Hierarchy of races

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Re: Re:

PremierAndrew said:
myrideissteelerthanyours said:
Hugo Koblet said:
I can't believe so many in here underestimate the importance of the Olympics. Winning a monument or a WCRR is cycling history. Winning the Olympics is sports history.
Are there people outside of cycling that care about Vino and Lulu?
Sammy won in Beijing, not Lulu ;)
My point exactly. Literally who.

EDIT: I should add that I watched that race in its entirety and loved it (was broadcast with no commentary and no real commercials just ambient noise. probably the best race I ever watched not in person). But I don't care about the result it was kind of like an exhibition to me.
 
Re: Re:

myrideissteelerthanyours said:
PremierAndrew said:
myrideissteelerthanyours said:
Hugo Koblet said:
I can't believe so many in here underestimate the importance of the Olympics. Winning a monument or a WCRR is cycling history. Winning the Olympics is sports history.
Are there people outside of cycling that care about Vino and Lulu?
Sammy won in Beijing, not Lulu ;)
My point exactly. Literally who.
Regarding your first question: Does anyone outside of diving, archery, canoeing, fencing, rowing, shooting etc. care about those sports? The answer is yes, once every four years, and that is why the Olympics is bigger than any other sporting event and the importance is much bigger as well. Sure, some sports aren't that prestigious at the Olympics like soccer, but for the most part the Olympics is the biggest achievement. I do acknowledge that the Olympics status within cycling isn't as big as in some other sports, but after the Tour, an Olympic gold medal is the biggest achievement in cycling anyway.
 
Oct 27, 2009
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HC Tour De France
1. World Championships (Rainbow Jersey!)
2. Paris Roubaix
3. Tour of Flanders
4. Olympics
5. Liege-Bastogne-Liege
6. Milano-Sanremo
Others: 7. Lombardia, Amstel, Fleche Wallone ...
 
The pros clearly hold the Olympics in the highest regard, probably more than any other race bar the Tour. Prestige is a difficult concept to define, and carries a degree of subjectivity, buf if you asked me the races I'd want to win, or as a British cycling fan, the races I want British cyclist to win, I'd say the following...

(Tour)
PR
(Giro)
RvV
WCRR
(Vuelta)
MSR
ORR
LBL
Lombardia
 
Apr 17, 2014
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Re:

montel said:
HC Tour De France
1. World Championships (Rainbow Jersey!)
2. Paris Roubaix
3. Tour of Flanders
4. Olympics
5. Liege-Bastogne-Liege
6. Milano-Sanremo
Others: 7. Lombardia, Amstel, Fleche Wallone ...
I think this is a pretty good list
 
King Of The Wolds said:
The pros clearly hold the Olympics in the highest regard, probably more than any other race bar the Tour. Prestige is a difficult concept to define, and carries a degree of subjectivity, buf if you asked me the races I'd want to win, or as a British cycling fan, the races I want British cyclist to win, I'd say the following...

(Tour)
PR
(Giro)
RvV
WCRR
(Vuelta)
MSR
ORR
LBL
Lombardia
I think this is the closest so far.... PR is probably above everything other than the Tour. Lemond said in an interview that he would love to swap one of his worlds titles for a Paris-Roubaix... he almost said one of his TdF victories but then he back tracked :)

edit: just saw Leige is below Milan San Remo.... not a chance.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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King Of The Wolds said:
The pros clearly hold the Olympics in the highest regard, probably more than any other race bar the Tour. Prestige is a difficult concept to define, and carries a degree of subjectivity, buf if you asked me the races I'd want to win, or as a British cycling fan, the races I want British cyclist to win, I'd say the following...

(Tour)
PR
(Giro)
RvV
WCRR
(Vuelta)
MSR
ORR
LBL
Lombardia
Pretty good list, I'd probably put LBL above MSR, but other than that it's pretty much my list when it comes to those races, Lombardia can be inconsistent because of the different routes, some of them haven't been great. For me there's always a gap between the historic importance and the history of a race and the status quo. The Ardennes Classics would be a prime example, they have a long, rich history but in recent years they've become really boring races, so I don't really care about them. I know that raking them by how much I like them isn't the best way to rank those races, but I can't pretend that a boring one day race is a big deal for me just because of it's long and glorious history.
 
The Olympics were kind of a big deal in amateur cycling before they were open to pros anyway, especially the epic 4-man 100km TTTs which were of significant importance to the different Warsaw Pact nations. We must remember that cycling has two parallel histories for a few decades.

