Monday, April 2, 2012

Reactions to the new route change

So at this point, since the race is over for this year, I will be adding to the blog sporadically after this post and then pick it up again as the season starts next year. This has been a lot of fun and I have met some really cool folks through putting this thing together.

So my take on the race this year was a little surprising. I truly missed the Muur and Bosberg and like so many others felt I watched a good race but not the Tour of Flanders. I enjoyed rooting for Boonen on the final ascent of the Paterberg and seeing him just hang on was priceless. It was great to see him win his 3rd  but I feel this course just does not have the mystique of the old one. I hated the finishing straight. It was just too straight. The headwind and the jockeying for position in the last km's did not help either.

Below are others reactions. I hated Graham Watson's comment because it hints at what I fear the most. Once a tradition is broken the race finish can be bought and sold with little regard to tradition. That would be so sad. 

Here is a link to a great article by cyclesport on the course change and also Cervelo boss Gerard Vroomen weighed in 

(and this without Flanders Grammond? What do you think?)


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reason 31: The people of Belgium have spoken

In a recent poll run by Het Nieuwsblad, 82% out of 3060 respondents feel that the finish in Oudenaarde is the wrong move.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Reason 30: Michele Bartoli gets it

My friend @Wielergekblog shot me this tweet from 1996 Ronde Champ Michele Bartoli. 
During his run Bartoli was one of my favorite riders.

Reason 29: It is featured in the Tour of Flanders Museum
If the Muur is featured in the museum it would stand to reason it is a pretty big part of the history of the race and should be kept in place as part of the race.

The Muur van Geraardsbergen does not feature in 2012.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reason 28: Stijn Devolder and Peter Van Petegem get it

“If you had changed the route 30 years ago it would maybe not have been big news, but now the race is international – it’s shown on TV all over the world and everybody in cycling is always talking about it.” - Van Petegem

“The Muur was unique – there’s never going to be a final like that without the Muur.” - Devolder

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reason 27: Protests

When the organizers decided to move the route they had to realize that protests (in Dutch, which I cannot speak a word of) would ensue. 
People are too passionate about our sport in this region to not freak out. 


There have been accusations of mayors writing letters to their aldermen telling them not to go, and the residents of Geraardsbergen are even contemplating a protest on the Oude Kwaremont. Gotta love the passion of these folks.

Obviously, no route change = no protests and no problems. The organizers are getting what they asked for with the possible protests and bad publicity. That being said I also I believe that it would be ridiculous and a shame if the protests became violent or impacted the race adversely.

The only thing that will help stem the protests will be an awesome race on Sunday. God help them if the race sucks.

Thanks to Wielerg@k (@Wielergekblog)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reason 26: Psycho's come out.

This is not really a reason but more of an exasperation.

Someone actually sent the Mayor of Oudenaarde a threatening letter suggesting that tacks will be thrown onto the route.


 I agree with @SSBike in his tweet "they are not fans"

While I may think the route should revert back to a previous state, lets be real here. It is a race we love and want to see happen at its highest possible level. If some mook decides to ruin the race by doing something this stupid, they should be drug up and down the Muur and Bosberg until their skin is ripped from their bones. That is all.

Article here.