It’s almost that time of the year again. Saturday marks the first of the year’s Flanders Classics with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad giving riders their first taste of the cobbles in 2016.
Flanders is an iconic place in cycling history, with its steep climbs, slippery cobbles and often ridiculous weather conditions challenging cyclists for generations.
Last year we saw some incredibly memorable races, starting with Ian Stannard’s tactical masterclass to beat three Etixx-Quick Step riders at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
From there we saw a shock as Jelle Wallays (Topsport-Vlaanderen) beat the WorldTour favourites in Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Then the pros struggled in gale-force wind at Gent-Wevelgem as more riders than just poor Geraint Thomas were blown from their bikes.
The Tour of Flanders saw Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) claim his second monument win and become the first Norwegian winner, following it up a few days later with the win at Scheldeprijs.
If the racing in 2016 is only half as exciting as it was last year then we’re in for another cracking year.