Omloop-de-loop: first, a big bucket o' well-earned beer to Brit Ian Stannard (tho' it rather broke my heart that Greg Van Avermaet didn't win) for his (and Britain's!) first Omloop Het Volk, and congratulations to the rest of the survivors, including Thor Hushovd, who first suckered some of us (ahem) with sordid rumors of a broken arm (though I was thinkin' collarbone when I first saw him) then fortunately turned to have been not dented quite enough to threaten the rest of his Classics, Tom Boonen, who doffed his rain-gear just in time to get uncharacteristically bamfoozled by downpour 'n' cold, and some poor bastid who apparently suffered a "frozen eyeball." Ow, !@#$! For the women: Giant's Amy Pieters, beating out Lizzie Armistead and previous repeat winner Emma Johannson, and a whole lot less blood 'n' gore from the lot of 'em. Well, count your blessings most of you--you don't have to fear the race for a whole 'nother year!
To Every Thing, Kuurne, Kuurne, Kuurne: and, a narrow and thrilling triumph of experience over exuberant youth over at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, with a redemptive if fruitless ride for yesterday's-crash-out Luca Paolini, and a gnarly if ultimately not crushing chomp to the chest with a chain-ring and some hospital-room stitches for a still-perfectly-coiffed Taylor Phinney, as big Tom Boonen bagged a record third Kuurne with a perfectly-timed bike throw and a Miley Cyrus tongue-thrust over Belkin whippersnapper Moreno Hofland, who Tommeke sure better assume is gonna plan for that same trick next year, even if Boonen *is* still gonna kick his !@# again anyway. Plus, you get booze and a donkey for winning it! Woo-hoo Tom--and no offense to his great Classics rival Fabian Cancellara, but eat it, buddy, this is only the beginning this season!
Breakin' the Law/Breakin' the Law: finally, speaking of cobbles, apparently UCI is intent on enforcing Rule No. Screw You You Weaselly Wussies, which bars riders from--as they often do--hopping off the cobbles or any other frightening surface to a softer, steadier, 'n' generally less bone-snappin' adjacent path. Well, there goes half the field at Flanders--boys, buttress your collarbones, you ain't getting off that easy this year!