puncheurs\hilly classics specialists

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Feb 25, 2010
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jaylew said:
Yeah, he's definitely got the potential, but I think a stronger team would help him get better results in the big races. I don't remember exactly how those races unfolded but it may not be a coincidence that his two good GdL performances were when he was with Quickstep.

Speaking of QS, I remember when Visconti was with them and Bettini was grooming him to be his replacement as Italian one-day star. For some reason I didn't really like him back then but I don't remember why. I'm hoping he steps up to his parent squad at Lampre next year.
Yeah I could never understand why they actually let him go..
 
Sparta said:
I would agree with that it certainly isn't impossible to do both and many do very well in both. But that is what the OP is saying - there are very few hilly classic specialists most of the top finishers are GT riders - but why are they consider GT riders not hilly classics riders - because its more fashionable?
And although they do do very well, I may be wrong but I don't think that many of them were preparing in the meticulous way Gilbert did with his first part of the season solely focussed on them. This is a massive opinion but if the tour got cancelled and they rode LBL in July instead I think Andy Schleck would have put up a much better fight against Gilbert. Similarly Samu was incredible at the olympics, however he has been incosistent since - grand tours have been his main goal.

Another example is Evans - many people on here hacve recently been saying he should have focussed on being a hilly classics rider earlier in his career and would have got more big wins if he had - again this he skipped them due to a slight injury wouldn't have happened if it had been the tour coming up.
As far as the Olympics go and Samu, he had a killer team in the Olympics and not so much so in the Ardennes. In the Olympics they had multiple cards to play while with Euskaltel it's primarily just him alone until recently (Anton). They are grooming some great talent though with Nieve (sp), Castroviejo and to a lesser extent Sicard, among others.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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Competition in the Ardennes right now is quite high, I would argue. If Gilbert were hitting out solo every race with 10km still to go, then it might be different. But, having one rider who's simply a cut above the rest in the finale doesn't mean there's no depth compared to prior years.

Also, if Valverde weren't suspended and Evans had been healthy, the level at a race like L-B-L could have been exceptionally high this year.

Even without those two, though, in addition to Gilbert there was an extremely good Katusha team (Kolobnev, Rodriguez, Ivanov), a dangerous Leopard pair (Schlecks with good team support), and an aggressive Astana outfit (Vino, Gasparotto, Kreuziger) who all made an impression on the race.

As already noted by others, plenty of other squads than these were solid, too. Compared to the past ten years of racing, I think this year's edition of Ardennes racing compares just fine.
 
Aug 2, 2010
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basically what i was trying to say is that there is no one besides gilbert and kolobnev who can be considered top riders, with hilly classics as the main goal of the season. these are the ones that i call hilly classics specialists.

valverde is just unique. we can't talk about him. lol

ergmonkey

are you serious? you are putting shlecks and others on pair with the likes of bettini (amazing acceleration, maybe even better than gilbert in this aspect) rebellin valverde etc. the brothers are good because they can "handle" it, but they cant sprint or beat anyone in the flat.

compare this liege with, for example, 2006 and the others before that. huge difference.
and this is the reason for gilbert being dominant, there isn't anyone with similar characteristics, a rival, or a lot of strong 2nd tiers.

about the post that talked about the cobbled classics and gt contenders, isn't obvious why? these guys are professionals now, it doesn't matter how great is contador, he won't beat tom and fabian in those races.

to win those races, you need to have a type of characteristics that won't let you win GTs unless the you are on bread and water (and the others cant eat or drink :)).
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Looking at who Bettini won against at LBL, that's called 3rd tier cyclists at best. Garzelli doesn't count as he was a team mate and gave Bettini the victory.

Valverde isn't unique, there's always Danilo di Luca. But we all know why.

LBL 2006 didn't have the Roche aux Faucons yet which would explain the reason why there were many more people at the finish line who were lesser climbers.

