The late, great GP des Nations


The only real prestige time trial of the current cycling season is the World Championsh­ips. While a grand tour TT stage win, especially one at the Tour, also comes with a certain cachet, the specialist­s can often get caught up among the GC riders. However, until the late 1990s and into the 2000s, there was a series of prestigiou­s independen­t time trials which functioned as the equivalent of the monuments or classics for the rouleurs. The GP Eddy Merckx in Belgium was one example, but the biggest of all was the Grand Prix des Nations. The GP des Nations took place for years in the Chevreuse Valley near Paris but also enjoyed success as a race on the French Riviera. Winning it was at least as prestigiou­s as a classic, and some of the biggest riders in the world targetted it, including Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, Sean Kelly and Laurent Fignon. Perhaps the current generation of time triallists and allrounder­s deserve an event of similar stature.

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