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Cyclingnews 2007 Reader Poll Results
Best One-day Race
The Queen of the Classics reigns supreme
By Gregor Brown
The cobbled Queen of the Classics, Paris-Roubaix, has taken the Cyclingnews' readers best one-day race category for a sixth year running. Since this category was started in 2002, it has kept at the top of the charts thanks to its character and ability to produce worthy winners.
"I was going to win today or die trying," declared Stuart O'Grady after capturing the 2007 edition. The Australian's win might have helped the Monument gain the extra 13 percentage points from our polls the year before; he was the first ever rider from his country to top the podium in Roubaix and the first English speaker to do so since Sean Kelly in 1986.
Year after year, riders base their season around this 250-plus kilometre race in northern France like the small pocket-rockets do for the summer's Grand Tours. Warriors like Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara and Magnus Backstedt throw all caution to the wind to capture the cobble trophy and an eternity of fame on offer in the Roubaix velodrome.
The race, Compiègne to Roubaix, does not contain any côtes or murs; however it features sectors like the hellish Arenberg Forest, which nearly killed Johan Museeuw in 1998. Then there is the velodrome; after battling over pavé all day the riders hit the smoothly paved Roubaix velodrome to complete a lap and a half. Finally, there's the cement shower house - the place where riders attempt to clean their bodies of the pain inflicted while swapping stories of the Sunday outing.
The second and third place spots stayed the same from 2006 to 2007 with the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Liège-Bastogne-Liège neighbouring Roubaix's top finish. The pavé and bergs of Flanders that have been the stomping ground of Eddy Merckx in the past continue to win the hearts of cycling fans. While over one week later, eastern Belgium plays host to the Liège's numerous côtes as the Grand Tour riders gear up for the summer.
An honourable mention goes to the Philadelphia International. It is the only one-day event from outside of Europe that found its way on our list this year, and that is thanks to its rich history in hosting the USA Championships and the fan-packed Manayunk Wall.
Votes %ge 1 Paris - Roubaix 6048 68.37% 2 Ronde van Vlaanderen 746 8.43% 3 Liège - Bastogne - Liège 686 7.75% 4 Giro di Lombardia 471 5.32% 5 Milano - Sanremo 322 3.64% 6 Amstel Gold Race 229 2.59% 7 Gent - Wevelgem 150 1.70% 8 Philadelphia International 138 1.56% 9 Omloop Het Volk 56 0.63% Total: 8846