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Is Robert Gesink soft?

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Oct 29, 2009
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Moondance said:
Yeah, Jan Raas, Hennie Kuiper and Gerrie Kneteman were all such girlie men. :p More recently guys like Steven de Jongh, Servais Knaven or Bobbie Traksel. We've got some real hard men in our history.

Just because Thomas Dekker was a little metro and Gesink flubbs away victory chance after victory chance doesn't mean they should tar a proud history of some of the sport's real hard men.

Also I wonder where you got the "Top 5 spectacular, 6-8th great" line from :p

Man, you had to go back over two 2 decades to make a nit-pick point? FYI, I was also saying that Cruyff's lot where such a bunch of pussies, obviously.

I kinda know my Dutch cycling history. Your protestations only highlight that "is often lacking" is spot-on. Like, it's been over 2 decades and more than one entire generation since we saw consistent world-beating champs (Steven de Jongh, Servais Knaven or Bobbie Traksel don't cut it for me, they are not equal to champs like Zoetemelk, Raas, Kuiper, Kneteman, or Van Est). In a country that is chock-full of riders, facilities, and racing know-how.
 
Francois the Postman said:
Man, you had to go back over two 2 decades to make a nit-pick point? FYI, I was also saying that Cruyff's lot where such a bunch of pussies, obviously.

I kinda know my Dutch cycling history. Your protestations only highlight that "is often lacking" is spot-on. Like, it;s been ove 2 decades and more than one entire generation since we saw real ckhamsp (Steven de Jongh, Servais Knaven or Bobbie Traksel don't cut it for me, they are not equal to champs like Zoetemelk, Kuiper, Kneteman). In a country that is chock-full of riders, facilities, and racing know-how.

Agreed... They're not great champions (although Knaven of course has a Paris-Roubaix victory) but they do have grit. Which is what your point was about in the first place.
 

NickRooz

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Apr 27, 2010
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Francois the Postman said:
Top 5 would be stupendous, 6-8 great, everything below increasingly meh.

This is assuming that he won't have to change his own race to assist Menchov, if a situation arises in which that makes total GC sense. That would probably sink Gesink's own GC aspirations by a handful of places.


So far his (downhill) bike handling skills have been suspect and he has failed to deliver the reachable on key moments. I guess that not all bad luck was unavoidable. Part of a winner's vocabulary is sustained concentration, and positioning yourself in a way that decreases the likelihood of getting caught up in bad luck. Areas he could improve in, I think. Still, some things can't be helped.

To his credit, he doesn't hide behind events, and with clipped wings he still finishes in very very promising positions.

He will learn, mature, grow stronger. It bodes well. To be a great rider you need to be more than accomplished, though.

You also need that little bit of something that can be added to talent and the learned craft. The type of steely grit that I feel is often missing from very skilled and gifted Dutch riders. That funny thing that the German football team always seems to be able to muster, and seems woefully lacking in the Dutch. When the coin can fall both ways, or is tipping away from you, get it down in your ballpark.

Maybe that is the "soft" you mean, the lack of ability to grab Lady Luck by the jugular and force her down.

I have seen flurries where he certainly shows he has "it", mostly uphill. A little flash just before he straightens up, to force the issue, whichever way it falls. At other times it seems to be left for dead on the tarmac, and he looks unsteady. Or seems to get caught out when sustained concentration might have pre-empted that.

Part of this is maturing, part of this I expect to vaporise when he gets a good kill (ask Evans what a difference jumping a hurdle can make in race determination).

If all of it goes, and the Dutch have finally reached the other end of a long walk through the winners desert, that remains to be seen. Oasis or mirage, time will tell.

It doesn't help that most of us are becoming very thirsty. Some jump on the mere sighting of anything that looks like a palm tree. Others prefer to poo-poo it until they stand knee-deep in water - simply another way to deal with having gone from hope to disappointment in 2 easy steps a couple of times too often. And the taller the tree looks, the more proof of water will be required, just in case.

All eyes are on the Tour. And if he can deal with that pressure and ride comfortably into the top 8, I'll be very chuffed, and sure that a young Dutch challenger has indeed emerged, at last.

And ready to sell my camel to those that are taking to their desert, those looking for a meaning to life, post-Lance. Or for forums where an entertaining win can be enjoyed without having to watch endless reruns of the nudge-nudge-you-know-what-clinic-I-mean skit first.

Spot on, that's why he'll never win a GT, he just lacks winner mentality. Every defeat/mishap he shrugs. And I don't think that will ever change. He is likeable, but is that really the way you want to be remembered. Oh and ofcourse for falling on deciding moments. When we will look back in lets say ten years what will people say about Gesink?
 
