Narrow Roads of Flanders
With April almost here, the ProTour dipped its wheels into the cobbles of Belgium for the first race of the season. The Cobbled Classics make for hard racing, narrow roads and very tough sections of uneven road surfaces. This year's E3 Harelbeke started without one of the big names of the Belgium cobbles, Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quickstep), he crashed out early in the season, suffering a broken collar bone. Today another big name in the classics, Fabian Canellara (Trek Factory Racing) hit the pave, while he did get back on the bike and ride further, he eventually pulled out with two fractured vertabrae. Team Sky came to the front to chase down the four man break, putting Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and Bernard Eisel on the front of the peloton. BMC, Lotto NL Jumbo and Tinkoff Saxo waited in the wings ready to play their part in the drama of the day.