Boonen is beatable!
Dwars door Vlaanderen was an odd race that was slow to start and very exciting towards the end. With the winning break coming after only 14kms and the pace of the peloton fairly sedate, Frederik Veuchelen (Chocolade Jacques) was in the perfect position to take the win of his career in front of some very respectable riders. He was the last survivor from a break that had 18'30" at one point.
Jeremy Hunt (UniBet.com) showed his sprinting credentials in the finale and also that he has some excellent form, a big win is just around the corner for the Devonian. A big crash took out half of the peloton as they started to get a chase going and Milram were in all sorts of bother trying to get things organised again.
Only Tom Boonen knew what he was doing when he decided to launch several half-hearted attacks later in the race, it was a little odd to be riding away from the peloton and his train of domestiques. If he wanted to win the race it may have been better to organise a decent chase to bring the race back together? I have to say I was at a bit of a loss as to what he was up to, he just ended up isolating himself. Surely a couple of other teams wanted to pull it back for their sprinters? Perhaps the crash had messed up the 'arrangements'.
He said afterwards that he was training. I'm not really sure what he meant by that, it sounds a little patronising and it's not very helpful (perhaps a little mind-game?) for the rest of the peloton. He says he has good legs, which is worrying with the big classic races just around the corner.
Roger Hammond is still finishing consistently in these early Spring races, although he couldn't better his second place he managed in the same race this time last year. He's Showing his form will be good for the tougher, more technical, classics. It's all shaping up quite well.
Results – 61st Dwars door Vlaanderen - 1.1 - 204 km
1. Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques 5.13.20
2. Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Unibet.com @ 0.02
3. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R Prévoyance
4. Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Chocolade Jacques
5. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
6. Igor Abakoumov (Bel) Jartazi-7Mobile
7. Marcus Burghardt (Ger) T-Mobile Team
8. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC
9. Jens Renders (Bel) Chocolade Jacques
10. Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Skil-Shimano
16. Roger Hammond (GBr) Discovery Channel