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All-Time Best Road Cyclist 2007 - 8th Edition Part 3
 
By Guest Contributor
Date: 1/30/2008
All-Time Best Road Cyclist 2007 - 8th Edition Part 3
 

All-Time Best Road Cyclist 2007 - 8th Edition Part 3
All-Time Best Road Cyclist
: I. The "Waiting-room", II. Best Riders of 2007,  III. National Aspect of the Ranking, IV. Nations Ranking, English Speaking and Soviet Teams Ranking.

By Daniel Marszalek

I. "Waiting-room" with all active riders who gained at least 150 points:
On the ranking’s main list among all 359 names we can find 35 still active riders (including Ivan Basso ready to return after 2008 season). The “Waiting-room” is a section for next group of riders: those who are still active with contracts for the 2008 season and already collected at least 150 points to the ranking.

Here we have 31 qualified riders, who already passed the half-way point to the ranking’s main list. Given the age, but also results made last season Tour de France winner Spaniard Alberto Contador, lively veterans German Jens Voigt & Italian Leonardo Piepoli plus two riders from Luxembourg Kim Kirchen & Frank Schleck look as the strongest candidates for main list.

On the list below apart from rider’s names there is: their country, year of birth & debut in professional ranks plus points already gained.

The Waiting Room:
Bobby Julich (USA-1971, 1991): 279,65
Alberto Contador (E-1982, 2003): 277,5
Jens Voigt (D-1971, 1997): 255,4
Leonardo Piepoli (I-1971, 1995): 251,2
Oscar Pereiro (E-1977, 2000): 250,95

Kim Kirchen (L-1978, 2000): 234
Markus Zberg (CH-1974, 1996): 230,3
Frank Schleck (L-1980, 2000): 227
Juan Antonio Flecha (E-1977, 2000): 223,4
Leon van Bon (NL-1972, 1994): 219,15

Manuel Beltran (E-1971, 1995): 216,9
Jarosław Popowicz (UKR-1980, 2002); 215,7
Filippo Pozzato (I-1981, 2000): 213,5
Vladimir Karpets (RUS-1980, 2001): 212,5
Stefan Schumacher (D-1981, 2002): 209,45

Igor Astarloa (E-1976, 2000): 207
Andrea Noe' (I-1969, 1993): 206,9
Alessandro Ballan (I-1979, 2004): 204,75
Isidro Nozal (E-1977, 1999): 204,15
Juan Manuel Garate (E-1976, 2000): 202,2

Haimar Zubeldia (E-1977, 1998): 200,2
Michael Rasmussen (DK-1974, 2001): 193,5
Rik Verbrugghe (B-1974, 1996): 190,4
Jorg Jaksche (D-1976, 1997): 188,65
# Andrey Kashechkin (KAZ-1980, 2001): 184,9

Jose Azevedo (P-1973, 1994): 179,55
Daniele Bennati (I-1980, 2002): 177,1
Steffen Wesemann (D,CH-1971, 1993): 169,9
Laurent Brochard (F-1968, 1992): 160,4
David Millar (GB-1977, 1997): 156,45
Bradley McGee (AUS-1976, 1998): 150,2

II. Best riders of the 2007 Season
Normally yearly results of my ranking tend to be similar to the Pro Tour standings. Although this year there is one notable difference. The rider who gained the most points last year is not Pro Tour winner Cadel Evans, but Danilo Di Luca who had a magnificent spring winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Giro d’Italia.

Third place went to Russian winner of the Vuelta a Espana Denis Menchov. Only these three riders gained more than 200 points between March and October. There is always worth to win s Grand Tour as fourth best results of Alberto Contador shows.

Among 196 riders who scored points in 2007 only five managed to achieve some important results in all four quarters of the year: I) March-April, II) May-June, III) July-August & IV) September-October. Those riders active from the beginning to the end of the road season were: Australian Robbie McEwen, Kim Kirchen of Luxembourg, German Erik Zabel, Russian Vladimir Gusev & Italian Damiano Cunego.

Best Riders 2007
1. Danilo Di Luca (Italy – Liquigas): 261,3
2. Cadel Evans (Australia - Predictor): 222,5
3. Denis Menchov (Russia - Rabobank): 209,4
4. Alberto Contador (Spain – Discovery Channel): 181
5. Oscar Freire (Spain - Rabobank): 168,2
6. Davide Rebellin (Italy – Gerolsteiner): 164
7. Samuel Sanchez (Spain – Euskaltel): 151,2
8. Alessandro Petacchi (Italy – Milram): 144,5
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spain - Caisse d'Epargne): 142
10. Paolo Bettini (Italy – Quick Step): 130

11. Damiano Cunego (Italy – Lampre): 126,2
12. Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg – T-Mobile): 123
13. Władimir Karpiec (Russia - Caisse d'Epargne): 119,5
14. Carlos Sastre (Spain - Team CSC): 117,5
15. Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland - Team CSC): 117
16. Alessandro Ballan (Italy – Lampre): 112,5
17. Stefan Schumacher (Germany – Gerolsteiner): 102,7
18. Levi Leipheimer (USA – Discovery Channel): 101,25
19. Riccardo Ricco’ (Italy - Saunier Duval): 98,75
20. Andy Schleck (Luxembourg – Team CSC): 90,6

III. National Aspect of the Ranking:
No less than 268 of the 359 riders present on the ranking’s main list come from: Italy, Belgium, France & Spain. This means that nearly 75% of the best riders in the road cycling history represented just four cycling superpowers.

