Tour of Flanders Conclusions – Ciclismo Internacional

By @pmpalermo

The Tour of Flanders has finished, second Monument of 2014 , which gave a sea of ​​emotions not only for what Fabian Cancellara accomplished today, but also for what many others who for good or bad have their place in this analysis.  cancellara2

1-Fabian Cancellara’s intelligence: impossible not to start with him, who rode with the pressure of being number one and demonstrated superior intelligence as instead of trying a long distance attack, he made a selection at the last pass on Oude Kwaremont and thereafter controlled the actions to reach the sprint.

In the sprint, the Swiss imposed his strength against a theoretically faster rival as Van Avermaet ( who seemed once again affected by a psychological component) and getting his third edition in De Ronde, where now he has a privileged place in the history.

The fact is that at 33, Spartacus is far from over , and if his health doesn’t let him down,  he still has time to become the best of all time in the prestigious competition, which as you see, has no secrets for him.

2- The Pressure hit Sagan : we’ve talked more than once on the talented Slovak, who despite an atypical and unsightly start in 2014 seemed on the rise with victories in Harelbeke and La Panne.

But the Cannondale would change all his victories if he could get a Monument , which is still elusive and seems increasingly distant failing again and again against the favorites like the Swiss which on the contrary , grows in such competitions .

It is true that we saw him well in the pack and even tightened with the favorites at the Kruisberg , but in the key moment , the attack of the winner in Oude Kwaremont , left to view his flaws and was behind , and even he organized the chase, it was impossible for him to get closer , adding more weight to his psychological history with the Monuments .

3 – Boonen ‘s decline : it looked like he was set to another glorious season but , except for his victory in Kuurne, he disappointed on the cobblestones , even failing on options Omega may had .

He had the best team, he tested with good results in Molenberg and Koppenberg and everything seemed going well for him, but at Kwaremont  he was ridiculed when Cancellara pulled , leaving him behind like Sagan and company.

Far from his heyday , the worst part is that the one from Mol narrows the chances of his team mates , especially Terpstra made an incredible jump in quality , and spent his energies in vain.

4 -Van Avermaet missed the chance of a lifetime: we talked already of BMC´s Belgian, a unique talent that struggled finishing off and once again showed his shortcoming “missing the train” in Oudenaarde .

Clearly, he lost today to one of the best riders in history and attacked too far , spending valuable energy , so maybe it ‘s not fair to criticize him too much .

However, he will hardly have as many opportunities as the sprint in which in theory he was the fastest ( as in Omloop ) , and so continues fueling his fame as second fiddle, in part positive as he is always in the key moments of a race but tough because it fails to impose his talent and turn it into a victory.

5 – Vanmarcke , always in contention : in recent days we talked about Belkin’s rider and he did not disappoint , showing that he was the strongest in the race to the point that Cancellara forced to change the way he rode and bet on a sprint .vanmarcke

Vanmarcke has already a Monument on his legs and just being a contemporary of one of a kind it is depriving from get it, as it happened in Roubaix in 2013, but far from feeling frustrated , he must trust his options as a matter of time to concrete another victory .

6- Omega fails miserably: once again, as usual on the cobblestones , the Lefevere team had everything to win , with an overwhelming numerical superiority over their diminished rivals

In each cut they had a rider, they even tried with Vandebergh and they had several tricks to play, but instead of anticipating with and offensive move, they failed miserably when Cancellara shattered the peloton at Kwaremont .

From there  it was more save yourself if you, with Vandenbergh at front, Boonen trying powerless and Terpstra chasing with Kristoff although without achieving the feat for a squad that had a tailwind to prevail and left empty-handed , in part because respect for their leader Boonen .

7- Kristoff specialist in Monuments: almost anonymous and very unlucky in 2014 , the Norwegian appeared recently in Milan San Remo with a historic and prestigious win against adverse weather conditions and very strong riders.

In De Ronde he confirmed his class to be present at key moments of the event , especially when he was launched to pursue solo the four that finally fought for the race , he was very close to joining them .

He failed , and finished 5th , but he transmitted great feelings and showed that he is not just a sprinter , as he has a good pace that will allow him to be one of the animators of the cobblestones in the immediate future .

8- The pride and courage of Devolder : he could not be in the fight and could not help his leader, Cancellara , but once again the former Discovery rider was not lost on a test that won twice .cododevolder

The veteran cyclist fell a thousand times and despite that , and when we all took him for retired, he got up and began to pursue , perhaps with a broken bone (hopefully not ) , teaching young people a lesson courage and desire .

And at this point in his career, with a great track record and with nothing to prove, well he could have gotten off the bike, but far from it he remained stoic in competition and arrived  almost 10 minutes from his partner and champion Cancellara , giving an example of professionalism and courage.

9- Phinney sets the stage for Roubaix: Great work of the portentous BMC , all day on a getaway easily going through the walls and cobblestones, and paying a hard price for his neutralization , which occurred only in the end.

Winner of the U23 Paris Roubaix in 2009 , the huge rider never hid his desire to repeat that achievement as a professional and today on his way to Oudenaarde showed he can do it .

Of course , with an alien as Cancellara in the middle, and with riders in great shape as Vanmarcke was not easy, but nobody should be surprised if in a week the American is in the definition of the Hell of the North.

Pablo Martín Palermo

Traduction: Mauricio León
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