I can't believe i completely forgot to report on the race i saw the other day. I guess I was so distracted by witnessing a car parked partly on a staircase and partly in a lake and later spotting the crashed plane that broke in half.
It was a mens "open category" event so of course the average speed was about the equivalent of my sprint effort. The course had just about everything you'd expect of a Belgian criterium. It had tight turns on cobbles, steep power climbs on crappy pavement, and fast descents - also on crappy pavement.
We went to watch Dries Dewit of Scott Racing (love the shoes) and Olivier (left) of Fietsen Goeman. Last year he spent the whole race in a break of about six guys but this year his teammate beat him to the break. His teammate and another random guy took off on a 2-man break that lasted until the finish. Luckily for the race sponsor (Scott) the Scott racer won. Dries did a lot of work in the chase group to make sure that his teammate stayed away.
It was fun to watch these guys fly around the course but even more entertaining to watch the action at the start/finish. Every round, before the guys came through, the announcers would encourage the spectators to give euros for premies. Lots of the contributors got creative in specifying to whom the prize money should be awarded. Among many strange requests, I heard "20 euros to the guy who crosses the line 5th from last place", "7 euros to the first guy crossing the line with orange in his jersey", "10 euros to the first guy wearing gold shoes."
I just finished watching Tour of Switzerland so I gotta get moving on dinner. I think i'm going to make spelt pasta (a gift from someone who thinks vegans eat expensive wierdo foods) with sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, and garlic sauteed in Greek olive oil.
One last note...I raced last Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday and made a whole 15 euros. But at least i'm now starting to get good enough to be in the newspapers again! Being humbled at these events until i'm back up to normal speed again is fine - i accept it. But i really do look forward to getting solidly to the point where I can stand there at the start line knowing my chances of winning are once again pretty darn good. What's the expression that i hate but live by? Oh yeah, practice makes perfect. There are two more "practice" events this weekend. I'm just not sure how they will turn out, but you can bet I'll be standing at the starts as prepared as possible in hopes that I am perfect.
The "disappeared" poster to the right that was posted on a pole on the race course was a cruel joke played on the guy by his friends. I didn't find out if he was a racer in the event but I'm sure his buddies made sure he saw the poster that evening! Gosh, i've taken thousands of unflattering photos. Now i'm wondering if any of my friends had a good time with them!