Which Non-GT Stage races are the most Prestigious

Aug 15, 2016
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The Question came to me When Prades won the Tour of Turkey and what it should mean to him and his team(disbanding?)

Libertine Seguros wrote an informative response to the Question in an E-mail/message and made an insightful observation that the prestigious(ness) of stage races has not been static over time.

The question I have is how would you rank then and if you wish to make levels for multiple stage races.
 
The Tour de Suisse probably took the title of 4th most prestigious stage race by a mile not so long ago. However due to consistently lacking good competition I'd say we have already reached the point where winning the Dauphine means more than winning the TdS. At least I think the Dauphine gets a lot more media coverage and obviously the competition is usually miles better. However because the Dauphine is mostly tdf preparation I rate it a step below Paris-Nice and Pais Vasco, which are two races that for the stage racers are usually the main objectives for their spring campaign and aren't really the number one preparation race for anything. Moreover both races are two of the best races of the season almost every year.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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I'd say that Tirreno-Adriatico has to be in the same league as Paris-Nice and Pais Vasco, people have it as one of their big goals and don't forget the cool trophy. Of course it used to be more of a stage race for classics riders and has changed towards being more of a race for gc riders and the post-2014 routes haven't been that great, but still.
 
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Mayomaniac said:
I'd say that Tirreno-Adriatico has to be in the same league as Paris-Nice and Pais Vasco, people have it as one of their big goals and don't forget the cool trophy. Of course it used to be more of a stage race for classics riders and has changed towards being more of a race for gc riders and the post-2014 routes haven't been that great, but still.
I think this is the big problem of this race. As these races are all of comparable prestige the current interest has quite a big impact on the current prestige (as opposed to the really big races like LBL or even more strikingly the tour de france which can be horrible every year, but stay extremely prestigious nonetheless) and I have the feeling that the dull editions of Tirreno Adriatico have led to it just clearly falling behind Paris Nice in terms of popularity. And that's just logical as both races have a comparable competition but Paris Nice the clearly better racing. Now if Tirreno Adriatico was still a race for the classics riders there would be something that makes it unique while it is now a mtf, a TT and lots of boring stages. I mean since the amazing races in 2013 and 2014 has there even been a half decent edition?
 
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Gigs_98 said:
Mayomaniac said:
I'd say that Tirreno-Adriatico has to be in the same league as Paris-Nice and Pais Vasco, people have it as one of their big goals and don't forget the cool trophy. Of course it used to be more of a stage race for classics riders and has changed towards being more of a race for gc riders and the post-2014 routes haven't been that great, but still.
I think this is the big problem of this race. As these races are all of comparable prestige the current interest has quite a big impact on the current prestige (as opposed to the really big races like LBL or even more strikingly the tour de france which can be horrible every year, but stay extremely prestigious nonetheless) and I have the feeling that the dull editions of Tirreno Adriatico have led to it just clearly falling behind Paris Nice in terms of popularity. And that's just logical as both races have a comparable competition but Paris Nice the clearly better racing. Now if Tirreno Adriatico was still a race for the classics riders there would be something that makes it unique while it is now a mtf, a TT and lots of boring stages. I mean since the amazing races in 2013 and 2014 has there even been a half decent edition?
Not really.

There's no question that the formula for a PN route is so much better than the formula for a TA route, especially with the TTT+ITT thing.

I think TA appeals wayy too much to sprinters for MSR.
 
May 26, 2012
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For me it's:

1. Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Dauphine, Tour de Suisse
2. Romandy, Catalunya, Itzulia
3. Binck Bank, Poland, California
4. Tour Down Under, Abu Dhabi
5. Rest
 
I's difficult to be 100% objective here. To me, Dauphine and Suisse are the two main non-GT stage races. The Tour de Suisse relative decline dates back to the late '80s IMO, whereas the Dauphine has better resisted the transition from being a main objective for the big GT names to becoming more of a prep race.

After that, in no particular order, I would place Tirreno, Romandie, and Paris-Nice. Then I see a next tier with Pais Vasco followed by (in no particular order) Catalunya, Algarve, and Trentino.

The comments about some of them evolving over time are as many elements that the other stage races must consider, as well as some factors that they can't really control (i.e. time of the year). Finding the right formula is key for Turkey or Down Under, Poland may have the biggest potential (great calendar slot, meh design), California needs to attract big names, Portugal must improve its reputation...
 
Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Catalunya, Pais Vasco, Romandie, Dauphine and Suisse. They are pretty much equal.

But you rarely hear someone dreaming about winning these races, it's more about performing well against the top GT rivals. You can have Amstel or a GT stage win as a main taget but not really a one-week race. I mean.. unless it's your "home race" or have Spilak as a surname.
 
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Mayomaniac said:
I'd say that Tirreno-Adriatico has to be in the same league as Paris-Nice and Pais Vasco, people have it as one of their big goals and don't forget the cool trophy. Of course it used to be more of a stage race for classics riders and has changed towards being more of a race for gc riders and the post-2014 routes haven't been that great, but still.
Agree with this.
 
Suisse, Nice, Dauphine, Tirreno, Catalunya, Romandie, BeNeLux...
To place higher in my rating, Tirreno needs a couple of dozens more editions in contemporary format (it started too flat), Romandie could use stronger field and everything else is pretty much at its place considering the history, role in development of sport, purpose and meaning to the riders.
 
Dec 6, 2012
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I always think that to be called prestigious a race has to be an important goal for many top cyclists. In today's calendar format, I see almost every non-GT WT stage race is either a prep race for bigger goal, a season opener, intermediate race between two peaks, race for burning out form before lengthy rest, race for riders left out of bigger race etc., as a result they produce a lot of forgettable winners lately. In this regard, I see Benelux Tour or whatever it is called as having a lot of potential to be more prestigious than it is now, I think it has a nice slot in the calendar to stand out on its own, on paper it's more open to many types of cyclist to win than most other WT stage races, and it happens in countries with the right culture and significance. I know it's thin in history, but it should've been the only downside.
 
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Cance > TheRest said:
Sartorius said:
For me it's:

1. Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Dauphine, Tour de Suisse
2. Romandy, Catalunya, Itzulia
3. Binck Bank, Poland, California
4. Tour Down Under, Abu Dhabi
5. Rest
Couldn't have made a better list myself
Yup, only missing Pais Vasco, which is probably a 1 to 1.5 on this scale.

I would’ve put Criterium International in the upper tiers if it still existed. Also, having Tour de l’Avenir on the palmares can be worth more than some of these.
 
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Velolover2 said:
Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Catalunya, Pais Vasco, Romandie, Dauphine and Suisse. They are pretty much equal.

But you rarely hear someone dreaming about winning these races, it's more about performing well against the top GT rivals. You can have Amstel or a GT stage win as a main taget but not really a one-week race. I mean.. unless it's your "home race" or have Spilak as a surname.

Well before 2017 Valverde was talking about really wanting to win Pais Vasco, but that's more because he hadn't won it before.
 
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Leinster said:
Cance > TheRest said:
Sartorius said:
For me it's:

1. Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Dauphine, Tour de Suisse
2. Romandy, Catalunya, Itzulia
3. Binck Bank, Poland, California
4. Tour Down Under, Abu Dhabi
5. Rest
Couldn't have made a better list myself
Yup, only missing Pais Vasco, which is probably a 1 to 1.5 on this scale.

I would’ve put Criterium International in the upper tiers if it still existed. Also, having Tour de l’Avenir on the palmares can be worth more than some of these.
Itzulia or Euskal Herriko Itzulia is Pais Vasco
 
1. Dauphine and Suisse
2. Paris-Nice, TA & Romandy
3. Catalunya, California, Pais Vasco
4. Trentino/Tour of Alpes, Poland, Binck Banck, Oman
5. Down Under, Abu Dhabi, Yorkshire, Britain....
 
Aug 28, 2013
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Sartorius said:
For me it's:

1. Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Dauphine, Tour de Suisse
2. Romandy, Catalunya, Itzulia
3. Binck Bank, Poland, California
4. Tour Down Under, Abu Dhabi
5. Rest
Beating Gaimon's Strava times is more prestigious than winning the Tour of California. That race has always been and will continue to be a joke. When I think of other races that could be upgraded in place of that steaming turd...
 

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