* True confession (o/t), I promoted the story about Lance's tiff with the controllers yesterday because it sounded amusing. It is officially no longer amusing.
* Thanks to all for the intelligence (both meanings) you provided on the Kemmelberg in yesterday's thread. I am no longer convinced that this will be overly decisive, and am counting on the weather to make this race interesting. We will have to wait and see; among the variables are the fundamental nature of weather, and my fundamental inability to comprehend wind directions. A "south wind" is one blowing north, right? You can see how confusing this is. Anyway, the race runs in roughly a 270-degree arc, so a 20-mph wind from any direction will eventually be trouble. I still don't see a bunch sprint.
* From the startlist, here are my ten most interesting names:
- Juan Antonio Flecha... down but not out. Likes the slop.
- Stijn Devolder... amazing how you can win Flanders and still have nothing to lose? OK, maybe he'll reel it in for Paris-Roubaix, but a Devolder attack in the last 15km is almost too obvious for anyone to suspect.
- Wouter Weylandt... Three top-10 finishes in sprint races shows he's not Mark Cavendish, but in the right group...
- Martin Elmiger... 12th at MSR, 9th at de Ronde. Can finish off a small group. My dark horse! [Assuming you can bag 9th in Flanders and still fit the definition.]
- Random FdJeux Guy... Every race they have someone in the mix. What's changed since last year? Did someone switch the pre-race music to Daft Punk?
- Matti Breschel... Something's gotta give with Saxo. Breschel was in the front group Sunday, so he's clearly got the legs. And the speed.
- Heinrich Haussler... I'd say he should save it for Sunday, but he just doesn't know any other way right now.
- Mike Friedman... taking a flier here. Look for Garmin to have guys up the road early. If this race is as treacherous as it could be, that might be more than just a flier.
- Bjorn Leukemans... Fun guy. Totally on fire right now.
- Mark Cavendish... Just because it's not inevitable doesn't mean he won't win.
Your picks?? I'll say Flecha, solo, in the slop.