Philippe Gilbert Discussion Thread

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Apr 12, 2017
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Blanco said:
It's defining for Greg Van Avermaet too. He is always labeled as former Olympic champion, not former Ronde Van Vlaanderen champion. Olympics win is a dream for many cyclist, almost every, and although I'm not sure it's bigger race than Monuments, it certainly isn't a lesser race!
That's maybe also because GvA never won Ronde van Vlaanderen ;-)

Anyway, yes the Olympics is something special, but it's also a "luck" thing. Not something cyclists work their entire career for. They build their career around the cobbled classics for example, and if they can win the Olynpics it's a super nice bonus. Therefor I'd rate the Monuments higher than the Olympics to rate a cyclists career.
 
I'm a huge fan of the Olympic road race, but I think in terms of career achievement it should only be viewed as a bonus for those who won it, not as a gap for those who didn't. Boonen never winning M-SR is kind of striking for example or if Valverde hadn't won the WC in Innsbruck, that's a mark against the riders greatness.

And in this context I think it's pretty damn hard to argue against Gilbert being the most accomplished of this millennium.
 
The Olympics are basically a rarer version of the Worlds. You have to get a route that suits you at the right time.

If that's an argument against it's significance, then what does Gilbert's worlds victory mean? Probably the only route in the last 20 years that was so ridiculously suited to one rider.
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
The Olympics are basically a rarer version of the Worlds. You have to get a route that suits you at the right time.

If that's an argument against it's significance, then what does Gilbert's worlds victory mean? Probably the only route in the last 20 years that was so ridiculously suited to one rider.
2011 Worlds for Cav was also pretty dumb in that regard and considering Gilbert had been pretty questionable throughout that season, he still managed to destroy people on Cauberg.

Don't sleep on Gilbert for the coming Worlds. That route is great for him and he thrives in long races when his explosively has taken a pretty huge dip.
 
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Valv.Piti said:
Red Rick said:
The Olympics are basically a rarer version of the Worlds. You have to get a route that suits you at the right time.

If that's an argument against it's significance, then what does Gilbert's worlds victory mean? Probably the only route in the last 20 years that was so ridiculously suited to one rider.
2011 Worlds for Cav was also pretty dumb in that regard and considering Gilbert had been pretty questionable throughout that season, he still managed to destroy people on Cauberg.

Don't sleep on Gilbert for the coming Worlds. That route is great for him and he thrives in long races when his explosively has taken a pretty huge dip.
He still has a great engine, but not as explosive anymore. His attack that Sagan had to respond to was massive. Probably why Sagan then was empty a few km later when Politt and Gilbert went.
 
Defining legacy really depends on all Monuments + the WC/OC are considered equal or not.

You also have to separate Classics from the Semi-Classics. And semi-classics from regular one-day races. Anything below semi-classics shouldn't really be a part of the equation. You could also make the argument that even the semi-classics shouldn't be a part of the equation.

That leaves us with the 5 Monuments, the WC, the OC and another handful of major classics (such as Amstel) when judging the classics specialists against each other.
 
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Salvarani said:
Valv.Piti said:
Red Rick said:
The Olympics are basically a rarer version of the Worlds. You have to get a route that suits you at the right time.

If that's an argument against it's significance, then what does Gilbert's worlds victory mean? Probably the only route in the last 20 years that was so ridiculously suited to one rider.
2011 Worlds for Cav was also pretty dumb in that regard and considering Gilbert had been pretty questionable throughout that season, he still managed to destroy people on Cauberg.

Don't sleep on Gilbert for the coming Worlds. That route is great for him and he thrives in long races when his explosively has taken a pretty huge dip.
He still has a great engine, but not as explosive anymore. His attack that Sagan had to respond to was massive. Probably why Sagan then was empty a few km later when Politt and Gilbert went.
Any bunch sprint still has a semblance of a lottery though. That Worlds was never in doubt basically when Gilbert won two stages in the Vuelta.

And I don't sleep on Gilbert for the coming Worlds. I'll be too busy ridiculing any national coach that decides to bring their pure sprinters.
 
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Velolover2 said:
Defining legacy really depends on all Monuments + the WC/OC are considered equal or not.

