vrijdag 30 juni 2017

Tour de France 2017

It's that time of year again, The Tour de France. The biggest cycling race in the world.
This year we start in Germany Dusseldorf and we will have 3540km of racing but incluiding the transfers you need to count an other 3500km more.
We have number 511 on the motorbike.
30/06: After yesterday's team presentation we do today some press-conferences and after that we have a meeting with the organisation to discus what we can but more what we cannot do. It's important to do meetings like that especially for those guys that don't do as many races like myself.

Myself and 2 other drivers are fully equipped from head to toe in REV'IT! motorcycling clothing.
(c) Nico  Vereecken

1/07: Stage 1: time trail in the city of Dusseldorf. A lot of people showed up but from the first untill the last rider it was raining. Because of these bad weather conditions lot of riders crashed or lost time in the general classification. 

3/07: Yesterday we finished in Liege / Belgium. It was cool finishing in Belgium but we had almost the whole day heavy rain. Lucky it cleared out at the finish and temperatures went up.
(c) Kei Tsuji
Today we started in Verviers / Belgium. My first impression was the insane amount of police and special forces that was at the start and riding with us on Belgium ground. It gives you a 'safe' feeling but maybe they are here because there are some threats? We will never know...
After 21km we enter the legendary Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps
(c) Kei Tsuji
At the finish-line i photobombed a photographers picture by surprising my dad and jumping on his back. Even Stefan Kung (current white best young rider jersey holder) looked surprised. 
(c) Luca Bettini
8/07: The past days nothing very special really happend. It was even sometimes long and boring stages. So let me tell you how are days look like: 
- wake up in between 7:30 and 9:00. It depends the start time and transfer from hotel to start.
- dropping the suitcase at the truck ready for the next hotel
- after breakfast filling up the bike 
- going to the start. Approximately 1 hour before we arrive there.
- having a quick look at the team busses or village depart
- 15min before the start we have a pre race meeting with the regulator. There he says what are the crucial/dangerous points are. Where we can and not can overtake.

- race underway
(c) Nico Vereecken
- finishline 
(c) Luca Bettini
- after the finish we go to the pressroom. There the photographers and editors have around 3 hours work to proces all pictures. 

9/07 finally we had a real mountain stage. With 7 climbs all above 1000m with every time a nice decent. But the last decent of Mont du Chat is very technical and super fast. During that decent some riders crashed very hard and were taken to the hospital so that was the end of the Tour de France.
(c) Stephane Mantey
(c) Kei Tsuji
After the stage we still had to do a 600km transfer... in rainy conditions and this in the dark arriving after midnight... vive le tour...

10/07 rest day, yes! No no we still jump on the bike to follow the training of Chris Froome and Team Sky. And just like yesterday it was rainy like hell
(c) Tim De Waele
12/07 I think we are in sunflower paradise... haha
(c) Dion Kerckhoffs

13/07 Temperatures are getting better and better lucky we have these cooling vests to cool us down. 
14/07 Special day for the French but also for the riders. A stage of only 101km. That's mean full gas racing from the start. 
(c) Kei Tsuji
17/07 2nd restday. This time i'm completely off. A real restday, the perfect time to clean the bike and just relaxing. 
22/07 last week was hectic. The gc riders went all in but nothing cracked Chris Froome. He did not crack in the mountains and after todays time trail in Marseille he's still got the yellow leader jersey. We had a lot of nice mountain roads with thousand of spectators waiting for hours just to get a glimpse of there favourite rider. 
(c) Kei Tsuji

(c) Luca Bettini

During todays recon of the time trail my buddy Michael had a mechanical problem with his bike. Lucky Olympic champion Greg stopped to give him a little help.
After the stage we drop our bike at the train station to load them up on the 'auto train' direction Paris.

23/07 Arriving at 7:30 in the morning by sleeping train. After picking up the bikes we had time enough to cruise around Paris and playing the tourist. 

Then of to the start. Always crazy the last stage. Everybody wants that picture with Chris Froome in the yellow leader jersey celebrating with champagne. 

