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2012 Tour of Flanders

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

The Tour of Flanders is held in Belgium every spring, one week before the Paris–Roubaix road race. It is part of the UCI World Tour and one of the so-called monuments of the European professional calendar.

 

This year the course for Tour of Flanders was changed drastically. The finish was moved from Meerbeke to Oudenaarde. Famous climbs like the Muur van Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg were the final two hills in almost every edition since 1975 and have now been removed from the course. The new finish features the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, both will be climbed three times. Also included in the finish are the infamous Koppenberg (climbed after the first passage of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg), the Steenbeekdries and the Kluisberg.

 

 

Map and Profile

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Previous Winners

 

2011 Nick Nuyens (Bel), Sylvain Chavanel (Fra), Fabian Cancellara (Swi)    
2010 Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Tom Boonen (Bel), Philippe Gilbert (Bel)  
2009 Stijn Devolder (Bel), Heinrich Haussler (Ger), Philippe Gilbert (Bel)  
2008 Stijn Devolder (Bel), Nick Nuyens (Bel), Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa)  
2007 Alessandro Ballan (Ita), Leif Hoste (Bel), Luca Paolini (Ita)  
2006 Tom Boonen (Bel), Leif Hoste (Bel), George Hincapie (USA)  
2005 Tom Boonen (Bel), Andreas Klier (Ger), Peter Van Petegem (Bel)  
2004 Steffen Wesemann (Ger), Leif Hoste (Bel), Dave Bruylandts (Bel)  
2003 Peter Van Petegem (Bel), Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel), Stuart O'Grady (Aus)  
2002 Andrea Tafi (Ita), Johan Museeuw (Bel), Peter Van Petegem (Bel)  
2001 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita), Erik Dekker (Ned), Denis Zanette (Ita)  
2000 Andrei Tchmil (Bel), Dario Pieri (Ita), Romans Vainsteins (Lat)

 

2012 Tour of Flanders Start List

 

SAXO BANK
1 TOSATTO Matteo (ITA)
2 AAEN JORGENSEN Jonas (DEN)
3 KLOSTERGAARD LARSEN Kasper (DEN)
4 KROON Karsten (NED)
5 LUND Anders (DEN)
6 MARYCZ Jaroslaw (POL)
7 MORKOV Michael (DEN)
8 ROBERTS Luke (AUS)

BMC
11 GILBERT Philippe (BEL)
12 BALLAN Alessandro (ITA)
13 SCHÄR Michael (SUI)
14 HINCAPIE George (USA)
15 HUSHOVD Thor (NOR)
16 VAN AVERMAET Greg (BEL)
17 BURGHARDT Marcus (GER)
18 QUINZIATO Manuel (ITA)

OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP
21 BOONEN Tom (BEL)
22 CHAVANEL Sylvain (FRA)
23 DEVENYNS Dries (BEL)
24 MAES Nikolas (BEL)
25 STEEGMANS Gert (BEL)
26 TERPSTRA Niki (NED)
27 TRENTIN Matteo (ITA)
28 VANDENBERGH Stijn (BEL)

LOTTO - BELISOL
31 BILLE Gaetan (BEL)
32 CORDEEL Sander (BEL)
33 DEBUSSCHERE Jens (BEL)
34 DE HAES Kenny (BEL)
35 VANGENECHTEN Jonas (BEL)
36 DOCKX Gert (BEL)
37 SIEBERG Marcel (GER)
38 WILLEMS Frederik (BEL)

SKY PROCYCLING
41 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald (NOR)
42 EISEL Bernhard (AUT)
43 FLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio (SPA)
44 HAYMAN Mathew (AUS)
45 HUNT Jeremy (GBR)
46 KNEES Christian (GER)
47 STANNARD Ian (GBR)
48 SUTTON Christopher (AUS)

