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The greatest classic rider of the 21st century

Page 5 - 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:

Kwibus said:
El Pistolero said:
Flamin said:
Mindboggling that Boonen has more votes than Canc :eek:

That's because he won more (and bigger) one-day races than Cancellara.

Boonen won more, because he has a weapon called a good sprint which Cancellara doesnt have. Cancellara is a imo stronger and much more complete rider. Boonen has more big wins though and those count.

I must admit that between 2000 - 2009 i didnt watch anything besides the Tour and Boonen was a stronger rider in those years then after 2010.
And Cancellara has a weapon called a TT, which means that he can ride away and extend a gap over Boonen on flat tarmac roads. Does that devalue his solos?
 
Re:

Netserk said:
All the Canc ifs are hilarious. As if Canc had more bad luck than Boonen over the years :eek:

Yes :) 2011, 2012, which were in his absolute monster years. Boonen has 2 Rondes he could have won more in 08 and 09, but in 12 he would have been destroyed by Canc. I'll let him have Roubaix, though with Canc it would've been a very different race.

Furthermore, Boonen never ever had to compete against a guy with Sagan's ability (except Canc).
 
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Netserk said:
What bad luck did Canc have in '11? Boonen had more bad luck than Canc had that year.

Boonen 2013 is what I talk about, when I talk about bad luck.

No team, everyone riding against you. He was too good. What bad luck did Boonen have? Yeah, he wasn't in top shape, but Canc was stronger anyway.

What did Boonen show exactly in 2013? Again, Canc showed he was stronger. Hardly the bad luck comparable to Canc in 2012.
 
Re: Re:

Flamin said:
Netserk said:
What bad luck did Canc have in '11? Boonen had more bad luck than Canc had that year.

Boonen 2013 is what I talk about, when I talk about bad luck.

No team, everyone riding against you. He was too good. What bad luck did Boonen have? Yeah, he wasn't in top shape, but Canc was stronger anyway.

What did Boonen show exactly in 2013? Again, Canc showed he was stronger. Hardly the bad luck comparable to Canc in 2012.
How is "No team, everyone riding against you" bad luck? That sounds more like bad decision making and tactical inability.
 
Re:

Netserk said:
Laaal :lol:

Canc chose which team to ride for, did he not? Surely, you will be pointing out next that it was bad luck that he wasn't smarter :eek: I'd say that Boonen had bad luck in Roubaix that year.

As for 2013, you have got to be shitting me?

Bad luck is probably not the right term. You get the point, don't be ignorant ;) Canc was insanely strong.

What about 2013? Canc did a 30k solo in E3, no? What about Boonen?
 
Another example of bad luck:
british-mark-cavendish-german-gerald-ciolek-german-heinrich-haussler-picture-id102118566


Lost (pretty much) the rest of the year and an excellent chance to be WC again. Sure, he lost the same chance again the year after, again because of bad luck, but it's not like he would have won that anyway.
 
Aug 6, 2015
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Boonen is unbeatable in roubaix when he is in top shape. I still didn't know why he made that stupid mistake in 2010. Cancellara only can drop boonen by strenght in ronde because cance is stronger than boonen in hills.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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Re:

Flamin said:
Palmares is an important yardstick obviously, but isn't everything.

According to many of you guys' logic, Cavendish is a better classics rider than GVA. That's plain silly.

By what logic? By that logic that only biggest wins counts and nothing else, by that logic maybe... But that isn't a serious, objective logic.
GVA has one big win (Olympics), has 3 Monument podiums and numerous top 10 placings, while Cavendish has two big wins (MSR, WC) plus two more MSR top 10 placings. To me it's a clear advantage for Van Avermaet, same as it's a clear advantage for Boonen who has more biggest wins (8-7), more classics wins and more semi-classics wins
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Because beating Sep Vanmarcke in a sprint at Roubaix is so impressive, amiright? You're just cherry picking examples... Boonen did a similar solo in 2012...

Yes he did a solo...against Sebastian Turgot. And Cancellara did against who?

El Pistolero said:
Boonen has more quality wins than Cancellara when it comes to classics.

By number of wins Boonen is better classics rider, but In 20-30 years time nobody remembers (and cares) who had more wins. They both had plenty. But if talking about quality, I bet that people will remember how Cancellara smoked Boonen not vice versa.

Btw, I also bet that people are going to remember how Boonen fought alone against Cancelallara in 2010 PR (and I congratulate him, his not a coward). They may not remember what was Boonens final placing in 2010, but they do remember this race, they remember Cancellara, they remember Boonen´s bravery, they are going to remember it more than who came second in this race and they going to remember it more than Boonen´s sprint against Cancellara in 2008.
 
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Boonen might have the edge as a classics rider if we only look at wins.

But overall, even with palmares hard-core numbers, Cancellara is a much better rider than Boonen could ever be...

