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.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Tour of Flanders etc.

Here we are again then Chaps. Another post explaining my lengthy absences and my adventures in the interim. I'll major on 2 things, I think...

1) I've now moved to Scotland. For those of you considering it, I can tell you that moving house 120 miles away and job in the course of a weekend with 2 dogs in tow is not easy. It really eats into your blogging time.

2). The Tour of Flanders Sportif ride will, I imagine, be of much more interest to you!

I travelled over with Fraser Kynaston, who's taken some cross photos of Belgians in the past, with the intent that both of us ride. He, however, was claiming an allergy to antibiotics he was taking (or to cycling long distances, I forget which), leaving me to tackle the 260km on my own.

Lining up in Bruges Markt at 0700 on the saturday morning, a number of things struck me. Firstly, pre registration had been a waste of time the queue of people buying entries on the morning was moving at least twice as quickly as my own. Two, that really was Joe Parkin lining up behind me and finally that the fame of the Belgians is spreading. The jersey attracted comments from 2 other British cyclists before the off.

I had typed out an essay on the days cycling but it was waaaay too long and can be summarised thus. Yes, I was directed the wrong way and rode an extra 15km. Yes, I lost my fancy HRM/Computer on some cobbles. Yes, I have total admiration for the Vittoria Paves. Yes, I lost both my bottles on cobbled descents. Yes, I snapped my chain on the Muur. Yes, I ended up looking like this

Yes, it was awesome and I'm going back!

1 comment:

  1. Good to see you back Phil.

    That 260km is really calling me - always said i wouldn't but it feels like it could be the real Flanders experience, getting blasted in a wind for 100km before you even get to the hills :-)