Apr 1 2008
Well, it ain’t the Tour de France, but as per my prediction, Sylvain Chavanel certianly is on a tear. While Dwaars door Vlaanderen has turned out its fair share of oddball winners (Frederik Veuchelen, anyone?) Brabantse Pijl has been the personal property of thrice-over world champ Oscar Freire for quite some time. We’ll see the true measure of Chavanel this weekend at the Ronde; my guess is a key supporting role for teammate Nick Nuyens, but good legs are good legs, and Flanders is Flanders – anything could happen.
‘Til then, we’ll just have to satiate ourselves with the race I humbly refer to as the “Three Days of Pain“. It’s an easy race, really, so long as you discount the cobbles, the headwinds, the rain, the narrow, unpredictable roadways and the fistfuls of middling Belgian riders who realize that if they don’t make in impact between now and May, they’ll be boot-deep in cow dung this time next year. Expect them to be even angrier for the rest of the race, as a trio of Italians took Stage 1.
Two last notes before I leave the comfort of Boloco’s free wireless (the only free hotspot in Harvard Square, I might add) – and they’re on E3. First, it’s always nice to see a company man like Kurt Asle-Arvesen at the top of the results sheet. Like Giovanni Lombardi, he busts tail for the team 99 times out of a hundred, only occasionally being cut loose to take one of what Cipo’s lead out man used to call “his pet wins”. A superdomestique like Jens Voight gets a chance to shine a few times a year, but for a guy like Arvesen, its a few years between spotlights. Savor it, big guy.
The other note from E3: it’s practically April. Where the heck is Boonen?