Having just read that Ted Ligety of the US won the WC Giant Slalom race today had me thinking a bit. In ski racing, the GS champ has sort of been considered the unoffical "best skier" since the discipline does a nice job of bridging the gap between the speed events and the technical events. Ok, I'm thinking back to the early 80's a bit before the advent of the Combined (now Super Combined) and the Super G, but I still think fans consider the GS to be the most pure.
Ok, before I loose you, I'll get to my point. Cycling like has been impacted by specialization the same way other sports have, notably skiing. There are classics guys, sprinters, climbers, cronomen etc, but what race truly defines the "best cyclist"?
What bike race(s) defines what you would call the "best cyclist"?
Grand Tours (France, Spain, Italy) (23 votes)
Stage Races, Tour of Swiss, Paris Nice, Dauphinee, etc (6 votes)
Northern Classics (Flanders, Roubaix) (13 votes)
Ardennes Classics and Lombardy (28 votes)
World Championships (7 votes)
77 total votes