Discuss: Voeckler or Gilbert?

Fotoreporter Sirotti


By winning Stage 4 and the overall title at last weeks 4 Days of Dunkirk, Thomas Voeckler took his seventh and eighth wins of the season–giving him one more than Philippe Gilbert*. This got me thinking: is Voeckler better? More exciting? None or both of the above? How do you think he would fare were he to race the same program as the Belgian superstar?


*Interestingly, Voeckler’s not the most successful rider thus far this season. Can you find out who it is without resorting to a results database?

About Whit

My experiences might easily fit many cycling fans' definitions of “living the dream.” Since getting hooked on the sport watching Lance Armstrong win the 1993 U.S. Pro Championship, I've raced as an amateur on Belgian cobbles, traveled Europe to help build a European pro team, and piloted that team from Malaysia to Mont Ventoux. As a former assistant director sportif with Mercury-Viatel, I've also seen the less dreamy side of the sport – the side rife with broken contracts, infighting, and positive dope tests. These days, I live with my lovely wife in Pennsylvania and share my experiences and views on the sport at Bicycling Magazine, the Embrocation Cycling Journal, and at my own site, Pavé.
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17 Responses to Discuss: Voeckler or Gilbert?

  1. Julius says:

    Voeckler wins with so little: Bernaudeau's modern re-incarnation has always been one of the weakest. He puts himself in lots and lots of breakaways. Not to take credit away from Gilbert of course, as Gilbert's wins are in far more competitive races. If anything else, we can compare Gilbert's FdJ version to today's Voeckler.

    And yes, the French shall rise again ;-).


    As for the most winning cyclist this season, could it be Michele Scarponi?

    • Whit says:

      I can always count on you to root for the French, Julius!

      As for Scarponi, a good guess, but he's only won 3. The answer is very obscure…


  2. Nibali says:

    Is Guardini the rider with most wins?

    • Whit says:

      Great guess! He has 8–tied with Voeckler and one other rider for second. Here's a hint: you'll need to think outside of Europe.

      You can use race results to help you, but no databases that lists overall rankings by wins.


      • Nick says:

        Some Iranian guy who is sweeping races across Central Asia

        • Whit says:

          If by "some Iranian guy" you meant Mahdi Sohrabi from the Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team, Nick–you're right!

          Nicely done.


          • Nick says:

            I knew who you were talking about, but I felt consulting CQranking for his actual name would be cheating.

            But now that I look at his results, he is winning races across Asia. Taiwan, Malaysia, Iran, etc..

    • Julius says:

      Wow, Guardini is a neo-pro with lots of wins already! Looks like Farnese-Vini has picked a great neo-pro to invest in for the next few seasons. Can't wait to see what he will do in the late summer Italian intra-murals races.

  3. Nick says:

    Voeckler has been doing a hell of a job this season. He is animating races and is awesome to watch. But Gilbert has had a far more successful season. Too many of Voeckler's wins have been have been at non-top races.

  4. Erik says:

    I feel like it could be said that Voeckler races against everybody else's domestiques. Not to take away from his level of winning, but I feel like if he was racing against Gilbert in the Ardennes, Gilbert still would have smashed the field.

  5. Souleur says:

    Gilbert is a stud, hands down.

    He deserves the accolades he has recieved thus far. Voeckler does well, but I really would expect to see more from him later in July.

    To the last question, who has the most wins…thats a toughy, seems the Australians went on a tear in the warmth of early spring riding south of the equator, but off the top of my head, I am not sure?

  6. regsf says:

    Well of course no one wants to give the French any credit. Like for cleaning up their teams before anyone else after the Festina affair.
    Voeckler is as aggressive as anyone and you could also make the argument he takes more risks than Gilbert. Yeah they're not "classics" wins but the guy has panache, you've got to give him that.

  7. andrew53704 says:

    If the Belgian races meant as much to Voeckler as they do Gilbert then yeah, maybe. I don't think if would have been as easy for Phil

  8. Raouligan says:

    A hard one to call this, I'm going to edge it to Voeckler, for the simple reason that he was what kept the team he was in going this season so the weight of pressure must have been crazy.

    He's certainly paid back Europcar's faith in the squad Chapeau sir!

  9. Wielsucker says:

    Gilbert is pure class. Tommy is a hard working and agressive rider. I like them both but Gilbert is at a much higher level. But then Voeckler does ride a Colnago and Gilbert has to ride a Canyon so Thomas has something over Phil.

    Yes, I know there is no meaningful difference between any pro level bike (all built by the same old lady in Taiwan) but Canyons are hideous.

  10. MattyVT says:

    With all due respect to Voeckler, the races he's won have been low-hanging fruit and not nearly as impressive as Gilbert's rout in the Ardennes. That's pretty much what everyone else has offered in one way or another, but I think Voeckler has still had a great season in his own regard and has some solid wins to his credit.

    Still, I don't see anyone asking if Voeckler can win all of the monuments, which has been discussed for Gilbert. Apparently you have to be Belgian to even be considered for that club.

    • MattyVT says:

      I realized that Voeckler is similar to Greipel- they're both prolific when racing against sub-standard competition. To be fair to Voeckler he doesn't have Greipel's overinflated sense of self-worth.

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