|Originally posted by SCSA:
Hooray for Lance!
Did you see today's stage? He crushed Belocki.
Still a week to go, and the alps, but it's Lance Lance Lance! He's 4.12 ahead of Belocki. Sure, he could still lose in the alps...but only if he gets sick, or crashes.
The man, is already the greatest American cyclist ever. If he wins the tour 2 more times, and right now, there's no one who even looks close to being able to challenge him, he'll go down as the greatest cyclist ever. Indurain, Merckx, Hinault, they won the tour 5 straight years. No one, has won it 6 straight years.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but no one, has more tour stage victories (14) than Lance.
FYI, he started as a triathlete. When he was 15, he was winning professional triathlons.
What a story - and an inspiration! Let's get America to learn more about Lance - and less about thugs like Bonds, Iverson, all the rest of 'em.
Well,I'll be the first to agree that Lance is the greatest American racer today, but the best ever, let alone the best cyclist of all time is certainly debateable. So let's debate it!
First, as for Americans, we have Greg Lemond and Major Taylor and I don't think it's fair to compare either one of them. Taylor of course raced nearly a century ago, and did a lot of it on the track, but was utterly dominant world-wide at the time. Greg raced as an American in Europe. Sure Lance does too, but Greg paved the way. In his time there were only 2-3 other Americans in the Tour. In his first Tour win, he had to fight against his own teammate, 5-time Tour winner Bernard Hinault. Then he got shot and after recovery, won again with the ADR team. Thats the race with his famous TT win against Fignon. He did that race with essentially no team. Only a few of his team even made it to Paris. In '90 he finally had a real team... and probably won because of it. Even then his health was declining due to the buckshot that remains to this day in his heart.
As contenders for greatest cyclist ever, we certainly have to look at Merckx and Coppi who were both much more complete riders in their day and did what could not be done today. Merckx raced 150 days per year! He won Classics left and right along with his 5 Tours and (I think) a Giro or two before setting an hour record that held until aero gear was introduced. Coppi won the Tour on both sides of WWII in addition to fighting in North Africa and being a POW (again, if memory serves). A different era... no comparison.
Tour stage victories? I think Zabel has 14 now. I wouldn't care to guess how many Merckx has. There must be someplace we can look this up.
regardless though, I agree with you and I will go one better. I think that before he retires, Armstrong will win 7 Tours.