Author Topic: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong  (Read 7915 times)

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2008, 10:36:00 am »
It doesn't matter how much you win the Tour de France by, it's totally irrelevant, winning it is the objective.  Usually the Yellow-Jersey won't try and annhialate the opposition every day, rather they'll just make sure the opposition stays comfortably behind.  Winning by 1 second is winning. Possibly Lance could have won by bigger margins but there's simply no point when 1 second is enough.

This is totally contrary to what was said in the documentary about Armstrong's mentality BTW... You didn't pay attention!  ;)

It does matter, as it shows how strong one is compared to one's peers. To me Armstrong is one very good rider; but I still regard others as better because of their overall record and because of their attitude as well. Hinault hated Paris-Roubaix but he didn't like the implications that he was chickening out of it; he went, raced it and won it. Class.
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

blackpuddinonnabike

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2008, 10:41:14 am »
It does matter, as it shows how strong one is compared to one's peers. To me Armstrong is one very good rider; but I still regard others as better because of their overall record and because of their attitude as well. Hinault hated Paris-Roubaix but he didn't like the implications that he was chickening out of it; he went, raced it and won it. Class.

I know there are/were other GREAT cyclists.

I'm saying that he is clearly the most successful TdF rider ever with 7 wins.  Just Tour de France.  Not Indoor Team Time Trial (although he's a hell  of a TT rider) or any other discipline.

You're arguing different points....

Greatest ever Tour rider by reason of most wins? Armstrong.
Greatest ever Tour rider taking into account everything else he did in his career? Wide open.

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2008, 11:12:01 am »
It does matter, as it shows how strong one is compared to one's peers. To me Armstrong is one very good rider; but I still regard others as better because of their overall record and because of their attitude as well. Hinault hated Paris-Roubaix but he didn't like the implications that he was chickening out of it; he went, raced it and won it. Class.

I know there are/were other GREAT cyclists.

I'm saying that he is clearly the most successful TdF rider ever with 7 wins.  Just Tour de France.  Not Indoor Team Time Trial (although he's a hell  of a TT rider) or any other discipline.

You're arguing different points....

Greatest ever Tour rider by reason of most wins? Armstrong.
Greatest ever Tour rider taking into account everything else he did in his career? Wide open.

Greatest ever Tour rider by number of stage wins? Merckx.
Greatest ever Tour rider by number of days in Yellow Jersey? Merckx.

See the point yet?
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

LEE

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2008, 11:12:05 am »
Frenchie is arguing a different point :-)

I'm only making the one point - Winning the Tour

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2008, 11:17:11 am »
I'm only making the one point - Winning the Tour

I accept that you think he's the best because of the number of Tours he has won.
I don't think that you accept that other people don't think he's "the best" because it's not all about the tour.

If you see what I mean.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

blackpuddinonnabike

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2008, 11:23:02 am »
It does matter, as it shows how strong one is compared to one's peers. To me Armstrong is one very good rider; but I still regard others as better because of their overall record and because of their attitude as well. Hinault hated Paris-Roubaix but he didn't like the implications that he was chickening out of it; he went, raced it and won it. Class.

I know there are/were other GREAT cyclists.

I'm saying that he is clearly the most successful TdF rider ever with 7 wins.  Just Tour de France.  Not Indoor Team Time Trial (although he's a hell  of a TT rider) or any other discipline.

You're arguing different points....

Greatest ever Tour rider by reason of most wins? Armstrong.
Greatest ever Tour rider taking into account everything else he did in his career? Wide open.

Greatest ever Tour rider by number of stage wins? Merckx.
Greatest ever Tour rider by number of days in Yellow Jersey? Merckx.

See the point yet?

Ouch! Erm, yes, I do, and did....

LEE opened this with greatest Tour rider by Tour wins. AND has admitted that there are clearly other criteria, by which other riders could be considered great/greatest. But by Tour wins Armstrong is best. Number of stages won produces someone different, as you have pointed out, so does number of days in yellow. Number of wins as a percentage of starts?

To be honest, with an opening of Armstrong is the greatest Tour rider by Tour wins, the other stats are irrelevant, and should be subject of another thread of 'Who is the greatest Tour rider?', which should probably be lead into with a thread on 'How do we determine who is the greatest Tour rider?'.

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2008, 11:24:25 am »
Ouch! Erm, yes, I do, and did....

My comments were for LEE not you! :)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

blackpuddinonnabike

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2008, 11:28:17 am »
Ouch! Erm, yes, I do, and did....

My comments were for LEE not you! :)

Oh.

 :-[

*quickly withdraws to the OP*

I watched the first thirty seconds. It sounded like a movie trailer or a shaving advert. I turned over.

