Wednesday, April 4, 2007

E3: Foreshadowing of Quickstep Flanders Dominance?

So, it was back on the trainer for me this week as the temps in the a.m. here were too cold. I know I should be outside, but after the bone-chilling experience on Saturday, I don't want and can't risk a cold right now.

So what better way to catch up some early season races. Yesterday morning I watched the E3. What a great race.

Stijn Devolder attacked and 2 went with him. Soon after, Boonen bridged taking one with him. A short time later, Cancellara bridged a 17 second gap, made contact, then dropped back to give teammate O'Grady a ride to the lead group.

It has been said that like racing against Armstrong, racing against Boonen is racing for second place. But that's not the half of it because a short time later, Oscar Freire attacked out of the second group and Bettini went with him. Freire suffered and dropped back, but Bettini made it to the lead group. So, now the lead group has Boonen and Bettini in it. So, if you were demoralized when Boonen bridged to your lead group, how do you feel when his teammate Bettini shows up!? Unfortunately for Bettini, when he attached on one of the next hills, he snapped his derailleur and his race was over. While Bettini was out, his attack launched the final move for the 4 who sprinted for the win.

Boonen won the sprint with relative ease. Can you see it? A lead group at Flanders with Bettini and Boonen in it? Boonen was quoted as saying:

The E3 Prijs doesn't keep any secrets; if you're good here, you're good in the Tour of Flanders as well.

That goes for your team as well.

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