Where will history place.....

Mar 12, 2009
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Thought I would start a thread about a certain rider of the past to see others opinions, I'll kick it off for no reason with-

Laurent Jalabert

World champion (time trial)
over 20 grand tour stage wins
2 green jerseys/ 2 polka dot jerseys
Winner of Paris-Nice, Giro di Lombardia , Tour de Romandie , Milan-Sanremo.

Huge palmeras and wonderful all round racer. But never won a Tour de France, and fact is he was French, world's number 1 rider had said he wanted to win it. I was a huge fan of JaJa - he always made a race and was extremely versatile over a long career.

thoughts?
 
Mar 11, 2009
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since the tour de france keeps coming back when people talk about palmares, let's make a category here for 'greatest rider to never win the tour'

guys like jaja, kelly, maertens, kuiper, bugno, van steenbergen...

fill me in :)
 
JaJa truely is one of the greatest in history. He's a guy that started out as a sprinter and one day spcialist who developed into a stage race rider. This transition puts him among a select few riders who could truely be called all round masters.
 
ingsve said:
JaJa truely is one of the greatest in history. He's a guy that started out as a sprinter and one day spcialist who developed into a stage race rider. This transition puts him among a select few riders who could truely be called all round masters.
that transition put him into the school of kelly.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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schadenfreude said:
that transition put him into the school of kelly.
Thinking the very same thing. In terms of riders never to win the TDF, Jaja would possibly be a few places down from Kelly who is probably the best rider never to win it, and certainly better than some of those who did around that time.
 
Bluebeard said:
Thinking the very same thing. In terms of riders never to win the TDF, Jaja would possibly be a few places down from Kelly who is probably the best rider never to win it, and certainly better than some of those who did around that time.
.

I think Rik Van Looy is the best rider who never won the tour. Then Alfredo Binda, Constante Girardengo, Roger de vlaeminck, Van Steenbergen, Kelly, Rominger, Jalabert,...
 
Mar 11, 2009
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It's not about the Tour. Yes he gained the ability to ride strongly in stage races but his collection of wins and places speaks for itself, he was won of the best riders of his generation. He was able to win from March through to October.

He is retired today but still rides a lot for the pleasure of it and also competes in triathlons and marathons. He is also a TV commentator for French TV, those watching Paris-Nice in France will have benefited from his insight.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Didn't like him much in the early years, but came to REALLY like his riding later on. Loved his long range attacks in the tour when he won the polka dot and he is definately up there among the greats imo. Classy rider.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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rghysens said:
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I think Rik Van Looy is the best rider who never won the tour. Then Alfredo Binda, Constante Girardengo, Roger de vlaeminck, Van Steenbergen, Kelly, Rominger, Jalabert,...
If we want to argue who's the greatest not to win the tour then without question it's Poulidor, Raymond Poulidor pushed Antequil and Merkx all the way for their wins, he was as unlucky rider to have hit those two at their peak, but he was a super tour de france rider.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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lookkg386 said:
If we want to argue who's the greatest not to win the tour then without question it's Poulidor, Raymond Poulidor pushed Antequil and Merkx all the way for their wins, he was as unlucky rider to have hit those two at their peak, but he was a super tour de france rider.
I will need to second this motion
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Phenomenal all-around rider. Loved him in the sprint. I'm a little less enthusiastic about his polka-dot jerseys, as he kind of developed the template for snatching early points on long mountain stages to win the jersey. So much so that eventually (during the Virenque years), they began doubling the GPM points on the mountaintop finishes.

That stated, he has to be one of France's best all-rounders ever.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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53x11 in DC said:
Phenomenal all-around rider. Loved him in the sprint. I'm a little less enthusiastic about his polka-dot jerseys, as he kind of developed the template for snatching early points on long mountain stages to win the jersey. So much so that eventually (during the Virenque years), they began doubling the GPM points on the mountaintop finishes.

That stated, he has to be one of France's best all-rounders ever.
Must agree with how Polka-dot was won those days, first over the top for first 3 passes before coming to a stand still for the real final mountain top finish was not a good look. Seeing the jersey finish 20 minutes after the winner and then trying to explain to the un-educated cycling watcher (my wife!) that that jersey means he's the tours best climber :confused:
 
Mar 10, 2009
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lookkg386 said:
Must agree with how Polka-dot was won those days, first over the top for first 3 passes before coming to a stand still for the real final mountain top finish was not a good look. Seeing the jersey finish 20 minutes after the winner and then trying to explain to the un-educated cycling watcher (my wife!) that that jersey means he's the tours best climber :confused:
BINGO. Spot on.
 
