Anyone who saw Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad will almost certainly say that it is one of the best races, well, ever in the history of roads. So it’s an almost exclusive OHN Tweets of the Week: we have Wolfpacks, beardies, bad predictions and bad, bad tactics. Settle down with some frites and mayo, because we’re off!
The Wolf Pack
I’m unsure as to why the IAM team is suddenly being referred to as The Wolf Pack – perhaps because they’re on the hunt? – but, hey, I’ll go with it. But it did bring Emmerdale to mind for Midge and Scott. I just want to know if Chava has any tractor tattoos.
I’d like to hear a Sugden try to pronounce the name Dries Devenyns.
Eurosport must have done something heinous in an earlier life because they consistently do not get the rights to broadcast one of the best races in the cycling calendar. That said, Sporza commentators are a joy forever and almost easier to understand than Sean Kelly. Bernie good, very very good. Bernie’s beard bad, very very bad.
Clambitchen farm equipment!
There was a farmers’ protest during the race and they lined up their tractors by the side of the road (I would have thought that on the road would be a more effective protest, but Belgians obviously do it a little differently). Of course, if this had been July, we would have thought it was merely a greeting from the farmers to the fans.
Enough of this preamble. Let’s get to the real action. For the majority of the race – in fact, up until the last few kilometres – everyone was pretty sure Etixx had it in the bag.
Etixx count their chickens …
… but there were some hatching problems
The three Etixx riders had it in the bag. In. The. Bag. How did it come about that it got out of the bag? This series of tweets is perfect in that it shows the realisation slowly dawning on viewers that Etixx were going to throw this race away with both hands. Or more accurately, with six hands.
Of course everyone could see the truth and logic of what Etixx Grand Poobah, Patrick Lefevere, had to say about Ian Stannard’s lack of professionalism. Not taking a turn on the front when there’s three against one – that’s just unsportsmanlike! What we were witnessing were straws well and truly clutched.
The most interesting prediction of the entire day. Makes sense. Boonen is going to retire soon and no one seems to like Niki Terpstra (well, except for the people who do like Niki Terpstra).
Which leaves the Roubaix conundrum
It is no secret that Bradley Wiggins wants to win Roubaix this year. But, as he said in a previous Tweets column, he might moonwalk instead, which means he won’t win it after all. Or something to that effect. But I’m wondering if he was counting on Ian Stannard to maul both this race and the best classics team in the business singlehandedly? No, he was not. Are we taking bets on a Pinarello throw yet?
So there you have it. Omloop as told by Twitter. But before we go, there is one special mention of a weekend event that showed as much gumption and heart as Stannard’s win.
The last word