Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Kirchen steals the show at Fleche Wellone, Cunego staying consistent
Kim Kirchen powered his way to the victory in today's Fleche Wellone. The race was littered with attacks. CSC's Gustav Larsson had a good dig, as did Fabian Weggman. Early on a 20 man break escaped. It contained Andy Schleck and Philipe Gilbert. I thought the break would stick. However, teams weren't confident with their 3rd and 4th strongest riders being in the group. So, lots of squads began take place in the chase. Once the group was caught attacks came left and right. When it came back together at 500 meters I thought David "tin tin" Rebellion was going to take another Fleche Wallone. Instead Cadel Evans flew out of the lead group. Hot on his wheel was an on form Cunego, Samuel Sanchez, and Kim Kirchen. The ever consisten Kirchen sprinted ahead of Evans to steal the show. Even with 400 meters left I thought Cunego had it in the bag. However, the Little Prince was left for 3rd. Thomas Dekker continued his solid Ardennes Classic week with a strong 5th. Up next is Liege Bastogne Liege. Look for the folks up near the front. My prediction is Cunego. Bring him to the line and he'll bit you. I like the trend of young riders becoming all around racers. Cunego, Kirchen, Schleck, and Valverde are all Grand Tour threats. Here they are battling for the Ardennes. Last year Di Luca made it look easy winning Liege and then the Giro. Even Evans who won the Pro Tour last year can compete in every race. Lance was amazing, and when he wanted to win a race he trained for it and won it. However, towards the end he focused 100% on the Tour de France. I think it got a bit boring for year round cycling fans. Anyways, that's a little rant. I like the next generation.