AG2R LA MONDIALE
51 BELLETTI Manuel (ITA)
53 GODDAERT Kristof (BEL)
54 GAZVODA Gregor (SLO)
55 LEMARCHAND Romain (FRA)
56 MINARD Sébastien (FRA)
57 MONDORY Lloyd (FRA)
58 HOUANARD Steve (FRA)

GREENEDGE CYCLING
61 GOSS Matthew Harley (AUS)
62 COOKE Baden (AUS)
63 LANGEVELD Sebastian (NED)
64 KEUKELEIRE Jens (BEL)
65 O'GRADY Stuart (AUS)
66 TUFT Svein (CAN)
67 VAITKUS Tomas (LTU)
68 WILSON Matthew (AUS)

ASTANA
71 BAZAYEV Assan (KAZ)
72 BOZIC Borut (SLO)
73 GRUZDEV Dmitriy (KAZ)
74 GUARNIERI Jacopo (ITA)
75 IGLINSKIY Maxim (KAZ)
76 IGLINSKIY Valentin (KAZ)
77 MURAVYEV Dmitriy (KAZ)
78 FOFONOV Dmitriy (KAZ)

EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI
81 CAZAUX Pierre (FRA)
82 GARCIA AMBROA Ricardo (SPA)
83 BILBAO Pello (SPA)
84 MINGUEZ AYALA Miguel (SPA)
85 PEREZ LEZAUN Alan (SPA)
86 PEREZ MORENO Ruben (SPA)
87 SAEZ Adrian (SPA)
88 URTASUN PEREZ Pablo (SPA)

FDJ-BIGMAT
91 BONNET William (FRA)
92 BOUCHER David (FRA)
93 CHAINEL Steve (FRA)
94 GESLIN Anthony (FRA)
95 LADAGNOUS Matthieu (FRA)
97 RASCH Gabriel (NOR)
98 ROLLIN Dominique (CAN)

KATUSHA
101 BELKOV Maxim (RUS)
102 FLORENCIO CABRE Xavier (SPA)
103 FREIRE GOMEZ Oscar (SPA)
104 VANTOMME Maxime (BEL)
105 ISAYCHEV Vladimir (RUS)
106 KRISTOFF Alexander (NOR)
107 KUSCHYNSKI Aleksandr (BLR)
108 PAOLINI Luca (ITA)

LAMPRE - ISD
111 RIGHI Daniele (ITA)
112 MORI Manuele (ITA)
113 BUTS Vitaliy (UKR)
114 CIMOLAI Davide (ITA)
115 GRAZIATO Massimo (ITA)
116 HONDO Danilo (GER)
117 KRIVTSOV Yuriy (UKR)
118 VIGANO Davide (ITA)

LIQUIGAS - CANNONDALE
121 SAGAN Peter (SVK)
122 BODNAR Maciek (POL)
123 DA DALTO Mauro (ITA)
124 DALL'ANTONIA Tiziano (ITA)
125 KING Edward (USA)
126 KOREN Kristjan (SLO)
127 MARANGONI Alan (ITA)
128 OSS Daniel (ITA)

MOVISTAR
131 AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA Andrey (CRC)
132 ERVITI Imanol (SPA)
133 HERRADA LOPEZ José (SPA)
134 KONOVALOVAS Ignatas (LTU)
135 LASTRAS GARCIA Pablo (SPA)
137 VENTOSO ALBERDI Francisco José (SPA)
138 VISCONTI Giovanni (ITA)

RABOBANK
141 BOOM Lars (NED)
142 VAN EMDEN Jos (NED)
143 BRESCHEL Matti (DEN)
144 LEEZER Tom (NED)
145 TANKINK Bram (NED)
146 TJALLINGII Maarten (NED)
147 VAN WINDEN Dennis (NED)
148 WYNANTS Maarten (BEL)

GARMIN - BARRACUDA
151 FARRAR Tyler (USA)
152 HAUSSLER Heinrich (AUS)
153 KLIER Andreas (GER)
154 MAASKANT Martyn (NED)
155 BAUER Jack (NZ)
156 RATHE Jacob (USA)
157 VAN SUMMEREN Johan (BEL)
158 VANMARCKE Sep (BEL)

