Most Prestigious / Your Favorite One Day Races

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And a part-result of that is that there’s really nowhere to hide in Strade; it’s almost invariably won by the strongest rider in the race, to an extent that I think is more true than for any other bike race I can think of.
I think the best one day races have to offer more opportunities to the less strong - the fact that the strongest can lose is principally why I love road races. TT's are often called 'the race of truth' - but I don't want truth, I want chaos, uncertainty, chess on wheels.
 
I think prestige is mainly determined by the related news coverage. If you win, but nobody knows it, it is not really winning. I experimented a little with number of google results for a given race. But I am not sure whether this makes sense, since there are also town names involved. Instead I looked at the number of pageviews of the respective english! wikipedia page in the last year.

Here are the results:
1.World Championship - Road Race116398
2.Paris - Rubaix109107
3.Tour of Flanders74097
4Liege - Bastogne - Liege56301
5.Milan - San Remo50367
6.Strade Bianche41671
7.Giro di Lombardia31613
8.Fleche Wallone27116
9.Amstel Gold Race20828
10.Gent - Wevelgem16422
11.Paris - Tours11385
12.Clasica San Sebastian9013
13.Milano - Torino7227
14.Giro del Piemonte4804
15.Giro dell'Emilia4689
16.E3 Harelbeke4685
17.Bretagne Classic4459
18.EuroEyes Cyclassics2941
Another relevant statistic is how much people search for it.
Here is from 2011-2021 for Monuments:


Averages are:
PR - 9
RVV - 8
MSR - 4
LBL - 3
Lomb - 2

RVV is the biggest monument in Belgium and Netherlands and MSR in Italy and Colombia.
For Worlds I don't see a good aggregator from google trends, its values are too low, it should be at least RVV's values.
Interesting tho, RVV lost a bit of its power in 2020. MSR was the biggest in terms of searches followed by LBL.
 
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I think the best one day races have to offer more opportunities to the less strong - the fact that the strongest can lose is principally why I love road races. TT's are often called 'the race of truth' - but I don't want truth, I want chaos, uncertainty, chess on wheels.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the chaos too. And I love races where the chess player beats the strongman, and Strade does offer chances to the chess player too.

And I have to say that I am saying the Strade winners were the strongest in retrospect; it’s possible there were stronger riders who lost some years. But if you don’t have the legs at all, you can’t win it.
 
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Another relevant statistic is how much people search for it.
Here is from 2011-2021 for Monuments:


Averages are:
PR - 9
RVV - 8
MSR - 4
LBL - 3
Lomb - 2

RVV is the biggest monument in Belgium and Netherlands and MSR in Italy and Colombia.
For Worlds I don't see a good aggregator from google trends, its values are too low, it should be at least RVV's values.
Interesting tho, RVV lost a bit of its power in 2020. MSR was the biggest in terms of searches followed by LBL.
That is a great statistic. Many thanks!
Lombardia seems to have profitted a lot from its different date last year.
 
I think Lombardia suffers from being at a different time of year to the other 4 monuments. I definitely rate it higher than LBL as a spectacle.

Paris-Tours has been improved no end by the inclusion of the Vouvray vineyard tracks. I may be biased because I love the pays de loire but it's a race these days that I really look forward to watching. Up there with Dwars door and well above FW.

I see nobody has mentioned the Ride London Classic lol. There with Scheldeprijs. So annoying when there would be brilliant potential in a Pennine or Devon Classic.

For me Roubaix>Worlds>Olympics>Ronde=Lombardia>LBL>MSR

Of the rest I'd rate E3, AGR and San Sebastian next.
 
Lombardia suffers for being at the end of the season.... By that stage a lot of fans are burnt out from watching literally hundreds of hours of racing. The same level of excitement is no longer there compared to the start of the season....in general I'd say there's a big dip in interest across the board once the tour is over.
 
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I would probably put worlds/olympics below all 5 monuments. I know with monuments people get bored of the same old route each year but I love those iconic moments (poggio, kapelmuur, arenberg etc) that define a race.

One thing I'm sure of is one day races > stage races
 
I think the prestige of the Olympics has definitely been increased by the fading memory of back when it was essentially a supplemental Amateur Worlds.
Alexei Grewalds escape in the 1984 LA OG RR in Mission Viejo, California still clearly comes to my mind with great emotions. But years following it appeared to me that I was one of the very few :-/
Think more ppl remember Casartellis win in Barcelona, but still the WC's are in far more ppls minds.
I don't quite agree that Beijing 2008 was Samu's greatest achievement, though the race was exciting. Several other great, great efforts from him comes to my mind.
I think Rio 2016 was very emorable due to a fantastic route, but Nibalis unluck and crash in final decent was GVA's luck.
Both Samu and GVA wore the golden excellently past olympicss, hopefully making the olympigs RR more prestigious, but the reason why I don't rate the Olympics Road cycling that high on my personal list is that my impression is that most countries and riders still don't take the race as serious as WC and the monuments. Ok, Rio 2016 was a bit of an improvement, I hope this tendency will improve up to Tokyo.

Paris-Tours' loss of status is a shame, as it's had some great editions in recent years. And I think that has also hurt Lombardia; since they're both generally on the same weekend now, the Autumn Double is pretty much impossible.
So true. And though I'm regarded as a purist, I like the new route design for P-T which would be a real cracker with the participation of the majority of in-form top riders.
 
I think the best one day races have to offer more opportunities to the less strong - the fact that the strongest can lose is principally why I love road races. TT's are often called 'the race of truth' - but I don't want truth, I want chaos, uncertainty, chess on wheels.
I would put it this way; more one-day races offers opportunities in a greater extent to display the tactical geniuses. I've always loved races where the cunning cheats the less cunning. That's why I'm also happy to have experienced a little more than a decade before Motorola introduced radio contact. But even with radio contact you still see that happen from time to time, luckily.
 
