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.
The sole erstwhile winner in the Flanders race this year is Stijn Devolder, another great Belgian rider, who is famous for consequent Flanders Tour wins in 2008 & 2009.
But the Belgian’s biggest successes were as the foil for team leader. He was a teammate of Boonen while he won two Flanders wins & was prepping up to assist Cancellara as he is riding for Trek these days.
But Thomas’ great performances at 2 cobbled classics & his ongoing top form surely catapults him as one of the best favorites for this iconic race this year.