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  • Sam Young

    How about Vanmarke sitting up to let Fabian, who had done most of the work, take second place. I’m sure it would be different had Sagan been within catching distance, but it was a class act.

  • pedr09

    I think because Cancellara had Devolder working for him still, he wanted to trust that approach when the other 3 went clear but he should have recognised that Devolder was weakening and the other teams were simply waiting for him to make his inevitable move. Too late to the party.

    • Michele

      It was.

      But personally I’d much rather see him miss out on winning than towing someone to the line, which more than a few were hoping would happen.

  • Michele

    Couldn’t agree more about Claeys. I gave him “1 vote” in my 3-2-1.

    He just pipped Sep, and his classy act in allowing Fabian to take it all in – by himself – as he crossed the finish line.

    There was some sincere and legitimate respect shown on that podium.

    Speaking of Claeys; here’s one for the trivia buffs…

    When was the last time a rider had his jersey unzipped because the weather was so “warm” at Ronde?

  • Michele

    Couple of other observations:

    1. I’m sure Greipel has a bet each year with a teammate that he will be the first one onto the Koppenberg. By my reckoning that’s the 3rd time in the past 4 years he’s done so. He always attacks whatever lead group he’s in at the same place; so much so that last night I was within about 5 seconds of predicting his move.

    Incidentally, he’s never been the first person off the Koppenberg.

    2. That is a bit harsh on Etixx. I know they’re under the microscope more than most teams because they’re Belgium based. Maybe they should just get one of their riders “to do a Greipel”. Lotto Soudal always seem to avoid the media/fan scrutiny.

    I would suggest Team Sky’s showing was probably even poorer than Etixx. Standard, Swift, Thomas and Kwiatkowski all in the finale. They fired blanks.

    • De Mac

      The criticism of Etixx might also have its origins off the back of that disastrous 3 vs 1 (Stannard) loss in last year’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, perhaps?

      • Dave

        It’s mostly the fact that Etixx has, over the years, adopted a policy of recruiting every rider who beats them at one of the races they were targeting, and they generally stop winning once they arrive there. For that reason alone, Sagan should avoid signing there when August finally rolls around – going to Trek as Cancellara’s replacement would be far more advisable.

        Maybe Etixx going all in on just one protected leader and another couple of backup options, with the rest being domestiques, would be a better balance than having eight potential winners who all ride individual races. It’s even worse than the Aussie attempt at last year’s world championship road race where Gerrans and Matthews sprinted against each other.

    • Dave

      Greipel attacks before the Koppenberg because he needs the head start to have a chance of still being in the same group afterwards. It’s not Greipel’s big day out that gets Lotto out of the scrutiny, it’s because they are seen as the team from Wallonie rather than from Flanders.

      Rowe was the best-placed rider from Sky, ahead of those you mentioned.

      Sky gets a pass from the criticism (actually more laughter than criticism) levelled at Etixx because people still think of them as a specialist team for the French-style stage races, and that therefore placing 5th and 12th (with one other guy whose big play for the win didn’t come off) is better than Etixx placing 8th, 10th, 13th and 15th. The reality is they are actually getting quite good at the cobbled classics and very close to getting the big result they need to tick them off as another conquered challenge before heading onto what will be their final frontier – racing well in Italy where the plans never work.

  • Drumharp

    How about Ch 9’s decision to program Wolf of Wall St on at the same time that the Tour of Flanders was running?

    • Andy B

      haha took me a minute to get this link

      then I started banging my chest

      • anonymousktvz

        that chest banging thing is waaaaay older than wolf of wall st

    • Good catch. I was watching both at one point during the beginning.

  • aradilon

    “perhaps less than 10 minutes of the women’s race was shown in total ” actually the last 50k where broadcasted on the second channel of vrt (Canvas).

  • Damien Cook

    Fabian was not the only one to miss ‘the moment’. Watching Eurosport coverage on Foxtel when the break went and that commentator dud, Sean Kelly (being a great rider is not a requirement to be a good broardcaster) was on the prattle. It was on his monitor right in front of him and he ignored it and driveled on. Amazing. Time he was sent on his bike.

  • Karl Krösus

    No love for Imanol Erviti? I think he was the real surprise of the ronde. Being in the original break that formed around km 70 and hung on all the way with the big ones until they started attacking and then finishing 7th within the big group of favourites…and that as a Spaniard ;)

  • De Waffle Stoemper

    Anyone have any idea what shoes Sep is wearing? Maybe the next version of the r321?

  • DutchTouch1

    Does anyone know Sagan’s average speed during his TT after the Paterberg?


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