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I guess it depends on whether you want to think of it as “race” of the decade or “event” of the decade or, as they seem to be, “time trial” of the decade.
If it's race of the decade, then, to me, you're looking for the best head to head competition at the front of the race.
If it's event of the decade, then the value of the event to the whole field matters. Of course, this would include the elites but would not be limited to them.
If it's time trial of the decade, then it would appear they made the correct choice.