Cobbled classics

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The Cobbled classics are four cycling classics held in Spring. Cobblestones, like mountainous terrain, are important elements in courses of cycling. Many classic cycle races in northwestern Europe contain cobbled sections. The two Monuments of this race type are the Tour of Flanders and Paris–Roubaix, with over 20 cobbled sectors.

History[edit]

The first semi-classic with cobbled sections is Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, which traditionally opens the Belgian classics season, followed the next day by Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne. Starting late March, the Vlaamse Wielerweek (Flemish cycling week) kicks off the most important period for cobbled cycling classics. Before the Pro Tour changes, the most important Flemish races were held in one week. Now it kicks off with Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday, the E3 Harelbeke on Friday and Gent–Wevelgem on Sunday. The stage-race Driedaagse van De Panne keeps the riders busy during the following week, concluding with the Monumental Tour of Flanders on Sunday. The Grote Scheldeprijs on the following Wednesday prepares the riders for the historical Paris–Roubaix (another Monument), which ends the cobbled classics.

Among the cobbled cycling races the three most historical are usually held on consecutive Sundays in the early spring: Gent–Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and Paris–Roubaix. Gent–Wevelgem has lost a lot of its historical status due to the relative easiness of the route. E3 Harelbeke is considered to be harder and thus better preparation for the Ronde and Roubaix. In 2012, both races received equal status on the UCI Pro Tour.

In 2012 Belgian rider Tom Boonen managed to win all 4 races in the same season, as the first and only rider to do so.

Winners since 1990[edit]

Year  E3 Harelbeke (BEL)  Gent–Wevelgem (BEL)  Tour of Flanders (BEL)  Paris–Roubaix (FRA)
1990  Soren Lilholt (DNK)  Herman Frison (BEL)  Moreno Argentin (ITA)  Eddy Planckaert (BEL)
1991  Olaf Ludwig (GER)  Djamolidine Abdoujaparov (UZB)  Edwig van Hooydonck (BEL)  Marc Madiot (FRA)
1992  Johan Museeuw (BEL)  Mario Cipollini (ITA)  Jacky Durand (FRA)  Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (FRA)
1993  Mario Cipollini (ITA)  Mario Cipollini (ITA)  Johan Museeuw (BEL)  Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (FRA)
1994  Andrei Tchmil (BEL)  Wilfried Peeters (BEL)  Gianni Bugno (ITA)  Andrei Tchmil (BEL)
1995  Bart Leysen (BEL)  Lars Michaelsen (DEN)  Johan Museeuw (BEL)  Franco Ballerini (ITA)
1996  Carlo Bomans (BEL)  Tom Steels (BEL)  Michele Bartoli (ITA)  Johan Museeuw (BEL)
1997  Hendrik Van Dijck (BEL)  Philippe Gaumont (FRA)  Rolf Sørensen (DEN)  Frédéric Guesdon (FRA)
1998  Johan Museeuw (BEL)  Frank Vandenbroucke (BEL)  Johan Museeuw (BEL)  Franco Ballerini (ITA)
1999  Peter Van Petegem (BEL)  Tom Steels (BEL)  Peter Van Petegem (BEL)  Andrea Tafi (ITA)
2000  Sergei Ivanov (RUS)  Geert Van Bondt (BEL)  Andrei Tchmil (BEL)  Johan Museeuw (BEL)
2001  Andrei Tchmil (BEL)  George Hincapie (USA)  Gianluca Bortolami (ITA)  Servais Knaven (NED)
2002  Dario Pieri (ITA)  Mario Cipollini (ITA)  Andrea Tafi (ITA)  Johan Museeuw (BEL)
2003  Steven de Jongh (NED)  Andreas Klier (GER)  Peter Van Petegem (BEL)  Peter Van Petegem (BEL)
2004  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Steffen Wesemann (GER)  Magnus Bäckstedt (SWE)
2005  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Nico Mattan (BEL)  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Tom Boonen (BEL)
2006  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Thor Hushovd (NOR)  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)
2007  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Marcus Burghardt (GER)  Alessandro Ballan (ITA)  Stuart O'Grady (AUS)
2008  Kurt Asle Arvesen (NOR)  Oscar Freire (ESP)  Stijn Devolder (BEL)  Tom Boonen (BEL)
2009  Filippo Pozzato (ITA)  Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR)  Stijn Devolder (BEL)  Tom Boonen (BEL)
2010  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)  Bernhard Eisel (AUT)  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)
2011  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Nick Nuyens (BEL)  Johan Vansummeren (BEL)
2012  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Tom Boonen (BEL)
2013  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)  Peter Sagan (SVK)  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)
2014  Peter Sagan (SVK)  John Degenkolb (GER)  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)  Niki Terpstra (NED)

See also[edit]