Sunday, April 12, 2009

I love the Classics

It culminated today in Boonen’s win at Paris-Roubaix.
When I think of the spring classics I think of Belgium. However Paris-Roubaix is a French race, on French terrain, but it runs to the doorstep of Belgium, so if a Belgian wins Paris-Roubaix they become a National hero. Boonen of course is Belgian, he won, and he is more than a hero.

To me the images of Paris-Roubaix are the cobbles, the weather, the spectators, and the flags. Although the race is on French territory, the Belgian flags were very prominent today. If you watched the race coverage today – you saw them flying high.

Belgium is 58% Dutch, the northern more prosperous area is called Flanders where they speak Dutch (Flemish). The Flag of Flanders is the bright yellow flag with the black lion. The south of Belgium is called Wallonie where they speak French. The flag of Wallonie is the bright yellow flag with the red rooster. The Belgium flag is the black/yellow/red vertically striped flag. So if you've been wondering what those flags represent - you now know.

Today we saw the Belgian pride demonstrated along the route with all three flags flying high above thousands of spectators. OK, let’s try to ignore those fans booing the non-Belgian riders and those running across the roads in front of the riders; because in the end Tom Boonen won for a second year in a row! It was a great race to watch.

Tommeke! Tommeke! Tommeke! The pride of the north.

to learn about the Regions, Provinces, and Flags of the Provinces of Belgium


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