Who is the best climber in the world (excluding El Pistolero and Andrew)

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Other than Al and Andy. Who is the best climber in the world?

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Jan 7, 2011
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Rujano is Venezuelan not Colombian but most importantly he is hugely overrated. I honestly think Gilbert is a superior climber.
 
The Hitch said:
Someone else called him El Presidente and i liked it. Its because (well I assume it was directed at Scarponi), Zapatero is the presidente del gobierno in spain.

Its not great but its probably a bit harsh to call him Zapatero directly. To go around calling Basso "The Terrible", Ricco "The Cobra" but Scarponi after his OP nickname.
Silly of me, that does make sense, quite clever too.... I always thought the Spanish had a Prime Minister though, not a President, my mistake, I would've probably understood it otherwise..

Actually, now that I think about it, it is actually a little confusing of the Spaniards, since they do have a Monarch who acts as the Head of State, and then to also have a President is mucho confusing.


And as for the nickname thing, calling Scarponi 'Zapatero' is just desserts for having doped. Plenty of people, myself included, refer to Alejandro Valverde as Piti, or Valv-Piti, so we're not singling Scarponi out for unfair treatment.
 
Oct 25, 2009
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I seem to recall Sastre & Evans being perpetual challengers on the GT climbs. Carlos appears to be on the wane but a fresh Evans focussed on climbing would still be hard for the best of the rest to beat.
 
Jun 9, 2010
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dlwssonic said:
whats up with this rujano, so many other riders have proven more than him and he is so popular just because he is columbian
Venezuelan...

Sparta said:
Rujano is Venezuelan not Colombian but most importantly he is hugely overrated. I honestly think Gilbert is a superior climber.
HA! good joke....
 
Moondance said:
Silly of me, that does make sense, quite clever too.... I always thought the Spanish had a Prime Minister though, not a President, my mistake, I would've probably understood it otherwise..

Actually, now that I think about it, it is actually a little confusing of the Spaniards, since they do have a Monarch who acts as the Head of State, and then to also have a President is mucho confusing.


And as for the nickname thing, calling Scarponi 'Zapatero' is just desserts for having doped. Plenty of people, myself included, refer to Alejandro Valverde as Piti, or Valv-Piti, so we're not singling Scarponi out for unfair treatment.
Zapatero sounds cool as well
 
Jul 18, 2010
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jens_attacks said:
il cobra. because at his best,he looked like the only person in the world who can upset alberto on the climbs.and when you think that this year's giro could have been the revenge....
In a Giro where Contador was riding with a cracked elbow (ala like a certain rider at the 2010 Tour that I won't mention), not ideal preparation, with no reconnaissance of the events climbs. I personally can't put Ricco in the same class as Contador based on that particular Giro alone. Had Ricco showed the same level of climibing prowess at the Tour versus Contador and others till the end of the event I would then give him some consideration but for me he remains an example of a talent which we may never see the best of.

I'm going with Purito (as a pure climber) and Anton for the future as someone else mentioned earlier (sorry can't remember who to give credit/will edit later).
Basso is close with Purito and based on the disclosure of some type of illness being the cause of his less than stellar recent performances, I'd have to give him the nod over Purito in terms of overall climbing.

I'm flip-flopping here but I really believe that Rodriguez is one of those late bloomers who will continue to get better in the grand tours. His Vuelta performance last year for me was quite impressive for 2 reasons: 1. It was after his first appearance at the Tour as team leader, finishing in the top 10 and a stage win, and 2. He seemed to get a 2nd wind at Vuelta after seemingly hitting the wall.

Evans, Samu and Menchov should get some mention here, although Evans hasn't shown the ability/luck to make it through an entire grand tour without injurying himself in some way, thus making evaluating him difficult.

Samu is similar to Sastre in that he will get dropped at a certain point on a climb, and suddenly reappear passing those that put themselves into the red earlier in trying to ride beyond their abilities. The difference though is that Samu is rising while Sastre is in a steady spiraling decline. I'm quite curious to see what Sastre does in the Giro, where he plans on riding in support of Menchov. He's shown absolutely no form this season but then he's done the same in the past, except not to this degree of concern.

