puncheurs\hilly classics specialists

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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.
Good point.

Also, after 2002, Bettini was never that good in Liège. Was severely outclassed several times by Boogerd, Vino, Rebellin in 2003-2005 period and after that the Valverde/Schlecks period... where he sprinted one time to 3rd place and that was pretty much it.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Good point.

Also, after 2002, Bettini was never that good in Liège. Was severely outclassed several times by Boogerd, Vino, Rebellin in 2003-2005 period and after that the Valverde/Schlecks period... where he sprinted one time to 3rd place and that was pretty much it.
2006 was strange though. Bettini getting destroyed in the sprint at LBL by Piti, but at the Worlds 2006 it's Bettini destroying Piti in the sprint.
 
El Pistolero said:
2006 was strange though. Bettini getting destroyed in the sprint at LBL by Piti, but at the Worlds 2006 it's Bettini destroying Piti in the sprint.
The WC sprint was easier, as the hill in Ans just before the final 200m is way harder than the finish area in Salzburg.

What struck me as strange, that often in the autumn Bettini could do what he want and drop everyone everywhere with his accelerations. But in Liege and Amstel since 2003, he often got dropped when Boogerd did his annual Eyserbosweg / Saint Nicolas acceleration...
 
Aug 11, 2009
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c&cfan said:
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?
By "racing like Boogerd did," do you mean finishing on or near the podium after losing the sprint instead of actually winning races?

Pretending that a Vinokourov victory is as much of a dark horse surprise as a Van Summeren victory is absolutely absurd.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
The WC sprint was easier, as the hill in Ans just before the final 200m is way harder than the finish area in Salzburg.

What struck me as strange, that often in the autumn Bettini could do what he want and drop everyone everywhere with his accelerations. But in Liege and Amstel since 2003, he often got dropped when Boogerd did his annual Eyserbosweg / Saint Nicolas acceleration...
True, but he also won the year after which was pretty hard course.

Some of his spring seasons were marred with injuries though, but been a long time ago, so don't know how many spring seasons he lost because of them.

I guess Bettini was so good in autumn because he didn't do the Tour a lot and was always pretty good at the Vuelta.
 

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