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Winning a major cobbled classic and a GT in one year?

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Valverde has come close to winning a GT and a monument in the same year a bunch of times:

2006: 2nd Vuelta, 1st Liege
2008: 5th Vuelta, 9th TDF, 1st Liege
2013: 3rd Vuelta, 8th TDF, 2nd GdL, 3rd Liege
2014: 3rd Vuelta, 4th TDF, 2nd Liege, 2nd GdL
2015: 3rd TdF, 7th Vuelta, 1st Liege, 4th GdL
2016: 3rd Giro, 6th TDF, 6th GdL
2019: 2nd Vuelta, 9th TDF, 2nd GdL, 7th MSR, 8th RVV

Nibali has a similarly impressive record
And these results was at the age of 38 years old. Imagine if he had targeted those two classics when he was younger. Could have been on the podium on both at the very least.
 
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2019 - Alejandro Valverde, Ronde 8th, Tour 9th, Vuelta 2nd
1995 - Claudio Chiappucci, Ronde 4th, Giro 4th
1995 - Michele Bartoli, Ronde 7th, Vuelta 9th
1994 - Gianni Bugno, Ronde 1st, Giro 8th
1993 - Maurizio Fondriest, Ronde 8th, Giro 8th
1990 - Claude Criquielion, Ronde 8th, Tour 9th
1988 - Sean Kelly, Ronde 4th, Vuelta 1st
1988 - Steven Rooks, Ronde 5th, Tour 2nd
1988 - Steve Bauer, Roubaix 8th, Tour 4th
1987 - Steve Bauer, Ronde 4th, Giro 10th
1986 - Sean Kelly, Ronde 2nd, Roubaix 1st, Vuelta 3rd
1986 - Claude Criquielion, Ronde 8th, Tour 5th
1986 - Francesco Moser, Roubaix 8th, Giro 3rd
1985 - Phil Anderson, Ronde 2nd, Tour 5th
1985 - Greg Lemond, Ronde 7th, Roubaix 4th, Giro 3rd, Tour 2nd
1985 - Sean Kelly, Roubaix 3rd, Tour 4th, Vuelta 9th
and so on...

So, as we see, it was a very common thing to finish top 10 in both GT and cobbled Monument in the 1980's, and not so unusual in the first half of 1990's. But after 1995 not a single rider done it until this year.
 
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2019 - Alejandro Valverde, Ronde 8th, Vuelta 2nd
1995 - Claudio Chiappucci, Ronde 4th, Giro 4th
1995 - Michele Bartoli, Ronde 7th, Vuelta 9th
1994 - Gianni Bugno, Ronde 1st, Giro 8th
1993 - Maurizio Fondriest, Ronde 8th, Giro 8th
1990 - Claude Criquielion, Ronde 8th, Tour 9th
1988 - Sean Kelly, Ronde 4th, Vuelta 1st
1988 - Steven Rooks, Ronde 5th, Tour 2nd
1988 - Steve Bauer, Roubaix 8th, Tour 4th
1987 - Steve Bauer, Ronde 4th, Giro 10th
1986 - Sean Kelly, Ronde 2nd, Roubaix 1st, Vuelta 3rd
1986 - Claude Criquielion, Ronde 8th, Tour 5th
1986 - Francesco Moser, Roubaix 8th, Giro 3rd
1985 - Phil Anderson, Ronde 2nd, Tour 5th
1985 - Greg Lemond, Ronde 7th, Roubaix 4th, Giro 3rd, Tour 2nd
1985 - Sean Kelly, Roubaix 3rd, Tour 4th, Vuelta 9th
and so on...

So, as we see, it was a very common thing to finish top 10 in both GT and cobbled Monument in the 1980's, and not so unusual in the first half of 1990's. But after 1995 not a single rider done it until this year.
Wow. And Valverde was also even 9th in the Tour, don't forget.
 
