Post Gent Wevelgem query: why does Johan Bruyneel always say the goal is “yellow in Paris” but never “first in Flanders?”
We ask because maybe the head of RadioShack-Nissan-Trek makes the assumption that Fabian Cancellara doesn’t need much help on the cobblestones. After watching a resurgent Tom Boonen (Omega-Pharma-Quickstep) take both E3 and Gent Wevelgem in sprints, we’re wondering if Fabian in no longer the dominating favorite for Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
Johan, stop fixating on Andy Schleck and give your classics superstar some love and attention.
Coming off a few crashes in E3, you could excuse Cancellara for not being 100% and perhaps he’s just decided to put the pressure on Boonen as the front runner. The Swiss star made his attack with Peter Sagan (Liquigas) but they were caught and closed down. He had no interest in towing anybody to the finish line.
Perhaps Cancellara was already working his strategy for Flanders: Let somebody else do all the damn work. He’s thinking to himself, “you know, I wouldn’t mind sitting on a few wheels for a while.” If any rider has earned to right to suck a wheel for a few K and get some help, it’s Cancellara. Roll on through, people!
Johan Bruyneel has never been a big classics guy but that was because Lance Armstrong was never a big classics guy. Yellow in Paris, always yellow in Paris. From Postal to Discovery to Astana to The Shack, he never had a big focus on the classics. This from a Belgian!
We suspect that Bruyneel thought that with Cancellara on the team, the classics squad would just take care of itself. Let Spartacus do his thing, power away from everybody and time trial to the finish. Unfortunately, things haven’t been working out that way so far this season. Not that second place in Milan San Remo isn’t nice.
Maybe it’s time for Bruyneel to take a break from toughening up Andy Schleck and making him ride his time trial bike more often. Cancellara might be sand-bagging it a little but he also might need some help.
The goal is yellow in Paris and the big rock in Roubaix.