I'll just offer a few ideas from a distant viewer.
- Winners: Quick Step and Discovery... the thing about the Classics is you either win or you don't; there aren't fourteen varieties of consolation prizes. Quick Step's plan went off fine, unless they really wanted to sweep the podium, but with the level of competition we can assume they weren't that greedy. Discovery might complain a bit about not having Hincapie in the sprint for the win, and of course he had a far better shot, but Boonen devours the best sprinters in flat stages, so they have to be realistic about Hincapie's chances too. Once Boonen made it over the Muur, fresh as a daisy, second and third were all that was left --and Disco won both.
- Losers: Hm, every time QS wins in Belgium, Davitamon loses. Not a great day for Van Petegem, given what percentage (50) of his season this represents. Milram looked horrible, and Petacchi's reputation gets narrower with every disappearance from a tough race. People respect Zabel because, back in the day, he could muddle through the worst courses, and win when the opportunity arose. Petacchi...?
As for the outcome, it seems like Boonen is already having a sort of Lance effect on the competition. Nobody dared attack except Hoste, who promptly demonstrated the futility of attacking. It was an impressive race, but the non-Boonens seemed to be standing around waiting for Tommeke to ride into a ditch or something. On the plus side, if Boonen is the only story, at least he's absolutely incredible to watch.