In the velodrome: the final Power poll

It’s time to leave the cobbles behind and wrap things up with a final entry in our series of power polls of the cobbles season. People are always looking for narratives in the cycling season and for me the classics campaign, the cobbles bit in particular, is the most obvious example of a natural narrative there is. No one in ever Aigle sat down to set down rules and jerseys etc. for it, but the logic and progression from Omloop to Roubaix is undeniable and riveting to follow. For me even more so than a Grand Tour which has too many distractions and sideplots, plus it goes by too fast to really allow you to enjoy it to the full. Cobbles season is like following a good TV series with an episode every week and anticipation in between. Grand Tours is like binge watching the whole thing in one sleepless ...

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Benoot, Keisse on mend after Roubaix crashes

Benoot, Keisse on mend after Roubaix crashes

Paris-Roubaix is always a rough ride across the cobbles in Northern France, but it was a particularly painful day for Tiesj Benoot and Iljo Keisse. Read the full article at Benoot, Keisse on mend after Roubaix crashes on VeloNews.com .

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Benoot out of Amstel with collarbone break after car collision at Paris-Roubaix

Tiesj Benoot crashed before later abandoning after hitting a Jumbo-Visma team car

Tiesj Benoot 's spring Classics campaign has been brought to a premature end after the Lotto Soudal rider broke his collarbone and sustained other injuries when he collided with a team car at Paris-Roubaix . Benoot, who finished 9th at the Tour of Flanders the previous weekend, was chasing back through the team cars after a mechanical on the cobblestone sector to Wallers, ahead of the Arenberg Forest. The mass of cars on the narrow sectors made it a treacherous chase and, after crashing once and remounting, Benoot hit the back of a Jumbo-Visma car, with the rear window shattering on impact. The Belgian rider knew instantly his race was over and was taken away by an ambulance in tears. "At a certain moment, the Jumbo-Visma car was sitting in front of me and suddenly closed everything off. I could not respond anymore and went straight into the it," Benoot ...

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Updated with statement from Lotto-Soudal: Tiesj Benoot out of Paris-Roubaix after crash involving Team Jumbo Visla car

Arenberg (copyright Simon MacMichael) (1)

Incident will doubtless put spotlight back on rider safety

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Breaking news: Tiesj Benoot out of Paris-Roubaix after crash involving Team Jumbo Visla car

Arenberg (copyright Simon MacMichael) (1)

Incident will doubtless put spotlight back on rider safety

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Keukeleire and Benoot lead Lotto Soudal charge at Paris-Roubaix

Jens Keukeleire (Lotto Soudal)

Jens Keukeleire and Tiesj Benoot will head up Lotto Soudal 's hopes at Sunday's Paris-Roubaix , with both riders claiming good form and clear ideas about what it takes to win the one-day cobbled Classic. Keukeleire is the more experienced of the two riders, boasting nine previous starts at Roubaix, and a best-placed finish of sixth in 2015, while it will be only Benoot's third 'Hell of the North', with the 25-year-old having ridden the race back in 2015 and 2016, without having finished inside the top 100. However, Benoot took an impressive ninth place at last weekend's Tour of Flanders, and has had a highly successful cobbled Classics campaign so far, taking fifth place at the Dwars door Vlaanderen, 13th at Gent-Wevelgem and 16th at the E3 BinckBank Classic, as well as fifth place as the defending champion at Strade Bianche in early March. "My shape certainly won’t be ...

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Hell’s Bells! The Paris-Roubaix Preview

The best race day of the season is upon us. I’m of course talking about the Hell on the Schelde [looks at calendar, then looks at assignment.] Oh, never mind, it looks like the best race day of the season is already behind us. So, I guess we’ll talk about Roubaix, instead. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating in calling Roubaix the most anticipated race day of the season. Sure, it might not have the prestige of the Tour de France or the beer-soaked reverence of Flanders, but what it does have is a penchant for bringing the pain to the peloton like no other race. Its currency is suffering, and we are the sadists that are buying. And the riders are the masochists that enjoy it. I don’t have to remind most of you about the interview that Theo de Rooij gave to John Tesh (who knows a thing ...

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Peloton prepares for dry and dusty Paris-Roubaix - Gallery

Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) gives a bottle hand-up to a young fan

Riders were out in force Thursday on the roads of the 2019 Paris-Roubaix and in press conferences around Belgium. Dry weather is expected for Sunday's 117th running of the 'Hell of the North', and riders who were testing their legs on the cobbles Thursday enjoyed clear blue skies and comfortable temperatures for their reconnaissance. After placing his winner's plaque in the outdoor shower of the Roubaix velodrome, defending champion Peter Sagan was out with his Bora-Hansgrohe team, joining other favourites like Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal), Andre Greipel (Area Samsic) and EF Education First with Sep Vanmarcke and Taylor Phinney. Nils Politt and Katusha-Alpecin shared a lap on the Roubaix velodrome with a group of local school-aged children, while Jumbo-Visma's Wout Van Aert pounded out some kilometres alone on the cobbles. Luke Rowe and Team Sky ventured onto the pavè for a day of training, as did Edvald Boasson Hagen and ...

