The Classics season continues!
The Tour of Flanders or the Ronde van Vlaanderen to the locals, is the most important cycling race in Flanders, it is part of the UCI World Tour and organized by Flanders Classics. The same people who organise Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Gent–Wevelgem, Scheldeprijs and Brabantse Pijl.
It is one of the five monuments of cycling, together with Milan–San Remo, Paris–Roubaix, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the Giro di Lombardia. It is one of the two major Cobbled classics, anticipating Paris–Roubaix, which is on the calendar one week after the Tour of Flanders. It has been organised without hiatus since 1919, the longest uninterrupted streak of any cycling classic.
Last years edition saw Peter Sagan beat Fabian Cancellarra and Sep Vanmarcke to the podium.
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Tom Boonen 🇧🇪 (Quick-Step Floors)
Boonen will be aiming to be in form leading up to his retirement race at Paris-Roubaix. Starting at the race in which he made his name, could he earmark this race as key race to develop his sharpness for the velodrome at Roubaix? His main aim is Roubaix, but I think Boonen may also have targeting the Tour of Flanders, in his final season in the pro peloton. I’m sure he will get the support of the Quick-Step team, which looks to include Phillipe Gilbert, Niki Terpstra, Zdenek Stybar and Dwars Door Vlaanderen / A travers la Flandre winner Yves Lampaert.
ONES TO WATCH
Peter Sagan 🇸🇰 (Bora – Hansgrohe)
The reigning World Champion and Ronde van Vlaanderen champ has already tasted succsess in this years classics with a victory at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne as well as podium finishes at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Milan-San Remo and Gent-Wevelgem. He has been at the front of all the big classics this year alongside Greg Van Avermaet.
Greg Van Avermaet 🇧🇪 (BMC Racing Team)
What a 2017 GVA has had! This season he’s won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem, as well as earning a runner-up spot in the Strade Bianche. You’d have to be a fool to back against GVA, but I can’t resist the romance of Boonen’s final venture in Flanders.
Jasper Stuyven 🇧🇪 (Trek Segafredo)
Second place at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne has been the highlight of Stuyven’s classic season so far. Stuyven is a classy rider and has the advantage of being a part of a multi faceted team, including the likes of double monument winner John Degenkolb.
Luke Rowe 🇬🇧 (Team Sky) Team sky have had a good classics season, despite a dip in the last week or so. Kwiatkowki took memorable victories at Strade Bianchi and Milano-Sanremo, whilst Rowe finished on the podium at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Oliver Naesen 🇧🇪 (AG2R La Mondiale) After a podium spot at E3 Harelbeke, the AG2R rider will have had a much deserved confidence boost, plus the experience of racing with riders of GVA’s qulaity in the final stages of big races.! Sep Vanmarcke 🇧🇪 (Team Cannondale-Drapac) can never be ruled out for a top ten finish in any classic. Any member of Quick-Step Floors, Dwars Door Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke runner-up Philippe Gilbert, DDV winner Yves Lampaert, Terpstra, Zdenek Stybar and Matteo Trentin. In the manor Quickstep are riding they could set any of their “super domestiques” if two or more riders make it into the telling move in the later stages of the race. Finally Luke Durbridge 🇦🇺 (ORICA-Scott) who has had an impressive classics season with top ten finishes at the Strade Bianchi, DDV, E3 and the final stage at De Panne. He’s looks really strong with the Austrlain outfit looking to him or Jens Keukeleire to produce a result at Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres.
MY FANTASY TEAM (The Classics)
I’ve nearly managed to keep the same team as last week. It’s quite rare I can accommodate most of my selections within my fantasy team. So it was great to see the seemingly low valuations of Rowe and Naesen (all of which are under 10). Making my selection easy with the big valued riders of Degenkolb, Sagan and GVA taking up the majority of the budget. I also have Vanmarcke to round of my team at 17.6. The only change I’ve made is Niki Terpstra for Tom Boonen. Within this team I have lots of riders who will be in contention for a lot of the classics. The competition is raced as a overall classics campaign, rather than one of races. The races covered by the competition are Omloop, Strade Bianchi, Milano-Sanremo, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Race, La Fleche Wallone, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Frankfurt. You are given a team of 8 riders and can make 50 transfers throughout the twelve “stages”.
Join the competition at fantasy.road.cc
Hope you enjoyed the preview, please feel free to leave a comment.