July 24, 2003
In an AP story at sfgate.com, Jerome Pugmire tries to establish Lance Armstrong's place in the Peloton-ic Pantheon.
First thing: Too early. Armstrong may yet lose this Tour, or he could win this one and the next 5. That's a mighty big swing.
Next thing: Like most sports, the development of better scientific training methods (some would suggest less legal means, as well) has led to athletes training to a shorter, higher peak than they used to, and the death of the off-season has them building from a higher baseline each year.
Despite the changes in cycling, there's still only one name you can put at the top: Eddy Merckx, and that's the conclusion Pugmire reaches.