Saturday, June 18, 2005


A fair bit on this week, but not much time to write. A summary:

I. The Weather is Good. 25-30 and sun! About bloody time.

II. Raced at Belsele on Tuesday, mainly because it was one of the last races I could do before the Tour. It was not a successful outing - 90 starters, 17 corners per 8.5 km lap (15 laps - that's a lot of corners), and already on the second lap there were splits forming. I closed a few of them, moved up a bit, then on lap 5 a whole group of riders just sat up in front of me and it was all over. That's what you get for hanging down the back sometimes. Pulled out after 50 km and chatted with Cody from the CN team, who'd pulled out at the same time. We watched CN's Dan Newnham and Henry Uys suffer for the rest of it, and Goncaras just riding everyone off his wheel to win.

III. Proximus is trying my patience, cutting off my phone after I didn't pay a huge phone bill from March. It took me ages to track down the source of the large bill, but apparently when I was in France, my phone was trying to automatically connect to the internet and failing. Price for each failure: €1.20. That added up. I didn't even know it was doing it! I have protested, and it's "pending". Grr.

IV. Tomas Vaitkus is a big strong unit. On Thursday he led out the Schelde sprint with about 1 km to go, and I was in my 53x12 just trying to follow. Darren Young jumped with about 250m to go, but Vaitkus just got out of the saddle and powered away. Even Matt Gilmore couldn't get around. I was behind them, spinning out (for me) my 12 at 63 km/h. Jeez. One occasion where an 11 would have been handy.

V. I had a visitation from Hippy (Stuart Birnie), who is from Melbourne and has sent us a few pics in the past. He emailed me to say he was in Belgium and I said drop round, so he did on Friday evening. I was bloody busy but I could take a couple of hours out for a beer, no worries. Especially as he brought the beer. Breaks the monotony.

V. Saturday (today). Matt Gilmore is honing his form for the European track championships, I think. Today we got away on the Molenberg and he was the main motor. Trap Op in 4'52 (37 km/h) with six of us following. On the way back along the Schelde, I dropped 40 euros while fishing around in my pocketssess, so had to bow out of the group while I reclaimed my cash. It was hard just pulling turns!

VI. Berchem tomorrow, then London to see Lucy and co. on Monday-Wednesday. That should be a lot of larx. Finally I can get over there again - first time since 1998, despite the fact that I've been living about 2.5 hours away for the last few years. But I have enough support now on the work front to do it.

VII. I will have to contact Andrew Benson's begeleider to pick up a few tips on begeleiding, as I have been commissioned on a not-for-profit basis to hand bottles to Rebecca next weekend at an MTB race in Brakel. I did manage to get a bottle to Henry Uys (it was almost an afterthought, and very low down) in the race in Belsele the other day, so I'm not a complete loss in that dept.

VIII. Go the Aussies in the Tour de Suisse!

No comments: