Tour of Flanders: The Moment The Race Was Won

Ballan attack Flanders Ronde Vlaanderen

The first 210km of the race were dominated by a series of crashes, accidents and bizarre incidents. Riders fell, most notably Fabian Cancellara. It was not until the final 40km that the race came alive.

Then with 18km when Alessandro Ballan went clear on the Oude Kwaremont and – as the picture shows – Tom Boonen and Filippo Pozzato rode across to him. This was the moment the race was won.

Read more

Gent – Wevelgem: The Moment The Race Was Won

Tornado Tom Frits

Tom Boonen won the sprint to the line. As you can see from the image above he is level with the lime green Peter Sagan and the red and white Oscar Freire with 200m to go. But this was not the crucial moment of the race. Instead an acceleration 30km from the finish on the Monteberg climb made all the difference.

Read more

Gent – Wevelgem preview

It’s not just the clocks that change. Recently this race was a mid-week test, sandwiched between the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Still a prestigious race in its own right, it was often for the sprinters and it would also allow the “losers” from the Ronde to fine tune their moves ahead of Roubaix. Now it stands on Sunday and is part of the World Tour calendar, a promotion to a higher status.

Read more

Here come the cobbled classics: weekend preview

vanmarcke garmin

The season started in January, collarbones have been snapped already. We’ve had racing in the Middle-East and the shores of the Mediterranean too. But this weekend marks the start of racing in Belgium and the intensity of the racing goes up and the quality of the road surface goes down.

No more six star hotels or posing for photos with a koala, it’s back to winter, narrow lanes, mud and cobbles.

On Saturday there was the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Sunday has Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Here’s a preview with maps, profiles, favourites and info on TV schedules (updated after Saturday’s racing).

Read more

Saturday shorts

Boonen’s Arab spring
The Tour of Qatar finished yesterday with Tom Boonen taking his fourth overall win. As much as the race is about sprint finishes, Boonen looked far more complete and thanks to his team, always in the right place at the right time. It’s good for him but does this translate to results in the crucial spring classics? It depends how superstitious you are…

Read more

Monday shorts

A few observations and thoughts from the weekend. With just a few hours to go before the CAS-Contador verdict there’s just time to squeeze these in.

Read more

Tom Boonen’s delicate (t)issue

Injury can rob a champion of their aura. We can attribute superhuman abilities, high pain tolerance and unparalleled handing skills to a top rider, But when someone announces they’ve got a saddle sore a bit of dignity is lost.

Right now Tom Boonen is soldiering on in the Vuelta with a saddle sore and normally you’d cheer at his brave riding but talk of “a kind of diaper” has made a few fans laugh and others feel sorry for him. have picked up a Het Nieuwsblad piece.

Read more

Cartoons from the weekend

The sketch is by Marec, resident cartoonist of Het Nieuwsblad who normally does politics. But the weekend racing is front page news in Belgium. The scene depicts Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert as Belgian dunces who lost out and both are thinking “we’ve got ears after all”. Like most jokes, when you have to explain … Read more

Race radios, what next?

The weekend saw two races held without race radios. Here’s a quick review of the issues. Tactics It matters more than ever in Belgium as positioning and tactics are vital, riders dropping back to the team car to pick up food or fix a mechanical can’t alert their team. As a result, team riders use … Read more