Flahute time!

ALLEZ - Jose Vicente ‘JV’ Araneta (The Freeman) - February 26, 2018 - 12:00am

What’s a Flahute?

There really is no true definition of a “flahute” but when you are called as such, it should be received with great honor. One definition defines it as someone who is very strong and like to do long races and cherishes racing under the sun, rain or snow. Another definition that I like is this: A rider who finishes first out of 200 starters because the 199 failed to finish due to the extreme difficulty of the course.

Eddy Merckx is a flahute and so is Johann Museeuw, Andrei Tcmille, Sean Yates, Roger de Vlaminck, Tom Boonen and Peter Sagan to name a few. Mario Cipollini is definitely not a flahute but he has earned a lot of style points. If based on nationality, a flahute should strictly be Belgian but then again its all about the attitude.

So why am I talking about flahutes today?

Well, I case you haven’t noticed, the first two of the Belgian Classics for 2018 was played out. When you say classics, its time for the flahutes to shine and the sophisticated cyclists go somewhere for altitude training.

Last Saturday was the opening salvo with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, 196km in long and raced along some of the famous “bergs” or small short hills in Belgium. The stage was not designed for sprinters, it was more of those who can do everything aka flahute! Dane Michael Vlagren of ASTANA won the race after he escaped with just a few kilometers to go.

This was followed Sunday (last night) with Kuurme-Brussels-Kurme, a 201km race which is flat and is good for the Cavendish’s, the Kittel’s, the Kristoff’s and the Gaviria’s.

The other races to watch out for are of course the monuments, like Milan San Remo on March 3, Ghent-Wevelgem (March 17), Tour of  Flanders (April 1) and  Paris Roubaix (April 8). This will then be followed by the hillier classics and different casts of characters, like Amstel Gold (April 15), FLeche Wallone (April 18) and La Doyenne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

How to watch the classics? Well I don’t watch it “live.” It’s too late in the evening. So what I do is get up early and go to youtube.com and watch the shorter replay. I usually watch it while on my trainer so I’m like shooting two birds with one stone!

Finally. For those roadies who are already in the withdrawal state because of the lack of road racing, get ready! There will definitely be a road race this coming March 18, 2018. Yes, it will coincide with two events– a MTB race and a duathlon but its a road race so there is no conflict. Great prizes will be at stake, plus raffle of cycling goodies for those who will join the event. So stay tuned here for more details.

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