Author Topic: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?  (Read 8596 times)

LEE

Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« on: July 18, 2011, 08:58:01 am »
Cav has 19 stage wins now (and far more appreciated abroad than in the UK).

Realistically how many will he have by the end of his career?

He's been fortunate to work for a team which focusses on stage wins rather than GC so his main rivals have not had the unquestioned support of a 9-man train.  If he can keep a similar setup then I can see him getting #3 in the all-time list, possibly #2 if he gets very lucky and can stay motivated to ride four more times. 

If he ends up in a "normal" team then I can see his strike rate going down to 1 or 2 wins per tour as it becomes more of an open bunch sprint with his rivals.

1. Eddy Merckx, BEL- - - - - 34
2. Bernard Hinault, FRA- - - 28
3. Lance Armstrong, USA- - - 25
3. Andre Leducq, FRA - - - - 25
5. Andre Darrigade, FRA- - - 22
6. Nicolas Frantz, LUX - - - 20
7. Francois Faber, LUX - - - 19

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 09:13:01 am »
The most interesting number in that list is Armstrong. It is numbers like that coupled with the comparison to this years tour that demonstrate just how dominant he was.

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 09:14:11 am »
At current strike rate ( 4 or 5 stages a tour) he only needs 2 more tours with an 8 man lead out train to be around #2. and would make #1 in 3-4 tours. Whether he can maintain current form and a supportive team is the key to it and Sky won't be that team. Yes, GT, EBH and BS would make a good leadout train for the last 1.5km, but the remaining team members would be climbers to help BW in the mountains and therefore would not be chasing down the breakaways in the manner of Einsel etc.

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 09:30:33 am »
The most interesting number in that list is Armstrong. It is numbers like that coupled with the comparison to this years tour that demonstrate just how dominant he was.

Although it was just the one stage win, a time trial, one year.
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citoyen

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Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 11:14:21 am »
Realistically, how much longer will his career last? What's the lifespan of a top sprinter? Petacchi may not be quite the force he once was, but he still seems to have a decent turn of pace at 37 - enough to beat most of his rivals on his day. And Zabel kept winning races into his late 30s - and probably would have won more if Cav hadn't come along...

Even if Cav retired at 32, he only has to average 2-3 wins per Tour to overhaul Merckx's total.

d.

Steve Kish

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Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 08:39:23 pm »
Whilst he's a good little lad, unless he wins 5 tours as well, he won't make the top three on Lee's list. ;)
Old enough to know better!

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 09:07:53 pm »
At current strike rate ( 4 or 5 stages a tour) he only needs 2 more tours with an 8 man lead out train to be around #2. and would make #1 in 3-4 tours. Whether he can maintain current form and a supportive team is the key to it and Sky won't be that team. Yes, GT, EBH and BS would make a good leadout train for the last 1.5km, but the remaining team members would be climbers to help BW in the mountains and therefore would not be chasing down the breakaways in the manner of Einsel etc.


That's true. But he does seem to be developing as a rider, winning stages that nobody would expect him to with uphill finishes. He'll never get on the podium IMO. He does need his team. I think it's a matter of whether he need Renshaw on his team, or whether he could grab the wheel of another rider from another team instead. His former team mate who beat him the other week might cause him problems though. He's a great sprinter too.
Heseems to be better known that Wiggins, so it looks as if stage wins trump overall placings in the GC. but if Wiggins should wear yellow in Paris, I think Cavendish would either fall to the wayside or enter the limelight as a sideshow to Wiggins.

gonzo

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 09:18:09 pm »
Have there ever been a world champion Madison pair go on to take home top honours at the tour in the overall and green I wonder?

LittleWheelsandBig

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Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 09:40:37 pm »
Merckx and Sercu were a top Six-Day pairing. Sercu was an Amateur Sprint World Champ and won the Tour's Green Jersey.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 11:34:31 pm »
He will get 33. Nobody is allowed to beat Merckx!
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 11:52:48 pm »
Well, I know I can't push out 80kph after a 200km audax. Not before, either. But then I am >50.

citoyen

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Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2011, 01:09:44 am »
That's true. But he does seem to be developing as a rider, winning stages that nobody would expect him to with uphill finishes.

I wonder if he'll go the same way as Thor as he gets older - maybe lose a little of his top-end speed but develop into more of an all-rounder.

Who knows? Maybe one day he'll even be able to go up mountains without a tow off the team car.  ;)

d.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2011, 01:28:47 am »
Whilst he's a good little lad, unless he wins 5 tours as well, he won't make the top three on Lee's list. ;)

On the other hand, he's already won 7 more stages than Miguel Indurain. 19 more, if you don't count time trials.

I did wonder if Cav was already the best sprinter ever - apparently not. I had to look up Andre Darrigade as I know nothing about him. Sounds like quite a character.

d.

fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

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Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2011, 09:45:33 am »
His lead out train is very important to Cav BUT, as he has proved in the past, he can win stages by doing a McEwan and latching on the what he percieves to be the most beneficial wheel when his train lets him down. If he does go to Sky (which seems to be a given now), he will still win, even with less team support.

