This past weekend saw the kick-off of 2013’s spring classics campaign with the running of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The longstanding kickoff of the cobbled classics is usually the first half of a weekend double with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, but the later was cancelled due to an overnight snowstorm. The right call without a doubt, but it points to the extremely unpredictable nature of racing in the north of Europe in spring. That specifically makes the spring classics such a special time of year. There is no telling what can happen—due to weather or simply bad luck—in these monuments of the cycling calendar.
A race like the Omloop is a semi-classic and won’t make or break a career, but it is surely a gauge of early season fitness and a stage for up-and-comers to make their mark on the cobbled calendar. The biggest thing for me, though, is simply that it means the classics are upon us. That gets me going. So today I put together a veritable smorgasbord of images to get you psyched for the classics that are coming. Some classic, some recent, these images should get your blood pumping for the races that are just around the corner.