Really Ancien

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2008, 11:36:39 am »
Heather and I lasted less than five minutes into this programme, We've followed every Tour since 1985, ridden PBP, ridden or run a control at two LELs and ridden eight 24 hour time trials between us, so we can claim to be keen on cycling, I'm also keen on film-making, but there was something about the tone that prompted Heather to sort the garden out and me to track some photos down among the terrabyte of hard drives lying about. My favourite current Tour rider is Jens Voigt. I'm interested in the event first, the people who make it work second, and the character of the riders third. I never really took to Lance, he always seemed to be an angry man who would never be satisfied, that made him an insatiable competitor, but I like a bit more grace. I also don't like those little plastic bracelets.

Damon.

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2008, 11:38:11 am »
Maybe it's just that he speaks the same language as you.  Hinault was just as much of an arrogant cock.

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2008, 12:03:33 pm »
Maybe it's just that he speaks the same language as you.  Hinault was just as much of an arrogant cock.

I speak both French and English; I beg to differ on the second statement. Have a look at Hinault's interviews on YouTube (e.g. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/alNJ6pwQrNo&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/alNJ6pwQrNo&rel=1</a>). Anquetil was a difficult character, and no angel; he did have some humour though. I think Damon summarises how I too feel  about Amstrong's attitude, and lack of grace and respect.
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

border-rider

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2008, 12:12:49 pm »

I accept that you think he's the best because of the number of Tours he has won.
I don't think that you accept that other people don't think he's "the best" because it's not all about the tour.

If you see what I mean.

Armstrong set out with the deliberate aim of maximum Tour wins - not stage wins or jerseys.  That was his target and he achieved it

I suspect that if (for whatever reason) he'd targetted stage wins he'd have the best record in those too.  I suspect also that if he'd deliberately set out to bag a portfolio of achievements to better Anquetil, Mercx and Hinault he'd have done that too.

I think that Lee's point is that you can only make direct comparisons on the target he set himself.  Conversely, I guess, you can argue that the others didn't set out with that target so that specific comparisons there may be  a little unfair.  Or did they ?



edit

Ant said it better:


To be honest, with an opening of Armstrong is the greatest Tour rider by Tour wins, the other stats are irrelevant, and should be subject of another thread of 'Who is the greatest Tour rider?', which should probably be lead into with a thread on 'How do we determine who is the greatest Tour rider?'.

Really Ancien

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2008, 12:13:42 pm »
Maybe it's just that he speaks the same language as you.  Hinault was just as much of an arrogant cock.
I think you have to be an arrogant cock to win, either that or self deluding and malleable enough to allow the Doctors to 'supercharge' you. But I have done enough cycling to be infected by the joy of the event and to identify with the rictus grin of pain on the face of a domestique on the front of the peleton chasing down a four man break. If I want to idolise winners I will choose them from the amateur ranks where I'm less likely to be disappointed. Jason McIntyre, now there was a rider and sadly missed.

Damon.

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2008, 12:33:21 pm »
Maybe it's just that he speaks the same language as you.  Hinault was just as much of an arrogant cock.

I speak both French and English; I beg to differ on the second statement. Have a look at Hinault's interviews on YouTube (e.g. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/alNJ6pwQrNo&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/alNJ6pwQrNo&rel=1</a>). Anquetil was a difficult character, and no angel; he did have some humour though. I think Damon summarises how I too feel  about Amstrong's attitude, and lack of grace and respect.

Being British, I suppose I do not have a vested emotional interest in this.  I speak French too and I've always thought of Hinault, and to a degree Fignon, as being pretty arrogant.   Lemond was not at all, by way of contrast.

Armstrong certainly made little attempt to assuage the jealousy of the French at his dominance of their event, nor the fact that the last French .winner was  nearly a quarter of a century ago.

I'd agree with Damon's view on this. These are exceptional people doing exceptional things. You aren't going to get very far in any walk of life without a little bit of ego.

Otto

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2008, 12:37:47 pm »


Being British, I suppose I do not have a vested emotional interest in this.  I speak French too and I've always thought of Hinault, and to a degree Fignon, as being pretty arrogant.   Lemond was not at all, by way of contrast.

Armstrong certainly made little attempt to assuage the jealousy of the French at his dominance of their event, nor the fact that the last French .winner was  nearly a quarter of a century ago.

I'd agree with Damon's view on this. These are exceptional people doing exceptional things. You aren't going to get very far in any walk of life without a little bit of ego.
[/quote]

Fignon was also a little paranoid and delusional...remember when he accused the TV helecopter of deliberatly pushing him back on the time trial..whilst helping Lemond

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2008, 12:49:36 pm »
I don't think it has to do with nationality. Lemond indeed was a top character and much loved in France in fact for example. I genuinely can't think of Hinault as arrogant, nor Fignon. Fignon did have a chip on his shoulder though, this is true.
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #41 on: July 08, 2008, 02:09:37 pm »
In fact the guy is the best there has ever been at what he tried to do, that is to win the Tour de France.  Nobody was as good as him at that, certainly none better.

Look at other riders' records and see if you can honestly say that again.

I can't be arsed to be honest, you'll have to tell me who's won it more than that.

Edit.  I was arsed enough to look on Wiki and can't find anyone who won it 7 times or more so I think I can still honestly say (not knowingly lying) that Lance is the best ever at winning Tour de France's.

