Devolder the Soldier!

Alternate title: “The Pain in Stijn Falls Mainly on his Competitors”.

All puns aside, today’s performance was a true masterstroke for team Quick Step. Lefevre must love it when a plan works beautifully:
1. Send dangerous rider #1 up the road in the first dangerous break of the day.
2. Tell rest of team to follow wheels.
3. Once back together, continue sending dangerous Rider #1 until he has no more to offer.
4. As rider Dangerous Rider #1 begins to fade (while Favorite Rider sits comfortably on wheels), send Dangerous Rider #2 (and returning champion) up the road. Either wait for Dangerous Rider #2 to be caught (by the group containing Favorite Rider), or sit back and wait for the finale.
5. Exalt in the glory of well-deserved win.
Look, I’m not discounting Devolder’s show of force. His win was not simply a case of being on the team with the overwhelming favorite. He dominated when his number was called. He rides with such force–it’s really a site to be seen.
Check this out:

I’ll try to post more of a recap tomorrow, but I’m off to State College to do some more recon for the Ramble. If nothing goes up tomorrow, come back Tuesday.

About Whit

My experiences might easily fit many cycling fans' definitions of “living the dream.” Since getting hooked on the sport watching Lance Armstrong win the 1993 U.S. Pro Championship, I've raced as an amateur on Belgian cobbles, traveled Europe to help build a European pro team, and piloted that team from Malaysia to Mont Ventoux. As a former assistant director sportif with Mercury-Viatel, I've also seen the less dreamy side of the sport – the side rife with broken contracts, infighting, and positive dope tests. These days, I live with my lovely wife in Pennsylvania and share my experiences and views on the sport at Bicycling Magazine, the Embrocation Cycling Journal, and at my own site, Pavé.
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