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Teams & Riders Who are The Top 10 Climbers of All Time

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Even Armstrong (sans clinic) is just too heavy for todays GT. This was only 15 years ago too
For what it's worth, Procyclingstats have Armstrong at 72kg, Ullrich at 73, Savoldelli at 72, Froome at 68, Dumoulin at 69, Basso at 70, Pogacar at 66, Indurain at 79.

Don't know how reliable it is, but it's some ballpark numbers at least. Armstrong had quite a bit of upper body mass, especially in between first retirement and comeback. But if he was active in today's peloton, he'd likely shed a lot of it. Don't think his body type per se was too heavy to make it as a top climber in the modern era.
 
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The best you can do is pick one climb and check the best times and even that will be wrong because of the heavy bikes of the past.
Alpe d'huez- pantani
Plateau de beille-pantani
Piancavallo-pantani
Joux plane-pantani
Plan di montecampione-pantani
Oropa-pantani
Madonna di campligio-pantani
Alpe di pampeago-pantani
Courchevel-pantani
 
Using this page in PCS and the links for each rider I counted the riders with the most mountain stage wins at the Tour de France. It would be hard to argue that he's not in the top ten.

12 - Faber, Merckx
10 - Armstrong
9 - Bartali, Pogacar
8- Van Impe, Pantani
7 - Alavoine, Frantz, Zoetemelk, Gaul, Thevenet, Coppi, Vietto, Bahamontes
6 - Hinault, Bobet, Ocana, Froome, Virenque

As some posters said only solo wins and road race stage should count I made a new list as follows:
No TTs
Riders need at least three dominant solo TdF mountain wins to make the list.
A dominant solo win is defined as a winning margin of at least one minute to the second-placed rider.

Only including riders who raced after the Second World War gives:
5 - Pantani, Gaul
4 - Virenque, Merckx, Jiminez, Bahamontes, Robic, Coppi, Bartali, Vietto
3 - Rasmussen, Armstrong, Manzaneque, Geminiani, Bobet

It's interesting that no rider from the 1980s makes the list. It looked like Merckx was the last of the dominant TdF climbers and then inexplicably the period 1994-2007 has 4 newcomers to the list.
 
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As some posters said only solo wins and road race stage should count I made a new list as follows:
No TTs
Riders need at least three dominant solo TdF mountain wins to make the list.
A dominant solo win is defined as a winning margin of at least one minute to the second-placed rider.

Only including riders who raced after the Second World War gives:
5 - Pantani, Gaul
4 - Virenque, Merckx, Jiminez, Bahamontes, Robic, Coppi, Bartali, Vietto
3 - Rasmussen, Armstrong, Manzaneque, Geminiani, Bobet

It's interesting that no rider from the 1980s makes the list. It looked like Merckx was the last of the dominant TdF climbers and then inexplicably the period 1994-2007 has 4 newcomers to the list.
I think it's a bit unfair just count dominant solo wins. For example, Vingegaard was dominant on col de marie blanque but didn’t won the stage because of the breakaway, but he dropped all of the favourites.
 
I think it's a bit unfair just count dominant solo wins. For example, Vingegaard was dominant on col de marie blanque but didn’t won the stage because of the breakaway, but he dropped all of the favourites.
I would also add that why only TDF mountain stage wins? I think when discussing all time great climbers then being able to win mountain stages in other countries/other races should also count.
 
For what it's worth, Procyclingstats have Armstrong at 72kg, Ullrich at 73, Savoldelli at 72, Froome at 68, Dumoulin at 69, Basso at 70, Pogacar at 66, Indurain at 79.

Don't know how reliable it is, but it's some ballpark numbers at least. Armstrong had quite a bit of upper body mass, especially in between first retirement and comeback. But if he was active in today's peloton, he'd likely shed a lot of it. Don't think his body type per se was too heavy to make it as a top climber in the modern era.
After the giro ITT, Johan was asked how lance would have done and johan said 30th place out of the field. He also said yesterdays bikes weren’t that much heavier in comparison
 
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I think it's a bit unfair just count dominant solo wins. For example, Vingegaard was dominant on col de marie blanque but didn’t won the stage because of the breakaway, but he dropped all of the favourites.
Both Vinge and Pog shouldnt be included in a top 10 climbers yet.

They may be on it in a few years time, if they continue on the path they are on, but shouldnt be on it today imo.
 
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I think pantani is the best climber of all time.


Don't forget about Roglic. The best climber of all time in the last 500 m.
I noticed that a lot of Joop Zoetemelk's TdF mountain stage wins came with very small margins like 1s, 3s, 6s, 12s. Does anyone remember him racing? Was he a specialist at late attacks...like a Jelle Nijdam of the mountains?
Noticed I was pinged, out of time, so in short:

Firstly, there were none of Roglastomps in the day simply due to much lower cadance/higher gear ratio.

The years I followed him was 2nd part of his career, so don't know about first half before his serious illness.
In back mirror I regard him as an early Stephen Roche. Opportunist, on occasions taking the chance on brakeaways and late escapes, both speaking GT's and oneday races.

However, his lowest levels were sky high, Joop was like the most stable diesel engine and could also just set the pace where the weak links in the chain fell off. or simply just being there when the split had happened and the small, selected frontgroup was formed, and then taking the chance when he was in a group with stronger finishers.

*Edit: OK so just read thread title of which @RedheadDane game me a whiff.
Joop Zoetemelk definitely not within the top-10 of all-time climbers. In his active career I would mention some more pure climbers of his era like Lucien van Impe and Claudio Bortolotto, in 2nd row allrounders as Luis Ocaña and Eddy Merckx.

I don't buy the premise of trying to compare mountain riders 1:1 across 15 decades.
It is, in my eyes, an 'unsexy' pseudo-fact approach looking for an on-and-for-all answer.
Far too many uncertainty factors such as equipment, weather, road conditions, race situations, ways the races were run before and now, etc.

Instead, I'll list my own top-10 of pure mountain riders in random order.

Charly 'Grimpeur ailé' Gaul
Marco 'Elefantino' Pantani
Luis 'Lucho' Alberto Herrera
Lucien 'de kleine van Mere' van Impe
Gino 'L'intramontabile' Bartali
Federico 'El Águila de Toledo' Bahamontes
José 'El Chava' María Jiménez
Fausto 'Il Campionissimo' Coppi
Raymond 'PouPou' Poulidor
Julio 'La pulga de Ávila' Jiménez

However, including strong allrounders, Pogi, Vingo, Merckx, Binda, Ocaña, Armstrong, etc. would like to join the party too, I'd guess (ok Coppi in my list quite an allrounder, too).

*edit2: OK, so just looked up the internet and found below attempt, made more years ago:
Cycling’s Twenty-One Greatest Climbers
In relation to this experiment, my immediate list written during a lunch break with whatever just occurred to me, is probably not completely off the record :)
 
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Was the original title of this thread "Is Pogacar a top 10 all time climber?" or something like that. The complaints would be really weird otherwise.

Concerning the question, Pogacar probably doesn't crack the top 10. A rider of his own generation being argubly better makes it a pretty tough sell. Vingegaard is probably in. I suppose so are Contador, Armstrong and Pantani, but tbh, I'm struggling to actually judge this (as are most on this forum whether they admit it or not). My knowledge of how good climbers in the previous century really were is just way too limited to make a complete ranking. And in cycling it's not quite as easy to point to stats as it is in sports like Basketball when you are arguing about the past.