Sunday, March 02, 2008

Steven De Jongh and the Quick Step Shuffle

Tom Boonen's Quick Step Team got out-foxed yesterday by Gilbert and Nuyens. They were not about to let that happen for a second day in a row. Instead, they put the collective hammer down and reminded everybody that they're easily the best classics team around. They managed to get a massive seven men in the big break of the day. That's everyone but poor Paolo Betinni who abandoned the race within the first hour after crashing for the second straight day. It was not Boonen, however, who won the race. Rather, plan B (or was it C or D or E?) was put into effect. Steven De Jongh was in the right place at the right time, following Sebastian Langeveld's attack in the last 2 km. With nasty side winds, the rest of the bunch were never able to catch them as they dangled just a handful of seconds off the front. With his gaggle of teammates behind him, De Jongh didn't need to work with Langeveld, and found himself towed to an easy victory in the end. Langeveld finished in 2nd and CSC's Mathew Goss took 3rd. Boonen finished 4th. More from CN, VN, and Pez.

After two races, the Spring Classics Pool is eerily reminiscent of the opening few rounds of the cx pool. Chris's Team Creedence Tapes and Andy's Team Vee Vant Ze Money finish 1-2 for the second day in a row, and jump out to a sizable early lead over the rest of the field. Team Is This Your Homework, Larry? directed by Arlene is waiting to pounce though, as is Ian's newly renamed Team Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. I think it's safe to say that these races aren't nearly as predictable as cyclocross, so nothing is settled just yet. The next two races are in Italy, so expect the Italians to make their presence known. With 350 points at stake for the winner, things can change in a hurry. See the full breakdown here.

Watch the last 5 km here, courtesy of (embedding disabled).

Today's Top 30:

1 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quick Step - 4.27.03 (43,362 km/h)
2 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank - 0.02
3 Matthew Goss (Aus) Team CSC 0.04
4 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step - s.t.
5 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas - s.t.
6 Borut Bozic (Slo) Cycle Collstrop - s.t.
7 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) P3Transfer - Batavus - s.t.
8 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC - s.t.
9 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Agritubel - s.t.
10 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner - s.t.
11 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step - s.t.
12 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française des Jeux - s.t.
13 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Française des Jeux - s.t.
14 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank - s.t.
15 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step - s.t.
16 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step - s.t.
17 Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas - 0.12
18 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas - 0.18
19 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quick Step - 0.29
20 Leif Hoste (Bel) Silence-Lotto - 0.40
21 Jurgen Van de Walle (Bel) Quick Step - 4.03
22 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Agritubel - 4.49
23 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française des Jeux - s.t.
24 Steven Cozza (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30 - s.t.
25 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - s.t.
26 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Ag2r-La Mondiale - s.t.
27 Roy Sentjens (Bel) Silence-Lotto - 4.56
28 Martyn Maaskant (Ned) Slipstream Chipotle - H30 - 4.57
29 Anthony Ravard (Fra) Agritubel - s.t.
30 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Silence-Lotto - s.t.

Today's Results:

Creedence Tapes (Chris) - 520
Vee Vant Ze Money (Andy) - 495
Is This Your Homework, Larry? (Arlene) - 285
Bunny Lebowski's Toe (Dallas) - 280
White Russians (Victor) - 270
Obviously You're Not a Golfer (Charlene) - 255
That Rug Really Tied the Room Together (Tomek) - 225
Little Lebowski Urban Achievers (Ian) - 155
New Shit (Matt) - 140
A Roadie for Metallica (Bill) - 85
F*ck Sympathy (David S) - 85
Uli Kunkel (Adam) - 80
That Good Sasparilla (Rachel) - 70
Shomer F*cking Shabbas (Donna) - 55
Shut the F*ck Up Jonny (Jonny B) - 5
These Men Are Cowards (Paddy) - 5
You're Out of Your Element, Jonny (Jonny G) - 5

Overall Standings:

Creedence Tapes (Chris) - 1190
Vee Vant Ze Money (Andy) - 1135
Is This Your Homework, Larry? (Arlene) - 820
Little Lebowski Urban Achievers (Ian) - 695
Bunny Lebowski's Toe (Dallas) - 465
New Shit (Matt) - 420
Obviously You're Not a Golfer (Charlene) - 325
White Russians (Victor) - 280
That Rug Really Tied the Room Together (Tomek) - 240
Shomer F*cking Shabbas (Donna) - 235
A Roadie for Metallica (Bill) - 190
These Men Are Cowards (Paddy) - 95
Uli Kunkel (Adam) - 90
F*ck Sympathy (David S) - 90
That Good Sasparilla (Rachel) - 70
Shut the F*ck Up Jonny (Jonny B) - 45
You're Out of Your Element, Jonny (Jonny G) - 10

Next Saturday's race, the Monte Paschi Eroica, looks pretty interesting. It's all on gravel roads. They're billing it as Italy's answer to Paris-Roubaix. If nothing else, it looks like it's at least as dusty.

Read about it last year's inaugural edition here. And why not watch highlights too:

OTT: British Sea Power, Waving Flags

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