Will Gilbert have the 2011 fighting form for Sunday?
This world championship weekend closes with the much anticipated road races.
You almost have to believe in Dutch super woman, Marianne Vos to win it on home soil. She's incredible and was the 2006 World Road Champion and collected silver the last 5 world championships. Her rivals know how to get the better of her but Saturday's home course favors her. It's on familiar soil, ie Cauberg the climb that she knows very well. And, she's already drawn comparison to Eddy Merckx, the finest cyclist of her generation. I believe the Olympic champion will do it!
Will we see Marianne Vos break the five-year jinx on Sunday?
photo Christophe Ena
Ten ascents of the punishing Cauberg is what the men will be scaling on Sunday. The short and steep climbs will be for riders of specific talent. Philippe Gilbert a return to form, with his two stage wins in the Vuelta, has a course tailored made for the 2011 King of the Classics. If he does win, he would vindicate himself from a tough season. But, El Purito will stand in his way.
Spain brings a heavy squad and can Rodriguez climb to rainbow glory? Don't forget his fantastic win at La Fleche Wallonne in a sprint to the top of the Mur de Huy. Could a surprise winner come from Ryder Hesjedal and the underdog Canadians? Second in the 2010 Amstel Gold Race, the Giro hero likes the classic hills and with help from Tuft, Parisien and Veilleux...
Among the oodles of bike porn from Interbike, here's a classic steel retro beauty by Fondriest. Chromed lugs, flat fork crowns and straight road geometry harkens back the good old days. Ok I've got over the toe clips!
Steel is in the eye of the beholder...
photo: Lennard Zinn
Allez les Francais!
The Voeckler led French team are ready!
Here's to a great weekend!
1926 Tour champion,