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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:

GraftPunk said:
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.

There does seem to be a lack of balance in the season of one day racing, with four of the five monuments taking place by the end of April, plus most of the most prestigious non classics also taking place within a small time frame (SB, G-W, F-W, AG). After April you mainly have Lombardia and the Worlds. Why not put a couple of semi big races into June for example?

There is also no really big one week stage race after June. Why? Maybe the Tour of Switzerland would be better suited to an August slot, where some riders could carry over their TDF form, or just seek some redemption for a bad day; thus making Swiss more than just a lead up race, or one that is currently just mostly avoided completely by the best riders.

I realise that the GT's are only spaced out over 4-5 months too (May, July, September), but if you put the Giro in April and the Vuelta in October then you have more issues with the weather, particularly the Giro. Most one day races don't have such restrictions.
 
I agree. For a rider who has some health issues in March-April there are not many races to prove his worth later in the season.

Look at Sep Vanmarcke. His health issues were relativelemy minor but he has the whole season waisted, because all races that suit him are already done this year.
 
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Re: Re:

gregrowlerson said:
GraftPunk said:
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.

There does seem to be a lack of balance in the season of one day racing, with four of the five monuments taking place by the end of April, plus most of the most prestigious non classics also taking place within a small time frame (SB, G-W, F-W, AG). After April you mainly have Lombardia and the Worlds. Why not put a couple of semi big races into June for example?

There is also no really big one week stage race after June. Why? Maybe the Tour of Switzerland would be better suited to an August slot, where some riders could carry over their TDF form, or just seek some redemption for a bad day; thus making Swiss more than just a lead up race, or one that is currently just mostly avoided completely by the best riders.

I realise that the GT's are only spaced out over 4-5 months too (May, July, September), but if you put the Giro in April and the Vuelta in October then you have more issues with the weather, particularly the Giro. Most one day races don't have such restrictions.

I guess there is some good reason, why the races are in the slots they actually are ...

One-Day races during late Spring to early Autumn would most likely be contested by 2nd and 3rd tier riders only, as that is the time 1st tier riders are either racing or preparing Giro / TdF and even Vuelta ...

some 40+ years ago there used to be a lot of one-day races post TdF called "Criterium", but those were mainly fun fair races allowing (at the time not very well paid riders) to earn some bucks ...
 
Re:

Anderis said:
I agree. For a rider who has some health issues in March-April there are not many races to prove his worth later in the season.

Look at Sep Vanmarcke. His health issues were relativelemy minor but he has the whole season waisted, because all races that suit him are already done this year.
There's still Eneco and Tour of Belgium where he could try and start to build himself some kind of palmares.
 
Re:

Anderis said:
I agree. For a rider who has some health issues in March-April there are not many races to prove his worth later in the season.

Look at Sep Vanmarcke. His health issues were relativelemy minor but he has the whole season waisted, because all races that suit him are already done this year.
Isn't that kind of Vanmarcke's fault as well, for only being able to contend at races which have a lot of cobbles in them? It's a pretty small niche and perhaps he needs to vary his skillset a bit. The problem with spreading them throughout the year, is that you wouldn't have all the specialists there on top form, like you do now (injury permitting). Because some of the riders there will be aiming their second peak at the Tour, or just won't be able to do a big double peak each year.
 
No. First it's not his fault. Vanmarcke is too heavy for the mountains or even mid-mountains and does not have the sprint to win bunch sprints. After all every rider rides according to their morphologies. Second he does race in the later part of the season. Last year he won the Ster ZLN Tour and the queen stage of it in the Ardennes outsprinting Wout Van Aert and won kermesses later in the season (but okay these are races "nobody has ever heard of"). I remember seeing him doing very well in Hamburg, in Quebec or on the Tour of France, mind you. Besides he does train hard to vary his skillset. Since he was top10 in the ITT of the Tour of Poitou-Charente he's started to like time-trialing a lot and did very well at the ITT of the ZLN. He's also expressed his wish to train on his uphill sprint of the stage in Switzerland of the last Tour of France because he sees a lot of potential in that exercice. Finally it's definitely a wrong approach by "Flanders' Classics" to concentrate all cobble races of note in just a tiny span of weeks in spring. In previous eras you had cobble races in autumn as well, though it was easier since there were cobbles everywhere. Still "Flanders Classics" wants to place Dwars door België in the sale week as the Tour of Flanders instead the Three-Days of De Panne for next year in order to "make Flanders" the centre of the cycling world for a fortnight. It's stupid. The cobble races need to be spread out throughout the year. Fortunately we now have Dwars door het Hageland and the Schaal Sels with dirt roads and/or cobbles in August and September but not yet with such a great field and bring back Paris-Brussels, for Christ's sake!
 
