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The 6th greatest classics.

Page 6 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.

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:

DFA123 said:
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.

Well, compared to Copenhagen and Zolder it was decent. And to be fair, it contained several tens of kilometres of very tense action. The fact that those weren't the final ones is of course a shame but it was really fun to watch before it turned into a snooze-fest.

And it's funny how the boy added to fan is so often used when trying to belittle opposing posters and their opinions...

Perhaps no one has said in this thread that it was worth next to nothing but I have seen that viewpoint presented elsewhere.

I do get your point about it being convenient for comparison purposes to rank all WC's equally but it really isn't just the Wikipedia generation that uses palmares as the only yardstick with which to mention the grandeur of a career (which I don't do by the way). That has always been the primary way to do it, hasn't it?
 
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Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
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.

Nobody forces you to do otherwise ... personally I strongly believe for the title itself a win in a 5h30' pan flat course is exactly equal to a 7h win on a hilly or though rolling course - both make the winner the World Champion and there is no "World Champion, but on a pan flat course" as opposed to "World Champion on a tough course in abysmal weather conditions and with fierce competition" ... if say Mark Cavendish would have won last year he would be 2 times World Champ and nobody in his right mind would try to play that down by stating, yes, but 2011 and 2016 were both crap courses ...
What you are talking about is wether the race itself will stand the test of time ... and there I agree with you, some of the World's races were much more memorable than Doha or Copenhagen or some others ... still the winner is World Champion of that year with no extra bonus in the palmarès, but he might be remembered for the race itself as well (in addition to the title itself)

I also don't mind a pan flat course for a World's every now and then, as usually you will have a different sprint than in say a TdF stage in the first week or on Champs Elysées - very few nations (apart of Belgium, Italy, Spain and France) even have the slots to building a proper sprint-train ... so if the sprint is rider x vs rider y, like last year in Doha, and not train a vs train b, then it might be worthwhile a world championship ...
However I would fully agree, there should definitely not be more than one pan-flat course within a decade ...
 
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Re: Re:

tobydawq said:
I do get your point about it being convenient for comparison purposes to rank all WC's equally but it really isn't just the Wikipedia generation that uses palmares as the only yardstick with which to mention the grandeur of a career (which I don't do by the way). That has always been the primary way to do it, hasn't it?

Good point there ... the pure quantitative ranking is one aspect, but there are others .... e.g. Raymond Poulidor might be a bigger hero for many than Jacques Anquetil, altough the latter has won 5 Tours and the first none ... if you just take the palmarès then there is no comparison (Anquetil being among the 5 best riders of all time, Poulidor no were near) .... what I would definitely not do is adding a "quality factor" into the pure career stats, as you will always be ending putting personal preferences as the "quality factor" (e.g. a "puncher" is more worth than a "sprinter") ....
 
Re: Re:

loge1884 said:
DFA123 said:
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.

Nobody forces you to do otherwise ... personally I strongly believe for the title itself a win in a 5h30' pan flat course is exactly equal to a 7h win on a hilly or though rolling course - both make the winner the World Champion and there is no "World Champion, but on a pan flat course" as opposed to "World Champion on a tough course in abysmal weather conditions and with fierce competition" ... if say Mark Cavendish would have won last year he would be 2 times World Champ and nobody in his right mind would try to play that down by stating, yes, but 2011 and 2016 were both crap courses ...
...
Why not? Why can't the debate be more nuanced than just looking at quantity of wins and the name given to the race? I don't really understand why World Championships should be treated equally if they are on completely different courses and require different skillsets? Should all TdF stage wins be treated equally, because they look the same on a palmares? Do you think, for example, Kittel's 9 Tour stage wins are worth more than Pantani's eight wins? Should we treat Lombardia and Paris Roubaix equally as well because the respective winners each have a monument on their palmares?
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
loge1884 said:
DFA123 said:
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.

