Perfect Last Race/Stage

Contador winning the last mountain stage of his career was quite iconic, especially considering the fact that he had been on more than a year long streak without a win at that point while still being competitive enough to take a bunch of 2nd places in important races.
 
Boonen wasnt that bad either. He was in the second group to arrive at the finish and had a teammate in the front group. Obviously he wouldnt work to chase Stybar down. It was not a win but far from a disappointing result.

On a second thought after I checked, he finished worse only twice in his entire career. :eek:
 
Robert Millar’s last pro race was his first ever British Pro National Championship title.

The main reason it was his last race was that the Le Groupement team folded and he had nobody to ride for after that. Still a nice way to sign off.
 
Contador winning on the Angliru was one of the greatest cycling moments I have witnessed. The fact that a rider who "only" won a stage and didn't even finish on the podium of the gc completely stole the show from someone who just completed a historical Tour-Vuelta double tells you pretty much all you need to know about how big of a moment that was.
Cancellara winning olympic gold in 2016 after his final season was already marked as a failure (despite him being super strong for the whole classcis season) and him not exactly being a top favorite for the race was quite special as well.
 
Gigs_98 said:
Cancellara winning olympic gold in 2016 after his final season was already marked as a failure (despite him being super strong for the whole classcis season) and him not exactly being a top favorite for the race was quite special as well.
That's not how I saw it in 2016. He had already taken 6 wins before his Olympic title (more wins than most non-sprinters acquire in a season) - among them a lot of high profile TT wins, not to mention SB. And the 2nd place in RVV was not bad, considering how the race evolved. Paris-Roubaix and the Tour were the only disappointing races from a fan's point of view, but I think the lack of form at the Tour was somewhat planned with Rio in mind.
 
As several have mentioned, Contador's final race may have been the perfect goodbye. While the Angliru stage wasn't the final stage of his career, it was the last important one, he had spent the last 3 weeks lifting the race to another level in terms of spectacle and after so many near misses in the last 1.5 year it seemed like he was destined to get close but ultimately fail again. I don't think many wins got as many people emotional as that one.
 
Cance > TheRest said:
Gigs_98 said:
Cancellara winning olympic gold in 2016 after his final season was already marked as a failure (despite him being super strong for the whole classcis season) and him not exactly being a top favorite for the race was quite special as well.
That's not how I saw it in 2016. He had already taken 6 wins before his Olympic title (more wins than most non-sprinters acquire in a season) - among them a lot of high profile TT wins, not to mention SB. And the 2nd place in RVV was not bad, considering how the race evolved. Paris-Roubaix and the Tour were the only disappointing races from a fan's point of view, but I think the lack of form at the Tour was somewhat planned with Rio in mind.
Also the sickness that prevented him to take the pink jersey in Apeldoorn was a big disappointment considering that completing the leader jerseys set was one of his big targets for his final season and he went to the Giro instead of resting after the classics season specifically for that.
 
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LaFlorecita said:
As several have mentioned, Contador's final race may have been the perfect goodbye. While the Angliru stage wasn't the final stage of his career, it was the last important one, he had spent the last 3 weeks lifting the race to another level in terms of spectacle and after so many near misses in the last 1.5 year it seemed like he was destined to get close but ultimately fail again. I don't think many wins got as many people emotional as that one.
Also, the knowledge and certainty that this was going to be the last race in his career elevated the win even more. That wasn't quite the case with Cancellara, where no one really knew at the time that Rio would be his goodbye race.

And I guess that winning a road race as your last real race is probably also more special, because there are a bigger list of things that need to go your way in a road race compared to TT's.
 
Gigs_98 said:
Contador winning on the Angliru was one of the greatest cycling moments I have witnessed. The fact that a rider who "only" won a stage and didn't even finish on the podium of the gc completely stole the show from someone who just completed a historical Tour-Vuelta double tells you pretty much all you need to know about how big of a moment that was.
Cancellara winning olympic gold in 2016 after his final season was already marked as a failure (despite him being super strong for the whole classcis season) and him not exactly being a top favorite for the race was quite special as well.
The bolded is the best argument, that can describe my thoughts about this topic. That is why Contador's victory was the greatest cycling moment (I have lived to see).
 
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roundabout said:
Really? Greatest cycling moment is a top rider who is not a threat to the best team in the race picking a right moment to attack?
I'm pretty sure Contador would've won anyway. It wasn't just some breakaway win. It was the culmination of 3 weeks of ballsdeep aggression. The video's from after that stage, and from before stages through the entire races only added to that.
 
IndianCyclist said:
Any more examples of last race best result?
Not in the spirit of your question, but technically an example of last race, best result:

Heras in the 2005 Vuelta. Wasn't that his last race, though he didn't know it at the time? The final stage of course was a formality, but wasn't the penultimate stage that TT that Heras of all people almost won, breaking some TT record speed along with the winner?

Simoni almost went out in style in his final Giro, just missing winning the final mountain stage, I think, though nowhere close on the GC.
 
Merckx index said:
IndianCyclist said:
Any more examples of last race best result?
Not in the spirit of your question, but technically an example of last race, best result:

Heras in the 2005 Vuelta. Wasn't that his last race, though he didn't know it at the time? The final stage of course was a formality, but wasn't the penultimate stage that TT that Heras of all people almost won, breaking some TT record speed along with the winner?

Simoni almost went out in style in his final Giro, just missing winning the final mountain stage, I think, though nowhere close on the GC.
As I remember it, Simoni's goodbye-giro was far from perfect in terms of results. He was was past the hill to the point where he was struggling to follow Tschopp on Gavia. In hindsight, outsprinting Simoni for the cima coppi in Simoni's last race probably wasn't thaøe most respectful thing of Tschopp to do.
 
Vino, considering he broke his femur in 2011 and retired, only to come back due to the power struggle in Astana with Makhemetov signing Kashechkin as a leader a few days before the Vuelta. He grinds away the entire end of 2011 and 2012 just to get some form to get a good showing in the Tour de France, close to a stage victory a few times, says that he will ride the Olympics as his last race with Bazayev, and then he wins the damn thing.

Considering i have been a fan since 03, it was the happiest day i had viewing cycling.
 

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