all eyes on thomas in open flanders field
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today
Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today

98 editions of second of 5 'Monument' races

All eyes on Thomas in open Flanders field

Egypt Today, egypt today

Egypt Today, egypt today All eyes on Thomas in open Flanders field

Welshman Geraint Thomas and his Team Sky check the track
Bruges - Arab Today

Welshman Geraint Thomas will line up as an unlikely favourite when the usually Belgian-dominated Tour de Flanders begins on Sunday.
Of the 98 editions of the second of five 'Monument' races, 68 have been won by Belgians.
The first ever winner was Belgian Paul Deman in 1913 and four of the six riders to have won it a record three times are also from the host country.
Yet this year, a plucky Welshman, a Slovak, a Czech, a German and a Norwegian will be among the front-runners trying to succeed Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara as champion.
And one of the reasons they will be feeling confident is that Cancellara -- one of the riders on three wins -- is injured, along with Tom Boonen, another of the most successful Flanders competitors.
Between them, that pair have won this race in six of the last 10 years but with Cancellara nursing two broken vertebrae in his back and Boonen recovering from a dislocated shoulder, the race is wide open.
The only former winner in the field will be Belgian Stijn Devolder, who earnt back-to-back wins in 2008 and 2009.
But Devolder's greatest successes have been as a foil for a team leader, exploiting the attention on that rider to escape to victory.
He was Boonen's teammate when he won his two Flanders titles and was gearing up to help Cancellara this year now that he rides for Trek.
As the new team leader, he won't be able to fly under the radar as in the past.
However, the Belgian showed good form at Three Days of De Panne earlier in the week, finishing second overall, and he will surely be one of the contenders.
But it is Thomas who will likely be the most marked rider following his strong showing last week at E3 Harelbeke, which he won, and Gent-Wevelgem, where he was third.
He proved in those two cobbled classics that he is continuing to develop as a top Spring Classic specialist having spent much of his career until now as a jack of all trades.
Last year he finished eighth at Flanders and seventh at Paris-Roubaix a week later, but he will be eying nothing less than victory on the cobbles and brutal short climbs around West Flanders this time around.
Source: AFP

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all eyes on thomas in open flanders field all eyes on thomas in open flanders field



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