Yes, he didn't have a strong team with him to win the worlds, as Belgians do. But 4 iTT world titles, 2 goals medals at the Olympics, one silver medal at the Olympics road race, wining Milan San remo, RVV and PR, wining suisse and tirreno, 50 millions days in yellow...

ND THE QUALITY OF MOST HIS WINS.

Cancellara is so much better... Of course, he helped that unlike Boonen, the only way for fans to win a big race is usually destroying everybody.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Re:

MacBAir said:
Boonen might have the edge as a classics rider if we only look at wins.

But overall, even with palmares hard-core numbers, Cancellara is a much better rider than Boonen could ever be...

Yes, he didn't have a strong team with him to win the worlds, as Belgians do. But 4 iTT world titles, 2 goals medals at the Olympics, one silver medal at the Olympics road race, wining Milan San remo, RVV and PR, wining suisse and tirreno, 50 millions days in yellow...

ND THE QUALITY OF MOST HIS WINS.

Cancellara is so much better... Of course, he helped that unlike Boonen, the only way for fans to win a big race is usually destroying everybody.

This discussion is about greatest classic rider, I couldn't care less about Cancellara the time trial specialist in this thread. If you can't understand the premise of the thread then don't post.
 
Paolo Bettini:

1 time Olympic Champ
2 times World Champ
1 Milan - Sanremo
2 Liege-Bastogne-Liege
2 Giro Di Lombardia
1 Tirreno Adriatico Overall

Winner in Zurich, San Sebastian, Lazio and Italian Champ.

Really. I mean really. What else? He just missed that Ronde win, but really. He was even 7th in the freaking GC of a Giro D'Italia.
 
Re: Re:

@Netserk

Bad luck when you're the best rider and in the shape of your life (Canc 12) ≠ bad luck when another rider is better (Boonen 11 and 13). I don't remember any bad luck from Boonen when he was the big man in the classics. Therefore I'd most definitely prefer Boonen's bad luck, don't you?

On top of that, Boonen greatly benefited from Canc' bad luck in 12, which makes their palmares look quite a bit different. Never ever did Canc benefit from Boonen's bad luck to such extent (you know, because Canc was better anyway ;)). Only Roubaix 13, kind of, though it's far from certain Boonen would have won that one, unlike Ronde 12, which Canc would have won with 1 leg.

Mr.White said:
Flamin said:
Palmares is an important yardstick obviously, but isn't everything.

According to many of you guys' logic, Cavendish is a better classics rider than GVA. That's plain silly.

By what logic? By that logic that only biggest wins counts and nothing else, by that logic maybe... But that isn't a serious, objective logic.
GVA has one big win (Olympics), has 3 Monument podiums and numerous top 10 placings, while Cavendish has two big wins (MSR, WC) plus two more MSR top 10 placings. To me it's a clear advantage for Van Avermaet, same as it's a clear advantage for Boonen who has more biggest wins (8-7), more classics wins and more semi-classics wins

Your use of double standards in one and the same post is rather amazing. Taking GVA's podiums into account, but ignoring Canc' 9 monument + Olympic podium vs Boonen's 6 :eek:
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Boonen had a severe arm infection at the end of 2012 and was hospitalized for a week. Obviously he didn't reach top shape for 2013 after such a bad preparation. He has also crashed a lot more than Cancellara, he even had a skull fracture at the end of 2015, which again led to a bad preparation for the 2016 season.

Cancellara didn't have much bad luck until 2012. Boonen just over-classed him almost every time from 2004 till 2009. How short people's memories are.

And besides 2009 Cancellara has never even featured in a World Championship, never close to being the strongest.
 
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The voting list is the correct list. What some of you guys are debating is hilarious, Cancellara is a great cyclist, one of my favorites(my favorite had he been less of an @rse) , but he has little towards Bettini, even Boonen.
 
Re: Re:

Flamin said:
@Netserk

Bad luck when you're the best rider and in the shape of your life (Canc 12) ≠ bad luck when another rider is better (Boonen 11 and 13). I don't remember any bad luck from Boonen when he was the big man in the classics. Therefore I'd most definitely prefer Boonen's bad luck, don't you?

On top of that, Boonen greatly benefited from Canc' bad luck in 12, which makes their palmares look quite a bit different. Never ever did Canc benefit from Boonen's bad luck to such extent (you know, because Canc was better anyway ;)). Only Roubaix 13, kind of, though it's far from certain Boonen would have won that one, unlike Ronde 12, which Canc would have won with 1 leg.
How can you put 2011 and 2013 in the same category when it comes to Boonen? After his amazing 2012, he had his entire prep *** up because of bad luck. I don't see any reason why one would make the assumption that he would have had a 2011 level if it wasn't for bad luck that year.

If I bought your kind of reasoning, I could just as well say that Canc profited greatly from Boonen's bad luck in 2013 and that he wouldn't have won any monument that year, if Boonen had been without bad luck like the year before. But I don't.

