With the combination of Belgium beer, classic bikes, cobbles and some sewing - yes, sewing we thought of only one person to send on assignment, our Literary Editor Leslie Reissner. Leslie recently took on the Retro Ronde aboard a classic Belgian bike and here's his story of the day:
Roadside report: It's often forgotten that there are two races on Flanders day: both the men and the women flay themselves across the cobbles and grind up the hellingen for their share of glory and for our entertainment. Guided by Peter Easton of Velo Classic Tours, we got right up close and personal with the mannen and vrouwen alike.
Roadside: When I left off in Part One, the break was in its death throes, the field was lined out following the Knokteberg, and the day's first major berg, the Oude Kwaremont, was next on the misery list with just under 90 kilometers remaining until someone's childhood dream would be fulfilled in front of thousands in Meerbeke.
Roadside PEZ: Outside my window, it's wet, windy, and cold. For some reason, it makes me daydream of springtime in Flanders. Today, that brought a certain article to mind from a former resident and racer in the region. It was a homecoming tour for PEZ's Matt Conn in 2010 when he chased a Cancellara-dominated Ronde van Vlaanderen. Let's go back...
Part One:I have to start this by confessing: I love the Ronde van Vlaanderen more than any other race...times a million, squared. Sunday's trip around Flanders under the direction of Andy Deschuyffeleer was straight out of my one of my wildest dreams. I'll try to use words where they're available, but I remember the day most through the pictures Ashley and I shot from Brugge to the Bosberg.
It’s 1:30 AM, Belgium time, we just got the power restored after I plugged one too many cords into the hotel’s electrical outlets. BAM! Hotel blackout... courtesy of PEZ. But what a day it’s been – we rode on the Flanders’ route, and it was “TOP RIDE” material for sure. Here are the pics…
As a dedicated follower of the Spring Classics, each December every effort is made to wade through the constant deluge of meaningless newsflashes to find something, however minute it may be, to catch my attention. Pure speculation does not make for worthwhile reading. Fortunately, amidst the mind-numbing reality of facing a cold New York winter, I didn’t have to search far for something to grasp onto.