This race is worth a discussion topic of it's own, being the second one day 'Monument' of the season. It features windswept exposed coastal roads and grueling narrow cobblestone climbs. Controversially, the parcours of this historic race has been changed to include a hilly circuit to be ridden three times before hitting the finish line.. It won't be any easier than the traditional Muurs they've omitted.
Any Belgian rider will turn themselves inside out to win this one, so expect on-fire, twice winner Tom Boonen to be a big threat, not to mention the freakishly strong Cancellara (also a past winner). Gilbert has suffered illness and mixed form so far in 2012, but he'd love to turn it around this weekend.
GreenEdge will be working for Matt Goss, but I'd expect tough guys like Langeveld or Mouris to use their local experience to be at the sharp end as well.
Other riders I'll be listening out for include Haussler, Sagan, Ballan, Big Lars Boom and Eddy the Boss. And if the leaders see Greipel or Degenkolb hanging around the front in the last 10 km- be afraid.
Stockpiling Belgian ale and frites for the big night in front of the laptop...
If Gerro is riding he would have to be a chance given the form he is in lately...
Not this time.. Here's a Start List for the race so you can check out the field.
You don't need to be on the laptop for this one, it's live on SBS and with daylight saving ending on Sunday morning here and starting in Europe last weekend, it's on, essentially, 2 hours earlier (2230 AEST)!!!
This is a tough race to pick, Boonen stands out and Cancellara has been in tremendous form, just needs to revise his tactics. Gilbert looks to be improving and who knows how big Thor's form is. Sagan keeps proving (and improving) himself, then there's Devolder, Friere and Chavanel who looked good at the E3.
I'm picking Boonen to take revenge on Cancellara by sending Chavenal up the road a forcing Spartacus to chase (yes the same tactics used in E3).
@Brendan- thanks for the tip- yes I do remember seeing it was on SBS.. I lose track of them all..
And I like your prediction for anti-Cancellara warfare. I wonder if RSN have the horses to try the same tactic- maybe using Bennati or Posthuma?
OPQ to send a few boys up the road, force Cancellara to chase, Tornado Tom to jump him and Sagan in the sprint or they don't catch them and Chavanel, Langeveld & Van Avermaet on the podium?
... Oh, and they're off and racing!
It's streaming on the SBS website at the moment.
Is it just my adsl or is everyone's giving them the shits?
It was very bad earlier, kept buffering. Seems OK now.
thankx graham, mines just come good.