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The 6th greatest classics.

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Most prestigious non-Monument classics?

  • Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

    Votes: 3 2.8%
  • Strade Bianche

    Votes: 47 43.9%
  • Gent-Wevelgem

    Votes: 15 14.0%
  • Amstel Gold Race

    Votes: 10 9.3%
  • Flèche Wallonne

    Votes: 18 16.8%
  • Tre Valli Varesine

    Votes: 2 1.9%
  • Milano-Torino

    Votes: 1 0.9%
  • Paris-Tours

    Votes: 8 7.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 3 2.8%

  • Total voters
    107
Re: Re:

42x16ss said:
PremierAndrew said:
If we're talking about the 6th monument, it simply has to be Strade, because it's completely different to the rest of the monuments.
The rest of the monuments are a full century older as well. Out of the races being discussed, Amstel is the second youngest and has still been a professional race for 40 years longer than Strade Bianche.

A few years of good racing and spectacular scenery doesn't automatically make a race worthy of monument status.

Well, Strade right now isn't as big a win as the likes of GW, Fleche etc. In fact I'd put E3, AGR and Paris-Tours (maybe not in the last 10 years tbf) above it as well. However, if a race was to be promoted to monument status, it should be Strade given that the parcours is different to any other race day on the calendar (in a similar way to PR)
 
Re:

Netserk said:
The Olympics is rarer; the Worlds has more history. So I think the Olympics is on an upwards trajectory.

Would Ullrich have preferred the stripes over his gold? I obviously cannot know, but I would think so. Maybe the same is the case for Vino?
Who knows, maybe? I do know that GVA says that nothing could top his gold medal, including his recent Roubaix win.

I'd say both Oly gold and Worlds are above all the monuments, though some die hard cycling fans might disagree about the Olympics. Trying to compare an Olympic medal is tough. Outside of cycling fans, no one knows about any of the monuments but almost everyone in the world knows about an Olympic medal, so you can understand riders rating that Olympic Gold highest of all even if we cycling fans may disagree.
 
Echoes said:
A race that favours a bunch sprints which means a winner who's kept wheelsucking for hundreds of kilometers before blowing up with 200m can never be a a great race in any way. In Doha there was not a single climb. Just a small windy part 170km for finish but after that all top favourites could hide comfortably in the peloton, Naesen, Keukeleire and Stuyven had to do all the dirty job. That is crap in anyone's book. Whether prestigious or not. Besides the "prestige" of the World championship has been largely tainted since Zolder 2002 with all these crap routes (Madrid, Copenhagen, Geelong, Richmond, Doha).

And stop all these trials of intent. I've always had the same opinion about bunch sprints since long before Van Avermaet turned pro and irrespective of whether a rider I like wins or not. I've always been coherent. Rodez is one of Greg's worst wins in his career.
Spot on. It's ludicrous to rate winning the WC in Doha or Copenhagen ahead of winning any edition of Paris-Roubaix, just because it carries the name 'world championships'. I guess it's handy for the Wikipedia generation though; they can point to and argue between different palmares without having understood, or perhaps even having watched the races, when every edition on every parcours carries exactly the same weight - irrespective of difficulty, luck or skills needed.
 
But then again, to close a gap of 40 metres to a big group in full cross wind action is a monumental achievement in itself, and I think Sagan is the only rider in the world who could do that.

And please stop this "bunch sprint victories are worth nothing"-nonsense. It's just stupid. If they weren't, then why are people sprinting? Road cycling is an extraordinarily varied sport and bunch sprinting is an integral part of it. Just because you for some reason don't find it entertaining doesn't mean that it has no value.
 
DFA123 said:
Echoes said:
A race that favours a bunch sprints which means a winner who's kept wheelsucking for hundreds of kilometers before blowing up with 200m can never be a a great race in any way. In Doha there was not a single climb. Just a small windy part 170km for finish but after that all top favourites could hide comfortably in the peloton, Naesen, Keukeleire and Stuyven had to do all the dirty job. That is crap in anyone's book. Whether prestigious or not. Besides the "prestige" of the World championship has been largely tainted since Zolder 2002 with all these crap routes (Madrid, Copenhagen, Geelong, Richmond, Doha).

