After one of the stages of this year's Giro (or, probably, more than one), a certain member of the community expressed her distaste with the racing, feeling it didn't measure up to the single-day classics. Different strokes for different folks; I didn't so much care for the all-the-eggs-in-one-basket style that characterized those races, but I suppose I can understand why they're popular. That's also not what I'm writing about.
Those comments got me to thinking why don't we see single-day races that look like Grand Tour queen stages. If those stages can be raced after a week or two weeks solid in the saddle, why not have them be their own event?
Of course there are climby single-day races, I'm not trying to say they aren't. But even the ones renowned as the most climby, like the Tour of Lombardy or the San Sebastian Classic wouldn't exactly make for jaw-dropping Grand Tour stages.
There must be something I'm missing, but why couldn't we have a single-day race finishing at the Stelvio or Alpe d'Huez, or Bola del Mundo or something? Keep it under 200km, like the stages, and you don't run the risk of it being prohibitively difficult. And that can't be the reason it doesn't happen, because there are certainly single-day races under 200km in length. I think this would really add an interesting new style of racing we don't really see in either the big tours or the traditional single-day races.
Is it as simple as single-day racing being thought to be inexorably tied to Belgium and the Netherlands, where peaks like this simply don't exist? Of course there are single-day races in Italy, France, and Spain, but only sparing exceptions have the prestige of Dutch and Belgian single-day races.
I guess I'll file this one away with the descending-ITT as a beautiful dream....