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Freeman Cebu Sports

Unpredictable classics

TOUR DE FRANCE - Jose Vicente Araneta - The Freeman

I already have accepted the facet that I’m not going to replace Madam Auring soon. My two picks for Milan-Sanremo, Zdanek Stybar and Michal Kwiatkowski, had their race end up about 5K’s from the finish when Philippe Gilbert slid on a corner and took them down. 2013 champion Gerard Ciolek was also part of the crash. Mark Cavendish was dropped in the Poggio and Fabian Cancellara was heavily marked. This left only one rider I should have mentioned- German sprinter John Degenkolb. Degenkolb used to be the sprinter in team Giant-Alpecin but the fast development of Marcel Kittel, forced him to focus on longer and header races. In the final sprint, after 290km, he beat defending champion Alexander Kristoff when the latter started his spring 50m too early. He will line up again tonight (last night, our time) to defend Gent-Wevelgem title. GW is a flat race, therefore a race for the likes of Mark Cavendish, Kittel and Degenkolb.

Dwars door Vlaanderen & E3 Harelbeke

These couple of tongue twisters are semi-classics, sandwiched between the MSR and GW. Dwars door Vlaanderens was won by a rider from a lower tiered team, a kid named Jelle Wallays. The E3 on the other hand was won by Geraint Thomas after he outmuscled his breakaway companions Stybar and Sagan in the final 4km. It was a very powerful exhibition of strength from the Welshman, leaving two of the strongest riders in this years classics eating mud and muck.

After Tom Boonen dislocated his shoulder a few weeks ago, another superstar will be out indefinitely after breaking his vertebrae in a crash 40km into the E3 Harelbeke. No surgery will be done but as for how long Fabian Cancellara will be out, no one knows. Hopefully, he can be back next year to finally treat us, classic fans, with a final duel in the Tour of Flanders and in Paris Roubaix, before they both retire.

The next race to watch in the calendar is the Tour of Flanders which will fall on Easter Sunday. With Boonen and Cancellara out, it will be a hard to figure out who will win. However, the Boonen’s team, ETIXX, will be the team to watch. Stybar, Sep Vanmarcke, Gilbert and the other pretenders will see that the dynamics of the race will be different in the absence of the two superstar. It would be interesting how they would play their tactics out.

Finally, according to the race organisers, the Tour of Siargao will be postponed indefinitely. The reason? Well, the race coincides with the biggest fight in the history of boxing, that’s why. Anyway, as soon as its back up, you’ll be the first to know… There will also be two races in Bohol this weekend, the Black Saturday road race and the Mt. Banat-i Cross Country. If you ever plan to be in the area this weekend, bring your bicycle.

Melindo in US for extensive training camp

AFTER TOM BOONEN

ALEXANDER KRISTOFF

BLACK SATURDAY

CROSS COUNTRY

DWARS

EASTER SUNDAY

FABIAN CANCELLARA

GERAINT THOMAS

MARK CAVENDISH

RACE

TOUR OF FLANDERS

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