Who is the most versatile rider ?

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Cance > TheRest said:
But he has employed stage race strategies to do so. He doesn't have the punch of JRod/Moreno/Valverde/Gilbert, so focusing on long range attacks is the only way for him. That doesn't make him a great classics specialist - it just makes him a great tactician for knowing how to overcome his lack of punch.
He's also not very good at cobbles, just a very good bikehandler. Had there been zero rain on the cobbled tour stage this year, he wouldn't have gained much time on the other GT-contenders.
How'd he beat Cancellara then:confused: He's just as good a bike handler, so where was the difference made?
 
Fabian Cancellara. He has won 3 different momuments, 2 one week races including Tour de Suisse, has a bunch of stage wins in the Tour, won both the olympic and worlds TT and have silver medal from RR in the 2008 Olympics.
 
OlavEH said:
Fabian Cancellara. He has won 3 different momuments, 2 one week races including Tour de Suisse, has a bunch of stage wins in the Tour, won both the olympic and worlds TT and have silver medal from RR in the 2008 Olympics.
True, but certainly not the most versatile rider.

He does have a very decemt sprint nowadays as well.
 
Kwibus said:
True, but certainly not the most versatile rider.

He does have a very decemt sprint nowadays as well.
Well, I think Cancellaras wins are more diverse than for example Valverde. There have been more riders the last couple of decades with similar qualites as Valverde than there have been similar riders to Cancellara. Winning as different races as cobblestone classics, a sprinters classic like MSR, worlds TT and a hilly stage race like TdS requries great versatility.
 
Cance > TheRest said:
But he has employed stage race strategies to do so. He doesn't have the punch of JRod/Moreno/Valverde/Gilbert, so focusing on long range attacks is the only way for him. That doesn't make him a great classics specialist - it just makes him a great tactician for knowing how to overcome his lack of punch.
He's also not very good at cobbles, just a very good bikehandler. Had there been zero rain on the cobbled tour stage this year, he wouldn't have gained much time on the other GT-contenders.
Wait, have we seriously come to the point were a GT rider trying to win a classic by attacking from far out is not desirable?
 
OlavEH said:
Fabian Cancellara. He has won 3 different momuments, 2 one week races including Tour de Suisse, has a bunch of stage wins in the Tour, won both the olympic and worlds TT and have silver medal from RR in the 2008 Olympics.
I'd agree with you that he is one of the most versatile riders, if this had been asked some years ago. Nowadays that is no longer the case

greenedge said:
How'd he beat Cancellara then:confused: He's just as good a bike handler, so where was the difference made?
Rain. Also Cancellara's biggest force is his engine. He's got huge stamina and is often able to make the difference in P-R on the tarmac, not just the cobbles. The Tour stage was too short and easy for Cancellara. Ofc it didn't help that he and Sagan marked each other and didn't care that much about placings when the stage win was gone. IIRC it was the mistake of someone else that made the split where the Astana riders got away from Sags and Canc.

Echoes said:
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Why do you think he is currently more versatile than Kwiatkowski? It's not like he is a dud in a TT.
 
There seems to be a lot of confusion on what is Versatile

Dictionary:
Versatile: able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities
Versatile: able to do many different things

Then, what's the real question?
Who is the most versatile rider? [active rider] Valverde, Evans, Wiggins, etc.
Who is the most versatile rider? [right now] Sagan, Kwiatkowski, etc.
Who is the most versatile rider? [GTs] Nibali, Valverde, Froome, etc.
Who is the most versatile rider? [classics, monuments, stages] Cancellara Gilbert, Boonen, etc.
Who is the most versatile rider? [overall]

PS: D. Martin is NOT versatile
 
Over all types or races it has to be Valverde, and Evans over the last 10 years or so. Valverde would get the nod due to the amount of wins he gets but Evans was the much superior grand tour rider and time triallist and he won the Worlds which is never easy. Valverde in the shorter stage races and classics plus the ability to top 5 grand tours.
 
In order to be versatile, you need a good engine and the best indicator for a rider's engine is the ITT. Kwitkowski's ITT capacities are indicative of how versatile he can be. No more, no less.

Cancellara in his prime was the best ITT rider which enabled him to win cobbles, in the mountains, in the hills and to surprise sprinters on flat stages of the Tour of Switzerland with a late attack.

There's no secret, the better riders are the most complete. There's a case for Wiggins but no Sagan, no Gerrans, no Gilbert and not really Kwiatkowki.
 
Apr 16, 2014
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PaPong said:
Simon Gerrans is the best sprinter among riders who riding on the small hills

What about other riders and one-week races, grand tours, classics, cobblestones, time trials, other types of cycling ?
I'm sure Peter Sagan could do that well in cyclocross

This is cycling, vistories and falls. On the road, track and cyclocross :):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5uIkSaQEp4
i loved that video!

here is what the thread is about: the most versatile rider (not only the best classics rider) but the best in classics, GT's, one week races, tt's, cobblestones, also track and cyclocross ... as listed above in the bold.

it's difficult to find a rider good in all those categories :)

Wiggins comes to mind first - (especially if he wins on the cobbles this spring).

Being good in the rain definitely plays into being versatile, i would think. Someone said Nibali is not good on dry cobbles? how do we know what we have not seen? if he can be good enough to come in 3rd on stage 5 tdf, on the rainy, wet cobbles, surely he at least deserves credit for the possibility of being good on dry cobbles. And discounting his bike handling and tactical acumen? that isn't right either - both of those skills make him more of a versatile rider. Nibali, definitely is versatile. his TT is not at the level of Wiggins but he isn't as lousy as Purito. Purito has a better sprint, however and thinking of his wins... Purito, yes.

