Archive for April 3rd, 2021

Top Ride: Finding FLANDERS

04/3/2021 12:00
flanders

In 2004 I made my first trip to Belgium to discover the riding, racing and culture of cycling’s cobbled heartland. Here’s my original post on an amazing trip with Velo Classic Tours, and my first ride at the Tour of Flanders Sportif.

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…

We had the option of two rides- 140km and 75 km, taking in the last part of the race route. The day was overcast, about 11 degrees C, with intermittent light rain – Belgian weather did not disappoint.


I was just inside that yellow-looking window when I overloaded the hotel’s electric circuits.

An exhilarating day to say the least, but what stood out most, was how little depth just watching the race on tv gives you. I felt like I was riding roads I had never seen before, and was stunned by the beauty of the countryside, the directionless wind, and the friendliness of the people. You gotta get over here…

We’re not in Kansas anymore! Classics Belgium Spring day – gray sky, green grass, 12,000 riders. Awesome riding.

Number 15 of the ‘Bergs. The Berendries. Looks much nicer than it is.

And on another climb…

Just when you think things could not get any worse…


… they do

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The Velo Classic Tours crew – all smiles before the start of the cyclosportif Flanders route ride.


How wrong you can be. I admit that the racer-weenie in me first chuckled when I saw this gent ready at the start. But the real story emerged as the day rode on. Amid all the lycra, neon, and attitude that is so prevalent in road cycling, this guy shows up in a heavy wool sweater, golf shirt, shorts, sneakers and a 35lb. Mountain bike. About 2 hours later he passed me at a rest stop, and I was surprised he was still out there pedaling.

Shortly after, I came across him as we descended a small hill to the valley just before the Mur du Gramont. Only, this time, as I rode up behind him, I noticed he was talking on his cell phone. Yap, yap, yap, happy as could be. It made me think about what’s he getting that we’re not… Maybe it’s that he really knows how to enjoy the bike… and riding… without all the expensive, fancy gear the rest of us think you need to have a good time on your bike. Later, at the finish, we made eye-contact, and the old guy gave me a wink and smile.

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Another Belgian cultural oddity – leave your “stage fright” at the door fellas…


10 km to the line – the Bosberg, not that steep, but after 250km, this is your last hurdle to cross. And those cobbles are just that much nastier… I’m riding the Ristretto from Co-Motion Bicycles – custom build, high-end aluminum.  Today’s shake-down ride was a success – after several sections of the harshest of cobbles, I faired much worse than the Ristretto. They got the fit exact, so I survived stuff you would not wish on your worst enemy.  I’m riding the bike through the Classics, so stay tuned for more as we log the northern miles.


Only after completing the full ride, are you rewarded with the honorary t-shirt and medallion


Who loves ya baby! This guy was everybody’s best friend, no need to explain why


The PEZ Belgian Spring Break is proudly partnered with:

Velo Classic Tours

Co-Motion Bicycles

The post Top Ride: Finding FLANDERS appeared first on PezCycling News.


Categories:PezCycling News

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BELGIAN WAFFLE RIDES FOR 2021 — 4 EVENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

04/3/2021 12:00

Those early morning nerves are set to return as riders will be able to pin numbers to their bike in 2021 at the four-part Belgian Waffle Ride series. Set to begin with the 10th annual San Diego edition in July, BWR looks to keep its promise of being a multi-race event for the first time this year.

Press Release

With case rates and hospitalizations significantly lower, the arrival of three highly effective vaccines and targeted efforts aimed at vaccinating the most vulnerable communities, California is beginning to gradually and safely bring back more activities, especially those that occur outdoors (other states are further down the road). As a result, we have big plans that we hope to get executed this year, should the re-opening continue unfettered. This includes our 10th annual Belgian Waffle Ride celebration in San Diego, July 16 -18 at a new location large enough to accommodate the massive list of riders who have signed up. This new location, North City in San Marcos, affords us to have a very large footprint for the entire event festivities, from the huge expo footprint and city-wide beer garden to the crit-cross race (open to all) and VIP/Media event on Friday.

BWR CA (San Diego) — Riders that were signed up for the 2020 event, per our earlier emails, have all been deferred to this year’s event. With over 150% growth, there are only a few spots left.

