Northern Classics 2006

Not being able to follow Paris-Roubaix on TV, I phoned my wife for an update:
"How's the situation in the race now?"
"Boonen on front alone!" was her short reply.
"And how long to the finish?"
"They just got out of the Forest, about 15 riders, all the favorites, but Boonen has no teammates. Cancellara is pedaling very easily."

As usual my wife took a clear picture of the key event of the race and spotted the winner: Tom literally devoured at supersonic speed the Arenberg Forest, with the result of eliminating all his teammates, and Fabian won with full merit his first Roubaix.

A Paris-Roubaix affected (for the placings) by the sudden passage of a train carrying goods on 7 wagons (!) at less than 10 km to the finish, and troubled by the terrible mechanical accident of Hincapie, that could have had a much worse outcome.

Alejandro Valverde, who "bonked" in the final phases of Amstel, adjusted his nutrition in and out of the race (the importance of CHO! see article) and easily conquered the Fleche Wallonne: 2'50" was his time for the last km on the Muur de Huy, VAM = 2371, 490 average watts (supposing a weight of around 62kg).
After only 4 days he repeats himself in Liège: with a coldness and sharp tactical intelligence worth of the best Argentin, he prevailed on a very visible yet little incisive Paolo Bettini.

Valverde's double sealed a spring campaign evidently characterized by a change of generation of winners; together with Pozzato, Boonen, Schleck the average age of this talented foursome is only 25 and a half years...
Will it be the same for the big stage races later in the season? 

26 Apr 2006