Eddy Merckx Backing Mark Cavendish There is a reason Why & How it's possible for some of us to break records!...

It's not personal I want to reply but I can't grasp it ? can you ?
I'm sure you are perfectly capable of working out that the post in question should have started "But if ..." rather than "But of".

It then makes perfect sense.

But hey, what do I know ? I've only been teaching English for the last 40 years ...
 

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
Can you explain ?
OK, this is how I read it:

There are many opinions. If Cav only won because the others backed off then it's not a real win and he hasn't really broken the record. He only wins if he is the fastest rider. End of story. So. Is there a prologue/time trial* for next years TdF? (ironic question) If so, would a victory in that count as a stage win and so count towards the record? Cavendish lives on the IoM.

*It's actually a fair question worth asking! Prologues are not an official stage so a win in one may not count as a stage win! I genuinely don't know... But it does point to a silliness about the arbitrary nature of some records. That is, what does and doesn't count towards it.

Following on, FWIW, I don't think many people consider this particular record to be anything more than a count up. There's little of greater relevance to it, let's put it that way. Everyone is at pains to point out there is little or no comparison between the 2 riders. They are different riders; apples and oranges. So to suggest anything on the basis of this record is foolish.

I think the stage win mattered more to Cavendish than the record. I'm hoping he forgets about it. I'd go further, I actually kind of hope he retires now.... well, I'd understand it if he did and think it a good decision. He has nothing left to prove. He will be spoken of as the best sprinter of the generation, if not all time. Nothing that happens next year will change that. But, personally speaking, I'm not so sure he'll get a ride next year, it'll depend on his form before the tour. This tour has been magical for him, particularly considering the last few years he's had what with illness and injury. It would be an excellent way to finish his career.... IF he can come to terms with finishing it. For any athlete, it must be a monumentally tough call to make.
 
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Anthony.R.Brown

Anthony.R.Brown

Active Member
OK, this is how I read it:

I think the stage win mattered more to Cavendish than the record. I'm hoping he forgets about it. I'd go further, I actually kind of hope he retires now.... well, I'd understand it if he did and think it a good decision. He has nothing left to prove.
The flaw in your reply! Cavendish obviously wanted the record more than anything,so as to go down in History as the person with the most stage wins ever!
And to think he will not ride again just to get one more stage win and break Eddy Merckx's record is unbelievable,with no chance of Cavendish retiring until he has.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
The flaw in your reply! Cavendish obviously wanted the record more than anything,so as to go down in History as the person with the most stage wins ever!
And to think he will not ride again just to get one more stage win and break Eddy Merckx's record is unbelievable,with no chance of Cavendish retiring until he has.
Cav will keep riding because he loves racing bikes, until he cannot get paid enough fo it. I doubt the record is a big motivation.
 
OK, this is how I read it:

There are many opinions. If Cav only won because the others backed off then it's not a real win and he hasn't really broken the record. He only wins if he is the fastest rider. End of story. So. Is there a prologue/time trial* for next years TdF? (ironic question) If so, would a victory in that count as a stage win and so count towards the record? Cavendish lives on the IoM.

*It's actually a fair question worth asking! Prologues are not an official stage so a win in one may not count as a stage win! I genuinely don't know... But it does point to a silliness about the arbitrary nature of some records. That is, what does and doesn't count towards it.
Good post! I was curious about prologues counting as stage wins, so googled Spartacus (as I knew he's won a few). I didn't get my answer, but did find this fun stat:
"
Cancellara has won the opening stage of the Tour de France five times and has led the race for 29 days total, which is the most of any rider who has not won the Tour.
"
That's an interesting record - but is it a desirable one? Of course no! He'd rather have a Grand Tour win and only 1 yellow jersey!

So yeah - many records are arbitrary. It's the same in many sports; there is no trophy for being the world leading drop-kicker in rugby, but fans find it interesting. I think the Tour Stage Wins Record does have some status, but any sensible fan knows it's way down the rankings.
(Cricket has to be the ultimate stat-obsessed sport. Centuries don't win matches, but batsmen care about little else!)

And as another great athlete* said: I'd rather have my Olympic Gold than the World Record - noone can take it away from me.

*Ben Johnson
 

T4tomo

Guru
Centuries don't win matches, but batsmen care about little else
Too right, I've played with people who care more about their batting average than winning the game, gladly prod and poke until the required rate goes through the roof rather than play a few shots. I was more a death or glory type player....
 
The Ben Johnson stripped of his gold medals for doping?

What are you implying?
Nowt.
(It's just a funny story, assuming you're not a Johnson (Ben) fan. The quote makes sense in the context of cycling records if you ignore the identity of the athlete, IMO!
If I WAS the sort to imply the things that I think you're implying, I'd be more likely to imply them about Merckx than Cav. Just speaking personally.)
 

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
The flaw in your reply!
Gee thanks. That'll teach me to try and help you understand something. :laugh:
 

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
(Cricket has to be the ultimate stat-obsessed sport. Centuries don't win matches, but batsmen care about little else!)
That made me chuckle :laugh: thanks, I needed that :okay:

Yes, the Cancellara stat is interesting though, you're right,maybe not one he wants! We can make stats of just about anything. Most wins by a right handed male under 5'6" ....

Football stats make me laugh too. Do you know who the only premier league player to score on every day of the week is! :laugh:
 
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classic33

Legendary Member
That made me chuckle :laugh: thanks, I needed that :okay:

Yes, the Cancellers stat is interesting though, you're right,maybe not one he wants! We can make stats of just about anything. Most wins by a right handed male under 5'6" ....

Football stats make me laugh too. Do you know who the only premier league player to score on every day of the week is! :laugh:
Kelechi Iheanacho
 

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
In one!

I think it probably fits into the (almost) anomaly category rather than stat as it's due more to how fixtures have been arranged/rearranged during the pandemic rather than any goal scoring prowess on our Kel's part.
 
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Anthony.R.Brown

Anthony.R.Brown

Active Member
Gee thanks. That'll teach me to try and help you understand something. :laugh:
That's OK mistakes are a human thing :smile: understanding why someone puts breaking a famous stage amount record like Eddy Merck's ,as being more important than a single stage win,is more than just common sense... it's something built into the sports greats! :smile:
 
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Plenty of quotes around from Cav about how each win is special. And how each win is as special as his first.

It's a little harder to find comments on the record. This is the most positive he's been about it, and he's talking about inspiring kids, not about his own personal satisfaction:

“I don’t think I can ever be compared to the great Eddy Merckx, the greatest male road cyclist of all time,” he said, “but I think to equal him with the record number of stage victories, for people who don’t follow cycling a lot, is something they can understand and put into perspective. If that inspires them to get on a bike, because a British rider has done that, then it’s the biggest thing I can take from it.”
 
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