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The Monuments Men – Or who will win all 5 of them?

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Echoes said:
Max Rockatansky said:
None of them won, when Koppenberg entered the Ronde in 1976.

In 1977 the Tour of Flanders climbed the Koppenberg. Freddy Maertens changed his bike on it. He was not allowed to do that as he could overtake riders freewheeling pushed a friend uphill and was warned about a possible disqualification. Many still believe he was disqualified for that bike change but actually 5km the official agreed to leae him in the race. In the meantime he was in the lead with Roger De Vlaeminck who had made a brutal effort to come back after a puncture on the Taaienberg that cost him 1 and a half minute and felt blown up. So De Vlaeminck stopped taking turn while Maertens thought he would have been disqualified. Eventually De Vlaeminck outsprinted Maertens after having sucked his wheel for the last 60km and Maertens was disqualified for a positive test for stimul and not for the bike change while he definitely should have been for that bike change.

Sure the so-called monuments were different especially in Van Looy's days. At that time, Liège-Bastogne-Liège was a minor classic, the Arrow was more valuable. The Tour of Lombardy had a very flat finale, he won it in a bunch sprint (should have won it the year before though if De Bruyne had raced like a man), Milan-Sanremo had no Poggio, he also won it in a bunch sprint. He won three Paris-Roubaix on the old route via Amiens and the Mur de Doullens which had fewer and fewer sections while the Tour of Flanders was a minor classic as well.

Most of all these guys did not have the knowledge that they were racing "Monuments". The label only came up in the late eighties when the UCI launched their abominable World Cup with teh Wincanton Classic supposedly equal to Paris-Roubaix. Everybody then knew that some of these orld Cup events were more important than others while formerly great classics such as the Walloon Arrow or Paris-Brussels were demoted to second-tier races.

That is some great insight. Thank You very much. :) What in your opinion were the big classics or monuments in the mid 60ies and 70ies? I guess one of them was indeed Paris-Brussels with some nasty cobbles and a length of 300k?

I'd really like to know more about the old routes. :cool:
 
A guy like Sagan could have done it. If he had won the Ronde and MSR in 2013, and PR only a few years later he could have decided to change his training, become a better climber and peak for the Ardennes and Lombardia. Lombardia with the current route might still be a problem but it might change again. (The route when Dan Martin won would've been absolutely perfect for him. It even had a cobbled climb near the end.
But now he is already 27 and if he doesn't win MSR and PR soon I don't think he will have enough time to completely change his riding style. If he has won the two when he is thirty he would still have time to become a better climber, but he probably wouldn't have many shots at winning. Moreover doing this would be a huge risk. If your plan fails you have thrown away your talents and possible wins in the first three monuments for absolutely nothing.
 
Biggest problem is that riders who could possibly challenge all 5 are basically massive engines who are not too heavy which basically means they're very much inclined to go for GTs rather than classics, and even if they went for all of them, they'd still need crazy transformations.

I do think that de Ronde is the intermediate of the monuments as far as there is one.

The biggest thing is that the pure explosive hilly riders

-Lose in a lot of sprints in MSR
-Are too heavy for LBL and especially GdL
-Are too lightweight to win PR

Either way you're looking for a rider with tremendous versatility AND room to change characteristics in the first place. There's a range of options for this, but I think that the basis for a rider who can do this is a huge engine, and not some crazy anaerobic ability that Sagan has.
 
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Max Rockatansky said:
Echoes said:
Max Rockatansky said:
None of them won, when Koppenberg entered the Ronde in 1976.

In 1977 the Tour of Flanders climbed the Koppenberg. Freddy Maertens changed his bike on it. He was not allowed to do that as he could overtake riders freewheeling pushed a friend uphill and was warned about a possible disqualification. Many still believe he was disqualified for that bike change but actually 5km the official agreed to leae him in the race. In the meantime he was in the lead with Roger De Vlaeminck who had made a brutal effort to come back after a puncture on the Taaienberg that cost him 1 and a half minute and felt blown up. So De Vlaeminck stopped taking turn while Maertens thought he would have been disqualified. Eventually De Vlaeminck outsprinted Maertens after having sucked his wheel for the last 60km and Maertens was disqualified for a positive test for stimul and not for the bike change while he definitely should have been for that bike change.

Sure the so-called monuments were different especially in Van Looy's days. At that time, Liège-Bastogne-Liège was a minor classic, the Arrow was more valuable. The Tour of Lombardy had a very flat finale, he won it in a bunch sprint (should have won it the year before though if De Bruyne had raced like a man), Milan-Sanremo had no Poggio, he also won it in a bunch sprint. He won three Paris-Roubaix on the old route via Amiens and the Mur de Doullens which had fewer and fewer sections while the Tour of Flanders was a minor classic as well.

Most of all these guys did not have the knowledge that they were racing "Monuments". The label only came up in the late eighties when the UCI launched their abominable World Cup with teh Wincanton Classic supposedly equal to Paris-Roubaix. Everybody then knew that some of these orld Cup events were more important than others while formerly great classics such as the Walloon Arrow or Paris-Brussels were demoted to second-tier races.

