2014 will be the first classics season I’ve watched without Juan-Antonio Flecha. He was always a favorite of mine for his cool salute and willingness to attack from however far out seemed necessary.
He won a Tour stage, but he was a Classics rider at heart, so I’ll call the 2010 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad his biggest win—but only because “neutral” service towed Nico Mattan past him at Gent Wevelgem in ‘05.
Flecha also came across as a nice dude. Here he is retrieving an arm warmer from a competitor’s rear derailleur in his final classic, last year’s Giro di Lombardia (which also has an HTRWW, though Flecha did not feature).