Roger Hammond makes Garmin-Cervelo the 800-pound gorilla in the 2011 classics
Roger Hammond is entering perhaps his final year of racing on a beefed up Garmin-Cervelo squad
Roger Hammond is entering perhaps his final year of racing on a beefed up Garmin-Cervelo squad
Saxo Bank's Fabian Cancellara on on Tuesday dismissed claims that he used a motorised bike when winning this season's Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix classics.
The UCI has issued a provisional suspension of RadioShack rider Li Fuyu after he tested positive for the stimulant Clenbuterol at last month’s Tour of Flanders.
After thinking her days in Holland were over, Neben finds herself back — and actually enjoying the racing this time.
Gallery: Boonen's classics bike
Dominique Rollin enjoyed his first taste of the cobbled classics and is eager for more.
Garmin-Slipstream’s David Millar: a man for the cobbled classics?
2010 Tour of Flanders, post race video interviews with Cancellara, Hincapie and Farrar
Replay of live coverage for 2010 Tour of Flanders
Fabian Cancellara's Specialized Tarmac SL3.
Fabian Cancellara was obviously the strongest man in the Tour of Flanders, and his Specialized Tarmac SL3 was equally up to the task, despite one small technical difficulty.
Grace Verbeke (Lotto) wins the women’s Tour of Flanders.
2010 Tour of Flanders results
Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) solos to victory in the 2010 Tour of Flanders.
Flanders Tech Gallery: Katusha and Lampre bikes
A couple of days before the Tour of Flanders, a few ProTour teams pulled into Kortrijk, Belgium to set up camp and begin preparing for the race.
Liquigas will try to play the outsiders role in Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, with a handful of riders with freedom to go for it if they have the legs.
Cancellara is relaxed and confident heading into the Tour of Flanders.
The VeloNews crew spots two pairs of Bontrager wheel prototypes in the team parking lot.
Two-time Ronde van Vlaanderen champion Tom Boonen has broken with one of his annual traditions as he bids Sunday to join an elite club of three-time winners on Sunday.
Katusha’s Filippo Pozzato has pulled out of the Tour of Flanders one-day classic because of a lingering ailment, Gazzetta dello Sport reported Friday.
Easter Sunday’s 70-percent chance of rain and forecast temperatures in the upper-40s won’t likely dampen what is expected to be one of the most hotly contested and wide-open editions of the Tour of Flanders in years.
Armstrong to make rare Flanders appearance, Cavendish and Eisel on HTC-Columbia's Flanders team, Dominique Rollin heads the injury-plagued Cervelo squad
Top favorite Filippo Pozzato and his Katusha teammate Serguei Ivanov might miss Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.
2010 Tour of Flanders album
VeloNews.com will deliver live web coverage of the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, along with a race report, tech reports, results and photo galleries.
Quick Step's Tom Boonen and four teammates rode 150 kilometers of the Tour of Flanders course on Wednesday, and called the exercise "quite useful."
Edvald Boasson Hagen will skip this weekend’s Tour of Flanders but hopes to be able to race Paris-Roubaix later next month.
Last year’s runner-up Heinrich Haussler and experienced German rider Andreas Klier will not race this weekend’s Tour of Flanders.
For some cycling fans, and especially Belgian fans, this is the best week of the year.
Last year the second half of Boonen's campaign was compromised following a career-threatening second positive test for cocaine, but this season the big Quick Step rider, a world champion in 2005, appears reborn.
Lance Armstrong will be back in the spring classics this year in a big way. RadioShack sport director Johan Bruyneel told Biciciclismo that Armstrong will race Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Mark Cavendish wants to be more than the world’s fastest sprinter and is planning to widen his net to include a run for glory over the pavé of the northern classics.
In cycling-mad Belgium, the Tour of Flanders is second in popularity only to Paris-Roubaix, which comes a week after.
Although not as harsh as Paris-Roubaix, the cobbles of the Tour of Flanders do warrant a few concessions from racers’ typical bikes. For wheels, standard steel spokes and box rims are the rule (although of course there are exceptions). Beyond that, each team's mechanics have their own take on the ideal set-up for the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Here are a few of the details we found at a few teams’ hotels and inside the start village in Brugge.
VeloNews reader Anne-Marie Parramore sent us a remarkable series of photos taken as the peloton comes off the Koppenberg in Sunday's Tour of Flanders.
Ina Teutenberg (Columbia-Highroad) sprinted to victory in the sixth women's Tour of Flanders, held over the cobblestones in the heart of Flanders from Oudenaarde to Ninove. Coming across the line second in the second round of the women’s World Cup series was Kirsten Wild (Cervélo TestTeam) with Emma Johansson (Red Sun) rounding out the podium in third.