You also have to separate Classics from the Semi-Classics. And semi-classics from regular one-day races. Anything below semi-classics shouldn't really be a part of the equation. You could also make the argument that even the semi-classics shouldn't be a part of the equation.

That leaves us with the 5 Monuments, the WC, the OC and another handful of major classics (such as Amstel) when judging the classics specialists against each other.
Not a good argument.
 
Apr 12, 2017
204
8
3,045
Re:

Red Rick said:
The Olympics are basically a rarer version of the Worlds. You have to get a route that suits you at the right time.

If that's an argument against it's significance, then what does Gilbert's worlds victory mean? Probably the only route in the last 20 years that was so ridiculously suited to one rider.
I'd say that in the lifespan of your career, there should be at least 1 WC that suits you really well if you're supposed to be a world class classic rider. So a WC has to be on every great Classic rider's list (except the one of Kelly). And if it's missing then that really is a gap in your career.

The Olympics, well, it's still super nice if you win it, but not fit to compare careers.
 
So, I have been thinking a bit about the whole "would Gilbert really have let Lampaert join the party or was he bluffing" conundrum in the last kilometres of the race.

And I think he was bluffing. Because he wanted that race and too many times in recent years (since he joined QuickStep) has he lost a race because a teammate has taken the initiative before him and he has had to play the role of the good teammate that disorganises the hunt.

Let's look at all the many, many secondary placings he has got in the big Belgian races since joining QuickStep:

Dwars door Vlaanderen, 2017
In a small group with Lutsenko, Durbridge and teammate Lampaert, the current Belgian champion (we'll get to that) jumps away, and Gilbert marshals Lutsenko and Durbridge and easily beats them in the sprint for second. This genuinely did seem like the veteran giving the youngster his biggest win of his career.

E3 Harelbeke, 2017
He finds himself with GVA and Naesen and is genuinely outsprinted by his former team captain or domestique or rival or protégé or whatever their relationship was.

Then he proceeded to win Flanders (with a very pre-emptive strike) and Amstel (from a seven man turned two man-group without a single teammate in sight).

Le Samyn, 2018
This time, he was in a three man group with Niki Terpstra and Damien Gaudin. Gilbert attacked first but Terpstra then made the winning attack, leaving Gilbert to gobble up yet another second place.

E3 Harelbeke, 2018
Terpstra and Lampaert were on the attack very early. Lampaert got dispatched, leaving Terpstra to be hunted for the last 40 kilometres. Gilbert does just enough to prevent the elite group to get sufficiently organised with his presence, and he sprints to another easy second place behind Terpstra.

Ronde Van Vlaanderen, 2018
Terpstra again takes the initiative very early. Gilbert again has to try to prevent him from being caught. In this case it was always going to be impossible to reel in the Dutchman, yet Gilbert followed Valgren's late attack and beat him for third behind Terpstra and Mads Pedersen.

Belgian Nationals, 2018
This time Gilbert was sandwiching Jasper Stuyven with Yves Lampaert, and again, Lampaert is the one to get away, soloing home to be clad in the drikleur, while Gilbert can only do what has become so familiar: Sprint to second place behind a teammate who was away solo.

This year there hasn't been any of that, and Gilbert had not even been top 5 of a one-day race before yesterday, but he was certainly not risking Lampaert coming up and making an attack that would again rob him - the stronger sprinter - from a certain victory. Unfortunately for Politt, he was not able to call his bluff and he did a poor sprint tactically, allowing Gilbert (in combination with Gilbert's own strength) to finally taking a big one-day win again - for the first time with a QuickStep rider in close proximity.
 
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Blanco said:
The best one-day riders of the Century are/were Bettini, Freire, Boonen, Cancellara, Valverde, Gilbert and Sagan.
Order, for me, after this spectacular Gilbert's win, is:
Bettini
Boonen
Gilbert
Cancellara
Valverde
Freire
Sagan
Aside from the Freire over Sagan debate (I'd put Sagan over Freire any day of the year as well), if we are talking in terms of one day racing I'd put Sagan clearly above Valverde as well. Of course Valverde is also a great stage racer who has won a gt, so arguebly if you look at their whole palmares it's Valverde over Sagan but in terms of one day racing Valverde has as many big wins as Sagan, however four of those came in the same race and aside from that the only WT one day races he has ever won are Fleche Wallone and San Sebastian (although tbf he is record champion in the former). Sagan has a lot more to his name.
 
