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  1. #1
    don d.
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    Favorite Solo victories in a Classic

    For me, this would have to be Eric Vanderarden's solo escape to victory in the Tour de Flanders, jumping away on the Muur de Geraardsbergen, the last climb of the race, after he and Peter Post teammate Phil Anderson caught Hennie Kuiper. With two members of the same team on his wheel, Hennie could just watch Eric ride away to victory in the greatest race a Belgian can win, The Tour of Flanders. The conditions were attrocious that day. Rain fell so heavily there as 3-4 inches of it on the ground and the riders were drenched. But movies of Vanderarden show him composed, in form, smooth, and powerful as he left the best behind. His cap perched jauntily, he rode in the maelstrom with the camera bikes next to him, and graciously removed his raingear while riding to show the Belgian national champion jersey he owned at the time while crossing the finish line amongst his home fans.

  2. #2
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Hamilton's win last spring in Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  3. #3
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Hamiltons win last year in the Tour de France.
    reminded me of why they called Merckx the cannibal, no?

    Marty
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    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Hinaults solo in the 1980 LBL. Raced in a blizzard, it took three weeks for Hinault's fingers to completely recover.

    Coppi's victory in the '46 Milan-San Remo is a close second.

  5. #5
    don d.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laggard
    Hinaults solo in the 1980 LBL. Raced in a blizzard, it took three weeks for Hinault's fingers to completely recover.
    That was an amazing race. A full report:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/veloarc.../liege1980.htm

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    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Though it wasn't a solo break, Anquetil winning the 1965 Dauphine Libere and the next day winning the 550 km Bordeaux-Paris may possibly be the greatest cycling feat ever.

    I remember reading about it many years ago and it still has the same impact on me today. Unreal.

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    god damn, a single day race from Bordeaux to Paris. Just finishing that with a month of proper rest and training is a feat.

  8. #8
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    For shear drama, bad weather and pure "moxy" I'd have
    to say Andy Hampstens win on the Gavia pass 1988.
    See this post:
    June 5th 1988 The day the strong men cried........

    Marty
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  9. #9
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    The stages you mentioned were great but you cant really compare stage wins to classic races.

  10. #10
    don d.
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    I guess there is a difference in the level of committment a rider makes for a one day race which is all about giving a depleting effort in total committment to victory, and the level of committment a rider makes in a stage race, which requires more measured efforts and pacing for the long term competition.

    Indurian was the master of the latter while on some tours, it seemed like Bernard Hinault rode every stage as though it was a one day classic.

    Hampsten's victory at Gavia was legendary among all victories, and made him an enduring hero in Italy, where he has home and business interests.

    While not a huge Hampsten fan myself, he did sieze the moment that day, and rode into the history books forever.

  11. #11
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Oops, my bad.
    Thats what I get for not really reading the header.
    yup I was talking stage wins, not classics.
    forget everything I said/posted here.

    Marty
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  12. #12
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    I could be wrong but am pretty sure Andy did not win on the Gavia that day. Erik Breukink caught him and passed him on the descent with 7K to go. Andy did take pink that day and went on to win the overall (an amazing race) but did not win the stage. Check the link from lotek above.

  13. #13
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    My favorite classic victory is Johan Museeuw's solo in the 2000 Paris-Roubaix coming back from his knee injury. Second would be Tyler @ Liege.

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    Andrei Tchmil, Tour of Flanders 2000.

    He almost repeated this victory at the World's in Plouay that year but, as he said, the course was fifty metres too long for him that day.

  15. #15
    don d.
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    More Tchmil

    Quote Originally Posted by KingRene
    Andrei Tchmil, Tour of Flanders 2000.

    He almost repeated this victory at the World's in Plouay that year but, as he said, the course was fifty metres too long for him that day.
    I have a video of Tchmil's victory in Paris Roubaix, I think it was 94. He rode like a madman with Museeuw in lone pursuit. Museeuw got within 6 seconds of catching him but couldn't close the gap. Museeuw was riding an experimental Bianchi in that race with front and rear suspension.

    Tchmil was riding so intensly that when he came to one of those roundabouts in a town center that euro roads are so famous for, he bunnyhoped his bike onto it and rode straight over it. Quickest line between two points and to victory for Lotto.

    Gilbert Duclos LaSalle and Gianluca Bortolami both suffered flats in the same pothole, all caught on the video, and those flats put them out of contention. It was comical to watch them riding next to each other with their hands up for mechanical assistance, but by the time the Mavic car got there, everybody, including Sean Yates, 6th on the day, was gone. Of course the french Mavic car gave Duclose LaSalle a wheel before Bortolami.

    Tchmil is right there with my top favorite riders.

  16. #16
    don d.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dws5b
    I could be wrong but am pretty sure Andy did not win on the Gavia that day. Erik Breukink caught him and passed him on the descent with 7K to go. Andy did take pink that day and went on to win the overall (an amazing race) but did not win the stage. Check the link from lotek above.

    I think your right. Andy just took the pink that day, not the stage.

  17. #17
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Agreed Andy took pink, not stage.
    Still my favourite stage in all racing.
    For classics Paris/Roubaix 1972 thru 1980, take
    your pick they are all great.

    Marty
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