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

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Valverde was specifically asked this week by a reporter if he was going to race Flanders again this year and he said no. I suspect last year was the only time he's going to race Flanders. He had fun and proved he could ride well there and got himself a top 10 out of it and appears to be very happy with that.
 
Valverde was specifically asked this week by a reporter if he was going to race Flanders again this year and he said no. I suspect last year was the only time he's going to race Flanders. He had fun and proved he could ride well there and got himself a top 10 out of it and appears to be very happy with that.
Does Valverde have a... sneaky side? Because obviously he isn't going to race Flanders again this year. :p
 
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I think Jan Ullrich, theoretically, could have done very well in those cobbled classsics, huge engine, pretty heavy (73Kg when he was at his lightest during the Tour). Not too bad of a one day rider either. But of course it's well know how he liked cold weather and in what shape he used to be that early in the season, at least his early season weight would have been very suitable for cobbled races.
 
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And that's the key: having a GT with a sizable amount of ITT makes a "heavier" rider able to win it after winning the cobbled classic.

Agree that Ullrich could have won PR or RVV. Huge engine, tough dude.

Things have changed...
 
I remembered that Roche won Paris Roubaix Espoirs, so on a whim checked his results in the senior races; 4 starts from 81 to 84; 39, 17, 20, 21. If a classics specialist had a record like that, by age 24, people would be talking about him as a future winner. Instead he became a GT specialist and never rode Roubaix again. (30th in Ronde in 89).

I remember reading that Edwin van Hooydonck said it’s harder to win Ronde than the Tour. The thinking being that there are only maximum 10 guys who can win the Tour, so that’s all you have to watch. Whereas at a one-dayer any of 30 guys could conceivably win (or more; how far down the list was Bettiol before the start this year?) and you have to pick the right one to follow.
 
I think that’s the point. There are a few gc contenders around right now (Dumoulin, Roglic, Thomas) who could, theoretically, win Paris Roubaix. If they trained specifically for it, rode it a few seasons in a row to gain experience, and were willing to accept that, after all that work and all that training and all the time spent, they could be the strongest in the race, and still only finish in the lower top 10 or lower.

That’s a lot less likely to happen in a GT where, generally, in recent memory, the strongest rider over the course of 3 weeks, if he has made it to Paris (or Madrid/Rome/Milan/wherever) has at least been on the podium or close to it, barring a massive force majeur late implosion or multi-team ambush. You certainly don’t get surprise out-of-the-blue winners like vanSummeren or Hayman to spoil the plans. It’s a lot more predictable, so if you are/have on your team a rider capable of winning a GT, the sensible call is to send him to the GT, not Roubaix.
Yep, that's the point. Has anyone mentioned Wiggins' top 10 a few years ago? Everyone thought it was a bit of joke, but he was up there in the crunch. But: that was his last hurrah. When he was peaking for GT's, Sky probably wouldn't even let him watch PR on tv.
 
Yep, Wiggins was good in that PR, but his whole season was centered around that race. But he would've probably finish in grupetto that year had he rode GT. He gained at least 5-6 kg for that Roubaix. The point is that nobody in the current peloton can't be competitive in both, the cobbled races and Grand Tours, in the same year, bar Valverde and to some extent Nibali. Theoretically a couple of more guys could be competitive (Dumoulin, Roglic, Alaphilippe, Thomas...), but I would prefer to see it first and then talk.
 
Actually think PR and a GT may be more likely than Vlaanderen and a GT
Ofcourse. A good ITT'er that has decent bikehandling skills and does some training on cobbles, always has an outside chance in PR. If guys like Dumoulin, Roglic... would want to take the risk (lot of nasty injuries to be had) then they'd automatically be one of 20 guys that could power through in the final and hold a gap. Where as RVV is better suited for more punchy riders (which historically a lot of those big engine GT guys aren't) and chances of going to the finish with a bunch where there are faster guys in a sprint, are bigger than at PR, imho.
 
Okay, I have a question: Are there actually some statistics that show that Paris-Roubaix is so much more dangerous crashing and injury-wise than any other race in the world?

I remember the wet Tour stage of 2014 where people were crashing left and right on the wet roads until they hit the cobbles and there were no more crashes.

And I'm not saying that people don't crash in Paris-Roubaix but they do that in all the classics where the fight for position is ferocious.
 
Ofcourse. A good ITT'er that has decent bikehandling skills and does some training on cobbles, always has an outside chance in PR. If guys like Dumoulin, Roglic... would want to take the risk (lot of nasty injuries to be had) then they'd automatically be one of 20 guys that could power through in the final and hold a gap. Where as RVV is better suited for more punchy riders (which historically a lot of those big engine GT guys aren't) and chances of going to the finish with a bunch where there are faster guys in a sprint, are bigger than at PR, imho.
Yes.