Anyway, while it's my favourite monument in many ways, one of the reasons the Giro di Lombardia suffers a bit prestige-wise is that its route fluctuates much more than the others; while a lot of the key spots - Colma di Sormano, Madonna del Ghisallo - are must-haves, the route changes in the Foglie Morte are much more significant than those in the other four; with more or less fixed start/finish towns, MSR, P-R and LBL can only tinker with the route to a much smaller extent, while the close proximity of many of its climbs makes the RvV route much harder to radically alter in character, even if the particular climbs that make the difference change when the course is altered.

Based on history, MSR is a much more prestigious race than its present incarnation really merits. As a modern race it's by far my least favourite of the five. Echoes always used Zabel's first win as the cut-off, and railed against it being called a sprinters' classic (as opposed to, say, Paris-Tours), because historically it hasn't been. However, in the last 20 years or so, it's regularly been fought out by sprinters or with the sprinters being only narrowly foiled (eg Pozzato's win), though its sheer length and position in the calendar gives it a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it feel rather more than many other races.

That said, I think Roubaix is the only one that absolutely is not able to be replicated. More or less any really long flat race with a couple of bumps near the end can resemble MSR racing-wise (we sometimes see such stages in Tirreno as a preparation, or indeed in the Giro); RvV has some close brethren that use the same Vlaamse Ardennen climbs spread through the season, from Omloop to E3 to Dwars door Vlaanderen and so on; now that the Kapelmuur isn't used in de Ronde we see it creeping into other races too, so that now only really the Koppenberg is sacred. The quest for ever steeper Muritos has left the Ardennes being relatively tame so that LBL has in recent years been arguably the weakest monument, racing-wise, but also as it comes as the focal point of a week of races in similar profiles. Lombardia's less fixed route often means you can see the same kind of racing from a variety of medium mountain Giro stages or other Italian classics with fairly significant hills (Tre Valli Varesine springs to mind), plus of course the actual race itself can be different year on year; the Como-Bergamo route Dan Martin won was a dire race, while the most recent route won by Nibali was an awesome win and the best in nearly a decade. Even though we occasionally see the Tour or the Quatre Jours do the flat cobbles, none of them have quite recaptured the unique feel of Roubaix yet. The Worlds and the Olympics, because the course differs each time, will always be hard to rate, because unlike the monuments, they can't be judged directly against one another. In theory, Cipo's Zolder win and Cuddles' Mendrisio win are equal, and both came with the same title, the same reward, the same jersey. But the two races have next to nothing to do with one another besides the name "World Championships".

That said, while I may eulogise the uniqueness of Roubaix, easily the greatest monument win in my personal memory banks was at Lombardia, and it was Paolo Bettini in Como in the rainbow stripes in 2006.
 
Yes, the special attraction of Paris-Roubaix, apart from the fact that you *have* to race it, is that it is truely unique.
You'd want more of it, but then you can't have it, because it would depreciate PR.

That said, I would like to see those cobbles used more in the Tour. And then I mean in a longer stage, with a decent amount of cobbled sections (not like in 2015). It creates some randomness and cannot really be controlled, so that'd be welcome to up the spectacle later on. Imagine of Froome and Contador wouldn't have abandonned the 2014 Tour - the clash with Nibali would've been very interesting to watch.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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Going back to the OP. If I was a Pro this would be be my personal order
PR (means you're hard!)
WCRR (nice jersey and you can have the bands on subsequent jersies)
ORR (gold medal :nice!)
Flanders (famous in Belgium and you're hard)
LBL (you're tough)
MSR ( can relax for the rest of the season)
Lombardia (saved season at the death)
 
Re: Re:

Hugo Koblet said:
myrideissteelerthanyours said:
PremierAndrew said:
myrideissteelerthanyours said:
Hugo Koblet said:
I can't believe so many in here underestimate the importance of the Olympics. Winning a monument or a WCRR is cycling history. Winning the Olympics is sports history.
Are there people outside of cycling that care about Vino and Lulu?
Sammy won in Beijing, not Lulu ;)
My point exactly. Literally who.
Regarding your first question: Does anyone outside of diving, archery, canoeing, fencing, rowing, shooting etc. care about those sports? The answer is yes, once every four years, and that is why the Olympics is bigger than any other sporting event and the importance is much bigger as well. Sure, some sports aren't that prestigious at the Olympics like soccer, but for the most part the Olympics is the biggest achievement. I do acknowledge that the Olympics status within cycling isn't as big as in some other sports, but after the Tour, an Olympic gold medal is the biggest achievement in cycling anyway.
If only the Tour is bigger than the OGRR, then why did the two biggest favorites ride the Giro(-Tour)? Surely, Valverde would have been able to prepare better for the Games if he skipped the Giro after he had done the Ardennes, and ridden the Tour like Sanchez did eight years ago.
 
