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Cyclists you wish you had been around to see

Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
edited November 2016 in Pro race
Given modern quality of coverage, which cyclists would you have liked to have been able to watch in their prime that you missed either because of age, ignorance or the lack of coverage?

I'll kick off with Federico Bahamontes. All the attributes of one of those riders who in modern times are slightly cultish heroes - a little bit of panache, a little bit of sadness, and a little bit of myth.

Chuck in Beryl Burton too.
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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,400 Lives Here
    Lemond vs Hinault vs Fignon
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,498
    Lemond vs Hinault vs Fignon
    The first Tour stage I ever saw was stage 13 of the 1986 Tour, which was probably the peak of LeMond v Hinault. It may still be the best Tour stage I've seen. I wonder if I'd be watching the sport if I'd seen a different stage.

    As to the question - Coppi & Bartali. And the 1904 Tour de France
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Those who raced when cycling was one of the, if not the, richest sports around (1890s track cycling and handicap cycling). Major Taylor, Tom Finnigan, Don Walker etc.
  • Yes, Major Taylor! Great shout.

    Also Bartali, Coppi, Gaul

    And yeah, would have been great to have folllowed the 86 Tour
  • The first Tour I remember watching properly was 98, and reading back on some of Pantani's exploits in the mid-90s, particularly in the Giro, make me sad that I missed them
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,471
    Hinault, not just for his GT performances but the likes of Liege too.
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,254
    Coppi...
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,710
    I'd have loved to have seen Merckx race, just to better understand how he was so dominant in an era where there was significant strength in depth.

    I also consider myself fortunate that I actually got to see Sean Kelly race a few times.
  • gweedsgweeds Posts: 2,375
    Van Impe
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 4,360
    Coppi

    Mind you I'll wager the BR forumites would have found a lot of the racing in the 50s, 60s and 70s very dull! :D
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,400 Lives Here
    andyp wrote:
    I'd have loved to have seen Merckx race, just to better understand how he was so dominant in an era where there was significant strength in depth.

    I also consider myself fortunate that I actually got to see Sean Kelly race a few times.

    Probs have already but there are lots of documentaries / footage of his career, with wins & losses.
  • spam02spam02 Posts: 178
    Roger De Vlaeminck for me. Sticking it to everyone in the classics and keeping fit in the winter by winning the World Cyclo Cross title - old school!!
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,710
    andyp wrote:
    I'd have loved to have seen Merckx race, just to better understand how he was so dominant in an era where there was significant strength in depth.

    I also consider myself fortunate that I actually got to see Sean Kelly race a few times.

    Probs have already but there are lots of documentaries / footage of his career, with wins & losses.

    I've seen a lot of them, but clips here and there are no substitute for seeing how a race unfolded. That said, from what I have read and seen, a lot of the time Merckx's main tactic seemed to be to just ride hard for a bit and see who was left standing.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,400 Lives Here
    Yeah. With some patient youtubing and a description of the race from a newspaper cutting from the timeyou can piece together the race.

    But yes they often go as you describe - especially his one day victories.

    I always felt Boonen's '09 Roubaix win was about as Merckx as it gets. Attack at strategically difficult points to make the selection and win the sprint from a very small group.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,626
    Yes, Major Taylor! Great shout.

    Also Bartali, Coppi, Gaul

    And yeah, would have been great to have folllowed the 86 Tour

    That plus Merckx of course.
  • Armstrong - except I did see him, rode with him and he signed his book for me. He gave me hope when my son had bone cancer and my friends were dying of cancer.

    And because he's one of the most notorious sportsmen of all time.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • reacherreacher Posts: 416
    My head says Merckx but part of me says Lance
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,400 Lives Here
    reacher wrote:
    My head says Merckx but part of me says Lance

    A lot of Lance was quite dull.

    His best bits for me:

    Hautacam 2000: https://youtu.be/A6DmNMGEuI0 just ridiculously fast. Even with all the knowledge your jaw drops. I still maintain that was his best ever performance.

    Off-road in 2003: https://youtu.be/V-3pd_UGZQs - if you didn't think he was unbeatable before, you did now.

    Luz Ardiden 2003: https://youtu.be/ZaKR5iOCTts crash by catching a spectator (Hamilton would later reveal Armstrong liked to ride dangerously close to spectators to put riders off being right on his wheel) and breaking his bottom bracket but still winning.

    That's yer lot, with the possible addition of the 2009 crosswind stage when he stuck one over Contador
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,471
    reacher wrote:
    My head says Merckx but part of me says Lance

    A lot of Lance was quite dull.

    His best bits for me:

    Hautacam 2000: https://youtu.be/A6DmNMGEuI0 just ridiculously fast. Even with all the knowledge your jaw drops. I still maintain that was his best ever performance.