Same goes for the BWR NC (Asheville) event, which is second on our calendar, August 20 – 21. We had to move the event to this date because of the Covid concerns within the community and with our presenting sponsor, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. not being able to open at full capacity by our original May date. We are all hopeful this later date will better serve the probability of its going off!

For the Asheville event, we are so excited to host the event from Ride Kanuga, a brand new cycling destination, a mountain biking mecca, if you will. With 1400 acres, miles of recreation trails, a 30-acre lake, historic guest cottages and Inn Lodging, Kanuga is a premier location to host our first event in N. Carolina. It too will feature a crit-cross race on Friday night before the Wafflefest with the VIP/Media event.


For BWR Utah (Cedar City), the event was moved up on the calendar to avoid being on top of hunting season, which severely limits the off-road riding we can accomplish without gun shot, though some have suggested that might be a fun added element… not getting shot at. We think the event is hard enough, with 80% of the route being gravel, dirt, sand or rocks. We will also host a Friday night crit-cross race here!

Finally, we have the newest addition to the calendar, the BWR Kansas (Lawrence), in partnership with the Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop and the Steve Tilford Foundation, to be held this year on Halloween. We also have a special crit-cross race happening the Friday night before the event with the VIP/Media event, and the big expo all day on Saturday.

For each event, we will be offering all three options: The Waffle (really long), The Wafer (half as long) and The Wanna (half The Wafer). Something for everyone. In fact, to this end, The Wafer will also offer an E-Bike category at each of the four venues.

For More Info: www.BelgianWaffleRide.bike

 

The post BELGIAN WAFFLE RIDES FOR 2021 — 4 EVENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY appeared first on Road Bike Action.


Categories:Road Bike Action

ITALIAN PRO TEAM SUSPENDS RACING FOLLOWING SECOND POSITIVE DOPING TEST

04/3/2021 12:00

Cycling team Vini Zabu announced on Friday that it would be pulling itself from competition days after a second positive doping test in less than a year. The Italian outfit was facing a ban of between 15-45 days from cycling’s governing body UCI after their rider Matteo De Bonis tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test in February. The result came after Matteo Spreafico failed a doping test at the most recent Giro d’Italia in October. Vini Zabu sacked the 28-year-old a few days later.

“We have decided to suspend ourselves until there is full clarity in the De Bonis case,” the team said in a statement.

“It’s the right thing to do while we continue to work together with the UCI.”

Italian investigators carried out a series of searches at the homes of Vini Zabu’s riders and staff, which according to an interview general manager Angelo Citracca gave to Cyclingnews led to nothing illegal being found.

“We’ve asked the UCI to hear our side of things. We don’t have a date or know anything about how the disciplinary process will unfold,” Citracca said.

The second-tier cycling team has been selected by organizers to take part in this year’s Giro, which starts in Turin on May 8.

Citracca said that his team’s participation was not guaranteed and insisted “we’re not involved in doping” despite Movement for a Credible Cycling saying that it had failed nine doping tests in the last 12 years.

“There’s a risk we won’t ride, who knows what will happen,” he said.

“It’s all happened so quickly that we’re not even thinking of the Giro. We’re still trying to understand what has happened.

“We’ve already gathered some evidence and passed it onto the police and the UCI.”

RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini

The post ITALIAN PRO TEAM SUSPENDS RACING FOLLOWING SECOND POSITIVE DOPING TEST appeared first on Road Bike Action.


Categories:Road Bike Action

The PEZ Tour Of Flanders Classic Photo Gallery

04/3/2021 0:02
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PeloPics: This Sunday should be one of the most exciting De Ronde van Vlaanderen, with the World champion Alaphilippe, Van der Poel, Van Aert and all the others ready for action. The Tour of Flanders has thrown up many iconic images over its 105 editions, so you can imagine how difficult it is to choose the best photos from the Cor Vos archive of over fifty years.

# See the ‘2021 PEZ Flanders Race Preview’ HERE.#

The climbs of the Koppenberg and the Muur van Geraardsbergen/Kappelmuur have occasionally been decisive in the Flemish race, but they have always thrown up some excitement, although less now that they are further away from the finish. Here is a selection of photos from the ‘hellingen’ from the 70s, 80s and up to last year.

Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - illustration - sfeer - illustratie old fashioned teamcar Peugeot pictured during the of Flanders Classics UCI WorldTour 101st Ronde van Vlaanderen cycling race women with start in Oudenaarde and finish in Oudenaarde on April 02, 2017 - foto Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2017
Modern looking wheels on the roofrack of that Peugeot 404

Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Parcourverkenning en training Ronde van Vlaanderen Reconnaissance et entrainement sur le parcour du Tour de Flandres Koppenberg helling - Koppenberg climb - foto Cor Vos ©2011
This way to hell!

Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Parcourverkenning en training Ronde van Vlaanderen Reconnaissance et entrainement sur le parcour du Tour de Flandres Koppenberg helling - Koppenberg climb - foto Cor Vos ©2011
A close look at the torture

Sfeerfoto van een valpartij oip de Koppenberg, foto Cor Vos©
Chaos on the Koppenberg

Eddy Merckx zwoegt tegen de Koppenberg in de Ronde van Vlaanderen van 1977
Eddy Merckx went solo early in 1977, but was caught and dropped by Roger De Vlaeminck and World champion Freddy Maertens

Rik van Linden en Herman van Springel lopend op de Koppenberg in de Ronde van Vlaanderen. Foto Cor Vos ©
Herman van Springel was forced to run up the Koppenberg in 1977 – The seven time winner of Bordeaux-Paris never won de Ronde

Jan Raas haalt uit op de Koppenberg in de Ronde van Vlaanderen, foto Cor Vos ©2002
Two time Flanders winner, Jan Raas, was angry with a photographer on the Koppenberg in 1985 and so he punched him

Koppenberg: Ferdi Vandenhaute, foto Cor Vos ©
Ferdi Van Den Haute needed police help when he crashed

Chaos op de Koppenberg, foto Cor Vos©1998
Rider, team manager, journalist and TV commentator, the late Paul Sherwen hit the Koppenberg cobbles

Hoogvliet - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Archive - Archief - Stock - Alain Bondue (La Redoute) - Hennie Kuiper (Kwantum) Ronde van Vlaanderen Koppenberg - foto Cor Vos ©2006
Double World pursuit champion Alain Bondue was forced to walk with Hennie Kuiper on the Koppenberg

Hoogvliet - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - archief - archive - stock - Koppenberg Ronde van Vlaanderen - foto Cor Vos ©1979
The rear view of the Koppenberg fallen in 1979

Hoogvliet - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tour of Flandres - Ronde van Vlaanderen - Hennie Kuiper - Gregor Brown - Aad van der Hoek - Riders at the 1981 Tour of Flanders also had a difficult time climbing the Koppenberg, which maxes out at 22% grade - foto Cor Vos ©2012
Kuiper again in 1981 with German National champion Gregor Braun

Hoogvliet - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tour of Flandres - Ronde van Vlaanderen - Danish rider Jesper Skibby crashed on the Koppenberg. Immediately after crashing, the course director drove over his bicycle - foto Cor Vos ©2012
Jasper Skibby crashed on the Koppenberg and was then run over by the race director

Koppenberg in de Ronde van Vlaanderen 1987, foto Cor Vos ©2002
Sometimes it’s faster running than riding

Ninove - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Ronde van Vlaanderen 2010 - Karsten Kroon (BMC Racing Team) op de Koppenberg - foto Wessel van Keuk en Cor Vos ©2010
The cyclo-cross remount by BMC’s Karsten Kroon

Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Parcourverkenning en training Ronde van Vlaanderen Reconnaissance et entrainement sur le parcour du Tour de Flandres Koppenberg helling - Koppenberg climb - foto Cor Vos ©2011
A day out for the 2CV

HET VOLK: Etienne de Wilde op de Muur van Geraardsbergen - foto Cor Vos ©2002
Etienne De Wilde was a strong and successful rider on the road and track in his 20 year pro career – A winner of Het Volk, but never the Tour of Flanders

Gent - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - illustration - scenery - carte postal scenic shot - postcard sfeerfoto - sfeer - illustratie Muur van Geraardsbergen pictured during Omloop Het Volk 1984 - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Typical Belgian weather on the Geraardsbergen

Gent - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - crash val sturz fall Muur van Geraardsbergen Luc COLIJN - Eric VANDERAERDEN pictured during Omloop Het Volk 1984 - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Luc Colijn and Eric Vanderaerden got a close look at the cobbles of the Muur