National Ranking
1. Italy - 83 riders on the main list, including 28 in top-"100"
2. Belgium - 76 / 18 *)
3. France - 57 / 15
4. Spain - 52 / 13
5. Holland - 19 / 7
6. Switzerland - 19 / 4
7. Germany - 10 / 3
8. USA - 6 / 2
9. Russia - 6 / 1
10. Australia - 5 / 1
11. Great Britain - 5 / 1
12. Luxembourg - 3 / 3
13. Colombia - 3 / 0
14. Ireland - 2 / 2
15. Denmark - 2 / 1
16. Portugal - 2 / 0
17. Sweden - 2 / 0
18. Norway - 2 / 0
19. Kazakhstan - 1 / 1
20. Ukraine - 1 / 0
21. Canada - 1 / 0
22. Uzbekistan - 1 / 0
23. Mexico - 1 / 0

*) Cycling’s world “gipsy” Andrei Tchmil for the purpose of this statistic was classified as a Belgian - as he represented this country during last years of his career. For the same reason Maximilian "Max” Sciandri counts here as a British rider.

IV. Nations Ranking (by the achievements of eight best riders):
Season 2007 hasn’t changed much in the nations hierarchy. In fact only Holland thanks to Michael Boogerd and Germany due to Erik Zabel improved their points score by respectively 21,25 & 55,7 points.

Still the three strongest federations: Belgium, Italy and France are several lengths ahead of the others. Prestigious first place belongs to Belgians - very much because of outstanding records of Eddy Merckx. Behind the podium there are the next three nations like: Spain, Holland & Switzerland. While Germany is the last and seventh nation with at least eight riders on the ranking’s main list.

1. Belgium - 17.879,05 points
Squad: Eddy Merckx (1st place in the individual ranking) - Roger De Vlaeminck (10) - Rik Van Looy (11) - Freddy Maertens (21) - Herman Vanspringel (24) - Johan Museeuw (37) - Lucien Van Impe (39) & Walter Godefroot (41)

2. Italy - 17.796,15 pts
Squad: Francesco Moser (5) - Gino Bartali (6) - Felice Gimondi (7) - Fausto Coppi (9) - Alfredo Binda (17) - Giuseppe Saronni (19) - Fiorenzo Magni (27) & Costante Girardengo (29)

3. France - 16.435,1 pts
Squad: Bernard Hinault (2) - Jacques Anquetil (4) - Raymond Poulidor (12) - Laurent Jalabert (14) - Louison Bobet (18) - Laurent Fignon (28) - Antonin Magne (46) & Gustave Garrigou (49)

4. Spain - 10.128,2 pts
Squad: Miguel Indurain (13) - Luis Ocana (31) - Pedro Delgado (33) - Marino Lejarreta (51) - Abraham Olano (63) - Roberto Heras (65) - Miguel Poblet (69) & Federico Bahamontes (76)

5. Holland - 9.583,95 pts
Squad: Joop Zoetemelk (8) - Jan Janssen (34) - Hennie Kuiper (43) - Jan Raas (54) - Steven Rooks (82) - Michael Boogerd (94) - Gerrie Knetemann (100) - Adri van der Poel (104)

6. Switzerland - 9.344,95 pts
Squad: Tony Rominger (16) - Ferdi Kübler (20) - Alex Zülle (25) - Hugo Koblet (38) - Heiri Suter (122) - Laurent Dufaux (126) - Fritz Schaer (142) & Pascal Richard (156)

7. Niemcy – (Germany)7.000,7 pts
Squad: Jan Ullrich (22) - Erik Zabel (23) - Rudi Altig (64) - Dietrich Thurau (111) - Hans Junkermann (145) - Rolf Wolfshohl (154) - Olaf Ludwig (235) & Rolf Gölz (265)

Theoretical English speaking and Soviet Teams Ranking
*) Theoretical joint representation of English-speaking countries would have overall score of 11.231,35 points thank to riders like: Sean Kelly (3) - Lance Armstrong (15) - Greg Lemond (26) - Stephen Roche (50) - Phil Anderson (61) - Robert Millar (78) - Andrew Hampsten (119) & Tom Simpson (140).

**) Interestingly it’s also possible to compose ex-Soviet Union team of this kind. Such a team consists of five Russians and one rider from each of the following now separate nations: Kazakhastan, Ukraine & Uzbekistan. These are: Pavel Tonkov (79) – Alexandre Vinokourov (90) – Sierhiy Honchar (158) – Evgueni Berzin (175) – Denis Menchov (190) – Piotr Ugrumov (216-217) – Djamolidin Abdoujaparow (233) & Dimitri Konichev (278). Although "Sborna” is worth just 4.658,65 points at the moment it’s worth to remember that they debuted in professional peloton less than 20 years ago, in 1989 to be precise.

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All-Time Best Road Cyclist 2007 - 8th Edition Part 1
Introduction to the 2007 and 8th Edition of the All-Time Best Road Cyclist Rankings. 1891 to 2007 - Active riders and new members of the top 100.
All-Time Best Road Cyclist 2007 - 8th Edition Part 2
All-Time Best Road Cyclist - Top Professional Cyclists. Eddie Merckx Still the King
All-Time Best Road Cyclist 2007 - 8th Edition Part 3
All-Time Best Road Cyclist: I. The "Waiting-room", II. Best Riders of 2007, III. National Aspect of the Ranking, IV. Nations Ranking, English Speaking and Soviet Teams Ranking.
All-Time Best Road Cyclist 2007 - 8th Edition Part 4
Current & Historic Rider Ranking Sections: V. Top 10 Riders By Best Five or Ten Seasons, VI. Best Seasons of Top 30 Riders
All-Time Best Road Cyclist 2007 - 8th Edition Part 5
Current & Historic Rider Ranking Sections: VII. Highest Scores in One Season, VIII. The Old Grand Champions
All-Time Best Road Cyclist 2007 - 8th Edition Part 6
Ranking Sections: IX. Best Classic Riders, X. Best Stage Race Riders. Point system notes.
 
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