Back to School

26Mar09

Rule number 1 of Professional Cycling: Always ride at the front.

Simple. If you are at the front you stay out of the way of crashes. If there are splits you are the right side of them. You use a lot less energy and power up the front if there are a lot of corners because you are not accelerating as much or for as long compared to if you are up the front.  If there is crosswind you get more shelter and if there is a climb you don’t have to go as hard on it. Finally races are raced over here off the front so you need to be at the front. Hence the rule: Always ride at the front.

Easier said then done. If you have good legs it is much easier rule to obey. When the form is good you seem to find the front and stay there no problem. When the legs are bad it is a battle to get there and before you know it the washing machine that is the front of the bunch absorbs you and spits you out to the back of the bunch from where you have to fight back to the front.

weather the morning of

weather the morning of

Dwars Door Vlaanderen is a semi classic. It is the beginning of the big three weeks of Belgian cycling that ends with Schelderprijs after racing Flanders, Wevelgem and Roubaix. It is the mini Tour of Flanders (Rhonde van Vlaanderen) and if you want to be good for Flanders and Roubaix you already have to be showing your form. The crowds defied the wether and were out in force just to highlight how big this race.

Seagulls

Seagulls

On the table the night before

On the table the night before

Yesterday was shit for a number reasons. The big boys certainly showed me that I was a little boy. I have had good legs but a cold that I caught on Saturday combined with wet and cold weather and the biggest race and therefore the hardest race of the year for the team to make a very hard day for me. There was a lot of wind and rain yesterday. I started at the front of the race and was even in one move early on. Very cool being in a move with and riding at the front with riders from teams like Lampre, Columbia, Cervelo and Quickstep. The difference in speed racing against these guys was marked. We had covered the first 50km in only a few minuted over 1hr and I was hanging.

Logan's Bike after running into a ditch

Logan's Bike after running into a ditch

I lasted about 20km longer before I couldn’t hang on any more. My hands were frozen and my throat and lungs were in tatters. I would have been able to hang on for longer if I had been up the front but I wasn’t good enough to be there hence I was up the back and dropped.

Just for Guy and Dave

Just for Guy and Dave

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