RADIOSHACK - NISSAN
161 CANCELLARA Fabian (SUI)
162 BENNATI Daniele (ITA)
163 GALLOPIN Tony (FRA)
164 IRIZAR ARANBURU Markel (SPA)
165 POPOVYCH Yaroslav (UKR)
166 RAST Grégory (SUI)
167 ROULSTON Hayden (NZ)
168 SERGENT Jesse (NZ)

VACANSOLEIL - DCM
171 DEVOLDER Stijn (BEL)
172 BOECKMANS Kris (BEL)
173 LARSSON Gustav Erik (SWE)
174 LEUKEMANS Björn (BEL)
175 MARCATO Marco (ITA)
176 MOL Wouter (NED)
177 SELVAGGI Mirko (ITA)
178 WESTRA Lieuwe (NED)

TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN - MERCATOR
181 DE VREESE Laurens (BEL)
182 LIETAER Eliot (BEL)
183 NEIRYNCK Stijn (BEL)
184 VAN HECKE Preben (BEL)
185 VANDOUSSELAERE Sven (BEL)
186 VANSPEYBROUCK Pieter (BEL)
187 WAEYTENS Zico (BEL)
188 WALLAYS Jelle (BEL)

LANDBOUWKREDIET - EUPHONY
191 AMORISON Frédéric (BEL)
192 BARBE Koen (BEL)
193 BELLEMAKERS Dirk (NED)
194 COMMEYNE Davy (BEL)
195 DE WAELE Bert (BEL)
196 HOVELYNCK Kurt (BEL)
197 PLANCKAERT Baptiste (BEL)
198 TRAKSEL Bobbie (NED)

ACCENT JOBS - WILLEMS VERANDAS
201 HOSTE Leif (BEL)
202 CAPPELLE Andy (BEL)
203 VAN GROEN Arnoud (NED)
204 VAN MELSEN Kevin (BEL)
205 SCHEIRLINCKX Staf (BEL)
206 VAN DIJK Stefan (NED)
207 GORIS Rob (BEL)
208 VANLANDSCHOOT James (BEL)

FARNESE VINI
211 HULSMANS Kevin (BEL)
212 ASCANI Luca (ITA)
213 DE NEGRI Pier Paolo (ITA)
214 FAILLI Francesco (ITA)
215 FAVILLI Elia (ITA)
216 GATTO Oscar (ITA)
217 MAZZANTI Luca (ITA)
218 POZZATO Filippo (ITA)

PROJECT 1T4I
221 DEGENKOLB John (GER)
222 CURVERS Roy (NED)
223 DE BACKER Bert (BEL)
224 VEELERS Tom (NED)
225 KLEMME Domenik (GER)
226 SINKELDAM Ramon (NED)
227 STAMSNIJDER Tom (NED)
228 VAN ZANDBEEK Ronan (NED)

EUROPCAR
231 VOECKLER Thomas (FRA)
232 CHAVANEL Sébastien (FRA)
233 GAUTIER Cyril (FRA)
234 GENE Yohann (FRA)
235 JEROME Vincent (FRA)
236 PICHOT Alexandre (FRA)
237 TURGOT Sébastien (FRA)
238 VEILLEUX David (CAN)

NETAPP
241 BAUGNIES Jérôme (BEL)
242 COZZA Steven (USA)
243 EICHLER Markus (GER)
244 JARC Blaz (SLO)
245 SCHILLINGER Andreas (GER)
246 SCHULZE André (GER)
247 SEUBERT Timon (GER)
248 SCHWARZMANN Michael (GER)

 

post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

 

Cancellara surgery successful

Fabian_Cancellara_2183857b.jpgFabian Cancellara has successfully undergone surgery after the Swiss rider crashed out of the Tour of Flanders and broke his right collarbone.
The operation revealed a four-part fracture of the collarbone, not a triple fracture, as reported on Sunday. The bone was put together using a special technique with a clavicle pin, allowing for a better and faster recovery.
 

