Rough Attempt at an All-Time Ranking

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In terms of classics in 21st century, nobody is ahead of Bettini... Boonen is second.
But shoudn't versatility count. Boonen have two more big wins than Gilbert, and about the same number of semiclassics, but Gilbert has won just about every one day race on the calendar. That certainly doesn't apply for Boonen who besides the World's RR have only won cobbled classics.
 
I don't think it's clear, there's a small group of riders with similar palmeres. Gilbert won monuments on both pave and cobbles plus tons of other one-day races. Boonen and Cancellara won 7 monuments.
Considering only one-day races tier 1 is Gilbert, Bettini, Cancellara and Boonen IMO. Tier 2 is Sagan, Valverde, Freire. And that applies even if I also consider stage wins in stage races, which is to a big adventage for especially Sagan.
 
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Gilbert has the rare merit of having won both hilly and cobbled monuments. Can't find any other rider in recent times that can compare to that. He's in a class of his own, so he's hard to rank against other classics specialists.
That distinction is treated like it's worth 3 monuments in and of itself. It's maybe a tiebreaker for when he's extremely close to other riders but he's generally not that close.

I think to put him ahead of guys who won more monuments or WC is stupid.

Of the riders of the last 20 years I'd consider legends I would comfortably put Gilbert dead last.
 
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But shoudn't versatility count. Boonen have two more big wins than Gilbert, and about the same number of semiclassics, but Gilbert has won just about every one day race on the calendar. That certainly doesn't apply for Boonen who besides the World's RR have only won cobbled classics.
Not much. Versatility comes into play when the score is draw, or pretty close. But if a rider A has 8 big wins, and a rider B has 6, and that 2 wins are the Worlds and Olympics, then no versatitlity can even the score.
 
That distinction is treated like it's worth 3 monuments in and of itself. It's maybe a tiebreaker for when he's extremely close to other riders but he's generally not that close.

I think to put him ahead of guys who won more monuments or WC is stupid.

Of the riders of the last 20 years I'd consider legends I would comfortably put Gilbert dead last.
Gilbert: 6 monuments + championships, 11 semi-classics, won all types of races
Boonen: 8 monuments + championships, 8 semi-classics, won only cobbles + the worlds in Madrid
Bettini: 8 monuments + championships, 4(?) semi-classics, won mostly hilly but also MSR.
Cancellara: 6 monuments + championships, 6 semi-classics, won mostly cobbles, but also sterrato and MSR

For me it's certainly not clear that Gilbert should be dead last of these.
 
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Not much. Versatility comes into play when the score is draw, or pretty close. But if a rider A has 8 big wins, and a rider B has 6, and that 2 wins are the Worlds and Olympics, then no versatitlity can even the score.
Disagree. Especially when it comes to Boonen. Gilberts performances are more unique than a guy who have almost all his big wins from cobbles.
 
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How is not Gilbert close to any of Bettini/Cancellara/Boonen?
Winning monuments on both cobbles and pave is difficult and significant. It's like winning slams on clay and grass in tennis.
Nobody gave Sampras *** for not winning RG when Agassi had won all 4.

Bettini won 3 out of 5 monuments as well. Sonny frigging Colbrelli just won Roubaix on his first try. Bradley Wiggins seriously tried Roubaix once and got top 10. Nibali went to the cobbles in the Tour and schooled them. Alaphilippe got taken out by a motorbike.

My point is that a lot of riders don't ride the cobbles cause they have better chances at other big races. Also Sagan and Cancellara never even tried Liege, so that shows you how prestigious that combination is.

