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Final Flanders Feedbag!

What's left to say? All that remains for my preparations is testing out Cycling.TV on the s-video cable, maybe running it through the VCR? Alternatively, I think the TV has an out line. Anyway, I'll have one laptop running the video and another open to just chatting here. Hopefully at 4am, if I can manage. The action starts early at de Ronde. Oh, and I know I dithered over at the favorites Wiki, but my official pick is Cancellara.

  • As usual, Pez checks in with the best preview on the market. More of a photo essay, really, which is why it works. Jered picks Boonen, and throws in a nice hat tip to a very interesting Cyclocosm piece on Tom the Bomb.
  • CyclingNews flexes its muscles a bit with this excellent roundup of the 18 Hellingen, stats and photos included. Might want to print this out and have next to your computer tomorrow.
  • Not to miss out, VeloNews devotes half of a notes column to the race of the year. Andy Hood listens in on Boonen:
"I don't like predicting results but I will say that this year team strategy will be fundamental. There are a lot of good teams taking part and it will be important to have teammates close-by in the final. I'm sure Peter Van Petegem and Paolo Bettini will be alongside me. The changes to the [course] this year could change the race during the final as well as the weather conditions. The weather forecast is sun and hardly any wind - it is hard to say whether this is a positive or a negative thing. More often with the weather that has been forecast the race becomes very quick and difficult to interpret and control."

As for his teammate, Il Grillo:

"I'm in reasonable form even though all of the problems I've had recently certainly don't help in my being at the top. This is not the approach to the race that I dreamed of during the winter but I'll be giving my all as usual. If during the race, I realise that I'm not up to win, I'll do everything to help Tom and the rest of the team just as I did in Sanremo."

At least being a teammate to a Belgian on the verge of an historic third straight win is on his list of considerations.

  • Back to what it does best, VN has a thorough preview of tomorrow's US Open Pro Race in Virginia.