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If he gets the double, does he go for the grand slam?

I would hope so. Ivan's never going to break Lance's TdF record. That one's like Alfredo Binda's (now Cippo's) Giro stage win record. Very few who watched it being set will live to see it broken. But getting the Big 3 would put Ivan in the most select group in the sport. Only two men have ever done it, Eddy Merckx and Stephen Roche.

I want Jan to win the Tour. He's got more class than anyone I've seen since Andy Hampsten, and he's a big, powerful guy. I can't even dream of climbing like Lance, or Andy, or Lucho Herrera, or Frederico Bahamontes, but A guy like Jan, I can relate to. After watching him, I've switched to a slower climbing cadence, and it works for me.

But a part of me wants Basso to hit this season out of the park. If he wins this Giro, I'll be pulling for him almost as hard as for Jan.

It's gonna be an epic Tour. I'm hoping for the best since '89. (best Tour ever, IMHO) It's been a while since we've seen a real, back-and-forth, mano-a-mano knifefight in the Tour. Too long.

--Shannon
 

· BS the DC
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I'd love to see Ivan go for the Big 3.

I'm not a big Jan fan. How is it that he has so much class?

It will be a great Tour de France this year. I've enjoyed Lance and all he's done for American cycling, but I'm looking forward to the Tour without Lance.
 

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tube_ee said:
IBut getting the Big 3 would put Ivan in the most select group in the sport. Only two men have ever done it, Eddy Merckx and Stephen Roche.
Winning a single day race like the world championship is always a crap shoot, but winning the Vuelta would be a lot less chancy--if Basso has the form. And no one has ever won all three GTs in a single year. That would really slam the door on the Armstrong era of "I can't do more than one GT in a year; they're too hard. Whine. It suddenly became impossible after 1998. Whine. Whine. Whine."

Sastre might not be too happy with the situation, though.
 

· Cannot bench own weight
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Three GTs in one year would be a bigger feat, never been done. However, he has to win the Giro first. While he looks unbeatable, you never know (look what happened last year to him).
 

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No reason why Basso can't win 7 or 8 Tours - after all Indurain did it (5 TdFs + 2 Giros), Coppi (7), Anquetil (8), Hinault (10) and Merckx (11) - and if he spreads his palmares between the GTs he becomes one of a small group to have won all 3 GTs. To win at least 2 of the 3 big stage races has always been seen as the mark of a grand champion - to win all 3 puts him in a very select group. But in the same season? Don't think so. But he might stand a decent chance at the Triple.
 
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Dayum, I didn't know Merckx had a total of 11 GT wins -> freaking superman! Too bad they didn't have powermeters back then (on the bike).
 

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Which goes to prove...

AJL said:
Dayum, I didn't know Merckx had a total of 11 GT wins -> freaking superman! Too bad they didn't have powermeters back then (on the bike).
Which goes to prove that you don't need powermeters to be a strong assed rider such as Merckx.

Eddy was superman on the bike. None shall even ever come close to his greatness and his wins, he was just too dominant for his time, and other great racers suffered at his hands.

Now about this Basso winning all 3 grand tours, let's let him win one to start with and then see where we go shall we? He hasn't even put the finishing touches on the Giro, and need I remind you all, there is still a week to go in this race, he has it far from sewn up. Sure, he's got a big lead, but there are some dicey stages to come with some big mountains in the way, and weird things sometimes happen in the mountains, hell, he could eat something bad again, and just lose it. So I propose no more talk about Basso winning 3 GTs in one year until he's won the first 2. Agreed? Aside from that, the Tour this year is what I would call a Jan-centric time trial festival. Look for Basso to lose many minutes in the time trials, and then to take it back in the mountains.
 

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tube_ee said:
If he gets the double, does he go for the grand slam?
--Shannon
No, I am pretty sure Carlos Sastre will be captain at the Vuelta. Sastre could easily be a Giro d'Italia contender himself (it was Sastres vicious pace up the first mountain stage that utterly destroyed the GT contenders), but at this Giro he is a domestique for Ivan Basso. It is considered likely that the reward for his support role in the Giro is that it will be "everybody for Sastre" at the Vuelta, so if Ivan Basso still got the legs at that time, you will see Basso as a Domestique for Sastre.

--
Regards
 

· Rollin' Stones
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Merckx

3 Grand tour wins in one year? If Eddy Merckx didn't do it, nobody can.
 

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I'm not sure that three GT wins in one year is possible, or even if one would want to attempt it. It seems like one might be giving up form on all three, and risk losing, to have something left for another day.

However, I was pondering this same idea, whilst lying on the white sands of Destin, FL Saturday.