Nobody forces you to do otherwise ... personally I strongly believe for the title itself a win in a 5h30' pan flat course is exactly equal to a 7h win on a hilly or though rolling course - both make the winner the World Champion and there is no "World Champion, but on a pan flat course" as opposed to "World Champion on a tough course in abysmal weather conditions and with fierce competition" ... if say Mark Cavendish would have won last year he would be 2 times World Champ and nobody in his right mind would try to play that down by stating, yes, but 2011 and 2016 were both crap courses ...
...
Why not? Why can't the debate be more nuanced than just looking at quantity of wins and the name given to the race? I don't really understand why World Championships should be treated equally if they are on completely different courses and require different skillsets? Should all TdF stage wins be treated equally, because they look the same on a palmares? Do you think, for example, Kittel's 9 Tour stage wins are worth more than Pantani's eight wins? Should we treat Lombardia and Paris Roubaix equally as well because the respective winners each have a monument on their palmares?
I'm sure that winning the Copenhagen worlds was just as difficult as winning the Mendrisio worlds. Only the best within their respective speciality had the chance to win, so why shouldn't they be treated of equal value?

Another thing is that as times go by, people forget the circumstances in which the races were won, and we therefore tend to look only at the name of the race.
 
Re: Re:

Hugo Koblet said:
DFA123 said:
loge1884 said:
DFA123 said:
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.

Nobody forces you to do otherwise ... personally I strongly believe for the title itself a win in a 5h30' pan flat course is exactly equal to a 7h win on a hilly or though rolling course - both make the winner the World Champion and there is no "World Champion, but on a pan flat course" as opposed to "World Champion on a tough course in abysmal weather conditions and with fierce competition" ... if say Mark Cavendish would have won last year he would be 2 times World Champ and nobody in his right mind would try to play that down by stating, yes, but 2011 and 2016 were both crap courses ...
...
Why not? Why can't the debate be more nuanced than just looking at quantity of wins and the name given to the race? I don't really understand why World Championships should be treated equally if they are on completely different courses and require different skillsets? Should all TdF stage wins be treated equally, because they look the same on a palmares? Do you think, for example, Kittel's 9 Tour stage wins are worth more than Pantani's eight wins? Should we treat Lombardia and Paris Roubaix equally as well because the respective winners each have a monument on their palmares?
I'm sure that winning the Copenhagen worlds was just as difficult as winning the Mendrisio worlds. Only the best within their respective speciality had the chance to win, so why shouldn't they be treated of equal value?

Another thing is that as times go by, people forget the circumstances in which the races were won, and we therefore tend to look only at the name of the race.

I'm not sure I agree that's entirely true. Top 10 from Mendrisio worlds had classics specialists like Cancellara, Gilbert and Breschel all within a minute of victory, and then a few of the Ardennes specialists and a couple of high mountain climbers. It basically gave the best one day racers from each type of race a chance at winning; perhaps not an even chance, but an opportunity nonetheless.

Copenhagen and Doha offered absolutely nothing for any riders apart from out and out sprinters, and the fastest of the cobbled classic specialists. At Doha last year, for example, the LBL champion was missing, the current MSR didn't bother with it, the FW winner didn't show up either, nor did the current RVV champion, nor the current San Sebastian or AGR champion. Last year's Strade Bianche winner retired before the race, because he had so little chance, and no former Lombardia winners bothered turning up. So, the majority of elite one day racers didn't even turn up, because they had so little opportunity on the course - that certainly devalues it imo.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
loge1884 said:
DFA123 said:
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.

Nobody forces you to do otherwise ... personally I strongly believe for the title itself a win in a 5h30' pan flat course is exactly equal to a 7h win on a hilly or though rolling course - both make the winner the World Champion and there is no "World Champion, but on a pan flat course" as opposed to "World Champion on a tough course in abysmal weather conditions and with fierce competition" ... if say Mark Cavendish would have won last year he would be 2 times World Champ and nobody in his right mind would try to play that down by stating, yes, but 2011 and 2016 were both crap courses ...
...
Why not? Why can't the debate be more nuanced than just looking at quantity of wins and the name given to the race? I don't really understand why World Championships should be treated equally if they are on completely different courses and require different skillsets? Should all TdF stage wins be treated equally, because they look the same on a palmares? Do you think, for example, Kittel's 9 Tour stage wins are worth more than Pantani's eight wins? Should we treat Lombardia and Paris Roubaix equally as well because the respective winners each have a monument on their palmares?

