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Does it bug anyone else - TdF and Merckx

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Does it bug anyone else - TdF and Merckx

Old 07-08-21, 10:51 AM
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Does it bug anyone else - TdF and Merckx

One advantage of working remotely this time of year is I can watch each stage of the Tour de France in the mornings as I work (and mute during conference calls). This year the commentators have been all over the fact that Mark Cavendish can surpass Eddy Merckx in the total number of TdF stage wins. Does this bug anyone else like it does me? Yeah, sure, he can have the record. But, it's apples to oranges in comparison. Cavendish is a sprinter (and a good one) whereas Merckx won sprints, mountain stages and time trials - and dominated. Maybe it's the same thing in comparing today's specialized pitchers in baseball to 50 years ago when you were expected to go the whole 9 innings as a starter. Now you have climbing specialists, time trial specialists and sprinters.

Guess I'm just sensitive in my old C&V age.
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Old 07-08-21, 11:01 AM
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Yes, it bugs me too. Largely because I find this particular orange not very inspiring.
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Old 07-08-21, 11:07 AM
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It's a different world now in TdF. (NSS) I like Cavendish, but he will never be at the heights of Eddy. I think it would be appropriate for a segment on Eddy to be produced and aired during the Tour. Maybe they have done so or plan to do so. I have not been watching closely. Too much to do. I caught your reference to de Gromm vs Gibson. As a Cardinal faithful, and as you indicated, it is apples to oranges. Does either bother me? Not really. And I don't think de Gromm will make it. Somehow I think Gibby would be pulling for him.
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Old 07-08-21, 11:27 AM
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Bugs me about as much as the fact that positive drug tests in Merckx's day carried a 1-month suspension
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Old 07-08-21, 11:46 AM
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If you compare all the accomplishments between the two, no contest. There is a reason he was called the Cannibal.
Just to start, here is a wikipedia quote: "widely seen as the most successful rider in the history of competitive cycling. His victories include an unequalled eleven Grand Tours (five Tours of France, five Tours of Italy, and a Tour of Spain), all five Monuments, three World Championships, the hour record, every major one-day race other than Paris–Tours, and extensive victories on the track."

"As a road cyclist, Cavendish turned professional in 2005, and achieved eleven wins in his first professional season. Cavendish has won 33
Tour de France stages, putting him second on the all-time list, contributing to a third-highest total of fifty Grand Tour stage victories. He won the Men's road race at the 2011 road world championships, becoming the second male British rider to do so after Tom Simpson. Cavendish also won the points classification in all three of the grand tours: the 2010 Vuelta a España, the 2011 Tour de France, and the 2013 Giro d'Italia. In 2012, he became the first person to win the final Champs-Élysées stage in the Tour de France in four consecutive years."
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Old 07-08-21, 11:53 AM
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I don't follow the TdF. I just don't understand how a rider who won 2 stages can be ranked 148 in the overall standings?
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Old 07-08-21, 11:57 AM
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This was posted in the wrong forum. I am lucky I found it by mistake.

I also enjoyed watching a crazy amount of the Tour when I was home last year and some of this year!!!
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Old 07-08-21, 12:00 PM
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Since we're talking about the TdF: I am really enjoying this year's edition so far. Not in the least because these two moved their game to the road:

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Old 07-08-21, 12:22 PM
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It bugs me exactly zero. Merckx remains the best bike racer the sport has ever known because that distinction is not just measured in TdF stage victories. Cav is a very notable rider in the history of cycling, and exciting rider to watch right now, but he's comparatively one-dimensional.
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Old 07-08-21, 12:27 PM
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As long as the commentators keep the comparison to just the TdF stage wins, I don't really have a problem with them recognizing that Cavendish could surpass Merckx. From what I've heard from the commentators, they have not tried to imply that Cavendish could accomplish anything besides that record during this TdF. I live on the west coast and so by the time I turn on the tour in the mornings I'm only catching the last 60-90 minutes of the stage and so I haven't heard 100% of the conversations. However, given how long Merckx's record has stood, I think it is worth dedicating some attention to the topic. Have the commentator gone overboard? I think that is probably a matter of opinion but I don't think that they have tried to imply that Cavendish is a better cyclist than Merckx, only that he could break the record for stage wins.

The other point of view I try to take on topics such as this is what if the commentators didn't pay any attention to Cavendish's potential to break a record held by a cyclist as great as Merckx? If they completely overlooked it, wouldn't that make them incompetent commentators? What is too much recognition? What is too little recognition? I know that if I lived in England that I would appreciate the recognition that the commentators were giving my fellow countryman.
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Old 07-08-21, 12:43 PM
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the comparison would be easy, have Cavendish attempt the hour record, on an "Eddy" hour equal bike.
He can even try it at altitude.
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Old 07-08-21, 12:46 PM
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It bugs me not. Athletic records and accomplishments are made to be broken. Athletes continue to improve their performance due to always-improving understanding of the human body and methods of training. But who was the greatest cyclist of all time, all things being equal? Nobody knows because nobody can make all things be equal.
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Old 07-08-21, 12:54 PM
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As stated above, it's only relative to TDF stage wins. If Cav gets more stage wins at the TDF than Merckx , then Cav beats that record!
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Old 07-08-21, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ctak View Post
Bugs me about as much as the fact that positive drug tests in Merckx's day carried a 1-month suspension
From alcohol to amphetamines then amphetamines to new age PEDs, drugs will always be part of the sport. Winners and losers alike cyclists seem to love a bit of physical/mental alteration…
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Old 07-08-21, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyItsSara View Post
This was posted in the wrong forum. I am lucky I found it by mistake.

