53rd Amstel Gold Race - 260km

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Apr 1, 2013
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hrotha said:
I don't know why so many people think that "specialist" means "good at something".
If someone is labelled as a "specialist" I would expect him being good at that .... the question rather is, if you can be a "specialist" in many disciplines .... whereas I would say Sep Vanmarcke or Zdenek Stybar are "cobbled race specialists" and quite average in any other race, "allrounders" like Gilbert, Sagan, Van Avermaet or even Terpstra are at least as good on cobbles and have a say in other races as well ...
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Anderis said:
I guess it's hard to deal with that cobbled classic specialists are getting beaten in cobbled races by hilly classic specialists so you consider everyone who has ever done anything worth of notice in cobbled races a cobbled classic specialist completely ignoring what they had done in other types of races for years before they raced cobbled races seriously for the first time.
Valgren abandoned three times in LBL lol. This year he rode mostly Flemish classics, so it's obvious what he is. He's quite all-round tho, like Gilbert, Sagan and GVA. AGR is basically Flanders without the cobbles. It has more in common with the cobbled classics than the Ardennes classics. When has a hilly classic specialist ever won a cobbled classic in recent times lol? I can find plenty of examples of the opposite however. U23 results mean little in the pro ranks btw, Boonen was second once in U-23 LBL.

Sagan and GVA have won quite a few Canadian classics between them, GVA has been on the podium in CSS and could have even won in 2015 until a motor-bike knocked him off his bike, GVA won on a mountainous Olympic Road Race, Sagan won the WC three times on different routes without cobbles and was top ten in Firenze 2013, GVA won T-A (mountain stage cancelled, but there were still hilly stages), Stybar and Benoot (he's a bit of both tho) won Strade Bianche, Gilbert won all the Ardennes classics (he's also both a cobbles and hills guy tho), Cancellara was the strongest at the WC in 2009 and won Tour de Suisse & T-A, was third in the Olympic RR in 2008, two Olympic gold medals on hilly courses in the TT, etc.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Blanco said:
I'm wondering is Nibali a cobbled classic specialist? Or he needs another year to become one :D
All-rounder like Gilbert, Sagan and GVA.

We saw that when he was third in the Roubaix stage of the Tour 2014.

I mean, he just won Milan-San Remo... the sprinter's classic...
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Anderis said:
I guess it's hard to deal with that cobbled classic specialists are getting beaten in cobbled races by hilly classic specialists so you consider everyone who has ever done anything worth of notice in cobbled races a cobbled classic specialist completely ignoring what they had done in other types of races for years before they raced cobbled races seriously for the first time.
Valgren abandoned three times in LBL lol. This year he rode mostly Flemish classics, so it's obvious what he is. He's quite all-round tho, like Gilbert, Sagan and GVA. AGR is basically Flanders without the cobbles. It has more in common with the cobbled classics than the Ardennes classics. When has a hilly classic specialist ever won a cobbled classic in recent times lol? I can find plenty of examples of the opposite however. U23 results mean little in the pro ranks btw, Boonen was second once in U-23 LBL.

Sagan and GVA have won quite a few Canadian classics between them, GVA has been on the podium in CSS and could have even won in 2015 until a motor-bike knocked him off his bike, GVA won on a mountainous Olympic Road Race, Sagan won the WC three times on different routes without cobbles and was top ten in Firenze 2013, GVA won T-A (mountain stage cancelled, but there were still hilly stages), Stybar and Benoot (he's a bit of both tho) won Strade Bianche, Gilbert won all the Ardennes classics (he's also both a cobbles and hills guy tho), Cancellara was the strongest at the WC in 2009 and won Tour de Suisse & T-A, was third in the Olympic RR in 2008, two Olympic gold medals on hilly courses in the TT, etc.
Agreed it is quite obvious what he is. A hilly classic specialist, who is good on the cobbles aswell.
 
Pistolero is right about this one. Valgren is made for the Flemish hills not walls. Omloop, E3, Tour of Flanders and Amstel are the races that suit him the most.

