Gilbert Wins Paris-Roubaix. Best Classics Rider Of His Generation? | The Cycling Racing News Show

Gilbert Wins Paris-Roubaix. Best Classics Rider Of His Generation? | The Cycling Racing News Show


(countdown beeping) – Coming up this week, on
the GCN Racing News Show, Philippe Gilbert adds a
fourth different monument to his collection with
a well-crafted victory at Paris-Roubaix, we ask is he the best classics rider of his generation? We also have the drama at the
Tour of the Basque Country as the race leader goes off course. The Healthy Aging Tour, The Scheldeprijs Sprinters’
Classic, and finally, the return of Carlos Betancur
at the Klasika Primavera. First up though, Paris-Roubaix, it’s known as the Queen of
the Classics for a reason. And this year, in my opinion,
it was a brilliant addition. It was full-on from the
moment the flag dropped to the moment that Philippe Gilbert was crowned victor six hours later. Despite a headwind for much of the day, the average speed was over
43 kilometers an hour. Before we talk through the win though, lets take a look at our
GCN presenter predictions. – Jens Keukeleire.
(buzzer beeps) – Wout Van Aert.
(buzzer beeping) – John Degenkolb.
(buzzer beeping) – Greg Van Avermaet.
(buzzer beeping) – Alexander Kristoff.
(buzzer beeping) – No, I think I’m going to go for Sagan. (buzzer beeping) – Well, one thing’s almost
certain Dan, we can’t lose. – Not really. (chuckles) (beep) – Woeful as ever. Although not making the cut was this prediction from Chris Opie. – My prediction for
Paris-Roubaix is Nils Politt. – The legs are quite good, yeah. – I promise you that he did
that video before the race. Nils Politt gave Katusha
Alpecin arguably their best result in what has
been a torrid season so far. The german rode with immense strength but he was no match in the velodrome for the class and experience of Gilbert. He, and his team Deceuninck Quick Step gave yet another master
class in race craft. We didn’t see too much of
them early on in the race, they conserved energy
but when it mattered, they were there in numbers. Gilbert was quick to respond when Politt broke the unwritten rule and attacked in the feed zone and once
that group had swelled to six they also had Lampaert. It put them in pole position, and from that point on it was
hard to see them being beaten. But you still have to finish the job, and Gilbert did that perfectly
responding to another attack from Politt after
Carrefour de l’Arbre. And then getting the better
of him reasonably easy in the final sprint to the line. It cements Gilbert as one
of best classics riders of all time and arguably
the best of his generation. He’s now won four of five monuments, the only one missing is Milan-San Remo. The last rider to have
won four of five monuments on their Palmares was Sean Kelly in 1986. Only three riders in history have won all five, Merckx of course, Van Looy, and De Vlaeminick, all Belgians. So does this make Gilbert
the best classics rider of his generation? There’s certainly a
case to be made for it. Of the current pro-riders, Valverde is the next best with four monument wins. All of which have come
at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Beyond that, for riders in a similar age, we have to look at
Cancellara who took seven monument wins in three different events. And Tom Boonen, who also took seven all in either Flanders or Roubaix. What sets Gilbert apart though is the diversity of his wins. He may have won two fewer monuments but when you look down the list it’s an exclusive club who’ve won four or five. To even find somebody that’s won Lombardy, Liege, and Roubaix, you have to go back over twenty years. Add to that his world championship win and the club gets even more exclusive. We’d like to know your
thoughts on the very subject. Is Gilbert the best classics
rider of his generation? Let us know in the poll
on the screen right now and also in the comment section below. Regardless, he’s still not quite up there with Mohammed Ali, Pele,
and Michael Jordan, as his Instagram post
last year alluded to. Whilst it was Gilbert and
Deceuninck who had all the glory, man of the match, and in fact this week’s GCN rider of
the week, is Walt Vahnon. How incredible was he yesterday? He had a mechanical in
the Trouee d’Arenberg, chased back on, swapped bikes, crashed on an innocuous
right hander soon after, chased back on again and then still, somehow, managed to have the reserves to get across to the winning move. In the end, he finished 20th, the lights did eventually go out
but given what he’d done, that wasn’t really a surprise. This series of pictures show
exactly how deep he went. So you have to say chapeau sir. What was a surprise though was the fact that neither of his teammates
in the leading group waited for him after
either of his problems, which surely would’ve
saved him vital energy. Whether or not that was an instruction from the team car, we still don’t know. What we do know is that there’s a lot more to come from Wout Van Aert
and he and Matthew Vanderpoel are inspiring a whole new
generation of cyclists. Off road racers are making
road racing great again. Before we finish with Roubaix, a final word about Sep Vanmarcke. The Belgian from EF Education First road a stellar race never putting a foot wrong, a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that he’s
barely been able to train since he got injured at the
E Three Big Bang Classic, however a mechanical
problem which left him in the 11th sprocket
put pay to his chances of taking the win and he was inconsolable at the finish line after coming fourth. We’ll move on now to the Itzulia
Tour of the Basque Country a race where the climbs are so steep even the pros find it
hard to ride up them. – We’ve seen so many riders at this point, they’re weaving and, whoa, there you are. Just coming to a virtual stand still. – That was George Bennet in the prologue which was won by Bora-Hansgrohe Schachmann who then went on to win three
of the first of four stages. The only man to break his winning streak was Julian Alaphilippe who won stage two in an uphill sprint. That victory meant that
the frenchman has won at every race he’s done in 2019. Unfortunately though, he
would end up going home early after a high speed pileup on stage three which would also see Mikhail Khodorkovsky amongst others, ending
their race prematurely. For Bora-Hansgrohe though, it turned out to be a great race with
Emanuel Buchmann using his attack as the best form of defense on the penultimate day,
sailing to a solo stage win, the teams fourth of the race and taking the overall lead by close to a minute. However, things unraveled
for them in more ways than one on the final day of racing. Astana went on the offensive,
Bora and Buchmann unable to respond, Adam Yates won the stage, Jon Izagirre the overall. Behind Buchmann was fighting
valiantly for a place on the overall podium until this happened. – [Announcer] Just waiting to see if he’ll actually finished second– Oh, he went the wrong way!
