Quick morning roundup before the action begins. I won't be around much today, and Drew was last seen applying for residency at the Chimay Abbeye, but between Mr. Van P and our regular diarists (hint hint!), there'll be plenty of reaction.
- Cyclingstartlists.com has a few changes from the official site, including Pippo Pozzato, Robbie McEwen, Fabien Cancellara, Thomas Fothen, Erik Dekker all making it to the line, according to its mysterious "other sources." Eurosport says McEwen is ill, however, and won't start, making young Gert Steegmans the man Davitamon wants to stop the QSI juggernaut. Nice.
- The official race website is, shall we say, semi-classic level, but at least the route map is handy. Of course, Paris-Roubaix is the Queen of the Classics, run by the wealthy ASO, and exactly the same could be said of their site.
- CyclingNews eavesdrops on a Boonen presser, the result of which reminds me why I don't ever want to be a journalist. Eurosport was there too. Tommeke says...
"Tomorrow, Petacchi has to ride the final, then he can be strong. You can't underestimate Petacchi. He remains - as some say - the best sprinter in the world. But it's not that easy here. You need specific preparation. He starts as if it is another race, but it's not like that."
Although Gent-Wevelgem is considered a lesser classic than the two races that flank it, that doesn't bother Boonen. He wants to win it simply "Because it's Gent-Wevelgem, and because it's not easy. I find it a race with prestige." And it's also the classic preparation for Paris-Roubaix "to keep things ticking over."
- Pez takes us on a wild ride, cruising de Ronde in a family support car. This could be #1 on the list of "things you will never, ever see in VeloNews."