Spring Classics

Returns the Roar

64“I think only of victory.”                 Rik van Looy, King of the Classics

RvL: Monumental winner: as a man thinks so is he.

Spring is here, the Classics commence, and the lions prepare to line up. The Classics are long-standing races of the highest professional level, the celebrated first fruits of the cycling season. To win ensures a career in blossom, to attempt it shows great courage. Spring roars the return with pleasure and power in the dominion first established by van Looy. A few facts:

*    Most prestigious one-days on the international calendar occur in Europe

*    Long, technical point-to-point epics, some circuits also

*    Often accompanied by uncooperative & uncomfortable weather and temperatures

*    Courses often feature numerous hard steep hills and tough road surfaces, such as cobblestones, frequent turns, and narrow passage

*    Best teams compete; participation determined by various methods over time

*    A few riders become classics specialists

*    These hardmen are swift, strong and confident tacticians

*    Most revered are 5 Monuments of the Classics. Only 3 men have won them all:

Rik van Looy, Roger De Vlaeminck, Eddy Merckx  – all Belgian

1         Milan San Remo             March      Italy

2         Ronde van Vlaanderen   April        Belgium  

3         Paris-Roubaix                 April        France

4         Liège-Bastogne-Liège     April        Belgium

5         Giro di Lombardia         October    Italy

*    Spring Classics

Amstel Gold Race The Netherlands                             La Flèche Wallonne Belgium 

*    Semi-Classics and other notable prestigious races of Spring, such as

Omloop Het Volk        Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne     Gent Wevelgem

www.kbwb-rlvb.be           Belgian Cycling Federation for comprehensive list

Finally, the classic that may cause you to claw for the start line is your local spring event that signals a new season of prowess. Celebrate with an epic ride that roars in the vigorous return of race season!

Prayer for Spring Classics

“Vaulting the mountains, leaping the hills…like a gazelle, graceful; like a young stag, virile…Get up, my dear friend…winter is over…Spring flowers are in blossom all over!” 65Song of Solomon 2:8-12

 

We are thankful for tradition and history in cycling. We ask blessing for the Spring Classics.

Ponder Do I have an epic early season event or goal? Affirm I get results! Watch these races and their lions as they decide who is king on the road.

64“Making of an Emperor,” TIME magazine June 1, 1962 www.time.com Rik was the first cyclist to win all five of the most prestigious one-day classics. He won a lot of other races also. See www.cyclinghalloffame.com 

65The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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