Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (April 25th)

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Lemond arguably started off the specialization era. After 86, he basically skipped the classics season for most of the rest of his career (oddly enough, he got a top 10 in Roubaix in 92). Indurain rode MSR and LBL most years, but not always as a serious contender.

Armstrong then kicked that up a gear, and it’s kind of been the model ever since. The point has been made here that there has surely never been a rider simultaneously with such good results at stage racing and such poor results in one-day racing as Froome.
I am not sure, but wasn't Indurain allergic to pollen in spring? So not really able to get great results there.?



That's an iconic photo from 1985, when he managed to come in fourth. Terrible edition with wind, rain and even snow. 7 and a half hours in these conditions, only 35 classified riders of 172 starters. Clear sign of how much LeMond loved that race.

We can also look at it vice versa. Paris-Roubaix has not been a race for Grand Tours riders for decades now. The only two riders, who won it after WWII and also succeeded in the Tour the same year were Merckx and Hinault.
 
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I am not sure, but wasn't Indurain allergic to pollen in spring? So not really able to get great results there.?



That's an iconic photo from 1985, when he managed to come in fourth. Terrible edition with wind, rain and even snow. 7 and a half hours in these conditions, only 35 classified riders of 172 starters. Clear sign of how much LeMond loved that race.

We can also look at it vice versa. Paris-Roubaix has not been a race for Grand Tours riders for decades now. The only two riders, who won it after WWII and also succeeded in the Tour the same year were Merckx and Hinault.
Apparently Indurain's pollen allergy cost him his shot at a 3rd Giro in 94. Pollen wouldn't be an issue in Belgium in March/April. The traditional Spanish allergy to cobbles was probably a bigger factor in Mig's spring schedule.

Avoiding cobbled races isn't unusual for a GT rider, but Lemond stopped even riding Liege, MSR or Lombardia once he was a TdF winner, despite having podiums at all 3 early in his career.
 
Lemond arguably started off the specialization era. After 86, he basically skipped the classics season for most of the rest of his career (oddly enough, he got a top 10 in Roubaix in 92). Indurain rode MSR and LBL most years, but not always as a serious contender.

Armstrong then kicked that up a gear, and it’s kind of been the model ever since. The point has been made here that there has surely never been a rider simultaneously with such good results at stage racing and such poor results in one-day racing as Froome.
Armstrong lost 3 sprints for victory (and 1 sprint for 2nd) at Amstel in the years that he won the Tour. Not sure why he mostly didn't ride Liege as his ride in 2003 showed that he could have probably been a contender there as well.
 
Apparently Indurain's pollen allergy cost him his shot at a 3rd Giro in 94. Pollen wouldn't be an issue in Belgium in March/April. The traditional Spanish allergy to cobbles was probably a bigger factor in Mig's spring schedule.

Avoiding cobbled races isn't unusual for a GT rider, but Lemond stopped even riding Liege, MSR or Lombardia once he was a TdF winner, despite having podiums at all 3 early in his career.
Considering that “once he is as a TDF winner” he was also filled full of buckshot and missed two years of racing was also a likely factor in that change, wouldn’t you say? He didn’t get back into racing shape until the 89 Giro, so there were obviously no spring classics he could get to or be competitive in from ‘87-‘89. After he won the Tour in ‘89, he just missed winning Championship of Zurich (then a major classic). I think he would have continued riding more of the classics if his body was up to it.

ed. Oops sorry, it was the 1990 Championship of Zurich, where he finished 2nd.
 
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Considering that “once he is as a TDF winner” he was also filled full of buckshot and missed two years of racing was also a likely factor in that change, wouldn’t you say? He didn’t get back into racing shape until the 89 Giro, so there were obviously no spring classics he could get to or be competitive in from ‘87-‘89. After he won the Tour in ‘89, he just missed winning Championship of Zurich (then a major classic). I think he would have continued riding more of the classics if his body was up to it.

ed. Oops sorry, it was the 1990 Championship of Zurich, where he finished 2nd.
He got shot in April 87, after all the spring classics had concluded.

But reading up, it appears the reason he was in California at the time was that he broke his wrist riding Tirreno that spring.

So it's possible he would have aimed to compete in the classics that year if fit. But it is true that after his comeback, he focused 100% on winning the Tour de France, and any other goals in the season were secondary to that.
 
He got shot in April 87, after all the spring classics had concluded.

But reading up, it appears the reason he was in California at the time was that he broke his wrist riding Tirreno that spring.

So it's possible he would have aimed to compete in the classics that year if fit. But it is true that after his comeback, he focused 100% on winning the Tour de France, and any other goals in the season were secondary to that.
Yeah, I agree, but was only able to do so from May ‘89 on, and he clearly wasn’t the same rider after recovering even though he was able to squeak out two more Tour titles. Your point stands though.
 
Armstrong lost 3 sprints for victory (and 1 sprint for 2nd) at Amstel in the years that he won the Tour. Not sure why he mostly didn't ride Liege as his ride in 2003 showed that he could have probably been a contender there as well.
Armstrong did LBL a few times, I met him there a couple of times. LBL should have suited him better normally.

The legend goes that he wanted to win Amstel to show-off to his Dutch ex-girlfriend...

I was there when he became 2nd and he was so pissed off. I think it took them half an hour to make him leave the bus and go to the podium.
 
Armstrong did LBL a few times, I met him there a couple of times. LBL should have suited him better normally.

The legend goes that he wanted to win Amstel to show-off to his Dutch ex-girlfriend...

I was there when he became 2nd and he was so pissed off. I think it took them half an hour to make him leave the bus and go to the podium.
Which time was that? In 1999 it seems like he got screwed over by a non-cooperating Boogerd, while it was a bit more reasonable what happened against Dekker in 2001.
 
Armstrong did LBL a few times, I met him there a couple of times. LBL should have suited him better normally.

The legend goes that he wanted to win Amstel to show-off to his Dutch ex-girlfriend...

I was there when he became 2nd and he was so pissed off. I think it took them half an hour to make him leave the bus and go to the podium.
There’s an interview with him somewhere on teh inter webz after he won Flèche and got beat at Liege where he says “I’m going to win Liege some day.” That was pre his break, so I guess his targets changed.

I don’t see why he couldn’t have ridden Liege to win during the rest of his career. Hamilton did win it (and still gets to call himself and the winner, too).
 
Miguleon was massive and probably most powerful cyclist ever (over 500 watts of FPT). It's not hard to imagine him crushing the field at Paris-Roubaix. He had other goals though: Giro&Tour double and other spring races.
I mean, yeah, if PR was ever about just wattages, that'd be true. But it never has been. It's pointless talking about "coulda woulda" with any race, but Roubaix especially.
 
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