Thursday, February 27, 2014

Omloop! Kuurne! The Belgian Races Begin! 'N' What to Look For

Yeah, break out the beer 'n' frites, babes, 'cause now that the peloton's broken in its legs a bit, it's time for the start of the bad-!@# Belgian cobbled Classics season, where the hard men face off, the GC contenders cower like whimpering wussbags, and the rest o' the pack just tries to escape the race intact. Woo-hoo! So what's up this weekend? This:

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: Men's: Luca Paolini's defending it, Thor Hushovd needs it, Tom Boonen wants it, and the Muur-Kapelmuur's gonna make 'em all pay for it. The course 'n' other news flashes:here. And this, a truly bangin' recap of 2013:
Women's: a 127k o' bone-rattling sufferfest. 2013 was Tiffany Cromwell, but 2012 champ Loes Gunnewijk is there too--on the same team with repeat winner Emma Johannson!--and word is Wiggle-Honda is out for blood and podium. Just get the hell outta their way and you'll all be juuuuuuuust fine! Last year's:

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne: the twitchy legs! the likelihood of carnage! the bitchin' name! oh right, and did we mention last year was cancelled due to freakin' snow? Yep, from Edvald Boassen-Haagen-Dazs to Nick Nuyens Zdenek Stybar Sep Vanmarcke and, damn, pretty much anyone on Lotto-Belisol, it's a lively--and hopefully not frostbitten--race this go-round, with a likely fast bunch finish and a whole lotta recriminations from those caught out afterwards. The weather forecast: better'n last year! Still, stay upright, hope for no mechanicals, and for heck's sake, directeur sportifs, if it turns nippy out there, put some nice hot cocoa in these boys' water bottles so they don't just freeze to death!

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