Forget the politics

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Boonen wins G-W

I know I give the politics of the sport plenty of attention here. For me it would be good if the sport could be run better, everyone stands to gain and taking a look at the issues is often interesting. But probably like you, I find it’s much better watching actual racing rather than following the politics.

March isn’t finished but it’s been a superb start to the season. Whether it’s via a suspect pirate video stream or in glorious HDTV, watching some of the racing so far has been a joy. For all the infighting off the bike, the battles on the road are much more gripping. That said, there’s a start point and and an end to the racing, the issues facing the sport are obviously more nuanced and complicated. Whether it’s race radios or Alberto Contador, we simply don’t know what the future will bring. Plus there are rumours a rider has tested positive. Let’s hope it’s a false alarm.

Evans in Tirreno

Just one of many great moments so far

But if the politics is too much then you just have to flick on the TV or open a new tab in your browser. Several races have been packed with suspense. We’ve seen riders duel, teams try to outwit each other and some moments of individual brilliance. It doesn’t mean I forget all the background spats, just that you can put them into perspective.

Now April is coming, the Tour of Flanders is now less than a week away. This is one of the highlights of the season, an unofficial World Championship where the intensity of the race is matched by energetic and knowledgeable crowds. April is an dense month with plenty of action and then before you know it, the Giro d’Italia will begin. There’s so much to look forward to.

So as much as I cover the politics and business, let’s salute the racing. In the coming week I’ll be taking a look at a few aspects of the Tour of Flanders.

bikecellar March 27, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Yes what is happening on the road this spring puts all the bickering in the shade So lefevre knew what he was doing pulling tom from E3, avoidance worked the score now stands at 1-1. Looking forward to the Ronde though and remembering his dominance last year how to get the better of Spartacus? I can’t see any team with the beating of him so perhaps an alliance of some sort, any ideas, perhaps lotto/quickstep ha ha.

Dean March 27, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Say what you will about the suspect pirate video stream , listening to a race is Flemish just seems right (even if I can only make out the names and occasional landmark). Last night is the reason I suspect many of us follow cycling, between tomekke snatching GW, the Aussies powering to the podium for the Madison World Champs and I suppose if your that way inclined, seeing LAY-oh-pard Trek pick up the CI. All things considered, I have no intention of turning my back on such awe-inspiring feats just because of some petulant squabbling.

Matt Rose March 27, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Hallelujah! Watching Cancellara speed away from the peloton and reel in breakaway groups like a pilot fish for however long they could hold on was a sight to behold. Ronde, Amstel Gold, P-R, we can finally start focussing on what matters

Starr March 28, 2011 at 1:42 am

inrng wrote, “Plus there are rumours a rider has tested positive. Let’s hope it’s a false alarm”

Say huh??? Hey Mr Inside, what are you holding on to?

And I agree, glad to see some fantastic racing. Following a lot of the Sporza coverage and using my limited Vlaams to highlight my East Coast mornings.

The Inner Ring March 28, 2011 at 8:13 am

bikecellar: I’m still not convinced by Boonen. QS played it well with Chavanel up front, leaving an armchair ride for Boonen but had he been on a different wheel he might not have won. Now he did win and in style with a long sprint… but there was an element of luck. See Cancellara the previous day for pure force.

Dean: I like the Sporza coverage too. You can get used to it too, in time you understand some words.

Matt Rose: yes, we have a lot of suspense from breakaways, will they/won’t they. Great to watch.

Starr: it was on Twitter. Like I say, let’s really, really hope it was a false alarm.

Flashing Pedals March 28, 2011 at 9:23 am

Cancellara’s ride at E3 Prijs was the more convincing.
He had some bike trouble (ironically, he always does at Flanders, and everyone does at Roubaix) but calmly recovered, and rode his race plan.
It was effortless composure from him.

Yesterday’s Gent Wevelgem, the course appeared ‘less’ than E3 Prijs – and perhaps the course change (from last years version) to satisfy more, diluted the impact.
I remain unconvinced of Boonen’s ability to overcome Cancellara at either Flanders or Roubaix.
Boonen was isolated with a puncture, had a long wait for a spare wheel – (the Quick Step team car is placed at rear of convoy) no team mates stopped or waited, and a sprint at the end may show he has speed, but Flanders wont end in a sprint.

I am sure Boonen could outsprint Cancellara, but that’s why Cancellara ensures the race is over before the last km.
Should be good racing the next 2 Sundays,

GluteCramp March 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I am hanging out for the next two Sundays – even though Monday mornings are going to be painful (including early start to catch interstate flight after P-R)… For mine, the best racing is always during March and April…

Boonen’s launch at G-W was perfectly timed as he passed Stannard up the gutter with 250m to go. He looked genuinely surprised he held on – and just a little bit happy, too…

Interesting to see Offredo sprawled on the ground (again) after the line after colliding with what I think was a marshall… That guy likes binning bikes, doesn’t he!?!?

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