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The greatest classic rider of the 21st century

Page 2 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.

Who is the best classics specialist of this century?

  • Paolo Bettini

    Votes: 36 26.9%
  • Tom Boonen

    Votes: 40 29.9%
  • Fabian Cancellara

    Votes: 35 26.1%
  • Philippe Gilbert

    Votes: 12 9.0%
  • Alejandro Valverde

    Votes: 9 6.7%
  • Oscar Freire

    Votes: 2 1.5%

  • Total voters
    134
Re: Re:

PremierAndrew said:
El Pistolero said:
PremierAndrew said:
If you're gonna have Gilbert, you need to have Rebellin too

Cunego arguably deserves a mention too, even forgetting his Giro win

Rebellin won one Monument, Gilbert won 3 + the WC RR. They're not even close.

And Netserk was right, this poll proves Cancellara is immensely overrated. :lol: He doesn't even come at the heels of Bettini.

Gilbert's monument record doesn't come close to Bettini Boonen or Cancellara. The reason he's there is because of his immense success in other classics too along with his air of invincibility in one particular season. So, why not Rebellin then?
What? I don't watch cycling very long yet but looking at Rebellin's palmares, he has won 5 big one day races in his whole career and 3 of those were the Flèche Wallone, so I wouldn't say he had immense success in other classics. Moreover is the year where he was "invincible" 2004? Because he also only won 3 classics in that year. Gilbert in 2011 won 6.
 
Re: Re:

Gigs_98 said:
PremierAndrew said:
El Pistolero said:
PremierAndrew said:
If you're gonna have Gilbert, you need to have Rebellin too

Cunego arguably deserves a mention too, even forgetting his Giro win

Rebellin won one Monument, Gilbert won 3 + the WC RR. They're not even close.

And Netserk was right, this poll proves Cancellara is immensely overrated. :lol: He doesn't even come at the heels of Bettini.

Gilbert's monument record doesn't come close to Bettini Boonen or Cancellara. The reason he's there is because of his immense success in other classics too along with his air of invincibility in one particular season. So, why not Rebellin then?
What? I don't watch cycling very long yet but looking at Rebellin's palmares, he has won 5 big one day races in his whole career and 3 of those were the Flèche Wallone, so I wouldn't say he had immense success in other classics. Moreover is the year where he was "invincible" 2004? Because he also only won 3 classics in that year. Gilbert in 2011 won 6.

My point is that Gilbert (and Valverde for that matter) have no place in this thread, and if they do, you might as well throw in guys like Rebellin and Cunego
 
Peter-Johan Van Gilboonen (born in 2048)

11x Belgium champ (2048-51, 2053-56, 2058-60, 2062);
9x RVV (2049-50, 2052-57, 2059);
9x E3 (2050-54, 2057-59, 2061);
7x G-W (2049-53, 2055, 2058);
6x P-R (2051, 2053-55, 2057, 2060);
6x Amstel (2050, 2052-55, 2057);
6x World champ (2049, 2053, 2055, 2057-59)
5x LBL (2052, 2054-2055, 2059-60);
5x MSR (2049, 2052, 2060-62);
5x San Sebastian (2052, 2054, 2057-59);
4x Lombardia (2052-54, 2061);
3x Hamburg (2060-62);
3x Montréal (2049,2056, 2059);
2x Québec (2056-57).

What a champ. Also 6x winner of Tour (2051-56, 58), 5x winner of Giro (2053-57) and 3x winner of Vuelta (2050, 2054, 2058).
 
Re:

Isaak-Gabriel said:
Peter-Johan Van Gilboonen (born in 2048)

11x Belgium champ (2048-51, 2053-56, 2058-60, 2062);
9x RVV (2049-50, 2052-57, 2059);
9x E3 (2050-54, 2057-59, 2061);
7x G-W (2049-53, 2055, 2058);
6x P-R (2051, 2053-55, 2057, 2060);
6x Amstel (2050, 2052-55, 2057);
6x World champ (2049, 2053, 2055, 2057-59)
5x LBL (2052, 2054-2055, 2059-60);
5x MSR (2049, 2052, 2060-62);
5x San Sebastian (2052, 2054, 2057-59);
4x Lombardia (2052-54, 2061);
3x Hamburg (2060-62);
3x Montréal (2049,2056, 2059);
2x Québec (2056-57).

What a champ. Also 6x winner of Tour (2051-56, 58), 5x winner of Giro (2053-57) and 3x winner of Vuelta (2050, 2054, 2058).

In old days, it seems competition is not so extensive. Training or special methodogy could make a big gap. So, not so releavent to compare.
 
Re: Re:

PremierAndrew said:
Red Rick said:
Valverde, Gilbert and Cancellara have no business being in this thread.

