Days 1 & 2 – in the books
Almost halfway. I don’t suppose I need to add that this is much harder than we could have possibly imagined. But somehow we continue, not without some excitement, for the Paris-Roubaix tomorrow. For some of us, this is the most fearful ride of the week. For others, the worst is over. And for the one Belgian, it’s the last two days in the Ardennes that bring the terror. As if any of these are easy.
Day one – seems like a week ago or more – the Gent-Wevelgem. If you’ve ever seen it on TV, you know the bergs, the high speed descent and chases, the sprint finish. What you miss is the hours and hours of straight, flat, windy roads. How many doomed breakaways toiled out on these roads, for nothing? So stoepid. And so we toiled, until we gratefully reached the hills.
Ronde Van Vlaanderen was my most feared day of the week. The short, steep hills, all coming more and more in intensity towards the end, would sap any last bits of strength after almost 400km of riding. And so they did. Three times up the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg? It’s as ridiculous as it sounds.
So here we are, somewhere in France. Waking up in 7hrs to ride 256km, or as much of it as we can. The Challenge 27mm Parigi-Roubaix tubulars are all glued up on our Easton wheels, the Campagnolo gears are checked….we’re as ready as we can be.