5 monuments - Cancellara or Gilbert?

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Who is more likely to win all 5 monuments?

  • Phillipe Gilbert

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Apr 12, 2009
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benpounder said:
No. I think they are all hard. And I think the Ronde van Vlaandern is the most difficult single day test. I am just wondering why they, and not others, are the monuments.
Also: one day races with the biggest competition, biggest crowds, most press, most prestige, ...
 
Jul 20, 2009
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luckyboy said:
This made me think - is there anyone coming through the ranks who look like they could do this?
Probably will get shot for saying this, but: EBH?

Give him a year or two so he will better handle the distance, and he will be a contender for the three first monuments. Winning GW shows he should be able to be a contender in the cobbled classics, and he has a good sprint for MSR.

If he drops 3-5 kgs I could see him doing well in the last two. I remember him doing some (occasional) good climbing in the 09 Giro.

Do I think he will do it? No. At this point he needs to get through a spring without getting injured. Then he needs to handle the 250k+ distances. Then he will have to be willing to drop weight, which I don't think he is.

To make a long story short, if you had asked me back in 09, I would have been more optimistic. He really has been having tough times since then.
 
Apr 9, 2011
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sadfitty said:
Probably will get shot for saying this, but: EBH?

Give him a year or two so he will better handle the distance, and he will be a contender for the three first monuments. Winning GW shows he should be able to be a contender in the cobbled classics, and he has a good sprint for MSR.

If he drops 3-5 kgs I could see him doing well in the last two. I remember him doing some (occasional) good climbing in the 09 Giro.

Do I think he will do it? No. At this point he needs to get through a spring without getting injured. Then he needs to handle the 250k+ distances. Then he will have to be willing to drop weight, which I don't think he is.

To make a long story short, if you had asked me back in 09, I would have been more optimistic. He really has been having tough times since then.
Needs to change teams I would almost say go back to Bob @ Highroad.

Sky took a rider with huge talent and hopefully not destroyed him time will tell.
 
Jan 7, 2011
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EBH just doesn't look like he can cope with the longer distances - he's still fairly young I suppose but just isn't getting any better. I'm not sure if his climbing is quite good enough for LBL or GDL. At the moment though I think he's probably on a par with GvA so I suppose its possible.

In the future - Matthews is definitely a possible shout and maybe Degenkolb although I on't know how good is climbing is. The only other rider with the skill set in the current peleton to win them all is Matti Breschel, however he has been hampered with injuries at key times and has yet to win anything big yet. Also Sagan if he improves.

And I don't think anyone knows how well Phil will go at PR as he hasn't tried it. His problem is if he does he'll still be considerd a favourite and won't be able to get away easily for a Van Summerenesque win.
 
luckyboy said:
This made me think - is there anyone coming through the ranks who look like they could do this?
To the other responces, forget Matthews forget Degkenkolb forget EBH (even though he has a small chance).


There is only one who can do it, Peter Sagan.

Personally I believe that Alejandro Valverde if he wasnt so great at gts that he focused mostly on the could do it.

He could obviously win GDL, has LBL, MSR he could win by Movi making the pace really hard on the Cipressa and poggio and thrashing anyone in a sprint. Hell he could possibly win the sprint without any fireworks on the climbs. Freire has won it 3 times and Valverde knows how to beat Freire.

Then theres RVV. I think he can. If gilbert can Valverde can, and hes a far better tter so wouldnt blow up the second the cobbled hill finished, + again he can just wait for the sprint (well maybe not against Boonen).

The problem would be PR. Obviously that never looked on the cards but if he focused his whole career on it, why not.
 
May 12, 2010
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Two guys who could theoretically do it (although I don't think they will get close, but neither will anyone else) are Ballan and Leukemans.

Ballan already won Vlaanderen, could definitely win Roubaix. Already finished top-10 in Milano-Sanremo twice, with luck he could certainly win the same way Cancellara did. Of course, LBL and Lombardia are a different story. He did finish top-20 in LBL once, and his world championship win was on the difficult Varese parcours, all the stars would have to allign for him to win those races, but of the guys who can win Roubaix, he is certainly one of the better climbers. The biggest hurdle is of course he has to recapture his 2006-2008 shape, that seems highly unlikely.

Leukemans will probably never win a single monument, but he is one of the most versatile riders out there. He was pretty much a climber type, for races with small hills, untill he tried Roubaix once, and was suprisingly good. He at least has the capabilities to finish top-10 in every monument.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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The Hitch said:
To the other responces, forget Matthews forget Degkenkolb forget EBH (even though he has a small chance).


There is only one who can do it, Peter Sagan.

Personally I believe that Alejandro Valverde if he wasnt so great at gts that he focused mostly on the could do it.

He could obviously win GDL, has LBL, MSR he could win by Movi making the pace really hard on the Cipressa and poggio and thrashing anyone in a sprint. Hell he could possibly win the sprint without any fireworks on the climbs. Freire has won it 3 times and Valverde knows how to beat Freire.

