The major wins of Nibali, Valverde and Gilbert

With Nibali, Valverde and Gilbert all retiring within the last two days I was thinking about how unusual it is for so many great riders to retire within so little time. In particular I was wondering how rare careers with as many "major wins" as these three have are. Here I should elaborate, with a major win I mean a win at a GT, a monument, the WCRR and the ORR though I'm sure we could have our own debate about what races I chose here. So how does this look for Nibali, Valverde and Gilbert:

Nibali: 7 (2 Giro, 1 Tour, 1 Vuelta, 1 MSR, 2 GdL)

Valverde: 6 (1 Vuelta, 4 LBL, 1 WCRR)

Gilbert: 6 (1 RVV, 1 PR, 1 LBL, 2 GdL, 1 WCRR)

Now I'm not gonna go through the entire cycling history to find out where those numbers rank all time, but I do at least find it interesting to compare them to some of their peers. Currently only one active rider has more or as many major wins as these three, that one of course being Chris Froome with 7 (1 Giro, 4 Tour, 2 Vuelta), although some might argue he only has 6. Then you have Sagan with 5 (1 RVV, 1 PR, 1 WCRR) just like Pogacar (2 Tour, 1 LBL, 2 GdL) and going even lower Roglic with 4 (3 Vuelta, 1 LBL), but none of them have quite arrived at the numbers of Nibali, Valverde and Gilbert (although it's completely bonkers Pogacar is even that close, given he just turned 24)

Going back at least a few years, some of the more recently retired cycling greats are Boonen with 8 (3 RVV, 4 PR, 1 WCRR), Contador 7 (2 Giro, 2 Tour, 3 Vuelta) and Cancellara 7 (1 MSR, 3 RVV, 3 PR). I honestly don't know who the next most recent retiree with more than 5 major wins was. Maybe Oscar Freire with 6 (3 MSR, 3 WCRR), but in any case, you can see that kind of event really, really doesn't happen very often.

So what's my point? Great question! I don't really have one. I really just wanted to point out how unlikely it is that three riders of that caliber retired within such short time as their entire generation of cyclists only really produced something like 7 such riders altogether. And I guess I wanted to use the moment to remind everyone on just how good those 3 really were and just how hard it is to win as much as they did. So a final chapeau to all of them, as you may now start to talk about the greatness of Nibali, Valverde and Gilbert. And no negativity allowed!
 
Now I'm not gonna go through the entire cycling history to find out where those numbers rank all time,
Big WinsBig Wins - GTsBig Wins - MonumentsBig Wins - Specials
Eddy Merckx3311193
Fausto Coppi17791
Bernard Hinault161051
Alfredo Binda14563
Gino Bartali12570
Costante Girardengo11290
Roger De Vlaeminck110110
Sean Kelly10190
Rik Van Looy10082
Felice Gimondi10541
Jacques Anquetil9810
Francesco Moser8161
Rik Van Steenbergen8053
Paolo Bettini8053
Louison Bobet8341
Tom Boonen8071
Fabian Cancellara7070
Moreno Argentin7061
Henri Pélissier7160
Johan Museeuw7061
Miguel Indurain7700
Alberto Contador7700
Chris Froome7700
Vincenzo Nibali7430
Alejandro Valverde6141
Tony Rominger6420
Philippe Gilbert6051
Oscar Freire6033
Fred De Bruyne6060
Gaetano Belloni6150
Giovanni Brunero6330
Fiorenzo Magni6330
Hennie Kuipier6042

Pog's knocking on the door already.
 
Because it's practically a different sport?
This discussion has happened many times before and I don’t have a set view on any of it, but my question is that if your’re including GTs as part of this ranking (which one obviously would), and GTs are always combination of road races and ITTs, that there would be a logic to including ITT WCs. But I get the point that it is a different discipline with much less cache’ than the purely road race results.
 
This discussion has happened many times before and I don’t have a set view on any of it, but my question is that if your’re including GTs as part of this ranking (which one obviously would), and GTs are always combination of road races and ITTs, that there would be a logic to including ITT WCs. But I get the point that it is a different discipline with much less cache’ than the purely road race results.
I honestly don't even think it's about being a different "discipline". I simply don't think a WCTT victory is worth nearly as much as the title in the road race. Like, what is more important, the WCTT or the AGR? I genuinely think it's the latter.