And stop all these trials of intent. I've always had the same opinion about bunch sprints since long before Van Avermaet turned pro and irrespective of whether a rider I like wins or not. I've always been coherent. Rodez is one of Greg's worst wins in his career.
Spot on. It's ludicrous to rate winning the WC in Doha or Copenhagen ahead of winning any edition of Paris-Roubaix, just because it carries the name 'world championships'. I guess it's handy for the Wikipedia generation though; they can point to and argue between different palmares without having understood, or perhaps even having watched the races, when every edition on every parcours carries exactly the same weight - irrespective of difficulty, luck or skills needed.
Completely agree, way too many bad courses. Copenhagen was, unfortunately, cat especial when it came to *** routes and WC races. Cavendish should in my opinion never win (or at least be the favourite) for either the WC or Olympics. At least not more than 1 out of 10 years.

I think Bergen will be good. Late September in Norway is not very pleasant, expect 5-10 degrees and rain. I think it will be a pretty selective race.
 
Valv.Piti said:
I think Bergen will be good. Late September in Norway is not very pleasant, expect 5-10 degrees and rain. I think it will be a pretty selective race.
Bergen is pretty warm by Norwegian standards. I reckon it will be between 10 and 20 degrees. There's still quite a good chance of crappy weather, though.
 
Saint Unix said:
Valv.Piti said:
I think Bergen will be good. Late September in Norway is not very pleasant, expect 5-10 degrees and rain. I think it will be a pretty selective race.
Bergen is pretty warm by Norwegian standards. I reckon it will be between 10 and 20 degrees. There's still quite a good chance of crappy weather, though.
All I hear is it rains constantly and it will be cold, lol. But you live in Norway, so I guess you are right!
 
Valv.Piti said:
Saint Unix said:
Valv.Piti said:
I think Bergen will be good. Late September in Norway is not very pleasant, expect 5-10 degrees and rain. I think it will be a pretty selective race.
Bergen is pretty warm by Norwegian standards. I reckon it will be between 10 and 20 degrees. There's still quite a good chance of crappy weather, though.
All I hear is it rains constantly and it will be cold, lol. But you live in Norway, so I guess you are right!
Bergen is incredibly wet, so chances are good at least one of the races will be done in pouring rain, but it's right by the Gulf Stream, so temperatures can pretty much hit 5-10 degrees even around Christmas and New Year. In mid to late September it's very decent. I went to Bergen in the middle of October last year and it was perfect cycling weather then, so the only thing to worry about is the rain.

There's an old joke about the weather in Bergen:
A tourist walks into a shop during his holiday in Bergen. "Does it always rain here?" he asks the man behind the counter. The man replies "I don't know. I've only lived here for three years."
 
Jul 16, 2010
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I wonder why so many people vote for a 200km race that takes place on a Wednesday and is incredibly boring.

Might as well include the Scheldeprijs then.

Let's be real, it's lucky to still be in the WT. It should be demoted again like during the World Cup, good times. Only way to safe this race is by moving the finish 30km away from the Mur de Huy.
 
The problem is, the thread title and the poll title are not aligned with one another.

The thread title asks posters to select the 6th "greatest" classic, while the poll asks them to select the 6th "most prestigious" classic.

From the thread title I can understand why people would name Strade Bianche because of its different character and the wide range of potential outcomes, especially compared to some races like Flèche and Paris-Tours, but in terms of its prestige it's not even close to being 6th and if it was only on the interest of the actual race more people would be talking about Tro Bro Léon and Brabantse Pijl. It's only really the biggest Italian non-Monument one-dayer because Milano-Torino has had a period of not running (I don't like the move of the finish to Supergà either) and the Trittico Lombardo has been rather eroded in prestige somewhat. In terms of its value on the palmarès I rate Strade Bianche lower than G-W, Flèche and Amstel, and more on the same level or maybe being generous slightly ahead of Omloop, E3, San Sebastián and Paris-Tours (which would have been higher until recently when its value has really taken a hit) even if it may be higher than many of those in terms of entertainment value as a fan.

For the Worlds, personally I do rate more selective routes more highly than less selective ones as riders' achievements in my personal judgement calls - that's not to say 'bunch sprints suck' but to say that a sprinters' worlds like Geelong is one I rate more as an achievement than København or Doha just the same as, for punchy Worlds I rate Firenze and Mendrisio higher than Valkenburg or Stuttgart - but their value on the palmarès is equal.
 
