You forgot to mention one important factor. In that super year of Gilbert, Valverde didn't take part in any of these races. So the palmares of Gilbert gives somehow a distorted view, if you compare his palmares to that of Valverde.Mr.White said:OK. Let's do that then:PremierAndrew said:If you don't take Valverde's grand tour results into account (and gilbert's results in the cobbles for that matter) and focus purely on hilly classics, Gilbert easily has better palmaresMr.White said:Well I rate him 1st, easily...toolittle said:I rated Valverde as 2nd best hilly classic riders of the generation behind Philippe Gilbert.
Philippe Gilbert show us that he is unbeatable when he is on his best form.
Many althletes cannot keep his best form for sickness, life style and training. But Gilbert is the strongest when he was on fire.
1x Liege + 1 podium
1x San Sebastian
2x GP de Wallonie, 2x Gran Piemonte, Strade Bianche, Vuelta a Murcia
6 WCRR podiums
3x Liege + 3 podiums
2 Lombardia podiums
2x San Sebastian
3x Klasika Primavera, Trofeo Deia, Roma Maxima, GP Indurain, Paris-Camembert
As I see this is pretty equal. But we also must take into consideration the fact that Gilbert rode much more races than Valverde (races of this kind). Gilbert is exclusively one-day racer, Valverde on the other hand is also GT and stage race specialist. For example Valverde never rode any of the Canadian classics and didn't rode Lombardia for 6 consecutive years (2007-2012). So as their hilly classics record is similar, yet Valverde rode much less, I would give him advantage over Gilbert