Monday, May 09, 2005

Have you seen this boy?

I'm not talking about Terminator II. The Giro has started and that means that this bilgespot is nearly a year old. I just did a quick word count and it's up to 67,000. That's two thirds of a trashy novel. All bilge, all the time.

In some particular order:

I sent away for me racing licence last week, so if the postal service and the Belgian cycling feds are organised, I might get it in time to race next Tuesday (Giro day off). Here's hoping.

Weather has been crap again. It's incredible, but it's true. After the glorious Sunday just over a week ago, it turned nasty, rained most of the days, and is back down to 14 degrees or so max. Sigh. Didn't stop me getting out for a pedal or three, but it wasn't a suitable week for training. Saturday was pretty bad - wind strength 4-5 from the northwest and icy thunderstorms. I did 80 km and it was one of the slowest rides I've done for ages! Why am I not surprised? I saw Luc Schiemsky in Gent when I got back, because he was being a driving instructor. He chose a good morning to sit in a car.

Sunday was a bit better, in that there wasn't nearly as much rain. I did the Sunday Schelde parcours as I would have only had five hours sleep had I chosen to go to Berchem again. Giro prologue didn't finish until 10:20pm so it was a pretty late night. Vai Lancaster! Cipollini's pink and silver skinsuit nearly pushed me over the edge though.

Sunday was much better than Saturday, although the bunch kept splitting to pieces. I was on the front at one stage when my saddle bag fell off on the cobbles! Oops. Turned around and got it, got passed by the chasing bunch, then stopped and clipped it on, and decided to take a shortcut to catch them again. I did manage to meet them near the foot of the mighty Trap Op so I wasn't robbed of any valuable hill training.

There was a bit of a crosswind coming back, and with about 8 km to go we were down to six: Luc, Nico Mestdagh, Andy Gannon (another Aussie), Guido, and a junior kiddie. The bunch hadn't given up and I could see them trying to come back, so I did a harder turn with about 700m to go just to make sure. I was hoping The Others would get on my wheel but they didn't. Oh well. Legs felt good.

Saw Don Gamble in the bunch on Monday (went out for a quick spin in the morning) and he had his bike stolen at a race in Laarne a week ago! Unbelievable! It's pretty easy to do of course, because no-one expects it here. He had pulled out of the race early and was only in the change rooms for 10-15 minutes or so and it had gone. So if you see it around (it's got wheels and stuff, sort of white) then commandeer it and return it to Don. He was riding an ancient Giant 8 speed (looked like 6) and expects to get a new machine in about a week. Jeez, I'd better be careful!

Also finally had a chat with Aussie ex-pro Rebecca McConnell, who is basing herself in Oudenaarde this year and racing under the auspices of the Aussie MTB National Team. We agreed that "Burt's" win in the Giro prologue was bloody awesome and couldn't happen to a nicer guy. She's also got some media experience and is interested in doing some work for us, as her MTB schedule is not exactly full-on. Objections? Overruled.

Back to the Giro.

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