If he can keep his form/ avoid serious injury, Merckx tally will be at risk I think.
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Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2011, 09:51:45 am »
Well, I know I can't push out 80kph after a 200km audax. Not before, either. But then I am >50.

same here & as you say it's an age thing ;)

citoyen

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Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2011, 12:52:50 pm »
I tweeted last night "When does the campaign start to get Cav named Sports Personality of the Year?"

It's already had ten times more RTs than anything else I've ever posted!

And the Telegraph are on board:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/tour-de-france/8655145/Tour-de-France-Mark-Cavendish-deserves-fame-for-all-that-pain.html

(Never imagined a day would come when I'd post two Telegraph articles for positive reasons!)

d.

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2011, 03:10:19 pm »
I tweeted last night "When does the campaign start to get Cav named Sports Personality of the Year?"

But it's not cycling's turn until about 2051  :-[

1965 Simpson, T
<43 years>
2008 Hoy, C
<43 years>
2051....

Seriously, Cav is already probably the greatest sprinter ever.

Whether he manages to widen his skill set to become a great climber, time-triallist or barouder remains to be seen. It's all-rounders that win grand tours.

There is a precedent - Laurent Jalabert: Ace sprinter>Nasty accident with policeman>Ace climber (although I wouldn't wish collisions with policemen on anyone).
The journey is always more important than the destination

Rig of Jarkness

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Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2011, 06:29:42 am »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/tour-de-france/8655145/Tour-de-France-Mark-Cavendish-deserves-fame-for-all-that-pain.html

Quote
Cavendish, a man about as adept at cycling up mountains as my brother-in-law

The author's brother in law must be a pretty good cyclist then, probably good enough to turn pro. 
Aero but not dynamic

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2011, 11:39:43 am »


Quote
Cavendish, a man about as adept at cycling up mountains as my brother-in-law

The author's brother in law must be a pretty good cyclist then, probably good enough to turn pro.

Us ordinary mortals tend to forget that even the Lanterne Rouge would leave us standing in any terrain.
The journey is always more important than the destination

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2011, 11:42:29 am »

Us ordinary mortals tend to forget that even the Lanterne Rouge would leave us standing in any terrain.

Not to mention the other team members who failed to make the squad and the kids who never got signed up by the team at all.
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Biggsy

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Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2011, 11:58:08 am »
Forgetting number of wins for a moment, how would Cav do against Cipollini if Cav went back in a time machine and raced Cipo at his best?

I find it remarkable that such relatively small riders, such as Mark Cavendish and Victoria Pendleton, repeatedly outsprint bulging-muscled big powerhouses.   I know part of it is down to aerodynamics (and Cav gets into particularly aero position for a sprinter), but what else is itt?  How do they physically do it?
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Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2011, 12:04:38 pm »


Quote
Cavendish, a man about as adept at cycling up mountains as my brother-in-law

The author's brother in law must be a pretty good cyclist then, probably good enough to turn pro.

Us ordinary mortals tend to forget that even the Lanterne Rouge would leave us standing in any terrain.

I read somewhere that only the 4 fastest riders in the Etape would have made the cut on the equivalent TdF stage.
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2011, 12:06:09 pm »
Forgetting number of wins for a moment, how would Cav do against Cipollini if Cav went back in a time machine and raced Cipo at his best?

I find it remarkable that such relatively small riders, such as Mark Cavendish and Victoria Pendleton, repeatedly outsprint bulging-muscled big powerhouses.   I know part of it is down to aerodynamics (and Cav gets into particularly aero position for a sprinter), but what else is itt?  How do they physically do it?

I did a marshalling stint at the prologue in London. My duties were to stand next to the T-Mobile pit area all day. Cav may be relatively small but when he warmed up on the turbo he put out more power than any of his team mates. The thing was shaking all over the place.
[Quote/]Adrian, you're living proof that bandwidth is far too cheap.[/Quote]

LEE

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2011, 12:07:08 pm »
Picking up the comment from the telegraph article again

Quote
(Cavendish) ..a man about as adept at cycling up mountains as my brother-in-law,

Just shows how little people comprehend about the speed of a Pro cyclist.  Cavendish finished in a group of 80 riders, presumably 80 of the most accomplished riders on the planet.

As a cyclist myself I still find it hard to comprehend (because TV doesn't do the gradients or the speeds justice) just how superhuman the Tour cyclists are.

When I'm descending a 1:7 local hill, the wind tearing at my jersey and roaring in my ears, I glance, quickly and nervously, at my trip computer to find I'm travelling about 15km/hr slower than Cavendish manages on the flat.

I heard that Thor Hushovd was clocked at 112km/hr on a descent this week.

I'd love to meet this journalist's brother in law.

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Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2011, 12:25:59 pm »
Whether he manages to widen his skill set to become a great climber, time-triallist or barouder remains to be seen.

Top sports(wo)men rarely acquire new skills without compromising the ones they've already got.

A tennis player with a great backhand works on the forehand, improves it, but loses the killer edge on the backhand - etc etc.

(I can't believe I'm contributing to a thread on Cavendish, who I regard as a prize tit.)
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