I believe, at least in my mind, that if Basso continues on and wins this Giro, and then wins the Tour in July, that he will be more impressive in his athleticism than Armstrong's 7 in a row. I think it tells the tale of what kind of athlete he is. While the 7 is certainly impressive, it came at the expense of some very strict targeted training, with no other real goals in sight. Same thing for Jan. While he has one TDF victory, the targeted approach just doesn't seem as impressive as racing all season (similar to Basso) and winning two GT's.
 

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cydswipe said:
3 Grand tour wins in one year? If Eddy Merckx didn't do it, nobody can.
In Merckx's time the Vuelta did not have the stature it has today. He may not have even ridden all three in the same year. Also the Vuelta was recently moved from taking place before the Giro to after the Tour, so anyone who does the Double now has the option to attempt to win the Vuelta.

Pantani could have attempted it. There may be no other rider who was ever in the same position. I don't know.
 

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yup Vuelta had a schedule change

wouldn't have been possible to do a triple in Merckx's time. Though even today that is a impossible to near impossible task. reaching 3 GT Peaks in form means having to periodize your training to hold form for roughly 4 months. My guess is if Ivan does the double he'll pretty much pack in the rest of the year and let Carlos have his day at the vuelta. CSC has a shot of pulling the triple as a team though. Add in the P-R and Amstel plus Crit international and that's called 'a nice season'.

If Basso takes the double there will be a "Doh!" heard round the world emanating from around Austin. It's a savvy move to get out from under his shadow. As for Merckx and his power, they did have testing back then. (I have the article somewhere) and all they had ever done mostly was use it to measure Olympic level rowers. (who kind of set the benchmark) When they tested Eddy he crushed their sustained wattage output records.
 

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Under ACrookedSky said:
In Merckx's time the Vuelta did not have the stature it has today. He may not have even ridden all three in the same year. Also the Vuelta was recently moved from taking place before the Giro to after the Tour, so anyone who does the Double now has the option to attempt to win the Vuelta.

Pantani could have attempted it. There may be no other rider who was ever in the same position. I don't know.

n00bs won't remember, but the Vuelta was also earlier in the year (spring)... there was a shuffle with scheduling about 10 years ago. I doubt anyone will ever win 3 grands tours in one year... just completing them would be feat. I don't think many even ride all 3 in one year, although it might happen more now with more protour and fewer lower tier national teams being invited to each.
 

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If Ivan wins the Giro and the Tour, you can begin the countdown for the French press to accuse him of doping. As you know, the French have the only clean riders in the peloton. If he adds the Vuelta, France will implode.

There's no way Basso could pull away from everyone on the climbs so far unless he were doping, right? At least, that's what we'd be talking about if it were Lance, I'm sure.
 

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txzen said:
If Ivan wins the Giro and the Tour, you can begin the countdown for the French press to accuse him of doping. As you know, the French have the only clean riders in the peloton. If he adds the Vuelta, France will implode.

There's no way Basso could pull away from everyone on the climbs so far unless he were doping, right? At least, that's what we'd be talking about if it were Lance, I'm sure.

Am I the only one that's getting tired of this tosh?
 

· Rollin' Stones
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I stand behind my earlier post.

I did not realize the Vuelta has changed since Merckxs' era. I still stand behind my earlier reply. IF it were possible to win all 3 in one year, Merckx would have. He did not, it is not possible.
 

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cydswipe said:
I did not realize the Vuelta has changed since Merckxs' era. I still stand behind my earlier reply. IF it were possible to win all 3 in one year, Merckx would have. He did not, it is not possible.
By your logic it isn't possible for a rider to win Paris-Nice and Tour of Georgia in the same year because Merckx never did. Given the evidence to the contrary, I'm hardly convinced by this argument.
 

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well I dunno about Merckx

but if there was a travel day between events Sean Kelly woulda done it.
since the last Merckx points were kinda off base.
 

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cydswipe said:
I did not realize the Vuelta has changed since Merckxs' era. I still stand behind my earlier reply. IF it were possible to win all 3 in one year, Merckx would have. He did not, it is not possible.
Merckx only won the Vuelta once, so he only had one chance to win all three. He probably did not even think about it because the Vuelta was a minor race back then.

The Vuelta used to start near the end of April, sometimes leaving a gap of just a week before its end and the start of the Giro. On top of that Merckx would be racing the April classics for the first part of the month; and those races were far more important than the Vuelta. Merckx would have had to have been at his best for four solid months with pretty much no rest between any event.

This is the 1992 GT schedule:

Vuelta A Espana : April 27 to May 17
Giro D'Italia : May 24 to June 14
Tour de France : July 4 to July 26

The schedule change has put a month between each GT (actually more like five weeks), so it is a completely different situation than the one that Merckx faced.
 
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