2019 - Alejandro Valverde, Ronde 8th, Tour 9th, Vuelta 2nd
1995 - Claudio Chiappucci, Ronde 4th, Giro 4th
1995 - Michele Bartoli, Ronde 7th, Vuelta 9th
1994 - Gianni Bugno, Ronde 1st, Giro 8th
1993 - Maurizio Fondriest, Ronde 8th, Giro 8th
1990 - Claude Criquielion, Ronde 8th, Tour 9th
1988 - Sean Kelly, Ronde 4th, Vuelta 1st
1988 - Steven Rooks, Ronde 5th, Tour 2nd
1988 - Steve Bauer, Roubaix 8th, Tour 4th
1987 - Steve Bauer, Ronde 4th, Giro 10th
1986 - Sean Kelly, Ronde 2nd, Roubaix 1st, Vuelta 3rd
1986 - Claude Criquielion, Ronde 8th, Tour 5th
1986 - Francesco Moser, Roubaix 8th, Giro 3rd
1985 - Phil Anderson, Ronde 2nd, Tour 5th
1985 - Greg Lemond, Ronde 7th, Roubaix 4th, Giro 3rd, Tour 2nd
1985 - Sean Kelly, Roubaix 3rd, Tour 4th, Vuelta 9th
and so on...

So, as we see, it was a very common thing to finish top 10 in both GT and cobbled Monument in the 1980's, and not so unusual in the first half of 1990's. But after 1995 not a single rider done it until this year.
GC contenders do not usually ride cobbled classics, so there is technically close to no data foundation in latter years, if your goal is to estimate whether it has become more difficult to excel at both disciplines. But I suppose it is telling in itself that almost no big shot GT contenders, except Nibali and Valverde (And Lance back in 2010, but he rode RVV as cobbles prep for the Tour), has participated in cobbled monuments in recent years.
 
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And these results was at the age of 38 years old. Imagine if he had targeted those two classics when he was younger. Could have been on the podium on both at the very least.
He's raced MSR several times, but he doesn't really like it. RVV he may have been able to podium if he'd have targeted it at a younger age. On the other hand, what would he have had to give up to go after it.
 
2019 - Alejandro Valverde, Ronde 8th, Tour 9th, Vuelta 2nd
1995 - Claudio Chiappucci, Ronde 4th, Giro 4th
1995 - Michele Bartoli, Ronde 7th, Vuelta 9th
1994 - Gianni Bugno, Ronde 1st, Giro 8th
1993 - Maurizio Fondriest, Ronde 8th, Giro 8th
1990 - Claude Criquielion, Ronde 8th, Tour 9th
1988 - Sean Kelly, Ronde 4th, Vuelta 1st
1988 - Steven Rooks, Ronde 5th, Tour 2nd
1988 - Steve Bauer, Roubaix 8th, Tour 4th
1987 - Steve Bauer, Ronde 4th, Giro 10th
1986 - Sean Kelly, Ronde 2nd, Roubaix 1st, Vuelta 3rd
1986 - Claude Criquielion, Ronde 8th, Tour 5th
1986 - Francesco Moser, Roubaix 8th, Giro 3rd
1985 - Phil Anderson, Ronde 2nd, Tour 5th
1985 - Greg Lemond, Ronde 7th, Roubaix 4th, Giro 3rd, Tour 2nd
1985 - Sean Kelly, Roubaix 3rd, Tour 4th, Vuelta 9th
and so on...

So, as we see, it was a very common thing to finish top 10 in both GT and cobbled Monument in the 1980's, and not so unusual in the first half of 1990's. But after 1995 not a single rider done it until this year.
I think this is another example that shows how specialized the sport has become. That riders like Valverde and Nibali are more throwbacks to old school racing.
 
Not only do GC contenders rarely ride cobbled classics these days. If they do it's quite often either as preparation - if there are cobbles in the Tour - or simply for fun.
I mean, didn't Fuglsang mention earlier this year that he'd kinda like to do Paris-Roubaix some day? I know it's the act of an optimist to call Fuglsang a GC contender, but he's even less a cobbled contender. In fact, I'll make a bet:
If Jakob Fuglsang ever finishes top-10 in Paris-Roubaix I'll ride my bike to Silkeborg.
 
