One unexpected name will be on the Ronde van Vlaanderen startlist next spring: Andy Schleck. This comes from a Sporza translation but Schleck apparently wants to try his hand at some cobbled races in anticipation of the sections of Paris-Roubaix to appear in the Tour de France. The money quote, translated badly, sounds like Schleck is concerned that this stage is a place where he could lose the Tour if he's not careful. History shows that there's much to his concerns. Ask Iban Mayo, circa 2004. Actually, you could write a pretty cool post listing the ways famous cyclists have ditched their Tour chances on the quirky tracts of northern France. [Slippery causeway, anyone?]
With Schleck hunting for race-day cobbles practice, it begs the question, what other luminaries will be signing in at the Grote Markt in Bruges next April? Can Contador justify sitting out? Does Lance come back to Flanders, as he contemplated this past spring? Will the Liquigas juggernaut, with its glamour and hair gel, bring the circus to town? I like where this is going.