And don't get me started on the respective times at which Gilbert won his monuments. It's like a low point int he competition in all the monuments he won.
Gilbert: 6 monuments + championships, 11 semi-classics, won all types of races
Boonen: 8 monuments + championships, 8 semi-classics, won only cobbles + the worlds in Madrid
Bettini: 8 monuments + championships, 4(?) semi-classics, won mostly hilly but also MSR.
Cancellara: 6 monuments + championships, 6 semi-classics, won mostly cobbles, but also sterrato and MSR

For me it's certainly not clear that Gilbert should be dead last of these.
To put Gilbert in there you need to ignroe that Worlds and Olympics >monuments to start with. Also ignore Cancellara's 2 Olympic ITTs.

Like I said, winning on cobbles and hills is not worth an extra 2-3 monuments.

Honestly I think Gilbert is just extremely well liked which is why people cling on to the hilly + cobbled monument thing.
 
Nobody gave Sampras *** for not winning RG when Agassi had won all 4.

Bettini won 3 out of 5 monuments as well. Sonny frigging Colbrelli just won Roubaix on his first try. Bradley Wiggins seriously tried Roubaix once and got top 10. Nibali went to the cobbles in the Tour and schooled them. Alaphilippe got taken out by a motorbike.

My point is that a lot of riders don't ride the cobbles cause they have better chances at other big races. Also Sagan and Cancellara never even tried Liege, so that shows you how prestigious that combination is.

And don't get me started on the respective times at which Gilbert won his monuments. It's like a low point int he competition in all the monuments he won.
Sampras was further ahead of Agassi in achievements. The same is not the case here: a difference of 2 monuments (including WC and OG) but Gilbert won more non-monument classics then them all (reducing the difference). He's definitely in a tier with the remaining three in one-day races (I'm not including ITTs).
 
To put Gilbert in there you need to ignroe that Worlds and Olympics >monuments to start with. Also ignore Cancellara's 2 Olympic ITTs.

Like I said, winning on cobbles and hills is not worth an extra 2-3 monuments.

Honestly I think Gilbert is just extremely well liked which is why people cling on to the hilly + cobbled monument thing.
I think that Cancellara is a bigger rider in total. But I was now thinking purely classics/one day-races, that is only races with mass start.
 
Why is Cancellara better when they have the equal number of big wins, Gilbert have been versatile and Gilbert has a lot more semi classics wins?
Cancellara has 7 big wins, Gilbert has 6.
When I'm doing a list like this, I take into acount numerous things. One parameter is rider's dominance, or better said his reputation, influence, etc. Cancellara and Boonen for example were a reference points in the classics for a decade at least. Valverde also, in the hilly classics. Gilbert on the other hand was a dominant force in the hilly classics for some time (2009-2012), but in my opinion too short.
 
We can, and I am.
Statistically it's Valverde, whatever ranking we apply. But stats doesn't tell all about how big champion someone is/was.
For me it's Contador, than Bala, then Boonen, Cancellara, Nibali, Froome, pick your own order, and then Sagan, Gilbert, Cav.
Since it's virtually an unarguably accepted 'fact' that Merckx is the greatest of all time, and that the only others that generally even get in the conversation are Hinault and Anquetil... then canonically there seems to be a higher place for those who win multiple GT's and Monuments. And there's logic to that, commercially the Grand Tours are the most important, but at the same time how can you really be a great cyclist without ever beating your opponents physically and tactically on those handful of single days that really count?

By that measure the only active/recent riders worth talking about are Valverde and Nibali. For me, all three GT's and two different Monuments tips it for Nib's, although Valverde's overall palmarès is absolutely ridiculous. I would have put Contador ahead of Froome on the basis of having won Milano-Torino and at least having made an effort at LBL and iL.
 
Just an brief attempt to quantify things.
2 points for monument + championships, 1 point for most important semi classics, 1 bonus point for each more than two different won of the 7 biggest races (monuments + worlds + olympcis). Additional bonus point for olympics since it's only once every four years.

