Wanna take a ride? "The Queen of the Classics.""The Hell of the North."Whatever you want to call it, Paris-Roubaix on Sunday shapes up as one of the most exciting classics in years with the expected duel between Quick Step's Tom Boonen and George Hincapie of Discovery Channel.Roger De Vlaeminck, who won the race a record four times to earn the name "Mr. Paris-Roubaix," predicts that Boonen will win, according to the Cycling News:"No-one is capable of beating Boonen. Because no-one there is that well known. The rest of the world doesn't enter the equation. Where are Vinokourov, Popovych and Ullrich?
If you're going through hell, keep on going."-Winston ChurchillThe 104th edition of The Hell of the North, The Queen of the Classics, Paris-Roubaix is being run this weekend (April 9th.) Although they've crowned a winner for every edition, the real contenstants are the riders versus a combination of the pave and the inclement weather. Th dreaded Arenberg forest makes its return (having been scraped for last year's race due to gaping ruts and an oily film layed down on the pave from nearby industrial plants.) The forecast calls for rain, but when and how much hasn't been determined.Although there are
Tornado WarningFor those of you with any ambition to win one of the Crown Jewels of the Spring Classics, The UCI in conjunction with the European Weather Service has upgraded the Tornado Watch for the month of April to a full blown Tornado Warning. The most recent sighting of Tornado Tom Boonen was on the podium of the Ronde van Vlaanderen.Although his real nickname is "Staf," the moniker of the "Tornado" fits Boonen's style of riding. Like the cyclonic forces of nature, he is a constant threat to those in his path during the Spring season. Already a World Champion,
Maybe no one wanted a ride on 53rd Tooth's handlebars (see previous item)?The answer to yesterday's question (who won the 2005 Tour of Flanders) is the answer to who won the 2006 Tour of Flanders: defending World Champion Tom Boonen of Belgium. I believe I heard OLN's Phil Liggitt say that Boonen was the first ToF winner and defending world champion since another Belgian, Eddie Merckx. Not bad, eh?What really impressed me (beyond the fact the Boonen is the dominant rider in cycling right now) was the 2-3 finish of Team Disovery's Leif Hoste (of Belgium!) and George Hincapie. In
For the thousands of you now reading this blog (!), don't miss OLN-TV's coverage of the Tour of Flanders on Cyclism Sundays from 5-7 p.m. ET.And for a ride on 53rd Tooth's handlebars, who won the 2005 Tour of Flanders?
Although the cherry blossoms are blooming in Northern Virginia and the mercury is rising well above freezing, spring arrives for me in a different matter and in a different climate. Beginning this weekend with the Ronde van Vlaanderen on April 2nd, the Northern (Belgian) Classics have arrived!As Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett are known to say, these one day races "bring out the hard men." Through wintry conditions which can only be described as perverse, and over multiple sections of jagged cobbles, these races amount to a human free-for-all. Team tactics only come into play for the survivors. Think you'd