Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Het Volk 2001

The plan was to ride the trainer and watch 08, but I couldn't find it. There was however the trusty video tape of 2001. So worth hooking up the VCR to relive this one.
I think this is the year that made me love this race and the classics in general. I knew just enough to be familiar, but not enough to be jaded.
This race had it all going- the weather, the drama of the predominantly Italian Mapei vs the predominantly Belgian Domo, and the winner Michele Bartoli.
The Belgian colored Lotto GTs. I would buy one of these in a heartbeat.

Lotto riding mainly in hairnet helmets or no helmets(Tchimil). Frank Hoj too...

Hairnets in the 21st century?
It was amazing that Tchmill,PVP, and Domo missed the winning break.
Here are some of my other random highlights from rewatching the race
-The bikes. Box section rims on everyone with mainly round tube bikes. Battavus had one of the most angular designs. Ridley,Time, and Look were all plain jane round tubes.
-The Bonjour team kit holds up while the BankGiroLoterij-Batavus dud not.
-Fassa Bortola had both Basso and Cancellara in the race.
-Arvis Piziks. First rider whose name just made me laugh. Being the Latvian national champ, he always got to rock some cool purplish kit.

But really Bartoli in the Italian national champ Mapei kit is what makes the race.
A lot of dudes fan out on VDB, but I will always be a Bartoli fan boy. His style and racing was the best. Attacking. In the drops. The Cat. Bartoli winning is like icing on the cake.

The 2010 Het Volk kicks off in about 12 hours. Haussler, Pozzatto, Chavanel, Ballan, and Gilbert are my picks. Dark horses and sentimental picks would include Terpstra, Langeveld, Vansummeren, O'grady or Maaskant. BMC are bringing all their guns.
Can't wait.

countdown to het volk

In the days leading up to Het Volk (and I will always call it Het Volk. Not cause I'm old school, but because I refuse to type Het Nieuwsblad every time I mention the race). This race was always a motivator for me. A preview of things to come in April.....
I will start of with 2009. Cervelo kill it and Rabobank blow it. Great Race. I have watched this a lot on the trainer.
With a new finish and Kuurne Brussel Kuurne moved to the following day there are some new factors in the race. Also the weather seems to be less hosptiable than past years(2004 excepted) Sky and BMC have some pressure on them as they have something to prove and riders good enough to make it happen. Steegmans seems to continue his slide into oblivan, and won't be racing.

One of my favorite parts of the Belgian races are the coverage of the "course recon"
First blood goes to Quickstep. Here and here. With plenty more to follow, I hope.
So with 4 days to go, hats off to 2009 winner Thor. Can Cervelo do it again?

and don't forget KBK on Sunday

Monday, February 22, 2010

vacation is over

Just got back from vacation, so prepare for some travel shots and more posts about slow training and fear and loathing of the all to closely approaching road season....

PS Rusty's Xcellent Adventures is not very excellent. Next time you are going to take a year off, maybe you should update your website. I hauled shoes, helmet, and kit to Jamaica for no good reason. ARRGGGHHHHH

Ras Rody Organics Trailer from Sean Mattison on Vimeo.

The complete opposite of Rustys is Ras Rody's Organics. I ate lunch here every day. Ital/Vegan amazing food.

So no more Ital lunches, but only a week til Het Volk!!!!!!