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tobydawq said:
So, I have been thinking a bit about the whole "would Gilbert really have let Lampaert join the party or was he bluffing" conundrum in the last kilometres of the race.

And I think he was bluffing. Because he wanted that race and too many times in recent years (since he joined QuickStep) has he lost a race because a teammate has taken the initiative before him and he has had to play the role of the good teammate that disorganises the hunt.
There's no question about it that Gilbert was never going to let Lampaert come back. Even if Politt would have completely sat up (which wouldn't make much sense either), Gilbert would have continued riding at 85-90%, enough to keep Lampaert at a distance and recharge his legs for the sprint, or just tried to drop Politt.

He's faster in the sprint hence didn't need Politt to pull the last kilometers to beat him in the sprint, but because Politt -understandably- didn't want to just gift away a 2nd place, Gilbert could happily stay in the wheel.
 
Re: Re:

tobydawq said:
Velolover2 said:
Defining legacy really depends on all Monuments + the WC/OC are considered equal or not.

You also have to separate Classics from the Semi-Classics. And semi-classics from regular one-day races. Anything below semi-classics shouldn't really be a part of the equation. You could also make the argument that even the semi-classics shouldn't be a part of the equation.

That leaves us with the 5 Monuments, the WC, the OC and another handful of major classics (such as Amstel) when judging the classics specialists against each other.
Not a good argument.
You have to draw the line somewhere. No matter how many Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race's you win, it will never be as great as winning Paris-Roubaix.
 
Re: Re:

Velolover2 said:
tobydawq said:
Velolover2 said:
Defining legacy really depends on all Monuments + the WC/OC are considered equal or not.

You also have to separate Classics from the Semi-Classics. And semi-classics from regular one-day races. Anything below semi-classics shouldn't really be a part of the equation. You could also make the argument that even the semi-classics shouldn't be a part of the equation.

That leaves us with the 5 Monuments, the WC, the OC and another handful of major classics (such as Amstel) when judging the classics specialists against each other.
Not a good argument.
You have to draw the line somewhere. No matter how many Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race's you win, it will never be as great as winning Paris-Roubaix.
But isn't that a regular one-day race?

Maybe I misunderstood you (I may have with your final sentence), but I thought you meant that classics were equal to monuments and the races that I listed previously, of which Gilbert has almost won all (Omloop, Strade, E3, Gent-Wevelgem, Amstel, Flèche, San Sebastián, Paris-Tours and maybe the Canadian races) were what you considered semi-classics and thus possibly irrelevant in a discussion of who is the greater one-day rider.

I agree that lesser races than these will not be relevant in such discussions.
 
I think we agree. :D I consider Omloop, Strade, E3, GW, Amstel, Flèche, San Seb, Emilia, Torino and Tours as classics and a part of the equation.

I was thinking of more "obscure" races like Trofeo Andratx, Le Samyn or Coppa Bernocchi when drawing the line.
 
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Velolover2 said:
I think we agree. :D I consider Omloop, Strade, E3, GW, Amstel, Flèche, San Seb, Emilia, Torino and Tours as classics and a part of the equation.

I was thinking of more "obscure" races like Trofeo Andratx, Le Samyn or Coppa Bernocchi when drawing the line.
Ah, okay, but you can't call them semi-classics, can you?
 
Re:

Velolover2 said:
I think we agree. :D I consider Omloop, Strade, E3, GW, Amstel, Flèche, San Seb, Emilia, Torino and Tours as classics and a part of the equation.

I was thinking of more "obscure" races like Trofeo Andratx, Le Samyn or Coppa Bernocchi when drawing the line.
I agree with this
 
Gilbert is really smart for saving a lot of his energy specifically for this race. Tryna be good in all the races that has been in the last month will more than likely end you up with nothing or just good placings in all of them. Just winning one is great.
 
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