Re: Re:

Netserk said:
Hugo Koblet said:
myrideissteelerthanyours said:
PremierAndrew said:
myrideissteelerthanyours said:
Are there people outside of cycling that care about Vino and Lulu?
Sammy won in Beijing, not Lulu ;)
My point exactly. Literally who.
Regarding your first question: Does anyone outside of diving, archery, canoeing, fencing, rowing, shooting etc. care about those sports? The answer is yes, once every four years, and that is why the Olympics is bigger than any other sporting event and the importance is much bigger as well. Sure, some sports aren't that prestigious at the Olympics like soccer, but for the most part the Olympics is the biggest achievement. I do acknowledge that the Olympics status within cycling isn't as big as in some other sports, but after the Tour, an Olympic gold medal is the biggest achievement in cycling anyway.
If only the Tour is bigger than the OGRR, then why did the two biggest favorites ride the Giro(-Tour)? Surely, Valverde would have been able to prepare better for the Games if he skipped the Giro after he had done the Ardennes, and ridden the Tour like Sanchez did eight years ago.
In Valverde's case, this might be the answer:

CN: Also, if you’ve got the Olympics straight off afterwards and they are a goal, is it perhaps not better not to go all out in the Tour?

EU: You try to reach all of your goals as fresh as possible. But it’s also true that even if Valverde will have used up a lot of energy in the Tour, he won’t have had the same level of stress and sense of obligation that anybody has in a race when you are trying not to lose even one second each and every day. So he’ll try to be as fresh as possible in the Tour and then see what he can do in a really tough Olympic circuit

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/unzue-valverde-will-be-going-for-the-overall-in-the-giro-ditalia/

In Nibali's case, it might be that he wants to try another approach after he finished outside of the top 100 in the 2012 Olympics after finishing 3rd in the Tour.
 
Apr 17, 2014
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Re:

Jagartrott said:
Yes, the special attraction of Paris-Roubaix, apart from the fact that you *have* to race it, is that it is truely unique.
You'd want more of it, but then you can't have it, because it would depreciate PR.

That said, I would like to see those cobbles used more in the Tour. And then I mean in a longer stage, with a decent amount of cobbled sections (not like in 2015). It creates some randomness and cannot really be controlled, so that'd be welcome to up the spectacle later on. Imagine of Froome and Contador wouldn't have abandonned the 2014 Tour - the clash with Nibali would've been very interesting to watch.
I think a cobbled stage like in 2014 should be used every year at the tour. Would give a more unpredictable race plus woulds mean the winner of the tour would be have to be a rounded cyclist
 
Apr 17, 2014
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Seems as if the monuments generally are ordered: 1) PR, 2) Flanders, 3) LBL, 4) MSR 5) Lombardia with the WC RR slotting in either above PR or between PR and RVV. The O RR is placed either near the top of the pile or right at the bottom depending on who you ask :D Would be curious to see where people slot the Giro and Vuelta into this list...
 
Re: Re:

Hugo Koblet said:
Netserk said:
Hugo Koblet said:
Regarding your first question: Does anyone outside of diving, archery, canoeing, fencing, rowing, shooting etc. care about those sports? The answer is yes, once every four years, and that is why the Olympics is bigger than any other sporting event and the importance is much bigger as well. Sure, some sports aren't that prestigious at the Olympics like soccer, but for the most part the Olympics is the biggest achievement. I do acknowledge that the Olympics status within cycling isn't as big as in some other sports, but after the Tour, an Olympic gold medal is the biggest achievement in cycling anyway.
If only the Tour is bigger than the OGRR, then why did the two biggest favorites ride the Giro(-Tour)? Surely, Valverde would have been able to prepare better for the Games if he skipped the Giro after he had done the Ardennes, and ridden the Tour like Sanchez did eight years ago.
In Valverde's case, this might be the answer:

CN: Also, if you’ve got the Olympics straight off afterwards and they are a goal, is it perhaps not better not to go all out in the Tour?

EU: You try to reach all of your goals as fresh as possible. But it’s also true that even if Valverde will have used up a lot of energy in the Tour, he won’t have had the same level of stress and sense of obligation that anybody has in a race when you are trying not to lose even one second each and every day. So he’ll try to be as fresh as possible in the Tour and then see what he can do in a really tough Olympic circuit

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/unzue-valverde-will-be-going-for-the-overall-in-the-giro-ditalia/

In Nibali's case, it might be that he wants to try another approach after he finished outside of the top 100 in the 2012 Olympics after finishing 3rd in the Tour.
That explains why he didn't ride for the podium in the Tour, it doesn't really explain why he rode the Giro.
 
