Yes, a 7 time one trick pony - I'll put him as #2, right after Merckx.
(edit to add http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8661431/
which sums up what I feel fairly well)
Remember, it takes a different riding "style" to win a Tour (any of the big 3 tours - of which you see Merckx won 13) than it does, say, the spring classics.
The BIGGEST change the occured in cycling (which changed about 18-20 years ago) is we now have a class of riders (Lance is among them) which specialize in ONE race - in this case, the TdF (as it's known in the cycling world). Riders train to peak for that one event. This is why I do NOT put Indurain up with the other 5 time TdF winners. BTW the reson for this change was MONEY - back pre approx 1980, it was NOT possible for a rider to make a living just winning the TdF, the saleries and sponserships were not there. So you rode every race you could, to make a living
A way to ask the question of "Is Lance the Greatest rider of all time?" would be to say, put it in American terms
Let's say you had a racer, who won the Indy 500 7 times, but won nothing else
Then you have a guy who won the Indy 500 5 times, the Dayton 500 5 times, LeMans a couple of times, Won the Monnico GP, plus won, oh, the Fall, Spring and Summer Nats in Drag racing, plus won a few hundered dirt track races in the "off season"
Who is the better race car driver?
The first is OBVIOUSLY the better Indy Racer, but overall?
I give Lance his due - I've been following his racing since before he won his first Triathon as a Jr in Texas. The USCF head of Youth development at that time owned the local bike shop around here, and I was one of the guys who used to hang out, so I heard about Lance before he had a name. (Al passed on in about 1988 give or take a year or two)
Back before I got married and fat, I used to seriously follow bike racing, and actually did a lot of semi-serious riding (never was good enough to race, but good enough to go on club rides and USUALLY not get dropped)
BTW to look at Merckx - let's just look at MAJOR wins in 2 years
TdF (Tour De France)
Giro (Tour of Italy - the 2nd of the big 3 tours)
Hour Record (considered the test of how fast a rider you are)
Tour of Lombardy
Giro (tour of italy again)
Vuelta (Tour of Spain the 3rd of the Big 3)
Hour Record (again)
Paris-Roubaix (Probably the nastiest of the spring classics - "the hell of the North")
Liege-Bastogne-Liege (one of the HUGE one day races)
Grand Prix des Nations