Welcome to the Flandrien Faceoff! We will spend the next two weeks pitting all of the 64 best cobbled classics riders against each other to determine one question: who is the all-time master of the Cobblestones? We are counting on you guys to decide.
The rules for Flandrien Faceoff? Very simple: we have a 64-rider bracket, broken into four regions:
- Oude Vlaandriens (retired Belgians)
- Oude Foreigners (retired riders from everywhere else)
- Current Belgian Riders
- Current Foreigners
Yes, Belgians versus the world is the format. The Final Four should be where things get really amusing, with the best current foreigner, best current Belgian, best retired foreigner and best retired Belgian face off. Seems fair, no?
I will run the two retired brackets, Ursula will run the other two. We will spend the next two days on the first round, finish the second round by the end of the week, then do the next four rounds next week. Each bracket will follow the NCAA tournament format, seeding riders 1-16 for that region, and pitting the highest versus lowest seeds in a Flandrien Faceoff.
Mechanically, each round will have its own story stream and all of the votes in separate posts, with a few lines for each Faceoff to help you get started. [Unfortunately we can't put more than one poll per post.] To vote, go to the story stream and open each post, enter the debate, add to the opening remarks, and cast your vote. Feel free to vote on all of the matchups, or as many as you feel like getting to. A 64-team tournament has 63 contests, so you're not required to get to each one.
Sound cool? OK, here we go. Oude Vlaandriens Bracket is ready!