Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another brick in the wall

Or at the very least another cobblestone in the window. That is what Nick Nuyens meant when he said winning the Ronde is for life. And I am sure that if you go the Ronde van Vlaanderen Centrum in Oudenaarde, you will see another cobblestone to the left of that big Swiss one that reads Nick Nuyens 2011.

Winners immortalized in cobblestone
Of course if you were to win more than once, you won't get a second cobble. They will just add your second (or third) victory year to your existing monument, as seen below:

One stone is all you get, no matter how often you win!
Meanwhile the Ronde 2011 is history and all eyes are now focused on the Queen of the Classics, aka Paris-Roubaix. Although the emphasis shifts to France, it is a part of France known as French Flanders that historically belonged to the County of Flanders, and where many names still betray its Flemish roots.

But before that happens, all eyes will turn to the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen, aka De Grote Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, where Quick-Step will be seeking revenge by bringing out all their sprinters. The line-up includes Tom, Chicci, Ciolek, Keisse, Robert, Stauff, Steegmans, and Kevin Van Impe. The last time Quick-Step won the race was in 2006, when Tom was wearing the world champion jersey. Since then Mark "the missile" Cavendish has won it twice, Petacchi once, and last year's race was won by Tyler Farrar.

Belgian classics legend Johan Museeuw retired after finishing the 2004 edition of the Scheldeprijs, (then held after Paris-Roubaix), that was won by Tom Boonen. Museeuw is the only major classics star who never won the event, finishing second twice in 1992 and 1997.

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