When Stijn Devolder was asked Sunday what was different about his second Tour of Flanders victory in two years, he was close to tears. “A friend of mine died at the Tour of Qatar in February, and I promised to remember him the first time I won a race this year,” Devolder said. He was talking about Frederiek Nolf, the Topsport Vlaanderen team rider who died in his sleep one week short of his 22nd birthday.
Tom Boonen’s race resume runs deep, having won races and stages around the world. Perhaps best known in the United States for his Tour de France stage wins and two victories at Paris-Roubaix, the Quick Step rider’s favorite race lies in his native Belgium, with the Tour of Flanders.
Over the course of a nearly 100-year history, the Tour of Flanders has never been as popular as it is today. With a $2 million budget, crowds estimated at 700,000, and 840 volunteers patrolling the 261.5km route, the fabled cobblestone classic from Bruges to Meerbeke is Belgium’s largest annual sport event. The organizing newspaper, Het Nieuwsblad, devoted 24 pages to its Saturday race preview, and expects to fill another 24 pages on Sunday.
Fabian Cancellara is ready for the Tour of Flanders, he just doesn’t know how ready. The Saxo Bank star said earlier this year that winning the Ronde van Vlaanderen was a big goal of his — but that was before a shoulder injury and a sinus problem sidetracked his training. On Friday evening in Belgium, Cancellara said the important thing is that he is here to race with his team.
Daniele Bennati isn’t going to let muscle pain keep him out of the Tour of Flanders, though it’s likely he’ll have plenty more of that after Sunday’s punishing course. The Liquigas sprinter confirmed he will race Sunday despite some lingering pain from a crash dating back to the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. Team doctors said Bennati was suffering from intense muscle pain in his right thigh, which flared up again during this week’s Three Days of De Panne. Bennati, however, insists on racing and the team is standing by his decision.
Tom Boonen has won the Tour of Flanders twice, but that doesn’t at all diminish his desire for a win again here at the first cobbled classic. “I’m eager,” Boonen told VeloNews. “It’s a big challenge trying to be good in that same period every year. And I’ve achieved that goal almost every year. I think my sensation now is a little bit better than the same period last year. But being good and winning are still a big difference.”
Astana has its fingers crossed for a strong showing in Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, bringing a mixed squad of young yet ambitious riders keen to prove their place among the favorites. With GC riders like Levi Leipheimer and Alberto Contador cooling their jets after finishing 1-2 in the Vuelta a Castilla y León last week, the Astana squad brings its Kazakh contingent to the Belgian classic. Maxim Iglinskiy, third in the E3-Prijs Vlaanderen last weekend, will be the team’s best chance, with riders like Assan Bazayev and Dmitriy Muravyev hoping to be in the mix.
Columbia-Highroad brings a multi-pronged attack for Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, with George Hincapie and Marcus Burghardt lining up as the team’s two top options. The veteran American, third at Flanders in 2006, and Burghardt, winner of the 2007 Ghent-Wevelgem, will be supported by a strong Columbia team laden with motivated riders.
Quick Step 1. Stijn Devolder 2. Tom Boonen 3. Sylvain Chavanel Kevin De Weert Kevin Van Impe Maarten Wynants Matteo Tosatto Carlos Barredo Silence-Lotto 11 CRETSKENS Wilfried 12 DELAGE Mickael 13 GILBERT Philippe 14 HOSTE Leif 15 LANG Sebastian 16 SCHEIRLINCKX Staf 17 VAN AVERMAET Greg 18 VANSUMMEREN Johan AG2R-La Mondiale 21 CLERC Aurélien 22 DION Renaud 23 ELMIGER Martin 24 HINAULT Sébastien 25 PINEAU Cédric 26 POULHIES Stéphane 27 ROUSSEAU Nicolas 28 SMUKULIS Gatis Astana 31 BAZAYEV Assan 32 IGLINSKY Maxim
Milram will bring its young guns to the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, hoping for a shot at surprising the favorites. The team is betting its lot on Niki Terpstra and Martin Velits, with strong support from former Paris-Roubaix winner Servais Knaven and riders like Gerard Ciolek.
Ghent-Wevelgem is one of Belgium's classic April races, held every year on the Wednesday between the bookending weekends of The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. The first race, held in 1934, was brutal, taking riders over rough cobblestone roads. It hasn't gotten any easier. Long called "the sprinter's classic," because of its relatively flat run-in, today riders must twice climb the very steep, narrow and cobbled Kemmelberg climb. It is here the race is often decided.