Echoes said:
No. First it's not his fault. Vanmarcke is too heavy for the mountains or even mid-mountains and does not have the sprint to win bunch sprints. After all every rider rides according to their morphologies. Second he does race in the later part of the season. Last year he won the Ster ZLN Tour and the queen stage of it in the Ardennes outsprinting Wout Van Aert and won kermesses later in the season (but okay these are races "nobody has ever heard of"). I remember seeing him doing very well in Hamburg, in Quebec or on the Tour of France, mind you. Besides he does train hard to vary his skillset. Since he was top10 in the ITT of the Tour of Poitou-Charente he's started to like time-trialing a lot and did very well at the ITT of the ZLN. He's also expressed his wish to train on his uphill sprint of the stage in Switzerland of the last Tour of France because he sees a lot of potential in that exercice. Finally it's definitely a wrong approach by "Flanders' Classics" to concentrate all cobble races of note in just a tiny span of weeks in spring. In previous eras you had cobble races in autumn as well, though it was easier since there were cobbles everywhere. Still "Flanders Classics" wants to place Dwars door België in the sale week as the Tour of Flanders instead the Three-Days of De Panne for next year in order to "make Flanders" the centre of the cycling world for a fortnight. It's stupid. The cobble races need to be spread out throughout the year. Fortunately we now have Dwars door het Hageland and the Schaal Sels with dirt roads and/or cobbles in August and September but not yet with such a great field and bring back Paris-Brussels, for Christ's sake!
It wouldn't work any more. It worked in an era when riders didn't really peak and when they tried to maintain their shape year round. If you had cobbled races throughout the year, more versatile riders like GVA, Gilbert and Sagan would either not enter some of them or would be way below their best. They have other goals as well, and wouldn't do well at the Tour, or WC, or Ardennes if they didn't peak for them as well. So the races would be devalued. Who, for example, would bother peaking for E3 if it was moved to October?

If a rider like Vanmarcke can only compete for wins (or, more accurately, top 5 places) in cobbled races, then that's a problem with his skillset. The calendar shouldn't be changed to accommodate that. He should either try to diversify more, or make himself a useful team-mate for the rest of the year.
 
I wouldn't mind more cobbled/dirt races in the autumn. I wouldn't mind more hilly/climbing classics later in the year either. For a lot of riders there's little to do after the GT season, or even after the Tour ends, especially if the WC parcours is relatively specific. Before the Giro, none of the big races come alone. After the Vuelta, almost all the big races come relatively alone, or are accompanied by relatively low-profile semi classics. I think that part of the season could do better.
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
I wouldn't mind more cobbled/dirt races in the autumn. I wouldn't mind more hilly/climbing classics later in the year either. For a lot of riders there's little to do after the GT season, or even after the Tour ends, especially if the WC parcours is relatively specific. Before the Giro, none of the big races come alone. After the Vuelta, almost all the big races come relatively alone, or are accompanied by relatively low-profile semi classics. I think that part of the season could do better.

It's all about Vuelta switching from April to August/September, I guess...

San Sebastian in August, Trittico Lombardo with three races over 230 kms, Meisterschaft von Zürich 240-270 kms, Urkiola, Naranco, Vuelta a Galicia, GP des Nations and Worlds in August.

Catalunya, Fourmies, Giro del Lazio, Isbergues, Vuelta a Rioja, Paris - Brussels 300!!! kms with cobbles and hills in Sep.

And then the Golden october with Emilia, Sabatini, Milano-Torino all over 220 kms, Paris-Tours 290 kms, Piemonte and Lombardia.

Those were the late 80ies. What a proper calendar.
 
I didn't imagine this thread becoming so big.

Today, Amstel Gold became a beautiful classics again. Was it the extra length? The wind? The stage design? Gilbert's aggressiveness? Or a combination of them all? Lots of action on most of the bergs in the final 50k.

Seeing peloton trying to chase Valverde and GVA who were on the limit trying to catch the Gilbert group was just amazing.
 
I didn't know that the issue was which of these races was the most beautiful. :rolleyes:

Amstel Gold has always objectively been the harder of the races listed here and harder than the Tour of Flanders. Despite being boring from 2005 to 2015 or 2016... For all those who think I only care for races that are entertaining.