NWR the Cycling Thread

Absolutely amazing. A very hard finish with all the twists and turns until about the final 150 metres. Well done on equalling Merckx's TdF stage wins record. Cavendish is a very special cyclist and, imho, the best Britain has ever seen.
 
Best ever MALE cyclist. Though he is close to eclipsing Beryl Burton.

When I read the greatest ever ? post my mind screamed Beryl Burton.

Then just below was yours - before my time but my father eulogised about her greatness.

It’s a pity he died 30+ years ago so he missed all the British successes of recent years we take for granted.

But at least we did get to see Robert/Pippa get KOM in the Tour. :)
 
Best ever MALE cyclist. Though he is close to eclipsing Beryl Burton.

But at least we did get to see Robert/Pippa get KOM in the Tour
To my shame I had never heard of Beryl Burton and after googling her, I realise her achievements were spectacular. I did think of Robert Millar's KoM jersey in 1984, as well as the Olympian track cyclists including our own Sir Chris Hoy. However, all considered, I'd still plump for Cavendish, especially for the way he has come back after his illnesses, injuries and almost enforced retirement, and shown the world that, even at his age, he is still the best stage sprint cyclist doing it in the grandest of all grand tours.
 
Not to do Mark Cavendish down, being able to win 34 stages in the modern era with the team set ups we have is amazing. It's a record we'll wait a long time to see equaled or broken. Very few riders currently are even close to him. But we have to remember the Eddie Merckx won his 34 on mountains, tts, and the flat, along with 5 yellow jerseys. I'm pretty sure Cav would swop all those stage wins for just one of those yellow jerseys.
 
Cav very humble re. comparisons to Eddie Merckx: This to the BBC yesterday:
"It's just a number, you know, it doesn't put me on on a level with Eddy Merckx in terms of as a cyclist. I'm a sprinter... I don't think I can ever be compared to the greatest ever road cyclist of all time".
Yes, let us not forget that it is the media getting rather excited (as with football and tennis recently), albeit with some justification in Cav’s case, but Mark puts it in perspective so well.
 
Not to do Mark Cavendish down, being able to win 34 stages in the modern era with the team set ups we have is amazing. It's a record we'll wait a long time to see equaled or broken. Very few riders currently are even close to him. But we have to remember the Eddie Merckx won his 34 on mountains, tts, and the flat, along with 5 yellow jerseys. I'm pretty sure Cav would swop all those stage wins for just one of those yellow jerseys.

Cav very humble re. comparisons to Eddie Merckx: This to the BBC yesterday:
"It's just a number, you know, it doesn't put me on on a level with Eddy Merckx in terms of as a cyclist. I'm a sprinter... I don't think I can ever be compared to the greatest ever road cyclist of all time".
That's right and Merckx was a brilliant all rounder but it does mean that he had a lot more opportunities to win stages and, taking nothing away from his achievements, he took them. Cav excels at one discipline of road racing, sprinting, so there are rarely more than 7 or 8 opportunities he has of a stage win in a grand tour. Less if he can't get over the intervening mountains and is eliminated. And then when you think of the dangers of half the peloton bearing down on the finishing straight at full throttle, with 5 or 6 top stage contenders jostling for space and train position then picking the right moment to catapult yourself for the line takes a lot of tactical know-how, courage and ability to get the winning spot. Just watching the Carcasonne finish again and again makes me marvel at what a triumph it was and a really fitting tactical win to equal Merckx's record. Most of the peloton was intact, the roads really narrow with a bit of road furniture and a series of bends right up until the final 150 metres. With 5km to go, Cav was back and forward in the front 30 or so riders, looking a bit hemmed in, then finding spaces to nip into and then just seemed to pick that moment where he ended up on the tail of his 3 team mates and just picking that moment to go for it. A second later and his team mate Morkov could have taken it. One of the most exciting finishes I have seen in a long time. Please excuse my ramblings but I was rather excited by it :p
 
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