Evans, Kwiato, Stybar, Valverde also stand out as versatile. add Cancellara too. and Contador, imo - too many parcours conquered during his career to not think of him as highly versatile.
 
Jun 24, 2013
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Netserk said:
Top-10 in Roubaix? What year?

Seemed to have some RVV results mixed up there. Still, I think two third places in RVV shows that he's very capable at tackling cobbles. Why does everyone think that Kwiatkowski will win RVV? One 40th place? :eek:
 
De Snelle Duif said:
Seemed to have some RVV results mixed up there. Still, I think two third places in RVV shows that he's very capable at tackling cobbles. Why does everyone think that Kwiatkowski will win RVV? One 40th place? :eek:
Because he has the qualities needed to contend for the win there.
 
De Snelle Duif said:
Seemed to have some RVV results mixed up there. Still, I think two third places in RVV shows that he's very capable at tackling cobbles. Why does everyone think that Kwiatkowski will win RVV? One 40th place? :eek:
The Ronde is not Paris-Roubaix. Don't get me wrong, I like Gilbert, but I don't think he's got the flat road power to compete at PR these days.
 
Jun 24, 2013
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Netserk said:
Because he has the qualities needed to contend for the win there.
I'm just curious, but how do you know he has the qualities? There doesn't seem to be that much information to deduct that from.
 
Aug 16, 2013
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De Snelle Duif said:
Seemed to have some RVV results mixed up there. Still, I think two third places in RVV shows that he's very capable at tackling cobbles. Why does everyone think that Kwiatkowski will win RVV? One 40th place? :eek:
And because he rode really strong in Flanders '13, where he rode solo for quite a while and almost could follow Cancellara and Sagan on Kwaremont when they pulled their huge attack.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Let's try to define 'versatile'. I suggest we limit ourselves to road racing (if we include CX, Track and MTB it's a different discussion).
I think in RR, you can clearly distinct 5 categories, which I all rate rather equal:
1)Cobbled one day racing
2)Hilly one day racing
3)GC racing
4)Time Trialing
5)Sprinting

Now let's look at the current peloton, and assess which riders excel in what categories (with which I mean they are or they used to be the very best in their field in this category).

-There's a lot of riders that excel in 2 categories
eg: Gilbert (1&2), Boonen (1&5), Cancellara (1&4), Valverde (2&3), Rodriguez (2&3), Froome (3&4), ...

-There's only few that match 3 of those
Sagan (1&2&5), Evans (2&3&4). Some have the potential (Contador and Wiggins could win LBL/PR I believe) but didn't show it yet.



And then there's this 25 year old polish guy that can do all 5 (4 at least) :D
 
De Snelle Duif said:
I'm just curious, but how do you know he has the qualities? There doesn't seem to be that much information to deduct that from.
He's got the engine for it first and foremost. He is strong on hills, especially shorter ones. He is explosive and he got sufficient power on the flat. He is good enough technically, descends very well and can move around in the bunch/place himself well. His biggest weakness for RVV is that he lacks a bit of absolute power compared to Canc, Vanmarcke, Terpstra and Boonen.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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De Snelle Duif said:
I'm just curious, but how do you know he has the qualities? There doesn't seem to be that much information to deduct that from.
For me it's his Strade Biance win, combined with his TT qualities (and his RvV 2013 of course)

If Sagan can do RvV, so does Kwia
 
Buffalo Soldier said:
Let's try to define 'versatile'. I suggest we limit ourselves to road racing (if we include CX, Track and MTB it's a different discussion).
I think in RR, you can clearly distinct 5 categories, which I all rate rather equal:
1)Cobbled one day racing
2)Hilly one day racing
3)GC racing
4)Time Trialing
5)Sprinting

Now let's look at the current peloton, and assess which riders excel in what categories (with which I mean they are or they used to be the very best in their field in this category).

-There's a lot of riders that excel in 2 categories
eg: Gilbert (1&2), Boonen (1&5), Cancellara (1&4), Valverde (2&3), Rodriguez (2&3), Froome (3&4), ...

-There's only few that match 3 of those
Sagan (1&2&5), Evans (2&3&4). Some have the potential (Contador and Wiggins could win LBL/PR I believe) but didn't show it yet.

And then there's this 25 year old polish guy that can do all 5 (4 at least) :D
Very good. Few observations: Valverde is a good sprinter. Evans was a versatile rider. Don't think Kwiatkowski can be categorized emphatically as 1 and 3.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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I know, it's a bit premature to call Kwiatkowski all that, but he is the only one that has shown potential to be the best in all 5 categories.
 
Evans is really underrated.90% of the mentions go to Kwiatek,Sagan,Valverde,Cancellara..
Cobbled one day racing - Evans never participated in RVV or PR but his performance on the cobbles in 2010 was great.Also, he is built very well for these races.
Hilly one day racing - FW and LBL.Also, he always was a threat in Ardennes.
GC racing in GTS - TdF win,twice 2nd in TdF,3rd in Giro,3rd in Vuelta
GC racing in short races - Victories in Tirreno,Romandie(twice),Trentino,Criterium International,Settima Coppi and Bartali(when was a respectable race).Also, great results in Down Under,Paris-Nice,Pais Vasco and Dauphine.
Time Trialing - he always was very good.Especially in hilly ones.
Sprinting - not great, but better than the majority of the GC contenders

For me he is at least equal with Valverde,Sagan,Cancellara,Chavanel and others.Only Kwiatkowski is more versatile than him.
 
May 2, 2013
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Buffalo Soldier said:
I know, it's a bit premature to call Kwiatkowski all that, but he is the only one that has shown potential to be the best in all 5 categories.
Surely a stretch to say he has potential as a #1 pan-flat, bunch sprinter...?
 

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