GP Samyn - A Preview

The 44th GP Samyn is on the docket as this Wednesday's cobbled race. I didn't really know much about this rig so I decided to take a look at what was out there on the intertubes. Follow me on the flip to learn more.

Well first of all, it's set in Belgium and was known as the GP Fayt-le-Franc until the death of the race's first winner the previous year, Jose Samyn in a race in 1969, the race was then changed in his honor. Featuring recent winners as diverse as Domenik Klemme and Phillip Gilbert, this can be a race for the punchers or the sprinters. From the profile it looks like there is a series of small bergs in the middle of the 187k race with a final kick up at the end (that would explain the Phil Gil win).

The race website has much more info, including photos that show cobbles in at least one shot, there may be more. Mainly won by Belgians, it is a home affair save a sprinkling of other northmen over the years. McEwan is the lone non European to win, this back in 2004. Apparently it is a hard man race, Capiot has the most wins and he was tough as nails, but hey, this is pro bike racing, who isn't tough as nails?

It is UCI 1.1 and draws a startlist made of few stars and many VDS 4-8 pointers. My man Leukemans is one of the more expensive riders there. 'Raving Mad and Somewhat Slightly Dazed' is rolling with Leukemans, Bouhanni, Kreder and Traksel. Who you got?

Video of the final ks of last year's race.

Edit: Friking pointed out that this is not a proper preview if I don't pick a winner.

So here goes: