Is it nowadays possible to win all 5 monuments?

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PremierAndrew said:
DFA123 said:
PremierAndrew said:
It's really really difficult, but possible. Thing is, you need to be either a top sprinter, or an insane descender + amazingly strong on the flat to win MSR. Then you need to be really really punchy to win LBL, great at cobbles for PR, and then a combination of both, ideally with a good sprint, for RVV. Finding a rider like that is next to impossible, even over the course of a career. If Cancellara was a bit younger, then maybe he after losing weight, he would stand a chance in some of the ardennes. Degenkolb, Sagan and Thomas are all also potentially capable, but really, the closest rider to fitting that description, imo, is Van Avermaet - punchy, good on the cobbles and a fast finish, but at the age of 30, he's probably too old to do it now, along with Cancellara and Thomas
That's basically Sagan.
Sagan has a long way to go on the cobbles
We've never seen what he can do with a team.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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DFA123 said:
Nibali has no chance of ever winning RVV or Paris Roubaix.

A couple of good showings on watered down cobbled stages in the TdF don't suddenly mean he can ride people off his wheel after 250km of continually tough anaerobic efforts. And he certainly isn't going to win in a sprint against a classics specialist.
Boonen disagrees, he says the likes of nibali and piti can easily do it. And i'll take the expert opinion of a guy who won PR 4 times any day over pretty much everyone, especially cause boonen never really says dumb things unlike museeuw for example.
 
Re: Re:

Miburo said:
DFA123 said:
Nibali has no chance of ever winning RVV or Paris Roubaix.

A couple of good showings on watered down cobbled stages in the TdF don't suddenly mean he can ride people off his wheel after 250km of continually tough anaerobic efforts. And he certainly isn't going to win in a sprint against a classics specialist.
Boonen disagrees, he says the likes of nibali and piti can easily do it. And i'll take the expert opinion of a guy who won PR 4 times any day over pretty much everyone, especially cause boonen never really says dumb things unlike museeuw for example.
Not sure about that...

http://rouleur.cc/journal/racing/tom-boonen-bradley-wiggins-big-favourite-paris-roubaix

I think he's going soft in his old age. Preparing for a career in the media where you have to be nice about people all the time. :D


edit.. I messed up the link
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Brullnux said:
DFA123 said:
Nibali has no chance of ever winning RVV or Paris Roubaix.

A couple of good showings on watered down cobbled stages in the TdF don't suddenly mean he can ride people off his wheel after 250km of continually tough anaerobic efforts. And he certainly isn't going to win in a sprint against a classics specialist.
Not in normal circumstances, but Paris-Roubaix in a thunderstorm with 20mm of rain poured down then Nibali has a chance :eek:
Haha, possibly :D

Seriously though, it's one thing doing well in a Tour stage with a few cobbles when Nibali was at his peak and where most classics specialists were under-cooked or having to look after team-mates.

It's completely different doing it in the Spring on 250km+ routes. In races where all the classics specialists are there, all of them are on good form and trying to reach an absolute peak, and all of them are going all out for the win.
If Wiggins can make himself a contender, Nibali can.
 
Re: Re:

TMP402 said:
DFA123 said:
Brullnux said:
DFA123 said:
Nibali has no chance of ever winning RVV or Paris Roubaix.

A couple of good showings on watered down cobbled stages in the TdF don't suddenly mean he can ride people off his wheel after 250km of continually tough anaerobic efforts. And he certainly isn't going to win in a sprint against a classics specialist.
Not in normal circumstances, but Paris-Roubaix in a thunderstorm with 20mm of rain poured down then Nibali has a chance :eek:
Haha, possibly :D

Seriously though, it's one thing doing well in a Tour stage with a few cobbles when Nibali was at his peak and where most classics specialists were under-cooked or having to look after team-mates.

