keepers tour 2013 - day 2 - ronde van vlaanderen - part two
the main event. these guys were flying, well, most of them were. each time they went through the bunch was stretched out more and there were fewer of them. riders were going out the back and you could see how much they’d put in for their teams (or maybe themselves and the gamble hadn’t paid out).
sagan’s face gave it away that last time round but to give him his due he wasn’t trying to hide, to get spartacus to do all the work. it was a proper duel and he was going to ride until he popped.
as the last stragglers went through we hopped over the fence to watch cancellara put sagan to the sword before motoring for the line.
it was pretty tough getting dropped off at lille eurostar knowing that the rest of the guys still had a week to go. next year…
keepers tour 2013 - day 2 - ronde van vlaanderen - part one
the kwaremont. beer, frites and bike racing.
same spot as last year but in t-shirts and sunnies. the sunnies were still there this year but mainly to keep the chill wind from freezing our eyeballs. it tried to snow a few times but, mercifully, it’s fairly sheltered spot.
the girls went through first. they might get a hard time for not going as quickly a the men but you could see how hard they were working, how hard they were suffering. they were so close that you could actually hear how hard they were suffering.
being so close to the racing was awesome but you felt that if you weren’t careful you could quite easily get clipped by one of the motos or the team cars coming through.
“alex, are were going to be hitting any pavé this morning?”
“non, just a gentle ride”
115 psi it was then. and cobles and gravel it turned out to be. not much but just enough to remind the more delicate parts that they’d ridden a lot of paris roubaix pavé the day before.
we’d had a few beers and a bit of wine the night before but it seemed like a good idea to be up at dawn to try to spin some of the deadness away. at first it seemed like madness, despite the sun showing itself for the first time this year, there was a heavy frost and the temperature didn’t get above zero during the ride (i’m not sure it got above zero that day, it was brutally cold on the kwaremont later on) but thankfully it wasn’t windy.
i’ve no idea how far we went or for how long but there can be no better way to see france, wending ones way through the soft sunday morning light of woods, fields, farms, villages and towns on a bike with your friends.
neither can there be a better breakfast than a farm fresh fried egg tucked into a warm fresh croissant.
the keepers tour 2013 - day 1 - the pave of paris roubaix
cold, windy, brutal on the body (there’s still a deep, dull ache in my legs) but thankfully dry.
went faster on most secteurs, some of them by quite a bit (knowing what to expect helps enormously). suffered a lot as a result (the absence of long rides from my training showed) but managed to hang in with the faster lads at the end.
and to crown it all, we got to shower in the legendary roubaix changing rooms. cycling’s equivalent of playing on the wembley turf before stripping off in the england dressing room.