Pezcyclingnews: Pez Preview: De Ronde €15


Jan 3, 2005
The early season Belgian cobbled Classics have been building up to this Sunday and the battle of the Tour of Flanders, or De Ronde van Vlaanderen. Ed Hood looks at the history and examines the parcours for this Monument of the road. Who will be the winner? Not an easy answer, but he will be a Lion of Flanders.It’s hard to over-state the relevance of the Tour of Flanders, not just in cycling circles but in the national consciousness of Belgium. During the Copenhagen six day race a few years ago I was sitting beside Gents own star of road and track; Iljo Keisse in the back seat of Michael Berling’s car, en route our evening meal at the race restaurant. There was a bit of light hearted banter going on about Keisse’s joining the Quick-Step team and his third place at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne a few years before. Keisse joked that he was lucky that day; then someone mentioned the Ronde. Keisse’s voice immediately dropped and in a reverential tone he explained to us quietly that the Ronde was special, the biggest race in the world to any Belgian racing cyclist and to win it was a dream. You don’t joke about the Ronde.Iljo Keisse and the Etixx boys will be looking for a win on home groundOn the Saturday before the race, there will be 16 page full colour ‘pull out’ sections in the national daily newspapers. Every aspect of the race will be dissected – the parcours, the favourites’...

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