Last Monday - the day after the Tour de France, I was lucky enough to see one of the many post-Tour criteriums. Even though the winner is pretty much not a surprise it is still just as fun to watch my heroes go round and round. Two heroes in particular I enjoyed watching were Bart Wellens - one of the World's top Cyclo-Cross racer and Frankie Vandenbroucke, one of cycling's infamous bad boys!
I have followed VDB's career for years - partly because he is VERY HOT but also because he is an immensely talented rider. I look forward to the day that he reaches his potential - from what i've read, mental issues have held him back. But he must be doing something right because every year he continues to secure a cycling contract even with no proven ability to show up at races. His proven talent as a media magnet (most likely due to his looks, charm, and sordid life) must be enough to keep the sponsors interested.
It was amazing to see so many folks show up for a local race - there must have been at least 30,000 spectators. The riders spent the first few laps riding at about 15kph so we could all identify our favorites, take photos and profess our undying love to VDB (OK, well maybe i was the only one!) For the remaining 50 laps, the guys took turns getting into breaks. I would have almost believed i was watching a spontaneous event if it weren't for the breaks of five guys with thirty seconds up the road getting caught in the distance of 2k on a very twisty course.
But i still had fun watching Danilo DiLuca (Giro d'Italia champion who donned his full pink kit), Bart Wellens, Axel Merckx and the rest of my favorites get into small breaks! But we all knew that DiLuca would win and yes, no surprises.
The street party surely continued into the wee hours of the morning but I left immediately after the finish to prepare for my own training the following morning!
By the way, we are finally having wonderful weather here in Belgium - 29° today! Next week they predict rain every day, though. That's belgium.