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Greatest British Cyclist

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  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,771
    Wiggins 2012 has to be the best single season by a British cyclist of all times.

    But does one swallow make a summer?

    Still Cavendish for me. Surprised no one else agrees!
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    Wiggins 2012 has to be the best single season by a British cyclist of all times.

    But does one swallow make a summer?

    Still Cavendish for me. Surprised no one else agrees!

    I agree Bean, one off, no one else out there like him.... though for Grand tours its Froome. For time trialling its Wiggins and then Boardman and Obree.

    Nicole cooke for womens, probably... or Beryl Burton.
  • takethehighroadtakethehighroad Posts: 5,953
    Wiggins 2012 has to be the best single season by a British cyclist of all times.

    But does one swallow make a summer?

    Still Cavendish for me. Surprised no one else agrees!

    I agree Bean, one off, no one else out there like him.... though for Grand tours its Froome. For time trialling its Wiggins and then Boardman and Obree.

    Nicole cooke for womens, probably... or Beryl Burton.

    How is "I heart Cav" not agreeing with you? July 2011 to August 2012 is the best 13 months we will ever experience - Green, Stripes, Yellow and Olympics
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Wiggins 2012 has to be the best single season by a British cyclist of all times.

    But does one swallow make a summer?

    Still Cavendish for me. Surprised no one else agrees!


    Maybe you should read the thread? :lol:
    Nicole Cooke should be number one or Cav
    As for Froome as much as i admire him, he isnt British, he is African, born in Kenya, rasied in SA.

    To be English (to me) means at the very least you ve lived here, Froome has rightly decided that the he can best further his career by becoming "english" cant blame him.
    his parentage is neither here nor there, his culture upbring schooling is all African and he now lives in Monaco, so what bit is English? would that be the Rhino sticker on his frame perhaps?
    I dont want to deride him as a cyclist, he is amazing and is sure to win more GT's and bring it on!
  • tonyf34tonyf34 Posts: 193
    Top four seems reasonable to me. I think you could put Cav, Cooke and Froome in any order 2-4. Wiggo wins by dint of variety and longevity. When Froome wins a bunch sprint I might re-assess things!

    I don't think Burton can be sensibly compared to current riders given the way the sport has changed since her day.
    Utter nonsense, the ONLY way you can compare is to how they perform against their peers.
    BB was and is the greatest British cyclist ever, to suggest not be considered as you do is frankly absurd considering you state Wiggins is the greatest by virtue of longevity and variety !

    Her Palmares dwarf all others both in number and in comparison to her peers (& the men!)and also over vastly greater years.

    She won just a measly SEVEN world champs, five track, two road, medalled in the world champs between 1959 to 1973, the ladies World road races were ridiculously short affairs and she hated the sit in and sprint, so often led the others from the gun, any proper distance would have seen her win a lot more burning off the wheel suckers. If she had had the olympics and stage races to compete in she would have bossed those too despite being in an era were the eastern European ladies were drugged up like crazy.
    There were no time trial world champs either for women which would have added to her tally.

    First women to surpass 25miles/hr, she did the 50 miles/2hr, 100 miles/4 hours and the infamous 277.25 in 12 hours, a distance many would struggle to reach even now.
    Her range from individual pursuit on the track to record holder at 12 hours on the road and everything else inbetween is unparalelled.
    Best British All Rounder for 25 years.
    All whilst being a mum and a housewife and keen gardener whilst winning most of her titles, Burton would have killed the cycling scene these days if she was professional and was a force of nature the likes of which we'll never likely see again.

    Excluding team events & the 25 BBAR titles she had 97 individual wins, as I said that would have being far greater had she had the luxury of Olympics, Commonwealth's, Europeans to ride.
    Her records/titles;
    10 miles -1973 - 21:25
    25 miles -1976 - 53:21
    50 miles -1976 - 1:51:30
    100 miles-1968 -3:55:05

    World Pursuit Champion in 1959/60/62/63/66, (silver '61/64/68, bronze 1966/70/73)

    World Road Champion in 1960 and 1967 (silver '61)

    National Road Champion in 1959/60/63/68/70/71/72/73/74

    National Pursuit Champion in 1960/61/63/65/66/67/68/70/71/72/73/74

    National 25 Champion in 1958, 59, 60, 61, 62, 62, 64, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77

    National 50 Champion in 1958, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77

    National 100 Champion in 1958, 59, 60, 61, 62, 64, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 73, 74, 75
  • I don't think Burton can be sensibly compared to current riders given the way the sport has changed since her day.
    Utter nonsense, the ONLY way you can compare is to how they perform against their peers.
    BB was and is the greatest British cyclist ever, to suggest not be considered as you do

    I didn't say she shouldn't be considered. Only that it is hard to do a sensible (perhaps "consistent" would have been a better word) comparison against current riders. You could make a case for putting BB anywhere in the list given the subjectivity involved. Women's cycling in the 60s/70s is a world away from the current men's pro cycling world. (No judgement passed on quality - they are just very different.)