Given the variance of the one day races and the unlikelyhood a GT winner would simply be able to shatter the cobbles to smithereens, you're probably also looking for the cobbled monument that has more randomness. Also, given the difference in variation between GT winners and monument winners, I think it's much more likely that a GT fave like Dumoulin or Thomas could do it than a guy like Alaphilippe who falls right in the middle and would need to get really lucky to win a GT and can't have bad luck in Vlaanderen or Roubaix either.

I'm not too hung up on this achievement though, and I'm not expecting it anytime soon.
 
Okay, I have a question: Are there actually some statistics that show that Paris-Roubaix is so much more dangerous crashing and injury-wise than any other race in the world?

I remember the wet Tour stage of 2014 where people were crashing left and right on the wet roads until they hit the cobbles and there were no more crashes.

And I'm not saying that people don't crash in Paris-Roubaix but they do that in all the classics where the fight for position is ferocious.
Agreed. Froome crashed out before the cobbles even started in ‘14. Porte did the same a couple years ago. And Cancellara crashed out along with a few others as the roads narrowed on the run-in to the Mur de Huy in 2015(?). So a) it’s not just the cobbles that are the problem and b) there’s no shortage of gc riders showing up at Flèche Wallonne every year.
 
I remember reading that Edwin van Hooydonck said it’s harder to win Ronde than the Tour. The thinking being that there are only maximum 10 guys who can win the Tour, so that’s all you have to watch. Whereas at a one-dayer any of 30 guys could conceivably win (or more; how far down the list was Bettiol before the start this year?) and you have to pick the right one to follow.
Absolutely.
The Tour is 21 days of a little bit of action each day, but normally just that little bit. And because it's 21 days, only a handful of people are actually able to win it, so you only have to watch these.
The Ronde - any big classic, but the Ronde in particular - has more or less full-on action from 80-100 km out. You hardly ever see that in a GT.

In fact, I would say that the mano-a-mano action between the possible winners in a GT is usually limited to the finishing climb (and even there, it's becoming less and less), with many days (sprint stage, or a big breakaway up front) not seeing any GC action at all, just a procession.
If you have 5-7 mountain stages and a couple of hilly stages, that normally amounts to just over 100 km of GC favourite racing. Add the time trials, and you have 150 km ... spread across three weeks. In a classic, you have almost as much (sometimes just as much) in one day.

I've sometimes joked that anyone can win the Tour. This is obviously exaggerated, but if you take a good GC rider, have him train well, give him the best possible surroundings, best available teammates etc., he will perform in the GT he's targeting more often than not. And if he doesn't, it's big news.
In a classic, you can have a previous winner lining up, with the best team, and not have any shot at winning that day. Just ask Tom Boonen. Okay, Devolder was his teammate, so he was 'locked' once Devolder was away ... but upsets like that are much less likely in GTs.
 
Okay, I have a question: Are there actually some statistics that show that Paris-Roubaix is so much more dangerous crashing and injury-wise than any other race in the world?

I remember the wet Tour stage of 2014 where people were crashing left and right on the wet roads until they hit the cobbles and there were no more crashes.

And I'm not saying that people don't crash in Paris-Roubaix but they do that in all the classics where the fight for position is ferocious.

Well the Paris-Roubiax cobbles are rougher than the northern cobbles are so the lighter the rider is the more likely he (or she) is going to get thrown around by them. Not sure if there are stats that show they are more dangerous, but it at least appears to be a belief among riders (or at least among lighter riders).
 
Yep, Wiggins was good in that PR, but his whole season was centered around that race. But he would've probably finish in grupetto that year had he rode GT. He gained at least 5-6 kg for that Roubaix. The point is that nobody in the current peloton can't be competitive in both, the cobbled races and Grand Tours, in the same year, bar Valverde and to some extent Nibali. Theoretically a couple of more guys could be competitive (Dumoulin, Roglic, Alaphilippe, Thomas...), but I would prefer to see it first and then talk.
Was the year after finishing 9th that he centered the season around Roubaix and his attempt went worse (18th).
And the weight gain was successive to put on muscles for his return on the track ahead of Olympics, in 2014 he was still going for the GC in week long stages and just 10 days after Roubaix he was 11th on Monte Bondone before going to win California.
 
The only guy now that I could plausibly see winning PR and a GT in the same year is GT himself. The main issue there is staying upright - he definitely has the characteristics and pedigree/ palmares to do it. Really for the most of his career, GT wins looked a lot more unlikely than cobbled classics.
 
The only guy now that I could plausibly see winning PR and a GT in the same year is GT himself. The main issue there is staying upright - he definitely has the characteristics and pedigree/ palmares to do it. Really for the most of his career, GT wins looked a lot more unlikely than cobbled classics.
I don't think he can do it in the same season. But let's see, he has the perfect opportunity this year. Ineos is loaded with GT prospects, he won't have big pressure to deliver results in Grand Tours, so I guess he could go back and try to get some results on cobbles.
 
Ism't the danger caused as much by the battle for position than the cobbles themselves, the problem is a lot of riders all wanting to be at the front causing crashes, you rarely see any danger in the break of late on when few are left
 

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