Winners of the classics and Grand Tours in 2015

The framework for this site is this list of the bike races which actually matter. The list is my own and an attempt to impose some sort of structure on a sprawling, hard-to-understand calendar. It omits many major stage races, but includes all the Grand Tours, all the Monuments and a select few high profile classics related to the Monuments.

At the end of last season, I looked back on who had won each of them as I felt that gave a decent overview of how the season panned out. Let’s do that again (except let’s focus on who won in 2015 this time as that seems rather more relevant).

Asterisks indicate cycling’s five Monuments


*Milan-San Remo

  1. John Degenkolb
  2. Alexander Kristoff
  3. Michael Matthews

The cobbled classics

E3 Harelbeke (also known as E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke)

  1. Geraint Thomas
  2. Zdenek Stybar
  3. Matteo Trentin

Gent-Wevelgem

  1. Luca Paolini
  2. Niki Terpstra
  3. Geraint Thomas

*Ronde van Vlaanderen (also known as the Tour of Flanders)

  1. Alexander Kristoff
  2. Niki Terpstra
  3. Greg Van Avermaet

*Paris Roubaix

  1. John Degenkolb
  2. Zdenek Stybar
  3. Greg Van Avermaet

The Ardennes classics

Amstel Gold

  1. Michal Kwiatkowski
  2. Alejandro Valverde
  3. Michael Matthews

La Fleche Wallonne

  1. Alejandro Valverde
  2. Julian Alaphilippe
  3. Michael Albasini

*Liege-Bastogne-Liege

  1. Alejandro Valverde
  2. Julian Alaphilippe
  3. Joaquim Rodriguez

Giro d’Italia

  1. Alberto Contador
  2. Fabio Aru
  3. Mikel Landa

Points: Giacomo Nizzolo
Mountains: Giovanni Visconti


Tour de France

  1. Chris Froome
  2. Nairo Quintana
  3. Alejandro Valverde

Points: Peter Sagan
Mountains: Chris Froome


Vuelta a Espana

  1. Fabio Aru
  2. Joaquim Rodriguez
  3. Rafal Majka

Points: Alejandro Valverde
Mountains: Omar Fraile


The World Championships

Time trial

  1. Vasil Kiryienka
  2. Adriano Malori
  3. Jerome Coppel

Road race

  1. Peter Sagan
  2. Michael Matthews
  3. Ramunas Navardauskas

*Giro di Lombardia (also known as Il Lombardia)

  1. Vincenzo Nibali
  2. Daniel Moreno
  3. Thibaut Pinot

Conclusions

Even paring it back, that’s still a ruck of names, but like incorrigible plastic moles, some just keep on popping up.

The most obvious is probably Alejandro Valverde. He won two of the Ardennes Classics, came second in the third and then logged a third place in the Tour de France for good measure. He also won the points classification at the Vuelta a Espana – not something that will add a great deal to his palmares, but then this is the man who routinely sprints for fourth places. I think he just likes finishing ahead of whoever happens to be nearest.

Beyond the obvious headlines arising from the Tour de France, Fabio Aru had the best year in Grand Tours, winning one and coming second in another. Could he win in France next year? Probably not.

The cobbles give rise to a different palette of names and if Geraint Thomas drew a lot of attention for a strong Tour de France ride, it was in the spring when he actually got to visit the podium. He had to step aside for John Degenkolb and Alexander Kristoff in the biggest races, however. The Tom Boonen/Fabian Cancellara era may have already slipped away without anyone realising it.

If there’s one name that’s conspicuous by its absence from the early part of the season, it’s that of Peter Sagan. He made up for it though. The Tour de France points competition’s routine for him now, so it takes becoming world champion for him to have had a half-decent season.