Well, looks like the Three Days of Stupid is finally over. Can’t see why so many big names agree to do this event. It’s four days before Flanders, it’s hard, and it’s dangerous. See this photo: that’s a bunch sprint—on cobblestones. I suppose you could claim it’s “practice” for Sunday’s grundle-slamming parcours (like the Muur of Geraardsbergen, pictured at left), but if you ask me, if you weren’t born ready to win races on that sort of surface, you never will be.
Anyway, I wasn’t entirely wrong about Da Panne being a race for second-tier riders. Sure Pozzatto and Cavendish each took stages, and Brad Wiggins won the TT, but who took the overall? Frederik Willems—not a scrub, but not exactly a Head of State, either. Maybe if he’d gotten on the Bernhard Kohl plan a few years ago he could have scored himself some serious palmares, and would only now have to begin giving them back.
And is it just me, or has Cyclingnews just gotten cruel with their April Fools stories…oh, wait. I guess that’s real. Look, I don’t mean to be a jerk, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Quick.Step has more riders in the final selection on Sunday than Silence-Lotto has riders with a contract next season. And I’d also say that figure is roughly equivalent to the number of miracles it would take for Mark Cavendish not to win Gent-Wevelgem on Wednesday—though I do wish people would stop calling it “The Sprinters’ Classic”. That appellation belongs to Paris-Tours, and some of G-W’s most notable finishes have been from breaks.