    It's hard enough objectively comparing Cav, Wiggo and Cooke who are roughly contemporaries but who excel(led) in different aspects of the sport. If you factor in things like differences in the depth of competition, amateur vs pro etc between the 60s/70s and now then the comparisons get very hard indeed.

    As a further example, of cross-gender and cross-generation comparisons how might one compare Marta (FIFA women's football player of the year 2006-2010; thanks Google!) with Pele or Diego Maradona?
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    Are some disciplines more likely to lead to multiple, significant successes? I'm thinking a road cyclist can link 3 GTs, classics, Olympics/Worlds and even track events earlier in their career. Other disciplines are more limited I think like BMX, various forms of off road racing and the more specialized track events.

    I only say this because IIRC there was one British cyclist who did very well in BMX but then got tested by the early days of British cycling's attempts at using science to improve their record. They discovered a physical talent that was better served on the track (sprint if IIRC). He re-trained and won gold at Olympics I think but it was late on in his cycling career so he never had time to progress to lots of titles. I can't remember his name now and I don't think he even merits being on this list, but how many minor cycling disciplines had great talent that could not product career highlights as well known as the GTs and Olympic titles?

    I just think these lists are only relevant if you compare like with like. It is meaningless top trumps. I wonder if you had a load of top trump cards printed for a range of cyclists and had a game, which of these cyclists would be the cards players most want to see in their hand??? I bet you'd see some surprises like Cav or Wiggo getting beaten by some obscure minor discipline cyclist if the holder was able to choose the question.

    You might as well try to rank your best British sports person ever. Botham against Wiggo against one of those footballers (you know who played back when men were men and balls were never headed).
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,694
    Top four seems reasonable to me. I think you could put Cav, Cooke and Froome in any order 2-4. Wiggo wins by dint of variety and longevity. When Froome wins a bunch sprint I might re-assess things!

    I don't think Burton can be sensibly compared to current riders given the way the sport has changed since her day.
    Lots of Beryl Burton brilliance

    I find that really hard to argue with. It's BB for me.
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Yep, it's still BB for me, I just look at those times in today's context and think wow 'that' must have been a good rider. Then you throw in they were done by a female over 40 years ago before the discs and tri bars etc, they really are incredible.

    There's a tendency with lists like this to pick people of now so when someone suggests someone of a different era whom not many would have actually seen, then they've got to be a strong candidate. Is there any argument that Don Bradman was the greatest batsmen for example.
  • kleinstrokerkleinstroker Posts: 2,133
    Chris Froome by a country mile. Then Beryl Burton. This time next year Froome will likely be in the top 10 riders who have ever worn the Yellow Jersey, maybe even the top 5 of all time, he currently has 30 days compared to Coppi 19, Nibali 19, Wiggins 14, & Contadors 7.

    I know its not all about the TDF, but it is really...
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    Is Froome the cycling equivalent of Andy Murray :wink:
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    Wiggins 2012 has to be the best single season by a British cyclist of all times.

    But does one swallow make a summer?

    Still Cavendish for me. Surprised no one else agrees!

    I agree Bean, one off, no one else out there like him.... though for Grand tours its Froome. For time trialling its Wiggins and then Boardman and Obree.

    Nicole cooke for womens, probably... or Beryl Burton.

    How is "I heart Cav" not agreeing with you? July 2011 to August 2012 is the best 13 months we will ever experience - Green, Stripes, Yellow and Olympics

    It represents a high point certainly. Those 15 months were something special, but with caveats. On a traditional course with lots of lumps Wiggins probably wouldn’t win so it represented him doing what he did best, i.e. maximising his opportunity for that one event. I respect him for his ability to morph between pursuitist, to grand tour rider and top class time triallist.
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    Top four seems reasonable to me. I think you could put Cav, Cooke and Froome in any order 2-4. Wiggo wins by dint of variety and longevity. When Froome wins a bunch sprint I might re-assess things!