Anyway, gonna go for Bettini. 3 different monuments, only 2 less in total than Boonen, and 2 WCRR + OG put him on top for me.

A 7 time monument winner has no business in this thread? What?

Bettini
Boonen
Canc
Freire

Scrap that, forgot about Sanremo. My main thing wasn't that he isn't a great classics contender, it's that you can't be the greatest if there's a dude who won more of exactly the same races than you did. On cobbles, Boonen dit that. Boonen has WCRR, Canc has Sanremo, whilst Boonen also has the extra PR, bunch is record holder in GW, etc, so for me Boonen is clearly better, and if there's one clearly better, you're not gonna be the greatest no matter how awesome you are. No amount of SB is gonna change that

You should basically take the greatest classics riders from their own niche, which in this case are Boonen, Bettini, and Freire. Canc is closer to Boonen than Phil and Bala are to Bettini, I'll give you that
 
Re:

Isaak-Gabriel said:
Peter-Johan Van Gilboonen (born in 2048)

11x Belgium champ (2048-51, 2053-56, 2058-60, 2062);
9x RVV (2049-50, 2052-57, 2059);
9x E3 (2050-54, 2057-59, 2061);
7x G-W (2049-53, 2055, 2058);
6x P-R (2051, 2053-55, 2057, 2060);
6x Amstel (2050, 2052-55, 2057);
6x World champ (2049, 2053, 2055, 2057-59)
5x LBL (2052, 2054-2055, 2059-60);
5x MSR (2049, 2052, 2060-62);
5x San Sebastian (2052, 2054, 2057-59);
4x Lombardia (2052-54, 2061);
3x Hamburg (2060-62);
3x Montréal (2049,2056, 2059);
2x Québec (2056-57).

What a champ. Also 6x winner of Tour (2051-56, 58), 5x winner of Giro (2053-57) and 3x winner of Vuelta (2050, 2054, 2058).

Looks like 2054 is gonna be his best year, All GT's, Lombardia, San Sebastian, LBL, AGR, Paris Roubaix, E3, Ronde and Belgian Championships.
 
Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
PremierAndrew said:
Red Rick said:
Valverde, Gilbert and Cancellara have no business being in this thread.

Anyway, gonna go for Bettini. 3 different monuments, only 2 less in total than Boonen, and 2 WCRR + OG put him on top for me.

A 7 time monument winner has no business in this thread? What?

Bettini
Boonen
Canc
Freire

Scrap that, forgot about Sanremo. My main thing wasn't that he isn't a great classics contender, it's that you can't be the greatest if there's a dude who won more of exactly the same races than you did. On cobbles, Boonen dit that. Boonen has WCRR, Canc has Sanremo, so for me Boonen is clearly better, and if there's one clearly better, you're not gonna be the greatest no matter how awesome you are.

You should basically take the greatest classics riders from their own niche, which in this case are Boonen, Bettini, and Freire. Canc is closer to Boonen than Phil and Bala are to Bettini, I'll give you that

But it's not like Boonen was better than Canc when they were actually up against each other, it was fairly even. Sometimes Boonen got the better of Canc, and sometimes it was the other way round
Then you've got to remember than Boonen has been at quickstep his whole career, while Canc has on the whole had much weaker team support. If, for example, you swapped Canc and Boonen's position in this year's PR, would that move have succeeded or would it have been brought back?
Canc is only marginally worse than Boonen if you look purely at the classics, and even that's arguable, so he certainly deserves his place in this thread
 
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Re: Re:

PremierAndrew said:
Red Rick said:
PremierAndrew said:
Red Rick said:
Valverde, Gilbert and Cancellara have no business being in this thread.

Anyway, gonna go for Bettini. 3 different monuments, only 2 less in total than Boonen, and 2 WCRR + OG put him on top for me.

A 7 time monument winner has no business in this thread? What?

Bettini
Boonen
Canc
Freire

Scrap that, forgot about Sanremo. My main thing wasn't that he isn't a great classics contender, it's that you can't be the greatest if there's a dude who won more of exactly the same races than you did. On cobbles, Boonen dit that. Boonen has WCRR, Canc has Sanremo, so for me Boonen is clearly better, and if there's one clearly better, you're not gonna be the greatest no matter how awesome you are.

You should basically take the greatest classics riders from their own niche, which in this case are Boonen, Bettini, and Freire. Canc is closer to Boonen than Phil and Bala are to Bettini, I'll give you that

But it's not like Boonen was better than Canc when they were actually up against each other, it was fairly even. Sometimes Boonen got the better of Canc, and sometimes it was the other way round
Then you've got to remember than Boonen has been at quickstep his whole career, while Canc has on the whole had much weaker team support. If, for example, you swapped Canc and Boonen's position in this year's PR, would that move have succeeded or would it have been brought back?
Canc is only marginally worse than Boonen if you look purely at the classics, and even that's arguable, so he certainly deserves his place in this thread

Boonen lost the Ronde 2008-2009 because of his strong team. And he lost Roubaix in 2007 because of his weak team not being able to bring the break back (he was easily the strongest).
 