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Strade Bianche for me. It's very entertaining course and fun to watch.

We can all remember the action and previous winners, where on the other hand, races like G-W, Fleche, Omloop etc, after the spring season is over, I cant even remember what happened and who won those 2nd tier "classics".

Sure, the other races may have been around forever, but still, S-B is very unique. As others said, they just need to add some distance to make it a proper "classic" like race.
 
Re:

tobydawq said:
And please stop this "bunch sprint victories are worth nothing"-nonsense. It's just stupid. If they weren't, then why are people sprinting? Road cycling is an extraordinarily varied sport and bunch sprinting is an integral part of it. Just because you for some reason don't find it entertaining doesn't mean that it has no value.

This! I honestly thing cycling would be boring if it was always long-range attacks. Cycling is amazing because it's so crazily varied.

As for what's the 6th greatest classics? I dunno; I like every cycling race - for the above mentioned reason - but I'd say this about SB: I hope it stands the test of time, and it looks like it very well could.
 
Re:

tobydawq said:
But then again, to close a gap of 40 metres to a big group in full cross wind action is a monumental achievement in itself, and I think Sagan is the only rider in the world who could do that.

And please stop this "bunch sprint victories are worth nothing"-nonsense. It's just stupid. If they weren't, then why are people sprinting? Road cycling is an extraordinarily varied sport and bunch sprinting is an integral part of it. Just because you for some reason don't find it entertaining doesn't mean that it has no value.
Not saying bunch sprint victories are worth nothing. Of course, they still have some value. Just that bunch sprint victories on a nearly pan flat course have significantly less value than a win where a rider has his nose in the wind for significant time, and where he has out-climbed or out punched other riders on numerous obstacles. Certainly as fas as WC are concerned.

It's just a lot easier to win in a sprint, by pretty much every measure. The races and Qatar and Copenhagen both consisted of a bout 5h40' of largely steady paced riding in a peloton, followed by a sprint in the last 300m. It's nonsense to equate the prestige of them with something like Florence (7h25' of constant racing in small groups and hills) or Mendrisio (7h of very tough racing on a course where a huge variety of riders were in contention).
 
The matter is not downplaying the sprinting skill of some riders and certainly entertainment is not an issue here! The issue is that sprinters are not contributing to the peloton pace in current men's cycling. In women's cycling you can see sprinters contributing to the chase behind the breakaways. That was also the case in cycling of old. Hence you might say that their victories are well deserved. However if you are comfortably sticking in the wheels for over 100km when domestiques are doing all the dirty job, their victory is overrated by a mile. that was the case for the winner of the Doha Worlds. Besides Terpstra also bridged the gap in the echelons (and missing the right echelon is also speaking volume about the rider's tactical skills).

Finally sprint is a great skill in cycling if it's an addition to other skills. Van Avermaet won Paris-Roubaix because he's got a sprint beside stamina and cobble skills. Kittel and Cavendish can only sprint.
 
Echoes said:
The matter is not downplaying the sprinting skill of some riders and certainly entertainment is not an issue here! The issue is that sprinters are not contributing to the peloton pace in current men's cycling. In women's cycling you can see sprinters contributing to the chase behind the breakaways. That was also the case in cycling of old. Hence you might say that their victories are well deserved. However if you are comfortably sticking in the wheels for over 100km when domestiques are doing all the dirty job, their victory is overrated by a mile. that was the case for the winner of the Doha Worlds. Besides Terpstra also bridged the gap in the echelons (and missing the right echelon is also speaking volume about the rider's tactical skills).

Finally sprint is a great skill in cycling if it's an addition to other skills. Van Avermaet won Paris-Roubaix because he's got a sprint beside stamina and cobble skills. Kittel and Cavendish can only sprint.

Yes, but that was not done single-handedly - he drafted Sagan and would in all likelihood not have been able to close the gap himself.

And regarding its speaking volume of Sagan's tactical skills, it's obvious that your antipathy towards him colours everything that he does. How often has he actually missed a split in the cross-winds? Gent-Wevelgem 2015 and the Mont Ventoux stage last year (which was really unimportant). That's in his whole career, so please... (but of course from a person not being aware of him having won the Tour's points competition five years in a row the attention paid towards him is obviously minimal)

Of course it wasn't good that he missed the split but having the skills to save such a situation is enormously impressive in my eyes.

