bianchigirl wrote:The Ardennes week is certainly interesting in that we see riders who might be considered GT contenders riding - and those uphill finishes are brilliant - as opposed to the increasingly specialised 'hard men' of Flanders.
Both weeks are great, full of history and drama and luck and chance - they can make and break reputations, create heroes and villains, enhance the myths and legends of those great races.
I love the lot of them - for me there's far more truth in a Classic than in a GT. There are no second chances at P-R or L-B-L - you need great legs and a superior tactical brain, to be able to think for yourself rather than wait for instructions from the team car. If you miss the winning move you can't come back and try and get in the right break tomorrow. It's the all or nothingness of these great races that got me hooked. The Classics are real racing.
I agree, but unfortunately the race developments in Fleche/Liege are most of the time very boring in comparison to RvV or PR. It's always about waiting, never taking risks. I think it has to do with the nature of these GC guys: always measuring every ounce of energy they're going to spent because they might need it the next stage.
Although these uphill finishes are spectacular (and the strongest always wins), they also contribute to a boring race: the guys with great legs can always "wait" until that moment to make a move.
I might seem a little biased as i live on the track of the tour of flanders but i'm not. Living in the nation having the best classics track record in history, it hurts not having a serious contender anymore for the Amstel/Fleche/Liege. And it hurts even more that most of the Belgian riders already end their spring classics campaign after the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen. Right now only 2 riders focus on the Ardennes: P. Gilbert and J. Vanden Broeck. And most likely they'll provide Evans with bidons.
The last 2 weeks were big fun. And once again we were king of our own region. But unfortunatly cycling is more than eating cobblestones for 2 weeks. Realizing that after the minds have been purified from the beer, hits really hard.