The Tour of Flanders is a legendary event. The steep nasty bergs, the cobbles, the weather, the passion of the fans - it's classics racing at its best. Every year before the pros put on their big show, thousands of amateurs get their chance to strut their stuff on these mythical roads and in 2012 the Pez himself was lined up amongst them to experience it all himself. Here's his story from that magical day.
Roadside Report: While Richard was enjoying an amazing day with VeloClassic Tours, Ashley and Jered were on their bikes in search of as many photo locations as possible in the finale of Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen. They managed twelve. Let's take a photo look back at their day...
Roadside: It’s been 8 years since I first saw the cobbled classics live and in person with our good friends at Velo Classic Tours, so it was high time I found my way back to Belgium for a week of riding and chasing cycling’s ‘Holy Week’. This past Sunday I was back in the action as we went deep into de Ronde – roadside and in style.
On the eve of Belgium’s greatest race, speculation is rampant as to how considerable course changes and the improved form of certain perennial race favorites will play on what many are calling the most challenging Tour of Flanders of the modern era. One such rider is 2010 winner Fabian Cancellara who believes the more difficult course will prove to be a better overall race that favors the strongest and smartest riders. While Cancellara is widely considered a favorite this weekend, it remains to be seen whether Spartacus can repeat his 2010 success and claim a second win in Vlaanderens Mooiste.
Race Preview: ‘It’s one thing starting the Ronde as favourite; it’s quite another thing winning it as favourite. It is a long road between Brugge and Oudenaarde, it’s stress every metre of the way; you must be able to handle that constant stress. You must be 100%, all of your team must be 100%, no bad luck whatsoever can befall you, and even then you might be beaten by a better rider on the day.’ Those were the words of Johan Museeuw, earlier this week – one of only three men in 95 editions to win the race three times.
Roadside: All eyes have rightly been focused on Italy this week, but in between yesterday's fantastic race and tomorrow's Roadside report from Ale, we'll take a quick trip back to Belgium for a little photo essay of a classic midweek race in Belgium - the Nokere Koerse.