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Old 03-03-09, 09:15 PM   #1
classic1
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Under-rated pro riders.

Eddy Merckx once said in reference to Belgian pro Ludo Peeters that some riders get talked about often but don't produce many results, while others take big wins but are never hyped. Peeters was definitely in the latter category.

Ninjaman suggested three time world TT champ Mick Rogers as a present day example of a rider who quietly does the business without any major hype.

Anyone have any other candidates, past or present?

I'd nominate as a past example Eric Van Lanker - winner of Liege-Bastonge-Liege, Amstel Gold, Wincanton Classic, GP Americas in Montreal and a Giro stage as a rider who got the big wins without any hype.

Current examples might be Phillip Gilbert or Davide Rebellin. Plenty of big wins but little hype compared to the Cunegos and Boonens.
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Old 03-03-09, 09:30 PM   #2
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Current examples might be Phillip Gilbert or Davide Rebellin. Plenty of big wins but little hype compared to the Cunegos and Boonens.
Rebellin, while he has plenty of big results, will always be known as a bridesmaid. He's been fantastic (2004), and he's always a threat, but I don't think of him as a guy on the top step. His podium appearances are staggering, but when I think of him, I think "Oh, he's the dude who got 2nd/3rd at _______ _______ (insert hilly classic) this year.

And really, Phillipe Gilbert is still a young pup. He's only 26, and while he doesn't quite have the palmares of Boonen at that age, he's doing very well for himself. Provided the right course and the right form, I think we'll see him in rainbow stripes someday.
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Old 03-03-09, 09:36 PM   #3
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I would have said Gilbert.
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Old 03-03-09, 09:44 PM   #4
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Old 03-03-09, 11:43 PM   #5
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Old 03-04-09, 12:18 AM   #6
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Chavanel
Would you have said that at this time last year?

But seriously, I was also thinking Rebellin; he certainly does have plenty of non-win podiums, but saying he's the bridesmaid is like saying the same thing about Erik Zabel, proud owner of 7 Green jerseys in the Tour.

Anybody else feel like Daniele Bennati is vastly underappreciated? He's clearly one of the top 5 sprinters in the world, but isn't given even the limelight of half the mediocre talents out there. Lampre didn't even bother to stop him from leaving, opting for Danilo Napolitano instead!
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Old 03-04-09, 01:01 AM   #7
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Would you have said that at this time last year?

But seriously, I was also thinking Rebellin; he certainly does have plenty of non-win podiums, but saying he's the bridesmaid is like saying the same thing about Erik Zabel, proud owner of 7 Green jerseys in the Tour.

Anybody else feel like Daniele Bennati is vastly underappreciated? He's clearly one of the top 5 sprinters in the world, but isn't given even the limelight of half the mediocre talents out there. Lampre didn't even bother to stop him from leaving, opting for Danilo Napolitano instead!
You are a bloody genius ninjaman! I agree with all that.

Expanding on Chavanel, he was the great white hype until last year. Rumour had it he was on some ridiculously huge salary and getting no results. In 2008 he finally got off his arse and rode to his potential, which was good to see, but if anything he was overhyped, not underappreciated.
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Old 03-04-09, 01:04 AM   #8
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Ballan

Interesting choice. He probably was under-appreciated compared to some of his overhyped compatriots until he won his rainbow jersey last year. His wins at Flanders and Hamburg were impressive, as was his worlds win. Good to see him getting kudos now.
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Old 03-04-09, 01:13 AM   #9
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Freire. Never favored to win, but gets it done...

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Old 03-04-09, 01:51 AM   #10
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Chris Horner is someone that doesn't get enough hype, probably because of his age and that he got started in Euro pro cycling much later than all. His results have steadily improved since he arrived in Europe. He got 15th in the Tour helping Cadel so he's one of the best in the world. The problem is that he's making his career of a great domestique in the shadow of other stars. I just realized this but his results were better when he was riding for himself (Saunier Duval-stage win & 5th overall Tour Suisse, all day break to near stage win in the Tour) (Webcor-9th at worlds, good fall classics) compared to the 15th place and stage win in romandie. I guess that's a given that you'll have less results when riding for other bigger names. Whatever, my point is Chris Horner is a great rider but you'll only see it when he's got the freedom.
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Old 03-04-09, 01:51 AM   #11
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i think the reason is pretty obvious why gilbert doesn't get the mega hype - he's a walllonian, who until this year raced for a french team, in the era of boonen.

on top of that, i doubt you'll see many posters of him in teenage girls bedrooms.