I also enjoyed watching a crazy amount of the Tour when I was home last year and some of this year!!!
Maybe - but this is C&V and that's the bikes of Merckx's era - thus the reason for posting here.
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Old 07-08-21, 02:17 PM
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Doesn't bother me at all. In fact I think it's awesome that at his age, Cav seems at the top of his game (again). Records are meant to be broken, but they're just records.

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Old 07-08-21, 02:24 PM
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It bugs me that Cavendish's potential accomplishment is somehow not worthy to the likes on this forum. Actually, It doesn't bug me. It is quite sad though.
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Old 07-08-21, 02:38 PM
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Eddy participated in seven Tour de France. Cavendish must be up around a dozen Tour de France. So, on a percentile basis Eddy is still #1.

It's like those people who state that Lewis Hamilton is the greatest Formula 1 driver ever, based on all his records. Sure, he's got more poles and wins than anybody else, but when you look at those numbers based on a percentage of the number of races entered, he falls to 5th and 3rd respectively.
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Old 07-08-21, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Eddy participated in seven Tour de France. Cavendish must be up around a dozen Tour de France. So, on a percentile basis Eddy is still #1.

It's like those people who state that Lewis Hamilton is the greatest Formula 1 driver ever, based on all his records. Sure, he's got more poles and wins than anybody else, but when you look at those numbers based on a percentage of the number of races entered, he falls to 5th and 3rd respectively.
George Russell is the greatest F1 driver. He's just stuck in a crap car.
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Old 07-08-21, 03:16 PM
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Not really, no. It is cool that Cavendish has all these wins, great comeback from being pretty much written off.

Only thing that bothers me a little bit, is that by comparing stage wins alone, media is making Cav out to be a new Merckx.
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Old 07-08-21, 03:45 PM
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The commentary bugs me. NBCSN is pretty fatuous and will continue to be until they raise the doping issue again. One of the Peacock announcers has an accent that just doesn't mesh well with my loudspeaker's response and my hearing aids; I can understand only a few of his words and none of his sentences. Cav's accomplishment bugs me not at all. If Cav wins twice more and starts saying he's a better rider than Merckx, I'd laugh at him, but I don't think that will happen. One stage win in a grand tour is something you'd brag about; 33 wins is spectacular.
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Old 07-08-21, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Eddy participated in seven Tour de France. Cavendish must be up around a dozen Tour de France. So, on a percentile basis Eddy is still #1.

It's like those people who state that Lewis Hamilton is the greatest Formula 1 driver ever, based on all his records. Sure, he's got more poles and wins than anybody else, but when you look at those numbers based on a percentage of the number of races entered, he falls to 5th and 3rd respectively.
As has been mentioned already, it is apples and oranges. At least in cycling the development of the gear has not overshadowed the athlete. It is still mostly down to their own performance. We can talk about riders being well rounded vs specialists. Put a current rider on any current bike in the field and they will likely perform just as well.

In something like F1 the gear has become the main factor. Russel a current back marker basically had a victory the first time competing in Hamilton’s car. Team mistake took that away unfortunately. Interesting from an engineering point of view but it really take a bit of the “greatest of all time” away from Hamilton purely as a driver.
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Old 07-08-21, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fettsvenska View Post
As long as the commentators keep the comparison to just the TdF stage wins, I don't really have a problem with them recognizing that Cavendish could surpass Merckx. From what I've heard from the commentators, they have not tried to imply that Cavendish could accomplish anything besides that record during this TdF. I live on the west coast and so by the time I turn on the tour in the mornings I'm only catching the last 60-90 minutes of the stage and so I haven't heard 100% of the conversations. However, given how long Merckx's record has stood, I think it is worth dedicating some attention to the topic. Have the commentator gone overboard? I think that is probably a matter of opinion but I don't think that they have tried to imply that Cavendish is a better cyclist than Merckx, only that he could break the record for stage wins.

The other point of view I try to take on topics such as this is what if the commentators didn't pay any attention to Cavendish's potential to break a record held by a cyclist as great as Merckx? If they completely overlooked it, wouldn't that make them incompetent commentators? What is too much recognition? What is too little recognition? I know that if I lived in England that I would appreciate the recognition that the commentators were giving my fellow countryman.
Totally get this. I understand what the record means and why they talk about it. Guess I would like some description of the different eras and that Merckx won all types of stages. Maybe they have but I haven't heard it. I also am on the west coast and have usually missed a couple of hours of each stage before I turn it on in the morning.
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Old 07-08-21, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
George Russell is the greatest F1 driver. He's just stuck in a crap car.
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Old 07-08-21, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
It bugs me that Cavendish's potential accomplishment is somehow not worthy to the likes on this forum. Actually, It doesn't bug me. It is quite sad though.
He's completely worthy of the accomplishment - especially with a comeback. His team has put together some textbook sprint finishes this year. Wasn't really my point I guess when I posted. Sorry if it came across that way.
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