Oct 29, 2009
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Moondance said:
Agreed... They're not great champions (although Knaven of course has a Paris-Roubaix victory) but they do have grit. Which is what your point was about in the first place.

No, I it ain't. we are talking two different types of grit I fear.

I started by saying Gesink is hard and tough.

I also said he still has to show he has a gritty determination to win. Not that he lacks the ability to ride a gritty race.
 

NickRooz

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Comparing the likes of Traksel, Knaven en de Jongh with de Kneet, Zoetemelk en Kuiper is ridiculous. Sure they are gritty riders, but that's all they got, talentwise they lacked alot. Sure Knaven's win in P-R was nice, but was just a fluke, a nice fluke, but a fluke nonetheless.
 
NickRooz said:
Spot on, that's why he'll never win a GT, he just lacks winner mentality. Every defeat/mishap he shrugs. And I don't think that will ever change. He is likeable, but is that really the way you want to be remembered. Oh and ofcourse for falling on deciding moments. When we will look back in lets say ten years what will people say about Gesink?

I don't know where you get this from... You can say he doesn't have a winner's mentality because he doesn't win a lot, but he surely has a huge drive and motivation to win. He certainly has a fighter's mentality, he always rides hard, and as other people have said doesn't ever try to hide.

I don't think he 'shruggs off' a defeat, but he doesn't cry or carry on about it publically if he does. Who knows whether he might still cry himself to sleep at night and use a picture of Davide Rebellin as a dartboard because he got outsmarted in Paris-Nice two years ago? When he crashed out in the Tour last year he rode hard the last 20k or so with a broken wrist, and decided he wanted to ride the Vuelta to make up for it that very evening. He doesn't dwell on the past but looks to what he can win in the future. If that's a bad thing, I don't know what you'd call a good quality.

Also, for someone who you think will "never win a GT" he came pretty damn close last year.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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NickRooz said:
Spot on, that's why he'll never win a GT, he just lacks winner mentality. Every defeat/mishap he shrugs. And I don't think that will ever change. He is likeable, but is that really the way you want to be remembered. Oh and ofcourse for falling on deciding moments. When we will look back in lets say ten years what will people say about Gesink?

I'm far more agnostic than you are. I certainly did not draw your conclusion above. If anything, I actually am fairly hopeful that in a few years we will be able to add another Dutch name to a dusty list of Dutch greats.

Right now I still see no reason to doubt that enough of the potential is actually there, but he will have to show a change in attitude, and results, for sure.

At the same time, I still haven't seen the proof that would dismiss your reading and expectations as overly gloomy either. I know far too people that suffer from what you describe. Smart and gently natured folk with an ability to shrug things off, play down mishaps, but somehow don't get angry and peeved off enough to bite what triggers some of those mishaps into oblivion.

For his age he has had some stonking results. And allegedly, those were under-performances. There is a big showcase coming up where he will have to show himself well, to prove he is indeed still on track to match hopeful expectations. I think I will be a lot wiser come the end of July.
 
Is Robert Gesink soft? Err, No, stupid statement. Is his bike handling the best, no it is not. Is he unlucky? yes and no based on previous sentence. Can he win a grand tour, absolutely yes if last year's Vuelta is a guide.

Another very young guy for the level he is at just now. Who knows where he will end up. Experience can only help with the bike skills as well. I like his aggressive riding but do think he expends too much energy with prolonged turns at the front, which end up as effective tows for others. Needs to learn to curb the aggression sometimes and bide his time for one allout effort. Maybe not his style though but my opinion nevertheless.

I like him:)
 
Jul 26, 2009
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Francois the Postman said:
I'm far more agnostic than you are. I certainly did not draw your conclusion above. If anything, I actually am fairly hopeful that in a few years we will be able to add another Dutch name to a dusty list of Dutch greats.

Right now I still see no reason to doubt that enough of the potential is actually there, but he will have to show a change in attitude, and results, for sure.

At the same time, I still haven't seen the proof that would dismiss your reading and expectations as overly gloomy either. I know far too people that suffer from what you describe. Smart and gently natured folk with an ability to shrug things off, play down mishaps, but somehow don't get angry and peeved off enough to bite what triggers some of those mishaps into oblivion.

For his age he has had some stonking results. And allegedly, those were under-performances. There is a big showcase coming up where he will have to show himself well, to prove he is indeed still on track to match hopeful expectations. I think I will be a lot wiser come the end of July.

francois, as always i enjoy reading your posts,(think i have to send you a friend req.:)......)
and as most have said gesink soft , no way , he is just young and strong and in a sense its still easy for him. give him a minute and wait til he knows were to sit in a group and learns how to navigate fluidly in the bunch, it will come. and what up , nobody yet has mentioned erik dekker, one of my personal faves,in the tough guy cat...........;)
 
Mar 31, 2010
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craig1985 said:
Extremely talented bike rider and I'm sure he will have some big wins in the future, but to me he just comes across as 'soft'. Loses races on descents, crashes a lot, and has a thousand excuses.