In 2009 and 2010 Valverde lost the race there. At the Roche aux Faucons.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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c&cfan said:
basically what i was trying to say is that there is no one besides gilbert and kolobnev who can be considered top riders, with hilly classics as the main goal of the season. these are the ones that i call hilly classics specialists.

valverde is just unique. we can't talk about him. lol

ergmonkey

are you serious? you are putting shlecks and others on pair with the likes of bettini (amazing acceleration, maybe even better than gilbert in this aspect) rebellin valverde etc. the brothers are good because they can "handle" it, but they cant sprint or beat anyone in the flat.
Yeah, I'm serious.

Vino isn't a "top rider" with his two Liege wins and one Amstel plus numerous podiums?

Ivanov isn't a top rider with an Amstel win plus podiums?

The Schlecks don't really count--despite each having won an Ardennes Classic--because by some arbitrary rule we should ignore GT riders and/or non-sprinters? Come on. If guys are legitimately racing for the win, then they're racing for the win--no matter what they do in July.

As for Valverde, I very clearly posted that he would have raised the level of the Ardennes Classics this year--just as Evans would have. Or am I obliged to ignore Cadel because he's a GT contender?

It's easy to idolize past winners--especially when they really were as good as Bettini was--but I agree with those who have posted here that one might just as well launch similar criticisms at many of Bettini's rivals. I clearly remember seeing not Bettini but Garzelli being the one to annihilate a Liege field where only a very young Ivan Basso could even pretend to keep pace. I clearly remember perennial favorite Michael Boogerd never, ever, ever looking like he had a chance to outsprint a Bettini or a Rebellin. And I clearly remember seeing guys like Rumsas, Astarloa, Celestino, Hamilton, and Mayo clock up podium finishes in hilly Classics.

I really don't think today's field is so much worse. And I certainly don't think Rebellin was a better Ardennes rider in 2004 than Gilbert was this year.
 
Aug 2, 2010
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El Pistolero said:
Looking at who Bettini won against at LBL, that's called 3rd tier cyclists at best. Garzelli doesn't count as he was a team mate and gave Bettini the victory.

Valverde isn't unique, there's always Danilo di Luca. But we all know why.

LBL 2006 didn't have the Roche aux Faucons yet which would explain the reason why there were many more people at the finish line who were lesser climbers.

In 2009 and 2010 Valverde lost the race there. At the Roche aux Faucons.
what are you trying to say? there is no problem with the lack of"hilly classics specialists"?

dude... i give up on you.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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No, you're just throwing a bunch of names together that barely ever raced together and say there's a lack of hilly classics specialists

bettini, rebelin, di luca, paolini, boogerd, bartoli, VDB, armstrong, valverde etc.

Paolini: Never even top 10ed in a hilly classic. He was a domestique for Bettini.
VDB: Was good for one year and one year only.
Michele Bartoli: Was already past his prime by the time Bettini came to fame. Bettini got his first success while Bartoli was injured.
Valverde: There's a 7 years age difference between Bettini and Valverde...
Boogerd: Well, you don't rate the Schlecks because they can't sprint. Boogerd couldn't sprint for victory as well.
Armstrong: Hello, he was hilly classics specialist only till 1996. He never faced any of the guys you named while he fully focused on hilly classics.
Rebellin: only hilly classics specialist on Bettini's level during both their prime.
Bartoli: Uhm this guy is from another generation than all the guys you just named... With the only exception of Armstrong and Rebellin.
 
Aug 2, 2010
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ergmonkey said:
Yeah, I'm serious.

Vino isn't a "top rider" with his two Liege wins and one Amstel plus numerous podiums?

Ivanov isn't a top rider with an Amstel win plus podiums?

The Schlecks don't really count--despite each having won an Ardennes Classic--because by some arbitrary rule we should ignore GT riders and/or non-sprinters? Come on. If guys are legitimately racing for the win, then they're racing for the win--no matter what they do in July.

As for Valverde, I very clearly posted that he would have raised the level of the Ardennes Classics this year--just as Evans would have. Or am I obliged to ignore Cadel because he's a GT contender?

