So April 1! Bon Anniversaire to Paolo Bettini and GMail. As you might expect, fake news was everywyhere today. I’m a little disappointed in VeloNews for their attempt, which I guess they and Cyclingnews each got from Hed; maybe this was supposed to be part of the gag, I suppose, but it was funnier the first time. I think ProCycling had a joke article up earlier, too, but it was dry to the point that it might have been real, and in the end it’s all moot anyway because their site is currently down (yes, down again). Oh, I guess there was some racing today, won by Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), but more significantly, marking multiple Tour podium finisher Joseba Beloki’s (Liberty Seguros) return to competition (scroll to bottom). And though it’s barely related, here’s an interview with Stuart O’Grady (CSC), in which he remains positive in his outlook on the rest of the season.
And with that out of the way, Flanders continues to be of prime importance. Heck, even Reuters has a preview up. BiciRace, who may have had more previews than anyone, takes a final look, in which the only occasionally cocky (search “because”) World Champ talks some serious smack about Alessandro Petacchi’s chances (or lack thereof) in tomorrow’s race. Also of note in that link: Steffan Wesemann, the ’04 winner and a vital lieutenant for T-Mobile’s Andreas Klier, is out with the flu, while Dario Pieri, the last guy not named “Tom Boonen” to win the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, has parted ways with Team LPR (if you scroll to the bottom a here, you’ll see I said he was a bad purchase last August).
Not to be outdone, Cyclingnews offers a historical rundown and one last update, including podium predictions from some directeurs sportif, and a surprisingly large amount of conversation from Davitamon-Lotto captain Peter Van Petegem. Someone ought to pass that link along to Velonews, as their final preview refutes Van Pet’s claim to be the “only winner” on his team by adding that two teammates not even on the start list (Mattan, Rodriguez) are also potential winners. Can you believe their webpage got one million hits last July with material of that quality? Sure doesn’t say much for English-speaking cycling fans, does it?