No he was a cobbled classics rider and sprinter but you just wiped out a lot of his results. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone classify him as a puncheur.Boonen was not a pure sprinter, but a puncheur with an excellent sprint. But he was outclassed by Cancellara when push came to shove, whose motor was just bigger. Of course winning is part of cycling, but not every win is equal to others. Only two or three teems can have a potential Tour winner on their rosters. All the other teams have to make due with the resources they have to try and get wins in situations outside GC, which is why the overall winner is the most accomplished rider in the peloton, against whom all others are awarded their relative status and merits. But the king is the king.
That is not true at all that a Tour winner could win Giro or Vuelta. They have completely different routes and skill sets. Have we not been debating that riders should focus on a different GT because the one they are doing doesn’t suit them? Of course a GT winner should be able to win stage races. Not all GT riders can win monuments or classics, especially now with more specialized compared to previous decades.No, but the Tour is the Tour. Or do you not think the Tour winner is not the biggest among the Bigs? To make things more obvious, Tour winners, because they are such gifted and special riders have in the history of cycling also been capable of winning the Giro and Vuelta, the classics, World's, PN, TA. So for me the difference is among the riders who can win some of the other races, but not the Tour, demonstrates a limit in their greatness. That's it. Of course, cycling is not just the Tour, but the French race is a pretty massive trump card when set against the careers of riders with excellent palmares who have not won it.
Thomas, Froome, Wiggins, Contador, and Pereiro/Landis not to mention TGH, Dumoulin, Quintana, Hesjedal, Basso, Scarponi, Horner, Aru, and Menchov aren’t winning a monument. Bernal might not even win a monument.