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08-13-2011, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyPipkin View Post
Could anyone compile a list of the Tours and Classics that are a good watch over the course of the year?
I'll just give my take at this even though someone else has answered.

Omloop het nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, both has some cobbles, nieuwsblad more so than Kuurne, are usual very entertaining usually first weekend of March. nieuwsblad may sometimes be refered to as Het Volk since that is it's old name from before they sold the rights.

Paris-Nice, a one week stage race which usually start a week after the two mentioned above. Has a bit of everything from flat stages to medium mountains stages.

Milano-San Remo is a must see, mid-late March, though remember that it's on a Saturday and not a Sunday like most classics, one of the five monuments of cycling. The monuments are the most prestige full one-day races of the year, all 5 is in this list.

Ronde Van Vlaanderen is my favourite classic of the year always very entertaining, it features a lot of cobble covered hills in Flanders, some which have percentages over 20%. Held first sunday in April. Also a monument.

Vuelta a Pais Vasco is a one week stage race starting the monday after Vlaanderen. Almost all stages are very hilly in the with profiles that are like San Sebastian, it also takes place in the same region in Spain.

Paris-Roubaix also a favourite of mine, known as 'hell of the north' and not without reason, the 250 km course usually feature around 50kms of cobble road, but they are flat unlike in Vlaanderen. A great race every year. Held a week after Vlaanderen. Also a monument.

Amstel Gold Race is a part of the Ardennes week, a week of three races held in very hilly region in Belgium and Netherlands called the Ardennes. Very great race. Held a week after Roubaix.

Fleche Wallone, also a part of the Ardennes week, held on the wednesday. It finishes on the very hard Mur de Huy, the wall of Huy in english. There is a video showing the ending earlier in this thread. Though usually not much happens before the final 2 km, but those 2 kms are some of the best in cycling.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the oldest classic still being raced, it closes the Ardennes week exactly one week after Amstel. Also a monument.

Giro d'Italia is in my eyes the best Grand Tour of the year, and has been for a few years, the rute and the way it has been raced has been much better than the Tour. Usually start 2nd weekend of May.

Criterium du Dauphine, held in the start of June is has racing in and around the French alps, is a good pre-tour race to see who is hot and who is not. May be referred to as Dauphine Libere since that was it's name until 2010.

Tour de France, goes with out saying, starts first weekend of July.

San Sebastian, has already been covered in this thread. Usually held in early August.

Vuelta a Espana, the third and last GT of the year, always worth a watch, but not always as picturesque in the scenery as many other races, but if you don't care about that it's a great race. Usually starts in early September.

GP de Quebec and GP de Montreal were held for the first time last year. But the organisers came up with two very great routes and the racing were very good. Defiantly worth a watch if the routes are the same.

WC is held every year is the last whole week of September, the location changes every year, this year it is held in Copenhagen where I will be watching it live. It's a very different thing to watch the WC as commercial teams don't race, but national teams do, and the team sizes aren't equal, they range from 9-1 riders if I remember correctly.

Last, but not least Giro di Lombardia is the last race important race of the season and usually mark the end of the season, it's held on the third saturday in October and is probably the most mountainous of the big classic together with San Sebastian. It's the 5th and final monument of the season.

Have I missed your favourite race? Don't worry, feel free to add it.

And last but not least. If there is live coverage of race and there is free stream, then cyclingfans will have a link to that stream. Gives you an opportunity to watch races even if cycling isn't your local channels favourite sport.

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