When the trees are springing, there is cobblestones on the menu for the professional cyclists. And the culmination of brostens campaign is, as always, Flanders Around and Paris-Roubaix, run the first two Sundays in april.
Both are a part of cycling's five monuments, which represents the toughest and the most rich in endagsløb in the calendar.
Last year, cycling fans with red-and-white glasses a party to Flanders, as Mads Pedersen after that have stuck with good 80 km to drove into second place, while a brølstærk Michael Valgren slammed into the fourth.
Mads Pedersen had a few days before the run up in the top-5 in Dwars door Vlaandern, while Valgren had won brostens opening in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - and, incidentally, 14 days later won the Amstel Gold Race.
With the great performance the rest of the season, incidentally, followed up by Søren Kragh Andersen, Magnus Cort, and Christopher Juul-Jensen gave promises of a great 2019 season.
But here in brostens-the culmination and the subsequent Ardennes classics, there has not been much hurray-cry. In fact it has a strong running Jakob Fuglsang, as well as a single pip from Magnus Cort been the highlight, while Michael Valgren after the switch to the Dimension Data has been a shadow of itself.
- Søren Kragh has been a little affected by the disease, and Michael Valgren partly also notes Ekstra cykelekspert, Michael Rasmussen, who has not avoided to take note of the Dimension Datas terrible spring.
- He is also somewhat handicapped by the toothless team, he is running on.
- They have had a victory for Edvald Boasson Hagen in the Volta Valenciana and Giacomo Nizzolo in the Tour of Oman (both of which ran in February, red.), but otherwise, there has not been a shit to come after on the team - or from Valgren itself, says Michael Rasmussen.
He did not look back at a large Danish spring lived up to expectations.
- It has been worn by Fuglsang. He has just made a percent on top, and so he wins the Ruta del Sol and a stage in Tirreno-Adriatico and become the number two in Strade Bianche.
The original plan was that Fuglsang had to run Flanders Around for just the second time in his career. But a hard program has led him to change plans. Too bad seen with Danish eyes, think Michael Rasmussen, who had seen him as maybe one of the best Danish short to play.
And without a trump card up its sleeve to Danish cycling fans do not put your nose up for a national celebration in the belgian brostensbakker.
- It is difficult to see where the will come from. It is enough in this case from Soren Kragh, who may well sit and wait and run the finale.
- It does not seem to Valgren has nothing to come with. He has not in the least any team to come up with.
- One should not put his spareskillinger on the danes for this edition of Flanders. It would not be a wise investment, points out Michael Rasmussen.
Flanders-Round runs on Sunday and can be followed live in full on Eurosport and TV2 Sport.*** - The number I get is not allowed again
If you need to be good in Flanders Around, it requires lots of experience. It is like Paris-Roubaix not a race, to win in the first blow. It happened most recently in 1992.
Therefore, it will be noticed, when a debutant running in the top-10, or if the unbelievable happens: the top-5.
Mads Pedersen last year and was number two in his first start in the monumental classic is therefore a holding of the dimensions.
The now 23-year-old Trek-Segafredo-rider so that the torque and com of place in a group, where he was the only man who could keep in touch with the eventual winner, Niki Terpstra, as he came pounding outside.
Last year came Pedersen from the rear wheel and got sneaked in - but he is not allowed to do in years.
- No, I do not unfortunately.
- If I try, it's like shooting myself in the foot. It is, of course, that comes with, when you make a few good results. Then there will be noticed, and so you are not allowed to the kind of.
- So I will not try with 80 km to goal, says Mads Pedersen to Ekstra Bladet.
He, like many other Danish riders not had the best spring. But a location in favoritgruppen in this weekend's Gent-Wevelgem, however, has given him some answers. Of the positive sort.
- the Shape is where it should be - no doubt about it. So I go into Sunday with confidence, and believe that it can be done.
- I have had two butts-race and two races, where I've been unlucky with punctures and cykelskift, that has destroyed my chances.
- But there is confidence in the idea after Gent-Wevelgem, and I believe that I personally can make a good result on Sunday. And if nothing else, then we should probably make something good as a team, says Mads Pedersen.
Trek-Segafredo provides lightning-quick John Degenkolb in a outsiderrolle and Jasper Stuyven as the captain. Both have the capacity to pull a place back home, but the latter have Michael Rasmussen, the most scam.
- It is hard to see any of the Trek riders be right at the top. So perhaps Stuyven. He has a bigger engine than the Mads. Mads is one of the smartest riders in the field, but he gets not just allowed to make the number he did last year.
- When running the finale over the Oude Kwaremont, then comes the Mads short of the best. He should try to run in the same way as last year, says Michael Rasmussen.
But it is easier said than done. For in addition to keeping an eye on the tactical, so offers a 270 km long race with many climbs and brostensstykker to several challenges, explains Mads Pedersen.
- You should not be unlucky. Bike need to keep, and the other must not rush ahead of yourself. You must seek out his luck - on the cobbles not run in the edge out of the gravel because it is easier. To keep it on the cobbles, there is less risk of puncture, says the dane.
He knows the route, and on the increase the Oude Kwaremont, which must be run three times, he will be especially awake.
We know how the holes look. There is a second one on the Oude Kwaremont in the right side about halfway up. So that it is kept in the left, he says.*** Favorites
the 2019 edition of the Flanders Around is very much open. more of advance your favorites have been plagued by disease. It applies, among others, Peter Sagan, Oliver the Nose and Sep Vanmarcke.
in Addition, there are a few very interesting debutants. Cyclo-cross world champion Mathieu van der Poel has been flying on the cobbles until now, and the world champion on the road, Alejandro Valverde, trying for the first time the forces of the race shortly before his 39th birthday.
Here are the Ekstra bid on the biggest favorites:
Mathieu van der Poel (Circus-Corendon)
Greg Van Avermaet (CCC)
Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie)
Luke Rowe (Sky) the
Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal)
Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Matteo Trentin (Michelton-Scott)
Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
Oliver Bruhat (AG2R)
Sports and Games Cruel setbacks: Watts spine collapsed
Sports and Games The 11 youngest goal scorers in the Superliga-the story
Sports and Games Henrik reveals the gap in the system: How to score the box on the yellow cards