With zero sleeps to go until the Tour of Flanders begins, the top teams, riders and support staff share their nerves and excitement, and give fans a taste of the work and enjoyment that goes on behind the scenes of the most prestigious one-day race on the calendar.

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Sunday 3 Apr 2016

Finishing the Tour of Flanders is as much about getting your bike through the course as your body. Step behind the scenes with the BMC team mechanics, who talk through the steps they've taken to leave as little as possible to chance.

Don't forget that we'll be broadcasting this one LIVE, with footage from the women's race rolling into our coverage of the men.

LIVE! Fleche-Wallone
The Fleche-Wallone will be live streamed Wednesday 20 April here on Cycling Central from 11:00pm AEST and broadcast on SBS.

16,000 riders took part in last night's Tour of Flanders Sportive, including a few former pros who can't get enough of those Belgian cobbles and climbs.

The winner of Thursday's time trial in De Panne, Maciej Bodner, crashed during Tinkoff's training ride in Kortrijk on the eve of the Tour of Flanders. Bodnar suffered from a double mandibular fracture and dislocation, and underwent surgery. Full recovery is expected to take at least six weeks.

While Tinkoff's Tour of Flanders squad, led by Peter Sagan, was riding on the outskirts of Kortrijk, a small wooden stick lying on the road got tangled in Bodnar's front wheel. He was unable to react, and his bike spun out, sending him crashing face first into the road.

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Bodnar was rushed to the local hospital where doctors diagnosed a double mandibular fracture and dislocation, the result of his high-speed impact on the tarmac. He underwent surgery and, depending on its success, might be able to leave the hospital on Monday.

Sadly, Bodnar will be unable to support UCI World Champion Peter Sagan in his quest for victory at the 100th edition of the Tour of Flanders, and will require a recovery period of at least six weeks.

Meanwhile, Sagan is very appreciate of everyone’s support during his rainbow season. He is Saganing with you:

Closer to home, Australian under-23 road race champion took an unplanned trip to the emergency ward on Thursday after a nasty collision with a car. According to his recent post on social media, he was riding through a green light when a car, coming from the other direction, didn't see him and turned right.

Recovery is on track, but the injuries are very real. We wish him all the best over the months ahead.

Over in Spain, Movistar’s Ion Izagirre took the line honours in the 119km GP Miguel Indurain in Estalla last night. It was a sweet victory for the Movistar team as this one took place in the Navarre region, where the team was created almost 40 years ago.

Carlos Betancur, Marc Soler and Jesús Herrada controlled an early 14-man breakaway that formed after a furious first hour of racing. They never allowed the gap to stretch beyond four minutes.

Next, Nairo Quintana ripped the peloton to pieces on the Category 1 Alto de Guirguillano. Then, on the descent from the Guirguillano, nearly 60km from the finish, Gorka Izagirre, Giovanni Visconti and Ion Izagirre made it into a decisive, 12-rider split, covered from behind by a vigilant Dani Moreno.

The leading group shattered when Visconti attacked on the Category 2 Alto de Eraul. Only Sergio Henao (Sky) could follow the move, but Ion followed close on the Colombian’s wheel. Visco and Ion took turns to attack Henao, tiring him before the final climb. On the Puy, Henao could not match Ion’s speed.

“It was sensational, incredible. Winning is hard, and even more so here at home. It became even trickier early on when the group of 14 got away and we didn't have a rider in it. The team reacted superbly. I'd put the win down to teamwork: everyone played their part.

“When [Segio] Henao (Sky) jumped across, I knew I had to stick on his wheel. That final spate of attacks left me with Henao, and I knew his explosive acceleration is perfect for that sort of finish, so I was a wary of his attacks.

“I saved energy for the end, and jumped after the final right turn, trying to give everything that my legs had left…and it was good enough to take the win.” - Ion Izagirre

The win marks Izagirre's fifth success as pro cyclist, all of them prestigious wins: a stage in the Giro, the Tour de Poland overall, the Spanish national road race championships, a time trial in the Tour of Asturias.

Next on the agenda for the team is the Vuelta al País Vasco, also known as the Tour of the Basque Country, next weekend.