Though not boasting the Monument status of the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix, this weekend’s first two Belgian semi-Classics offered plenty of insight ahead of big cobbled races to come.
Ian Stannard got Team Sky’s one-day season off to a winning start with success at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad before Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) reminded everyone just what he can do with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne victory.
Dutch team Belkin also played a big part in the weekend’s racing, not least through Sep Vanmarcke, who finished fourth and third respectively.
After an agonising second place behind Fabian Cancellara at last year’s Paris-Roubaix velodrome last year, could Vanmarcke go one better this time out?
There was certainly plenty to muse over after the weekend’s events. Read our five observations on the following pages.