According to Anthony Tan, there’s little more than a one in a hundred chance that someone whose name is not Fabian Cancellara will win this year’s Paris-Roubaix. For the peloton’s dark horses, that’s enough of a carrot for a chance to be immortalised.
Barring a serious crash (or crashes), an inopportune puncture (is there ever a good time?), or a mechanical sans mechanic (waiting more than a minute for your team car happens not infrequently in this race), Fabian Cancellara will win Sunday.
It’s that simple, I’m afraid.
The 98th edition of the Ronde van Vlaanderen had almost everything a cycling fan could wish for. But for Anthony Tan there were a few things missing, or at least amiss.
Well, that was a pretty bloody good Ronde, no?
(Driving home from chez Tomalaris, crashing to bed at 2am, then off to work five hours later, you tend to run out of superlatives, so ‘pretty bloody good’ it’ll have to be...)
So far this season, as far as pre-race favourites go, no one man stands taller than Fabian Cancellara before the Ronde van Vlaanderen. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be beaten, writes Anthony Tan.
Oyé... Foreman boma yé… Foreman boma yé.
A chant before the Ali-Foreman 1974 world heavyweight title fight in Kinshasa, Zaire.
Hear this... Foreman will kill him... Foreman will kill him.
For Peter Sagan, the prospect of winning his first Monument looms larger than it ever has. But if he is to turn prospect into reality, he must wave the red flag early, writes Anthony Tan.
Eddy Merckx once said “I see myself in Sagan” yet when told of the compliment the Slovak dismissed the comparison: “I do not want to be the second Eddy Merckx. I want to be the first Peter Sagan.”
Besides, Sagan, despite the umpteen plaudits thrown his way, will never win a Grand Tour, of which Merckx won eleven; despite his prolificacy in his first four years as a professional, he is yet to win a Monument, of which Merckx won nineteen; and notwithstanding his all-round ability, he is yet to win a world road championship, of which Merckx won three.
From Sunday’s Milano-San Remo there were a few things of note other than the arrival of Alexander Kristoff to the big time, writes Anthony Tan.
Pro Conti teams earn their invite
Four of the seven riders represented in the EB (early break) came from non-WorldTour teams, and only Belkin’s Maarten Tjallingii lastest longer than the best Pro Conti rider, UnitedHealthCare’s Marc de Maar, who after more than 250 kilometres away, were only caught inside the final 20km, on the descent of the Cipressa.
Bardiani-CSF, I thought, rode a great race, too. After having Nicola Boem in the EB, Enrico Battaglin made a move on the Poggio, taking Trek’s Grégory Rast with him, and although that came to nought, they had Sonny Colbrelli for the bunch sprint, who finished sixth. Defending champ Gerald Ciolek from MTN-Qhubeka, while he didn’t quite have it in the end, rode creditably to a place inside the top ten.