Wednesday, April 07, 2010
I leave tomorrow for Sicily to do some climbing. Last year, however, I was in Belgium experiencing the spring classics that, in my mind, are the greatest races in cycling. Here are a few shots from that trip.
Oddly enough, though I love these races I'm never fit when they happen. Because I generally end the year with a birthday challenge, followed by a recovery period, April tends to find me transitioning from off-season to early-season training. One of these years, however, I’m going to get fit early and ride the amateur version of a cobbled classic.
Last weekend was The Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen) and up next is biggest one-day race of them all, Paris-Roubaix. You can catch all the action live at www.cyclingfans.com Now on to the photos.
bruce leads me up the famous koppenberg, 22% of horredous, slick, cobbles and the only climb the world's greatest cyclist, eddie merckx ever walked.
while shorter than the koppenberg, this climb was ridiculosly steep. getting up it requires resorting to mountain bike technique.
bruce and i on the muur, where cancella dropped boonen to win this year's ronde.
at the church on top of the muur, once of cycling's most iconic places.
after a couple of laps on the muur we stopped at the mid-climb pub. we were told this was "the best beer" and i'll be damned if it ain't in the running.
cobbles are so beloved in flanders that there's a cobble museum, run by ex-racing superstar freddy martens.
while flat, the roubaix cobbles are far worse in quality. here's a shot of the famous arenberg forest. riding a couple of k at race pace feels similar to jack hammering for hours. i can't imagine what a hundred k would feel life. someday i'll find out!
finally, a video romney made from last year's paris-roubaix. if you like cycling at all, and perhaps even if you don't, it's an event not to be missed.