One of the Monuments is coming this Sunday. The 93rd Ronde van Vlaanderen/Tour of Flanders is all about pain, plenty of pain, and it is the most important race in Flanders. The yellow flags of the black lion that is the symbol of the Flemish north will proudly fly.
The infamous cobbled hills, sixteen of them, litter the 258.9 km twisty course zapping the strength from the glassy eyed riders as they try to negotiate past the 1 million screaming fans. It's huge and the Flemish passion will be ignited once it starts. Many Belgian riders base their season on it. To win, a Belgian rider will be crowned, 'King of Flanders.' They have the record wins of 65 follow by the Italians with 10 and the Dutch with 9. Canadian, Steve Bauer was close, back in 1986 & 1987, both times finishing a superb fourth. Englishman, Tom Simpson is the only Anglophone to win it back in 1961.
There will be plenty of non-Belgians I feel that could win it, most notably: George Hincapie, Juan Antonio Flecha & Thor Hushovd. I can't wait for the pain to start!