Question Question of the Week: What is your favourite race of the season and why?

SHaines

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Apr 23, 2019
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Hey there!

We're going to be asking a Question of the Week every Monday, so please stop by and share your wisdom with us!

This week we want to hear which cycling events or races are your favourites each year. It may change over time, so feel free to share some stories about your experiences as a fan, whether you come from a long line of pro cycling fans, or if you're breaking new ground in your love of the sport.

We can't wait to hear from you!
 
Reactions: Pantani_lives
Olympics in an Olympic year. As a child, for two cycles, I had my "Olympia folder", with cut out stories and everything from the papers, carefully put into plastic wraps. Ehm, well. Enthusiasm declined, but didn't disappear completely.
In other years I'm not sure, but definitely something in Italy, just because of the scenery... maybe Strade, because it does not have just scenery, but also some great action. :D The spring classics are often the most exciting actionwise, but I'm not that fond of the heavier riders / cobble riders / sprinters. Worlds are often great. I'll take Strade and Worlds.
 
Flanders, Roubaix and Amstel as they were the first races I really watched other than the Tour and Vuelta, plus they have great racing anyway. Giro is my favourite grand tour because despite the usually great racing at the vuelta, my interest to watch a 3 week race has waned slightly by the beginning of september.
 
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At the risk of sounding too obvious, the Tour de France is the race that got me (and presumably most people) into cycling. It would always coincide with my college/university summer holidays. I'd spend all day riding my bike in the sun, then rush back to catch the last hour of two of the days stage. Good memories and good times.

Nowadays I'd say Strade is the one race that captures my full attention from start to finish, RVV and PR close behind. In fact, just about every weekend in spring is worth looking forward to (pre-2020!)
 
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The Italian autumn classics have a feel about them, which I can quite put my finger on. I just love them for some reason - perhaps it is a combination of the beautiful scenery and knowing that it is the end of season, and having to survive the dark, gloomy winter without - and so I enjoy and appreciate cycling more than I do in, say, June. Races like Il Lombardia, or Tre Valli or Giro dell'Emilia…throw Paris-Tours in the mix too!
 
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SHaines

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Apr 23, 2019
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At the risk of sounding too obvious, the Tour de France is the race that got me (and presumably most people) into cycling.
Just out of high school, my roommate was a massive fan of cycling. He watched the big races, but he also spent every penny he could on gear for his bike. He definitely pumped a ton of time and energy into it. He was a massive fan of Greg LeMond and went out of his way to support/buy anything he'd recommend.
 
Reactions: Ranagazoo
Just a few months ago I would have replied Paris-Roubaix.
The history, the cobbles, Arenberg, unexpected crashes, the velodrome, riders exploding and being dropped on the flat, the sheer power of Cancellara and Boonen and Ballerini and Museeuw. I have an unparalleled amount of great cycling memories connected to this race.

But as I've posted elsewhere some weeks ago, I went to Siena for a short holiday last December and fell in love.
I could spend days and days of my life sitting on a terrace while sipping some Chianti and contemplating the gentle hills and the sterrato, with some beautiful cypresses on the background. There is nothing quite like it.

Watching Strade Bianche live will be my top priority as soon as pro cycling resumes.
 
Reactions: Pantani_lives
Ronde van Vlaanderen is my pick as a classic one-day race. The entire cobbled spring season is a slow build-up to the Ronde, and nothing else compares. With the previews on TV in the days leading up to it to the 100% live broadcast from 9 am until way after the finish is just the best day of watching cycling of the year.

Then as a bonus pick it has to be the Giro d'Italia. I don't know if it's the field, the parcours or something else but every year there is so much surprising stuff that happens in that race. The Tour and Vuelta are too formulaic, in one way or another.
 
Reactions: Pantani_lives
At the risk of sounding too obvious, the Tour de France is the race that got me (and presumably most people) into cycling. It would always coincide with my college/university summer holidays. I'd spend all day riding my bike in the sun, then rush back to catch the last hour of two of the days stage. Good memories and good times.

Nowadays I'd say Strade is the one race that captures my full attention from start to finish, RVV and PR close behind. In fact, just about every weekend in spring is worth looking forward to (pre-2020!)
My youth (in Germany) was the time of Jan Ullrich and Team Telekom, I used to watch the Tour with my mom while she was ironing. (I think I was just sitting around, riding my bike at other times, me cycling and TdF did not seem related. My father used to joke I could be a good track cyclist (he's very much an outdoor person and obviously looked down on them), but we did not have a velodrome around and the "real" riders seemed to be the ones who could go up mountains in no time.) :) But it took me a while to start watching other races because actually the Tour, hard as it is, is not the most fascinating race, is it? I respect it A LOT, but I suppose one of the many problems of pro cycling (outside a handful of countries such as Belgium and Italy), is that THE event in the sport, so much bigger than anything else, is rarely made to draw random viewers to other races.

I love the image of your memories, though!
 
Reactions: Ranagazoo
May 14, 2019
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One of the grand tours for me. While I won't deny that one day races often have higher entertainment value, they naturally can't offer the epicness of a three week raid. The dramatic arcs of having someone blow away the field for a week or more and then suddenly collapsing, the comebacks (Schleck Galibier, Froomes Giro), also the many subplots (jersey fights, stage hunters, ...) just cant develope in one day or even a week.
Also the planning involved just to watch them is, while annoying in the process, often quite enjoyable in hindsight: Escaping early from work to catch the mountain finish on a wednesday, managing girlfriend-anger when the sunday is booked because you have to watch TV for 5 hours, ...

Edit: witch grand tour, no idea, probably the giro: most times more chaotic and fun than the tour while having a better field than the vuelta, but it really changes every year.
 
If I have to pick one it would be Paris-Roubaix. It has a spectacular final of 100 km where everybody has to race and it hardly ever gets boring. Tour of Flanders is a close second. Certainly not the WC road race, because often not much interesting happens before the final lap. So it's Paris-Roubaix. Some of my favorite editions are Cancellara's second, Gilbert last year, and long ago Kelly, Planckaert, Vanderaerden, Ballerini, Museeuw etc. It's old-fashioned racing, but that makes it great.

My favorite stage race remains the Giro. It's much more a battle between individuals and it has those tough Dolomite stages in the third week.
 
My favourite race of the season is probably the Giro followed by the worlds if its run on a tough course. Valverde's win was an epic edition. When I started following the sport closely I think around 1992 I was drawn to the Tour naturally but of course it is boring and frustrating more often than not.
 

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