– Oh, no, no, no, no! They’ve followed the camera bike! We’ll that’s gonna count
against him as well. He may well cede second
and end up in third place. Ah well, you know the drama
never stops in this race. Here is Buchmann now fighting
to hold onto second place after the very last
turn, the twist and turns of the knife, I guess you might say. – A mistake which left him agonizingly in fourth place overall, temporarily. Ultimately the organizers would
give him his lost time back which reinstated him in third place on GC. For Astana, quite incredibly, that was their ninth overall stage win of the year. The Basque Country is often referred to by pro riders as the
hardest race of the year. And I think this analysis
Porter Charles Power by Ammatti Pyoraily on twitter puts that into numerical context. 439 watts for ten minutes
at the point where Astana broke the race apart. That is some serious power
for a light weight climber. To add to the week long
punishment in the Basque Country, some of the riders then go to the Klasika Primavera the following day. Amongst then was the
winner Carlos Betancur. I think it’s fair to say
that we haven’t really seen the best of Betancur
for the past few years, due to some personal problems
that he’s been dealing with. So it’s great to see the
man affectionately known as Bananito back towards his best and taking his first
victory in three years. Meanwhile, the women’s Peloton
moved to the Netherlands for the Healthy Aging Tour. The five day race also
includes a stage race for the junior women and
was won by up and coming American Megan Jastrab with
again winner Elynor Backstedt in second and Nikola Wielowska in third. In the pro race, eventual winner
Lisa Klein opened the race with the runner up slot to
Trek-Segafredo’s Lotta Lepisto who found a way through a
crash on the final corner to take stage one. Team Virtu’s Mieke Kröger took
a solo stage win on stage two going clear from a break of three before, inform Kirsten Field can
enjoy for the first of two trips to the podium with
a victory on stage three. Day four was split day,
an individual time trial which was taken by European
Time Trial champion Elen Vine Dijke by just by just
over two seconds from Klein who moved into the leaders jersey. WNT’s Lisa Brenner then
went clear with the Virtu’s Kosta in the afternoon. It took a long drawn out stage of victory with neither rider affecting the GC. the fifth and final stage was a rapid one with many early breaks, none
of which managed to stay clear. We did though see a
movement by World Champion Anna Van Der Bregen, we just
over 30 kilometers to go. She was late to join in the
front by Ellen Van Dijk, it was great to Van Der
Bregen on the offensive in only her third road event of the year. Despite their efforts,
a sprint was inevitable and Kirsten Wild took her
second stage win of the race. However, it was a great
overall winner for Lisa Klein, whose team said that she said
that it was her first pro win. So clearly the German Title and the prologue of Elsy Jacobs don’t count. The other one day World Tour
race in Belgium last week was the sprinters classic the Scheldeprijs. There was back to back wins
with Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen of Deceuninck-QuickStep. But one of the other stories, was that of Marcel Kittel getting dropped. It led to more questions
being asked in the media to which Kittle gave this response. It’s always easy to be a
man when he’s on the ground. I’m facing a difficult
period and I’m thankful for everyone who is
supporting me right now. I’m sure you’ll all join me in
wishing Marcel all the best, one of the nicest guys in the pelaton. Let’s hope he can re-find his Mojo soon, both on and off the bike. Right, that’s all for this week. Next week we’ll have the Amstel Gold race where we’ll see Lizzy Deignan make her return to competition, and the tour of Turkey,
where there’s another returns competition this
time for Mark Cavendish. Before that, if you’d like to see what goes into providing Team Sky’s riders with the best backup at
the Cobbled Classics, you can click down here and Dan spent the day as one of their zone hoppers.