Some stages are won by breakaway...perhaps those are "easier" - a bit of luck involved because the peloton wanted an "easier" day. But to win a sprint in July at the biggest race in the world, you have to be in tip top shape. Kittel's 9 stages are definitely worth a lot...Pantani couldn't have ever competed against the sprinters, so obviously there's some sort of skill involved.
 
One thing that made DOHA more interesting, besides the fact that it was a reduced sprint because of crosswinds which unfortunately wasn't covered by the broadcast, was the rider that broke away (Leezer?) and was caught in the last 250m was that except (I think it was Belgium) the Belgians were pulling for Boonen None of the sprinters had enough guys to bring that attack back. Kolar pulled for Sagan but he couldn't have brought it back himself without Sagan pulling also but why would he with Cav. being there. There were a few moments of doubt of whether there were enough teammates of sprinters to pull it back. One less Belgian and maybe they don't pull it back. So there was some suspense in DOHA.
 
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Re:

Dazed and Confused said:
Doha, the place is dreadful and the race was dull. Period.

few will disagree with that ... the question is rather, is Peter Sagan's title worth less than Cadel Evan's title in 2009? I am not contesting the race in 2009 being more spectacular, I am just saying no one will be saying Cadel Evans's title is worth 100 whilst Mario Cipollini's title in 2002 only 30 ... both have won a World Championship road race and that's it ... I don't disagree that the STYLE Cadel Evans won his WCRR was more memorable, but that does not affect the title ...

if you start judging the value of a win/title based on the course and the competition you would also have to put the events of the race into consideration ... so e.g. Vinos Olympic Gold would only be gold-plated instead of pure gold because the main contender and strongest man in the race (Cancellara) crashed - same for GVA's gold in Rio btw (with the crash of Nibali and Henao) ... and yes, Gilbert is not a great winner of Ronde, because if Sagan wouldn't have crashed, he and GVA would have caught Phil .... sorry, but those are pure and simply 'alternative facts' ....
 
Re: Re:

loge1884 said:
Dazed and Confused said:
Doha, the place is dreadful and the race was dull. Period.

few will disagree with that ... the question is rather, is Peter Sagan's title worth less than Cadel Evan's title in 2009? I am not contesting the race in 2009 being more spectacular, I am just saying no one will be saying Cadel Evans's title is worth 100 whilst Mario Cipollini's title in 2002 only 30 ... both have won a World Championship road race and that's it ... I don't disagree that the STYLE Cadel Evans won his WCRR was more memorable, but that does not affect the title ...

if you start judging the value of a win/title based on the course and the competition you would also have to put the events of the race into consideration ... so e.g. Vinos Olympic Gold would only be gold-plated instead of pure gold because the main contender and strongest man in the race (Cancellara) crashed - same for GVA's gold in Rio btw (with the crash of Nibali and Henao) ...

Can't compare Evans win and circumstance with the cheap dropout of Doha.
 
Re: Re:

loge1884 said:
Dazed and Confused said:
Doha, the place is dreadful and the race was dull. Period.

few will disagree with that ... the question is rather, is Peter Sagan's title worth less than Cadel Evan's title in 2009? I am not contesting the race in 2009 being more spectacular, I am just saying no one will be saying Cadel Evans's title is worth 100 whilst Mario Cipollini's title in 2002 only 30 ... both have won a World Championship road race and that's it ... I don't disagree that the STYLE Cadel Evans won his WCRR was more memorable, but that does not affect the title ...

if you start judging the value of a win/title based on the course and the competition you would also have to put the events of the race into consideration ... so e.g. Vinos Olympic Gold would only be gold-plated instead of pure gold because the main contender and strongest man in the race (Cancellara) crashed - same for GVA's gold in Rio btw (with the crash of Nibali and Henao) ... and yes, Gilbert is not a great winner of Ronde, because if Sagan wouldn't have crashed, he and GVA would have caught Phil .... sorry, but those are pure and simply 'alternative facts' ....
This is a difficult one to judge though. I mean, in a literal sense, all victories at the same race are equivalent, but in a figurative sense they aren't. The prize money is equivalent, the prestige is in theory the same (the title that you get to take with it - Monument winner, World champion, Tour stage winner, and so on). The actual literal title and prestige conveyed with the win are the same, yes (at least in theory; for races of this calibre, it's fine, but often races' levels change considerably. Wesemann's 5 Peace Race wins in what had become the equivalent of a fairly middling 2.1 stage race mean absolutely jack compared to Szurkowski's 4 wins in what was the biggest amateur race of all time in its heyday, for example; also races like Castilla y León were fought as strong prep races for the Ardennes and as early season closers by major climbers and GT racers 10-15 years ago, whereas now it's a 3-day race that draws some decidedly average fields).

