Cycling legend Eddy Merckx has told Colombian newspaper El Espectador that despite the many plaudits bestowed upon Alberto Contador, he may not the best current rider. The Belgian took into account the Spaniard's lack of results in one-day races as evidence of his claims. One of those plaudits included being voted 'Best Male Road Rider of 2008' by Cyclingnews readers.
Merckx said that although Contador is the best current stage racer, as seen in his victories in the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, he believes compatriot Tom Boonen and another Spanish star, Alejandro Valverde, make better riders for one-day races. Therefore he believes that Contador is not the best overall rider, which may not stick well with some fans, however.
Merckx, who is a close friend of Lance Armstrong, wasn't impressed by the potential clash between the American and Contador, as both are part of the Astana team. "The owners of the team will have to say who is the leader," said Merckx. "I do not think that if Contador was the leader, Armstrong would attack. It is a pity [not to see Armstrong attacking], but there won't be any dwelling on it."