Sagan wins first stage of Driedaagse De Panne

For the third year in a row, Peter Sagan won the opening stage between De Panne and Zottegem in Belgium yesterday, coming in a fraction earlier than the finish teammate Oscar Gatto. But the victory did not go to plan for team Cannondale.

“This morning we talked about doing the sprint for Oscar Gatto. Peter wanted to try to help him to win a stage,” sports director Mario Scirea told VeloNews. “Oscar lost Sagan’s wheel and a rider got in front of him, though. He tried to get back up in the sprint, but you can’t do it if you are already behind. Peter had a lot of others behind, so he had to keep going.”

Kenneth Van Bilsen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) sprinted to come in third.

Sagan led a group of 10 riders to Zottegem. He appeared to pull the brakes as he raced to the line with his Italian teammate, but said in the press conference afterwards that he did not do so.

“I pulled in the sprint for Oscar,” Sagan said. “I thought he passed me on the line. I thought he had won and I got second, but it was the other way around.”

The Three Days of De Panne marks the final preparation for the riders targeting the Flemish Classics ahead of the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.

Tom Boonen puts personal tragedy behind him

Tom Boonen has experienced set-backs before, but everyone can sympathise with the tragedy that he and his partner Lore faced a couple weeks ago after they faced a miscarriage.

Tom Boonen getting a helping hand' up the Paterberg in Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Image Kristof Ramon

Tom Boonen getting a helping hand’ up the Paterberg in Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Image Kristof Ramon

“I couldn’t have cared less about cycling. I had something else on my mind,” Boonen said. “On Tuesday, the gynaecologist told us that child was dead inside her belly. On Thursday, she had to go to the hospital for labour. It was a very difficult delivery, which took 25 hours.”

“Lore and I have had a very difficult week, a terrible week actually,” Boonen said at the start in Dwars.

“At a certain point, I really didn’t care anymore,” he said. “I have worked too much in preparation of these races to just go and sit in a corner. Nevertheless… you never really forget something like this.”

Omega Pharma-QuickStep general manager Patrick Lefevere told Cycling Weekly. “These are the most important weeks of the year for him, so he has no choice but to race,” “He will not put [the miscarriage] behind, but what can he do? Stay at home? That’s not an option.”

“Maybe he feels it but Sunday is four or five days away,” Lefevere said. “What got me, though, was that he was disappointed to lose the sprint. That shows that he has a good attitude and has his mind on racing ahead of Flanders.”

The Tour of Flanders will be raced this Sunday.

Read more on Cycling Weekly

Fränk Schleck happy with form

This is one of those “non-news” stories that come up on slow days. It’s great that Frank is happy with his form, but what caught my attention in this story is that he decided to miss the birth of his daughter on Friday to continue racing the Criterium International.

TDU Stage 1

“We wanted to do something special today,” said Fränk “The boys told me, ‘you are going to win on Sunday, we race for you, and then you can take that present home to the family’.

“Now I am looking forward to travelling home to see my new, little baby girl. The team gave me the option to return home but I chose to stay and do the race. I had a great opportunity today and just missed it. The pressure was big today, and I am confident about my shape. And Bob [Jungels] was great today. There is definitely a lot more to come from him.”

Fränk Schleck finished 4th on the final stage 3 and 6th overall. See full results here.

On the flip side, his brother Andy continued his struggle with getting back to form and DNF’d Criterium International over the weekend.

Read more on cyclingnews

The Tour of Flanders History

inCycle takes a look back on the history of the Tour of Flanders:

How the race was won: Gent-Wevelgem

I’m glad to see Cosmo Catalano is back with his “how the race was won” videos and here’s another exceptional analysis from last week’s Gent-Wevelgem:

Check out his previous “how the race was won” videos here and his Cyclocosm blog.

The Secret Pro is back

It’s been a while since we’ve featured The Secret Pro’s voice here and I have to admit, that’s my fault for not pushing it very hard. But finally we have the first post of 2014 up and if you’re interested in the Mick Rogers saga, it’s a doozy. Read more here.

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Kickstarter: The Runaway Bike Hot Tub paraffin-based lube

Runaway Bike Industries has completed development of their Bike Chain Hot Tub… a hot paraffin-based chain lubricant for serious cyclists who appreciate a good lube.

Google “paraffin bike lubricant” to find out about the benefits of this wax-based lube.

April Fool’s roundup

Velonews: UCI commission to recommend Google Glass use on WorldTour

Velonews: Froome faces scrutiny over extraterrestrial DNA test results

Road.cc: UCI announces change of direction for Southern Hemisphere track racing

Inrng: New anti-doping “bone density immersion” test

Did I miss anything?

The Santini Spring Classics Tipping Competition

Yesterday we announced our upcoming Spring Classics Tipping Competition. We usually only do tipping competitions for Grand Tours, but we’ve come up with an exciting format for the Classics which will keep everyone interested. Get on board! See details here.

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The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed over the past couple days:


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