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 there  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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