Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) won the Tour of Flanders (De Ronde van Vlaanderen), Belgium’s most prestigious bike race. The cold, the rain and the wet snow caused several crashes and spills. CSC’s decision to use carbon wheels turned out to be a disaster as several CSC riders ended up skidding and ending up in the mud.
Devolder’s victory is a surprise to many who expected Tom Boonen, his teammate and the favorite (and two-time winner of de Ronde) to win. All week leading up to the race, fans and sports commentators played up the rivalry between Boonen and Swiss rider, Fabian Cancellara (CSC), who won Milan-San Remo a few weeks ago.
But it’s precisely because cycling is so unpredictable and fun that someone who was not in list of favorites, ends up at the podium.
In second and third places, respectively, were Nick Nuyens (Cofidis) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank). Flecha was considered to have a good shot at winning, together with Leif Hoste and Alessandro Ballan (last year’s winner).
For more this week’s Ronde van Vlaanderen coverage, go to Cyclingnews.com.