Not only do GC contenders rarely ride cobbled classics these days. If they do it's quite often either as preparation - if there are cobbles in the Tour - or simply for fun.
I mean, didn't Fuglsang mention earlier this year that he'd kinda like to do Paris-Roubaix some day? I know it's the act of an optimist to call Fuglsang a GC contender, but he's even less a cobbled contender. In fact, I'll make a bet:
If Jakob Fuglsang ever finishes top-10 in Paris-Roubaix I'll ride my bike to Silkeborg.
I agree with you. Valverde's comment when asked about racing Paris-Roubiax was something along the lines of I'll get hurt if I race that one. Then something about the only way he'll race that one is in the master division after he retires. He said he's not heavy enough to race it.
 
Not only do GC contenders rarely ride cobbled classics these days. If they do it's quite often either as preparation - if there are cobbles in the Tour - or simply for fun.
I mean, didn't Fuglsang mention earlier this year that he'd kinda like to do Paris-Roubaix some day? I know it's the act of an optimist to call Fuglsang a GC contender, but he's even less a cobbled contender. In fact, I'll make a bet:
If Jakob Fuglsang ever finishes top-10 in Paris-Roubaix I'll ride my bike to Silkeborg.
I think when they do it like that it’s usually the minor classics, like GW, E3 and Dwars, rather than the monuments.

Id love to see Fuglsang ride Roubaix, after all when Nibali dropped all the cobble experts on the pavé in 2014, he did it on Jakob’s wheel.

I really would like to see GT riders at Roubaix more, but wasn’t Wiggins the first TdF winner in 20 years or so to even take the start line in 2014?
 
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He's raced MSR several times, but he doesn't really like it. RVV he may have been able to podium if he'd have targeted it at a younger age. On the other hand, what would he have had to give up to go after it.
I looked at his results, and he has a 8 or 9 year gap, from when he raced MSR age 25 to his next time. He’s improved his finish each time, though, so he must be set for a podium if he rides it in Spring...
 
I looked at his results, and he has a 8 or 9 year gap, from when he raced MSR age 25 to his next time. He’s improved his finish each time, though, so he must be set for a podium if he rides it in Spring...
He didn't race any Italian races for several years. I don't think he raced at all in Italy between 2006 and when he returned from his ban.
 
Looking at it from a performance/physiology POV, there's no reason why a Roglic or Dumoulin couldn't win a cobbled classic. Those guys can grind out 200 km mountain stages in bad weather as well as 40-50k hour-plus ITT efforts. True, not every GT rider is adapted to those kinds of efforts. But I bet more than a few of the GC riders would be able to make the final selection in P-R.
 
I think a lot of GC riders could do well on cobbles if they prepared for it. When we have cobbled stages in TdF, there are always some climbers who appear to be among 5-10 strongest riders on the day. Sure, it's different kind of racing when some riders don't race to win but just to protect their leaders, but there are always some cobbled specialists who have a free role on these days and they don't drop GC contenders with ease. GT riders just prefer to stay away from the cobbles because these are high-risk races when it's easy to crash and get injured or get ill in the bad weather and GTs generally offer more money and recognition and exposure for the sponsor of the team so they don't want to risk.
 
I think a lot of GC riders could do well on cobbles if they prepared for it. When we have cobbled stages in TdF, there are always some climbers who appear to be among 5-10 strongest riders on the day. Sure, it's different kind of racing when some riders don't race to win but just to protect their leaders, but there are always some cobbled specialists who have a free role on these days and they don't drop GC contenders with ease. GT riders just prefer to stay away from the cobbles because these are high-risk races when it's easy to crash and get injured or get ill in the bad weather and GTs generally offer more money and recognition and exposure for the sponsor of the team so they don't want to risk.
I don't. Only a handful of them could do well, and they need to sacrifice at least half of the season for that, if not the whole year. Even then, there's no guarantees they would end up high in those races. Very rare are riders who could do well at the cobbles of Belgium and northern France in the spring and then at summer excel in the high mountains. Only couple of them comes to mind, like Valverde and Nibali, and maybe theoretically Dumoulin, but I need to see it first. If being competitive at both in the same year isn't such a hard task, we wouldn't wait 25 years to see rider finishing in the top 10 of both in the same year.
 