The Tour of Flanders dates to 1913. Photographer Graham Watson has not been capturing its action for that long, but you might find some surprises among our favorite Watson photos from the last three decades of the race. This Sunday's race is sure to create some more memorable scenes, and Watson, and VeloNews, will be there to capture them. Check back Sunday for more of his photos, along with live coverage and a race report from VeloNews' John Wilcockson.
Reigning Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara is expected to start Sunday’s Tour of Flanders despite coming off an injury-plagued spring that forced him to forfeit a defense of his title at Milan-San Remo. Cancellara has suffered a string of illnesses, including an early exit from the Tour of California, and then a shoulder injury that forced him to miss nearly two weeks of training in early March. Earlier this year, Cancellara said winning the Tour of Flanders was one of his top goals of the season.
Filippo Pozzato continues on his strong pre-Flanders form, notching victory in the opening stage of the Three Days of De Panne in Belgium. Pozzato, who won the Prijs Harelbeke on Saturday, out-kicked fellow escapee Frédérick Willems (Liquigas) to win the stage and take the first leader’s jersey in the four-stage, three-day race. Greg Van Avermaet (Silence-Lotto) won the bunch sprint, some 57 seconds back to take third place.
It’s crunch time for George Hincapie and his quest to win a northern classic. The 35-year-old enters the most important week of his racing calendar more confident than ever that an elusive trophy from Flanders or Roubaix will soon be his. The Columbia-Highroad rider says he’s feeling “stronger than ever” and has enjoyed one of the best winter preparations of his career, racing in the Tour Down Under for the first time and spending most of January training in California.
It’s another busy week of racing in Europe, with stage races in Belgium, Portugal and Italy, the second round of the women’s World Cup and a smattering of one-day races in France and Spain. Without question, the main feature is the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. In cycling-crazed Belgium, this is their Super Bowl. The entire nation seems to come to a standstill to watch the 258.9km battle from Brugge to Meerbeke (with plenty of beer-drinking along the way). This year’s route features 16 of the infamous cobble-stoned climb where most of the major attacks go down.
Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) got the big win he was looking for with victory in the E3 Prijs Harelbeke on Saturday. Considered a preview for next weekend’s Tour of Flanders, the Italian out-kicked Tom Boonen (Quick Step) to win by a bike length. Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana) came in third to round out the podium.
When it’s a hard day in the Tour of Flanders, the home riders nearly always come out on top. And Sunday’s 92nd edition of the gnarly Belgian classic was one of the hardest, with hail showers, even some snow, and long bouts of heavy rain blasting the riders through the middle part of the 264km race, which started and ended in spring sunshine. So it was fitting that the reigning champion of Belgium, Stijn Devolder of Quick Step-Innergetic, emerged with a gutsy solo triumph.
A few glimpses of sunshine were interrupting the rain showers Saturday evening in Belgium, partially drying out the 24 sections of cobblestones and 17 hellingen included in the 92nd Tour of Flanders.
Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel will saddle up for his first Tour of Flanders one-day classic on Sunday and find himself in the unexpected position of being a potential race winner. Alongside two-time winner Tom Boonen, Swiss hard man Fabian Cancellara, and last year's runner-up Leif Hoste, Chavanel — on paper — looks to have little chance of winning Belgium's biggest one-day classic. However two victories in the space of 10 days on the muddy, cobbled roads of northern Belgium have hoisted the 28-year-old Cofidis rider in with the big favorites.
Fabian Cancellara's scintillating early season form will be tested to the full when he lines up as one of the favorites for what could be a rain-lashed Tour of Flanders this Sunday. As the early spring classics move up a gear ahead of next week's 'Hell of the North' at Paris-Roubaix, the Swiss all-rounder has every right to believe he can win the 264km one-day classic from Bruges to Meerbeke.
1980: Michel Pollentier 1981: Hennie Kuiper 1982: René Martens 1983: Jan Raas 1984: Johan Lammerts 1985: Eric Vanderaerden 1986: Adri van der Poel 1987: Claude Criquielion 1988: Eddy Planckaert 1989: Edwig van Hooydonck 1990: Moreno Argentin 1991: Edwig van Hooydonck 1992: Jacky Durand 1993: Johan Museeuw 1994: Gianni Bugno 1995: Johan Museeuw 1996: Michele Bartoli 1997: Rolf Sørensen 1998: Johan Museeuw 1999: Peter Van Petegem 2000: Andrei Tchmil 2001: Gianluca Bortolami 2002: Andrea Tafi 2003: Peter Van Petegem
Slipstream-Chipotle heads into this weekend’s Tour of Flanders and next week’s Paris-Roubaix motivated to rise to the challenge in its debut in cycling’s most punishing one-day races. If the team’s ride at Milan-San Remo last month is any indication, when Will Frischkorn worked into the day’s main breakaway and Julian Dean finished in the top 25, the team should be right in the mix for its first run over the cobblestones of the northern classics.
