Archive for February, 2011

Flecha takes tips from Contador; attack when they are down

I enjoyed the last ninety minutes of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on the computer this afternoon. Sebastian Langeveld had ten seconds lead when I switched on and he extended it to two minutes on a group of about ten chasers with 30km to the finish.

As the chasers crossed the cobbles of the Paadestraat thereĀ  was a crash and two or three riders fell. Flecha immediately attacked and quickly got a gap. He caught Langeveld after an heroic chase and he looked a sure winner. At 4km from the line he attacked from behind, got a gap but Langeveld clawed his way up to him and from then Flecha didn’t look such a sure bet. After the red kite they both stalled and Flecha even jumped on to the pavement much to the surprise of some window shoppers. Langeveld started the sprint and although Flecha got alongside he couldn’t get past.

Flecha got a lot of help from a strong Matt Hayman who eventually took third. Although the chasers appeared to be working hard and had distanced the Boonen group Langeveld had continued to increase his lead. Only when Flecha took advantage of the crash to attack did the lone leader’s advantage begin to tumble.

Should Flecha have attacked? I recall attacking in a race following a crash and Peter Ward, Ribble Valley CRC surged up to me and gave me a real ear bashing and a lecture on race etiquette. That said Peter is a dedicated socialist and trade unionist who is big on fair play. Unlike Flecha.

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The season starts in twelve hours !

To get myself in the mood for the start of the real racing I have watched a film of the QuickStep team training on the course of The Oomloop. They rode for four hours including three times over the “Haaghoek”. Never heard of it? Neither had I, apparently it is a stretch of level cobbles east of Oudenaarde and it certainly shook them around.

In the post ride interviews a couple of riders thought it could be crucial tomorrow along with the Molenberg. I just hope and pray that I can find the race on the computer. Belgian commentators have said that Boonen will be anxious to get revenge for his humiliation (their word) by Cancellara last spring. A common view is that it is impossible for Cancellara to have the form of last year. Could they mean that the engine searches will have brought him back to the level of mortals? Whatever, my vote is for Tommeke.

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Omy it could be Oman

There are three candidates for organizing the World Road Championships in 2015: Oman, Quebec Canada and the U.S. city of Richmond. The UCI said last year that only applications from outside Europe were eligible for 2015. The decision will be taken in September.

Having been at Montreal in 1974 and Hamilton in 2003 I am hoping for a Canadian hat trick at Quebec.

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