Re: Re:

Netserk said:
Hugo Koblet said:
Netserk said:
Hugo Koblet said:
Regarding your first question: Does anyone outside of diving, archery, canoeing, fencing, rowing, shooting etc. care about those sports? The answer is yes, once every four years, and that is why the Olympics is bigger than any other sporting event and the importance is much bigger as well. Sure, some sports aren't that prestigious at the Olympics like soccer, but for the most part the Olympics is the biggest achievement. I do acknowledge that the Olympics status within cycling isn't as big as in some other sports, but after the Tour, an Olympic gold medal is the biggest achievement in cycling anyway.
If only the Tour is bigger than the OGRR, then why did the two biggest favorites ride the Giro(-Tour)? Surely, Valverde would have been able to prepare better for the Games if he skipped the Giro after he had done the Ardennes, and ridden the Tour like Sanchez did eight years ago.
In Valverde's case, this might be the answer:

CN: Also, if you’ve got the Olympics straight off afterwards and they are a goal, is it perhaps not better not to go all out in the Tour?

EU: You try to reach all of your goals as fresh as possible. But it’s also true that even if Valverde will have used up a lot of energy in the Tour, he won’t have had the same level of stress and sense of obligation that anybody has in a race when you are trying not to lose even one second each and every day. So he’ll try to be as fresh as possible in the Tour and then see what he can do in a really tough Olympic circuit

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/unzue-valverde-will-be-going-for-the-overall-in-the-giro-ditalia/

In Nibali's case, it might be that he wants to try another approach after he finished outside of the top 100 in the 2012 Olympics after finishing 3rd in the Tour.
That explains why he didn't ride for the podium in the Tour, it doesn't really explain why he rode the Giro.
Valverde is a different kind of animal. He's rarely below his top level and I guess he wanted to do the Giro for the first time in his career, and the Giro might be his only shot at leading a GT this year. Besides, Uran was arguably the strongest in the 2012 Olympics after having done the Giro and not the Tour.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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Re: Re:

fungusbear said:
Jagartrott said:
Yes, the special attraction of Paris-Roubaix, apart from the fact that you *have* to race it, is that it is truely unique.
You'd want more of it, but then you can't have it, because it would depreciate PR.

That said, I would like to see those cobbles used more in the Tour. And then I mean in a longer stage, with a decent amount of cobbled sections (not like in 2015). It creates some randomness and cannot really be controlled, so that'd be welcome to up the spectacle later on. Imagine of Froome and Contador wouldn't have abandonned the 2014 Tour - the clash with Nibali would've been very interesting to watch.
I think a cobbled stage like in 2014 should be used every year at the tour. Would give a more unpredictable race plus woulds mean the winner of the tour would be have to be a rounded cyclist
Maybe do a reverse Paris-Roubaix on the last day. Pure hell in the first two hours of the race, afterwards the divided peloton will go crazy on the flat to Paris.
 
Re: Re:

Bardamu said:
fungusbear said:
Jagartrott said:
Yes, the special attraction of Paris-Roubaix, apart from the fact that you *have* to race it, is that it is truely unique.
You'd want more of it, but then you can't have it, because it would depreciate PR.

That said, I would like to see those cobbles used more in the Tour. And then I mean in a longer stage, with a decent amount of cobbled sections (not like in 2015). It creates some randomness and cannot really be controlled, so that'd be welcome to up the spectacle later on. Imagine of Froome and Contador wouldn't have abandonned the 2014 Tour - the clash with Nibali would've been very interesting to watch.
I think a cobbled stage like in 2014 should be used every year at the tour. Would give a more unpredictable race plus woulds mean the winner of the tour would be have to be a rounded cyclist
Maybe do a reverse Paris-Roubaix on the last day. Pure hell in the first two hours of the race, afterwards the divided peloton will go crazy on the flat to Paris.
Waw. Yes. :D That could be the epic Tour (especially if raining). We would have GC suspense till the very last pave no matter how big gaps would be before the last stage.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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I don't know. Paris-Roubaix has got to be 1st, apart from that it's not really important and quite difficult. WCRR fluctuates a lot depending on its course and I'm not willing to acknowledge the prestige of the ORR, which it unfortunately has acquired in recent years, because I hate the OG.
 