But there is more outside of that in terms of the history of the sport. The visibility and profitability that come with various achievements and, importantly, the manner in which they were achieved. On paper, Bernard Hinault's win at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1980 is worth no more than Simon Gerrans' one in 2014, but do we think people will still be talking about many of the modern editions in forty years' time? Degenkolb's Roubaix is of equal value to Hayman's, but we'll be showing people the 2016 Roubaix in years to come as evidence of what a great sport this can be, while the 2015 edition will be a footnote in the race's illustrious history. That's not to belittle Degenkolb's achievement in winning it, because it's worth the same - but Hayman will benefit more in the long run when the race is a memory, because people will recall him as a champion much more easily and there will be more attention given to that particular race down the years than less memorable editions. Similarly, dozens of legendary sprinters have won on the Champs Elysées, but every year people talk about somebody "doing a Vino". We talk about the Duitama Worlds and their brutality to this day, 22 years later, but I could tell you next to nothing about several Worlds that happened in the intervening period. And as for Tour stages, the problem is that a good sprinter will gain you more opportunities to win than any other type of rider, but the majority of those wins are evanescent and forgettable, except in the statistical column. You get more exposure in the short term because numerically those stages value higher, but potentially not as much in the long term as somebody who wins less often but in stages that linger in the memory, and which get mentions in various books, videos and sources years down the line. Cavendish has won a LOT of races, but there's only a handful of those that I truly remember well - San Remo, København, the Tour stage to Aubenas in 2009, the Romandie stage where he flipped off the crowd in 2010, and the Champs that year after Renshaw was thrown out the race for headbutting and he proved he could forage on his own once and for all. There are people who've got several GT stages but who people will forget about in a few years' time, but one stage won in the right way at the right time, and you're set. And Paolo Bettini won a lot of high profile events, but Lombardia 2006 was the stuff of true legend and will be his defining moment (and rightly so), and is the greatest single performance in a monument of recent years.

Hell, you don't even have to win. TV Tommy Voeckler got a lot more that's remembered to this day out of his odyssey in the maillot jaune in 2004 than any stage winner that year other than Lance. It took me a few seconds to remember that Paolini won Gent-Wevelgem in 2015, but I remember Jürgen Roelandts becoming a king amongst men very vividly. Raymond Poulidor and his quest to win the Tour is the most obvious example of this of course, where the fact he didn't win became more famous than any single win would have been, while I honestly remember Laurent Jalabert sitting up for Bert Dietz more than any of the stages he actually won in that 1995 Vuelta. I can tell you all about the Mendrisio Worlds entirely from memory, from the early breakaway group including people like José Rujano after his year of exile in Venezuela and Purito being nudged up the road when he was still seen as Valverde's kid brother by Unzué, to the chase group of around 25-30 (and probably name half of them), to the way the finale played out with Samu and Valverde trying to move but Purito being the only one who could mark the moves, Cancellara pulling with them in his wheel to try to get across to the eventually decisive move, with Spain having the problem that they had Purito up the road after marking the decisive move with Evans and Kolobnev. I can give you vivid details about the final lap of Firenze, how Purito played every card right after he and Nibali had been on the move, Purito even attacking on the descent, and every moment of how the finale played out when El Imbatido fell asleep at the wheel because he was busy marking Nibali and Costa crept away on the horseshoe-shaped corner over the railway line, and on that long, sapping 1km straight you had Rodríguez, the miserable time triallist, cooked from his solo attempts, looking over his shoulder and seeing Costa coming and his teammate nowhere in sight, trying desperately to prevent the Portuguese from catching up to him but knowing he was doomed.

