The ‘Flamenco Week’ of cycling continues its course. After experiencing Bruges-La Panne, Ghent-Wevelgem and a memorable E3 Sax Classic, It is the turn of the final test prior to the Tour of Flanders (April 2): Through Flanders. And although in the 77th edition of the Belgian classic (14:10, Eurosport 1) its last two winners will not be there, some Mathieu van der Poel and Dylan van Baarle who already have their eyes fixed on the second monument of the season, will have a range of the most attractive applicants who could even make them forget the absences of Tadej Pogacar and Wout van Aert.
The most relevant names do not give rise to doubts: Christophe Laporte and Jasper Philipsen. The French comes from succeeding in the Ghent-Wevelgem with a joint exhibition together with his partner Van Aert, who did not dispute the arrival. The Belgian from Alpecin, who runs at home, raised his arms on a dog day, with cold and rain, to impose himself with authority in Bruges-La Panne. Both have enough motor to arrive alone, but in the event of a sprint resolution, they are also one of the fastest, the same case for some Mads Pedersen, Filippo Ganna (despite his crash at Ghent-Wevelgem) and Tim Wellens who are very high in the pools.
If they were in their best physical condition, and it doesn’t seem to be the case, for different reasons, we would also have to count on Julian Alaphilippe and Tom Pidcock for the victory in exhibition mode, but the Frenchman has been a shadow of his former self for some time and the Briton arrives with doubts after the concussion he suffered with his fall in the last stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.
A dress rehearsal of cobbled heights
In case of overcoming a prototypical route and similar to the rest of the ‘Semana Flamenca’ races, which has ten cobbled sections (some uphill) throughout its 185.6 km, men like Fernando Gaviria, Arnaud de Lie, Alexander Kristoff, Caleb Ewan, Pascal Ackermann, Matteo Trentin, Olav Kooij or Michael Matthews, among others, would win integers in favor of victory. Just over 50 km to the finish line, a decisive point with a climb to Knokteberg (1.1 km at 7.5% average) that can break the race. The women’s event, which celebrates its 6th edition on a 115 km track, It has Demi Vollering, Elisa Longo Borghini, Marianne Vos, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig or Liane Lippert, among others, as great favorites. Last rehearsal in Flanders. It doesn’t go anymore.