I think Lombardia suffers from being at a different time of year to the other 4 monuments. I definitely rate it higher than LBL as a spectacle.

Paris-Tours has been improved no end by the inclusion of the Vouvray vineyard tracks. I may be biased because I love the pays de loire but it's a race these days that I really look forward to watching. Up there with Dwars door and well above FW.

I see nobody has mentioned the Ride London Classic lol. There with Scheldeprijs. So annoying when there would be brilliant potential in a Pennine or Devon Classic.

For me Roubaix>Worlds>Olympics>Ronde=Lombardia>LBL>MSR

Of the rest I'd rate E3, AGR and San Sebastian next.
P-T was producing some great racing before they switched to the vineyard tracks. I didn't see the need to make the move, but in fairness it hasn't hurt the racing.

I wonder would it help P-T, and Lombardia, if Strade were to move to the Autumn, where it started? Those 3 races and Worlds in a 4-weekend block after the Vuelta/Binckbank Tour would give classics riders an end-of-season target.
 
P-T was producing some great racing before they switched to the vineyard tracks. I didn't see the need to make the move, but in fairness it hasn't hurt the racing.

I wonder would it help P-T, and Lombardia, if Strade were to move to the Autumn, where it started? Those 3 races and Worlds in a 4-weekend block after the Vuelta/Binckbank Tour would give classics riders an end-of-season target.
When the ProTour was launched, there were four very big one-day races on consecutive weekends with Worlds, Zürich, PT and Lombardia.

It would be nice to go back to something like that.
 
It would be interesting to have a season structure with back-to-back hilly monuments like RVV-PR where the attempt to do the double really adds to the prestige and lustre of each of the two individual races.

As others have said Lombardy suffers a bit from many fans and riders being somewhat jaded by that point in the season and being alone as the only monument ridden after the Grand Tours have started.
 
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That is a great statistic. Many thanks!
Lombardia seems to have profitted a lot from its different date last year.
Yes, it seems like being earlier it benefits the race. I think Strade is also benefitting from being the biggest classic at the start.
Now for the 2nd tier of classics:


Really impressed by Amstel here, much more dominant that I expected. I also checked E3, San Sebastian and Brabantse, they are below these five, first two have an average of 2, last one only 1.
Averages:
AGR - 9
FW - 4
SB - 4
GW - 3
Omloop -3

Strade dominates in Italy, Central Europe, and outside Europe, Fleche in Spain and France, Omloop and GW in Belgium and in the rest Amstel, especially North Europe.
If we compare AGR with some Monuments, we can see it's already there in terms of searches, the interest in Netherlands is huge.
 
Yes, it seems like being earlier it benefits the race. I think Strade is also benefitting from being the biggest classic at the start.
Now for the 2nd tier of classics:


Really impressed by Amstel here, much more dominant that I expected. I also checked E3, San Sebastian and Brabantse, they are below these five, first two have an average of 2, last one only 1.
Averages:
AGR - 9
FW - 4
SB - 4
GW - 3
Omloop -3
That's weird. If I do the same research between SB and AGR I get a higher peak for SB for last year... it seems the value is highly dependent on the time interval you set. If for example you go for the last 5 years, the 2020 peak for SB will be at 93/100 of the AGR...
 
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That's weird. If I do the same research between SB and AGR I get a higher peak for SB for last year... it seems the value is highly dependent on the time interval you set. If for example you go for the last 5 years, the 2020 peak for SB will be at 93/100 of the AGR...
2020 is an unusual year, even though I included it. Amstel didn't take place in 2020. 2020 SB took advantage a lot of the pandemic situation. Peaks are also high dependent on what happens at the race. I'm sure this year it's an all-time high thx to VDP's attack. Next year might not be the same if the Big3 don't go there for some reason. Interest about the race itself shouldn't depend on what happens there or the field. The race's weight can be seen when the field/race shenanigans are low.
 
2020 is an unusual year, even though I included it. Amstel didn't take place in 2020. 2020 SB took advantage a lot of the pandemic situation. Peaks are also high dependent on what happens at the race. I'm sure this year it's an all-time high thx to VDP's attack. Next year might not be the same if the Big3 don't go there for some reason. Interest about the race itself shouldn't depend on what happens there or the field. The race's weight can be seen when the field/race shenanigans are low.
Im not disputing that, I'm just saying that if you take a different time window, for example from 01.01.16 to 31.12.20 (which corresponds to the second half of your graph) you get significantly different values. It should not happen, it's probably a bug with the tool.
 
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Im not disputing that, I'm just saying that if you take a different time window, for example from 01.01.16 to 31.12.20 (which corresponds to the second half of your graph) you get significantly different values. It should not happen, it's probably a bug with the tool.
Google trends uses small samples from all the data. So if you search two times, you will get two different results. The more unusual your search item is, the more randomness is there. Apparently there seems to be a lot randomness in our small research project.
 
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Prestige:

Olympics>Worlds > Monuments > Strade >>AGR/GW/CSS /FW /Olympic/Worlds ITT> E3/Omloop/Montreal/Quebec/Emilia > Everything else probably

Monuments are in the same tier where generally it's PR > Vlaanderen > rest but in group variance is far less than between group variance and IMO personal preference dominates.

Enjoy watching

Strade/Lombardia > Vlaanderen > Sanremo > Roubaix > Liege>> Worlds. Not gonna list the lesser races, too much variance.

I'm not gonna rationalize the way I enjoy the monuments. I think a large part of it is simply aesthetic of a race as well and things that surround it, but mostly it's probably expectation. I've watched 5 hours of the Worlds too many goddamn times only for it to be all about the last lap like every single year.
 
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