    Off-road in 2003: https://youtu.be/V-3pd_UGZQs - if you didn't think he was unbeatable before, you did now.

    Luz Ardiden 2003: https://youtu.be/ZaKR5iOCTts crash by catching a spectator (Hamilton would later reveal Armstrong liked to ride dangerously close to spectators to put riders off being right on his wheel) and breaking his bottom bracket but still winning.

    That's yer lot, with the possible addition of the 2009 crosswind stage when he stuck one over Contador

    If I ever watch that 2003 Tour I still end up cheering Jan in the hope that he'll win.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,400 Lives Here
    Not much over a decade's worth of riding.

    I imagine you could get more mileage of the 89 Tour than you could out of the whole of Lance's career.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 14,076
    Early to mid eighties stuff. Kelly, Millar, Van Impe (although was 70s too), Lemond part 1, Fignon, Hinault etc.

    I read some books as a kid in the late 80s / early 90s that made lots of references to this period.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 14,076
    Not much over a decade's worth of riding.

    I imagine you could get more mileage of the 89 Tour than you could out of the whole of Lance's career.

    It was still better than the Indurain period.
  • NeXXusNeXXus Posts: 854
    Lance Armstrong, yes I've watched every documentary and Oprah chat, watched the films etc But only ever really seen highlight reels of the man, never got to see day after day, hill after hill footage.

    Can stick Le Tour on these days and see Froome/Contador et al every day live, never got that with Lance
    And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.
  • dabberdabber Posts: 1,739
    In a way it depends what you mean by having seen. I saw the 1994 Tour come through Basingstoke and this, included, among many others, Indurain and Pantani. Not really seeing in them in a true balls out racing situation but nice to have seen them all the same. Especially Pantani (although I know I shouldn't).
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Calibre Bossnut
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,718
    I'd like to have seen more of the 80s with Hinault doing his thing, along with more of LeMond/Fignon/Millar. I only got into it at the end of the 80s.

    Would also have liked to have seen the lowlanders peak, like De Vlaeminck, Godefroot, Raas etc.
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
  • reacherreacher Posts: 416
    reacher wrote:
    My head says Merckx but part of me says Lance

    A lot of Lance was quite dull.

    His best bits for me:

    Hautacam 2000: https://youtu.be/A6DmNMGEuI0 just ridiculously fast. Even with all the knowledge your jaw drops. I still maintain that was his best ever performance.

    Off-road in 2003: https://youtu.be/V-3pd_UGZQs - if you didn't think he was unbeatable before, you did now.

    Luz Ardiden 2003: https://youtu.be/ZaKR5iOCTts crash by catching a spectator (Hamilton would later reveal Armstrong liked to ride dangerously close to spectators to put riders off being right on his wheel) and breaking his bottom bracket but still winning.

    That's yer lot, with the possible addition of the 2009 crosswind stage when he stuck one over Contador



    7 toure wins dull ?
  • reacher wrote:
    reacher wrote:
    My head says Merckx but part of me says Lance

    A lot of Lance was quite dull.

    His best bits for me:

    Hautacam 2000: https://youtu.be/A6DmNMGEuI0 just ridiculously fast. Even with all the knowledge your jaw drops. I still maintain that was his best ever performance.

    Off-road in 2003: https://youtu.be/V-3pd_UGZQs - if you didn't think he was unbeatable before, you did now.

    Luz Ardiden 2003: https://youtu.be/ZaKR5iOCTts crash by catching a spectator (Hamilton would later reveal Armstrong liked to ride dangerously close to spectators to put riders off being right on his wheel) and breaking his bottom bracket but still winning.

    That's yer lot, with the possible addition of the 2009 crosswind stage when he stuck one over Contador



    7 toure wins dull ?

    Most of the stages in those races were absolutely terrible (as are most, if we're being honest) - very little happening and not much threat that it might either. Armstrong could produce moments of ridiculous aggression, but by and large simply used his team to shut the race down.

    That stage in 2009 was a final piece of moustache-twirling from Lance - it was HRC that really drove that particular one and Armstrong simply had the nous to get into the right place (and then use it to make Contador uncomfortable). Great stage though.

    Another name I'd like to have seen - Maertens. Although given his beef with Merckx, I suspect that on social media these days he wouldn't be quite as offbeat a hero to have.
  • reacherreacher Posts: 416
    I thought the question was which cyclists you had been around to see not which stages you wish you had been around to see
  • From my perspective, I got so bored with Lance, I turned off from watching the Tour after 2003. You knew the script, you knew the ending. Multo happy the day he announced his retirement, less so the day he announced his comeback (tho I figured he'd be past it)
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,192
    Well I was around to see at least some of Hinault, Fignon etc. But coverage was sparse, to say the least. I'd like to revisit that with modern coverage.

    Other than that, Merckx and Bartali.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
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