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by Matt de Neef
April 3, 2017
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Philippe Gilbert wins the Tour of Flanders with thrilling 55km solo move; Coryn Rivera becomes first American to win the Tour of Flanders; Rare victory for Rory Sutherland at Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja; Simon Yates victorious at GP Miguel Indurain; Sagan and Vanmarcke crash out of Flanders; Double mechanical ruins Boonen’s Flandrian fairytale; Gilbert outlines dream of winning all five Monuments; Mixed reception to Muur’s Flanders return; Vinokourov and Kolobnev to face court in May over Liege corruption allegation; Fallen endurance racer Mike Hall honoured in tribute rides.
When it was announced last year that the Muur van Geraadsbergen would return to the Tour of Flanders in 2017, the news received something of a mixed reaction. Many were thrilled to see the famous climb return to De Ronde, but at 95km from the finish, it wasn’t expected to have an impact on the race.
“It’s nice that people can stand on the Muur again and take nice pictures, but other than that, it doesn’t matter,” Tom Boonen said recently. “Muur or no Muur, with 100km to go, it will not change the result one bit.”
Pre-race favourite Greg van Avermaet was even less excited:
“It takes us out of the way,” Van Avermaet said on Friday. “The course from the Muur to Oudenaarde is not very attractive. It’s too early to go, that is for sure. Where are you going to go? I don’t think it will be a decisive factor.”
In the end, the Muur did have a significant impact on the race. It was there that Tom Boonen split an elite chase group off the peloton, leaving Sagan and Van Avermaet behind, and it was from the Boonen group that Gilbert made his winning move.
Follow the link to read more at VeloNews.