Oct 30, 2009
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Ah, Laurent Jalabert. Wonderful rider. Pure class on the bike, even if he was dropping like a stone. I remember a stage of La Vuelta - I'm thinking Sierra Nevada 1997 - where he was spat out the back on that long, long climb. But he still looked terrific. What a rider.

I remember watching the Fleche Wallone 1997 and just sitting there in front of the tv, totally in awe, witnessing JaJa dropping Luc LeBlanc on the Mur, with an elegance out of this world. That was sheer beauty.

I find it strange, though, that he never won Liege-Bastogne-Liege. That race fit him like a glove, but unfortunately it fit Michele Bartoli on top of his game too.

La Vuelta 1995 was totally dominant. One of my favorite JaJa moments was when he caught the lone breakaway rider Bert Dietz just a few meters from the finish line, but let him win the stage anyway. Classy!

To be honest, though, seeing him win the Worlds TT was a joke - I hated that.

Still, one of the greats of my time as a cycling fan.
 
Concerning Jalabert, maybe you can help me with this.
How was he able to win the Vuelta? How was he able to win Mountain finishes like in Luz Ardidien. I mean in the Tour he was never really competitive at all in the mountains. How come he was so strong in the Vuelta?
 
Even if you ignore the stronger fields at the Tour, another key factor is that the average speed of the péloton is slower at the Vuelta and Giro. This is why breaks get more rope, more breaks succeed and lesser GC riders are able to stick it out longer. Perhaps that suited JaJa - riding in the mountains in the Tour may never have been a problem, it was the high speed for the rest of the stage meaning he hadn't enough in the tank for the big finishing climbs that took it out of him.
 
Jalabert had a 50+% hematocrit rate in 1999. His palmares is zero.


rghysens said:
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I think Rik Van Looy is the best rider who never won the tour.

Van Looy couldn't hold a candle to De Vlaeminck. That's crystal clear. RDV by a country mile :cool:

No Tour de France winners compare to RDV, except Merckx, Coppi and Hinault. ;) Edit: oh yeah and Gimondi of course !
 
Jul 16, 2010
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ak-zaaf said:
since the tour de france keeps coming back when people talk about palmares, let's make a category here for 'greatest rider to never win the tour'

guys like jaja, kelly, maertens, kuiper, bugno, van steenbergen...

fill me in :)
José Manuel Fuente. Best climber of his generation. And definitely the best climber not to have won the Tour. Forget Poulidor, Fuente was way better. At least in climbing.
 
ak-zaaf said:
since the tour de france keeps coming back when people talk about palmares, let's make a category here for 'greatest rider to never win the tour'

guys like jaja, kelly, maertens, kuiper, bugno, van steenbergen...

fill me in :)
Sean Kelly

Raymond Poulidor

VINO!!!!

Oscar Perreiro:D

Alejandro Valverde.

Cadel Evans
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
Even if you ignore the stronger fields at the Tour, another key factor is that the average speed of the péloton is slower at the Vuelta and Giro. This is why breaks get more rope, more breaks succeed and lesser GC riders are able to stick it out longer. Perhaps that suited JaJa - riding in the mountains in the Tour may never have been a problem, it was the high speed for the rest of the stage meaning he hadn't enough in the tank for the big finishing climbs that took it out of him.
Jalabert finished fourth in Le Tour the same year he won Vuelta. Given that he gained a lot of time on the GC riders on the famous Mende stage which he won, without it he still would've finished in the top 10. That year he climbed well, finished top 10 on the l'Alpe d'Huez stage, before riders like Virenque, Gotti and Chiappucci. Also finished in the top 10 on the stages to Neige and Cauterets, the stage where Casartelli died. So he was a good climber alright, the field was just better. He also suffered in high altitude, which bothered him at the Tour.

But great rider in every way. One of the riders that got me into cycling. Too bad he retired quite early, would've had few good years in him.
 
May 23, 2010
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but for this crash -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pya6ZVW-oKg
Jalabert may have remained a sprinter through out his career- i dont think he ever really rode hard in a massed sprint finish again following that incident.
I agree that the Kelly -Jalabert comparison has a lot going for it - but Kelly was a far superior rider in terms of results.
Although the crash may have made him a more complete rider i think that it did continue to affect him throughout his career- i remember a northern semi classic ( probably Fleche) when he must have lost 20 places by taking a wide corner from the main road to the country lane climb
Kelly had no fear - the descent into MSR proves that.
That said Jalabert also rode for a team who at times could get things very wrong.
Cannot remember what race it was but the ONCE did on more than one occasion pull so hard for Jalabert that the only people to take advantage were the opposition.
classy rider nonetheless - instantly recognizable
thanks
 

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