Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tour of Flanders: Extraordinary Fabian Cancellara

After winning his first Tour of Flanders this afternoon, Fabian Cancellara said his next goal is to win all five of cycling's monuments. Having now won three monuments, Paris-Roubaix, Milan-San Remo, and the Tour of Flanders, Cancellara now has the remaining two monuments in his sights: Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Giro di Lombardia.

Belgium's two-time winner Tom Boonen failed in his bid to become a three time winner, finishing just over a minute behind after being dropped on the Kapelmuur, the penultimate cobbled climb. It was here that Cancellara smoothly powered over the cobbles to drop Boonen. The TT world champion and Olympic TT champion then used his time trial skills to steadily increase his lead over Boonen until the finish.

"Cancellara gained twenty seconds in one kilometer so then you have to accept the facts. I rode away from the men behind me but he was riding a minute away from me. You don't need a drawing to understand that," Boonen said before pointing out there wasn't much else he could do against Cancellara. "What can you do? Shoot him to death?" Boonen joked."I was going 55 km/h down to Ninove, but he must have reached at least 60. Then you must resign yourself to the fact."

Italian team Lampre-Farnese Vini had a top 10 finisher in Danilo Hondo:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
2. Tom Boonen (Quick Step) at 1'12"
3. Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma Lotto) at 2'10"
4. Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) at 2'13"
5. Tyler Farrar (Garmin Transitions) at 2'30"
6. George Hincapie (BMC)
7. Roger Hammond (Cervelo)
8. Maxim Iglinskyi (Astana)
9. Danilo Hondo (Lampre Farnese)
10.William Bonnet (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)

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  1. Great race! They showed the last 90 minutes on RAI 3. The image of the bunch pushing their bikes up the 22% muddy pave of Koppenberg is definitely seared into my mind. Also Cancellara changing his bike 3 or 4 times in 10 minutes- what was that about?

    I admit I was rooting for Boonen and thought he would take Cancellara in a 2-man sprint. But like he said- Cancellara was riding away like Boonen was sitting still, but Boonen didn't bonk- he was still holding off the pack of hounds.

    Cancellara was just incredibly strong. I hope he does get the other 2 classics eventually. Pretty exclusive club.

  2. Just wanted to add the problem was a SRAM brake binder bolt. Cancellera only changed his bike twice (once to a back-up, then back to the now-repaired original). Another Saxo Bank rider also changed his twice (same brake problem) and I think I mistook him for Cancellara (how, I don't know, as the Swiss national champion jersey really stand out).