The Olympic TT is actually a more interesting question since it has a high value outside of the cycling community. Like, I'm pretty sure the Austrian media would talk about an Austrian gold medal at the TT a lot more than about an Austrian victory at, say, LBL. Similarly I think for the average Austrian sport fan it absolutely wouldn't matter if a medal is won in the TT or in the RR. A medal is a medal. But then I feel like the average cycling fan still rates the RR more highly and in any case it would feel super weird to include both Olympic races but only one of the WC races.

Yeah, as I said, there really isn't a right way to handle these kind of things.
 
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I honestly don't even think it's about being a different "discipline". I simply don't think a WCTT victory is worth nearly as much as the title in the road race. Like, what is more important, the WCTT or the AGR? I genuinely think it's the latter.

The Olympic TT is actually a more interesting question since it has a high value outside of the cycling community. Like, I'm pretty sure the Austrian media would talk about an Austrian gold medal at the TT a lot more than about an Austrian victory at, say, LBL. Similarly I think for the average Austrian sport fan it absolutely wouldn't matter if a medal is won in the TT or in the RR. A medal is a medal. But then I feel like the average cycling fan still rates the RR more highly and in any case it would feel super weird to include both Olympic races but only one of the WC races.

Yeah, as I said, there really isn't a right way to handle these kind of things.
I actually think TT champs are underrated because they're typically Gigs level viewing. I'd rather win the worlds ITT than one of the GW/AGR type races. And I would very happily take Cancellaras TT championships over Boonens GW, E3s and lesser clobbles wins.
 
I actually think TT champs are underrated because they're typically Gigs level viewing. I'd rather win the worlds ITT than one of the GW/AGR type races. And I would very happily take Cancellaras TT championships over Boonens GW, E3s and lesser clobbles wins.
WCTT over AGR/GW is a fair assessment, but even then it's a huge way behind monuments. Like, Tony Martin with 4 WCTT titles was a very, very good cyclist, but I don't think I'd rate his career anywhere near as highly as the one of a rider who won 4 monuments.
 
I actually think TT champs are underrated because they're typically Gigs level viewing. I'd rather win the worlds ITT than one of the GW/AGR type races. And I would very happily take Cancellaras TT championships over Boonens GW, E3s and lesser clobbles wins.
Can u please stop with this Blasphemy. I would even rather have Belgian Pozzato palmares (or real Pozzato) than Mick Rogers
 
I love these discussions. And a good OP. And a good contribution to a thread...damn, Eddy was great...regardless of the metrics, Eddy wins. So I suppose that's 526?

Three Great Champions riding into the sunset at the same time: yes, it's something.

But so many new riders emerge. We may have entered a Golden Age of cycling and we don't quite realize it. Jonas, Pog, Rog,, and Remco. The Beatles!!!
 
If you’re going to mix GTs with monuments/WRRC/Olympics I don’t see why you wouldn’t include TT WCs and Olympic titles.
For current comparisons I think they should be included, the difficulty occurs when comparing across generations. Both TT and open Olympics are babies that have only been around for a relatively short time. What would Merckx have done if they were available to him.
 
Big WinsBig Wins - GTsBig Wins - MonumentsBig Wins - Specials
Eddy Merckx3311193
Fausto Coppi17791
Bernard Hinault161051
Alfredo Binda14563
Gino Bartali12570
Costante Girardengo11290
Roger De Vlaeminck110110
Sean Kelly10190
Rik Van Looy10082
Felice Gimondi10541
Jacques Anquetil9810
Francesco Moser8161
Rik Van Steenbergen8053
Paolo Bettini8053
Louison Bobet8341
Tom Boonen8071
Fabian Cancellara7070
Moreno Argentin7061
Henri Pélissier7160
Johan Museeuw7061
Miguel Indurain7700
Alberto Contador7700
Chris Froome7700
Vincenzo Nibali7430
Alejandro Valverde6141
Tony Rominger6420
Philippe Gilbert6051
Oscar Freire6033
Fred De Bruyne6060
Gaetano Belloni6150
Giovanni Brunero6330
Fiorenzo Magni6330
Hennie Kuipier6042

Pog's knocking on the door already.
"Eddie, what is best in life?"
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women. "
 
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Sep 12, 2022
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weird how 'few' major wins Valverde has for his talent and ability to be competitive in almost any race.
That's because Valverde never had the ability to ride away and stay away. Most of his wins are due to his sprint. Take for example his LBL wins, he won all of them in a sprint of a small group. Due to that, he's been in a situation many times were someone was able to ride away and people said to Valverde that he can solve it himself because they aren't going to the finish with him.

I don't think the list above does him justice though, when you look at a complete overview of his achievements you can easily see he's the best of his generation.
 

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