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Old 03-04-09, 01:52 AM   #12
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Old 03-04-09, 02:27 AM   #13
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i think the reason is pretty obvious why gilbert doesn't get the mega hype - he's a walllonian, who until this year raced for a french team, in the era of boonen.

on top of that, i doubt you'll see many posters of him in teenage girls bedrooms.

Hmmm. He does have a bit of a pineapple head on him.
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Old 03-04-09, 02:30 AM   #14
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Chris Horner is someone that doesn't get enough hype, probably because of his age and that he got started in Euro pro cycling much later than all. His results have steadily improved since he arrived in Europe. He got 15th in the Tour helping Cadel so he's one of the best in the world. The problem is that he's making his career of a great domestique in the shadow of other stars. I just realized this but his results were better when he was riding for himself (Saunier Duval-stage win & 5th overall Tour Suisse, all day break to near stage win in the Tour) (Webcor-9th at worlds, good fall classics) compared to the 15th place and stage win in romandie. I guess that's a given that you'll have less results when riding for other bigger names. Whatever, my point is Chris Horner is a great rider but you'll only see it when he's got the freedom.
FWIW, he went over in 1996 or thereabouts and rode with FDJ. Didn't have much in the way of results in his first Euro stint, and went home to race domestically. But yes, second time around he has done well and doesn't get the column inches some of his less well performed countrymen seem to get.
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Old 03-04-09, 03:10 AM   #15
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Hmmm. He does have a bit of a pineapple head on him.
poor kid must have looked like this as teenager.

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Old 03-04-09, 03:53 AM   #16
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Lookalikes?


Manuel Noriega


Phillip Gilbert
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Old 03-04-09, 04:11 AM   #17
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ouch.
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Old 03-04-09, 07:12 AM   #18
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Would you have said that at this time last year?

But seriously, I was also thinking Rebellin; he certainly does have plenty of non-win podiums, but saying he's the bridesmaid is like saying the same thing about Erik Zabel, proud owner of 7 Green jerseys in the Tour.

Anybody else feel like Daniele Bennati is vastly underappreciated? He's clearly one of the top 5 sprinters in the world, but isn't given even the limelight of half the mediocre talents out there. Lampre didn't even bother to stop him from leaving, opting for Danilo Napolitano instead!
I was thinking this myself.
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Old 03-04-09, 07:38 AM   #19
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Johann Van Summeran - I dont think anyone has spent more time on the front of a peloton since 2003, although in the service of others.

Definitely agree with the previous mentions of Bennati, Rebellin, and Oscar Friere, big wins for each.

Stuart O'grady also comes to mind, he's accomplished lots as a sprinter in the GTs, as a one-day racer, and on the track, but always seems to be overshadowed by the larger than life figures of mcewen, cancellara, and boonen.
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Old 03-04-09, 08:14 AM   #20
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Popovych...he has been a lieutenant for some of the best riders, tirelessly, and never gets great hype his way. I'm pretty sure he spent the entire ToC at the front riding tempo, every time the versus coverage showed the front of the peloton he was in the first three wheels. I still don't understand why he doesn't take a run at a GC title or some of the smaller stage races, maybe the pay is better as a lieutenant?

Bennati is a primadonna, he came to the Commerce Bank Phila race this year and did about 20 miles before packing it in. There was so much hype about him coming to the race because it suited him well after coming from the Giro, so I was let down.

Matti Breschel and Jason McCartney are two riders that come to mind, as well as Grim Kim Kirchen
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Old 03-04-09, 09:30 AM   #21
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i think the reason is pretty obvious why gilbert doesn't get the mega hype - he's a walllonian, who until this year raced for a french team, in the era of boonen.

on top of that, i doubt you'll see many posters of him in teenage girls bedrooms.
or teenage girls in his bedroom.
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Old 03-04-09, 10:00 AM   #22
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or teenage girls in his bedroom.
seeing as he's a wallonian, he probably has a few tweens in the basement.
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Old 03-04-09, 10:17 AM   #23
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Stijn Devolder. His tour attempt didn't go well last year but he was a solo maniac at Flanders last year.
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Old 03-04-09, 10:50 AM   #24
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Rebellin is the ****in MAN. Classics and week long SR's, he's a threat. Silver at the olympics. A straight up G.
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Old 03-04-09, 10:57 AM   #25
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Rebellin is the ****in MAN. Classics and week long SR's, he's a threat. Silver at the olympics. A straight up G.
true, but his racing style can be lumped into the zoetemelk/evans/leipheimer category.

not exactly fun to watch.
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