That is some great insight. Thank You very much. :) What in your opinion were the big classics or monuments in the mid 60ies and 70ies? I guess one of them was indeed Paris-Brussels with some nasty cobbles and a length of 300k?

I'd really like to know more about the old routes. :cool:

Well, first of all, he's talking about Van Looy's time, that's 2nd half of the 50's and first half of the 60's. He's right that there were no Monuments then. There were big classics, such as Milan-San Remo, Giro di Lombardia, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Tours, Paris-Brussels, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Fleche Wallonne. Bordeaux-Paris was another prestigious one-day race, but it wasn't a normal classic race, it was +500km race where motor-pacing was allowed for more than a half of the total distance. And the biggest of them all was World Championship Road Race (as is the case today imo).

Secondly, he's wrong when downplays importance of Liege and De Ronde. Fleche Wallonne was about 40 years younger race then Liege, and represents, to speak figuratively, her younger sister or brother if you like. There was a one small period of time when Fleche was more important race, though, but it only lasted for approx. 5 years (from 1948 until 1951, when Liege entered Challenge Desgrange Colombo). After that they have the same value, and they formed Weekend Ardennais, with Fleche rode on Saturday and Liege on Sunday, which also tips the balance of importance into Liege favor. Later on, Fleche was moved to Wednesday as it is the case today.
Ronde van Vlaanderen, after World War II, was never a minor classic.
 
Re: Re:

Alexandre B. said:
Brullnux said:
Much easier route. It's impossible to know ig Kwiat will ever win because of the fact the route changes every year. I think the Bergamo route last year worked well and it will be kept for a while, but the Como route was brutal and maybe too hard in RCS' eyes. But otoh it was a spectacle I guess (And Nibali won) so they'll probably keep it for this year. If it eases up then Kwiat can win one, but with the current two routes he will struggle.
Moreno was second and Gallopin was not far behind. I think it's a decent route for Ardennes type riders.
Moreno is basically a climber, remember him dragging Purito to the line in the Andorra stage of 2015? Gallopin and Brambilla are the only guys who you can liken Kwiat to, but they both struggled quite a lot near the end.
 
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Max Rockatansky said:
Echoes said:
Max Rockatansky said:
None of them won, when Koppenberg entered the Ronde in 1976.

In 1977 the Tour of Flanders climbed the Koppenberg. Freddy Maertens changed his bike on it. He was not allowed to do that as he could overtake riders freewheeling pushed a friend uphill and was warned about a possible disqualification. Many still believe he was disqualified for that bike change but actually 5km the official agreed to leae him in the race. In the meantime he was in the lead with Roger De Vlaeminck who had made a brutal effort to come back after a puncture on the Taaienberg that cost him 1 and a half minute and felt blown up. So De Vlaeminck stopped taking turn while Maertens thought he would have been disqualified. Eventually De Vlaeminck outsprinted Maertens after having sucked his wheel for the last 60km and Maertens was disqualified for a positive test for stimul and not for the bike change while he definitely should have been for that bike change.

Sure the so-called monuments were different especially in Van Looy's days. At that time, Liège-Bastogne-Liège was a minor classic, the Arrow was more valuable. The Tour of Lombardy had a very flat finale, he won it in a bunch sprint (should have won it the year before though if De Bruyne had raced like a man), Milan-Sanremo had no Poggio, he also won it in a bunch sprint. He won three Paris-Roubaix on the old route via Amiens and the Mur de Doullens which had fewer and fewer sections while the Tour of Flanders was a minor classic as well.

Most of all these guys did not have the knowledge that they were racing "Monuments". The label only came up in the late eighties when the UCI launched their abominable World Cup with teh Wincanton Classic supposedly equal to Paris-Roubaix. Everybody then knew that some of these orld Cup events were more important than others while formerly great classics such as the Walloon Arrow or Paris-Brussels were demoted to second-tier races.

That is some great insight. Thank You very much. :) What in your opinion were the big classics or monuments in the mid 60ies and 70ies? I guess one of them was indeed Paris-Brussels with some nasty cobbles and a length of 300k?

I'd really like to know more about the old routes. :cool:

the 5 monuments were (apart of the World Championship) the biggest one-day races at least back in the late 70s when I started being interested in cycling ....
Paris-Bruxelles ended in 1966 and was reintroduced 1973, but I believe the glory was gone by then ...
one of the biggest races (and perhaps the longest professional one-day race) in former days was Bordeaux - Paris over a stretch of 560km ... but by the late 70s it was clearly on the decline already ...

EDIT: just saw that "Mr White" gave the appropriate answers already - a post I just noticed after finishing this post ....
 
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Gilbert is only let's say "in contention", he has three wins which is amazing feat in today's time of rider's specialization and much harder routes. On top of that he also has a WC RR title. So he has 4 out of 6 biggest one-day wins. As for the 2 remaining, I think it's mission impossible. San Remo is a lottery, but I think he lacks the speed, and he can't get away on the Poggio alone, or without Sagan or some other fast guy. So very tough for him to win. Roubaix, impossible. Even top 10 would be big result for him, he lacks that brute strength Boonen and other specialists have. Only in some highly tactical race he could end up in front group, but even then he would drop out when some of the big guys put the hammer down. He's too light for Roubaix.

