Sunday, 7 April 2013

Picture This: Paris-Roubaix - Chess In The Velodrome

So it's goodbye to the cobbles for 2013, but if the Tour of Flanders was a borefest then Paris-Roubaix was the opposite. The race favourite eventually won but not until the last seconds as the suspense built throughout the race into the final 40km and remained until the game of 'stalemate' chess in the velodrome between Fabian Cancellara and Sep Vanmarcke. Cancellara tried to shake Vanmarcke in the closing kilometres but Sep held his wheel - Cancellara even looked liked the underdog as Vanmarcke is *usually* by far the better sprinter but Cancellaras experience on the boards showed and Vanmarcke clearly wasn't listening to me as I shouted at my television for him to stop taking turns on the front with 5km to go! Chapeau to both riders, though watching Vanmarcke come this far to lose on the line was a little gut-renching, the eventual winner was a deserved one. Spare a thought for Zdenek Stybar (OPQS) because this could well have been a three way sprint at the finish, had it not been for a collision with a spectator resulting in Stybar losing time - he looked to be the strongest of the three at that point too but this is the classics after all and anything can happen...

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