Who is the greatest British (male) road cyclist?

13

Comments

  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,150


    I think Bradley himself recognises that he isn't one of the great Tour riders but even if you ignore his status as first Brit for a pursuiter to win the Tour is pretty incredible. As cyclists across the whole Brad, Cav and Froome are pretty much equals.

    Which is specifically why I put the word 'road' in the title
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • focuszing723
    focuszing723 Posts: 7,202

    Thomas Edward Godwin (1912–1975) was an English cyclist who held the world cycling record for most miles covered in a year (75,065 miles or 120,805 kilometres) and the fastest completion of 100,000 mi (160,000 km).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Godwin_(cyclist,_born_1912)

    There is no Pro or current in the title. How about Thomas Edward Godwin?

    Proper cycling that, none of your fannying around for a couple of hours here or there.

    Greatness.

  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    That's Lance Armstrong innit..?
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • focuszing723
    focuszing723 Posts: 7,202
    n December 31, 1939, Tommy Godwin rode his 4-speed steel Raleigh Record Ace a modest 60 miles through cold rain and snow, bringing his 365-day total to 75,065 miles. That shattered cycling’s “year record” by nearly 13,000 miles. The next morning the 27-year-old Englishman climbed back on his bike and kept riding, en route to 100,000 miles, which he completed in May 1940 in an even 500 days.

    Think about that. Godwin averaged a double-century for 500 consecutive days, on equipment that’s almost laughably primitive by our modern standards, with only modest support, through the cold and dark and damp of two British winters and the outbreak of the Second World War, wearing wool tights and silk knickers, finding his own routes and often his own meals—a seemingly endless train of eggs, cheese, fruit and bread, washed down with copious amounts of tea and water. Godwin had also become a vegetarian as a teen when a job in a meat-pie factory put him off meat for good.

    I know he wore silk knickers, but I will let that slide.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,479
    edited August 2022
    There seems to be a lot of revisionism going on regarding Wiggins Tour win in this thread. Yes, he had a very strong team in the mountains but that would have been useless if he hadn't been able to climb at their pace which was a pace that his rivals couldn't keep up with generally. He played to his strengths and gained time in the TTs but other than Froome there was no-one stronger than him in the mountains.

    He'd been tipped to win in 2011 having won the Dauphine (where he lost a few seconds to Evans in one MTF and gained more in another) but crashed out and he comfortably beat Evans, the 2011 champion, in 2012. He actually put 23" into Nibali in the mountains so I'm struggling with the whole "route designed to suit him" thing as he put time into his rivals on climbs as well as TTs.
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,736
    RichN95. said:


    I think Bradley himself recognises that he isn't one of the great Tour riders but even if you ignore his status as first Brit for a pursuiter to win the Tour is pretty incredible. As cyclists across the whole Brad, Cav and Froome are pretty much equals.

    Which is specifically why I put the word 'road' in the title
    Yes but it's worth a mention as it was part of what made his Tour win remarkable - though in the context of a discussion about British cyclists it's mainly his status as the first winner - that for me would put him above Thomas.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,479
    Thomas may well have had more GT wins to his name had he not been happy playing the role of loyal domestique until finally getting his chance almost by accident / being the backup rider.
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,224


    Thomas Edward Godwin (1912–1975) was an English cyclist who held the world cycling record for most miles covered in a year (75,065 miles or 120,805 kilometres) and the fastest completion of 100,000 mi (160,000 km).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Godwin_(cyclist,_born_1912)

    There is no Pro or current in the title. How about Thomas Edward Godwin?

    Proper cycling that, none of your fannying around for a couple of hours here or there.

    Greatness.

    Fair play to him, but what a monumental waste of time. Wikipedia says he then had to learn how to walk again, before going into the RAF to fight in the war.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,586
    Sometimes I feel bad for someone like Thomas.

    He seems a top guy, excellent professional - always puts it on the line, really consistent, always gives good interviews. Could not have done more with his talent than he has - though arguably he could have gone after some classics but he had bigger fish to fry and proved us all wrong with that.

    But coming after Wiggins (big personality) and Froome (big palmares) he's always in the shadow.

    He's properly good.
  • phreak
    phreak Posts: 2,905
    Both Wiggins and Froome undoubtedly benefited from the suspensions of Contador and Andy Schleck as well. Schleck was only 25 when he won the 2010 Tour and so could have expected to challenge for a number of years yet, and yet after 2011 he was never a challenger again in any GT. Contador did get back to a good level but not as strong as before, and managed a best of 4th in the Tour after his suspension.
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,224

    Sometimes I feel bad for someone like Thomas.

    He seems a top guy, excellent professional - always puts it on the line, really consistent, always gives good interviews. Could not have done more with his talent than he has - though arguably he could have gone after some classics but he had bigger fish to fry and proved us all wrong with that.

    But coming after Wiggins (big personality) and Froome (big palmares) he's always in the shadow.

    He's properly good.

    He is - a TdF win plus two Olympic track golds is outstanding by itself. Plus the other stage races.