He is always struggling when the road gets really steep. If they attacked on Kruisberg or Eyserbosweg, he wouldn't have made it. Cauberg, Geulhemmerweg, Bemelerberg.. those suit him a lot more. He is heavier and has power than the average puncheur.
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Blanco said:
I'm wondering is Nibali a cobbled classic specialist? Or he needs another year to become one :D
All-rounder like Gilbert, Sagan and GVA.

We saw that when he was third in the Roubaix stage of the Tour 2014.

I mean, he just won Milan-San Remo... the sprinter's classic...
Classics specialists are not the same as all-rounders. A true all-rounder is the team leader in both stage races and one-day races. Nibali and Valverde are the two only true all-rounders of the current peloton.
 
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WheelofGear said:
Pistolero is right about this one. Valgren is made for the Flemish hills not walls. Omloop, E3, Ronde van Vlaanderen and Amstel are the races that suit him the most.

He is always struggling when the road gets really steep. If they attacked on Kruisberg or Eyserbosweg, he wouldn't have made it. Cauberg, Geulhemmerweg, Bemelerberg.. those suit him a lot more. He is heavier and has power than the average puncheur.
I think he can do both, it is up to him which he'll focus on primarily. He is still young and used to be a domestique in his early years, so we'll see what he can do when he is the team leader. Flanders, Amstel and LBL should be races he can win. He stated his heart lies in the Ardennes, but that recently he started to like the cobbled races as well.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Bardamu said:
El Pistolero said:
Blanco said:
I'm wondering is Nibali a cobbled classic specialist? Or he needs another year to become one :D
All-rounder like Gilbert, Sagan and GVA.

We saw that when he was third in the Roubaix stage of the Tour 2014.

I mean, he just won Milan-San Remo... the sprinter's classic...
Classics specialists are not the same as all-rounders. A true all-rounder is the team leader in both stage races and one-day races. Nibali and Valverde are the two only true all-rounders of the current peloton.
Valverde is not an all-rounder either then, as he always wins the same kind of races. Andy Schleck could also win LBL and GTs... Doesn't make him an all-rounder. If you're one of the best climbers you can also do well in LBL or FW.

GVA and Sagan actually win races on a wide variety of terrains. The difference between Omloop het Nieuwsblad and the Olympic RR in Brazil couldn't be bigger.
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Bardamu said:
El Pistolero said:
Blanco said:
I'm wondering is Nibali a cobbled classic specialist? Or he needs another year to become one :D
All-rounder like Gilbert, Sagan and GVA.

We saw that when he was third in the Roubaix stage of the Tour 2014.

I mean, he just won Milan-San Remo... the sprinter's classic...
Classics specialists are not the same as all-rounders. A true all-rounder is the team leader in both stage races and one-day races. Nibali and Valverde are the two only true all-rounders of the current peloton.
Valverde is not an all-rounder either then, as he always wins the same kind of races. Andy Schleck could also win LBL and GTs... Doesn't make him an all-rounder. If you're one of the best climbers you can also do well in LBL or FW.

GVA and Sagan actually win races on a wide variety of terrains. The difference between Omloop het Nieuwsblad and the Olympic RR in Brazil couldn't be bigger.
Nibali is the biggest all-rounder, I agree. Maybe Dumoulin can turn into one, he has shown his qualities on the cobbles in Eneco Tour a couple of times, defeating the likes GVA easily on the Muur.

I'd say Valverde is an all-rounder because he can climb, sprint, time-trial. Yes, most of his wins are on selective courses, but as a guy who rides two GT's a year for GC you can't really ask to perform in a lot of cobbled races as well.

Yep, Sagan, GVA and Sagan are able to win races on a variety of terrains, but to be a true all-rounder (in my opinion) you should be able to do well in the high mountains as well. I know that there are hardly any riders who are able to do so, that's why especially Nibali is such a special rider.
 
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Bardamu said:
El Pistolero said:
Blanco said:
I'm wondering is Nibali a cobbled classic specialist? Or he needs another year to become one :D
All-rounder like Gilbert, Sagan and GVA.

We saw that when he was third in the Roubaix stage of the Tour 2014.

