Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Three more Races (well two that I was actually in)

Well the racing has been coming thich and fast at the moment- we´ve had three races in three days and its just been cycle, eat, sleep and repeat ending tomorrow with a kermise in Deinze.


A good fun little race that included two trips over a highway bridge to add a hill for the beligies. Even the skinny belgies climb as well as me which is quite amusing, so the railway bridges proved quite deceisive in terms of attacks going away.

In the end I rolled around with the bunch. Cam S made the jump and got 25th, I sat in for the sprint and some dude crashed in front of me on the last corner which sent me back through the bunch. I still managed to make some ground in the sprint but only got 35th or so. Bollocks, I think the leason from this is that it always pays to attack over here, especially when you don´t know the finishing circuit, and there are lots of corners- belgies are pretty slow through the chicanes because they push such ridiculously massive gears!

The race was won by Mario Willems, who could well be Stu Vaughan´s Belgian Doppelganger. He´s 47 years old, drives a hot mercedes and wins 40 races a season.

Boekhoute (pro race)

Second leason, if you ever come to race in Belgian get a Belgian licence rather than an international licence because that will let you enter pro races and race shoulder to shoulder with your heroes. Three Kingsnorth riders started this race, with Matty Gorter coming 40th. Not a bad effort. I rode out and watched the race and got in 120kms training and took some pictures. Big names in the race included last years Belgian champion Nico Eckhout, and six day superstars Iljo Keisse, Franco Marvulli and Bruno Risi. The race was won by Gert Omloop, another former Belgian champion riding for Jartazi.


Just got back from this race about 30 minutes ago- and it was a complete smash fest. In the end I only got in 30 kms, but with the wind, still probably got 40th or so out of 70 starters. People were dropping like flies every 30 seconds it was so windy. I was the second last Kingsnorth rider left standing with the exception of one Kiwi Ben who came in a solid 12th. This race was all about who had the best sit, and I was last wheel just about all the time, behind every crash and every dropped wheel. Leason three, fight for the front row on the starting line or suffer the pain. However in the end not so concerned about having such a short day, because we race again tomorrow 120kms.

This race was won by Mario´s teammate Patrick Cocyout, who is also forty something and wins 40 races a year.

They both work full time

and no, they don´t take drugs

but they are apparently both former pros, who can make more money racing amateur races.

So looking forward to tomorrow and a long day in the saddle. I say looking forward to a long day in the saddle because I overhead Mario and Patrick talking at Westkappel, and they´re going to have a rest tomorrow.

Thank God! If those two guys race then its unlikely more than ten riders will be allowed to ride the full race without getting pulled off the course.

Ghent Fest

Off the bike Ghent is buzzing at the moment because its ghent fest, a ten day festival to god only knows. But what I do know is that there has been free entertainment every night in the city. I went down on the opening night which was Saturday and there were about 75,000 people out (according to the radio). There was lots of African music, dancing and drinking until about four in the morning. At this point I pulled up stumps, but it took me another hour and a half to actualy find the place where I locked up my town bike.

And it wasn´t in a difficult to find out of the way location either!

More Beers

Watou Trippel

St Barnardus Trippel

St Feullion Blonde

Brugge Trippel

All good but nowhere near as nice as the mighty Achel Trippel, which reminds me, I have one waiting in the fridge at home, so I better run.



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