I don't. Only a handful of them could do well, and they need to sacrifice at least half of the season for that, if not the whole year. Even then, there's no guarantees they would end up high in those races. Very rare are riders who could do well at the cobbles of Belgium and northern France in the spring and then at summer excel in the high mountains. Only couple of them comes to mind, like Valverde and Nibali, and maybe theoretically Dumoulin, but I need to see it first. If being competitive at both in the same year isn't such a hard task, we wouldn't wait 25 years to see rider finishing in the top 10 of both in the same year.
I mean, they could do well if they were able to make sacrifices they most likely won't want to make. It would be very likely to impede their GT preparations. It's not easy to do well on both cobbles and GTs in the same year. I was talking about a hypotheticall scenario in which a rider accepts he could be not as good in GTs anymore and yet decides to prepare for the cobbles.

In the 2014 TdF cobbled stage Nibali and Fuglsang were beaten only by Boom. In the 2015 TdF cobbled stage, Froome, Nibali, Valverde and Van Garderen made it into the first split of 8 riders on the last cobbled sector. 2010 TdF cobbled stage saw Evans, Hesjedal and Andy Schleck in the first group of 6. IIRC Langeveld told in 2014 something along the lines that Talansky was even stronger than him on the cobbles and all he needed from his team-mates was to position him on the tarmac sections before cobbles.
It tells me that a lot of riders who usually fight for top10 in GTs have the capabilities to achieve a potential top10 in Roubaix or Flanders, but if they prepared for it, it would make them less likely to excel in GTs, which is sacrifice they are not willing to make.
 
My two cents worth …..

A cobbled classics rider can in theory transform himself to be a GT winner but a GT winner cannot transform themselves to be a cobbled classics winner. Its just a matter of weight loss. But to be a cobbled classics winner, Kilograms help to soak up the fatigue of the road surface. Yes Valverde is the closest but not because of his build but because he has some fast twitch muscle fibres that are normally absent on GT contenders.

But would Roglic be a candidate if he actually wanted it? He has outsprinted Valverde in stage finishes?
 
I could imagine a guy like Dumoulin doing a cobbled classic (especially if there are cobbles in the Tour that year), and then if everything goes well, and he finds himself in the front, try to get a good a result as possible. However, he probably wouldn't risk a collarbone for a potential top-10.
Great point: wasting GT preparation time for a PR top-10 bid, and risking an injury that will destroy the Giro or Tour goal doesn't make sense for most GT riders. I think that Dumoulin can win RVV or PR, but why take a chance?

Riders are not more specialized now: the big difference is that they set peak periods and target specific races instead of racing the whole calendar. And the calendar has changed too. In short, what was the norm in '80 doesn't apply now. And that makes Valverde's '19 campaign all the more amazing...

But again, to quote koronin "what is Valverde?"
 
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My two cents worth …..

A cobbled classics rider can in theory transform himself to be a GT winner but a GT winner cannot transform themselves to be a cobbled classics winner. Its just a matter of weight loss. But to be a cobbled classics winner, Kilograms help to soak up the fatigue of the road surface. Yes Valverde is the closest but not because of his build but because he has some fast twitch muscle fibres that are normally absent on GT contenders.

But would Roglic be a candidate if he actually wanted it? He has outsprinted Valverde in stage finishes?
I would say the opposite. It’s a lot more possible for a Nibali or Roglic or Dumoulin to spend a few seasons riding cobbles and learning the roads of Roubaix and Flanders than it would be for a Sagan or Terpstra to start cranking out 6 W/kg for 40 minutes at 1500m elevation, and maintaining that level of performance for 3 weeks. The gc riders have the engines, it’s the experience and race craft of the spring classics that they would need to acquire.

