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Professional Cycling For the Fans Follow the Tour de France,the Giro de Italia, the Spring Classics, or other professional cycling races? Here's your home...

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Old 02-26-09, 02:49 PM   #1
ebeth
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Must-See Races

I'm trying to expand my knowledge of the history of the sport - what are some of the races / GT stages that should not be missed?
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Old 02-26-09, 06:11 PM   #2
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Some (me for example ) would argue that all races are "must see" but to be realistic, here are my suggestions. A lot depends on broadcast availability or if you can watch them via the internet:

Paris-Roubaix: The spring classic with the famed cobblestone sections. The difficulty of this race depends on the weather conditions. Rain = mud = riders crashing and becoming caked with filth. Not to be missed even under "good" conditions.

Giro d'Italia: Italy's 3-week long multi-stage race. Personally, I like this better than the more famous Tour de France. The fans seem more frenetic, the climbs seem harder, and the teams seem more willing to send riders up the road and attack the leaders. If you can't watch the whole race, at least make sure you see the mountain stages. The same advice goes for the Tour de France.

Tour de France: Anyone who knows anything about bike racing (and many who know nothing) never miss a moment of this race. You can spend the rest of your life trying to understand team tactics and people more knowledgeable than me can explain it all better. As in the Giro, all of the racing is fun to watch, but mountain stages should not be missed. 3 weeks long as well.

There are plenty more to pick and choose from. America's Tour of California (just ended last weekend), Ghent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Tour of Lombardy, Vuelta a Espana (Spain's answer to the Giro and TdF), the world championships (yearly), the Olympics (every 4 years)...I could go on. Hang around here long enough and you'll catch on. Don't be afraid to ask questions, there are tons of people here who are hugely up to snuff on the races.

I would be remiss too if I didn't recommend local racing. If you have a bike race in your hometown or close by, get out and watch that in person. Sure, it's not Lance Armstrong (unless you're really lucky) but watching racing by standing on the side of the road is hugely more satisfying than sitting at home on the sofa!
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Old 02-26-09, 09:27 PM   #3
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Another bike race that is amazing to watch is the Subaru Sani2c in South Africa. It is a 3 day Mountain bike stage race. Good coverage on CyclingTV web site last year for free.

The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are particularly fun to watch due to often ridiculus conditions.

Last edited by Hezz; 02-26-09 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 02-27-09, 06:41 AM   #4
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My favorites in order:
Paris-Roubaix
The Giro
Tour de France
Tour of Flanders
Vuelta
Ghent-Wevelgem
Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Olympics
Tour of Cali

My list might be different if I could see some track cycling outside the Olympics.
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Old 02-27-09, 08:19 PM   #5
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Mine in no particular order:

Paris-Roubaix....most fun I ever have in front of a TV for one day

Giro d' Italia...ravenous fans, great mountain stages, more attacking.

Tour de France....goes without saying

Tour of California...Very quickly becoming one of my faves....good to see some of the lesser American pro squads.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege...one tough nutcracker of a race.

In all honesty I like them all...as long as I can see it its all good.

Cheers,

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Old 03-02-09, 06:45 AM   #6
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The Eroica is fast becoming a new age classic supposedly. I'm going to attempt a drive down this coming weekend if I can either convince my wife or sneak out and take our one car without her noticing it for the entire weekend ...
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Old 03-02-09, 09:10 AM   #7
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The Eroica is fast becoming a new age classic supposedly. I'm going to attempt a drive down this coming weekend if I can either convince my wife or sneak out and take our one car without her noticing it for the entire weekend ...
Perhaps if her boyfriend shows up, she'll hardly even know you're gone!

Let us know the results.
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Old 03-02-09, 11:07 AM   #8
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Perhaps if her boyfriend shows up, she'll hardly even know you're gone!

Let us know the results.


Not likely to happen ... he'd be coming with me!
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Old 03-02-09, 02:14 PM   #9
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Thanks, everyone - after the GTs and a few others, I'm still sorting the races / quality / importance out. I'm happy watching just about any of it, though.

How much stock is put in early (pre-Classics) season results?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzie Green View Post
Some (me for example ) would argue that all races are "must see" but to be realistic, here are my suggestions. A lot depends on broadcast availability or if you can watch them via the internet:
Oh, I agree - I'm in the U.S., so limited with TV, but just beginning to discover what I can watch on the internet.

[QUOTE=Suzie Green;8433280]Giro d'Italia: Italy's 3-week long multi-stage race. Personally, I like this better than the more famous Tour de France. The fans seem more frenetic, the climbs seem harder, and the teams seem more willing to send riders up the road and attack the leaders. If you can't watch the whole race, at least make sure you see the mountain stages. The same advice goes for the Tour de France.[/quote**

I know I've fully crossed to cycling obsessed because I'm planning on taking the day off for at least one mountain stage of the TdF this year. In the past I've only done this for tennis.

Does anyone have Cycling TV? Just wondering if it's really as good as it seems on paper.
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Old 03-02-09, 09:51 PM   #10
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I have had Cycling.TV for the past 4 years and it is a Godsend for us fans here in the USA. I often find myself watching it all day long on Saturdays during the winters here in New Jersey.

Get it, you will not be disappointed.

Cheers,

Brian J
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Old 03-05-09, 11:44 PM   #11
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Tour of Flanders
LBL
Paris Nice
Tour de Romandie
Dauphine Libere
Tour of Basque Country
Vuelta
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Old 03-06-09, 08:39 AM   #12
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This weekend is L'Eroica.
That is up there with the "Classics"
Very hard race and well worth a look.
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Old 03-13-09, 03:55 PM   #13
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I have to put my plug in for the Absa cape epic. An 8 day mountain bike stage race in South Africa. It's a great race to watch. Around march 20 - 27.
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Old 03-19-09, 11:04 AM   #14
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I'm going to throw in a plug for the Tour du Faso - Versus in mid-November. Nowhere near the caliber of the European biggies, but adding it to the list gives a well-rounded view in international cycling. It's impressive how they can do so much with so little.
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Old 04-03-09, 04:54 PM   #15
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Hey, What about WNBR
http://montpeliernakedbikeride.org/
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Old 04-03-09, 09:29 PM   #16
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My partner and I have seen
TDF
Giro
Vuelta
Tour of Flander
Ghent-Wevelgem
P-R
TOC
Hoping to go see Tour of Lombardy in the fall.

We think the Spring Clasics are the best. The racers give everything, no holding back. Belgians, beer, frites and bike racing! What more is there to life

Don't put off see these races in person. You will not regret it, but if you do not go you will.
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Old 04-03-09, 10:31 PM   #17
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LMAO!

Make sure you come back with pictures.
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Old 04-04-09, 07:28 AM   #18
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Must see races:

- Paris-Roubaix
- Liège-Bastogne-Liège
- Ronde van Vlaanderen
- Flèche Wallone
- Amstel Gold Race
- Omloop "Het Nieuwsblad" (former "Het Volk")
- E3 Prijs
- Tour du Suisse

- Tour de France (not because it's a great race but in the end it is "Le Tour")
- Dauphiné Liberé
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