I'll be ready for London Games, says Cancellara

Basel. Swiss champion Fabian Cancellara said Tuesday that his build-up to the London Olympics would continue unchanged despite having undergone surgery for a four-part fracture of his right collarbone.
The Olympic time-trial champion sustained the injury in a fall during last weekend's Tour of Flanders classic, which was won by Belgium's Tom Boonen for a record-equalling third time.RadioShack-Nissan team doctor Andreas Goesele explained that a "more natural" clavicle pin had been used to put the bone together during surgery rather than using a plate and screws.
 

Fabian Cancellara eyes May return following operation on broken collarbone sustained in Tour of Flanders

Cancellara broke his collarbone during Sunday's Tour of Flanders one-day classic after the RadioShack-Nissan rider fell around 62km from the finishing line.
The rider suffered multiple fractures to his collarbone during the second 'monument' of the cycling season, which was won by Belgium's Tom Boonen for a record-equalling third time.
 

Fabian Cancellara says surgery will not derail London 2012 bid

The Olympic time-trial champion Fabian Cancellara remains on course for this summer's London Games despite breaking his collarbone on Sunday.
The 31-year-old Swiss rider underwent surgery in Basel after suffering the injury in a crash at the Tour of Flanders and, while still in pain, plans to resume training as early as next week.
tom-boonen_2183058b.jpg
 

Belgium's Tom Boonen wins record-equalling third Tour

The 31-year-old - previously a winner in 2005 and 2006 - beat home Italian duo Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan in a sprint finish to the 255km race.
Boonen admitted that he hadn't been very confident of winning when he was left with just the two Italians for company.
"However, the wind was my ally. It was very tough to cycle alone in the last 8 kilometres (with the two Italians).
"The victories record is the cherry on the cake, it only adds to my happiness. To have my name alongside names who have entered the history books in this race...
 

Boonen wins third Tour of Flanders

Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen won the one day classic Tour of Flanders for a record equalling third time on Sunday.
The 31-year-old - previously a winner in 2005 and 2006 - beat home Italian duo Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan in a sprint finish to the 255km race.
His task had been made easier when Switzerland's Olympic time-trial champion and the winner of this race in 2010 Fabian Cancellara fell 62km from the finish and was later diagnosed to have broken his right collarbone in three places.
 

Tom Boonen claims third Tour of Flanders title

Belgian Tom Boonen stormed to a record-equalling third career victory in the Tour of Flanders while 2010 winner Fabian Cancellara fell and broke his collarbone.
 
The 31-year-old Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider outsprinted Italians Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan to become the fifth rider to take three wins in the 99 year-old event, Belgium's top one-day classic.
Two leading New Zealand riders completed the tour, with Hayden Roulston 21st on general classification and Tom Bauer 64th.
The winner of the prestigious Belgian E-3 Harelbeke and Ghent-Wevelgem classics last weekend and now the new leader of the UCI WorldTour rankings, Boonen has seemed all but unstoppable in 2012 after a quiet 2011.
 

Ochowicz pleased with BMC's Tour of Flanders performance

With one of the most robust and star-studded teams in the Tour of Flanders Jim Ochowicz hoped that his BMC team would feature heavily in the race. The team certainly needed a morale boosting result after a spring campaign plagued by disappointment.
At the finish of Flanders, Ochowicz could muse over a ‘mission accomplished' moment - a first step in the right direction but with more battles still to come. With Alessandro Ballan and Greg Van Avermaet the team secured third and fourth places in the race. There was even a glimmer of hope for Philippe Gilbert who featured in the race until the final set of climbs on the last lap.
 

