Tour of Flanders 2002
“Seven hours of torment” for the muscles of the riders in the Tour of Flanders.
264 km of struggle against a fierce wind, made even more wicked by 25 km of pave and 16 “walls” concentrated in the last 110 km of the race; all of this, flavoured with an athletic fury that only these great classic races can evoke!
The furious fight to secure the first positions of the peloton in the imminence of the toughest parts, multiplies the fatigue and the risks for the riders.
Indeed, all of this leaves deep “scars” in the bodies of the cyclists, a painful recollection that they will clearly feel over in days following the race.
The Belgian rider, Erwin Thijs, knows what I’m talking about, as he challenged the course and the wind for about 215 km, showing impressive courage and a wonderful performance.
In the last 12 km of racing, the 5 strongest riders of this 86th Tour of Flanders battled for victory in an uncertain and exciting challenge that showed residual energies, experience, courage and tactics.
ANDREA TAFI triumphed with absolute merit, with a perfect attack that underlies the essence of cycling, a competition where the result can never be predicted.
Tafi made his rivals think that he was the less brilliant one on the final wall, slightly detaching behind them near the top, but catching the first riders up once again with just a few pushes on the pedals. Perhaps he really was in some trouble, but he did not torture his muscles with sharp accelerations on the less favourable parts of the course for him.
The accelerations, at least 6, with the last one being the most crucial, showed off both his enormous energy and courage that maybe his valiant adversaries lacked.