Gent - Wevelgem: March 28th, 2021

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In my eyes biggest Strade podium finisher names in the past 10 years: Cancellara, Kwiatkowski, Sagan, Valverde, van Aert, van der Poel, Alaphilippe, Gilbert, Bernal, van der Poel.
G-W in the same time: Boonen, Sagan, Pedersen, van Aert, Thomas.
So at this point, looking back at the last 10 years, that is a brighter shining list at Strade in my eyes. Of course you might question my choice who are the biggest names.

Edit: ah I quoted myself, but this was probably addressed to Netserk, not to myself...
 
Is anyone talking about making GW the sixth monument? Nope. But it’s not an uncommon thread in the peloton the last year or two for Strade.

I actually think the calendar slot is fine, the race is so good and so well liked by the riders it’s changing when we think of the start of the classics season.
 
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Nils Politt, Silvan Dillier, Sebastian Langeveld, Matthew Hayman, Sebastien Turgot, Johan Vansummeren, Maarten Tjallingii aren't exactly the biggest stars of the peloton, yet they managed to end up on the podium of arguably the biggest Monument of all in the last 10 years. So the quality of the field isn't the only parameter of the importance of the race. We must consider history, terrain too, place in the calendar, etc.

In my opinion Strade is up there with the biggest classics, bar Monuments: GW and Amstel, and more important than Fleche, E3 and San Sebastian for example,,,
 
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Nils Politt, Silvan Dillier, Sebastian Langeveld, Matthew Hayman, Sebastien Turgot, Johan Vansummeren, Maarten Tjallingii aren't exactly the biggest stars of the peloton, yet they managed to end up on the podium of arguably the biggest Monument of all in the last 10 years. So the quality of the field isn't the only parameter of the importance of the race. We must consider history, terrain too, place in the calendar, etc.

In my opinion Strade is up there with the biggest classics, bar Monuments: GW and Amstel, and more important than Fleche, E3 and San Sebastian for example,,,
Would tak Strade over either and twice on Sunday.
 
At the end of the day it's a very subjective matter. The polarization of the comments in that regard is a case in point. Personally, I'd feel much more proud of having the Strade on my palmares than GW. All of these races like E3, GW, DDV feel like races leading up to the RVV. SB stands tall on it's own.

IMO the participation (diversity), the course (gravel climbs, scenery) with an epic finish (Piazza del Campo) and how much the weather can affect the course to a heroic muddy affair gives it more of a "classic" feeling. This also makes it a better choice for being picked as the next monument.
I'd be willing to bet that the majority of the peloton feels the same way. History is nice, but the factors mentioned above make a race truly historic/unforgettable for me.

To each their own though of course, I'm sure there are people who can also rave about the GW course and have plenty of reasons why it should have a higher status than SB, however incomprehensible it may be for myself. Don't get me wrong, I like watching GW, it's one of the races I look forward to every season, I just look forward a lot more to SB, and ultimately enjoy it more too.
 
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This discussion seems to be a mixed bag (with apologies to you know) about terminologies as well as the quality of the races themselves. If you think about the use of the term “classic” outside of cycling it typically suggests something older, and perhaps well representative of a particular period of time. In those cases (e.g., classic car), it does not necessarily indicate the “classic” is better than a current model. Likewise, monuments are rarely erected (except in authoritarian regimes) to people or events of the recent past.

Also, when I started following European racing, mainly through the why-does-it-take-so-long issues of Winning, it seems like had a more formal distinction between a classic and a “semi-classic” though perhaps that was just in the minds of those writers. But obviously which races fit into those categories change, since the Championship of Zurich no longer exists, and Paris-Tours just doesn’t fit with the other Classics any longer.
 
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GW got a lot harder in recent years: the distance increased and the plugstreets were introduced. With neutralization, we're talking about a 260K ride now. That's a serious race.
Some Flanders contenders skip GW exactly because it is a very hard race and it's a hard race to control / win, even if you are the top favourite.
So some contenders for RVV race E3, skip the echelon / watt fest on Sunday and either ride Dwars door Vlaanderen (185K) or even take a longer rest with only training to be fresh for Flanders.

A list of high-profile winners, like in Strade, is nice, but I wouldn't say it's an indicator for how much riders want to win a race. I'm sure many riders want to win the TdF, even if loads of winners have a tainted reputation.
It's a fact that more riders can win GW than Strade, so more riders will realistically answer they want to win GW as Strade is simply not within their reach.
GW can be won by more types of riders (even pure sprinters on a very good day), making it a much more open race, so that really adds to the excitement, for me.
And if you look at the list of winners the past 10 years, you see as much quality as in any other top race: Boonen, Sagan, Degenkolb, Paolini, Kristoff, GvA, Kristoff, Pedersen, WvA.
You'd be hard pressed to find a better quality series of winners in any other race.

If I have to categorize races in terms of entertainment and how much I am looking forward to them, I would rank them as follows:
* Roubaix
**** Strade, E3, GW, Vlaanderen
*** San Remo, Lombardia, San Sebastian, Liège, Amstel, Brabantse Pijl
** Omloop, Kuurne, GP Samyn, Tro bro Leon
* FW (the most boring race on the planet, even more boring than Scheldeprijs and the most boring 'Fleche' race, others being in Brabant, Gooik and Heist)
 
in terms of reputation for me: Worlds / OG > Roubaix > Flanders > MSR / Liège > Lombardia > Strade > FW / Amstel / GW > San Sebastian / BP / Omloop > Kuurne / E3

how much I like them: Worlds > OG > Strade > Flanders / Lombardia > Liège > Amstel / San Sebastian > Roubaix / MSR > the others
Roubaix down there!?!?! How have you managed to wait 15 months to show your true colours??? o_O:oops:
 
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To me MSR is a monument of course, but a very boring race. I love all one day races. When I competed in the 80s I was much more of a stage racer, and hence a huge fan of stage races. Now that I am older I LOVE single day racing. I don't care too much about race status per se. I love Flanders, PR, Lombardia, Luik Bastenaken Liuk, Dwars, FW and Amstel, GW, E3, Strade, Many of the flat one day spring races, hell, I love em all now. Some turn boring, but that is OK. E3 this year was super exciting. Every Spring I get Belgian cycling fever LOL.
 
For me

Roubaix, Liège, Lombardia, Vlaanderen > Strade > San Sebastian > San Remo, GW, Amstel, E3, FW > others
I'm with this pretty much with minor changes: Liège-Bastogne is my favorite race and so it follows that I would move Fleche Wallone to after Sanremo. And on second thought Roubaix to fourth because it's so singular and weird and kind of only have attrition/fatigue + incidents going for it.
 
I'm with this pretty much with minor changes: Liège-Bastogne is my favorite race and so it follows that I would move Fleche Wallone to after Sanremo. And on second thought Roubaix to fourth because it's so singular and weird and kind of only have attrition/fatigue + incidents going for it.
I have put them in groups. Notice the "," and the ">" so MSR was on the same level as FW.
 
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