Sunday, July 25, 2004

Best ever?

The question will inevitably come up, is Lance Armstrong, with his six victories in the Tour de France, the best cyclist ever? But in my opinion, that question* is impossible to answer. Armstrong won six years in a row, struggled against and defeated cancer the years before his first victory and so on. But how do one compare his achievemens with, say Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain who won the TdF five times plus various other important competitions? Merckx for instance, also won Giro d'Italia five times, Vuelta EspaƱa once and three World Championships.

And what about Fausto Coppi who "only" won twice in the Tour de France, but five times in the Giro d'Italia. He started his career in the beginning of the second World War but then the war interrupted the competitions.

All these are great cyclists, and will (and should) be remembered and admired as such. But to say that anyone of them is better than the rest is highly dubious in my opinion.

* Rather, such questions, because there are many in the same "area". Who was the worst, Hitler, Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot is another.