I didn't know that the fact that the sprinters don't contribute to the work and pace-setting was the main argument against them winning anything of value. I guess that makes sense in a way.

But you do realise that cycling is a team sport, right? And that it would be impossible for a sprinter to win a bunch sprint if he contributed to the pace-setting, right? Are you still living in the pre-1980's-era? It seems quite farfetched to be demanding such things of sprinters (who shouldn't be allowed to have a lead-out train either, I guess).
 
tobydawq said:
Echoes said:
The matter is not downplaying the sprinting skill of some riders and certainly entertainment is not an issue here! The issue is that sprinters are not contributing to the peloton pace in current men's cycling. In women's cycling you can see sprinters contributing to the chase behind the breakaways. That was also the case in cycling of old. Hence you might say that their victories are well deserved. However if you are comfortably sticking in the wheels for over 100km when domestiques are doing all the dirty job, their victory is overrated by a mile. that was the case for the winner of the Doha Worlds. Besides Terpstra also bridged the gap in the echelons (and missing the right echelon is also speaking volume about the rider's tactical skills).

Finally sprint is a great skill in cycling if it's an addition to other skills. Van Avermaet won Paris-Roubaix because he's got a sprint beside stamina and cobble skills. Kittel and Cavendish can only sprint.

Yes, but that was not done single-handedly - he drafted Sagan and would in all likelihood not have been able to close the gap himself.

And regarding its speaking volume of Sagan's tactical skills, it's obvious that your antipathy towards him colours everything that he does. How often has he actually missed a split in the cross-winds? Gent-Wevelgem 2015 and the Mont Ventoux stage last year (which was really unimportant). That's in his whole career, so please... (but of course from a person not being aware of him having won the Tour's points competition five years in a row the attention paid towards him is obviously minimal)

Of course it wasn't good that he missed the split but having the skills to save such a situation is enormously impressive in my eyes.

I didn't know that the fact that the sprinters don't contribute to the work and pace-setting was the main argument against them winning anything of value. I guess that makes sense in a way.

But you do realise that cycling is a team sport, right? And that it would be impossible for a sprinter to win a bunch sprint if he contributed to the pace-setting, right? Are you still living in the pre-1980's-era? It seems quite farfetched to be demanding such things of sprinters (who shouldn't be allowed to have a lead-out train either, I guess).
I think all of that is a good argument as to why the World Championships shouldn't be on a course where a bunch sprint is the likely outcome. Surely the WC should be a race to crown the best one day racer in the world - and so, imo, it should always give reasonable chances to both the cobbled specialists and the Ardennes specialists - who are the best one day races in their respective fields. Courses which give as many riders as possible a realistic chance of winning, provide the most valuable wins imo.

A flat course like Copenhagen (and, at the other extreme, a high mountains route) doesn't do that - it certainly doesn't come close to crowning the best one day racer in the world - it just shows who can best ride in a peloton and then sprint hard for 10 seconds. Skills which would win you no other classic one day race - even MSR demands more than that - you have to at least climb fairly well in the last 50km.

Also, on a flat course like Doha or Copenhagen there were basically only about 4 or 5 riders with a realistic chance of winning - compared with 20-30 possible winners on some other courses. So, naturally, a win on a course where the vast majority of top tier one day racers have no chance, is less prestigious than a win on a route where almost every country has a realistic option.
 
For me, the Worlds are akin to a 6th monument. The fact is, every kind of cyclist has a monument they can win if they have the right combination of versatility, tactics and form. An all-out sprinter has San Remo, but a real power sprinter with sufficient rouleur skills can turn their hand to Roubaix or Flanders too. A puncheur obviously has Liège, but if their climbing is durable enough they have Lombardia too, and if they have enough top end power they can potentially compete in RVV and if they have the right descending nous there's possibilities for them in San Remo. An all-out climber has Lombardia, but if they're explosive enough Liège as well. A power rouleur is best suited to Roubaix, but can also compete in San Remo. However, a pure one-dimensional version of these riders may not be able to do so; the likes of Kittel may not be durable enough to win San Remo, but that's part of the appeal of it; because of its length and the late capi, a sprinter has to earn his chance to sprint for the win there. The truly one-dimensional grimpeur or diesel may not have the ability to make separation from a group or the rouleur skills to maintain a gap to win Lombardia either.

