I clicked on Hamish Haynes' name on a palmares website, just to see who it is that he's beating to win these races in Flanders; 'Melle 2005' that was Steven de Jongh - twice a Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne winner.
It was good to see Andre Greipel, ‘Le Gorille’ back and his relief at winning was palpable. The huge disappointment in the Lotto car when the big German crashed out of Gent-Wevelgem was forgotten after a stage win which effectively means Lotto’s Tour is a success, irrespective of what Jurgan Van Den Broeck can pull out of the hat.
The last time we spoke to NetApp-Endura’s Scott Thwaites was in the spring of 2013, just after he’d finished in fifth place in the Handzame Classic and seventh spot in le Samyn – both hard races in brutal conditions. For 2014 he’s already back in the groove again with a podium place on stage one of the Three Days of West Flanders.
A day of two parts. Figuring today's stage would maybe see good racing, but not GC changing action, we decided to head over to Lourdes for another wee shot of the Village Depart, get a bit of breakfast, chase soundbites from the folk on the race and watch the depart. Walking into the Village we got talking to a young American - bet you're singing that now - who was on assignment from the Wall Street Journal...