Boonen wins Tour of Flanders

Tom Boonen won the Tour of Flanders for the third time in his career, beating Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan in a three-way sprint on Sunday.
On the penultimate climb, the three broke away with 18kms to go in the daylong race. In an open sprint to the line, Boonen held a bike-length margin over Pozzato for his first Tour of Flanders win since 2006.
Crashes marked the final stages of the classic with favourite Fabian Cancellara the biggest victim. Initial media reports said he broke his collarbone.
 

Omega Pharma-Quick Step sprinter Tom Boonen wins record-equalling third Tour of Flanders

BELGIAN cyclist Tom Boonen has won the Tour of Flanders one-day classic for a record-equalling third time.
The 31-year-old - previously a winner in 2005 and 2006 - beat home Italian duo Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan in a sprint finish to the 255km race.
Boonen admitted that he hadn't been very confident of winning when he was left with just the two Italians for company.
"However, the wind was my ally. It was very tough to cycle alone in the last 8km [with the two Italians].
"The victories record is the cherry on the cake, it only adds to my happiness. To have my name alongside names who have entered the history books in this race.
"This season, I knew that I could equal or beat quite a few records. But to win my favourite race three times is special."
 

BOONEN DELIGHT IN FLANDERS

Tom Boonen equalled the record of most wins at the Tour of Flanders with a third victory in the second of cycling's five annual Monuments.
The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider prevailed in a three-way sprint to the line, beating Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) and Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing) to reclaim the title he last won in 2006.
The Belgian, also a winner in 2005, had been the clear favourite beforehand for his country's biggest race, which covered 255 kilometres from Bruges to Oudenaarde.
 

So near but so far for Pozzato at Tour of Flanders

It's hard to know what Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) will rue more when he thinks back over the Tour of Flanders: the inches that separated him from winner Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in the sprint at Oudenaarde or the metres that were ultimately the difference between dropping Boonen on the Paterberg and dragging him clear in the race's winning break.

 

Pre-race News

Belgium would love Boonen to roar in Tour of Flanders

Belgium's love affair with the Tour of Flanders could reach dizzying heights Sunday when Tom Boonen bids to shake off Swiss nemesis Fabian Cancellara and join an elite club of three-time champions.
A former two-time winner of the race -- known affectionately as the 'Ronde' (Tour) -- Boonen has signalled his return to winning ways after a complicated end to last season with two notable victories last week.
First, the Belgian claimed a fifth career victory in the E3 Harelbeke on Friday and, three days later, captured his second successive Ghent-Wevelgem title.
 

TOUR OF FLANDERS AND PARIS-ROUBAIX ARE THE NEXT TWO BIG GOALS FOR TOM BOONEN

Tom Boonen is probably one of the most successful cyclists in the 2012 season considering the amount he has registered already.
The cyclist is now warming up for the Tour of Flanders, a race he won in 2005 and 2006. Boonen finished the race at fourth position in the most recent version and missed the podium by a narrow margin.
His only two victories in the past season came during the first stage of the Tour of Qatar and the overall victory at the Gent-Wevelgem.
Tom started the 2012 season on a totally different note. His first win came at the Tour of Qatar where he grabbed an overall victory.
 

SYLVAIN CHAVANEL AND FILIPPO POZZATO FAVOURITES FOR THE TOUR OF FLANDERS, TOM BOONEN

Tom Boonen of Team Omega-Pharma Quick Step attended the fully packed press conference in Belgium just ahead of the Tour of Flanders.
He was a changed man especially after the overall success at the E3 Prijs-Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem just ahead of his home World Tour event.
Boonen's tremendous form is evident through the long list of victories that he has claimed in the season already.
The 31-year-old secured the first overall spot during the 2005 and the 2006 editions of the race and is determined to repeat his old performance at the contest.
 

Bartoli regrets Muur absence

Michele Bartoli has voiced his disappointment at the absence of the Muur van Geraardsbergen from the route of this year's edition of the Tour of Flanders. The Italian has found memories of the Muur, after soloing clear on its slopes to win De Ronde in 1996, but the legendary helling has been removed from the course as the race now finishes in Oudenaarde rather than in Meerbeke.
 

