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Old 07-07-11, 06:24 PM   #1
xfimpg
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Why not Philippe Gilbert?

I've only been following the TdF for a few years, so please forgive my ignorance.

I have though been following some of the spring classics this year and saw what Philippe Gilbert is made of, just a great all-rounder.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of talk about him as a serious GC threat. Did I miss something or is he really just a Green jersey type of rider?
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Old 07-07-11, 06:35 PM   #2
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Grand tour winners have to be great time trialers and mountain climbers.
You'll see how this plays out next week.
Gilbert's a great rider and exciting to watch... but GC is not his game.
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Old 07-07-11, 06:36 PM   #3
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The reason he is not considered a GC contender is because although he has explosive power when climbing short hills, he has never been good in the mountains. Eddy Merkx suggested that it's possible he could improve if he lost a bit of weight, although even if that were the case, it's hard to imagine him ever being able to slug it out with the 'natural climbers'.
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Old 07-07-11, 08:42 PM   #4
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He could be a better all-rouunder if he underwent the type of transformation Wiggins did with his body, but I hope he doesn't. He's one of the most fun guys to watch, as is.
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Old 07-07-11, 08:52 PM   #5
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He could be a better all-rouunder if he underwent the type of transformation Wiggins did with his body, but I hope he doesn't. He's one of the most fun guys to watch, as is.
Agreed! I think he will have a career more similar to Hushovd then the GC guys. I see him winning multiple green jerseys in his career. In my opinion these guys are the most impressive pros.
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Old 07-07-11, 09:17 PM   #6
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Agreed! I think he will have a career more similar to Hushovd then the GC guys. I see him winning multiple green jerseys in his career. In my opinion these guys are the most impressive pros.
Only if the TdF stays as hilly as it has during the flat stages. If it goes back to the flat finishes for the flat days, he won't be up there with the real sprinters day in and day out. But he will definitely win a more stages in his career, just not sure if he'll have another shot at the green jersey. Even this year, Cadel who is a GC guy is up in the green jersey points, and has a chance for that overall once we hit the mountains because the flat stages have been so hilly.
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Old 07-07-11, 09:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by xfimpg View Post
I've only been following the TdF for a few years, so please forgive my ignorance.

I have though been following some of the spring classics this year and saw what Philippe Gilbert is made of, just a great all-rounder.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of talk about him as a serious GC threat. Did I miss something or is he really just a Green jersey type of rider?
Mountain top finishes. To win a grand tour, a rider has to be a great climber and very good TT rider. Mountain top finishes are where the biggest time gains are made. Next is the TT. Riders like Gilbert, Cancellara, Hushovd get dropped on big mountain climbs. Cancellara is about the best tt guy in world, but he can't wipe out what he'll lose on the mountain top finish stages.
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Old 07-08-11, 09:41 AM   #8
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Gilbert is a puncheur, meaning he's great for hilly stages but not someone who is a GC contender becuase when the big mountain stages come he'll lose lots of time.

He's a great rider but he doesn't have the TT or climbing chops to contend.
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Old 07-08-11, 11:23 AM   #9
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Great feedback and insight, thanks everyone.
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Old 07-08-11, 07:45 PM   #10
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Only if the TdF stays as hilly as it has during the flat stages. If it goes back to the flat finishes for the flat days, he won't be up there with the real sprinters day in and day out. But he will definitely win a more stages in his career, just not sure if he'll have another shot at the green jersey. Even this year, Cadel who is a GC guy is up in the green jersey points, and has a chance for that overall once we hit the mountains because the flat stages have been so hilly.
Hmm. You may be right. I guess I am looking back at Thor Hushovds success, but he is really a sprinter who can do ok in the hills, not quite the same as Gilbert. It may depend on which way Gilbert goes with his career.
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