Sunday, July 30, 2006
Here are my last few post from the old site since I've been here in Belgium:
Baking in Belgium
Alright, first one out of the way. Yesterdays stage one in Brussels was gnarly fast and dangerous as expected. It's always a bit of a shocker jumping into the first euro road race of the year. A mountain bike race comes to mind when I think of how to explain it. The Gun goes off and it is aggressive with lots of yelling and elbows being thrown.... and that's only the neutral start! Once the 5k neutral ends the speed ramps up incredibly and we start getting buzzed by race official moto's and the team car's speeding up to the breakaway group with dust and rocks getting flung into the field as they pass. Stage one was hot. 95+degrees hot. There was a break that contained two of my teammates I missed in the first 45k lap so the rest of the race was spent baking in the peloton focusing on getting my musette each time around. The main field got pulled with 2 local laps to go much to everyone's content since we were all thoroughly suffering in the heat. As far as the GC is concerned, I lost a ton of time so my goal is training and making the day's move the rest of the week. Not exactly a fitting course for me with almost no climbing and the potential for wind on the open, flat roads. Still getting the equipment dialed since can't use my trek over here. Hopefully the SRM Power Meter will work today so I can see exactly how hard the racing over here is. Hunter will be stoked to with the data from a full Euro trip. Leavin' in an hour for stage two. I'll try not to miss the break today. -Nick
Sleep was intense last night... Deep and filled with sideways thoughts of everything I'd been thinking about all day. Only woke up once and slept solidly until 10 A.M. so I felt pretty good today. I went for a couple hour ride on the narrow, FLAT farm roads in between the small town of Izegem and the City of Kortrjick. No H2's round here as they're wider than most of the roads. Pretty mellow day, really. The mechanics were buzzing around all day working on bikes for the 5 day stage race starting Wednesday in Brussels. The masseur was also in giving pre-race rubs. A nice perk after yesterday's mega-travel day. Looks like the painters and carpenters paid a visit the house since the last time I was here. The white walls upstairs are now purple, the green 70's paint scheme in the living area now orange. A new cage-like structure with a lock around what used to be the office as well. Yeah, Matt, there is a place like that right down the street... -Nick
The day that never ends.
I woke up yesterday, today.... or sometime and I've been traveling through time zones ever since. My morning spin in DC before boarding my flight to Belgium seems like a distant and memory and my sleep thus far is a mind twisting total of a couple hours at best. Never easy flying to the great cycling-mad continent and toyesterday was no exception. The plane was delayed in Dulles because someone accidently engaged the plane's inflatable emergency slide... Anyway, that set a whole host of other schedule problems once we reached the TIELT train stop 3hrs late...and of course no ride in sight and no answer at the only contact # I had. Ended up bording a few different buses to IZegem all while trying to remain awake enough not to miss the stop. After a hefty fatigue laden walk my buddy (another Nick) and I arrived at the stinky Belgian address we'll call home for the next un-known amount of time. First race is Wednesday. 5 days in and around Brussels. Off to my dream land.... -Nick