Gilbert: 2x6 + 1x11 + 3 = 26
Boonen: 2x8 + 1x8 + 1 = 25
Bettini: 2x8 + 1x4 + 4 = 24
Cancellara: 2x7 +1x6 + 1 =21

With 3 points for monuments + championships you get:

Gilbert: 32
Boonen: 33
Bettini: 32
Cancellara: 28
 
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Just an brief attempt to quantify things.
2 points for monument + championships, 1 point for most important semi classics, 1 bonus point for each more than two different won of the 7 biggest races (monuments + worlds + olympcis). Additional bonus point for olympics since it's only once every four years.

Gilbert: 2x6 + 1x11 + 3 = 26
Boonen: 2x8 + 1x8 + 1 = 25
Bettini: 2x8 + 1x4 + 4 = 24
Cancellara: 2x7 +1x6 + 1 =21

With 3 points for monuments + championships you get:

Gilbert: 32
Boonen: 33
Bettini: 32
Cancellara: 28
If you throw in semi-classics, then I can't see why wouldn't we count podiums of the 6 Monuments. I mean isn't a 2nd place at PR or Liege bigger deal than a GP Quebec?
We all watched Paris-Roubaix recently. And now I should award Colbrelli with 2 points, but Vermeersch and Van Der Poel gets "nada". Meanwhile Jasper Philipsen gets one point for his Eschboorn Frankfurt win...:rolleyes:.
It's simple, we count only the biggest wins, or if we count the smaller ones, we also need to count highest placings in the big ones.

Anyway I wouldn't rely only on statistics in determing biggest classics rider of the century. There's much more than that...
 
If you throw in semi-classics, then I can't see why wouldn't we count podiums of the 6 Monuments. I mean isn't a 2nd place at PR or Liege bigger deal than a GP Quebec?
We all watched Paris-Roubaix recently. And now I should award Colbrelli with 2 points, but Vermeersch and Van Der Poel gets "nada". Meanwhile Jasper Philipsen gets one point for his Eschboorn Frankfurt win...:rolleyes:.
It's simple, we count only the biggest wins, or if we count the smaller ones, we also need to count highest placings in the big ones.
Frankurt is not on my list. Previous WC-races included those who have continued. Omloop, GW, E3, FW, Strade and AGR.
 
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Nevermind, you have Hamburg then, Plouay maybe too... Hell Omloop and E3 wins for example couldn't come close to a WC medal!
Hamburg not very relevant since none of these riders have won that race after the WC ended. And Plouay is in no way as pretigous as the 6 mentioned above.

Bettini have one WC silver and Boonen a bronze. Doesn't make all the difference in the world.
 
Good discussions!

The next group contains a Belgian and an Italian climbing legend, the best Australian, the best Dane, and a British nobleman.

90 Lucien Van Impe 254
89 Marco Pantani 254
88 Gustave Garrigou 256
87 Cadel Evans 262
86 Rolf Sørensen 264
85 Julián Berrendero 264
84 Michele Dancelli 268
83 Roberto Heras 273
82 Bradley Wiggins 274
81 Briek Schotte 275

Yes, it hurts to see Pantani below Evans and Wiggins. Il Pirata could have been thirteen places higher by simply finishing the 1999 Giro. At least Sir Bradley gets smacked by good old Flandrien Briek Schotte.
 
This is getting comical...Pantani below Wiggins and Evans et al. The real gauge should consider total career accomplishments set against level of performance, in symbiosis. Wiggins and Evans can't even be compared to Pantani in terms of performance level. They lacked the sheer power, not to mention the audacity and the panache.
 
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The youngest and the third youngest rider in this top 150 make their appearance.

80 Delio Rodríguez 285
79 Julian Alaphilippe 288
78 André Darrigade 290
77 Giovanni Brunero 290
76 Hennie Kuiper 293
75 Antonin Magne 295
74 Bernard Thévenet 296
73 Philippe Thys 296
72 Joaquim Rodríguez 297
71 Tadej Pogačar 297

Pogačar appears like a comet out of nowhere. If he keeps performing like this for a decade he could continue to rush up this ranking.
 
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