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Sidney the robin

Who is the Greatest ?

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Mauger would have to be my number one choice, purely on his professionalism, Racing record and Wordl Championships.

Fundin would, on records alone be second on the list - I never saw him ride.

Briggo, my personal favourite, would be third (I would like to have put him first), but you cannot overlook the achievements of those above him.

Rickardsson would be fourth - again on his World Championship record.

Olsen last. Never my favourite Rider, in fact he was one of the ones I liked least. I can't deny he was a very fine Rider though certainly, to my mind, not in the very top class of Riders like the ones above him.

Honourable mention for Erik Gundersen who I personally rated higher than Olsen.

Edited by The White Knight
Missed words.

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4 hours ago, Grachan said:

Nielsen is a strange one. Probably the best rider I've ever seen - even better than Mauger. Yet my memories in World Finals tends to be of him over-riding and messing things up - even in some that he won! It depends how you see it. Nielsen was, in my opinion, a better rider than Rickardsson, but in terms of all time greatness you have to put Rickardsson above him because of his World Final achievements.

Plechanov, in particular, seems an unusual choice for one of the greatest of all time. Care to give reasons for his inclusions? He's not a rider I know much about.

With fairly limited opportunities for experience, two silver medals and a fourth place in six World Final appearances was a fine achievement

Looking back, in some ways he was Gollobesque on track - in the days when Fundin, Briggs, Knutsson, etc were at their peak he stands up well to comparison

I'm very grateful to have seen him at the top of his game

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Nielsen was a great rider and i was never a fan but he grew on me he had his disappointments but he got over them and got stronger mentally he was very good.Penhall,Lee,Sanders,Sigalos,Carter were on his wavelength  at the 81 / 83 period but  for whatever reason they fell by the wayside. Olsen whatever  you think of him is often overlooked he could match Mauger at times and a youthful Collins and later Lee and for me as a three time World Champion was a GREAT

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14 minutes ago, Sidney the robin said:

Nielsen was a great rider and i was never a fan but he grew on me he had his disappointments but he got over them and got stronger mentally he was very good.Penhall,Lee,Sanders,Sigalos,Carter were on his wavelength  at the 81 / 83 period but  for whatever reason they fell by the wayside. Olsen whatever  you think of him is often overlooked he could match Mauger at times and a youthful Collins and later Lee and for me as a three time World Champion was a GREAT

...Olsen developed a style of riding in straight lines as much as possible without too much going sidewards. Bit like Dave Jessup I suppose.

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Tony Rickardsson for me. None bar Mauger has a World Championship record to rival it and I rate his all-round abilities as better than Mauger. He could do the lot. From the front or the back, on small tracks, big tracks, under pressure and was ultra professional. The others have now enjoyed decades and decades as legends and I think - in all sports - that can sometimes subconsciously elevate them above modern day greats. Tony Rickardsson was a true great in every sense of the word and also during an era than was not short of a few other absolute all-timers too. As for the suggestion that Jason Crump was better? Even Crump himself would disagree with that, he knew he was no2 whilst Rickardsson was around.

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8 hours ago, norbold said:

Having seen them both over many years, I can't agree with the idea that Briggo was a better racer than Fundin. They were equally determined to win at all costs and ruthless, so I don't think there is any difference on that score, but I do think Fundin actually had more control of his bike and had a more astute racing brain than Briggo and that was why, during the time they were both at the top of their game, Fundin had a superior record to Briggo's, both in terms of titles won and in head to head clashes.

Perhaps it’s horses for courses though. Briggs form was more erratic than Fundin (or Mauger for that matter ) but when he was on form and really had his head in the right place he was IMO completely unbeatable.  You only have to look at the footage of his World Final win in Sweden in ‘64 or ‘66 (cant remember which ) when it rained furiously throughout and there was more sawdust on the track than shale.Everybody else was all over the place but Briggo waltzed home as if it was perfect conditions.

The other thing to remember is that in the Briggs /Fundin era they didn’t earn the money they get now and towards the latter half of each career they both had outside interests which must have been a distraction, and with the financial incentive of the modern sport they both may well have ridden longer with undivided attention and achieved even more than they did.

Finally, as I have said before Ivan Maugers words : If there was no Barry Briggs there would have been no Ivan Mauger. What he meant was to be World  Champion he had to study everything Briggs did and build on it, just as Olsen and later generations took Mauger  as their example and built on that, so it’s really a bit futile to put one against another from different eras. 

 

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10 minutes ago, E I Addio said:

Perhaps it’s horses for courses though. Briggs form was more erratic than Fundin (or Mauger for that matter ) but when he was on form and really had his head in the right place he was IMO completely unbeatable.  You only have to look at the footage of his World Final win in Sweden in ‘64 or ‘66 (cant remember which ) when it rained furiously throughout and there was more sawdust on the track than shale.Everybody else was all over the place but Briggo waltzed home as if it was perfect conditions.

The other thing to remember is that in the Briggs /Fundin era they didn’t earn the money they get now and towards the latter half of each career they both had outside interests which must have been a distraction, and with the financial incentive of the modern sport they both may well have ridden longer with undivided attention and achieved even more than they did.