Then we place our self behind the peleton to turn up the Champs-Elysees to take a picture of the peleton to get the Arc de Triomphe in the backgroud and Patrouille de France flying over with smoke in the French colors.

(c) Vincent Kalut
This is the end of the 2017 Tour de France, 6880km in totale.

woensdag 8 maart 2017

Strade bianche

Start and finish in Siena with in between nothing but beautiful landscapes and white gravel sections. Strade Bianche has become on of the iconic classics in the year that you don't wanna miss. This years edition we had a lot of rain during the day so the normal white dust has become sticky mud. First time with my new bike in these conditions but all went super well so I'm actually super stoked about my new bike. Absolutely great! 

woensdag 1 maart 2017

2017 cycling season has started

The new season is started again.
I already went to Dubai and Oman for 2 weeks of racing.
Last weekend where the first classics in Belgium.
This was also the first race with my new BMW R1200 GSA

After my year in year out bad ass collaboration with Craft Sportswear i'm happy to add REV'IT to support me for riding gear

vrijdag 21 oktober 2016

Last race of the season

My last race of the season is the Abu Dhabi Tour. It's a 4 days race event in and around Abu Dhabi. 

zaterdag 15 oktober 2016

Enduro Park Hechlingen

Booked a long time ago a 2 day enduro training course in the Enduro Park Hechlingen together with a friend. Finally it's that time. All packed and ready to go for our 850km trip direction the training facility in Germany. I booked in the Forellenhof hotel. That is very close to the training center. A typical German hotel with big rooms, good food and a lot of beer for the ones that loves that (i never drink alcohol so i don't know if that's a good thing or not). 

Day 1:

Meeting at 8:30 in the headquarters of the training center. The instructors giving us some guide lines and they put us in groups. 
After that we went to the garage where all bikes are parked with name tags on of every rider. 

We start with 9 riders but already very early 2 guys drop out because there skills are not good enough to follow us during the low speed balance course. 
After that we do a loop on the beautiful course using the different techniques that we have learned. We are lucky to be in a small and good group. Everybody knows how to handle a bike so we don't have to wait to long for guys getting dropped our fall. 

But at the end of the day you see left and right guys making small mistakes. Probably that have to do of the intensity of the training and some getting more and more tired. 
So day one is in the pocket. Back to our hotel at 17:30 to refresh our selfs. At 19:30 we have a group dinner. At the end of a very nice buffet the instructors are giving a presentation about other activities that they provide during the year. 

Day 2:
Back at the training facility where we do a group warm up at 9:00 on the parking lot.
everybody is warm and ready to jump on the bike to adding and training some more techniques and skills. Starting with the 'sahara' sand bank. Not an easy thing but after crashing and getting back up we start to know how to handle the bike is these deep sand banks. 
Getting some thing to drink and eat for 5min and hopping back on the bike to do some more loops on the beautiful training course.

In these 2 days i have learned so many things. A real must have to do if you have the change.

I have made a small movie. Feel free to have a look https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVjlnz5IKSE

zaterdag 3 september 2016

La Vuelta

Currently i'm in Spain for the 3 week cycling race La Vuelta. This year the race starts in Ourense. What is 1800km from my place... so traveling everything by motorbike is not always as easy then it looks. The first 10 days we had some nice roads but nothing very special. But then Stage 13 on a Friday. Starting in the beautiful city of Bilbao with his nice buildings we are riding direction Eibar. From there on we follow the beautiful coastline with his nice beaches and landscapes straight to San Sebastian. Once we past San Sebastian the first of 4 mountains start (Alto Monte Igueldo, Alto de Aritxulegi, Alto de Agina and Puerti de Lizaieta). Twisted roads in between the forest and flirting with the French boarder. Just beautiful

donderdag 7 juli 2016

Fight for yellow

In the tour it's all about the yellow leader jersey. Yesterday Belgium rider Greg Van Avermaet took the win and yellow jersey. Knowing him good we took some funny picture yesterday