Two stunning Italian Classics down and now we move on to the climbs around Lake Como. Wout Van Aert dominated Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo, but the 'Classic of the Falling Leaves' is a much different proposition. Ed Hood runs his experienced eye over the history, the course, and picks his betting-card of the re-scheduled Monument.
The First Monument of the 'new' season gave us the excitement we had been waiting for when Milano-Sanremo hit the climb of the Cipressa and the peloton exploded. But it was the Poggio that put last year's winner, Julian Alaphilippe and Strade Bianche victor, Wout Van Aert out front to fight for victory.
Ed Hood has a dozen (well, thirteen) questions concerning the 2020 Milano-Sanremo, La Classicissima di Primavera... in August? The restructured UCI WorldTour season kicked off with a stunning Strade Bianche last Saturday, next up - Milano-Sanremo.
The first race back after the Covid-19 break didn't disappoint with action all the way to the finish line of the Strade Bianche. Ex-World cross champion, Wout Van Aert timed his attack to perfection on the final section of Tuscan grit and soloed to a magnificent victory.
Ed Roadside in Belgium: From the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, Ed's gang of 'Race Chasers' moved a little down the road for the second race of the Belgian opening weekend - Sunday's Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and more cobbled action. A stunningly dry day for a northern Classic, but that wouldn't 'dampen' the atmosphere.
Ed Roadside in Belgium: You know when the season proper has started when your inbox is full of photos of cobbles and cold bike riders from Belgium with the name Ed Hood on the email. First up was the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, but the Classic weekend started on Friday night in Gent for Ed and his gang.
Race Report: Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) dominated the finalé of the week-end's second race - Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. The Dane broke away with Boris Vallée (Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles) with 12 kilometres to go. Two kilometres later Asgreen was solo and heading for victory, holding off the baying pack on his heels.
Race Report: In a two-man fight for the line in the first big Classic of the 2020 season - Het Nieuwsblad - Trek-Segafredo's Jasper Stuyven got the better of a very strong Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck - Quick-Step). The Belgian race was its usual end-to-end battle with Stuyven and Lampaert together at the finish in Ninove.