Hayden Roulston ready to rumble in Belgium

Hayden Roulston will go into tonight's Tour of Flanders race in Belgium with his focus on helping team-mate Fabian Cancellara, but also ready to take an opportunity if it comes his way.
The 31-year-old cyclist, who rides for RadioShack Nissan Trek, will be taking part in Belgium's biggest sporting event of the year tonight as most of the world's best cyclists race over the 254.4km course between Bruges and Oudenaarde. Jesse Sergent is the other Kiwi in the team in the race – his role will be to help the leaders out in the early part of the race, while Roulston's main objective will to be to support Cancellara for as long as he can before the Swiss rider battles over the last few kilometres on his own.
 

Boonen: Cancellara isn't the only rival in Flanders

Many are calling tomorrow's Ronde Van Vlaanderen as being a likely showdown between Tom Boonen and RadioShack Nissan's Fabian Cancellara, but the Belgian is adamant that there will be other riders who will be in the running for victory. While the duo have shown a good run of form in recent weeks, with Boonen in particular clocking up a number of victories, he insists that they both must be vigilant. 

 

86ef455f_1230168_m15.jpeg

Sagan primed to take on Boonen at the Tour of Flanders

It's sometimes easy to forget Peter Sagan's tender years, but the Liquigas-Cannondale rider's first memories of watching the cobbled classics on television are a stark reminder of how far he has travelled since turning professional two years ago.
 

A Special Rivalry On the Cobbles

Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara might not crack the top ten of this Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen, but you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone writing about the race and not starting the conversation with one or both of these stars. For a few weeks a year Boonen vs. Cancellara has become one of the sport's great rivalries, something to appreciate if you look at cycling history. Sure, rivalries at the Tour de France are practically a given. Over 21 stages of the world's hardest event the cream always rises to the top (barring a spill), and the media if not the riders themselves will shape the outcome as a mano-a-mano thing. If there are just two prime contenders, all the better.
 

Cancellara dreams of solo Flanders win

Fabian Cancellara dreams of winning the Tour of Flanders solo again this Sunday in Oudenaarde, Belgium.
"The worst case scenario is to have two riders on my back wheel," he said at a press conference in Bruges. "The best is to be alone on the front. What counts is passing the line in the first position."
He has been thinking about Flanders and recent races at his home in Bern, Switzerland. Over a barbecue on Wednesday, he must of thought of how Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) got the best of him in Milan-San Remo. He launched a gutsy attack, but was followed to the line and beaten.
 

Belgium would love Boonen to roar in Flanders

Belgium's love affair with the Tour of Flanders could reach dizzying heightson Sunday when Tom Boonen bids to shake off Swiss nemesis Fabian Cancellara and join an elite club of three-time champions.
A former two-time winner of the race -- known affectionately as the 'Ronde' (Tour) -- Boonen has signalled his return to winning ways after a complicated end to last season with two notable victories last week.
First, the Belgian claimed a fifth career victory in the E3 Harelbeke on Friday and, three days later, captured his second successive Ghent-Wevelgem title.
 

SEP VANMARCKE TO LEAD TEAM GARMIN-BARRACUDA AT THE TOUR OF FLANDERS

Sep Vanmarcke to lead Team Garmin-Barracuda at the Tour of Flanders
Team Garmin -Barracuda has shown faith in Sep Vanmarcke and the cyclist will lead the side at the Tour of Flanders 2012.
The team is desperate in need of a victory and is looking ahead to mark a perfect start under the leadership of the young Belgian.
Robert Hunter helped the team with its first win of the season after his splendid performance during the South African Road Race.
 