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Bettiol Stuns Favourites in Flanders

So that’s why we watch this sport. If you had told me that Flanders would finish Bettiol-Asgreen-Kristoff six weeks — no, six hours ago, I’d have said you were mad. That, however, is exactly what happened as the Italian used the tried and tested method of attacking on the final run of the Oude Kwaremont before what he would describe as the longest fourteen kilometres of his life into Oudenaarde. This was prefaced by an active day for his team members, with the pink and blue seen in a few earlier, promising yet failed, moves. Promising yet failed was the order of the day, as groups that might have survived in classics earlier in the season all got reeled back, such as the huge group that got clear over the Muur including Van der Poel, Van Aert, Jungels and many other favourites. It wasn’t to be though and until the ...

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Tour of Flanders Preview

A look at the big races on Sunday You can keep your Tours de France and your World Championships. For those of us in the know, there’s no better race than the Tour of Flanders. We’ve got a Sunday in the sun coming up, with two superb races over the cobbles to Oudenaarde. More detail and some predictions below. The Men’s Route There’s really very little I can add to what was outlined last year by Chris. The course is, insofar as it’ll matter, the same as last year. The gory details are here – 17 helligen and 5 sections of “flat” cobbles, 270km from Antwerp to Oudenaarde. What maters? Well, the first named obstacle is the Lippenhovestraat after 87km, and the first hellig is the initial passage of the Oude Kwaremont after 119km. We hit the Muur after 171km, and that’s always fun and is arguably where the race ...

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The Podium Cafe Ronde Rankings

So. Er. It’s me. Back for another power rankings. Let’s see how the last ones went. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images Ah, there they are now. Anyway, it’s time for another go, with a bit more data and a lot more “Andrew gave it a go so now I have a point of reference.” Anyway, we at the café know I couldn’t possibly do this alone so helping me tonight, yes, you guessed it. The one, the only, Carol Vorder- The door bursts open. Joyous music plays. Heavy panting as a stony figure crashes into the room. Cuddles? What are you doing here? I thought you were in Edinburgh, and that you hadn’t forgiven me to boot! “ That. Damned. Seal.” Excuse me? “I can’t live with that godforsaken thing.” Hate to say it, but you have some notable similarities. “ Don’t care. All I wanted to do was drink ...

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Mathieu van der Poel is a generational talent, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the show

Joe Robinson 5 Apr 2019 It’s Van der Poel’s world and the rest of the peloton are just living in it Remember when you played sport as a kid, any sport whether it be cycling, swimming, football or cricket, there would always be that one kid who was so much better than everyone else. So much better it made the rest of you playing almost pointless. He’d smash every ball for a six, leave your entire defence on their backsides, swim quicker in backstroke than you would in front crawl, ride away from you while laughing and waving. It was like they were an adult playing against a bunch of toddlers except you were all the same age and you’d all played the same sports for the exact same amount of time. They just had an innate ability within them to be better than you. With his rosy cheeks, baby ...

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Preview: What you should know about the 2019 men’s Tour of Flanders

It’s time for the second Monument of the year and the biggest bike race in cycling-mad Belgium: the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Ahead of Sunday’s 103rd edition of the men’s Tour of Flanders, we bring you up to speed on the course, the climbs and the contenders for what is one of the world’s most important … The post Preview: What you should know about the 2019 men’s Tour of Flanders appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Live coverage of Tour of Flanders on Cyclingnews

The Tour of Flanders peloton

It's been a thrilling Spring Classics campaign so far, and the pinnacle of the Belgian cobbled one-days is about to take place this weekend at the Tour of Flanders . Don't miss our live text coverage on Sunday, April 7, of the men's 270km race from Antwerp to Oudenaarde. Deceuninck-QuickStep may have a strong hold on the Classics, with the likes of Philippe Gilbert, Zdenek Stybar and Bob Jungels, but there will be a handful of other favourites on the start line from rival teams. Greg Van Avermaet will have his eyes on the prize for this CCC Team, particularly after his slower-than-usual start to the season. There will also be Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Oliver Naesen (Ag2R La Mondiale), Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal), world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and defending champion Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie). Join us for minute-by-minute coverage of the men's race, from start to finish, at our ...

