How Did They Never Win It..?

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Emma Pooley, Giro d'Italia Femminile - one of the top 2 climbers in the world for half a decade, but never made it to the top step.

Freddy Maertens and all Monument Classics.

A real surprise one however is Ryszard Szurkowski and the Tour de Pologne. The best cyclist Poland ever produced, and arguably the greatest rider ever produced in the Eastern Bloc, a four time winner of the Course de la Paix (in its heyday too), a 12-time national champion across all disciplines, almost every major 'open' or amateur stage race he targeted for most of the 70s, a three time world champion (amateur road and 2x TTT) and the man who was largely responsible for the opening up of races to the Ostbloc teams with the 'open' format, after coming 2nd to Merckx in a stage and 28th overall in Paris-Nice as an amateur... and despite 14 stage wins and two GC podiums he never won his home Tour.
 
Meet Emma Johansson.



This thread was pretty much made for Emma, who amassed so many podiums and placements without winning - over 150 2nds and 3rds in her career - that she acquired the name "Silver Emma", and also got mocked for it by a rather bitter Lizzie Armitstead in 2014, who suggested she "probably prefers" silver after a lack of cohesion in the lead group allowed the chasers - including eventual winner Pauline Ferrand-Prévot - to catch on. Emma, for her part, had no teammates to help her for most of that race and had just had a solo attack pulled back. She also turned herself inside out to help her stronger TT breakmates catch Mara Abbott in the Rio Road Race, only to then not be able to use her area of advantage - the sprint - to its fullest as a result and be left with another silver. But then, if she hadn't done that, she wins that sprint, but the sprint is only for silver anyway.

Emma finished in the top 10 of the Ronde van Vlaanderen 7 times, 6 of which were top 5, 4 of which were podiums, but never won it.

She finished on the podium of La Flèche Wallonne 3 times and in the top 10 7 times, but never won it.

She has 7 World Championship Road Race top 10s, 5 of which in the top 5, and 3 of which on the podium... but never won it.

She has two silver medals and a 6th place from three entries in the Olympic Road Race - and therefore, of course, no gold.

She has 7 top 10 finishes in the GP Plouay, 4 of which were podiums (twice 2nd, twice 3rd)... but never won it.

She has 7 top 10 finished in her home race of the GP Vårgårda, 3 of which (spotting a pattern here?) were podiums... but never raised her arms in victory.

She has 6 GC top 10s at the Holland Ladies Tour, 5 of which are in the top 5, but only one podium and no wins.

She has finished top 10 of the GP Elsy Jacobs (basically the Women's Tour of Luxembourg) 5 times, 2x 3rd and 2x 4th... but you guessed it, no wins.

On five occasions she was top 3 in the UCI Women's World Cup ranking... but never won it.

At the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, almost definitely the most prestigious women's classic without a male equivalent, she was on a run of 6 consecutive top 10s and 5 consecutive top 5s (four of which were podiums) without a victory when, in 2014, she finally took that win.

Emma Johansson's palmarès is truly saddening. She deserved so much better, but she was always getting outnumbered by riders on the superteams (which she never seemed to be able to get into, or at least not at the right time), by peak Vos or peak Armitstead, and in the Worlds and Olympics she was frequently foraging alone or reliant almost solely on Emilia Fahlin for support. But what makes it stranger is that unlike others whose number of victories often don't line up with their talent levels, like Longo Borghini for example, Emma Johansson had a fast finish. She was a useful sprinter, especially from the reduced groups she was often contesting wins from. But she sadly just had that uncanny knack of finding a selection that had somebody faster on that day.
 
Meet Emma Johansson.



This thread was pretty much made for Emma, who amassed so many podiums and placements without winning - over 150 2nds and 3rds in her career - that she acquired the name "Silver Emma", and also got mocked for it by a rather bitter Lizzie Armitstead in 2014, who suggested she "probably prefers" silver after a lack of cohesion in the lead group allowed the chasers - including eventual winner Pauline Ferrand-Prévot - to catch on. Emma, for her part, had no teammates to help her for most of that race and had just had a solo attack pulled back. She also turned herself inside out to help her stronger TT breakmates catch Mara Abbott in the Rio Road Race, only to then not be able to use her area of advantage - the sprint - to its fullest as a result and be left with another silver. But then, if she hadn't done that, she wins that sprint, but the sprint is only for silver anyway.

Emma finished in the top 10 of the Ronde van Vlaanderen 7 times, 6 of which were top 5, 4 of which were podiums, but never won it.

She finished on the podium of La Flèche Wallonne 3 times and in the top 10 7 times, but never won it.

She has 7 World Championship Road Race top 10s, 5 of which in the top 5, and 3 of which on the podium... but never won it.

She has two silver medals and a 6th place from three entries in the Olympic Road Race - and therefore, of course, no gold.

She has 7 top 10 finishes in the GP Plouay, 4 of which were podiums (twice 2nd, twice 3rd)... but never won it.

She has 7 top 10 finished in her home race of the GP Vårgårda, 3 of which (spotting a pattern here?) were podiums... but never raised her arms in victory.

She has 6 GC top 10s at the Holland Ladies Tour, 5 of which are in the top 5, but only one podium and no wins.

She has finished top 10 of the GP Elsy Jacobs (basically the Women's Tour of Luxembourg) 5 times, 2x 3rd and 2x 4th... but you guessed it, no wins.

On five occasions she was top 3 in the UCI Women's World Cup ranking... but never won it.

At the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, almost definitely the most prestigious women's classic without a male equivalent, she was on a run of 6 consecutive top 10s and 5 consecutive top 5s (four of which were podiums) without a victory when, in 2014, she finally took that win.

Emma Johansson's palmarès is truly saddening. She deserved so much better, but she was always getting outnumbered by riders on the superteams (which she never seemed to be able to get into, or at least not at the right time), by peak Vos or peak Armitstead, and in the Worlds and Olympics she was frequently foraging alone or reliant almost solely on Emilia Fahlin for support. But what makes it stranger is that unlike others whose number of victories often don't line up with their talent levels, like Longo Borghini for example, Emma Johansson had a fast finish. She was a useful sprinter, especially from the reduced groups she was often contesting wins from. But she sadly just had that uncanny knack of finding a selection that had somebody faster on that day.
Aaaah, Emma. I was especially sad for her in 2016, when she so nearly missed out on a win in either the Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Rio Olympics. Would've been well-deserved farewell moments of glory. Even more so because she is really, really kind (and I had a little crush on her when I was younger).
 
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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
In the first part he underestimated it, in the second part he was not allowed to race it, and in the third part the stars didn't alligned (although in 2014 it was not only the stars to blame ;)).
And that's about it, in 2022 I think he won't show up, Vuelta will be his last race.
 
Freddy Maertens and all Monument Classics.
Nice one. Yup that boggles. He was controversially dq-ed in Ronde in 1977 when he would have kicked devlaeminks butt had he been allowed to sprint. He won Paris-Bruxelles, Gand Wevelgem and Amstel. And of course two WCs. Mercurial rider who was beset unfortunately by all sorts of financial problems and his crash at the giro that probably robbed cycling history of a rider who might have eventually come closest to merckx in terms of number of victories.

He was cavendish dominant in sprints and Indurain dominant in TTs (a rare combo) when at his height. Many forget that he also finished 8th at one of the most mountainous TDFs (his very first in 1976). Rider who might closest resemble his skill set in probably Van Aert. And yet still different of course…
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
  • Raymond Poulidor: Tour
  • Tony Rominger: Tour
  • Primož Roglič: Tour
  • Claudio Chiappucci: Giro
  • Francesco Casagrande: Giro
  • Fabio Aru: Giro
  • Miguel Induráin: Vuelta
  • Carlos Sastre: Vuelta
  • Samuel Sánchez: Vuelta, Lombardia
  • Joaquim Rodríguez: Vuelta or Giro
  • Andy Schleck: Tour of Luxembourg
  • Roger De Vlaeminck: World's
  • Sean Kelly: World's, Flanders
  • Michele Bartoli: World's
  • Erik Zabel: World's
  • Fabian Cancellara: World's
  • Tony Martin: Olympic ITT
  • Eric Vanderaerden: Sanremo
  • Moreno Argentin: Sanremo
  • Peter Sagan: Sanremo
  • Thor Hushovd: Roubaix, Sanremo
  • Claude Criquielion: Liège
  • Michael Boogerd: Liège
  • Valverde: Lombardia, Amstel
  • Freddy Maertens: Any monument
  • Eddy Merckx: Paris-Tours
  • Johan Museeuw: Gent-Wevelgem
 
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