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What makes a good 'classics' rider?(5 posts)

What makes a good 'classics' rider?Coot72
Feb 23, 2003 12:28 AM
With the spring classics starting up in less than a month, I though about what types of personalities and physical attributes help make a good 'classics' rider, say as compared to a time-trialer or climber or sprinter.

What do you guys know about these 'hardmen' of the spring classics?
re: What makes a good 'classics' rider?cyclopathic
Feb 23, 2003 12:50 AM
have you ever ridden on cobbles in rain in sub-40 temperatures for some odd 130mi?
re: What makes a good 'classics' rider?Spunout
Feb 23, 2003 4:41 AM
A strong team helps too, like anyone on Mapei in the 90s.

But the best all-rounders I think. The ability to throw everything into one day. Unlike a stage race, you always have to save a bit. I think Johann Museuw said, that after winning a Paris Roubaix that the vibrations didn't stop for a week (from the cobbles). He has to pour all of one day's resources, and more from the next week into the last few hours of his ride.
Power and maturityMcAndrus
Feb 23, 2003 6:54 AM
I'd say raw power and physical maturity. Guys like Museeuw, Tchmil and Tafi have that. It seems to me that the successful classics riders tend to be older, although that's not always true, of course.

It's a form of racing that cyclist can do well, well into their 30s. I infer from this that bike handling skills, tactical knowledge, and physical maturity are very valuable here.
I think...5ive
Feb 23, 2003 7:53 AM
Spunout and McAndrus had some good takes on this. It's generally bigger, mature, strong riders who do well in this discipline (except for those few classics better suited for climber-types: Fleche Wallone, L-B-L). I think this partly due to the fact that sustainable power over distance and ability to recover is absolute necessities for these classics. Riders all know where the attacks will go, where it will be windy, and where they must stay at the front of the group in order to have a chance at winning. I think living and trainning in the region helps and so is being on a particular team with strong focus and trainning schedule tailored for spring classics. But in the end I think it's a discipline where the strongest rider with the most amount of desire to win will always shine. Museeuw's 40km solo at the last PR, and Tchmil's solo at 2000 Flanders to me are what the classics are all about: taking the pain and spitting it out on the pave'.