Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

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Big Hairy Wallapers
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Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby Big Hairy Wallapers » Mon Jan 21, 2013 22:50 pm

This is a genuine question that has puzzled me for some time.
I am not trolling.
I'd ideally like a brief explanation not a barrage of abuse.

My understanding is that Eddy Merckx is widely regarded as the greatest cyclist that ever lived.
He won many races.
I believe it is a widely held belief that he done 'recovery'
Maybe he was 'off his tits'??
Is it the case that it is regarded 'that was the culture of the time'
Yet Lance Armstrong is being pilloried for a similar approach.

I accept Lance was only interested in riding the tour and hiding away for most of the rest of the year and we all know why.

I accept my understanding maybe miles wide of the mark.
Please help.

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iainf72
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby iainf72 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 23:06 pm

Merckx did nothing that would turn a donkey into a race horse

60 and 70's doping != 90's / 00's blood doping
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RichN95
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby RichN95 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 23:11 pm

Back in Merckx's day the doping was largely to keep them going. The races were longer and they did more of them. Merckx could ride up to 150 days a season. As Iain said, it didn't really make them go faster. It doesn't make it right, but it didn't really distort the talent pool. It's a bit like a student taking Pro Plus (or stronger) to study more vs someone searching for the exam answers on their iPhone.

The Allied troops in WW2 did the same. They got through huge amounts on amphetamines just to keep them going (the left overs of which found there way into cycling).
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Big Hairy Wallapers
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby Big Hairy Wallapers » Mon Jan 21, 2013 23:14 pm

But cheating is cheating? Right?

Most people seem to want one man to be financially ruined, publicly humiliated and loathed yet seem happy to carry the other man shoulder high through the streets.

Just seems a bit weird, double standards.
Or is it just because one's American?

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RichN95
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby RichN95 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 23:16 pm

Big Hairy Wallapers wrote:But cheating is cheating? Right?

Yeah. And not paying council tax and rape are both crimes.
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EKIMIKE
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby EKIMIKE » Mon Jan 21, 2013 23:30 pm

If your natural performance is 7/10 amphetamines makes you a 7/10 for longer. EPO/blood doping makes you a 9/10. Add some corticosteroids and you're a 9/10 for longer.

I suppose if you wanted a motorsport analogy you could say amphetamines is like having a pit-stop (new tyres, more fuel) whereas EPO/blood doping is like putting a more powerful engine in the car.

Maybe if LA and that generation used/abused only corticosteroids then maybe you'd see the similar ambivalent attitude shown towards Merckx's generation?

Tom Butcher
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby Tom Butcher » Tue Jan 22, 2013 00:14 am

Merckx did what pretty much every other rider was doing. Armstrong was also caught for probably what most every other rider was doing too. Yes the drugs Armstrong took were a lot more effective and it's reasonable to argue that Merckx would have dominated if everyone had ridden clean - whilst Armstrong might have been reduced to a bit part player - but that is down to circumstance more than moral culpability.

Perhaps it does boil down largely to the culture of the time - more people were happy to overlook a doping offence back then. Why was that ? Well maybe because as has been said stimulants were not that long illegal/banned. Maybe because stimulants didn't make a complete farce of the results. Maybe because we now have social media and a million TV channels to whip up indignation.
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Rundfahrt
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby Rundfahrt » Tue Jan 22, 2013 02:27 am

RichN95 wrote:
Big Hairy Wallapers wrote:But cheating is cheating? Right?

Yeah. And not paying council tax and rape are both crimes.


What a horrible analogy.

A better analogy would be killing someone by drunk driving versus multiple stab wounds.

Big Hairy Wallapers
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby Big Hairy Wallapers » Tue Jan 22, 2013 06:57 am

Maybe because we now have social media and a million TV channels to whip up indignation.


My instinct seems to make this comment resonate more than any other.
Thanks for your comments and input so far.

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prawny
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby prawny » Tue Jan 22, 2013 07:36 am

For me it's not about the doping its the way he's conducted himself over the years. There are lots of other people that did epo that I've not got a real problem but the live strong.com thing, the bullying and suing and generally being a dick have made him a target, he's put himself on a pedestal and reaped massive financial rewards, now karma has come to rip him a new arris.

Chances are indurain did similar amounts of dope, but at least he had the good grace to win then jog on and keep quiet. That's why no one is looking too hard into Indurain.
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Mikey23
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby Mikey23 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 09:37 am

I agree with the op. there are no degrees of right or wrong. It seems that cycling has been a thoroughly corrupt and disreputable sport throughout its history. The pro scene is starting to sicken me

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ju5t1n
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby ju5t1n » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:46 am

I think Armstrong only has himself to blame for the way he’s being treated. Had he supported Landis and Hamilton, not attacked Lemond and generally not been such an arsehole then the cycling world may have closed ranks and protected him (as they seem to have with done with Merckx, Indurain etc.)

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greasedscotsman
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby greasedscotsman » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:52 am

You only have to look at stage 18 of the 2004 Tour to work out why Armstrong is now so unpopular.

Richmond Racer
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby Richmond Racer » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:58 am

ju5t1n wrote:I think Armstrong only has himself to blame for the way he’s being treated. Had he supported Landis and Hamilton, not attacked Lemond and generally not been such an arsehole then the cycling world may have closed ranks and protected him (as they seem to have with done with Merckx, Indurain etc.)



Yep. It was either Will Fotheringham or Daniel Friebe who commented last year that when they were researching their Merckx bios and interviewing his rivals about him, even though his dominance and refusal to give away even the smallest of race wins meant that they lost out, if you like, they spoke of him with affection and admiration.

That aint gonna be happening with Lance now.

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Gazzaputt
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby Gazzaputt » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:58 am

iainf72 wrote:Merckx did nothing that would turn a donkey into a race horse

60 and 70's doping != 90's / 00's blood doping


There speaks a man who hasn't tried LSD.

I played with people who'd drop a bit of speed before a footy game. Gave them boundless energy but than ran round the pitch like headless chickens.

k1875
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Re: Why is Eddy Merckx a legend but.....

Postby k1875 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 13:43 pm

More importantly, why is your wall paper hairy ?


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