Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thank You Sweet Baby Jesus For Bike Racing!

Van Summeren digs deep on the way to the finish

Sweet baby Jesus, I love great bike racing!

Can I get an amen?!


As epic a pro bike race as there ever was.

The craziness and the spectacle of this race makes it the Superbowl Sunday for all truly hardcore racing fans.
And even though my rain dance didn't work (How long has it been since we had a wet and muddy Roubaix!?). The pro's made great use of the dusty roads out on course.

Some of the odds on favorites were no where to be found while other's were right were you thought they'd be.

Van Summeren while on the attack
Johan Van Summeren eating a little bit of dust. Hope he doesn't get pink eye because of all the cow shit...

Tom Boonen had a long delay when a puncture in the Arenberg forest dropped him out of the front group.
Poor Tom stuck with a jammed chain. Ugh, bike no work. Make Tom mad!
 Poor Tom Boonen having multiple mechanical failures before getting completely screwed in the forest of Arenberg with a jammed chain. I thought it was funny to see poor Tom yelling at a teammate that rode by (I read later on that he told him to continue and he would wait for a team car. But it looked like he was saying, "Hey! What the Fuck!") him standing there with grease all over his hands.

Like wise Sylvain Chavanel had some terrible luck out there too. Touching the floor multiple times. The last crash looked particularly nasty. It was good to see him trying to continue to fight even after all that happening.

Lars Boom was my dark horse pick for the win and I contend had the weather been atrocious he probably would have been in the mix more than he was at the end.  Being in the break for a large portion of the race was really exciting to see though. I bet he wins this thing before he retires. Just a feeling....

Cancellera and Hushovd makred each other closely

But for all intents and purposes it seemed to be  Fabian Cancellara's race to lose (Although isn't that true for just about any classic now a days?). Or at least that's the way it seemed for a good portion of the race. This guy was obviously the strongest individual out there. Watching him start closing the gap to the leaders when they were a minute and half up the road and in less than two kilometers they were only thirty seconds!? Are you freaking kidding me?! I'm gonna be geeking out about that for a while... Such a demonstration of pure power. But he got out maneuvered by Garmin.

I'm not sure that Garmin could have done a more tactically savy race. To have a strong guy like Van Summeren up the road in the break (He's placed top ten twice in Roubaix.).  And Farrar and Hushovd sitting in Cancellara's back pocket. Along with several other teammates there in the mix at various times. I could tell that they were doing the only thing they could do to neutralize Fabian's potency.

And the funny thing to me is that they played almost the exact same card at Flanders last weekend and were totally panned for it. Mostly because it didn't work. But now that they won at Roubaix with it the media is all farting rainbows about it. Meh. Go figure. 

World champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) was not happy at the finish

I did feel bad for Hushovd though. I'm sure Hushovd was pissed with the result too (How could you not be?). Especially when he was really the only guy (Well, Ballan could eventually answer the accelerations.) who could keep up with the Swiss Bear. It was obvious that he was in top form for Roubaix. But when you've got a teammate up the road, unless there are extenuating circumstances, you don't chase them down. His hands were just plain tied.

All in all it was a truly great edition of Paris-Roubaix. The only thing that would have made it even better would have been if it were pissing rain and some gail force winds. But what can you do?

Van Summeren was covered in dust and sweat after his long ride up front

Chapeau Johan. It was a great effort and a deserving win.

Rubber side down,

Big E


  1. I do love it when work horses can come out and actually win a race. Awesome for Johan! The best Roubaix I've seen. No dark horse picks for me - Cancellara continues to be the strongest man out there. What a display of power - simply unnatural. Next thing I know he's doping. Please UCI, spare me.

  2. It's true Martin. I have let those thoughts drift in my head a time or two as well. But until something happens I will just enjoy the spectacle while I can. Let's hope it's natural though. You know, just for fun. :)