Saturday, May 27, 2006

Are we there yet?

I want an ice cream. Much has happened in the last week and a bit, but I won't bore anyone with the details. Well, maybe a few.

0) Work has been busy. Happy when the Giro is over. Did you know there are over 40 UCI races on this weekend?

I) It has been raining every day.

II) The cast is well and truly off, but I need to go back to ye olde hospital in Gent for a checkup next week. My wrist is still pretty sore, and definitely not up to full capacity. I can ride (carefully), but I'll get some physio on it before thinking about racing again.

III) Les and I have kept a small semblance of sanity and been eating remarkably well. But he goes next week so I'll be on my own again.

IV) Outings have been kept to a minimum, but we did go back to Charlatan last Saturday after finishing work around midnight. Didn't get until 4am, then I did 80km on Sunday morning. Somewhat tired later on.

V) Today I went out with the bunch for the first time for six weeks in the hills, while it was dry. We didn't go too hard at the start, but then wound it up a bit on the Trap Op: 5'20 with a headwind, not so bad. I took it fairly steadily on the descent of the Edelareberg...

On the Schelde, it broke up properly as there was a light crosswind. I was down in last wheel when the first couple of groups went, but eventually got across with a couple of others. We whittled it down to een mooie kopgroep van acht: Ikke, Guido, Iljo Keisse, Krijn, Patrick Middernacht, Luc de Loor, Eric Van De Wiele, and one other (a teammate of Luc's). 44.3 km/h back along the Schelde with a cross/tailwind and I was hurting a bit, but it was good training. I think Krijn got the sprint from Iljo but from my vantage point about 10m behind, I couldn't really tell. They should install a photo finish camera at the cafe there.

Een concurrent minder

Finally, I was quite shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Italian journo Valerio Riparbelli last week. Apparently he was riding with a group and was hit by a car - don't have any more details than that. I didn't know him that well, but he was a nice guy, and he was also second and third in the journo world's in 2004 and 2005: He beat me for second in '04, and I beat him in '05. He was looking forward to racing me in Austria this year, and when I said I wasn't sure if I could go because of work, he said, "Sometimes, cycling is more important."

Heel spijtig.

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