It still stands that Boonen has had at least as much bad luck as Canc, if not more, over their entire careers.
 
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Re: Re:

Flamin said:
@Netserk

Bad luck when you're the best rider and in the shape of your life (Canc 12) ≠ bad luck when another rider is better (Boonen 11 and 13). I don't remember any bad luck from Boonen when he was the big man in the classics. Therefore I'd most definitely prefer Boonen's bad luck, don't you?

On top of that, Boonen greatly benefited from Canc' bad luck in 12, which makes their palmares look quite a bit different. Never ever did Canc benefit from Boonen's bad luck to such extent (you know, because Canc was better anyway ;)). Only Roubaix 13, kind of, though it's far from certain Boonen would have won that one, unlike Ronde 12, which Canc would have won with 1 leg.

Mr.White said:
Flamin said:
Palmares is an important yardstick obviously, but isn't everything.

According to many of you guys' logic, Cavendish is a better classics rider than GVA. That's plain silly.

By what logic? By that logic that only biggest wins counts and nothing else, by that logic maybe... But that isn't a serious, objective logic.
GVA has one big win (Olympics), has 3 Monument podiums and numerous top 10 placings, while Cavendish has two big wins (MSR, WC) plus two more MSR top 10 placings. To me it's a clear advantage for Van Avermaet, same as it's a clear advantage for Boonen who has more biggest wins (8-7), more classics wins and more semi-classics wins

Your use of double standards in one and the same post is rather amazing. Taking GVA's podiums into account, but ignoring Canc' 9 monument + Olympic podium vs Boonen's 6 :eek:


No I'm not. I'm taking everyone's podiums (of the very biggest races) into account including Cancellara's. They are pretty even IMO if you look specifically at the major one-day races (WC, OG, Monuments). Boonen has one win more, but Cancellara has 4 podiums more. But what makes the difference is Boonen's success in other big one-day races, and in one-day races generally.
 
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Yeah, Boonen won Gent-Wevelgem three times, which is a race that is underrated by many here I feel. We've seen some good racing there: just look at this year's edition or the one from 2013. He also won the E3 Harelbeke five times, which is two more than Cancellara.

People often mock the Scheldeprijs, but did any of you watch the 2006 edition? Quickstep blew that race apart. And then there's Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne which he has also won 3 times. Especially the 2009 and 2014 editions were good.
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Boonen had a severe arm infection at the end of 2012 and was hospitalized for a week. Obviously he didn't reach top shape for 2013 after such a bad preparation. He has also crashed a lot more than Cancellara, he even had a skull fracture at the end of 2015, which again led to a bad preparation for the 2016 season.

Cancellara didn't have much bad luck until 2012. Boonen just over-classed him almost every time from 2004 till 2009. How short people's memories are.

And besides 2009 Cancellara has never even featured in a World Championship, never close to being the strongest.

Boonen has been more cobble classic-minded from a young age than Cancellara. As a Belgian, he basically grew up with them. Canc didn't and actually never really trained much on the cobbles, so it's not that weird Boonen had the edge there. And don't try to narrow this down to cobbles only, because Boonen most definitely didn't outclass Cancellara in other classics in that period.

From 2010 onwards, Canc was at his very best and did things Boonen never had done imo (quality-wise), both in cobble classics and others. That's why Canc > Boonen for me.

Netserk said:
Flamin said:
@Netserk

Bad luck when you're the best rider and in the shape of your life (Canc 12) ≠ bad luck when another rider is better (Boonen 11 and 13). I don't remember any bad luck from Boonen when he was the big man in the classics. Therefore I'd most definitely prefer Boonen's bad luck, don't you?

On top of that, Boonen greatly benefited from Canc' bad luck in 12, which makes their palmares look quite a bit different. Never ever did Canc benefit from Boonen's bad luck to such extent (you know, because Canc was better anyway ;)). Only Roubaix 13, kind of, though it's far from certain Boonen would have won that one, unlike Ronde 12, which Canc would have won with 1 leg.
How can you put 2011 and 2013 in the same category when it comes to Boonen? After his amazing 2012, he had his entire prep **** up because of bad luck. I don't see any reason why one would make the assumption that he would have had a 2011 level if it wasn't for bad luck that year.

If I bought your kind of reasoning, I could just as well say that Canc profited greatly from Boonen's bad luck in 2013 and that he wouldn't have won any monument that year, if Boonen had been without bad luck like the year before. But I don't.

It still stands that Boonen has had at least as much bad luck as Canc, if not more, over their entire careers.

Huh, where did I make the assumption Boonen would be on 2011-level in 2013 if not for bad prep?? Actually I projected his 2012-level on 2013, which seems very fair. That's why I said Canc had some luck too that Boonen wasn't there in Roubaix 13, since that could have been a close battle. But that Cancellara wouldn't have won the Ronde that year with Boonen?! You have to be kidding me :confused: