How Did They Never Win It..?

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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.
It may be a stretch to call Tour de Pologne Szurkowski's home Tour. Its prestige during the communist era in Poland was not very high. Peace Race was by far number 1 goal race for top Polish riders at the time.
 
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De Vlaeminck never won a green at LeTour.

Actually he won only 1 Tour stage and never finished, on the other side he has 9 Giro partecipations with 22 (!) stage wins.
This is maybe the reason french did not love him so much.
 
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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…
Oh Maertens. Possibly the highest level of dominance I have ever seen. Vuelta 1977. He won 13 of the 19 stages. My mind still boggles, and I remember it.
 
Cunego, after winning the Giro at 22, would never podium it or win a stage at that race again
I don´t think we have seen a GT with an easier route ever since. 11 flat stages ending in a mass sprint (9 stage wins for Petacchi). Prologue and one long (52km) TT. Three relatively easy mountain finishes. One reasonable hard mountain stage. A bunch of classic like hilly/medium mountain stages.
A top 10 that featured top climbers like Bradley McGee.
 
  • 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
Not having Aru - Giro on there as I don't think he was ever good enough to deserve to win it. The only rider this decade or so with a palmares inferior to Aru to win the Giro is Ryder Hesjedal which was a true stars aligning one off event. Contador, Nibali, Froome, Quintana have all won multiple GTs and Dumoulin also has an overall better GT record than Aru.
 
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Wow that is insane. 20 Grand Tour stage wins in less than 6 calendar weeks when that total is beyond all but an elite tier of riders for their entire careers!
If you add the TdF from a year earlier to that then between 1976 Tour and 1977 Giro, Maertens won 28 out of 60 Grand Tour stages that he entered before abandoning the Giro due to injury on stage 8b. Total domination, yet no monuments.
 
Not having Aru - Giro on there as I don't think he was ever good enough to deserve to win it. The only rider this decade or so with a palmares inferior to Aru to win the Giro is Ryder Hesjedal which was a true stars aligning one off event. Contador, Nibali, Froome, Quintana have all won multiple GTs and Dumoulin also has an overall better GT record than Aru.
Tao says "Hi"
 
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Anselmo Fuerte has six 2nd place finishes in grand tour stages (3 Vuelta, 3 Tour) but no wins.

Sean Kelly, Erik Zabel and Peter Sagan have 17 green jersey wins between them but have never won the Champs Elysees stage. I counted nine 2nd places between them (Zabel 4, Kelly 3, Sagan 2). Each has won the penultimate flat stage of the Tour at some point but could never do it on the last.
 
If you add the TdF from a year earlier to that then between 1976 Tour and 1977 Giro, Maertens won 28 out of 60 Grand Tour stages that he entered before abandoning the Giro due to injury on stage 8b. Total domination, yet no monuments.
in fact he tied merckx's (and Pelissier?) record of 8 stage wins in a single TDF in 1976. And - IIRC - he almost beat it, losing to Karstens on the Champs after winning the morning ITT...
 
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In the best part of his career he used the Giro only as Tour preparation...
depends what you consider the "best" part of his career. 1983-1986 was better than 1989-1990. and i believe lemond agrees. in fact he was sent to the giro in 1986 without hinault and the aim was to show that he could be the leader at the TDF based off of that. unfortunately he says that allergies always compromised his ability to be in top shape at the giro.

lemond says he was nowhere near 1986 level in 1989-90.

only 1991 -- at the start -- does he say he was probably in the best shape ever. unfortunately other events had started to take over the peloton at that time...
 
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Not having Aru - Giro on there as I don't think he was ever good enough to deserve to win it. The only rider this decade or so with a palmares inferior to Aru to win the Giro is Ryder Hesjedal which was a true stars aligning one off event. Contador, Nibali, Froome, Quintana have all won multiple GTs and Dumoulin also has an overall better GT record than Aru.
Yeah, I don’t think we can put Aru in any “surprised he didn’t win it” category. I think there was a talent there for racing GTs, but he never got it right again after he left Astana. His one real chance at winning the Giro, he was well beaten by Contador, and was arguably the 2nd best rider in his own team.


I also don’t think you can be surprised that Lemond never won the Giro. He had 2 good attempts at it, but once he was a Tour winner, that was his focus for the rest of his career.
 
Sean Kelly, Erik Zabel and Peter Sagan have 17 green jersey wins between them but have never won the Champs Elysees stage. I counted nine 2nd places between them (Zabel 4, Kelly 3, Sagan 2). Each has won the penultimate flat stage of the Tour at some point but could never do it on the last.
That’s crazy.

Kelly and Zabel were never prolific stage winners at the Tour anyway; Kelly’s first green jersey was the same year as his last TdF stage win in 82, and I think he actually lost the green jersey on the Champs in 84.

I think where it makes sense is that none of those 3 were ever the clear best sprinter in the field, they were just able to pick up points where Vanderaerden/Petacchi/Kittel weren’t able to.
 
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