It's easy to idolize past winners--especially when they really were as good as Bettini was--but I agree with those who have posted here that one might just as well launch similar criticisms at many of Bettini's rivals. I clearly remember seeing not Bettini but Garzelli being the one to annihilate a Liege field where only a very young Ivan Basso could even pretend to keep pace. I clearly remember perennial favorite Michael Boogerd never, ever, ever looking like he had a chance to outsprint a Bettini or a Rebellin. And I clearly remember seeing guys like Rumsas, Astarloa, Celestino, Hamilton, and Mayo clock up podium finishes in hilly Classics.

I really don't think today's field is so much worse. And I certainly don't think Rebellin was a better Ardennes rider in 2004 than Gilbert was this year.
ivanov never was a favorite for any race. those "top riders" are the favorites.

vino never was in the same league of bettini's\bartoli\VDB\boogerd. but vino is vino, and i never said that a gt contender could never win a hilly classic. just like to win a GT you can win it by being "just" a grimpeur and not also a TTer. but back in the days, armstrong, ulrich, lemond, hinault were the guys to beat, same with rebellin bartoli and of course, bettini, in hilly classics.

andy liege win was in the same league than armstrong at the worlds, he wasn't a favorite.

do you saw the 08 Olympics? what happened there between valverde and bettini? just like it happen in lots of races.
 
Aug 2, 2010
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El Pistolero said:
No, you're just throwing a bunch of names together that barely ever raced together and say there's a lack of hilly classics specialists

bettini, rebelin, di luca, paolini, boogerd, bartoli, VDB, armstrong, valverde etc.

Paolini: Never even top 10ed in a hilly classic. He was a domestique for Bettini.
VDB: Was good for one year and one year only.
Michele Bartoli: Was already past his prime by the time Bettini came to fame. Bettini got his first success while Bartoli was injured.
Valverde: There's a 7 years age difference between Bettini and Valverde...-valverde is just that good. he was already kicking asses at 23.
Boogerd: Well, you don't rate the Schlecks because they can't sprint. Boogerd couldn't sprint for victory as well.-hilly classics as his main goal.
Armstrong: Hello, he was hilly classics specialist only till 1996. He never faced any of the guys you named while he fully focused on hilly classics.
Rebellin: only hilly classics specialist on Bettini's level during both their prime.
Bartoli: Uhm this guy is from another generation than all the guys you just named... With the only exception of Armstrong and Rebellin.


pistolero, stop.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Lol, Boogerd is better than Vino?

You really are delusional if you think that.

In case you didn't know Vino beat the living crap out of Valverde last year in LBL. But he's not in the same league right ;)

There really is no point in naming VDB, the guy was top level for one year. Hardly competition for anyone except 1999. VDB wasn't even favorite in that year and apparently you don't count then according to you. Trust me, VDB had the talent to win the Tour. Just wasn't mentally up to it.
 
Aug 2, 2010
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El Pistolero said:
Bettini didn't do sh*t in 2008 besides the Vuelta.
jzzzzzssssssss.......

bettini was in great shape at the olympics, still he had someone has good as him, as a result, both lost the race.

gilbert does not have the same problem, there is no one similar! kolobnev is the one that is closer, still the gap is huge!

this generation of hilly classics is just weak!!!

and this takes me to problem number 2,

average speed growing a lot...
lack of hilly classics specialists, pure sprinters (see the other thread), even cobbled specialists (maybe not) and pure TTers.

are we going to the "good" old times, or are the GTs destroying the rest of the calendar? d-word?
 
Aug 2, 2010
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El Pistolero said:
Lol, Boogerd is better than Vino?

You really are delusional if you think that.

In case you didn't know Vino beat the living crap out of Valverde last year in LBL. But he's not in the same league right ;)

There really is no point in naming VDB, the guy was top level for one year. Hardly competition for anyone except 1999.
what??? are you crazy??? WTF?

so is kolobnev better than gilbert?
 