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Re:

Red Rick said:
Valverde, Gilbert and Cancellara have no business being in this thread.

Anyway, gonna go for Bettini. 3 different monuments, only 2 less in total than Boonen, and 2 WCRR + OG put him on top for me.
WTF? Fabian also won 3 monuments, the same total as boonen, and other classics. How the heel doesn't he have any business being here?

Winning the road race also has to be taken with a grain of salt. Nationality meant that Fabian would always have a much more difficult task.
 
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Re: Re:

MacBAir said:
Red Rick said:
Valverde, Gilbert and Cancellara have no business being in this thread.

Anyway, gonna go for Bettini. 3 different monuments, only 2 less in total than Boonen, and 2 WCRR + OG put him on top for me.
WTF? Fabian also won 3 monuments, the same total as boonen, and other classics. How the heel doesn't he have any business being here?

Winning the road race also has to be taken with a grain of salt. Nationality meant that Fabian would always have a much more difficult task.

Say that to Rui Costa, Thor Hushovd and Peter Sagan.
 
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Re:

Netserk said:
Weak team, blablabla. He had a great team on CSC. Boonen lost several races because of his strong team...
But he won much more because of his team, worlds included.
Strongest team means that the strongest has a much higher chance of wining.

Cancellara, while being by far the strongest, was always alone and losing races to foot soldiers because of no team.
 
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Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
MacBAir said:
Red Rick said:
Valverde, Gilbert and Cancellara have no business being in this thread.

Anyway, gonna go for Bettini. 3 different monuments, only 2 less in total than Boonen, and 2 WCRR + OG put him on top for me.
WTF? Fabian also won 3 monuments, the same total as boonen, and other classics. How the heel doesn't he have any business being here?

Winning the road race also has to be taken with a grain of salt. Nationality meant that Fabian would always have a much more difficult task.

Say that to Rui Costa, Thor Hushovd and Peter Sagan.
Yup. They won because they were "outsiders". Similar to Nuyens wining RVV.
Cancellara is as marked as Boonen on all 1 day races. Heck, he's marked even more.

Sagan caught everybody by surprise.
 
MacBAir said:
Netserk said:
Weak team, blablabla. He had a great team on CSC. Boonen lost several races because of his strong team...
But he won much more because of his team, worlds included.
Strongest team means that the strongest has a much higher chance of wining.

Cancellara, while being by far the strongest, was always alone and losing races to foot soldiers because of no team.
That only ever happened one year. Yawn.
 
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El Pistolero said:
I was curious to hear what the general consensus is regarding this.

I'll give a short list of the main candidates and their best results.

Paolo Bettini

Olympic Road Race: 2004
World Championship Road Race: 2006 and 2007
Liège-Bastogne-Liège: 2000 and 2002
Milan-San Remo: 2003
Giro di Lombardia: 2005 and 2006
Züri-Metzgete: 2001 and 2005
Clasica de San Sebastian: 2003

+ Top ten in the Ronde van Vlaanderen

Tom Boonen

World Championship Road Race: 2005
Ronde van Vlaanderen: 2005, 2006 and 2012 (shared record)
Paris-Roubaix: 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2012 (shared record)
Gent-Wevelgem: 2004, 2011 and 2012 (shared record)
E3 Harelbeke: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2012 (record)
Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne: 2007, 2009 and 2014 (record)

+ A second and third place at Milan-San Remo

Fabian Cancellara

Paris-Roubaix, 2006, 2010 and 2013
Milan-San Remo: 2008
Ronde van Vlaanderen: 2010, 2013 and 2014 (shared record)
E3 Harelbeke: 2010, 2011 and 2013
Strade Bianche: 2008, 2012 and 2016 (record)

Philippe Gilbert

World Championship Road Race: 2012
Giro di Lombardia: 2009 and 2010
Liège-Bastogne-Liège: 2011
Amstel Gold Race: 2010, 2011 and 2014
Flèche Wallonne: 2011
Clasica de San Sebastian: 2011
GP de Québec: 2011
Paris-Tours: 2008 and 2009
Omloop het Nieuwsblad: 2006 and 2008
Brabantse Pijl: 2011 and 2014
Strade Bianche: 2011

+ Two third places at Milan-San Remo and two third places at the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Only rider of this century to have been on the podium in 4 different Monuments.



Alejandro Valverde

Liège-Bastogne-Liège: 2006, 2008 and 2015
Flèche Wallonne: 2006, 2014, 2015 and 2016 (record)
Clasica de San Sebastian: 2008 and 2014

+ Two podiums at the Giro di Lombardia and six at the World Championships.