I therefore think that the Worlds should fluctuate in style but the Monuments provide adequate boundaries; a flat Worlds shouldn't be easier than San Remo, and a hilly Worlds shouldn't be more brutal than the 2015 Lombardia route, which is I think a fair representation of the upper boundary on mountainous classics. There should also not be too many on similar courses too close in succession. Geelong and Madrid were fine sprinters' World Championships, Copenhagen and Zolder weren't. I don't think it's a problem where a sprint is the likely outcome, but I think it's a problem where a sprint is the only likely outcome.
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
For me, the Worlds are akin to a 6th monument. The fact is, every kind of cyclist has a monument they can win if they have the right combination of versatility, tactics and form. An all-out sprinter has San Remo, but a real power sprinter with sufficient rouleur skills can turn their hand to Roubaix or Flanders too. A puncheur obviously has Liège, but if their climbing is durable enough they have Lombardia too, and if they have enough top end power they can potentially compete in RVV and if they have the right descending nous there's possibilities for them in San Remo. An all-out climber has Lombardia, but if they're explosive enough Liège as well. A power rouleur is best suited to Roubaix, but can also compete in San Remo. However, a pure one-dimensional version of these riders may not be able to do so; the likes of Kittel may not be durable enough to win San Remo, but that's part of the appeal of it; because of its length and the late capi, a sprinter has to earn his chance to sprint for the win there. The truly one-dimensional grimpeur or diesel may not have the ability to make separation from a group or the rouleur skills to maintain a gap to win Lombardia either.

I therefore think that the Worlds should fluctuate in style but the Monuments provide adequate boundaries; a flat Worlds shouldn't be easier than San Remo, and a hilly Worlds shouldn't be more brutal than the 2015 Lombardia route, which is I think a fair representation of the upper boundary on mountainous classics. There should also not be too many on similar courses too close in succession. Geelong and Madrid were fine sprinters' World Championships, Copenhagen and Zolder weren't. I don't think it's a problem where a sprint is the likely outcome, but I think it's a problem where a sprint is the only likely outcome.

That's a very good point and something many should take to heart. But even though some sort of sprint was the only likely outcome in Doha, the time in the desert made it a decent WC - even though organizers had tried everything to prevent decency with the incredibly poorly designed last 110 kilometres - and we didn't know what kind of sprint we would get so there was a lot of excitement. Which was not the case in Copenhagen or Zolder.

My point, however, remains that even though we can all agree that Copenhagen 2011 was a horrible route for a WCRR, that should not take away from the fact that Cavendish is a former world champion and I think for anyone who'd have won that day, the emotions of becoming world champion would have been just as big as in any other route on any other year. And then it's just a bit silly for self-proclaimed experts who dream about ancient times to state as a fact that that victory was worth (next to) nothing.
 
Re: Re:

tobydawq said:
But even though some sort of sprint was the only likely outcome in Doha, the time in the desert made it a decent WC
:confused: :lol:

Come on, even for a self-confessed Sagan fanboy, that's a bit much.

tobydawq said:
My point, however, remains that even though we can all agree that Copenhagen 2011 was a horrible route for a WCRR, that should not take away from the fact that Cavendish is a former world champion and I think for anyone who'd have won that day, the emotions of becoming world champion would have been just as big as in any other route on any other year. And then it's just a bit silly for self-proclaimed experts who dream about ancient times to state as a fact that that victory was worth (next to) nothing.
No one is saying the victory was worth next to nothing, so stop mis-representing arguments. Just that not all WC wins should be treated equally. However inconvenient that makes it for the Wikipedia generation who like to play palmares top trumps, and however much that diminishes slightly the achievements of your favourite rider. If you think a sprint win in 5h30' on a pan flat course is equal to a 7h win on a hilly or tough rolling course, just because they both result in a rainbow jersey; then that of course your choice, but I certainly don't.

And, to bring it back to the topic of the thread, is why I don't think the WC (or the Olympics) should be considered as extra monuments - because not all wins in them are equal - like they generally are for other monuments or classics.