Ok, what does cycling have to do with Hockey? Well, nothing directly, but there's one connection.
I heard that tomorrow's big classic, Tour of Flanders, might be a messy one. Weather wise it may have what every classic fan would want; rain, cold and snow! Although, I won't be able to see it live, there's the bright spot of one addition.
Canada's Ryder Hesjedal(Slipstream-Chipotle), is an late addition to replace the injured American Steve Cozza. Hesjedal has shown great promise with strong finishes in this year's early season races; GP Marseillaise(3rd), Eroica(10th), and Tirreno-Adriatico(8th). The understated Canadien will probably be placed in support to help Maggy Bäckstedt challenge for the win. I'm glad he'll be thrown into this great race and he should be home on the fearsome cobbles and the troublesome weather. As a former mountain bike world champion, I believe he'll relish in the 17 climbs & 264 km Flemish classic.
This begs the question and I'll cross my fingers when I ask this... Can this be the big chance of victory for the Slipstream Team? The Canadien is headed into one of the biggest classic races of the season and anything can happen. And after a strong season, the Montréal Canadiens are headed into the playoffs and optimistically, further.
With the promise of Ryder Hesjedal and the Canadiens going towards greater feats, there's something wonderful about cycling and hockey ... in the Spring!
(right): 'Mud-man.' With Hesjedal's experience as former mountain bike world champ, don't be surprise if he succeeds in the muck of the Flemish mud! www.e-mtb.com
(top): The 'other promising Canadiens.'