Hoogvliet - Nederland - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - stock - archief - archive - illustration - Sean Kelly (Team Skil) - Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke (Team LaRedoute) Muur van Geraardsbergen - Tour of Flandres - Ronde van Vlaanderen - photo Cor Vos © 2015
Sean Kelly leading Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke – Neither of them won Flanders

Eric Vanderaerden tijdens de Ronde van Vlaanderen 1985. Samen met Sean Kelly beklimt hij de Muur van Geraardsbergen. Foto Cor Vos©
Kelly with Eric Vanderaerden – The Belgian won in 1985, Kelly was 2nd three times and once 4th

Ronde van Vlaanderen: Na de beklimming van de Muur van Geraardsbergen praten Ballerini en van petegem, met elkaar. foto Cor Vos©1997
Peter Van Petegem and Franco Ballerini – Two wins for Van Petegem, none for Ballerini, but the Italian did win in Roubaix twice


Eddy van Hooydonck made his move on the Bosberg – Twice 1989 and 1991

Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - illustration - scenery - carte postal scenic shot - postcard sfeerfoto - sfeer - illustratie pictured during a training session prior to the Flanders Classics UCI WorldTour 102nd Ronde van Vlaanderen cycling race with start in Antwerpen and finish in Oudenaarde - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2018
Can’t get lost

Geraardsbergen - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - illustration image pictured during the of Flanders Classics - Ronde van Vlaanderen cycling race juniores with start in Herzele and finish in Geraardsbergen on April 02, 2017 - foto PdV/PN/Cor Vos © 2017
It doesn’t have to rain to make a hard day in Flanders.

Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Peter Sagan (Slowakia / Team Tinkoff - Tinkov) - Sep Vanmarcke (Belgium / Team LottoNL - Jumbo) pictured during 100th Ronde van Vlaanderen - Tour de Flanders - from Brugge to Oudenaarde - photo JB/PN/Cor Vos © 2016
The power of Peter Sagan was too much in 2016

Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Philippe GILBERT (Belgium / Team Quick Step - Floors) pictured during the of Flanders Classics UCI WorldTour 101st Ronde van Vlaanderen cycling race with start in Antwerpen and finish in Oudenaarde on April 02, 2017 - foto PdV/PN/Cor Vos © 2017
Philippe Gilbert, the Belgian champ does it in 2017

Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - illustration - scenery - carte postal scenic shot - postcard sfeerfoto - sfeer - illustratie pictured during the Ronde Van Vlaanderen 2018 - Elite men - a one day UCI world tour race between Antwerpen and Oudenaarde - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2018
Another year, another Ronde 2018

Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Niki TERPSTRA (Netherlands / Team Quick - Step Floors) pictured during the Ronde Van Vlaanderen 2018 - Elite men - a one day UCI world tour race between Antwerpen and Oudenaarde - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2018
Terpstra solo to the finish

Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Sep VANMARCKE (Belgium / Team EF Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale) - Matteo TRENTIN (Italy / Team Mitchelton - Scott) - Greg VAN AVERMAET (Belgium / BMC Racing Team) - Philippe GILBERT (Belgium / Team Quick - Step Floors) pictured during the Ronde Van Vlaanderen 2018 - Elite men - a one day UCI world tour race between Antwerpen and Oudenaarde - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2018
All the stars in the chase behind the Dutchman – Vanmarcke, Van Avermaet, and Gilbert

Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Niki TERPSTRA (Netherlands / Team Quick - Step Floors) pictured during the Ronde Van Vlaanderen 2018 - Elite men - a one day UCI world tour race between Antwerpen and Oudenaarde - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2018
Terpstra’s last big win with Deceuninck – Quick-Step


The Flemish love De Ronde


Van der Poel was keen, but…


Attack from Alberto Bettiol


Bettiol took the big win in 2019

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Van der Poel, Van Aert and Alaphilippe away for the win in 2020

flanders20 alaphilippe
NO!

alaphilippe
Just when it looked like we would have the top three riders of the moment fight for the victory, Alaphilippe hit the back of a motorbike

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And then there were two

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Together to the sprint

van der poel
The Monument win for Van der Poel

# Looking forward to a big battle on Sunday, see the ‘PEZ Flanders Preview’ HERE and stay PEZ for the ‘Race Report’ on Sunday. #

The post The PEZ Tour Of Flanders Classic Photo Gallery appeared first on PezCycling News.


Categories:PezCycling News

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