There was some ballyhooing about yesterday’s Ronde being a boring. I say NONSENSE! We just had to wait a while for it to happen. A select three man group (might be a stretch with Ballan, but…) is pretty exciting. Did I miss the Muur? You bet, but I’m not sure the race would have turned out differently if it had been included. But that’s just my opinion.
Of course there is the argument that this edition of Flanders was drastically altered, when Spartacus crashed and broke his collar bone with 60k to go. Feed zones are dangerous places, with Mussettes and Bottles being flung too and fro. Of course things could have turned out differently with Cancellara was able to make it to the finish. But I’m think most would agree with me when I say that Boonen could beat Spartacus in a sprint. Boonen had two high quality teammates in with him for most of the race, and as we saw on the Cobbles of Roubaix last year. That can be a big factor.
In the days before the Ronde I was talking with a friend and speculated that Fabs may fall victim to the Bruyneel’s bad luck in the Classics. He countered that maybe it had more to do with George’s bad luck (not his exact words, he was much more brief). I said that I didn’t think so, and though I’m not the hocus- pocus type, I think today’s actions bear this out. I mean it’s a Classic, of course Fabs is going to play a factor. Until he has the likes of Bruyneels piloting the ship (the team as a whole, not the car at the race).
Bruyneel is from Belguim and one would think that this fact alone would leave him blessed by the Fates of Cycling. No? If you recall, he is famous for piloting the ship of Lance Armstrong, and sitting behind the wheel of nine Tour victories. There lies the answer. The Tour is French a race! His maniacal focus on three weeks spent traipsing through the French country side has turned the fickle mistress of Belgian racing against him. Just look at what happened to Big George. I mean who snaps a steer tube?
I’ve said out loud — probably to people who don’t care, like my co-workers and The Lady — that Canellara will be shopping for a new team when this season is over. Now that he’s had a taste of Bruyneel’s luck in the Classics I now feel even more strongly about that.