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Tour of Flanders Preview & Predictions

This Sunday, probably the most important classic of the year, the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) takes place in the Western part of Belgium. What makes this race special is its unique combination of cobbled sections, hills and cobbled hills. The riders will have to ride 262 kilometres from Bruges to Ninove, including famous hills like the Oude Kwaremont, Steenbeekdries and Eikenberg. The final two hills, Muur van Geraardsbergen (‘the Wall’) and Bosberg are likely to be decisive.

Although the last two editions were won by Stijn Devolder, his teammate Tom Boonen (winner in 2005 and 2006) is top favourite to win. Boonen has demonstrated that he is in a good shape and for him, as well as for a lot of Belgian riders, the Ronde van Vlaanderen is the most important race of the year. Swiss Fabian Cancellara, renown cobble specialist, has developed his climbing skills over the years, and is also considered a favourite, as well as Italian Alessandro Ballan (winner in 2007).

KOPPENBERG

The beauty of the Ronde van Vlaanderen is that the shape of the race is difficult to predict, since each year something else happens. One day a rider wins after a long 40k solo, on another day a sprint of five decides the winner. The only guarantuee is of a spectacular race.

Can you beat the power of the Carvalho Custom predictions? Let us know!

Carvalho Custom Favourites:

*****
Boonen (Belgium)
****
Ballan (Italy), Cancellara (Switzerland)
***
Devolder (Belgium), Pozzato (Italy), Flecha (Spain)
**
Hoste (Belgium), Gasparotto (Italy), Nuyens (Belgium), Gilbert (Belgium)
*
Langeveld (Holland), Hincapie (USA), Armstrong (USA), Breschel (Denmark), Eisel (Austria)

By Frank Tieskens

Comments (1)
  1. An otherwise flawless analysis from Mr Tieskens but I fear he has taken his eye off the ball at the critical moment. Missing from the list of favourites is a man riding in the form of his life who the great men of the Ronde are suddenly worried about. I speak, of course, of Dave Millar. Anybody who saw how he brutally dismantled the opposition in de Panne this week would realise that here is a force to be reckoned with. I don’t remember a rider showing such mastery of appalling conditions since Hinault rolled into Liege in a foot of snow, 10 minutes clear of the field. It’s time for the Scot with the big engine to bring home the bacon.

    Apr 02, 2010 - 08:41 PM

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