I can't even tell you who won silver and bronze behind Cavendish in 2011 or Sagan in 2015. So while the literal value of a win in the same event is equal, there's more to the status or legend of a victory than just that.
 
But isn't the legends and stories from the great races they won enough compensation for the guys who won hard-earned and memorable victories? Do we need to belittle the victories of those who won less spectacular or 'easier' versions of the big races?
 
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@ Libertine Seguros

You are saying exactly the same thing as me ....
The basic value of a win in race x is exactly the same, regardless route and circumstances (and yes some races get devalued over time like the "Peace Race", Paris-Tours or Paris-Bruxelles and some races rise with time like Strade Bianche). A rainbow jersey is a rainbow jersey and you do not get any additional color stripe added because it was a hilly race instead of a pan-flat one.
The legend-building however is not based on the victory itself, but the circumstances, the soft factors.
 
A race does not get any harder just because there is a rainbow jersey at stake nor because the said race has a bombastic name "World Championships". The hardness of the race matters because in the future the riders that are best remembered will always be hard men not sprinters. Nobody remembers the pure sprinters of the seventies.

In 1981 the Walloon Arrow changed its route to Mons and the finale was panflat. It ended in a bunch sprint won by the late Daniel Willems ahead of Adrie Van der Poel and Guido Van Calster (a pure sprinter). For every observer of the time, this edition of the Arrow should not be rated as high previous editions of the same race (nor future ones). Pierre Chany called it "La flèchette" ("The Dart").

Between 2003 and 2006 RCS deliberately designed sprinters' routes to Tirreno Adriatico in order to favour Alessandro Petacchi. Everybody had the intuition that Tirreno on such courses was pretty demoted, not equal to previous or future editions and not comparable to contemporary Paris-Nice editions.

Every historians or former cycling commentators would agree that the Paris-Tours editions in the opposite direction from 1974 to 1988 (Tours-Versailles, Blois-Chaville, etc.) which took some climbs around the Chevreuse Valley such as the Côte de Dourdan was a great idea and restored the greatness of the race. Sadly the UCI decided it should recover its old route to get World Cup status ...

Also De Vlaeminck said that his only GT stage wins he remembers and is proud of are the two mountain stages he won at the Tour of Italy. Flat stages don't matter to him. He won 22 stages at the Tour of Italy and one at the Tour of France.

All these examples show that obstacleless races whatever the names and the prestige of the said races might be are losing their value. The same holds for "World Championships". People only remember hard editions.

Also I don't know why Poulidor and Anquetil come to that discussion but Raymond Poulidor certainly has a palmares that places him among the all-time best rider of the 20th century. No doubt!
 
It still baffles me why it is only with the inclusion of climbs that good races can exist in your opinion and you continue to ignore the existence of cross-winds and its contribution to making races great. You even called the Richmond course crappy and that included a nice pair of cobbled climbs and had three climbs within the final four kilometres. But, I guess that no matter how coherent you perceive yourself, it fits nicely into the picture you want to draw of Sagan, and we can't have him having won the WC on a good course, now, can we? Anaerobic bursts of immense power is not a reasonable skill to become WC because of, is that it? If it is, I can assure you that it was quite an aerobic feat he pulled off in Richmond. But it wasn't the sustained power to weight ratio that was tested, so maybe that's the problem. And the fact that he has won twice in a row doesn't mean anything, because the courses weren't good right? And even if he wins a rain-soaked race in Bergen this year and becomes the first to win three times in a row (and that for a country that cannot field more than three riders) I guess something will have been wrong with that route too, and it's still Evans and Costa that are the true WC-heroes of this century.

That's not to say that I don't get your points regarding Tirreno-Adriatico and other races. Last year, of course has an asterisk to it with GvA's victory based on the ludicrous decision to cancel the mountain stage because of a phantom blizzard, and the Petacchi-friendly courses were a breach with the history of the race (the very Cancellara-friendly course of the Tour de Suisse 2009 is another good example that springs to mind). And that's a problem but it's nothing new in the history of cycling. The Giro once made a very easy course to accommodate Giuseppe Saronni (or was it Francesco Moser?) and the Tour always changed the rules when recent edition didn't go well for the French at the time of Desgranges, yet history remembers the winners statistically, while outstanding performances pass down as legends and are of course remembered more than average victories.