I mean, he just won Milan-San Remo... the sprinter's classic...
Classics specialists are not the same as all-rounders. A true all-rounder is the team leader in both stage races and one-day races. Nibali and Valverde are the two only true all-rounders of the current peloton.
Well, you can be an all-rounder, that is not good enough (at the point in the season) to win the particular race.... so that you are not the leader.

You can't ride every race, all season, to win..... not even Valverde can.... sometimes the form is not timed for it.

I believe there are a lot more all-rounders, than the two you mention:

Martin
Wellens
Fuglsang
Dumoulin
Kwiatkowski
Roglic
Thomas
Jungels
- to name a few..... btw, imagine that line up as a GT team :D
 
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lartiste said:
I am very happy for Kreuziger, I did not beleive he is cupable of such result any more! But he is when new contract is in question :).
MS were disappointed with Kreuziger's form in 2017, though he fitted well into the team - Everything is going well in 2018 and he's a definite chance in LBL - My expectation is he will be re-contracted for 2019 - Now to get Nieve back on the bike.
 
Apr 2, 2018
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Re: Re:

Bardamu said:
El Pistolero said:
Blanco said:
I'm wondering is Nibali a cobbled classic specialist? Or he needs another year to become one :D
All-rounder like Gilbert, Sagan and GVA.

We saw that when he was third in the Roubaix stage of the Tour 2014.

I mean, he just won Milan-San Remo... the sprinter's classic...
Classics specialists are not the same as all-rounders. A true all-rounder is the team leader in both stage races and one-day races. Nibali and Valverde are the two only true all-rounders of the current peloton.
"Specialist" - meaning s derived from latin taxonomy where “species” means type or sort as subdivision of “genus” genre - so specialisation basically denotes downward movements in hierarchically ordered levels of things/knowledge, deeper and deeper (and narrower and narrower) areas of characteristics of universe.

So by specialisation we mean primarily focus on some subdivision of genre.....

....we have cycling and cycling is divided into road cycling, track cycling …and so on…..so in sub-genre of road cycling we can differentiate sorts/types (species) of 1) races: Stage races (GT, 1 weak races….etc), One Day races: Classics - Monuments, nonmonumnets, nonclassics.... 2) Parcours/profile (flat, cobbled, Ardens/hilly, mountain and 3) than we have different sorts/types of riders based of theirs abilities and talents suited:

b) toward the sorts of races
- stage races rider
- 1 day races rider
- cobbled
- Ardens
- …..

c) toward different sorts of parcours/profiles
- pure sprinter (flat)
- false flat sprinters
- uphill sprinters
- punchers
- pure climbers
- Tony-Martinish engines
- etc.
- ….

d) different sorts/types of style of riding
- conservative/defensive
- aggressive/attacking/animating the race
- wheelsuckers (“smart”)
- opportunist
- sprinters-train dependent
- dynamics of peloton whisperer
- metaorientation-in-chaotic-finale riders…..
- ….

So - specialisation (i repeat) primarily means focus (or choice) of some narrower subarea of genre (cycling) - in general it is obvious that you can be very successful or very unsuccessful specialist…. but of course usually you specialise on something to which you are more suited so there is some probability that you will be better in something as a specialist than nonspecialist.

OK - and than there is “special” category of riders that have unnatural range of abilities and can excel (to be able to beat specialists) in more types/areas/species of sport - and those rare individuals usually create the allrounder-legends-pantheon of of sport: Merckx, Vlaeminc, Kelly, Moser, Hinault from past era …..Valverde, Cancellara, Boonen, Sagan from modern era….they all are known as highly competitive on different parcours, different abilities, different sort of races and different styles - that is why is there well deserved hype, awe and fascination aura around them...
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Bardamu said:
El Pistolero said:
Blanco said:
I'm wondering is Nibali a cobbled classic specialist? Or he needs another year to become one :D
All-rounder like Gilbert, Sagan and GVA.

We saw that when he was third in the Roubaix stage of the Tour 2014.

I mean, he just won Milan-San Remo... the sprinter's classic...
Classics specialists are not the same as all-rounders. A true all-rounder is the team leader in both stage races and one-day races. Nibali and Valverde are the two only true all-rounders of the current peloton.
Valverde is not an all-rounder either then, as he always wins the same kind of races. Andy Schleck could also win LBL and GTs... Doesn't make him an all-rounder. If you're one of the best climbers you can also do well in LBL or FW.

