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Marmite - a bitter debate

tremaynetremayne Posts: 378
edited January 2011 in Pro race
A question for any aficionado's out there;

Has any one individual in the history of cycling split the community and been the subject of such bitter debate as 'you know who'. Truly, the level of acrimony when things Armstrong or Livestrong are discussed, not just here but any forum is intense and I'm just not certain we've seen the like before. Can you sit on the fence when it comes to big Tex? I'm just not sure. Opinion tends to be strong and it's fairly even (or used to be).

I'm not especially interested in joining the 'Armstrong End Game' - currently being waged across the ether - but I am curious to know if anyone can come up with the name of someone who caused more upset, insults, argument amongst the following masses! When it comes to LA, it's almost biblical in proportion!

In short; I give you Lance Armstrong. Can anyone raise me ?
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  • EKIMIKEEKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    edited January 2011
    (Not a raise but...) Pantani splits opinion quite widely. For some a hero, icon, entertainer, legend but to others a doper and recreational drug abuser. Unfortunately the two latter points are scientifically proven.

    For me, a flawed legend but still a legend.
  • LJARLJAR Posts: 128
    Does weight training improve performance on the bike?
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,903
    The only one, or rather two, I can think of were Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali in post-war Italy. Apparently, they divided Italy into two supporting factions, fuelled by being almost polar opposite characters. Several posters will have read books about them, so could elaborate.

    But a single individual? No-one comes close as far as I can think. Perhaps the French are full of love/hatred for someone like Virenque.

    A couple of years ago the Observer Sport Magazine's cover said: Lance Armstrong - the most divisive man in sport. I find that hard to dispute.


    (PS we're generally fairly calm on this forum. There's not much in the way of hatred)
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • cal_stewartcal_stewart Posts: 1,839
    ff :lol:
    eating parmos since 1981

    Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero 09
    Cervelo P5 EPS
    www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40044&t=13038799
  • Campag v Shimano?
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    There's a great passage in Matt Rendell's book Olympic Gangster about the exploits of Jose Beyaert who managed to get himself into all sorts of scapes and an alleged run-in with Gino Bartali's honchos - it's fair to say they were 'nails' back in those days and make the current stuff look like handbags. He didn't get on in cycling and went off to pursue a career as an alleged emerald smuggler, cocaine dealer and 'enforcer' in Columbia!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    Damn you, young Richard- I was about to post my annual intelligent and knowledgeable contribution to a debate and you beat me to it.

    This is the most perfect thread title.
  • tremaynetremayne Posts: 378
    Yup I'm thinking Pantani also but don't truly believe he comes halfway close. I even deliberately omitted His name from the thread title to try and attract more than just the haters / true believers ! Funny really I was once a huge fan and only a Trek OCLV or whatever it was would have done it for me. Never did buy one but only cause never had the funds.
    I have a bit of a theory that us fans are just so much more enlightened and have instant access to all sorts of information streams. Info that simply wouldnt have been available twenty thirty years ago. Info = opinion.

    Didn't Coppi have 'issues' in his life outside cycling?
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    Yup, he had a sex life.
    And a white coat hanging in the wardrobe.
  • My mate.....................
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Armstrong is high profile but I reckon nowadays and on this side of the Atlantic at least he doesn't really divide opinion that much - 99% accept he was a doper but realise he was far from unique in that.

    David Millar is one who divides opinion more - though much less high profile of course there are lots who like him as a classy attacking British rider, an interesting character and doping crusader and lots who see him as a hypocritical doper and pretentious ponce.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • SpaceJunkSpaceJunk Posts: 1,157
    RichN95 wrote:
    The only one, or rather two, I can think of were Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali in post-war Italy. Apparently, they divided Italy into two supporting factions, fuelled by being almost polar opposite characters. Several posters will have read books about them, so could elaborate.

    But a single individual? No-one comes close as far as I can think. Perhaps the French are full of love/hatred for someone like Virenque.

    A couple of years ago the Observer Sport Magazine's cover said: Lance Armstrong - the most divisive man in sport. I find that hard to dispute.


    (PS we're generally fairly calm on this forum. There's not much in the way of hatred)

    Rich ...

    I spent a few weeks on holiday in Italy last year and got into quite a few conversations about cycling.

    Every time I spoke bikes with a local the Coppi v Bartali saga came up. I was always asked who I sided with. I almost always caused offense when I said I was 'neutral' on the matter. No one believed me that this could be possible.

    The most interesting thing was most of the people I spoke with were born after the rivalry ended - yet it remains today still a very important issue.

    Can only imagine was it was like post WWII.
  • SpaceJunkSpaceJunk Posts: 1,157
    tremayne wrote:
    Didn't Coppi have 'issues' in his life outside cycling?