Aug 16, 2013
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Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Arredondo said:
1. WCRR
2. Paris-Roubaix
3. Lombardia
4. Flanders
5. MSR
6. Liege (i don't like that race, even in the time of Boogerd, Rebel and Extebarria my least favourite monument)
7. Strade
8. Fleche (that Mur sprint: maybe the best 3 minutes of cycling in the year)
9. Clasica (something very nostalgic about that race)
10. Canadian Classics

Amstel is really a **** clasic. Scheldeprijs and Kuurne the same.
If Amstel is a **** classic than so is Fleche Wallonne, probably even more so. :rolleyes:

And Clasica San Sebastian is the biggest joke when it comes to classics races. Poorly organised and poorly televised.

There's also no way Strade Bianche ranks above any of the WT classics (Vattenvall Cyclassics and GP Quest-Plouay aren't classics in my eyes). Next year it will be WT, but that doesn't mean the previous editions also get elevated to that status. Scheldeprijs and Kuurne are also not classics, but the latter race is ten times more exciting than FW.

And even though the Giro di Lombardia is one of my favorite classics, it's the least prestigious Monument. I don't know why Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Milan-San Remo are still rated so highly though. Just look at Demare, the guy can't even win sprints in the Tour de Wallonie. Imo it's the weakest Monument by far.
No way. That Mur sprint really is something great. Of course, apart from that. FW isn't that exciting. But the Amstel really sold his (little bit of) soul when they decided to put the finish after the Cauberg. I mean, how stupid is that!!?? :eek:

The finish on the Cauberg gave the Amstel at least a face/identity. Now it's nothing more then an expensive criterium.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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Re: Re:

Arredondo said:
El Pistolero said:
Arredondo said:
1. WCRR
2. Paris-Roubaix
3. Lombardia
4. Flanders
5. MSR
6. Liege (i don't like that race, even in the time of Boogerd, Rebel and Extebarria my least favourite monument)
7. Strade
8. Fleche (that Mur sprint: maybe the best 3 minutes of cycling in the year)
9. Clasica (something very nostalgic about that race)
10. Canadian Classics

Amstel is really a **** clasic. Scheldeprijs and Kuurne the same.
If Amstel is a **** classic than so is Fleche Wallonne, probably even more so. :rolleyes:

And Clasica San Sebastian is the biggest joke when it comes to classics races. Poorly organised and poorly televised.

There's also no way Strade Bianche ranks above any of the WT classics (Vattenvall Cyclassics and GP Quest-Plouay aren't classics in my eyes). Next year it will be WT, but that doesn't mean the previous editions also get elevated to that status. Scheldeprijs and Kuurne are also not classics, but the latter race is ten times more exciting than FW.

And even though the Giro di Lombardia is one of my favorite classics, it's the least prestigious Monument. I don't know why Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Milan-San Remo are still rated so highly though. Just look at Demare, the guy can't even win sprints in the Tour de Wallonie. Imo it's the weakest Monument by far.
No way. That Mur sprint really is something great. Of course, apart from that. FW isn't that exciting. But the Amstel really sold his (little bit of) soul when they decided to put the finish after the Cauberg. I mean, how stupid is that!!?? :eek:

The finish on the Cauberg gave the Amstel at least a face/identity. Now it's nothing more then an expensive criterium.
The extra lap is the thing which really gives it a criterium feeling. The hardest part of the race with the Kruisberg, Eyserbosweg,Fromberg and Keutenberg within 15km isn't really important anymore, which is a shame. Wasn't a very big fan of the Cauberg finish either, it makes too many riders wait like in FW.
 
So I had a bit of time on my hands and decided to do a bit of number crunching.

Based on posts in this thread, the most important race is (drumroll) the World Championship Road Race. Narrowly from Paris Roubaix. Here is the list, where people ranked 1 as most important down to 7 being least important.

WCRR 2.21 average. 16 out of 32 had it most important. 3 out of 32 had it 6th. Nobody had it lowest
Paris Roubaix 2.28 average. 12 out of 32 had it most important. Only 5 out of 32 had it lower than 3rd. One person had it lowest
Flanders 3.25 average. 2 out of 32 had it most important. Most had it 2nd to 4th. One poster had it at the bottom.
Liege 4.19 average. Nobody listed it as most important, but 4 as second most important. One poster had it at the bottom.
ORR 4.22 average. Highest standard deviation here. Two people had it as most important, five as least important. It was ranked all over the place.
MSR 5.47 average. Highest ranking was fourth. But only three ranked it at the bottom.
Lombardia 5.78 average. Highest ranking was third. But 11 of 32 ranked it at the bottom.

Note....when people ranked two races as joint, they both got rankings of 1.5 or 2.5 etc. for the purposes of the averages.
 

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