Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Inside the Ronde Van Vlaaderen (tourist version)

What did I do? Signed in per Internet, paid some 13 € to be a part of the story. Having done no training miles so far I went for the short 75 km version.
April, 3rd just another Saturday with unstable weather. Waiting in Brussels Zuid for the next train. Had one "Energy bar" with the label "Praline intense" as breakfast. Already running one hour late due to Thalys service delay... (Look carbon frame, DA 7400 group set, Brooks saddle, Vittoria Pave tubs on Campa Lambda rim)

Warm up 10 km to the start in Ninove, the first 30 km were a nice up and down, than things started to get serious, cobbles. And it turned out the problem on the cobbles was not uphill but rather downhill. The shift of weight onto the hoods caused the steering bar to turn downwards. Yeah, good old 1990 Dura Ace stem requires extra long 6 mm tool. With support (Bedanket!) of a Flemish I managed to get my bar up again.

But things got harder Leberg, Berendries, Tenbosse and than this sign "Geraardsbergen".
Yes, this means Muur-Kapelmuur. Above shown is the place where humans start pushing and Cancellara starts attacking. This is about 20% uphill and once people in front of You get off the bike You run risk of losing momentum and pushing yourself. So at least I got two pictures of the Muur.
The finish in Ninove. RVV is not a race with timings, basically it is about the hellingen, where one can/has to go full power. Most run on small streets, major street crossings will be temporarily blocked for the cyclists.
Church 100 metres behind the finish line, so one can take the time (14:20). Another 10 km roll-out to Liederkerke train station for the return.

After the race is before the race: Retro Ronde end of June 110 km.
So this was actually just a test run for the Old Look frame with DA 7400 8-speed.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic - love the grainy photos. Oh, and the fact that you were running Vittoria Pave tubs - a man after my own heart.

    Keep us posted on your Retro Ronde - pictures please.