Jul 16, 2010
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National Champion (1997, 1998, 2006)
Paris Nice (1999)
Amstel Gold Race (1999)
Tour de France, 2 stages
--


Vuelta a España
General classification (2006)
Combination classification (2006)
4 individual stages
Tour de France
4 individual stages
Stage Races
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (1999)
Deutschland Tour (2001)
Paris-Nice (2002, 2003)
Tour de Suisse (2003)
Single-Day Races and Classics
Amstel Gold Race (2003)
Liège–Bastogne–Liège (2005, 2010)
National Road Race Championship (2005)
 
Aug 2, 2010
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El Pistolero said:
National Champion (1997, 1998, 2006)
Paris Nice (1999)
Amstel Gold Race (1999)
Tour de France, 2 stages
--


Vuelta a España
General classification (2006)
Combination classification (2006)
4 individual stages
Tour de France
4 individual stages
Stage Races
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (1999)
Deutschland Tour (2001)
Paris-Nice (2002, 2003)
Tour de Suisse (2003)
Single-Day Races and Classics
Amstel Gold Race (2003)
Liège–Bastogne–Liège (2005, 2010)
National Road Race Championship (2005)
humm.. so you really are that empty.
have a nice day.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Yeah, I bet Vino won all that by being worse than Boogerd :rolleyes:

Boogerd is around the same level as Frank Schleck.
 
Aug 2, 2010
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El Pistolero said:
Yeah, I bet Vino won all that by being worse than Boogerd :rolleyes:

Boogerd is around the same level as Frank Schleck.
one last try..

FIRST OF ALL, THIS IS ABOUT HILLY CLASSICS!!!!!!!!!

SECOND, THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINING LIKE VINO DID AND RACING LIKE BOOGERD DID!

or van summeren is as good or better than canc?
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Canc won 4 Monuments, Boogerd zero. Can't even make that comparison.

Vino won 2 Monuments and a classic.

In case you didn't realize Vino is pretty darn good at hilly classics and isn't focused to win a GT anymore. Hence he's a hilly classics specialist, and a damn good one. Dude came second at Olympics of 2000 for crying out loud.

Vino came third in LBL 2004 and won in 2005 and 2010. Came second at the Olympics road race behind Jan Ullrich. Won the Amstel Gold Race and got second last year at the Clasica San Sebastian.

And you constantly forget about Joaquim Rodriguez. He thinks LBL is more important than his own home tour, that says a lot.
 
Aug 2, 2010
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El Pistolero said:
Canc won 4 Monuments, Boogerd zero. Can't even make that comparison.

Vino won 2 Monuments and a classic.

In case you didn't realize Vino is pretty darn good at hilly classics and isn't focused to win a GT anymore. Hence he's a hilly classics specialist, and a damn good one. Dude came second at Olympics of 2000 for crying out loud.
since this year?

is van summeren better than van petegem was in roubaix?
is gilbert worse than vino at liege?

pistolero, no one can discuss with you. i just hope that you do this on purpose, otherwise you really have some problems.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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I hope you're doing this on purpose as you don't make sense at all.

Vino this and last year was a hilly classics specialist and wether you like it or not Vino beat to crap out of Kolobnev, Gilbert and Valverde last year at LBL. He was way better than Valverde who barely took a pull during the chase and got dropped by Gilbert on the Saint Nicholas.
 
Aug 2, 2010
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El Pistolero said:
I hope you're doing this on purpose as you don't make sense at all.

Vino this and last year was a hilly classics specialist and wether you like it or not Vino beat to crap out of Kolobnev, Gilbert and Valverde last year at LBL. He was way better than Valverde who barely took a pull during the chase and got dropped by Gilbert on the Saint Nicholas.
and finished ahead of him.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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For third place. Valverde never was riding to win. He was Pozzato during that LBL.

Everybody knows Valverde can sprint, but on the hills he definitely lacks last few years.
 

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