    But Wiggins has a TdF, the other stage races, 4 Olympic track golds, an Olympic TT, a world TT title and an hour record.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,479
    phreak said:

    Both Wiggins and Froome undoubtedly benefited from the suspensions of Contador and Andy Schleck as well. Schleck was only 25 when he won the 2010 Tour and so could have expected to challenge for a number of years yet, and yet after 2011 he was never a challenger again in any GT. Contador did get back to a good level but not as strong as before, and managed a best of 4th in the Tour after his suspension.

    Maybe that's because he had to be more careful after the suspension?

    Schleck's biggest problem was being unable to cut loose from his brother.
  • phreak
    phreak Posts: 2,905
    Pross said:

    phreak said:

    Both Wiggins and Froome undoubtedly benefited from the suspensions of Contador and Andy Schleck as well. Schleck was only 25 when he won the 2010 Tour and so could have expected to challenge for a number of years yet, and yet after 2011 he was never a challenger again in any GT. Contador did get back to a good level but not as strong as before, and managed a best of 4th in the Tour after his suspension.

    Maybe that's because he had to be more careful after the suspension?

    Schleck's biggest problem was being unable to cut loose from his brother.
    Well yes, quite.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,586

    Sometimes I feel bad for someone like Thomas.

    He seems a top guy, excellent professional - always puts it on the line, really consistent, always gives good interviews. Could not have done more with his talent than he has - though arguably he could have gone after some classics but he had bigger fish to fry and proved us all wrong with that.

    But coming after Wiggins (big personality) and Froome (big palmares) he's always in the shadow.

    He's properly good.

    He is - a TdF win plus two Olympic track golds is outstanding by itself. Plus the other stage races.

    But Wiggins has a TdF, the other stage races, 4 Olympic track golds, an Olympic TT, a world TT title and an hour record.
    Track Shmack.

    Thomas is how many times on the TDF podium?
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,224

    Sometimes I feel bad for someone like Thomas.

    He seems a top guy, excellent professional - always puts it on the line, really consistent, always gives good interviews. Could not have done more with his talent than he has - though arguably he could have gone after some classics but he had bigger fish to fry and proved us all wrong with that.

    But coming after Wiggins (big personality) and Froome (big palmares) he's always in the shadow.

    He's properly good.

    He is - a TdF win plus two Olympic track golds is outstanding by itself. Plus the other stage races.

    But Wiggins has a TdF, the other stage races, 4 Olympic track golds, an Olympic TT, a world TT title and an hour record.
    Track Shmack.

    Thomas is how many times on the TDF podium?
    Once more than Wiggins (after results adjustments), and once less on the Vuelta podium. Don't think scrabbling around looking for minor placings makes a difference big enough for the road TT titles.

    Both have really good road GC palmares for riders with those track pursuit titles.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,586
    Results adjustments? eh?
  • Doesn't Thomas also hold the record for the biggest gap between worst and best finishes in the Tour? IIRC he was 140/141 in his debut in 2007.
  • jdee84
    jdee84 Posts: 282
    Obviously this could be done for anyone almost, but the only reason Thomas has a TDF win rather than 1 2nd place and 2 3rd place is that Froome and Dumoulin went to the 2018 Giro rather than just doing the tour.
  • redvision
    redvision Posts: 2,958
    edited August 2022
    jdee84 said:

    Obviously this could be done for anyone almost, but the only reason Thomas has a TDF win rather than 1 2nd place and 2 3rd place is that Froome and Dumoulin went to the 2018 Giro rather than just doing the tour.

    Nonsense. He won the tour because he was the best rider in that tour.

    Tbh I think G would have won more if he wasn't so fond of crashing!

    I would actually question wiggins win more than G's. If froome hadn't respected team orders I think he may well have taken the yellow.



  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,242
    edited August 2022
    phreak said:

    If you took the "British" bit away and asked yourself whether Cipo was better than, say, LeMond or Indurain, I dare say the vast majority would pick Lemond or Indurain, yet Cipo has a very similar palmares to Cav.

    That's because the vast majority seem to think it's easier to win bunch sprints than it is to win the TdF... which I would disagree with... plenty of folks have won TdF 5 times... how many have won the worlds 5 times? There seems to be a bias towards 3 week races, even if it's clear that you can win one without ever crossing the line first. In the specific, Lemond was a very versatile racer, who could win any race, but Froome isn't... as far as I am aware, he has never won a one day race, not even a chipper!
    left the forum March 2023
  • jdee84
    jdee84 Posts: 282
    redvision said:

    jdee84 said:

    Obviously this could be done for anyone almost, but the only reason Thomas has a TDF win rather than 1 2nd place and 2 3rd place is that Froome and Dumoulin went to the 2018 Giro rather than just doing the tour.

    Nonsense. He won the tour because he was the best rider in that tour.

    Tbh I think G would have won more if he wasn't so fond of crashing!

    I would actually question wiggins win more than G's. If froome hadn't respected team orders I think he may well have taken the yellow.



    That's actually bollocks he sat on Dumoulin up every mountain pass and then sprinted to the line in the last couple hundred metres.
  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,150

    Results adjustments? eh?


