Monday, March 30, 2009

Tour of Flanders/I hurt myself today.




One of the Monuments is coming this Sunday. The 93rd Ronde van Vlaanderen/Tour of Flanders is all about pain, plenty of pain, and it is the most important race in Flanders. The yellow flags of the black lion that is the symbol of the Flemish north will proudly fly.

The infamous cobbled hills, sixteen of them, litter the 258.9 km twisty course zapping the strength from the glassy eyed riders as they try to negotiate past the 1 million screaming fans. It's huge and the Flemish passion will be ignited once it starts. Many Belgian riders base their season on it. To win, a Belgian rider will be crowned, 'King of Flanders.' They have the record wins of 65 follow by the Italians with 10 and the Dutch with 9. Canadian, Steve Bauer was close, back in 1986 & 1987, both times finishing a superb fourth. Englishman, Tom Simpson is the only Anglophone to win it back in 1961.

There will be plenty of non-Belgians I feel that could win it, most notably: George Hincapie, Juan Antonio Flecha & Thor Hushovd. I can't wait for the pain to start!

6 comments:

Eric said...

Last year's race was one of the best of the entire year. Stein and the Quick Step team played their cards beautifully. I can't wait for this year.

Arturo said...

Second that. I was on the Kwaremont and the Muur last year. Devolder was on fire!

Richard said...

I read that Boonen was miffed by Devolder winning! Anyways, he deserved the great victory!

Eric said...

Yah, Boonen was bitter. When I heard some of the bs that was coming out of his mouth after the race, basically saying that he deserved to be the guy from the team to win I really lost a lot of respect for him. The tactic that Quick Step put into play last year was a great one; wait for the selection, then send the Belgian champion up the road and make all the contenders try to pull him back. If they pull him back Boonen is well rested after sitting on their wheels and probably wins. If they don't pull him back, QS also wins. It's a great tactic and worked perfectly. You can't then complain when a strategy that was designed to get you a win, instead gets your team-mate a win.

Boonen really came across like a prick when he belly ached even though his team-mate won.

Biking Badger said...

Bring on the pain, well I mean how painful can it be sitting with a beer watching the most awesome sport in the world?

Richard said...

You can have a different one for every kilometer of the race. Make sure your off the bike, ha. There's at least, over 500 different Belgium beers and counting!

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