And finally, I think the Poulidor-Anquetil rivalry entered the discussion because it is primarily remembered for its presence in the Tour since that is the race whose history most people know the most of - and it was very lopsided in that race, but nonetheless Poulidor has passed down as a legend on par with (or maybe slightly below) Anquetil.
 
Echoes said:
A race does not get any harder just because there is a rainbow jersey at stake nor because the said race has a bombastic name "World Championships". The hardness of the race matters because in the future the riders that are best remembered will always be hard men not sprinters. Nobody remembers the pure sprinters of the seventies.

I still think it could. After all; if the route for the Doha World Championships had been used as a stage for the Tour of Qatar it probably wouldn't have been raced as hard as it was because it was the World Championship with a rainbow jersey at stake. Winning a stage in the Tour of Qatar is (was) not really as important as winning the World Championship.
Sure, Sagan might not be remembered for winning the 2016 World Championships in Doha, but... I hardly think that's gonna bother him. Nor Cavendish if he had won. Nor Boonen if he had won.
 
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Can anybody tell me with dry eyes that Kittel winning on Champs-Elysees is equally prestigious to Vinokourov winning there?

Flat world championships are actually easier in my opinion, because only super specialized riders can contend there. Just put in a few easy obstacles and, voila, the sprinter doesn't have have to be the fastest, he also has to have more endurance to retain his speed after a hard race and he has to make sure nobody gets away and he is in a position to win through sprinting in the first place. On a course where the attackers have at least some chance, winning a sprint is much more impressive in my opinion, than a pan flat course that will always end in a bunch sprint. If one sprinter turns out to be fastest and has a good sprint train, we often see him dominating the scene quite easily for as long he remains clearly the fastest. For the same reason I wouldn't rate a WC on a big MTF very highly (especially if it is flat beforehand). It would be an easy controllable race for super specialized riders. It's the same reason I don't rate the (current) FW very highly. All these races prove who is the best in a very select group of specialized riders. Should a race which claims to be the "world championship" really crown some type of specialist? Anything from MSR to Lombardia is for more than just a specific niche of specialists, pan flat courses, big MTF's, or murito's (if the race is controllable beforehand) only require one specific skill which renders everybody except a small subset of the peloton out of contention. I don't think pure specialists should ever be able to contend for something that calls itself the world championship; and I think races for pure specialists (though they may be fun) aren't as prestigious as races that have more possible outcomes that the riders have to be thinking about and a larger group of contenders.
 
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To me all WC are equal. The course changes so that at some point everyone has the "advantage". Just because a course suits a rider, shouldn't diminish his achievement. Cavendish WC win in Copenhagen although incredibly boring to watch was a huge achievement. First WC course to suit his style, (potential the only one that would suit him) then to have the pressure of being favourite and still come out and deliver. GB and Cav rode the perfect race.

It would be like boonen or Fabian getting a WC roubaix style course in there prime. It would of been their only chance on that style course to win. Would either winning be viewed as more special then cav winning Copenhagen? As to me, even though it would be a better race to watch it is the same as cav winning on his suited style course. Cav's win is looked down on for 2 reasons. 1 Everyone hates bunch sprints. 2 he was the overwhelming favourite.

For a sprinter like cav he has only has had 2 courses over his career that suit his style perfectly. However how many has valverde? (Not having a dig at Valverde). Most courses suit a rider of his style. It's either get team to ride faster tempo to make the few hills harder to lose your big sprinters. Or control tempo to make sure you no climbers get away on a hilly course and out-sprint.

I personal think we need to not look at it from the angle of what race will I remember in 30years time as you aren't going to remember the style of racing that you do not like. It was not cav's Job to make the race interesting in Copenhagen. He did exactly what everyone knew he was going to do. It was not Gerrans fault at LBL. If everyone races to that riders strength that is there own fault.

Im not sure who said the Quote "road cycling is like chess" but there right. People like cav, Gerrans etc they have one move. If your stupid enough to fall for it that's your on fault. It does not make there win any less special. It just means I will never rewatch that WC/monument.
 
