The five oldest, longest and most prestigious one-day races in professional cycling at-a-glance.

The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race draws inspiration from these iconic cycling Monuments. While the Geelong road race is considered a modern one-day classic, these five races are steeped in history.

Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia make up the Monuments. The single-day races all began before World War I. The youngest of the events, the Tour of Flanders, was first staged in 1913, while the oldest is Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which began in 1892.

The routes of each race were used during the World Wars and now each course is lined with memorials.

This year, the Australian contingent vying for podium finishes is spearheaded by Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), who has been targeting Milan-San Remo in the early part of the 2022 season.

“With three stages already in the pocket, I am really satisfied with how the start of the season is going. My first big goal is next week (Milan San Remo) and this victory (stage three at Tirreno-Adriatico) gives me a lot of confidence,” said Caleb.

Rob Stannard, in his first season with Alpecin-Fenix after moving from Team BikeExchange, will also race Milan-San Remo on Saturday. A true all-rounder, Rob has an ability to perform on the tougher and more punchier races, yet still possesses real speed when closing on the finish line.

Watch out for the Aussies as they tackle the five Monuments this season.


  • When: Saturday 19 March
  • Where: Italy
  • Distance: 293km
  • First edition: 1907
  • Also known as: La Primavera, The Sprinters’ Classic
  • Reigning champion: Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo)
  • Rider with most wins: Eddy Merckx (seven)
  • Website:

The first Monument of the season, Milan-San Remo, dates back to 1907. Also known as La Classicissima (the big classic) and La Primavera (the spring), it is considered the most important day in Italian cycling. The race is often described as the easiest to finish but the hardest to win. Don’t miss the start at the historic Milanese velodrome Maspes-Vigorelli.


  • Where: Belgium
  • When: Sunday 3 April
  • Distance: 272km
  • First edition: 1913
  • Also known as: De Ronde, Ronde van Vlaanderen
  • Reigning champion: Dane Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick Step Team)
  • Rider with most wins: Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara, Johan Museeuw, Achiel Buysse, Fiorenzo Magni, Eric Leman (all three wins)
  • Website:

Although it’s the youngest of the five Monuments, its route is one of the toughest with 18 hills and seven cobbled sections scheduled for 2022, says Race Director Scott Sunderland, also RD of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The short, sharp hills and cobbles will test the peloton and ensure exciting attacks and breaks before the famous Oudenaarde finish.


  • Where: France
  • When: Sunday 17 April and Saturday 16 April
  • Distance: 257.7km and 115.6km
  • First edition: 1896 and 2021
  • Also known as: Hell of the North, Queen of the Classics, La Pascale
  • Reigning champions: Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) and Lizzy Deignan (Trek – Segafredo)
  • Rider with most wins: Roger De Vlaeminck, Tom Boonen (four)
  • Website: and

Often described as the Queen of the Classics or the Hell of the North, Paris-Roubaix is the third Monument of the season and arguably the most recognisable event in the sport after the Tour de France. The race dates back to 1896 and has taken place 118 times since then. Don’t miss the second staging of the 115.6km women’s edition on the Saturday.


  • Country: Belgium
  • Date: Sunday 24 April
  • Distance: 254.7km
  • First edition: 1892
  • Also known as: La Doyenne
  • Reigning champion: Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
  • Rider with most wins: Eddy Merckx (five)
  • Website:

Liège-Bastogne-Liège is the oldest Classic on the calendar and the biggest race of the Ardennes Classics. The climbs of the Saint-Roch, Wanne, Stockeu, La Redoute and Roche-aux-Faucons are guaranteed to push the field to its limits. Anyone can win – climbers, Grand Tour riders and Classic specialists.


  • Country: Italy
  • Date: Saturday 8 October
  • Distance: 239km (TBC)
  • First edition: 1892
  • Also known as: Giro di Lombardia, Tour of Lombardy, Race of the Falling Leaves
  • Reigning champion: Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
  • Rider with most wins: Fausto Coppi (five)
  • Website:

This is the only Monument scheduled in the European autumn rather than spring. Il Lombardia, or the Tour of Lombardy, is famous for its picturesque route around Lake Como. Il Lombardia has a reputation for being a climbers Classic, taking in longer ascents than the power climbs of other Monuments. It’s often the final outing for Grand Tour riders seeking end of season success.

* Images: Milan-San Remo, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Il Lombardia

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