The cobbled classics gave us some of the best racing this season, in fact it gave us three of the top five one-day races in this year’s Cyclingnews Reader Poll.
It all kicked off with the double header of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, won by Ian Stannard and Mark Cavendish respectively, at the beginning of March. After a brief lull for some of the early-season stage races, things amped up at Dwars door Vlaanderen, which saw Nairo Quintana take to the cobbles for the first time.
Geraint Thomas put himself forward as a favourite for the monuments a little further down the line with his win at E3 Harelbeke. The same race marked the end of Fabian Cancellara’s campaign when he crashed and broke two vertebrae.
Gent-Wevelgem caused controversy as riders were blown across the road and into the canal in horrible conditions. The eventual winner Luca Paolini would later court controversy himself when he tested positive for cocaine. The women’s race garnered attention for a very different reason. As well as the exciting action, it also saw winner Floortje Mackaij greeted by podium boys.
After several weeks of build-up, the major goals Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix came at the start of April. Elisa Longo Borgini got things off to a cracking start with an impressive solo victory in the women’s Flanders race. The men’s event came down to a two-way duel between Niki Terpstra and Alexander Kristoff, with the Norwegian coming out victorious.
At Paris-Roubaix, John Degenkolb’s never-say-die attitude saw him bridge the gap to a threatening looking escape to seal victory in a sprint in the Roubaix velodrome.
Flick through the gallery above to relive the 2015 cobbled classics season.
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