It's completely different doing it in the Spring on 250km+ routes. In races where all the classics specialists are there, all of them are on good form and trying to reach an absolute peak, and all of them are going all out for the win.
If Wiggins can make himself a contender, Nibali can.
Don't agree with that at all. Firstly, outside a lot of ridiculous hype, Wiggins wasn't really a serious contender; he was an outside bet at best.

Secondly, Wiggins can put out 450w for an hour and was one of the top two time triallists in the world. He had the engine to do well at PR; although ultimately still lacked the punch or bike skills to win it. Nibali doesn't have either the engine or the kick needed to win.
 
May 18, 2010
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Some contenders where there is reasonable yet unlikely chance:

Van Avermaet
Kwiatkowski
Gilbert
G. Thomas
Sagan
 
No doubt that its possible to win MSR, RVV and PR, mainly because a sprinter who is good on cobbles can win them or a cancellara like guy (quite obviously because he already won all 3). Its also obviously possible to win the LBL and Lombardia. If guys who win these two races don't have problems with cobbles they are also a good tip for RVV as long as they are good sprinters and if its a very hard ridden edition of MSR they can also win that one. PR is probably the only problem because there its all about the cobbles and even if the edition is easy its very likely that there is a better sprinter than a classical mountain sprinter. Maybe kwiatkowski can do it when he wins LBL and lombardia in the next few years and then he concentrates more on TT's and cobbles.
 
Jul 26, 2015
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Winning them all ? No. Sorry to be a buzzkill.

A better question, or more realistic one, would be if it is possible to podium all 5 monuments.
Due to the changes in the sport, it seems quite unlikely.

The specialization we have force riders to focus on one area, and they have to fight against opponents which are on their A-game that day. You just can fight against Cancellara in Flanders, and then try to get rid of Valverde in Liège three (!) weeks later. You'll end up 15th in both races, which is really nice, but that wont pay the bills. Winning one is already hard enough as it is. Several ? You're asking a lot there.

The switch in the schedule between Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (before 2000 (?), the dutch one was behind LBL) really kills your chances. You also have to be ready earlier than this since Milano-San Remo is two weeks before the Ronde. Thats quite difficult to achieve.

And the route in Lombardia is more than enough to make it absolutely impossible for a rider who does have the caliber to win a Paris-Roubaix to be in contention.

I have searched riders who have finished in a Top-5 in one of the cobbled races and have also at least an other Top-5 in the three other.
Gilbert is the only one who did podium 4 of them, and it seems really unlikely that he will do so on Paris-Roubaix, thats too late for him, i believe, and even younger, he never got a proper chance.

But whats interesting is the profile of the riders. Gilbert is the only exception here because he's the only one able to ride for the win in Liège and then Como/Bergamo/Milano/Brescia/Lecco/whichever city it is this year.
Otherwise, the only ones who can perform across somewhere else than their favourite field are flandrian guys in San Remo. And thats it.

As i've checked down the years, we can see that there is a huge gap between Gilbert and the last guys to podium both in Flanders and Liège/Lombardia. Vandenbroucke is the last one to do so, and that was in 1999. With Bartoli and Sorensen, they were probably the last guys who actually had a shot.

For the record, the last guy to Top-5 each one of them (he podiumed them all actually) in his career is Hennie Kuiper, with his win in Milano-San Remo. In 1985...




(To be included, you need a Top-5 in at least one of the Ronde or Paris-Roubaix, and then a Top-5 in at least one of the other three.)
 
Steven Roots said:
Winning them all ? No. Sorry to be a buzzkill.
......
This is a really good and interesting post, but I think it overlooks one crucial factor. No top quality riders have been prepared to give up their strongest races for a few years to chase the other monuments.

If, for example, Gilbert would have given up the Ardennes after 2011 and focused on peaking exclusively for the cobbled classics, he would have had a much better chance. Likewise, perhaps if Cancellara would have given up RVV and PR in 2009 and focused for two or three years on LBL and Lombardia, he could have done really well there.

