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.