Boonen cleans slate ahead of Flanders

Tom Boonen told journalists at a conference today that the scoreboard resets ahead of the Tour of Flanders Sunday.
"I've won a lot, but it's wrong to say that there's less pressure," the Belgian said. "Every race you do is important. Though it's nice to have these wins, you have to forget everything you've done the week before and race the best you can."
Boonen has been unstoppable this year due partly to a strong team and a lack of health problems. OmegaPharma-Quick Step won 23 races so far, including seven by Boonen. He won the last two races he has started, both serious semi-classics: E3 Harelbeke and Ghent-Wevelgem.
 

Spartacus ready for Tornado Tom in Flanders classic

Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara is hoping memories of his stunning Tour of Flanders victory in 2010 inspire him to another domination of Belgian rival Tom Boonen in Sunday's classic. 
Cancellara's 'Ronde' victory two years ago was one of the most comprehensive in the history of the race, the Swiss powering away from 'Tornado Tom' on the Muur van Geraardsbergen and leaving the helpless Belgian in his wake. 
 

Omega Pharma-QuickStep with "110 options" for Tour of Flanders

Belgian team could win with Boonen, Terpstra or Chavanel
Wilfried Peeters of Omega Pharma-QuickStep has a luxury problem, with at least three riders on his team who might win the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. "We want as many riders in the finale as possible," he told sporza.be.
 

Can anyone spring a surprise in Flanders?

As the peloton enters Belgian cycling's Holy Week, does anyone else have a prayer apart from the in-form Belgian Tom Boonen and his old Swiss foe Fabian Cancellara?
Following a fortnight of minor warm-up races in Belgium, the nitty gritty gets underway this Sunday with the Tour of Flanders and then, a week later on Easter Sunday, the mythical Paris-Roubaix.
Both cobblestone classics are included in cycling's list of five monuments – and a win in either would be enough to cap the career of most professionals.
 

Controversy Marks Tomorrow's Tour of Flanders

Every year, when the UCI Road Cycling WorldTour comes to Belgium, it is something of a pilgrimage. No population anywhere in the world regards cycling as highly as the Belgians, not even the French, where the world famous Tour de France is held. Cycling is to Belgians as alpine skiing is to Austrians, and hockey to Canadians. And when changes are made to a race as prestigious as this weekend's Tour of Flanders, it is best to brace for controversy.
Amongst the Classics – a series of one day road races, often point to point – there are legends. The Milan-San Remo, the Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. Each presents its own challenges.
 

Tour of Flanders 2012: The Big Preview

Fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) vs Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan-Trek) once again at the Tour of Flanders this Sunday (April 1).
Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Belgian superstar undeniably has the form coming into the Ronde after winning both E3-Harelbeke and Ghent-Wevelgem last week.
Yet with Cancellara looking strong in recent weeks, only a fool would bet against him being at the sharp end of the race when it blasts its way into the new finish in Oudenaarde.
 

Boonen: I don't need to drop anyone in Tour of Flanders

It's a new Tom Boonen that walked into the overcrowded press conference at the Kennedy Hotel in Kortrijk, Belgium today - a Tom Boonen that has the confidence of not only winning two major events prior to Sunday's Tour of Flanders, but also a rider who has re-found his sprint and his spirit.
 

Boonen calm ahead of Flanders

Tom Boonen has said he is relaxed and ready for Ronde van Vlaanderen which many are labelling as a showdown between the Belgian and Fabian Cancellara.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Boonen won two World Tour races on home soil last week, E3 Prijs and Gent-Wevelgem, and is gunning for his third victory in one of the monuments of the European professional calendar.
"After my victories at E3 Prijs and Gent-Wevelgem the first part of the season, it's already good," Boonen said.
 

Low-key build-up to Tour of Flanders for Team Sky

With the much anticipated Boonen-Cancellara duel occupying hearts and minds during Belgian cycling's Holy Week, Team Sky has been one of a number of teams enjoying a quiet build-up to the Tour of Flanders. But with Bernhard Eisel, Juan Antonio Flecha and Edvald Boasson Hagen in its ranks, the British squad boasts a number of riders with the capacity to show themselves on the cobbles.
 