    I don't think Burton can be sensibly compared to current riders given the way the sport has changed since her day.
    Utter nonsense, the ONLY way you can compare is to how they perform against their peers.
    BB was and is the greatest British cyclist ever, to suggest not be considered as you do is frankly absurd considering you state Wiggins is the greatest by virtue of longevity and variety !

    I would agree that if you're going to give any kind of methodological rigour to the process of creating a list of top 10 British Cyclists you have to start by comparing them against their own field. Where do they stand in the cycling pantheon of their own day. On that basis, Beryl Burton towered above her contemporaries. It could be argued that Hoy was similarly head and shoulders above his rivals for an extended period and that Cav in the specific context of the (mainly GT) sprint finish had no rivals for a time. But both dominated in a much narrower field than Beryl and for shorter times. Froome may I suppose become the best GT racer of his generation but cant claim such a title yet. Wiggins is perhaps among the top 5 all-rounders of the last 10 years but defined periods apart (most obviously 2012) has not consistently stood out above all others even in his specific area of expertise pursuit and TT. Simpson achieved a great deal (Worlds and monuments and yellow jerseys) but was consistently bettered by a number of riders in GTs and one-dayers.

    There is a point, however, you have to make a judgment about the field itself and here the case for Beryl weakens: can anyone seriously argue that she faced the depth or breadth of talent that Wiggins or Froome have faced or most strikingly Simpson who had to get the better of Anquetil and Mercyx (who are the very best of list of true greats of the 60s that Simpson had to beat).
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    I wonder how this Brit list would fit into a list of the World's greatest? If you looked at that list and compared it to the Brit list how would it compare?

    I am wondering because if Simpson was competing with Anquetil and Mercyx would any of the current be up there competing with that level of global quality? If not then just because of those 2 immense cycling talents above him in the GT rankings stopped him winning more perhaps what he did win was more remarkable. Just an idea and one I do not hold. I just think it can not be rigorously worked out this top 10 list. It all comes down to personal preference. If you have never heard of BB or TS then they will never be in your list. Also if you have a penchant for Cav or you don';t like him then that too affects his position. It is all opinion and personal preference. The only truth is they were all remarkable people in their own time. Shame there is no way to collect them from their own time stream when at the peak of their powers and just let them race on as close a like for like basis as possible. Not easy especially since the modern boys have more science behind them. Put them into the training patterns, nutrition,lifestyle, equipment and rules of the old boy's days and see what performance they get. So many changes and factors make this list malarkey worthless other than to highlight to a modern audience a few forgotten names (to most people without an interest in history of the sport or the age to remember them).
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,941
    For men, the Grand Tours have evolved to become essentially the ultimate expression of what road cycling is all about. And the Tour stands above the lot for all the familiar oft repeated reasons that have now become cliche.

    If you were going to devise a platform to test the breadth and depth of the skills and attributes of cyclists, a GT would be it.
    They are it.
    As a GT winner, you might have specialisms, but you won't have any glaring weaknesses.
    Therefore they are the only mechanism that offers up who should be considered one of the "Greats". Cavendish is a brilliant rider, but when he is talked about as a "Great", it always comes with the stated or implied "Sprinter" in brackets (same with Gilbert; Great (one day rider). Same with Tony Martin; Great (TTer)...).

    Contador is just Great. Indurain is just Great. Lemond is just Great...

    I'd say Wiggins is just shading Froome right now, but another GT would seal it for the latter (even if the former gets another Olympic gold).
    Don't know what to do about women, though; there isn't parity from one generation to the next (in terms of racing heritage/lineage) to do much other than speculate... Great TTer that Beryl Burton was; would she have been able to live with a rampaging Nicole Cooke - or with Emma Pooley in the mountains of a tour?
  • tonyf34tonyf34 Posts: 193
    Great TTer that Beryl Burton was; would she have been able to live with a rampaging Nicole Cooke - or with Emma Pooley in the mountains of a tour?
    Given her output and obvious stamina/speed over very long distances and with the same kit I think the question should be would Cooke & Pooley be able to live with BB, not the other way around. 8)
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,007
    Wiggins - breadth of plamares and "uniquness in modern era" of them
    Cavendish - prolificness
    Froome - though i suspect he mary rise
    .
    .
    Hoy - longevity and dominance
    Cooke -
    Tracey Mosely - longevity, prolificness and adaptablity as her sport evolved
    .
    .
    .
    Simpson
    R. Millar
    Hoban
    .
    .
    Boardman/Obree
    .
    .
    .
    Trott - lets be honest, a lot of the love for Laura is that she's everyones little sister and races the Devil in a way that is fantastic to watch
    Rach Atherton
    Gee Atherton
    Armitstead
    Steve Peat - honorable mention for starting British DH off in the first place
    .
    .
    .
    Pooley
    Gee Thomas/Stannard/Kennaugh/Jason Kenny etc - but will likely rise
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • josamejosame Posts: 1,057
    ...
    'Do not compare your bike to others, for always there will be greater and lesser bikes'
  • k-dogk-dog Posts: 1,652
    1. Wiggins.
    2. Froome.
    3. Cavendish.
    4. Millar (Robert).