    Just a couple, and only involving the Italian government, his first wife, his lover, his fans and the Vatican.

    May I recommend 'Fallen Angel: The Fausto Coppi Story". A great read IMO.
  • Poulidor and Anquetil were two sides of the same coin. One represented the people, the other was seen as a ruthless posh winner-at-all-costs
    My Men 2020 - Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, Fernando Gaviria, Alejandro Valverde, Edvald Boassen Hagen, Zdenek Stybar, Vincenzo Nibali, Geraint Thomas.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,743 Lives Here
    I wonder if the Armstrong debate will continue 20years down the line.

    I suspect not.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,129
    Not quite in the same league, but discuss the performance of the British team in the 2005 Worlds at your peril around here.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Other riders have divided the public in France or Italy but with Armstrong, it seems to divide the small subset of cycling fans.
  • andyp wrote:
    Not quite in the same league, but discuss the performance of the British team in the 2005 Worlds at your peril around here............

    ...........or at British Cycling
    My Men 2020 - Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, Fernando Gaviria, Alejandro Valverde, Edvald Boassen Hagen, Zdenek Stybar, Vincenzo Nibali, Geraint Thomas.
  • GazzaputtGazzaputt Posts: 3,918
    Ricco or does everyone hate him?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,743 Lives Here
    Gazzaputt wrote:
    Ricco or does everyone hate him?

    I like having him in the peleton, but that doesn't seem to irritate many people.

    It's no fun if you like everyone in the peleton.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    Cavendish comes closest I'd think.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • verlorenverloren Posts: 337
    Jens Voigt - many people think he's human, but many others think that's ridiculous.

    http://www.jensvoigtfacts.com/

    '09 Enigma Eclipse with SRAM.
    '10 Tifosi CK7 Audax Classic with assorted bits for the wet weather
    '08 Boardman Hybrid Comp for the very wet weather.
  • tremaynetremayne Posts: 378
    I think what Kleber said is interesting and may hit the nail on the head to some extent. Probably true that Tex only really divides the opionion of the fans, leaving the general public very indifferent?


    Iain - sure, Cav may split opinion now. However, I'm so hopeful for him and really honestly feel that if he carries on in the same spirit of 2010, that more and more people will come to respect him enourmously, even if it is just grudging respect!! There are vast numbers of people who have no respect at all for LA.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Percy Stallard and his cohorts exploits certainly divided the British Cycling scene for a few years - if it wasn't for them, we'd still be meeting in secluded laybys at dawn, dressed all-in-black racing against the clock
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • tremaynetremayne Posts: 378
    Just read Percy Stallards obituary in the www.guardian. Wow! The animosity and upset generated certainly makes current LA spats look like a storm in a teacup! Decades of argument! The bit where he sacks his mate and mechanic for coming back from a meeting with the 'wrong camp' is especially amazing! What a bloke!
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    Poulidor and Anquetil were two sides of the same coin. One represented the people, the other was seen as a ruthless posh winner-at-all-costs

    I always thought he was perceived as being an aloof standoffish kind of character rather than posh.
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    tremayne wrote:
    A question for any aficionado's out there;

    Has any one individual in the history of cycling split the community and been the subject of such bitter debate as 'you know who'. Truly, the level of acrimony when things Armstrong or Livestrong are discussed, not just here but any forum is intense and I'm just not certain we've seen the like before. Can you sit on the fence when it comes to big Tex? I'm just not sure. Opinion tends to be strong and it's fairly even (or used to be).

    I'm not especially interested in joining the 'Armstrong End Game' - currently being waged across the ether - but I am curious to know if anyone can come up with the name of someone who caused more upset, insults, argument amongst the following masses! When it comes to LA, it's almost biblical in proportion!

    In short; I give you Lance Armstrong. Can anyone raise me ?

    Divisive to the cycling community yes particularly on forums such as this where self proclaimed doping and financial experts abound.......as for the average punter in the street he is the guy who beat cancer and won the Tour de France a few times.
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,277
    Douglas Jardine Captain who had a hatred of Australia who enlisted Harold Larwood and Bill Voce fast bowlers to deliver body line bowling to the Australians in particular Sir Donald Bradman who was their best batsman in the 1932-33 tour of Australia.

    Bodyline bowling caused outage as being unsporting and intended to cause a batsman harm. A diplomatic incident ensued and Anglo-Australian relations were extremely strained. Bodyline bowling was later banned by the MCC. Larwood emigrated to Oz in the fifties to escape continuing persecution in England for his bodyline bowling which he always maintained he was following orders.
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,903
    I suppose of all sporting figures OJ Simpson would be a contender - but that was nothing to do with sport.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,277
    Mike Tyson?
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
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