Obviously the temptation for a rider would be to continue doing the big races that they have already won, rather than risking it all to try to win the monuments they have been weaker at. Riders like Sagan and Thomas though have shown in the past few years that you can do well in both flat cobbled races and very hilly races in the same season. Imagine if they just looked to peak and prepare exclusively for one or the other in a particular year; you would expect their results to be even more impressive.

My thoughts are that it is very unlikely to happen, because a rider (and perhaps more importantly his team) would be so reluctant to give up the classics that they are strongest at. But there are riders around that have the skillset to win them all, in my opinion, if they were prepared to dedicate 2-3 years switching between the disciplines.
 
Aug 16, 2011
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I once found a quote by Nibali saying something along the lines of, I have always wanted to win Paris Roubaix, it is my dream. :D

Then again its the dream of every cyclist that ever threw a leg over a bike to win Paris-Roubaix. :p

In theory winning them all is possible, but requires conditions to be just right. It's a little like winning the GT triple crown. Of today I think Sagan and Kwiatkowski are most likely due to their diversity. But as we've seen with Sagan, it's easy to say a rider is capable of winning something. The actual winning part is something else entirely.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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Sagan will never survive LBL unless he loses weight

Or if you've a shitty edition where no one does something, nvm he has a great chance :eek:
 
Sagan is the most complete but he can't win all five.
I think he could easily win Sanremo in a sprint or with an attack in the descent from Poggio.
He could also win RVV and Roubaix in a small group sprint.
He could also have some chance to win the LBL because the Ans final it's not too hard for him .
The big problem is Lombardia, maybe in particular circumstances (strong form for him, poor field of opponents) he could compete only with a route not very hard like last year, but with a route like Purito editions he absolutely can't, too hard for him.
 
Jul 26, 2015
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DFA123 said:
Steven Roots said:
Winning them all ? No. Sorry to be a buzzkill.
......
This is a really good and interesting post, but I think it overlooks one crucial factor. No top quality riders have been prepared to give up their strongest races for a few years to chase the other monuments.

If, for example, Gilbert would have given up the Ardennes after 2011 and focused on peaking exclusively for the cobbled classics, he would have had a much better chance. Likewise, perhaps if Cancellara would have given up RVV and PR in 2009 and focused for two or three years on LBL and Lombardia, he could have done really well there.

Obviously the temptation for a rider would be to continue doing the big races that they have already won, rather than risking it all to try to win the monuments they have been weaker at. Riders like Sagan and Thomas though have shown in the past few years that you can do well in both flat cobbled races and very hilly races in the same season. Imagine if they just looked to peak and prepare exclusively for one or the other in a particular year; you would expect their results to be even more impressive.

My thoughts are that it is very unlikely to happen, because a rider (and perhaps more importantly his team) would be so reluctant to give up the classics that they are strongest at. But there are riders around that have the skillset to win them all, in my opinion, if they were prepared to dedicate 2-3 years switching between the disciplines.
Thats very understandable. I might even say its sane.
Who is crazy enough to give up YEARS of almost-guaranteed good (at least good, it might be even better) results in order to chase races you've never really felt appropriate for you, against opponents of very-high caliber at 100% ?

The specialization and the competition makes it impossible to be a factor in all of those races.
You're forced to choose.
 
Jun 24, 2013
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Miburo said:
Sagan will never survive LBL unless he loses weight

Or if you've a shitty edition where no one does something, nvm he has a great chance :eek:
last 3 editions he should've no problems being in those big groups that arrive in ans
 
Feb 26, 2015
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Echoes said:
The label 'Monument' is heresy. There's no such thing as monuments, it's just the consequence of the UCI's reshuffle of the calendar in 1989 with the World Cup and the ex-nihilo creation of new "classics" aiming at globalization.

The Walloon Arrow, Paris-Tours & Ghent-Wevelgem are as much classic as Liège-Bastogne-Liège is.
Liege was always more important race than Fleche Wallonne. Way back in the days of Ardennes Week Fleche was ridden on Saturday and Liege on Sunday as more important race. Old cycling greats praises their Liege wins much more than Fleche wins, Merckx and Argentin for example. Paris-Tours was a big classic, maybe in rank of Liege till 1989, you're probably right about that. But Ghent-Wevelgem was nowhere near Liege, never!