    DD.

    Yep, Millar needs to be higher - partly because he did it essentially on his own.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • symosymo Posts: 1,743
    Imo there is no competition

    2 x TDF , 1 x 2nd TdF , 2 x 2nd Vuelta , lots of other 1 week races and stages

    Froome is the best british cyclist ever by a huge margin.

    Remember that the other british TdF victory was by Wiggins when Froome was not allowed to compete for win.
    You mean the one where even he had ridden off he would have still lost over 2 mins on time trials.

    Froome<Wiggins
    Froome<Burton
    Froome<Cav
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    we are the proud, the few, Descendents.

    Panama - finally putting a nail in the economic theory of the trickle down effect.
  • Ber NardBer Nard Posts: 827
    Steve Peat - honorable mention for starting British DH off in the first place

    Pedantic but JMC, surely?
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,007
    Steve Peat - honorable mention for starting British DH off in the first place

    Pedantic but JMC, surely?

    a fair point, but I think Steve did it for "modern" DHing. They should both be there
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,007
    Doub
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 3,760
    Is Froome the cycling equivalent of Andy Murray :wink:
    Nah, Greg Rusedski.
    Team My Man 2021:

    Thymen Arensman, Remco Evenepoel, Mauri Vansevenant, Simon Carr, Pavel Sivakov, Tom Pidcock, Mark Cavendish, Benoit Cosnefroy, Romain Bardet
  • EnacheVEnacheV Posts: 235
    For years GB means nothing in road cycling and to compensate people had to imagine olympics and stuff means something.

    Ask any non GB person who the biggest GB cyclist ever is, 99,99999% will answer Froome.
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    What, no mention of Andy Ruffell? The injustice!
  • For years GB means nothing in road cycling and to compensate people had to imagine olympics and stuff means something.

    Ask any non GB person who the biggest GB cyclist ever is, 99,99999% will answer Froome.


    I think you're still living in a Tour bubble

    The viewing stats for Brits watching the Tour are still miniscule compared to the viewing figures for say the London Olympics. Your stat works for Wiggins, not for Froome

    Furthermore, the mud thrown around during the Tour about Froome doping...some of it is sticking, far from everyone is following the 'the French are just being sore losers' shizz. Since I got back from France on Monday, I've had mate after mate asking me if I think Froome dopes. None of them are going on about what a great ride he put in, all they want to talk about is whether he's a doper.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    Great TTer that Beryl Burton was; would she have been able to live with a rampaging Nicole Cooke - or with Emma Pooley in the mountains of a tour?
    Given her output and obvious stamina/speed over very long distances and with the same kit I think the question should be would Cooke & Pooley be able to live with BB, not the other way around. 8)

    This is true, Seems Beryl Burton was truly one of a kind, she would monster both in anything where she could engage her phenomenal TT engine.
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,694
    For years GB means nothing in road cycling and to compensate people had to imagine olympics and stuff means something.

    Ask any non GB person who the biggest GB cyclist ever is, 99,99999% will answer Froome.


    I think you're still living in a Tour bubble

    The viewing stats for Brits watching the Tour are still miniscule compared to the viewing figures for say the London Olympics. Your stat works for Wiggins, not for Froome

    Furthermore, the mud thrown around during the Tour about Froome doping...some of it is sticking, far from everyone is following the 'the French are just being sore losers' shizz. Since I got back from France on Monday, I've had mate after mate asking me if I think Froome dopes. None of them are going on about what a great ride he put in, all they want to talk about is whether he's a doper.

    Would they not be doing that whoever won, especially if the English press was making a big deal about the winner?
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
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