Races of the week:
- Ronde van Vlaanderen
- GP Miguel Indurain
- Dwars van Vlaanderen
- Plus two SSRs: Route Adéie de Vitré and deep breath La Roue Tourangelle Région Centre - Trophée Harmonie Mutuelle
Team of the week:
First named rider is the rider of the week and if a rider has a number in parentheses after their name it means the number of times they have made the select Team of the Week here.
1.Niki Terpstra (3). Won some race....can’t remember which one. Anyone? Also a 9th at Dwars. Like in seemingly every race in Belgium this year, Terpstra’s got a small and ever widening lead on the Cobbles racer of the Year. Here’s the FSA-DS points standings for the cobbles/northern classics races only:
- Terpstra - 830 points including three wins (de Ronde, E3, and Le Samyn) Number of cobbles races- 7. VDS points per race- 119
- Gilbert- 740 points. Seemingly always 2nd place behind Terpstra. Number of cobbles races- 5. VDS points per race- 148
- Stuyven- 605 hard earned points. Number of cobbles races- 6. VDS points per race- 101
- Valgren - 520 points with the win at Omloop for the Dane. Number of cobbles races- 6. VDS points per race- 87
- Demare- 510 points. Number of cobbles races- 5. VDS points per race- 102
- Sagan- 450 points with the win at Gent-Wevelgem. Number of cobbles races- 3. VDS points per race- 150
- Mads Pedersen- 440 points. Number of cobbles races- 6. VDS points per race- 73
- Naesen- 430 points. Number of cobbles races- 6. VDS points per race- 72
- GVA- 425 points while scoring in 5 races. Number of cobbles races- 6. VDS points per race- 71
- (tie) Benoot and Stybar- 390 points. Number of cobbles races for Benoot- 5. VDS points per race- 78. Number of cobbles races for Stybar- 6. VDS points per race- 65
- Viviani- 350 points with the win at Driedaagse De Panne. Number of cobbles races- 3. VDS points per race- 117
Two races still to race (yes, I am including Scheldeprijs) so the overall title is still in doubt but its looking like a two Quickstepper race. Notice there’s four QS riders and Lampaert ain’t even one of ‘em.
2.Mads Pedersen. Opened his 2018 account in a big way, first by being in the finale @ Dwars then that tough 2nd place finish at de Ronde.
3.Yves Lampaert. Won Dwars and did much work for his team in de Ronde
4.Philippe Gilbert (2)- No wins but such a dangerous card to play. 3rd @ de Ronde and 17th @ Dwars.
5.Alejandro Valverde (3) . Dominant winner at Big Mig and and a fairly easy cruise to 11th at Dwars. Easily the most versatile rider of the peloton. He’s #1 in the total FSA-DS standings at 1144 points and no one else has over 900.
6.Greg Van Avermaet. 8th and 5th at Dwars, then de Ronde get him on the team. Surprising first nomination to the Team of the Week.
7.Tiesj Benoot (2). 7th @ Dwars & 8th @ de Ronde.
8.Silvan Dillier. Won Route Adéie de Vitré but can I say that I thought he’d be a bigger helper for Olivier Naesen in the cobbles? Yes I can.
10.Marc Sarreau. Won the Coupe de France race with that long name.
Team of the Week- Quickstep Floors (2)
I mean that’s obvious, right? 2nd week in a row with the honors. Odds are they get Team of the Week next week too.
Reverse Survivor Game:
Two more restricted riders ate their donuts this week: Zakarin and Degenkolb, leaving a final six on the schneid: Doom, Gaviria, D-Mart, Bouhanni, Porte and Chaves. Hard to see any changes this week as Chaves, D-Mart, Doom and all not riding and Porte is (he says) not yet in shape while Gaviria is still injured. That leaves Bou Bou who will be at Sarthe.
FSA DS Team of the week
Surprisingly not much overlap of VDS high scoring teams between de Ronde and Dwars so let’s go with the high point winner of the big race: Mätisäkki CC who’s ds is Laeski. They had Terpstra and Mads and Sagan and Stuyven. And you wonder why your team isn't doing so good in VDS.
Previewing the week to come
It says here that this particular week is the week that more riders are in top form than any other week of the year. Obviously the cobbles guys are in peak condition. The GC guys, are mostly there with Pais Vasco which is the first of three weeks for those guys that are the highlight of their spring. The only GC guys that doesn't fully apply to are the Giro men. Finally the sprinters have a top race to look forward to in Scheldeprijs, which while cobbles fans tend to disparage as not worthy, the sprinters sure point to it. Finally the Coupe de France is well underway with several races so this week’s Paris-Camembert as well as Circuit de la Sarthe sees those guys also in peak form.
Plus there’s the Commonwealth games! TWO cat 6 races! I can only find an out of date of startlist so if anyone can find a better one, please put it in the comments! Also if you know of a linky to any video....The course is kinda flat for the road race so names from my startlist that look promising are:
Matt Hayman and Steele Von Hoff for Australia, Jack Bauer and Shane Archbold for New Zealand, Adam Blythe for England, plus Luke Rowe fresh off the bike paths in Belgium for Wales. (Hayman, Bauer and Rowe are on the start list for P-R.)
For the time trial lets say Mitchell Docker and James Oram for New Zealand vs Cameron Meyer and Alexander Edmondson for the Aussies
And hey! Oliver Wood is hanging up his quidditch robes for a go at cycling for England!