I think in many ways that the E3 gave a better indication who is in form for the Ronde rather than Gent-Wevelgem. Looking at the riders in the top ten, I reckon five or six of them could be there on Sunday.
1. Fabian Cancellara (Zwi/Saxo Bank) 203 km in 4hr 44:34
(ave. 42,80 km./h.)
2. Tom Boonen op 0:03
3. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa)
4. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) 0:50;
5. Lars Boom (Ned);
6. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned);
7. Björn Leukemans; 8. Paul Martens (Dui);
9. Marco Marcato (Ita) 0:58;
The three in form Classic's riders of the moment made the final together. Watching the power and brute strength of these athletes was exciting to watch. Fabian seemed to have a little more left in the tank, and in a drag race between Boonen and Cancellara it would always be a close call. Flecha can't afford to make the same mistake on Sunday (Ronde) as he doesn't have the pure sprinting speed of the other two. So if he's using the E3 as a dry run for Flanders I think he needs to take a Devolder approach and will need to use the tactic of trying to ride away with 20-30km to go.
Boonen is riding well, better than I have seen him ride for a long time. Fabian is also riding well, but where the two differ is that SAXO as a Team are riding well. Quick Step have at times left Tom isolated, and although it is difficult to match him pedal rev for pedal rev, if you've not touched the wind for half of the race the tank is half full is crucial come the final.
and the final
and the final