Fabian Cancellara before Flanders: 'I'm prepared for battle' despite crash

For a rider who has won the Tour of Flanders just once, Fabian Cancellara carries a heavy burden of expectation heading into Sunday's race.
The odds seem to be stacked against Cancellara: Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has won the race twice and had victories at E3 Harelbeke and Ghent-Wevelgem last weekend.
Despite nursing an injury following a hard crash last Sunday, Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) will take the start in Bruges as one of two major pre-race favorites at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the most important race in Belgium.
 

 

post #3 of 21

The first of this years monument races.

 

Cancellara is determined to do well in this race but I think a few riders will have something to say about this like Boonen, Pozzato, Devolder, Van Summeren, O'Grady.

 

BMC look like a really strong team for this race. 

post #4 of 21

Going with another non-favorite again this year.

The cream will rise to the top, but the usual suspects will mark each other out.

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyzackery View Post

Going with another non-favorite again this year.

The cream will rise to the top, but the usual suspects will mark each other out.



You might well be right, Tony.

 

Someone like Kroon could get away while Canc and co mark each other.

 

The BMC squad look very strong. Gilbert, Thor eek.gif

post #6 of 21

Both Gilbert and Thor have posted some very lackluster performances so far this year. Gilbert has been the polar opposite of Boonen. Crashed out of Milan San Remo, quit the E3 and finished a few minutes down in Wevelgem.

 

It'd be hard to expect anything other than Cancellara and either Boonen or Chavanel duking it out. Sagan could be up there but I don't think he's got the endurance for the slugfest that is Flanders and still be fresh enough to win in a sprint. On the cobbled bergs, Boonen and Cancellara are just head and shoulders above the rest.

 

Boonen on the Taaienberg during last weeks E3 Prijs (at the 1:00 mark) - a massive effort on the first part of the hill and still pulls on the front afterwards. He's a rare form - looks better than the Tommeke of old.

 

http://proracingtv.com/full-hd-highlights-e3-prijs-vlaanderen-harelbeke-2012/

 

... that mind you is a 15% section that he just dispached.

post #7 of 21

It's very possible that big showdown Boonen - Cancellara will be delayed for Easter Sunday. This one could take a less prominent rider in terms of expectations for this edition of the race.

Boonen said he can (and will) wait for the sprint, and I'm not sure RNT has riders capable of responding to OPQS numbers.

It seems that Cancellara will have to do all by himself again.

 

After second passage of Oude-Kwaremont and Paterberg there's Hoogberg/Hotong with Kwaremont in the distance. I think that's perfect succession and combination of tarmac, cobbles, length and gradients for Cancellara.

 

Although on the same distance (like in previous editions) from the finish, Koppenberg could be more important this year.

 

I'm looking forward to it, and won't be surprised if we see another "Devolder" kind of victory. On contrary.

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by limerickman View Post

You might well be right, Tony.

 

Someone like Kroon could get away while Canc and co mark each other.

 

The BMC squad look very strong. Gilbert, Thor eek.gif



Gilbert wasn't going very well in the Gent - Wevelgem, a week probably isn't enough time for him to be at the level we all want to see him at.

 

Gilbert, Hushovd, Van Avermaet, Ballan eek.gif

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Devolder is having a bad day by the looks of things. 

 

Gilbert is riding like a potential winner.

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

Sagan punctured 

 

sagan.jpg

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

Short cut? 

 

short_cut.jpg

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

crash.png

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

Cancellara has crashed and is out. eek.gif

post #14 of 21

How tough is it out there today? Sky's team CAR bonked! 

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve View Post

Cancellara has crashed and is out. eek.gif



Ah man, that's really disappointing - not so much that I'm a fan of Cancellara (because I am) but just because he's a rider who could make the race interesting...then again, given the nature of his win in '10, maybe not. 

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