Then theres RVV. I think he can. If gilbert can Valverde can, and hes a far better tter so wouldnt blow up the second the cobbled hill finished, + again he can just wait for the sprint (well maybe not against Boonen).

The problem would be PR. Obviously that never looked on the cards but if he focused his whole career on it, why not.
Have you ever seen Alejandro Valverde attack in a classic? I sure haven't. Not going to beat Boonen in a sprint @ RVV and never going to win a sprint at San Remo although he could win that one if he followed attacks on the Poggio.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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roundabout said:
Heh, I would have liked to see someone like Valverde or Vinokourov try Flanders. Doesn't mean that they would have won, but it would have been interesting to see. Too bad it won't happen now.
He could podium, but Valverde usually doesn't ride aggressively in a classic as he can rely on his sprint thus I can't see him riding away from faster sprinters than him @RVV

+ We don't know if he has what it takes to ride over cobbles and always be at the front.
 
Jan 7, 2011
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Trouble with Ballan and Leukemans, is they are versatile but they're just not quite good enough - Leukemans can't sprint and allthough I can see him winning 1 or 2 this is just too big a handicap as you either have to be easily the strongest like Canc or get lucky and given his age there is no way he is going to get lucky 5 times. GvA is another one who is versatile enough allthough worse than the two above but improving.

I think a lot of riders who ride for GCs could potentially do well on the cobbles they're just never going to tryso we don't know how well which is a shame. Evans for example even Wiggins if he really went for it.

I still thing Breschel is the best shout after Gilbert and Canc.
 
Feb 20, 2011
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Sparta said:
I still thing Breschel is the best shout after Gilbert and Canc.
I do as well in terms of his talent, but do his durability/injury issues ever worry me. We may be seeing one of the great talents in many a year never really get to show what he can do. As Hitch said, possibly Sagan if he stays on a good trajectory, stays healthy, and cares enough about the races themselves (as opposed to GT's) to go for it.

I do believe Cadel at his best was one who could have given it a scare; MSR would have been by far the toughest one for him.

Also, good post by Lanark regarding Ballan/Leukemans. They are both certainly the 'type' of rider who could pull it off; both are just a little below the ability level needed, but fit the bill in terms of build/physical characteristics in my opinion. Guys who are at home both at RVV/PR but could handle an LBL as well.

I am guessing the outlier for most riders who could be discussed as having a chance to win all 5, might be more MSR rather than Roubaix.
 
Sep 21, 2009
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The Hitch said:
To the other responces, forget Matthews forget Degkenkolb forget EBH (even though he has a small chance).


There is only one who can do it, Peter Sagan.

Personally I believe that Alejandro Valverde if he wasnt so great at gts that he focused mostly on the could do it.

He could obviously win GDL, has LBL, MSR he could win by Movi making the pace really hard on the Cipressa and poggio and thrashing anyone in a sprint. Hell he could possibly win the sprint without any fireworks on the climbs. Freire has won it 3 times and Valverde knows how to beat Freire.

Then theres RVV. I think he can. If gilbert can Valverde can, and hes a far better tter so wouldnt blow up the second the cobbled hill finished, + again he can just wait for the sprint (well maybe not against Boonen).

The problem would be PR. Obviously that never looked on the cards but if he focused his whole career on it, why not.
I agree with most of your thoughts on Valverde. However, looking at cases like Freire, Flecha or Astarloa, it seems that there is no place in Spanish teams for anyone focused on 1-day races. Nothing has changed since the days of Miguel Poblet, almost 60 years ago.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Like I said, I highly doubt Valverde could win Flanders. It's a race where you have to be in the front a lot in the right times. Kinda like in the Amstel Gold race. And that race doesn't suit him well. Add cobbles to that and he's probably even more screwed.
 
icefire said:
I agree with most of your thoughts on Valverde. However, looking at cases like Freire, Flecha or Astarloa, it seems that there is no place in Spanish teams for anyone focused on 1-day races. Nothing has changed since the days of Miguel Poblet, almost 60 years ago.
I always thought Valverde rode the Ardennes classics because they're too well suited for him to ignore them, but that he wasn't particularly motivated by them as what he really wanted to be is a GT rider. Which is a waste of his talent, in my opinion.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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luckyboy said:
This made me think - is there anyone coming through the ranks who look like they could do this?
None in the ProTeam ranks yet. If there was one in the ranks now they would stand out head and shoulders above other riders of their age. Does Sagan? Not really. Someone else mentioned Mathews, I very much doubt that as well.

The last time this monuments five wins was achieved was around 1971. 30 years ago! It might be stating the obvious but it's not something that is going to come around that often. The three guys that have done it had the first one under the belt by age 20-22 and had previously already won the old amateur world champs, plus one had already won a national championship at age 22.

On the original topic. Fabian won't add LBL or GdL. Gilbert should add RVV but not the other two.
 
The point about Sagan is he has shown decent performances on the cobbles, and his PN, Romandie and big bear mountain performances suggest he could be awesome at LBL and GDL. Problem is he could just be another kid that has peaked way to early
 
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