Tour of Flanders 2013: the victory for .... Fabian Cancellara!
A Tour of Flanders not like the others, with last year's winner, Tom Boonen, who had to abandon the race after having crashed only 19 kilometers after the start of the race. Not like the others also because of how the race unfolded: the breakaway was formed quite late in the race and it was also taken back quite late. It finally fell apart little by little and Fabian Cancellara turned out to be the only element which made this Tour of Flanders like the other editions, like the 2010 edition to be precise because the Swiss rider today won his second Tour of Flanders!
The summary of the Tour of Flanders 2013
The Tour of Flanders 2013 took place today under dry but very cold weather, from the start on the Market in Bruges where 205 riders got away for 256.2 kilometers towards the finish in Oudenaarde.
Two crashes made an end to this Tour of Flanders for two riders at the start of the race, Eliot Lietaer (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) after only 3 kilometers but, more importantly, the winner of the 96th edition last year, Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). The Belgian rider, who shared the favourite role in his team with Sylvain Chavanel and who could have beaten a record today by taking his fourth victory in this race, was on the ground after 19 kilometers in the race, since he ran into a pole which the favourite of the Belgian public didn't see. Tom Boonen has left the hospital with his parents after having been taken care of for a contusion in his left hip and injuries on his right knee and left elbow, but the spring classics season might have already come to an end for him!
In the mean time, Andreas Klier (Garmin-Sharp), Alex Dowsett (Movistar Team) and Zakkari Dempster (Team NetApp-Endura) decided not to wait for the rest of the peloton but their attempt to get away didn't last any longer than 45 kilometers before we discovered that the peloton apparently found the most efficient way to fight the cold: go fast! Indeed, the first hour of the race saw no less than 48.5 kilometers pass under the wheels of the riders in this peloton.
In the first climb of the day, the Tiegemberg it was finally time for a new group to break away, with Jetse Bol (Blanco Pro Cycling Team), Jacob Rathe (Garmin-Sharp), Michael Mørkøv (Team Saxo-Tinkoff), Tim de Troyer (Accent Jobs-Wanty), Kevin Claeys (Crelan-Euphony), Laurens de Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Tosh van der Sande (Lotto-Belisol). Even though their gap went up rather quickly, it was mainly thanks to the efforts of the Europcar team that it went back down to 45 seconds at the foot of the Molenberg.
While approaching the cobbled sector of the Paddenstraat at 139 kilometers from the finish, a chasing group started the pursuit of these 7 leading riders and on these cobbles riders like Michal Kwiatkowski, Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Maarten Tjallingii (Blanco Pro Cycling Team), André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Yohann Gene (Europcar) joined the lead of the race.
The different climbs which followed, and most importantly the Berendries and Valkenberg, are however stronger than the will of some of these riders to stay ahead and after the Valkenberg the only riders still ahead were thus Michal Kwiatkowski, Maarten Tjallingii, Jetse Bol, André Greipel, Marcel Sieberg and Laurens de Vreese.
In the first climb of the Oude Kwaremont (out of 3), Yoann Offredo (FDJ) showed up ahead of the peloton when the leading group lost one element, the Dutch rider Jetse Bol.
They were thus five riders leading the race, with a gap on the peloton oscillating around one minute, while behind them a duo formed by Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) and Sébastien Minard (AG2R La Mondiale) start chasing behind them. At 49 kilometers from the finish, while approaching the first climb of the Hotond (via the Kruisberg), these two riders joined the leading group which thus again went up to 7 elements. Their gap was however no more than 30 seconds and when Sieberg and de Vreese were dropped on the second climb of the Oude Kwaremont, the two riders were quickly taken back by the peloton who could already see the 5 other leading riders at far. Among these leading riders, Selvaggi and even more Kwiatkowski seemed to be the freshest ones.
On the Paterberg we again saw that Kwiatkowski was at another level and the Polish rider even started looking behind him when he discovered that he was dropping off the other riders of the breakaway, including Selvaggi who so far was the only rider who was able to follow. Mirko Selvaggi and Michal Kwiatkowski did stay together however, while Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol), Yoann Offredo (FDJ), Sébastien Hinault (IAM Cycling), Sébastien Turgot (Europcar) and Maarten Tjallingii (Blanco Pro Cycling Team) started chasing at about thirty kilometers from the finish.
At 28 kilometers from the finish we thus again found a new group of 7 riders leading the race. Tjallingii and Selvaggi got dropped quite rapidly though and the leading group thus started the last 25 kilometers at five while at about 20 kilometers from the finish Roelandts attacked and got away with only Hinault on the last climb of the Oude Kwaremont where the Belgian rider finally also got rid of the French rider of the IAM Cycling team.
In the peloton it was not surprisingly Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Leopard) who attacked on this same climb, difficultly but surely followed by Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) and also initially by Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) who grips on the two big favourites when they pass him.
Cancellara and Sagan get back on Roelandts at 16 kilometers from the finish, but the Belgian rider manages to get on with this duo. On the Paterberg Roelandts gets dropped however and even Sagan gets dropped by Fabian Cancellara when Spartacus places the kind of attack only the Swiss rider can do.
The last 12 kilometers thus see the classical solo effort of Fabian Cancellara while Jürgen Roelandts gets back together with Peter Sagan. Cancellara absorbs these last kilometers with an average speed of around 50 kilometers an hour.
For Fabian Cancellara this is the second victory in the Tour of Flanders, after 2010 when he signed a double victory Tour of Flanders / Paris-Roubaix ...
The Tour of Flanders 2013 classification
Here's the top 10 of the Tour of Flanders 2013:
1/ Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Leopard) - 6h05'58"
2/ Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) - +1'26"
3/ Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) - +1'28"
4/ Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) - +1'38"
5/ Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ) - +1'40"
6/ Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling)
7/ Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team)
8/ Sébastien Turgot (Europcar)
9/ John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano)
10/ Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEDGE) > 2 comments | shown 7942x
Currently 2 comments!
Démonstration magistrale - force et tactique - dans le final de la part de Cancellara. Suis persuadé que, sans problème du genre de celui qui a éliminé Boonen, le maestro sera encore devant,dimanche sur Paris-Roubaix. Tout comme Sagan et quelques autres...parmi lesquels nos "petits", mais désormais décomplexés, Français : Ladagnous, Turgot, Chavanel, Voëckler, Offredo ...et quelques autres qui ont montré leurs réelles capacités.
| Pierre CROLAIS | sunday 31 March 2013 at 18:39:51
Fabulous Fabian, he did it on the old [and better course], and on the new course! A great shame about Boonen, but I don't he would have been up there with Cancellara and Sagan. Great race. Can't wait for Roubaix.