22 March 2012

I foresee a muddy Paris-Roubaix

Tut-tut it looks like rain
This year I am predicting mud. Forget the recent years of hot dusty racing on the cobbles in Belgium and France, it turns out that the talk of not including the famed Arenberg forest and the fuss over cleaning the slippery moss off the cobbles in the forest may have been prudent indeed. The early weather forecast for the 2012 Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix calls for rain rain and more rain. Ah springtime in Flanders!
I have thus revised my packing list, which now reads: rain coat, rain coat, and an extra rain coat in case the first two get wet. All these years I've watched the hardy fans waiting for hours slogging through the gutters and muddy fields of Flanders, thinking I want to be there among those hardy fans - well I might get my wish and then some. Please allow me at least one whimper from Belgium by the fifth day of rain, rain, followed by rain. 
Update 27 March, 2012. The weather report in Belgium is looking bright!
Weather forecast for Oudenaarde, Belgium - the finish village of the 2012 Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen) on April 01, 2012 (cloudy sunny 52°F):
Weather forecast for Roubaix, France - the finish village of the 2012 Paris-Roubaix, on April 08, 2012 (cloudy/sunny 50°F/10°C, chance of rain):
And lastly for those 20,000 special cyclists attempting their own Tour of Flanders by riding the Ronde van Vlaanderen for cyclotourists on Saturday, March 31, 2012, they will have cool weather only a chance of rain!
I am also predicting much discussion among riders and mechanics about wheels and tires for the races. Bring in the Ambrosio wheels. Related reading: Race tech: Wheel and tire choices at Paris-Roubaix 2011 By BikeRadar.

An Ambrosio wheel  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
"Queen of the North" Ambrosio rim  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
How to recognize an Ambrosio wheel (even if the rims have been painted over to avoid Sponsor issues)
What's a little rain? I prefer to look on the bright side - the rain might result in more muddy George Hincapie epic photographs. For now see: Can we get some mud for George. This could be George's 17th Tour of Flanders, and it very well could be a muddy one.

For more race information read: 2012 Race Dates and Routes or visit CLASSICS