Tour of Flanders 2014: five observations

Fabian Cancellara affirms his place as King of the Classics

After an encouraging start to the one-day season, the wheels have come off for Team Sky in their last two outings. Unfortunate at Gent-Wevelgem to have their riders suffer the effects of several crashes – Ian Stannard’s ruling out of the remainder of the spring campaign, while Edvald Boasson Hagen was repeatedly caught behind splits caused by crashes. However, having seen Geraint Thomas in impressive form at E3 Harelbeke, they may want to head back to the drawing board after finding themselves out of the running at the Ronde.

Re-think: Geraint Thomas finished eighth but never looked likely to break Team Sky’s Monument duck (pic: Sirotti)

Thomas’ eighth place should not be scoffed at – a top-ten finish in a Monument race is still an accomplishment – but in reality the Welshman never looked likely to challenge Cancellara. Boasson Hagen rolled in 22nd, while Sir Bradley Wiggins’ support act saw him finish 32nd. Wiggins’ bid for Paris-Roubaix will at least by buoyed by the fact he finished the race and was not a million miles behind the front runners. But if Team Sky want to break their duck at this level, there will need to be some rethinking done in the next seven days.

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