Leif Hoste’s dream of winning the Tour of Flanders is turning into a nightmare. Three times second in the past four years, Hoste has come as close as a Belgian rider can get to heaven without riding through the pearly gates.
Don’t tell Alessandro Ballan he’s heir to Italian classics heroes such as Andrea Tafi and Franco Ballerini after his dramatic sprint victory ahead of Leif Hoste in Sunday’s Tour of Flanders. The panache shown by the 27-year-old in winning the crash-laden 91st edition is just the stuff Italian journalists love to turn into legend, but Ballan sees himself as more than a one-trick pony after the biggest victory of his career.
The absence of one the Tour of Flanders' crucial climbs in Sunday's second one-day classic of the season is unlikely to reduce the threat of a possible hat-trick for Tom Boonen. Boonen has won the Belgian epic for the past two years, but even he might be applauding the organizer’s decision to bypass the mythical, and strategically significant Koppenberg. At only 600 meters long, it can hardly be labeled a climb - at least to those more used to watching the big stage racer. But climbing at an average gradient of 11.6 percent on the cobbles makes the Koppenberg a challenge you cannot
Peter Van Petegem lines up Sunday in what could be his last Tour of Flanders. The 37-year-old is synonymous with the Belgian classic and boasts two victories (1999 and 2003) to his list of successes during his 16-year career. Van Petegem made a big switch last year, trading his team captain’s role at Predictor-Lotto for one that’s certainly a notch or two lower in the pecking order at Quick Step-Innergetic. What’s surprising is that Van Petegem couldn’t be happier than to be in his new role of “joker” behind two-time defending Flanders champ Tom Boonen and reigning world champion Paolo
Tom Boonen dares to dream of making it three in a row as he lines up as a five-star favorite for Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen. The Quick Step-Innergetic captain talked to the Belgian media Thursday about his chances. “Over these last few days I’ve realized that I really could do something unique – winning the Flanders for the third time in a row, but I’ll also need a bit of luck on my side to do this. It won’t be an easy feat,” Boonen said. “I’m approaching the Ronde in good condition. I’ve done everything possible to be at the Ronde in excellent form.” Boonen has snagged his fair share
Proving once again that he thrives under pressure, Belgian superstar Tom Boonen shouldered the hopes of Belgium’s cycling fans and delivered a win for the home team. With the world champion’s rainbow stripes wrapped around his chest, and a real live rainbow arching in the sky overhead, Boonen beat the odds on Sunday to become the first man to win the Tour of Flanders two times in a row since Eric Leman did it in 1972 and ’73.
Tom Boonen can rest easy this weekend knowing that his Quick Step-Innergetic teammates will be backing him 100 percent as he enters Sunday’s Tour of Flanders as the heavy favorite. The defending Flanders champion – who didn’t race the final stage at Three Days of De Panne on Thursday to avoid a crash – will count on support from teammates Paolo Bettini and Filippo Pozzato to protect him in the hectic Flanders finale. “I’m in better condition this year as opposed to the same time last year,” Boonen said in a team release. “Last year I fell during the De Panne, injuring my hand. This year
Belgian Tom Boonen has worn many race numbers over his young career, but he may just pin the number 172 he wore at Sunday’s Tour of Flanders on his wall. Boonen, along with the overwhelming majority of the region of Flanders, got what both had collectively wished for when the QuickStep sprinter rode himself into the history books with the biggest win of his young career with a win at the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, or Tour of Flanders.
