Happy Flanders Day!
Some holidays we share worldwide – just perhaps not on the same day. Other holidays are exclusive to certain regions. This is why I don’t expect you to know that this is national cleavage day.
For others this is the day before arguably the best one-day race of the season – the Tour of Flanders, AKA De Ronde. I won’t go into the controversy of the how the Muur and the Bosberg were eliminated from the course as I’m going to hold judgment until after the race. But wow, it stirred up as much controversy as a magazine sex investigation. However, I will say that everything changes eventually.
My favorite for the race continues to be Fabian Cancellara of the RadioShack-Nissan conglomeration. For my dark horse pick I’m going with Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale). It’s hard to believe that Sagan is only 22 years old. I’m hoping that he has someone watching out for his overall best interests and doesn’t run him into the ground like an outlawed lawn dart.
Of course we can’t forget Tom Boonen. He’s been on a tear and he’s fired up this season with seven victories. You can expect this tally to rise as the season progresses. While he’s been deflecting the favorite status like a zombie bite, he’s still many people’s pick for Sunday.
Even though Andy Rhis made it rain in the off-season with the excitement of an NFL player in an Atlanta strip bar, the BMC boys have only racked one V in the win column this season. I have faith that Cadel Evans will be the contender for the 2012 Tour de France, but I’m having doubts about their Classics season. Teeth problems (Gilbert), stomach problems (Hushovd) and continuing doping investigation (Ballan) have scuttled their early-season chances.
If you’re looking for the nitty-gritty of Flanders, The Inrng has you covered from weather conditions to the course and the contenders.
But while all this prognosticating was going in the early morning, Jens Voigt had minivan problems and broke down on the side of the road. Thankfully he tweeted the whole experience in addition to letting us know he thought Metallica was the best band. Ever.