If it was easy for a cobbled classic specialist to ride a Grand Tour for gc, someone like Cancellara would have done it.

But again, what Tonton said. If a gc rider were to try for Roubaix or Ronde, he would have to give up 3 or 4 weeks of his spring in the rain chasing top 10s when his gc rivals would be doing warm weather altitude camps in the Canaries at a critical point of the season.
 
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I would say the opposite. It’s a lot more possible for a Nibali or Roglic or Dumoulin to spend a few seasons riding cobbles and learning the roads of Roubaix and Flanders than it would be for a Sagan or Terpstra to start cranking out 6 W/kg for 40 minutes at 1500m elevation, and maintaining that level of performance for 3 weeks. The gc riders have the engines, it’s the experience and race craft of the spring classics that they would need to acquire.

If it was easy for a cobbled classic specialist to ride a Grand Tour for gc, someone like Cancellara would have done it.

But again, what Tonton said. If a gc rider were to try for Roubaix or Ronde, he would have to give up 3 or 4 weeks of his spring in the rain chasing top 10s when his gc rivals would be doing warm weather altitude camps in the Canaries at a critical point of the season.

Cancellara never even tried the hilly classics although he had talked about trying them a few times.

A GC rider to go after a top 10 at Ronde or Roubaix also would need to put on some weight. Even Valverde put weight on to race Ronde this year. Then dropped that weight plus some for going after the GT's in the second half of the season.

The other thing to remember is you need a GC rider who is also a good one day rider, and it's been awhile sense we've had many of those. For the past decade plus it's really just been Valverde and Nibali and it's only been recently that either one has attempted to race Ronde. I doubt we'll see either one attempt Roubiax. There are a handful of younger GC riders who are showing they can also race one day races and maybe one of them will give Ronde a shot in the future. However, racing Ronde doesn't mean you'll get a top 10 there as Nibali showed. Most GC riders are more focused on the GTs and can't afford to prepare for Ronde and then turn around and prepare for a GT. Remember, even Valverde didn't race Ronde until late in his career. Heck, most riders are retired by the time they are 38/39 and that's when he finally gets around to racing Ronde. The other thing is very few riders today race from January through Oct and most are peaking for a specific race. In that sense Sagan and Valverde are different as they race the full season and try to win everywhere they go. Who knows, maybe that is part of why Sagan has talked about going back to mountain bikes. This schedule is burning him out?
 
Great point: wasting GT preparation time for a PR top-10 bid, and risking an injury that will destroy the Giro or Tour goal doesn't make sense for most GT riders. I think that Dumoulin can win RVV or PR, but why take a chance?

Riders are not more specialized now: the big difference is that they set peak periods and target specific races instead of racing the whole calendar. And the calendar has changed too. In short, what was the norm in '80 doesn't apply now. And that makes Valverde's '19 campaign all the more amazing...

But again, to quote koronin "what is Valverde?"
But that actually is specialization, instead of riding everything like it was the norm until the 80s they ride less and focus almost in single category of races rarely leaving their confort zone.

If you put Cancellara in the 70s/80s probably he would become a de Vlaeminck or even a Moser, Valverde maybe he would become a Kelly, Nibali a Gimondi but nowadays, even if you have the ability, it's almost impossible to be competitive on every terrain in the same season when you have to fight against riders that center the season on a very reduced list of events or even on just a single race like some do with the Tour, and for this reason doesn't even worth trying.
 
When I watch a rerun of a cobbled classic in the 80s I'm often surprised to see LeMond or Fignon play along in the final. In 1985 LeMond was 7th in Vlaanderen and 4th in Roubaix. After his comeback he was criticized for not doing the classics anymore. Fignon was third in PR '88.
 
Now, this might be cheating, but the thread-title doesn't actually say the same (calendar) year but in one year.
Technically if Roglic were to win a cobbled classic next year, he'd have won a GT and a cobbled classic one year.
Yeah, but he’s not going to ride either Ronde or Roubaix, so you might as well say Carapaz or Bernal can do the same.
 

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