It may be March, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s springtime. Just ask anyone who toed the start line for stage 1 of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen (3 Days of West Flanders) on Friday. The race was canceled about 50km from the start in Kortrijk after the snow started falling, rapidly coating the roads just outside of Roselare. This was the second event to be canceled this week (the first was (Memorial Samyn Fayt-le-Franc), after the riders endured a miserably cold two days of racing last weekend as the northern classics season kicked off with Het Volk and
As a team, we made the most of our time between the Castilla and Flanders World Cups by scheduling a sponsor visit to our sponsor to SRM in Germany, getting in some solid training rides and organizing a pre-ride of the course in Flanders. The SRM headquarters is close to the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands. Ulrich Schoberer, the inventor of the SRM, welcomed us to the company. The company is named after him, though for English speakers, Schoberer Rad Messtechnik is a little bit more difficult to say than “SRM.” Schoberer is a great host, he took us for nice dinners, did some testing
Many longtime observers of the Tour of Flanders, the traditional kickoff to northern Europe’s World Cup classics, estimated Sunday’s crowds to be the largest in recent memory for the Belgian race known here as the “Ronde.” From the frigid morning start in Bruge’s historic Grote Markt to the surprise finish in the small town of Meerbeke, thousands pressed against the barriers lining the 257km course. Most were straining to see, among other things, one last glimpse of Johan Museeuw in action: a legendary Belgian in a legendary Belgian event.
Cycling's most successful active one-day rider – Johan Museeuw, the “Lion of Flanders” — will continue winding down his lengthy career on the second race of the 10-leg World Cup here on Sunday. Museeuw, who is gunning for a record fourth victory in the 88th Tour of Flanders before he retires after the GP de l'Escaut on April 14, admits that as he approaches hanging up his bike for good, what should be his final roar on the “Ronde” could turn out to be more of a whimper. The 38-year-old Belgian conceded this week that his failing legs "on the harder climbs" mean he could end up playing a
It was a scene you’re unlikely to see anywhere else. The sun was barely up, having made a feeble attempt to rise on a damp, chilly Sunday morning, but already the restaurant patios were filled with customers. And in the hands of those customers were mugs filled with beer.
George Hincapie seems to be making a habit of collecting fourth places in World Cup classics. It's a habit he wants to break. But each time he looks to be in with a chance of victory, he comes up against a team with superior numbers, or loses out to one of the sport's veteran stars. In his fourth-place finishes at Paris-Roubaix, superior numbers have been the problem, while his frustration at Sunday's Tour of Flanders was due to both a stronger team (Mapei-Quick Step) and an experienced, aging winner -- in this case, Mapei's 35-year-old Andrea Tafi.
The sun is shining in Belgium, although a wickedly cold east wind makes you remember that this is Tour of Flanders weekend. This annual spring classic, which celebrates its 86th edition Sunday, is a national institution here. There were even crowds out on the course Saturday, most of them visiting the Koppenberg, the legendary cobbled climb that hasn't been included in the 264km course since 1987. People here remember very clearly what happened that last time. You just have to look at two words painted in huge white letters on the road at the Koppenberg summit: "Remember Skibby." The
George Hincapie is ready for Sunday's Tour of Flanders after his strongshowing at Three Days of De Panne, where he finished third overall. A stomach virus forced Hincapie to skip Tirenno-Adriatico the week before the World Cup opener at Milan-San Remo on March 23, something that he said helpedin De Panne. "This was a good race for me. The first day I didn't feel super but the second day I felt better and today I felt much better. I feel fresh having missed all of those races and now I'm here amped and excitedto race," "I think that has been the difference over the past years,"
The U.S. national team placed two riders in the top 10 of the Under-23 Tour of Flanders on Sunday, with Danny Pate finishing second and Josh Thornton taking sixth place. Pate finished second to Dutchman Roy Sentjens in the 174km race over many of the same roads and climbs as the professional Tour of Flanders World Cup. The U.S. team had a total of four finishers in the race, with Brice Jones in 29th place and Pat McCarty 44th. Last Wednesday, Pate took eighth place at the French race, La Cote Picarde. The U23’s will be in action again on Tuesday, at their version of Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
The Tour of Flanders produced an unexpected winner on Sunday, and it proved to be a nice surprise for the Italians, as Taconni-Vini Caldirola’s Gianluca Bortolami edged Erik Dekker (Rabobank) in a photofinish, while the pre-race favorites had to settle for a ninth-place sprint. Bortolami turned up as the top survivor on a day that began with a big crash, and ended with an eight-man sprint that contained the remnants of a once-20-man breakaway.
A cold rain fell on the cobbled streets of Brugge on Saturday, possibly a sign of things to come for Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, which traverses the famed cobblestone climbs of northern Belgian. The 269km World Cup classic includes 16 sharp hills, almost half of them on steep, narrow pitches of cobblestone roads through the countryside of Flanders. If conditions are wet, the slick, treacherous climbs become even more of a challenge as the race favorites slug it out. Wet or dry, there will be plenty of contenders to choose from, including the past five Tour of Flanders winners — Andrei Tchmil