So winning the Tour de France by huge margins is meaningless in being 'the best ever at winning the Tour' in your opinion?  Being so dominant that you win the yellow, green and polka-dot jersey in the one year (along with the team competition) is also meaningless?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

LEE

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #42 on: July 08, 2008, 02:25:09 pm »
I know he has a reputation for being arrogant. I couldn't care less either way, I'm never likely to meet him, but I'm interested why he is seen this way.

Does anyone have any examples of him being arrogant?  

(I don't mean confident, determimed and I don't mean 'not suffering fools gladly', I mean arrogance without any reason).

Most top athletes are confident, determined and don't suffer fools gladly, you can't get to the top unless everything is 100% nowadays.  99% is last place.

My overall impression of him (based entirely on never meeting him of course) is one of sheer bloody-minded determination.

border-rider

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2008, 02:30:54 pm »
Fignon had a rep as a touchy so-and-so; Hinault was meant to be autocratic etc etc

They're all driven men when on the road.  Maybe in real life they unwind a bit ? I dunno.  Armstrong always seemed to me to be focussed to the point of abruptness rather than deliberately offensive.

LEE

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2008, 02:31:31 pm »
In fact the guy is the best there has ever been at what he tried to do, that is to win the Tour de France.  Nobody was as good as him at that, certainly none better.

Look at other riders' records and see if you can honestly say that again.

I can't be arsed to be honest, you'll have to tell me who's won it more than that.

Edit.  I was arsed enough to look on Wiki and can't find anyone who won it 7 times or more so I think I can still honestly say (not knowingly lying) that Lance is the best ever at winning Tour de France's.

So winning the Tour de France by huge margins is meaningless in being 'the best ever at winning the Tour' in your opinion?  Being so dominant that you win the yellow, green and polka-dot jersey in the one year (along with the team competition) is also meaningless?

I think I qualified what I meant by best at winning the tour enough times for anyone to understand what I meant but here goes one last time...

MOST TOUR WINS

In that respect every other jersey is irrelevant.


Really Ancien

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2008, 02:40:20 pm »
My overall impression of him is of a tightly wound ball of aggression, probably deriving from his having his tetosterone levels adjusted chemically to the highest limit. This having been agreed as part of his medical regime, post cancer, I have no argument with this or the other medical help which he received. I think he made a fantastic testbed for Bristol Myers Squibb <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/GHugRqRBNaY&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/GHugRqRBNaY&rel=1</a> If this has made life better for cancer sufferers I am delighted. I can understand if other riders saw this differently. Chris Boardman retired when he was told by the TdF organisation that he could not counteract a medical condition which caused a low testosterone level. If this had been the subject of the Science of Lance Armstrong, I'd have watched it.
What I really admired about Lance was his ability in bad weather, he lapped it up, as he seemed to be hard-wired to react to adversity, his problem was that in the abscence of adversity, he had to invent it to motivate himself. I saw this as a character weakness which must make him hell to live with.

Damon.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #46 on: July 08, 2008, 03:08:03 pm »

So winning the Tour de France by huge margins is meaningless in being 'the best ever at winning the Tour' in your opinion?  Being so dominant that you win the yellow, green and polka-dot jersey in the one year (along with the team competition) is also meaningless?
I agree with Lee - the Polka dot (etc) is not a measure of winning the Tour, it is a (challenging) sideshow.

However, I'm impressed by any rider that can single-handedly win the team competition! ;)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #47 on: July 08, 2008, 04:56:28 pm »
I don't think it has to do with nationality. ..... I genuinely can't think of Hinault as arrogant, nor Fignon. .

Of course, don't forget that what passes for arrogance in this country is seen as normal in France  ;)

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #48 on: July 09, 2008, 08:47:11 am »
I don't think it has to do with nationality. ..... I genuinely can't think of Hinault as arrogant, nor Fignon. .

Of course, don't forget that what passes for arrogance in this country is seen as normal in France  ;)

There may be an element of truth in that. British are usually modest; I certainly don't like brash and Armstrong was all that and more. However check the YouTube link I posted. Do you find Hinault arrogant? He spoke his mind, yes he was confident, but he respected others and was not brash. He doesn't need to tell a story now either; he has already written it when he rode the TdF, the Giro, the Vuelta and many others; and left it at that.
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

Rob S

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #49 on: July 09, 2008, 11:17:48 am »
I'm only making the one point - Winning the Tour

I accept that you think he's the best because of the number of Tours he has won.
I don't think that you accept that other people don't think he's "the best" because it's not all about the tour.

If you see what I mean.

I think this argument is very similar to the one aired about Roger Federer being the greatest grass court player ever....a point made several years ago even though it was 2007 before he 'merely' equalled Borg's 5 in a row Wimbledon titles and Sampras won 7 in total (3 in a row, then another 4 in a row starting in 97) and that completely disregards winners of multiple Grand Slam events prior to 1978 when 3 of the 4 were played on grass.