The guys just finished the line so here goes my rendition...
This edition came down to a sprint - if you can call an 800 meter steep uphill a sprint. If i hadn't seen pro men race live many times, I would have thought the replay of the sprint finish was in fast forward because it is seemingly impossible to sprint up that steep incline as quickly as they did!
For the most part, the terrain really determined the outcome of the race. It was a rolling course with multiple steep climbs that were just long enough to shrink the field every by the top of every one.
For the last kilometers up to the finish, there weren't many attacks among the 10 or so guys left. I suppose the thought of having to possibly use all your resources before the final 1km climb to the finish line may put you from a potential first place to dead last! It's not like the Paris-Roubaix finish where if one of those two guys accompanying Boonen in those last km's would have attacked, he'd only place 3rd at worst. Basically, it's much harder to fake fitness on a grueling climb!
Anyway, up the climb the race played out pretty much as most would have expected - Frank Schleck (last year's winner) took the lead with Damiano Cunego on his wheel. Rebellin et al were in tow. Just before the finish Cunego easily passed Schleck for the win. Cunego looked so incredibly happy. His first post-race facial expression was one of relief, complete with tongue sticking out!
I wish i had more to write but it wasn't nearly as interesting as RVV or Paris-Roubaix!
My personal race season should start soon so maybe i'll have more interesting stories - firsthand.
By the way, we finally had VERY PLEASANT weather here. Actual sun accompanied 17 deg.C weather. I felt sweat drip down both the front AND back of my torso. I cannot even remember the last time i felt warm. There is no other feeling like sun on your face and warming your legs.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Now it's time for my pasta, maybe a glass of red wine too.
Oh, and a trivia question: What was Lance Armstrong's best placing in amstel gold?