Menchov and Samu had a fine battle in last year's Tour with Samu gaining the edge in the mountains and Menchov pulling off a fine performance in the final ITT to snatch the podium spot. Menchov has shown to be quite resilent in the mountains, able to hold his own in all 3 grand tours, all with varying parcours. Year to year consistency hasn't been his hallmark and I think that is due in most part to questionable decisions in his race schedule.

I can't leave Nibali out due to his age, his rise last year in winning the Vuelta and making the podium at the Giro while riding in support of Basso. One of the areas, which I think is quite important, which I would have give Nibali the edge over Evans is in having the smarts to adapt and realize what works and what doesn't. The example of this is his altering his strategy in the Vuelta to answering the attacks of his opponents. Where earlier he tried to answer immediately and eventually blew up, he was smart enough to change in mid stream/mid Vuelta and slowly attempt to reel in his opponents which worked quite well for him.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
How about winning a mountain stage of the Vuelta back in '06 and being the only person to be able to stay with Contador and Valverde in the '08 one until crashing out?
He also got dropped in the Tour de Suisse (I think 2008) by such great climbers as Stijn Devolder for example
 
Jul 18, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
Pozzovivo should probably be in there. He won more or less every mountain stage on the Italian calendar last year. Urán, not yet, and Sastre, not any more. Certainly a year or two ago Sastre had to be included. If we include Cadel we have to include Menchov, who has probably shown more on long climbs than Cadel.

If we're talking best climbers ever then somebody really needs to mention José Manuel Fuente.
+1000
I bought the history of the Vuelta after an extended search and read it on the trip down to my annual cycling vacation. Fuente was truly magnificent as was the KAS team as a whole, such that I wanted to honor them and him by getting one of their jerseys. Luckily PBK is now carrying them.
 
Jul 18, 2010
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dlwssonic said:
whats up with this rujano, so many other riders have proven more than him and he is so popular just because he is columbian
I believe he's Venezuelan and from what I've read most of the people that root for him are doing it based on his Giro performance years ago not because of his nationality.
 
Jul 18, 2010
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Sparta said:
Rujano is Venezuelan not Colombian but most importantly he is hugely overrated. I honestly think Gilbert is a superior climber.
In what the Ardennes? Surely you don't rate him better in a 3 week stage race or even in mountainous week long stage race?
 
Jul 18, 2010
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Christian said:
He also got dropped in the Tour de Suisse (I think 2008) by such great climbers as Stijn Devolder for example
If this is Anton your talking about I recall him winning an mtf in the Tour de Suisse around that time, it being the win that really brought him to be noticed as a rider to look out for.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Rujano was really good in one giro, I forget which, I think it was 2007 he won a stage(maybe it was more than one I forgot this too :S) and ended up 3rd and king of the mountains, he was very impressive then. He is also amazingly tiny( I will check on wikipedia how small he is)

Since then he hasn't done so much I read he has a very bad attitude, he was the first non colombian to win the vuelta a colombia for ages though(that sounds a very interesting race too)... No idea where I would rate him, I haven't seen him do much since the giro.

wikipedia says he is 1.62 and 48kg
 
palmerq said:
Rujano was really good in one giro, I forget which, I think it was 2007 he won a stage(maybe it was more than one I forgot this too :S) and ended up 3rd and king of the mountains, he was very impressive then. He is also amazingly tiny( I will check on wikipedia how small he is)

Since then he hasn't done so much I read he has a very bad attitude, he was the first non colombian to win the vuelta a colombia for ages though(that sounds a very interesting race too)... No idea where I would rate him, I haven't seen him do much since the giro.

wikipedia says he is 1.62 and 48kg
it was 2005, not 2007http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-hEtCGx1zo
 
Apr 16, 2011
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As said before, it depends on the climb. The short steeps climb are dominated by someone who can't win with climbs longer than 7k. We'll have to wait for the Galibier to see who's the best 30k+ climber. I don't remember any long finish climbs in the past Tours.
 
I am impressed how the hype machine has allowed Rujano to make this poll despite getting almost no results of note in Europe in 3(!) seasons after his breakthrough.

