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

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.

By Daniel Marszalek

All-Time Best Road Cyclist Rankings 2007 - 8th Edition*
Introduction -
1891-2007 Rider Rankings top 300
I. The "Waiting-room"
II. Best riders of the 2007 Season
III. National Aspect of the Ranking
IV. Nations Ranking (achievements of eight best riders)
V. Top-10 by best five or ten seasons
(Includes: theoretical English speaking and Soviet Teams Ranking)
V. Top 10 Riders By Best Five or Ten Seasons Performance
VI. Best Seasons of Top 30 Riders
VII. Highest Scores in One Season (all results over 400 points)
VIII. Old Grand Champions (Pre - 1939)
IX. Best Classic Riders
X. Best Stage Race Riders
* Editors Note: We are happy to publish the 8th edition of Daniel Marszalek's All-Time Best Road Cyclist Rankings which were previously published since 2000 on Wim Van Russom's cycling4all site.

Introduction 2007
Obviously there were no big changes At the top of the Ranking after 2007 season. Top-10 seems to be rock stable, while the general podium is almost eternal at the moment. It’s worth mentioning that in the last two decades the best four riders (Indurain, Jalabert, Rominger & Armstrong) hardly managed to overcome 2000 points margin which was good enough for the places from 13th to 16th. Currently highest ranked rider is German Erik Zabel who just advanced to the 23rd position. It’s highly likely that after next season “Ete” will dethrone Jan “Kaiser” Ullrich from highest ranked German title.

Active Riders Move Up
Behind already mentioned Zabel we currently have two Italians: Paolo Bettini & Davide Rebellin. Last year "Il Grillo" advanced by ten places to 35th position, while "Tintin" jumped fifteen steps up to the 45th spot. Now very much due to his second World title Bettini sits above his famous compatriots from last decade: Gianni Bugno & Claudio Chiappucci. What’s more the Tuscan rider has also distanced another classic specialist from modern era, Belgian Johan Museeuw. Rebellin is well known for his consistency. In this ranking he scored some points in every season since 1993, while he started his pro-career in August 1992 after the Barcelona Olympic Games.

The next active rider on the list is another Italian, Gilberto Simoni - the tough climber from Trentino region. Just like in 2006 season, he scored 63 points last year moving up by two places to 74th position. A similar advance was accomplished by Dutchman Michael "Boogie" Boogerd who gained three places and ended his professional career in 94th in the 2007 edition.

Meanwhile Kazak Alexandre Vinokourov has was forced to stop riding earlier than he would have liked to after the positive doping controls during theTour de France. Still, thanks to his good results in Tirreno-Adriatico & Dauphine Libere stage races he managed to advanced to 90th position before a rather premature end to his career.

Three New Riders in the Top 100
There are also three new members to the top-100 club. Three time world champion Spaniard Oscar Freire advanced from 117th to 81st position, Italian super-sprinter Alessandro Petacchi from 119th to 84th, while another Giro d’Italia winner Danilo Di Luca made the most impressive jump from 154th to 93rd place.


Danilo Di Luca winner of the 2007 edition of the Giro d'Italia stands on the final podium in Milan and salutes the fans. Photo © Fabio www.dailypeloton.com

Among other current riders Alejandro Valverde seems to be the only rider ready to enter the top-100 list very soon. Despite a not so successful season like his 2006 one the Caisse d’Epargne leader after just six years in the pro-peloton has more than 800 points and now stands just beside the very elite at 101st position.


71st Flèche Wallone 2007 Podium: Valverde, Rebellin, Di Luca
Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

To find next active riders we must go down through some 50 places & 220 points. But the trio of Paolo Savoldelli, Robbie McEwen & Sierhij Honchar are all very experienced riders in their mid-thirties. Therefore it’s very unlikely that they’ll find time for advancement to top-100 places.

More capable of making such promotion are younger riders like: ex-world champion Tom Boonen or stage race specialists Carlos Sastre from Spain and Russian Denis Menchov. Also currently disqualified Italian Ivan Basso has such a chance, if only he will be able to confirm that he’s able to produce the big results without help of Fuentes-like doctors.

On the full ranking list which consists of  riders with at least 300 points there are five new faces and among them the highest ranked is 2007 Pro Tour winner Australian Cadel Evans ranked 227th. Other “rookies” are: Spanish mad descender Samuel Sanchez (231st), two multiple champions of time trials Swiss Fabian Cancellara (299th) and Australian Michael Rogers (345-346th) plus French veteran of stage races Christophe Moreau (308th).

Retired Riders
Meanwhile the group of recently retired riders is longer than two names already mentioned. Apart from Vinokourov and Boogerd, a couple of other well-known riders said good-bye to the professional ranks. Belgian specialist of cobbled classics Peter Van Petegem was most notable of them. Italian stage racer Wladimir Belli, Swiss all-rounder Beat Zberg and Italian sprinter turned rouler Stefano Zanini were the others. It also looks certain now that Spaniard Roberto Heras and Basque Joseba Beloki won’t make a comeback to the racing. It may well be that other clients of Eufemiano Fuentes like: Francisco Mancebo & Oscar Sevilla will not find a team in 2008.

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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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