Maybe soft is not the right word to use, but there is something about him that I can't put my finger on.

it's very simple he is just not a winner. he's very much like boogerd. will ultimately become a helper for a major tour rider because he will never win anything big himself. much like boogerd.
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
it's very simple he is just not a winner. he's very much like boogerd. will ultimately become a helper for a major tour rider because he will never win anything big himself. much like boogerd.

What are you on about? He's 23 for crying out loud. Time is on his side, and he is still improving every year. He could have won the Vuelta last year or at least finish 2nd, however, due to a fall -surprise- he ended up 6th. He has just been having the worst of luck, especially when he is doing really well. Last year's Vuelta and this year's Pais Vasco is a case in point. He'll come around, you'll see.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Ryo Hazuki said:
it's very simple he is just not a winner. he's very much like boogerd. will ultimately become a helper for a major tour rider because he will never win anything big himself. much like boogerd.

He is 23!! He already has a heck of a resume, your conclusion is absurd.
Gesink and Boogerd differ a lot.
 
I guess now all you guys know how Auscyclefan feels all the time, day in day out when you take the shite out of his hero;)

I'm surprised he isn't here bagging on your guy for once, i thought he would have had like 18 posts in this thread by now
 
El Imbatido said:
I guess now all you guys know how Auscyclefan feels all the time, day in day out when you take the shite out of his hero;)

I'm surprised he isn't here bagging on your guy for once, i thought he would have had like 18 posts in this thread by now

It's hardly the same situation; Evans has already reached a plateau vis-a-vis Gesink who is only 23 years of age. Before anyone takes the *s*hite out of him they should at least do it when such results are expected under normal circumstances. He still has a lot of time to improve and have some results to justify his promise.
 
Spine Concept said:
It's hardly the same situation; Evans has already reached a plateau vis-a-vis Gesink who is only 23 years of age. Before anyone takes the *s*hite out of him they should at least do it when such results are expected under normal circumstances. He still has a lot of time to improve and have some results to justify his promise.

It is not so much the content of the thread i'm talking about. It is more that someones hero is getting shitted on and for once it looks like it is not Mr Evans. I just thought Aus would have taken the chance to sink the boot into them, like what gets done to him all the time.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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El Imbatido said:
It is not so much the content of the thread i'm talking about. It is more that someones hero is getting shitted on and for once it looks like it is not Mr Evans. I just thought Aus would have taken the chance to sink the boot into them, like what gets done to him all the time.

To be fair...ACF is way over the top with his Evans worship...it is his right...and I cast no dispersions on it...but over the top none the less. This is why he takes so much heat.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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Timmy-loves-Rabo said:
He is 23!! He already has a heck of a resume, your conclusion is absurd.
Gesink and Boogerd differ a lot.

Gesink is 24 in 1 month pls stop nitpicking about ages. These aren't the epo90s anymore a rider now comes and starts riding results within 1 or 2 years and Gesink is no exception except he never wins. Boogerd was different from Gesink in that he at least had some exclusivity so he could get away from lots of riders.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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Spine Concept said:
What are you on about? He's 23 for crying out loud. Time is on his side, and he is still improving every year. He could have won the Vuelta last year or at least finish 2nd, however, due to a fall -surprise- he ended up 6th. He has just been having the worst of luck, especially when he is doing really well. Last year's Vuelta and this year's Pais Vasco is a case in point. He'll come around, you'll see.

Fact remains he ended up 6th a stunning 1!!! place improvement in position since the year before. And there you go he ALWAYS falls when it matters. The guy will never be a major factor in cycling. He just doesn't have "it"
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
Fact remains he ended up 6th a stunning 1!!! place improvement in position since the year before. And there you go he ALWAYS falls when it matters. The guy will never be a major factor in cycling. He just doesn't have "it"
Dude, it's OK not to like him. Just don't pretend you have any reasonable arguments for it, because you don't.
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
Fact remains he ended up 6th a stunning 1!!! place improvement in position since the year before. And there you go he ALWAYS falls when it matters. The guy will never be a major factor in cycling. He just doesn't have "it"

Lol. Let me rephrase your sentence. He has always fallen when it mattered UP TO THIS POINT IN HIS CAREER. Do I really need to reiterate that he is only 23 years old? That his career is just starting? That he can only improve from here on? If your problem with him is personal then I guess this argument is worthless. Because right now the only thing I'm reading from you are these audacious predictions based on a string of bad luck in a young super talent's career. Other than that you really have no valid arguments to sustain your ridiculous statements. Where I come from that's defined a HATER. This fact nullifies all of your claims by default.