Friday, April 27, 2018

L-B-L 2018 The Race


Up and at 'em Sunday morning with Peter Easton amped up and ready to chase the race. First stop was rather appropriate - the Stan Ockers monument in Sprimont as you can see above. The guy won Fleche Wallone and L-B-L...on the same weekend in 1955!

The race passed by soon enough though they were pretty much JRA at this point.

We zoomed ahead to the next spot where our hosts handed out some tasty sandwiches. All we needed now was beer! This was not just Zio Lorenzo's idea and it turned out some folks atop the wall on the right were enjoying a backyard picnic complete with ice cold bottles of Jupiler. Lorenzo pulled out his best Pepe LePew French and asked if he could buy a couple of them. The nice folks would take no money but they did pass over a couple of cold ones! Merci beaucoup!!

We barely had time to savor them before the race arrived.

The race was heating up now and so were the temperatures.

We zoomed ahead to the last climb we'd watch live where this artsy photo was accidentally snapped.

And then the race arrived, but not before the small publicity caravan (this is an ASO race so they squeeze every euro out of it) passed by. Someone was throwing out samples of jam and of course one ended up in the road where it was soon run over by another vehicle.

And of course Ol' Zio was right in the line of fire! He's been hit in the head with a sample can of Coke back-in-the-day at LeTour and now this! Lucky there were no armies of ants on this climb or he might be nothing but a stripped carcass in Belgium now!

From there it was back to the swanky hotel and a big screen TV with more beer and snacks. The climbs just don't look very hard on TV just like at most races. That's why Larry so often suggests seeing them live, in-person. Even if you don't ride them, you can see how steep they are by being there. TV has a very tough time conveying the challenge. And if you want to see any of the Northern European classics yourself make sure and take a look at VCT!

Monday was back to the Brussels airport as Peter headed to his "service course" to put his bikes and equipment away and fly back to NY. Check out this "sports bar" in the airport. No baseball here! Ya gotta love a place where cycling's on the walls!

And for Zio Lorenzo it seemed perfect to wind up his 5 Monuments of Cycling with one of Belgium's great beers before flying back to Italy.

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