Friday File: The Ronde = Flandriens

Kelly vs the Muur

Countdown to the Tour of Flanders, a look back and a great image from Jered Gruber...

"The Tour of Flanders is a race that I look back on with mixed emotions. Some good, some not so good. It is a race that I finished second in three times and is the one major classic that got away on me.

In 1984 I was feeling really strong in the finale. We were down to a small group but I showed my hand too early. Everyone in the group could see that I was strong, so when the attacking started they looked to me to chase all the time.

I chased a few times, but when Johan Lammerts attacked I decided that it was time for someone else to do the chasing. Everyone else looked at me and soon he had a fairly decent gap and the chance of victory was gone.

When I crossed the line 'DeGri' was going mad. He did some giving out. He said that I should have chased everything and he was right. If I jumped onto everything as soon as someone attacked, everyone who followed would still have had to make 95% of the effort that I was making. If I was alert enough I would only have been a few bike lengths off each attack and could have closed down each one pretty quickly. If you are feeling good you can do this. A big lesson was learned that day."

- Sean Kelly, 1984 Tour of Flanders.

The Lion of Flanders in 1993.

"As a Belgian, winning Flanders is far more important than wearing the maillot jaune in the Tour."

- Johan Museeuw 1993, 1995, 1998 Flanders champion.

The dominant force in 1969.
The Cannibal's first Flanders victory (1969, 1975) ahead of Felice Gimondi was 5' 36", the largest margin in the race's history.

Looking forward to Sunday...