You can have a World Championships for sprinters that isn't to the exclusion of all else though. Lisbon, Madrid, Geelong, all sprinters' Worlds. It's quite wrong to say that Cav only got the two Worlds that suited him, which were pan flat ones (hey, why can't somebody like Quintana or Igor Antón get a Worlds that suits them too, then?), because if that was the case then he wouldn't have won San Remo, and he wouldn't have won that stage in the Tour to Aubenas. If he had shown up in his 2009 form, Cav could have contended in Geelong.

The idea of the World Championships is that they crown, theoretically, the best cyclist in the World. Obviously that's not practical because skillsets vary so much, but to be "the best cyclist in the World" I expect a modicum of versatility. Cav has that. But it's feasible given the nature of a big sprint where there's no other outcome and a big prize at the end, that a huge crash wipes out the front of the field à la Scheldeprijs and we get somebody like an Ivan Quaranta, a Kenny van Hummel or Andrea Guardini winning the World Championships. And then, when you see the rainbow jersey being spat out the back on a 1km @ 4% climb in the Tour of Turkey, it would be hard for that not to devalue the achievement, no? If you make the sprinters earn their right to sprint, through good use of teammates, through hiding themselves in the bunch, through making the selections, then nobody is ever going to complain about them getting the chance to use that sprint to win the World Championships. There have been a LOT of WC RRs for sprinters this century. Freire won two (Verona in 1999 wasn't a sprint, he came to the line solo after a late sneak move in the final kilometre). Boonen got one. Cipo got one. Cav got one. Thor got one. Sagan got one (Doha, not Richmond, obviously). Bettini got one (Salzburg - group of 50). That's eight, in 17 years. Some are more obviously sprinty than others (Zolder, København), but they were all won in sprints. Meanwhile, when was the last pure climber's Worlds?

Like I say, Milan-San Remo is a monument classic that sprinters can win. Giro di Lombardia is a monument classic pure climbers can win. But they can't win them solely from that one skill alone, so they've got to be versatile and show that they deserve the chance to compete for the victory, not just have the chance to sprint for the victory handed to them on a plate like it was in København. That's what I want from a sprinters' Worlds, and that's what I want from a climbers' Worlds.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Strade Bianche should be held in the Autumn imo and Paris-Tours should be WT again. We'd have an Autumn treble then of three prestigious one-day races. This would make the post-Spring classics season a lot more interesting.
 
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Maaaaaaaarten said:
Can anybody tell me with dry eyes that Kittel winning on Champs-Elysees is equally prestigious to Vinokourov winning there?

I think I can, but then I'm not sure what you mean by "dry eyes" as I think I may have a different connotation for that term.

Anyway, I find it interesting that you bring those two examples up. I was just thinking about the Champs finish yesterday and how the two memorable recent wins for me are the Vino win and one of Kittel's wins (2013). I don't really have a strong recollection of many others recently but I've purposely gone back and watched those two several times. Vino's for obvious reasons, and Kittel 2013 because of the straight 3-way drag race between he, Greipel, and Cav. I loved that sprint - those 3 distanced the field so easily and you were never sure who was going to take it. Good stuff.

That said, when it's all said and done, those wins aren't any more prestigious than any other Champs-Elysees win to me. More memorable, perhaps, but no different when looking at the palmares. I mean Cav and Evans, Hushovd, and Costa all won Worlds and have worn the rainbow bands. I'm not going to look back in another 10 years and when comparing riders, give one more credit for a Worlds win than any other.

Same with other races. Some Tours have been won with more panache than others but Tdf winners are Tdf winners winners, with the possible exception of those "wins" that are gifted after the race is over.
 
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El Pistolero said:
Strade Bianche should be held in the Autumn imo and Paris-Tours should be WT again. We'd have an Autumn treble then of three prestigious one-day races. This would make the post-Spring classics season a lot more interesting.

That's a cool idea, at least in SB's case I think there would be weather issues probably. A post Vueltatreble or even double classics style would pull some of the classics riders and some others trying to salvage a season. Probably won't happen, but it would be interesting.