The real Velominati VSP will not begin until La Primavera. Het Volk will be a one-off warm up for the big show, no points, just some bragging rights and a V-musette. All that time wasted watching “racing” in Qatar and Oman (sorry @ChrisO) will not be in vain. Every contender for Het Volk can still find some middle eastern wind driven sand in his shoes and all the riders who want to win the Ronde will be in Gent. Those who get shelled off the hellingen too soon will know they have their work cut out for them to make the Ronde start.
This race starts and ends in Ghent; 198 km of cold, wind, rain, climbs and cobbles. The weather may not suck for this Saturday but that’s OK, the wind and rain is being banked for Paris-Roubaix. A start list is here.
With equal doses of cobbles and climbs, Het Volk is the opening of the season for us who love the Spring Classics. Up until ten years ago, Belgians won this race, almost exclusively. Ten years ago no one was racing in Dubai as preparation. The Belgians were out there, in Belgium, armed with embrocation and the big ring, killing themselves all winter to come out strong when the bell was rung. The bell will be rung on Saturday, round one.
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