GVA and Sagan actually win races on a wide variety of terrains. The difference between Omloop het Nieuwsblad and the Olympic RR in Brazil couldn't be bigger.
Wide variety of terrains you say?
Same kind of races?
Well, Valverde this year only won one bunch sprint, two mountain stages, one uphill sprint, hilly stage in a three man sprint attacking from 35km out on the climb, through the downhill and 20km's of flat, hilly one-day race arriving solo at the finish, and 3 General Classifications. He gifted two races to his good friends, had a very strong showing at sterrato in Toscana, and was very noticeable at cobbled Dwars door Vlaanderen.
So, you see, you have plenty of different terrains here, and not very much the same kind of races.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Re: Re:

Blanco said:
El Pistolero said:
Bardamu said:
El Pistolero said:
Blanco said:
I'm wondering is Nibali a cobbled classic specialist? Or he needs another year to become one :D
All-rounder like Gilbert, Sagan and GVA.

We saw that when he was third in the Roubaix stage of the Tour 2014.

I mean, he just won Milan-San Remo... the sprinter's classic...
Classics specialists are not the same as all-rounders. A true all-rounder is the team leader in both stage races and one-day races. Nibali and Valverde are the two only true all-rounders of the current peloton.
Valverde is not an all-rounder either then, as he always wins the same kind of races. Andy Schleck could also win LBL and GTs... Doesn't make him an all-rounder. If you're one of the best climbers you can also do well in LBL or FW.

GVA and Sagan actually win races on a wide variety of terrains. The difference between Omloop het Nieuwsblad and the Olympic RR in Brazil couldn't be bigger.
Wide variety of terrains you say?
Same kind of races?
Well, Valverde this year only won one bunch sprint, two mountain stages, one uphill sprint, hilly stage in a three man sprint attacking from 35km out on the climb, through the downhill and 20km's of flat, hilly one-day race arriving solo at the finish, and 3 General Classifications. He gifted two races to his good friends, had a very strong showing at sterrato in Toscana, and was very noticeable at cobbled Dwars door Vlaanderen.
So, you see, you have plenty of different terrains here, and not very much the same kind of races.
Name me one good climber that isn't good on hills as well. It's basically the same thing, only longer. There are riders that can handle hills, but not mountains, but every climber can handle hills.

Strade Bianche is a race with many (steep) hills... These are all races that climbers can handle perfectly... Bardet was second for example.

As for that bunch sprint, what sprinters were even present there lol?

Valverde certainly has the talent to compete on a wide variety of terrains, but he doesn't do much with it as he always targets the same races over and over again... Only rode the Giro once... Often skips Milan-San Remo, never rides the Ronde van Vlaanderen, he hasn't won in Lombardia yet, hasn't won a Tour stage since 2012 (and even then it was only from a weak break)...

His big wins couldn't be more monotonous... They're all races that are frequently won by an explosive climber.

I never cared for victories in small races, not when we're talking about cycling's biggest champions anyway.
 
Aug 20, 2017
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Exactly, who would be Valverde without FW, Liege and Catalunya in WT calendar?
One of an average racer.
Since 2011 in GT he has won: PV, Abu Dhabi, San Sebastian and a few stages in WT. Ridiculous.
 
Apr 2, 2018
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El Pistolero said:
[quote="
All-rounder like Gilbert, Sagan and GVA.
........
Name me one good climber that isn't good on hills as well. It's basically the same thing, only longer. There are riders that can handle hills, but not mountains, but every climber can handle hills.

It is there huge difference between "can handle hills" and be really "competitive in hills".

Beautiful example how lot of elite climbers could not handle hills is Tirreno- Adriatico 2013 - stage 6-

Here is link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuZ2im34UOk

(Considered as one of hardest stage of history - masterpiece)
 
Aug 20, 2017
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tobydawq said:
Boonen and Cancellara would also be average without Roubaix, Flanders and E3 in the calendar.
There is no sense in trying to comment it. You are talking about multiple WC and Olympic Games winners.
 
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