The Spring Classics are a big deal on the Professional Calendar. The way I look at it, the Spring Classics are basically split into three very separate and distinct parts: The Semi-Classics, the Cobbled Classics, and the Ardenne Classics. (Note that this is simplistic and slightly inaccurate but I won’t get into the disjointed nature of race organisers and how they brand their events. Also, some are on the World Tour Calendar and others are on the European calendar. Confusing…I know.)

I’ve included Milan-San Remo in this gallery but it’s a race that stands out by itself. It’s the first of the Spring Classics and is one of the Five Monuments, but despite its timing it’s not considered to be a “Semi-Classic” (even though I’ve grouped it here for simplicity sake).

Milano-San Remo (World Tour)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (World Tour)
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (Europe Tour)
Dwars Door Vlaanderen (Europe Tour)
E3 Prijs Harelbeke (Europe Tour)
Gent – Wevelgem (World Tour)
3 Days De Panne (Europe Tour)

It’s interesting to see in hindsight who was going well during these beginning races, who got injured, and who ended up rising to the top. Here’s a look back at these first significant races of the 2012 cycling season (recaps of the Cobbled and Ardenne Classics coming sortly)…