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Benoot boosts confidence for Tour of Flanders in Waregem

Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)

Four days ahead of Vlaanderen's Mooiste, the Tour of Flanders, the Lotto Soudal team tanked confidence at Dwars door Vlaanderen . Tiesj Benoot rode a strong race and finished fifth in the five-man sprint for victory in Waregem, Belgium. At the Tour of Flanders, the 25-year-old Belgian rider will be flanked by compatriots Jens Keukeleire and Tim Wellens, who was originally scheduled to focus solely on the Ardennes classics. Wellens started the season in style with two victories in Spain and then a third place at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, before starting to fade away in Italy in Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico. The Lotto-Soudal team that raced the Belgian classics failed to crack the top-10 at the E3 BinckBank Classic and Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields. Benoot showed in Strade Bianche that he was good, but not good enough to repeat his breakthrough victory from 2018. In Tirreno-Adriatico he managed a ...

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Instinct delivers Van der Poel to victory in Dwars door Vlaanderen

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus)

Mathieu van der Poel ( Corendon-Circus ) claimed his first WorldTour victory in only his second race at the top level. After a cracking performance in Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday and a win at Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday, Van der Poel can no longer - if there was still any doubt - be ignored as one of the top favourites for the upcoming Tour of Flanders on April 7. In Gent-Wevelgem, the cyclo-cross world champion showed that he has plenty of options: He can cope with the long distance of the Classics, he can fight for position ahead of the short Flemish 'hellingen', he trusts his instincts when he spots an opportunity, and he's got fast legs to sprint for the win as he did at Dwars door Vlaanderen in Waregem on Wednesday afternoon. "It feels really good, actually. I knew that I had a chance because I felt on ...

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The weekly spin: Flanders into Roubaix, pro cycling’s holiest of weeks

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s often referred to as Holy Week, the span between the start of the Ronde van Vlaanderen in the port city of Antwerp and the finish of Paris-Roubaix in the arena of the Parc Municipal de Sports velodrome in Roubaix. Officially, it’s called Holy Week because these … The post The weekly spin: Flanders into Roubaix, pro cycling’s holiest of weeks appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Jungels: Dwars door Vlaanderen was a complicated race

Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quickstep)

The Deceuninck-QuickStep squad rotation system meant that Zdenek Stybar was spared the midweek rigours of Dwars door Vlaanderen , leaving the rest of the team's quadrumvirate of Classics leaders to stake their respective claims for increased responsibility at the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. It proved to be a mixed afternoon for the men in blue, who were looking to restore momentum after their juggernaut was slowed slightly at Gent-Wevelgem last weekend. Victory eluded Deceuninck-QuickStep in Waregem, too, but Bob Jungels , still a neophyte in these races, will draw plenty of encouragement from his vigorous showing and third-place finish behind winner Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus). Belgian champion Yves Lampaert was seeking a third successive victory in his home race but had to settle for 8th place, while Philippe Gilbert’s Ronde prospects suffered a blow when he was forced to abandon the race with stomach problems. This was a ...

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Editors’ Roundtable: Clearing the Classics Air

Can DQS be stopped? Will the puppies grow up in time? [Minimally edited to preserve the awkwardness of written conversation as well as our individual shortcomings. A couple races have passed since the convo started but there’s no harm in seeing how brilliant we were ahead of time.] Jens: I guess the obvious starting point is whether we think Deceuninck can continue their dominance? Or will they be exposed as weakened from last year when the other expected bigs really come into their planned form for the big races. Guys like Sagan, Terpstra, GvA, Naessen, Stuyven (and the other not-so-merry underachievers at Trek) (Sep) etc. Were Stybar and Jungels too good too soon perhaps? Seemsez: The issue with Deceuninck and the reason their system works is that they’ve got contingency plan after contingency plan and they don’t seem outwardly hierarchical. Every other contender on that list has at most two ...

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Dwars door Vlaanderen: Van der Poel wins first WorldTour race

Mathieu van der Poel denies Anthony Turgis, takes his first WorldTour win at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) took the first road WorldTour win of his career at Dwars door Vlaanderen with a convincing win ahead of Anthony Turgis (Direct Energie) and Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-QuickStep) rounding out the podium. The trio were part of a five-man break that came into the finish after the main field had failed in their attempt to mount a chase. Van der Poel watched as Turgis opened up the sprint inside the final 250 meters before unleashing his own kick as the line approached. The Dutch national champion, who had been instrumental in forming the winning break with a series of early attacks, had no opposition in the end. He came around Turgis, with Jungels finishing a distant third. "I had to make sure that nobody came from behind, I just looked when Turgis went. I felt there was a sprint in my legs and I just finished ...

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