|Classic cycle races|
The classic cycle races are one-day professional cycling road races in the international calendar. Most of the events, all run in western Europe, have been fixtures on the professional calendar for decades and the oldest ones date back to the 19th century. They are normally held at roughly the same time each year. In the last few years, the five most revered races are sometimes described as the 'Monuments'.|
The Five Monuments of Cycling are generally considered to be the oldest and most-prestigious one-day events on the calendar.
Milan – San Remo (Italy) – the first true Classic of the year, its Italian name is La Primavera (the spring), this race is held in late March. First run in 1907. Notable for being the sprinter's classic, this race is particularly long though mostly flat enabling sprinters to compete.
Tour of Flanders (Belgium) – also known as the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the first of the 'Spring Classics', is raced in early April. First held in 1913. Notable for the narrow cobbled hills (hellingen) which force the best riders to continually fight for space at the front.
Paris–Roubaix (France) – the "Queen of the Classics" or l'Enfer du Nord ("Hell of the North") is traditionally one week after the Tour of Flanders, and was first raced in 1896. Notable for its many long sections of pavé (cobblestones) making it the most unpleasant one day race.
Liège–Bastogne–Liège (Belgium) – late April. La Doyenne, the oldest Classic, was first held in 1892 as an amateur event; a professional edition followed in 1894. Notable for its many short sharp hills and so favouring climbers and even grand tour specialsts.
Giro di Lombardia (Italy) – also known as the "Race of the Falling Leaves", is held in October. Initially called the Milano–Milano in 1905, it became the Giro di Lombardia in 1907 and Il Lombardia in 2012 along with a new, earlier date at the end of September. It is notable as a climber's classic with a varied course and flat finish.
Only three riders have won all five 'Monument' one-day races during their careers: Roger De Vlaeminck, Rik Van Looy and Eddy Merckx, all three Belgians, and only Eddy Merckx won each of them more than once. With victories in all the other Monuments, Sean Kelly almost joined this group, finishing second in the Tour of Flanders on three occasions (1984, 1986 and 1987). Dutch rider Hennie Kuiper won each Monument, except Liège–Bastogne–Liège in which he finished second in 1980. The great French rider, Louison Bobet, also won all but the Liège–Bastogne–Liège. Belgian rider Fred De Bruyne also came close, finishing second in the Giro di Lombardia in 1955 and winning the other four races during his career. Germain Derycke also won four races, all except the Giro di Lombardia.
|This page was elaborated by the authors of www.TDFRANCE.eu, based on various web pages|