Of course now that he is with Savio everything will work out just fine
 
Aug 11, 2009
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Clearly this thread is not trying to be Clinic-free, so, is anyone on here arguing that the already named climbers on here have accomplished more as climbers than Michael Rasmussen? Or do we just want to ignore him like the UCI wishes to do?

The Chicken has multiple Tour KOMs and enormous breakaway mountain stage wins that riders like Anton and Sanchez can still only dream about.

Menchov is a far superior tt/GC rider than Rasmussen, but Menchov is also less reliable in the high mountains and has a lot more off days in Grand Tours.

Ricco had his moments but wasn't around long enough to prove he could do it consistently.

Rujano has one "great" Giro to speak of--in which he was beaten on GC by two riders who are not really seen as GC superstars, and then most of his exploits are in far off places like Malaysia and South America--not saying he doesn't have it, but he still needs to come over to the Big Leagues and prove it with some consistency.

Basso and Evans come close in my book. Both are tough as nails and very dependable in grand tours. Neither quite has Rasmussen's pure high mountain talent, though, while both make up for it with far better tt's and overall riding skills than Rasmussen.

Rodriguez is improving in the real high mountains, but he's still more of a punchy rider for the short-to-medium-length finishes that are just very steep. He lacks the pure engine to excel on all of the long Alpine climbs of the Tour.

Sastre is (or was, perhaps) a lot better than all on this list save for Basso, Evans, and Chicken.
 
Virenque has won the Tour KoM and a stage in his last 3 Tours even beating the poultry in 04 in the process. I doubt anyone would try to use those results to promote the notion that he was one of the elite (as in very best) in those years.

Rasmussen has 1 Tour where he was the best, 1 Vuelta where he was very good and 1 MTF where I expected him to get dropped but he wasn't.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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roundabout said:
Virenque has won the Tour KoM and a stage in his last 3 Tours even beating the poultry in 04 in the process. I doubt anyone would try to use those results to promote the notion that he was one of the elite (as in very best) in those years.
Yes, Virenque was never one of the "elite (as in very best)" because he was never on pace to win the Tour by a clear margin. Sort of like Anton, Sanchez, Rujano.
 
Rasmussen may have been the best 4 years ago. He's never going to be back at that level though. And he won't get a ride where he could show it anyway.

Rujano is the unknown entity. If I were to put these guys in a ranking Rujano wouldn't be in there as I have no idea what he's like against most of these guys in recent times. We'll have to wait for the Giro to see how he goes.
 
You were the one using KoMs and stage wins from breaks as some sort of sign of superiority.

1 Tour alone doesn't make Rasmussen a better pure high mountain talent than someone like Basso with multiple top 5 finishes in Grand Tours spread out over many years.

In 2005 Basso beat Rasmussen on 2 of the 3 mountain top finishes but i guess it was due to his overall riding skills as he isn't as good in the high mountains.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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Havetts said:
Rodriguez is only 'good' on the very steep stuff, for the rest he hangs in and attacks indeed on the last kilometer just like was shown on the Tourmalet this year which is also steeper than the rest of the climb. Gesink was chasing for Menchov basically the whole climb and then the last km Rodriguez, Hesjedal and in the final meters Sanchez jumped away..
TBH if he uses that conservative tactic it doesn't make him a weak climber. If he lost significant time on longer easier climbs then that would be a fair criticism, but he's still in the elite group on those. He just has a particular aptitude for the steep stuff: it's not a bad thing. He'd have won a Vuelta already, most likely, if it wasn't for his TT. Genuine contender for the Giro, underrated in the Giro poll, if not more widely.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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roundabout said:
You were the one using KoMs and stage wins from breaks as some sort of sign of superiority.

1 Tour alone doesn't make Rasmussen a better pure high mountain talent than someone like Basso with multiple top 5 finishes in Grand Tours spread out over many years.

In 2005 Basso beat Rasmussen on 2 of the 3 mountain top finishes but i guess it was due to his overall riding skills as he isn't as good in the high mountains.
If you read my posts rather than rushing to hate Rasmussen, you'll see that Basso is one of the riders (along with Evans) whom I rate as being right at the top near Rasmussen.
 

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