Edit: And for the subject, no it's not possible to any rider of the current peloton to win all five, at least I don't see anybody doing it
 
Re:

Nirvana said:
Sagan is the most complete but he can't win all five.
I think he could easily win Sanremo in a sprint or with an attack in the descent from Poggio.
He could also win RVV and Roubaix in a small group sprint.
He could also have some chance to win the LBL because the Ans final it's not too hard for him .
The big problem is Lombardia, maybe in particular circumstances (strong form for him, poor field of opponents) he could compete only with a route not very hard like last year, but with a route like Purito editions he absolutely can't, too hard for him.
If you're saying he has some chance in LBL, you've got to give him a chance in Lombardia too. Yeah, Lombardia is super hard, but then if Sagan really committed and lost a lot of weight to make LBL possible, he could go on to lose more and make Lombardia possible. I honestly think if he really committed himself to stage races, Sagan could come top 5 in a GT, and anyone who can do that has to be considered a contender when in peak form for a race in October where not many riders are in form
 
bala v said:
Echoes said:
The label 'Monument' is heresy. There's no such thing as monuments, it's just the consequence of the UCI's reshuffle of the calendar in 1989 with the World Cup and the ex-nihilo creation of new "classics" aiming at globalization.

The Walloon Arrow, Paris-Tours & Ghent-Wevelgem are as much classic as Liège-Bastogne-Liège is.
Liege was always more important race than Fleche Wallonne. Way back in the days of Ardennes Week Fleche was ridden on Saturday and Liege on Sunday as more important race. Old cycling greats praises their Liege wins much more than Fleche wins, Merckx and Argentin for example. Paris-Tours was a big classic, maybe in rank of Liege till 1989, you're probably right about that. But Ghent-Wevelgem was nowhere near Liege, never!

Edit: And for the subject, no it's not possible to any rider of the current peloton to win all five, at least I don't see anybody doing it
Complete joke how Vattenfall Cyclassics is a WT race and Paris-Tours isn't
 
Don't mind Echoes, they just have a bee in their bonnet about people being interested in stage races over classics (even those from countries like Spain which are traditional cycling countries where stage races have pretty much always been king), and then when we DO talk about classics they have a bee in their bonnet about people being interested in the WRONG classics.

It's weird but with the current routes it is probably true that unless they race like complete idiots like they did in 2014 Liège is the biggest obstacle to a cobbles rider (the Vigevano route of Lombardia would have been more than this crappy Brescia route. Bring back the Como finish, for the sake of all that is holy, Bettini 2006 was almighty), in much the same way as Roubaix is obviously the biggest obstacle to a more hilly rider. If Cancellara had continued to go down his 2009 route maybe he could have been the one, but Liège would have still been a problem because of the uphill finale. Gilbert could feasibly have done it but it's getting too late and unlikely he'd have had it for Roubaix anyway. Geraint Thomas now feasibly has the skillset but is going to get pushed in the stage racing direction and, besides, has enough trouble staying upright in the Classics at this point. Maybe if they hit the ground running and then developed in the required direction to complete the set somebody like Silvio Herklotz or Mathieu van der Poel (if he focused on the road) could do it due to comparatively wide-reaching skillsets, but overhyping them before they've even turned pro won't do anybody any help, and it's also of course easier to be a non-specialist as an espoir anyway.
 
Aug 4, 2011
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Thomas has no chance :D ,, Fab is now riding a normal bike so he can't do it ;)
Sagan is just marked to death in every race.

Kwia IMO has the best chance because he seems to ride under the radar. But if he got near it he would be heavily marked.

Gilbert for that period was incredible " unbeatable" Some of the best riding I have ever seen.

Nibs I don't think so.

I think it's near impossible. Vos could do it if she was a man.
 

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