How Did They Never Win It..?

Following on from this post in the “Riders who did badly in types of races” thread, https://forum.cyclingnews.com/threads/riders-who-curiously-did-badly-in-certain-types-of-races.36860/post-2652556 I wanted to start one about riders who, really, should have won a particular race in their career, but just never did.

Like how Sagan has never won Milan-San Remo, Despite having 3 2nd places, never finishing worse than 17th, showing up to go for it every year, and seemingly being the perfect rider for it.

A few other examples;
Sean Kelly never won Flanders (3 2nd places)
Greg vanAvermaet, also Flanders (also 2nd 3 times)
Moreno Argentin, Milan San Remo (2nd, 3rd and 4th in his career)
Claude Criquielion, Liege Bastogne Liege (2nd twice, in the winning group at the finish 4 other times).
I’m sure there are several more recent examples.

A few ground rules;
The rider must have a good track record at the race; at least a couple podiums, preferably top 10s in other years too.
Must have won other races of equal or greater stature (so what if Rider X never won Roubaix/Worlds? He never won any monument)
Rider must have actually been trying to win the race throughout his career (eg Merckx didn’t win Paris-Tours, but instead chose to gift the win to a teammate; I don’t think it’s a big deal for him).
Bonus points if the rider has some obvious connection to the race (GvA, arguably the top Flandrien of his generation, never winning de Ronde. Kuiper won almost every other classic, but not Amstel)
 
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When will people realise that Omloop was still off season for Boonen?
When will you realise that you are wrong.

Boonen is the record holder in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, which is .... 1 day after the Omloop.
Boonen has the best Middle East record in the history of cycling. Qatar and Oman were held ... one or two weeks before the Omloop.
Boonen was twice second and twice third in the Omloop.

It's a blind spot on his incredible cobblestones palmares, nothing more and nothing less.

Kind regards, a huge Boonen fan.
 
Greg vanAvermaet, also Flanders (also 2nd 3 times)

A few ground rules;
Bonus points if the rider has some obvious connection to the race (GvA, arguably the top Flandrien of his generation, never winning de Ronde)
Don't forget all his other top ten places in de Ronde. It's mind boggling.

Also: Greg and the Belgian national championships. For years he was Belgium's best rider, but that race never came his way: 2x bronze, 3x fourth, ... Some weird scenarios there, often with a teammate involved.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Valverde at Amstel, Purito at Liege
Valverde biggest lack in his career is Lombardia.
Three times 2nd place :/

It's really a shame he won only one of the monuments (although 4 times) in his career, and Lombardia togheter with LBL are the races that suits the best for him.

The problem is that in first part of the career I think he underestimated Lombardia.


But maybe he'll win in 2022 :D
 

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