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Gear up! The cycling Monuments and riders

With news of Tadej Pogačar pulling off a Babe Ruth-esque called shot in the recent Strade Bianche, breaking away from the peloton with 80 kilometers remaining and dominating the white gravel, let’s take a look at the cycling calendar for the year ahead and specifically at the races known as the “Monuments”.

While there are many one-day classic professional cycling races, including the aforementioned Strade Bianche held in Tuscany, the most prestigious, and arguably most important, are those known as the Monuments. These are renowned for their long histories, brutal challenges, and legendary status.

Here’s a closer look at each of the Monuments on the 2024 cycling calendar . . .

Milan-San Remo (Italy, March 16)

First Run in 1907, and known in Italian as “La Primavera” (Spring), it’s the longest Monument, covering around 300 kilometers with mostly flat terrain. It’s known for its thrilling sprint finish on the iconic Via Roma in San Remo.

Tour of Flanders (Belgium, March 31)

Also known as “Ronde van Vlaanderen” and run since 1913, it’s not only famous for its relentless cobbled sectors (“hellingen”) and steep climbs (“muurs”), but also for unpredictable weather and aggressive racing.

Paris-Roubaix (France, April 7)

Nicknamed “The Hell of the North” for its cobbled sections (“pavé”) scattered throughout the course. It’s been on the cycling calendar since 1896, and known for dust, mud, and mechanical failures. A brutal test, it finishes at the Roubaix Velodrome.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium, April 21)

Also known as “La Doyenne” (The Old Lady), it’s the oldest Monument (1892) and features a series of challenging climbs in the Ardennes region of Belgium.

Giro di Lombardia (Italy, October 12)

Nicknamed “The Race of the Falling Leaves” due to its late-season date, it features some of the most iconic climbs in Italian cycling, including the Madonna del Ghisallo. Run since 1907, it’s seen as the closing chapter of the professional cycling season.

Add on to these races the Grand Tours (the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France, and the Vuelta a España, we’ll talk more about these in a forthcoming post), plus multiple other one-day “classics”, and we have an exciting cycling calendar for the 2024 season with these premier riders competing for glory:

Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia)

The two-time Tour de France champion (2020, 2021) remains a major threat in all three Grand Tours. His all-around talent and climbing prowess are a force to be reckoned with, and having served notice in the Strade Bianche he will be the one rider you have to watch this season.

Jonas Vingegaard (Denmark)

The back-to-back Tour de France champion (2022, 2023), Vingegaard is a powerful climber who has established himself as Pogačar’s main rival. He’ll likely be aiming for a third consecutive yellow jersey in 2024. Like 2023, the 2024 Tour de France could come down to the bitter end, and set up a thrilling ride into Nice.

Remco Evenepoel (Belgium)

The young Belgian prodigy is a rising star. His explosiveness, time-trialing skills, and 2023 Vuelta a España victory make him a contender in all three Grand Tours.

Primož Roglič (Slovenia)

The two-time Vuelta a España champion (2021, 2023) is still a threat, especially at the Vuelta. Injuries may have had an effect on his 2023 Tour de France campaign, but his climbing ability and experience can’t be ignored.

Egan Bernal (Colombia)

The 2019 Tour de France champion is aiming for a comeback after injuries. Recovery dependent, his climbing skills and experience could put him back in contention, especially at the Giro or Vuelta.

Of course there could be any number of surprising new breakout riders this season, adding to the all-round excitement that fans of cycling can expect this year.

Peter, with over 20 years navigating the dynamic world of sports websites, brings not only experience but an insatiable passion for the games. An avid NHL and curling fan, his heart beats for all things sports, from the roar of the crowd to the quiet intensity of strategic plays. At Attiq, Peter strives to curate an attic of hidden stories, insightful analysis, and forgotten legends, inviting you to explore the depths of the sports world beyond the headlines. Click here for Peter's posts.