    Armstrong's DQ in 2009 Tour, I assume. I think Wiggins was officially upgraded to 3rd, but I'm never sure.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • phreak
    phreak Posts: 2,905


    phreak said:

    If you took the "British" bit away and asked yourself whether Cipo was better than, say, LeMond or Indurain, I dare say the vast majority would pick Lemond or Indurain, yet Cipo has a very similar palmares to Cav.

    That's because the vast majority seem to think it's easier to win bunch sprints than it is to win the TdF... which I would disagree with... plenty of folks have won TdF 5 times... how many have won the worlds 5 times? There seems to be a bias towards 3 week races, even if it's clear that you can win one without ever crossing the line first. In the specific, Lemond was a very versatile racer, who could win any race, but Froome isn't... as far as I am aware, he has never won a one day race, not even a chipper!
    In reality, that's not the case though. No one really regards someone like Oscar Freire as a great of the sport, despite winning 3 monuments, 3 worlds, and a bunch of GT stages. That someone like Paolo Bettini wouldn't enter the conversation either demonstrates how the conversation is really about GT riders, as he won 5 monuments, 2 worlds, 2 red jerseys at the Giro, and so on.

    The worlds is often whoever has any energy left at the end of the season.

    For what it's worth ProCycling Stats has Cavendish before Froome, with both a distance ahead of Thomas, Wiggins, and then York.

    https://www.procyclingstats.com/rankings.php?date=2022-08-07&nation=gb&age=&zage=&page=smallerorequal&team=&offset=0&active=&filter=Filter&p=me&s=all-time
  • redvision
    redvision Posts: 2,958
    jdee84 said:

    redvision said:

    jdee84 said:

    Obviously this could be done for anyone almost, but the only reason Thomas has a TDF win rather than 1 2nd place and 2 3rd place is that Froome and Dumoulin went to the 2018 Giro rather than just doing the tour.

    Nonsense. He won the tour because he was the best rider in that tour.

    Tbh I think G would have won more if he wasn't so fond of crashing!

    I would actually question wiggins win more than G's. If froome hadn't respected team orders I think he may well have taken the yellow.



    That's actually bollocks he sat on Dumoulin up every mountain pass and then sprinted to the line in the last couple hundred metres.
    So he was not only able to keep up with Tom D's pace but was able to outpace him at the finish. You've just completely proven my point, in that tour G was the strongest rider.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,479
    ..
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,736
    phreak said:


    phreak said:

    If you took the "British" bit away and asked yourself whether Cipo was better than, say, LeMond or Indurain, I dare say the vast majority would pick Lemond or Indurain, yet Cipo has a very similar palmares to Cav.

    That's because the vast majority seem to think it's easier to win bunch sprints than it is to win the TdF... which I would disagree with... plenty of folks have won TdF 5 times... how many have won the worlds 5 times? There seems to be a bias towards 3 week races, even if it's clear that you can win one without ever crossing the line first. In the specific, Lemond was a very versatile racer, who could win any race, but Froome isn't... as far as I am aware, he has never won a one day race, not even a chipper!
    In reality, that's not the case though. No one really regards someone like Oscar Freire as a great of the sport, despite winning 3 monuments, 3 worlds, and a bunch of GT stages. That someone like Paolo Bettini wouldn't enter the conversation either demonstrates how the conversation is really about GT riders, as he won 5 monuments, 2 worlds, 2 red jerseys at the Giro, and so on.

    The worlds is often whoever has any energy left at the end of the season.

    For what it's worth ProCycling Stats has Cavendish before Froome, with both a distance ahead of Thomas, Wiggins, and then York.

    https://www.procyclingstats.com/rankings.php?date=2022-08-07&nation=gb&age=&zage=&page=smallerorequal&team=&offset=0&active=&filter=Filter&p=me&s=all-time
    I would consider the likes of Sagan, Bettini, Boonen, Cancellara in any conversation about greats of the sport during my time watching.

    Friere is a funny one because he generally doesn't get the level of respect his palmares should do.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,736
    edited August 2022
    phreak said:


    They've also got Max Sciandri ahead of Tom Simpson !!

    I actually think Simpson needs to be in the conversation for top 4. 5 monument level one day wins - MSR, Flanders, Lombardy, Worlds and Bordeaux Paris.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • jdee84
    jdee84 Posts: 282
    redvision said:

    jdee84 said:

    redvision said:

    jdee84 said:

    Obviously this could be done for anyone almost, but the only reason Thomas has a TDF win rather than 1 2nd place and 2 3rd place is that Froome and Dumoulin went to the 2018 Giro rather than just doing the tour.

    Nonsense. He won the tour because he was the best rider in that tour.

    Tbh I think G would have won more if he wasn't so fond of crashing!

    I would actually question wiggins win more than G's. If froome hadn't respected team orders I think he may well have taken the yellow.



    That's actually bollocks he sat on Dumoulin up every mountain pass and then sprinted to the line in the last couple hundred metres.
    So he was not only able to keep up with Tom D's pace but was able to outpace him at the finish. You've just completely proven my point, in that tour G was the strongest rider.
    No he was able to wheel suck day after day and then sprint for some bonus seconds as boring a tour win as he is an interviewee