Tuesday, August 10, 2004


The plan was to race in Lovendegem today. Despite threatening clouds and rain all morning (much needed, I might add), it dried up in the afternoon and was actually a perfect day for racing. The circuit was similar to the one I rode in 1999, but because some of the cobbled finishing straight has been dug up, somehow the course looped back and did both remaining thirds of the finishing straight in opposite directions. I got to experience only a bit of this, as after 3 km I punctured! Nothing wrong with the tyre, I just must have hit some glass or gravel on the back section. Quelle bunch of arse, I say.

I was offered a wheel by the guy in the broom wagon, but I would have had to have ridden back to the start/finish to get it. An utter waste of time. I handed my number in and went for a ride, throwing in a few intervals for good measure. Grumble.

At least I got my licence back.

Arthur, the movie

Saw Arthur (as in King, Excalibur, but not Morgan le Fay), and it was OK. Plot was different than the standard and was supposed to be based on the "real" story. Set in about 450 AD, Artorius of Rome, or possibly Wome, leads his faithful knights, inc. Lancelot, Gawain, Galahad, Tristan de Cuhna, Bors (coolest), and Dagonet (also very cool) against the enemies of Wome in Gweat Bwitain. He wescues Guinevere, who is an enemy of Wome, and then changes his mind a bit about his alleigances and massacres the Saxons with the help of the Woads. 'Cos all Woads lead to Wome, as we know. Boom boom.


The phrase "couldn't be arsed" is ringing around my sole surviving brain cell at the moment when it comes to getting motivated for the 'lympic Games. The road races are supposed to be this weekend. Maybe they'll cancel them or something. It's just a bit over the top after the July Tour madness. Make it stop.

Stuey, Valverde, Bettini, Ullrich will probably be up there with a shout. There are other events too, such as the synchronised souvlaki eating competition on the fifth day, and that should be a hoot. Set your VCRs and DVDs to record for that one.


I have been solicited to write a report from last Sunday's Berchem ride, which I did, so I can. 'Twas a warm day, but I've finally gotten used to the terrible heat so that wasn't a problem. We did the old parcours, which is 82.5 km on my cyclo-computer, which can do Hartree Fock Theory and quantum tunneling calculations if you press the "set" button together with the "mode" button. Nifty, eh? Amazing what you can do with Japanese miniaturisation.

Not sure how many of us started but on each climb there were fewer. The Kid was there again, as was Guido, who is in his final preparation phase for the Tweebruggenprijs along the Schelde this week, and Snelle Eddy, who is looking fit. The Kid seemed stronger than last week and kept doing these rather painful turns, so I thought we were all for it in the second half. Well, the eight or nine of us who were left at that point.

The Kid had been doing a bit of work, so when we got to Frasnes-lez-Anvaing (approx km 55 or km 95 from Gent) I went to the front so I could just mosey on up the climb at my own pace and damn the consequences. We went a bit slower on the climb than last week, which was like a Spanish attack-fest, but at the top there were just four of us left: mij, Snelle Eddy, Guido and another guy with a funky black/gold skinsuit type situation. That meant...

...The Kid was dropped!!!

Although only by 100m or so, and even though Eddy drilled it over the top of the climb, I thought The Kid would get back on behind a car that was waiting to pass us. Somehow he didn't, even though the gap was probably only 30m on the descent. And after what he did to us last week, we weren't going to hang around. You see, cycling is all about revenge and one-upmanship. Forget this teamwork crapola. You gotta beat your mates when you get the chance! Naturally, this doesn't apply to me :-)

So the four of us kept working while The Kid was gradually falling further back. I seriously thought he was just toying with us, ready to pounce on the steep climb up to the chapel with about 15 km to go. But no. I can only surmise that he'd done something silly like race the previous day, or didn't have his weetbix for brekky.

On the aforementioned climb to the chapel, it was my turn again so I went a bit harder, and we were three at the top with Eddy and Guido. Eddy had already told us that he wasn't going to finish today, which I thought was a bit odd, but I didn't question his motives. He actually wasn't doing any work by that stage.

I still thought Eddy would finish with us, because he was there just before the final climb (Hotonde) with about 3 km to go. But then he waved ta ta and headed off down the hill towards Ronse. So then there were two, and having done a goodly session of training I wasn't going to attack Guido for the finishing cafe sprint. I think Guido would have held on anyway, as he is in good condition now, just at the right time. I'm tipping him to win the TT for the third year in a row!

Final time: 82.5 km in 2:15:00, which was 3 min quicker than last week, which was only 80 km. For me it was the quickest Berchem ride of the year, so that's a plus.

Now it's just a matter of not having mechanical problems during a race. Still waiting on my cranks from the slowest bike shop in the world. The big chainring is not what it used to be...

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