Sunday, 6 May 2012
Belgian road trip
It was only a question of 'when' rather than 'if' I would return to Flanders after a maiden trip 4 years ago. A post Classics slot in mine and Mark Turner's schedule saw us booked in at The Chainstay, a kind of cycling youth hostel/b and b/training facility in Oudenaarde, with 3 solid days of riding planned.
It would have been rude not to have gone there via some Roubaix cobbles, so I scoped out a short ride post ferry landing to sample 4 out of the final 6 sectors of Paris-Roubaix pave, including Carrefour de L'Arbre. It was as expected - brutal, uncompromising and an incredible insight into the ridiculous physical demands of the race. Though the prototype Planet X Titanium disc cross bike I had taken over was armchair comfy at the rear, nothing can shield your hands from the battering up front. Truly excrutiating.
A quick hop to Flanders over lunch, and we had a guided tour of classic Flandrian pave, in torrential rain, courtesy of our ex-pro host Gregg from The Chainstay. Character building.
Our further 2 days consisted of ambling rides round the heart and edges of the Flemish Ardennes hills - ticking off almost all of the iconic bergs and kasseien the area has to offer, soaking up the tranquility and beauty in this wonderful region.
Until the next trip..........
Posted by crossjunkie at 08:16