Oscar Freire

World Championship Road Race: 1999, 2001 and 2004 (shared record)
Milan-San Remo: 2004, 2007 and 2010
Gent-Wevelgem: 2008
Paris-Tours: 2010
Brabantse Pijl: 2005, 2006 and 2007

-----

Please keep the discussion to one-day races only.

First of all, if you're naming the biggest wins, then races like Kuurne and Brabantse Pijl have no place there. But if you're naming this races you should certainly add all WC/OG and Monument podiums cause they worth at least equal (IMO more) then wins in those races.

I'll try to fix this for you. I will put Monuments and WC/OG in the same category although I rank latter a little bit higher, and I will also add podiums cause they're as big achievements as HC race wins IMO. Then I will put WT level races in the second category and this includes former World Cup races. And in the last 3rd category HC and Cat.1 races. I'm aware that there are more (like Het Volk, Strade Bianche, etc) and less prestigious events in this category, but I think it's the best way, cause otherwise categorization would become very wide. Here we go:

Paolo Bettini:
WC/OG and Monuments: 8 wins (Olympics, 2xWC, 2xLiege, 2x Lombardia, MSR) + 2 podiums
WT Classics: 4 wins (2xZurich, San Sebastian, Hamburg)
HC and Cat.1 races: 10 wins (2xNationals, Giro del Lazio, GP Lugano, Copa Placci, Coppa Sabatini, Trofeo Matteoti, 2xTrofeo Soller, GP Camaiore)

Tom Boonen:
WC, OG, Monuments: 8 wins (WC, 4xRoubaix, 3xRonde) + 6 podiums
WT Classics: 4 wins (3xGW, E3-2012)
HC, Cat.1: 18 wins (2xNationals, 4xE3, 2xScheldeprijs, 3xKuurne, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Paris-Bruxelles, 2x Heistse Pijl, Rund um Koln, Munsterland Giro, London Classic)

Oscar Freire:
WC, OG, Monuments: 6 wins (3xWC, 3x MSR) + 2 podiums
WT Classics: 2 wins (GW, Hamburg)
HC, Cat.1: 13 wins (Paris-Tours, 3x Brabantse Pijl, 3x Trofeo Palma, 3x Trofeo Cala Millor, 2x Trofeo Alcudia, Trofeo Puig)

Fabian Cancellara:
WC, OG, Monuments: 7 wins (3xRoubaix, 3xRonde, MSR) + 10 podiums
WT Classics: 1 win (E3-2013)
HC, Cat.1: 8 wins (2xNationals, 2xE3, 3xStrade Bianche, Trofeo Tramuntana)

Alejandro Valverde:
WC, OG, Monuments: 3 wins (3xLiege) + 11 podiums
WT Classics: 6 wins (4xFleche, 2xSan Sebastian)
HC, Cat.1: 15 wins (2xNationals, Roma Maxima, GP Indurain, Paris-Camembert, 3xKlasika Primavera, Prueba Villafranca, 2xTrofeo Manacor, Trofeo Deia, Trofeo Soller, Trofeo Tramuntana, Vuelta a Murcia)

Philippe Gilbert:
WC, OG, Monuments: 4 wins (WC, Liege, 2xLombardia) + 5 podiums
WT Classics: 7 wins (Paris-Tours 2008, 3xAmstel, Fleche, San Sebastian, Quebec)
HC, Cat.1: 22 wins (2xNationals, Paris-Tours 2009, 2xHet Volk, Strade Bianche, 2xBrabantse Pijl, Haut Var, 2x Gran Piemonte, Trophee Grimpeurs, Poly Normande, GP Fourmies, 2x GP Wallonie, Trofeo Palma, Trofeo Soller, Le Samyn, Coppa Sabatini, GP Cerami, Vuelta a Murcia)

So, that's about all important they done in one-day races.
Based on results I would rank: 1.Boonen, 2.Bettini, 3.Cancellara, 4.Gilbert, 5.Freire, 6.Valverde
But based on my personal opinion it would be: 1.Bettini, 2.Boonen, 3.Cancellara, 4.Freire, 5.Valverde, 6.Gilbert
 
Re:

CheckMyPecs said:
Including a rider as one-dimensional as Boonen here is a joke.

So one dimensional I agree. 7 cobbled monuments, a rainbow jersey won in a sprint and a Tour points jersey, along with 6 stages. God

Edit: I included something non-one day and I apologise el pisto, so I add 2 Scheldeprijs to make up for it. Also 2 podiums in Sanremo.
 
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Re:

CheckMyPecs said:
Including a rider as one-dimensional as Boonen here is a joke.

That one-dimensional rider has the largest number of victories in big classics of all mentioned! I think that speaks enough...