This year’s spring classics had it all: Fabian Cancellara’s classics comeback, Peter Sagan’s ability to shock, both on the bike and on the podium, a fallen favourite in Tom Boonen, and enough thrills and spills that will relive in the memory for many years to come.
Cyclingnews looks back at the Spring cobbles, starting at Dwars Door Vlaanderen and Oscar Gatto reeling in a desperate Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) before the line.
Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) announced he was ready for Belgium with a sumptuous performance in E3 Harelebeke, giving his rivals a taste of things to come.
Peter Sagan (Cannondale) rallied at Gent-Wevelgem a few days later, as Omega Pharma QuickStep saw Tom Boonen crash out and Mark Cavendish miss out on a sprint finish.
At the Tour of Flanders Cancellara took over where he’d left off at E3 and after Boonen crashed out and headed to hospital, his RadioShack rival turned the screw to devastating effect on the Kwaremont and the Paterberg.
Omega Pharma QuickStep finally saw their hard work pay off with Sylvain Chavanel retaining his Three Days of De Panne title, with Mark Cavendish, Alexander Kristoff, and Peter Sagan picking up stage wins, while the sprinters and in particular Marcel Kittel had their day to shine at the Scheldeprijs.
Then came Paris-Roubaix. After a tame race at Flanders, mainly due to the course, the cobbles of France’s grandest one day race delivered the most exciting edition of the race in years.