Finally, as I have said before Ivan Maugers words : If there was no Barry Briggs there would have been no Ivan Mauger. What he meant was to be World  Champion he had to study everything Briggs did and build on it, just as Olsen and later generations took Mauger  as their example and built on that, so it’s really a bit futile to put one against another from different eras. 

 

...or indeed Ronnie Moore who was the first world star to emerge from NZ.

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10 hours ago, steve roberts said:

It's true that Nielsen lost three run-offs but the fact that he was that close to achieving three more wins to add to his four tells me how dominant he was.

If the GPs had been run during the 80's in my view (as well as John Berry's) he would have dominated. Rickardssom obviously won five of his championships under the GP system which required quite a different approach but would he have been as successful under the old system? We can only conjecture...comparisons are difficult to evaluate in my view especially within different eras.

 

I think that maybe Nielsen gets a bit overlooked sometimes when looking at all-time greats because he won his World titles in an era when there was no speedway on television. I remember having to buy a poorly produced video to watch his title win in Poland.

Because of this, people tend to remember his losses to Erik Gundersen when looking back, rather than the wins. That's certainly the case with me, anyway.

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10 hours ago, E I Addio said:

Perhaps it’s horses for courses though. Briggs form was more erratic than Fundin (or Mauger for that matter ) but when he was on form and really had his head in the right place he was IMO completely unbeatable.  You only have to look at the footage of his World Final win in Sweden in ‘64 or ‘66 (cant remember which ) when it rained furiously throughout and there was more sawdust on the track than shale.Everybody else was all over the place but Briggo waltzed home as if it was perfect conditions.

The other thing to remember is that in the Briggs /Fundin era they didn’t earn the money they get now and towards the latter half of each career they both had outside interests which must have been a distraction, and with the financial incentive of the modern sport they both may well have ridden longer with undivided attention and achieved even more than they did.

Finally, as I have said before Ivan Maugers words : If there was no Barry Briggs there would have been no Ivan Mauger. What he meant was to be World  Champion he had to study everything Briggs did and build on it, just as Olsen and later generations took Mauger  as their example and built on that, so it’s really a bit futile to put one against another from different eras. 

 

Great post ,   i thought it was great that Barry,Ivan,Ronnie got on very well you dont often get that when you are all going for the same goal.Briggs was a great racer not the greatest of styles i just wish i had seen him in the 65/70 period of his  BLRC dominance at the great Hyde Rd.

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12 minutes ago, Sidney the robin said:

Great post ,   i thought it was great that Barry,Ivan,Ronnie got on very well you dont often get that when you are all going for the same goal.Briggs was a great racer not the greatest of styles i just wish i had seen him in the 65/70 period of his  BLRC dominance at the great Hyde Rd.

I'm thankful that I saw all three race...albeit Ronnie during his last season but he was still a class act.

I'd agree with you regarding Briggo's rather blustering style whereas Ivan's was very smooth and technically perfect.

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46 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

I'm thankful that I saw all three race...albeit Ronnie during his last season but he was still a class act.

I'd agree with you regarding Briggo's rather blustering style whereas Ivan's was very smooth and technically perfect.

Mauger and Olsen for me technically were the best riders i have ever seen Leigh Adams also comes into that category to.Mauger had everything really a great gater could come from the back and his temperment was superb.He also was a great team man just so pleased that i see him at his peak he would of loved the GP series format from 68/79 he would of took some beating.Over that period i think only Olsen, Michanek 73/74. Collins 76 Lee 79 would of got near him a true superstar in my eyes.

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Mauger

Briggo/Fundin

Olsen/Ricko

Mauger gets top place  IMO he  changed the sport from many points of view making it more professional and setting  high standards with consistent performances at team level particularly  day in day out.    For sheer style and skill on a bike he was a dream to watch ( Hans is the nearest I ever saw to match him on a bike IMO ) but with all the above there is very little to choose between them and there is the issue of different eras of course  .

I do think out  of five of them Ivan could and would have succeeded at anytime in speedway because he was able to adapt to any situation  ,the only time I can remamber him capitulating under pressure was of course the 1973 w/final ,the one that did get away from him without a doubt .

 

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2 hours ago, FAST GATER said:

Mauger

Briggo/Fundin

Olsen/Ricko

Mauger gets top place  IMO he  changed the sport from many points of view making it more professional and setting  high standards with consistent performances at team level particularly  day in day out.    For sheer style and skill on a bike he was a dream to watch ( Hans is the nearest I ever saw to match him on a bike IMO ) but with all the above there is very little to choose between them and there is the issue of different eras of course  .

I do think out  of five of them Ivan could and would have succeeded at anytime in speedway because he was able to adapt to any situation  ,the only time I can remamber him capitulating under pressure was of course the 1973 w/final ,the one that did get away from him without a doubt .

 

My theory Gater is great riders would of adapted to any era Mauger was 20 years ahead of his time in my view.Immaculate aquipment a top of the range van when he turned up for a meeting he was 100 per cent focused on doing his best he took speedway away from the memory  of riders turning up only having one bike strapped on the back of there car.

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