After a memorable Milan-San Remo the tough will have to get tougher for the start of the Flemish cycling week. Tomorrow is Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Flemish weather is 6C and rain. If that's true then we are in for another epic race.
I love the Flemish classics that offer the challenging cobbles, dubious weather that give rise to the Flandriens. It's not necessary that the rider be Belgian, no just hard edge enough to love the torture over the pave. For instance Juan Flecha and Sean Kelly are adopted Flandriens. Who will it be tomorrow?
Dwars door Vlaanderen is 199.7 km has 13 classic climbs, 6 with pave.
Sadly, Sylvain Chavanel opted out, due to a cold from his exploit in MSR but his Omega Pharma team said he will line up for Friday's E2 Harelbeke. Also, Heinrich Haussler and Matti Breschel are scratches. Last year's winner, Niki Terpstra is back and will be back to defend. I wonder how much MSR took out of him.
Still, there will be guys that will have a chance, my picks are three that will survive the pave are; Bjorn Leukemans, Juan Flecha and Niko Eeckhout.
Characteristics of a Flandrien...