Welsh riding star Geraint Thomas seems to be a top favorite in the upcoming Flanders Tour. It adds quite a unique flavor to this year’s Flanders Tour as it’s generally a Belgian-dominated chase.
Among the total 98 seasons covered by this esteemed race, Belgians have topped in 68 editions. This year will mark the 99th edition of this historic race which is deemed as the 2nd of the 5 Monument races.
The first winner of this race was the famous Belgian great Paul Deman & he is one among the 6 riders to win it thrice.
However, this year, a gutsy Welshman, a Czech, a Slovak & a Norwegian are among the favorites who would be striving to succeed Swiss legend Cancellara (Fabian) as champion.
Interestingly, one among the reasons behind the confidence of these new favorites is that the defending rider himself- one among the riders with 3 Flanders Tour wins – is severely injured. Besides, another strong competitor Tom Boonen won’t be participating at Flanders this time given serious injured.
Cancellara has been ruled out of the historic race with two fractured vertebrae & Tom is nursing his dislocated shoulder. Thus, the race seems wide open to compete and score big for the new favorites.
Warren McDonald of Maroochydore has the cyclists going the right way. On Friday, McDonald was officially acknowledged as the domestic coach of Cycling Australia for a year due to his service towards the sport.
Recently he was a help to Daniel Fitter and Ryan Cavanagh who recently came out to be two big names in the sport. Ryan Cavanagh has won a race of 11 days in China recently and has medals from the junior track world championships and the senior world cup meet held at Mexico. Daniel Fitter was nominated as the junior track cyclist of the year for Cycling Australia.
McDonald said that he feels honoured to get the post of domestic coach and he wants to accept the post on behalf of every domestic coach as they do their best to bring Australian cycling to where it is today. His father Merv works with the juniors in local area before they are handed over to him for further training. Among these juniors, whoever is good is chosen by the national and state coaches.
Buderim has Kristina Clonin who is currently the promising of Sunshine Coast cyclists and has medalled both on track and on road in the under 17 level for Australia. Now she is moving towards the under 19 levels and McDonald feels that she has capacities that will get her a spot in the junior world championships.
McDonald himself won an award of Cycling Australia in 2005 when he was coaching the women’s team and the Australian Institute of Sport road cycling. In his early life, he has worked at the Academy of Sports for seven years and was also associated with the Australian team competing at junior world championships. In his coaching career, he has worked with riders like Cadel Evans, Simon Clarke and Matt Hayman.