Sagan and Kwiatkowski? Well, they have only one Monument, so it's rather early to talk about all five. When and if they won second, then ok, but for now I think it's early. They have the potential alright, but we'll have to wait... GVA, he's out of contention, he's 32 and didn't win single one, it's too late.

And just to add that in the past it was much easier for single rider to win different Monuments, cause they were more similar. Liege and Lombardia, although hilly back then, were much easier with 20-30km of flat roads before the finish. Guy like Sagan would be a major favorite for this races.
 
I agree with Mr White. Gilbert could win MSR, but it is a lottery of a race and he does not have the optimum spread of talents to maximise the chance of his number coming up. He could win PR, but only in the same sort of way as other outsiders, by being up the road and then getting lucky in the way the favourites race. And he's too big a name to have much chance of being allowed to get into such a position. In both cases it's doable, but in both cases it's a bad bet.
 
Echoes said:
Max Rockatansky said:
None of them won, when Koppenberg entered the Ronde in 1976.

In 1977 the Tour of Flanders climbed the Koppenberg. Freddy Maertens changed his bike on it. He was not allowed to do that as he could overtake riders freewheeling pushed a friend uphill and was warned about a possible disqualification. Many still believe he was disqualified for that bike change but actually 5km the official agreed to leae him in the race. In the meantime he was in the lead with Roger De Vlaeminck who had made a brutal effort to come back after a puncture on the Taaienberg that cost him 1 and a half minute and felt blown up. So De Vlaeminck stopped taking turn while Maertens thought he would have been disqualified. Eventually De Vlaeminck outsprinted Maertens after having sucked his wheel for the last 60km and Maertens was disqualified for a positive test for stimul and not for the bike change while he definitely should have been for that bike change.


He was disqualified for the bike change though. The official agreed to let him finish because he was so strong but told him he'd be disqualified after the race.
 
Re: Re:

Ikbengodniet said:
Nirvana said:
The most versatile i think is van Avermaet that is well suited for at least four out five and also for Lombardia with a route like 2014 but probably is too old with none won at 31.

Kwiatkowski is well suited for Ronde e Liege but i think also for him a Lombardia like last year against climbers could be too hard and he never rode Roubaix so we didn't how he can perform.

Gilbert is the one with the more done having won three out five but probably he lost his best year to try Roubaix with the form he has and to win Sanremo he needs to go solo on the Poggio.

Sagan it's out of contest for Lombardia, he could win Liege but i think he needs to focus on it as major target but if he won't win Roubaix (and looking at his performances the past years i'm not sure that he'll won) i think he'll never shift his focus to Ardennes.

Between young guys Benoot seems the more versatile but looks like he's a bit lost this year, Alaphilippe i think if he want he could contest in the Ronde but not in Roubaix, for Moscon i think Lombardia is too hard.

Moscon did win the U23 GdL right? I don't know if the route was quite similar, but he must have a chance if he was able to win that one.
Yes, he won it in 2014 but it's not comparable, it was a way too easier with only Ghisallo and two short climb in the finale. I don't think he can deal with climbs of 8/10 kms against climbers, maybe in a 2014 like route he could have a shot.

altimetria2014.png
 
GVA getting a bit closer.

He is tailor-made for De Ronde, even more than Roubaix. In Milano-Sanremo, he needs to a part of a small group of 3-5 riders he can get away with on Poggio. If Kwiatkowski and Alaphilippe have the speed to stay with Sagan on Poggio, so have GVA.

Liege and especially Lombardia are going to be a bit harder.
 
Re:

Velolover2 said:
GVA getting a bit closer.

He is tailor-made for De Ronde, even more than Roubaix. In Milano-Sanremo, he needs to a part of a small group of 3-5 riders he can get away with on Poggio. If Kwiatkowski and Alaphilippe have the speed to stay with Sagan on Poggio, so have GVA.

Liege and especially Lombardia are going to be a bit harder.

And realistically, he will be 32 in a month, still needs to win 4 others and has not finished on a podium in 3 of them.
 
Re: Re:

roundabout said:
Velolover2 said:
GVA getting a bit closer.

He is tailor-made for De Ronde, even more than Roubaix. In Milano-Sanremo, he needs to a part of a small group of 3-5 riders he can get away with on Poggio. If Kwiatkowski and Alaphilippe have the speed to stay with Sagan on Poggio, so have GVA.

Liege and especially Lombardia are going to be a bit harder.

And realistically, he will be 32 in a month, still needs to win 4 others and has not finished on a podium in 3 of them.

Gilbert won De Ronde at 34.

Most modern riders aren't affected until they hit the wall (35). He still have at least 3 years on top.

But maybe he will be focusing on winning another Roubaix or De Ronde more than the hilly races.