March 31, 2010
Triple Winners and the Tour of Flanders
The classics season is in full swing and will continue this weekend with the 94th edition of the Tour of Flanders. The winner of the last two editions Stijn Devolder will be in with a chance of winning for the third year in a row, something which has only once before been achieved, by Italian Fiorenzo Magni almost 60 years ago. However Devolder’s Quick Step team mate Tom Boonen will also be looking to win his third edition of the race having won before in 2005 and 2006. Boonen is undoubtedly the leader of the Quick Step team at the classics, but ironically, it is Boonen’s status as leader that has allowed Devolder to win the Tour of Flanders for the last two years. In virtually identical races, 2008 and 2009 saw Devolder attack from about 20km out and solo home while other pre-race favourites were busy marking Boonen. Had Devolder been riding for any other team, Boonen’s Quick Step team mates would have chased down any breaks in an attempt to set Boonen up for his own race winning attack, therefore denying Devolder a victory.