Wednesday, October 12, 2011


CYCLOCROSS Magazine just featured it in their "Pro Bike Profile" category. CLICK HERE to check it out.

by Willem Beerland
As for the racing, last weekend I was on the starting line yet again for the Superprestige Ruddervoorde event. It was a chilly rainy day so i was fairly excited about the conditions after last weekend's disaster in the heat.  I was also excited to race an actual technical course - the harder the better for me it seems.
But much to my disappointment, I awoke that morning with debilitating middle back pain.  It was a constant pain that jumped a few levels every time i took a deep breath - like when trying to ride a bike. Tears immediately filled my eyes. 
I didnt figure out what it was from until Jonas and i were already at the race site 1.5 hours from home. It was from a burn in my throat that happened a couple of years ago when i drank an oversized bottle of SOBE energy drink thinking it was coconut milk. Who would have thought that milk and cream would be in that bright white energy drink. Energy and milk never went together in my mind.
not a good time to
fall asleep
-by Willem Beerland
Anyway, after mini camera crews and biopsy equipment were guided down my throat, it was discovered that the milk indeed left a burn mark on my throat and stomach. unreal.  Well, they do say that milk is toxic and since i hadnt had any in over 15 years i guess my insides were not well prepared for it and i paid dearly.  The burn seems to flare up every eight months or so.
So again in my race, i had one speed which fell just under the knife stabbing pain level - and only good for a finish in the high teens. bugger.  It is amusing to see the photos of myself from the race - in half of them my eyes are closed.  I took a handful of heavy duty painkillers (all legal according to doping control) to see if that would do something - it did almost nothing for the pain but it did put me in a dreamlike state.  Again i heard so many cheers for me - all of which strangely sounded like they were yelled in slow motion. And the faces in the crowd periodically came clear but then in a flash they were gone.  This is why i never even tried pot - i really dont like the feeling of being out of control!
Sleeping on the job
by Marc van Est
Good news is that the doctor put me on some pill i take for a month. Afterwards, theoretically the burn should be completely healed so this event will not be repeated. As of now, the pain is still there but thankfully not nearly as strong.
Friday we leave for Czech Republic for the first two rounds of the World Cup series. Fingers crossed i can ROCK IT!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cooking Demonstration NOW on Sidebar of Blog

If you look to the left of my blog ( ) you will see my cooking demonstration that was recently on tv. it is also with my friend and fellow vegan Tonya Kay. I didnt expect they would make my mini cooking demonstration a "stand-alone" show so it is a little informal - oops. Anyway, i make these when i run out of PROBARs. If you dont know what a PROBAR is, you can see them on the counter while i put together my homemade version.

Kalmthout in a Heatwave

by Brecht Toelen
Last year this course was lined with ice covered in a blanket of snow. But this year the event was held under not just warm sunny skies but held in a full-on heatwave - yes, a Belgian heatwave in October. Completely unheard of.  Usually the heat doesnt bother me too much - i can still function fine. But when it messes with my breathing that is when i go from my peanut version of a superhero to roadkill. Unfortunately this time around i was roadkill.
Within a minute's time, my mouth and throat was unbearably dry and my throat started to close as if it were responding to an allergy of sorts.  It felt like someone shoved a bucket of dusty dirt in my mouth and down my throat. 
From many years of experience, i knew i had two options under these conditions. I can either push above my very real limit and be run off to the hospital if i made it that far, or i could ride just below that limit and have a mediocre result but live to tell about it. I opted for the latter.
It was something i struggled with the whole race though as my legs wanted to ride full out - as did my will. 
by Luc Van der Meiren
You'd think i'd feel a bit sorry for myself but i felt nothing really. What i did feel was a bit stupid that i had let down so many supporters around the course. That broke my heart. I had so many cheers that it was almost a constant string of  "kom on christine" or "allez peanut" throughout the whole race!
With nothing to do about it, i just forged ahead and hoped for a miracle. While that never materialized the way i hoped for, i was able to at least pass a few riders before the end - finishing in 17th.
Just after i crossed the line, my part 2 of the day a journalist covering the race for CYCLOCROSS Magazine. So immediately i rode up to Belgium's superstar Sanne Cant and did an interview - dusty throat and face and all. And i did it in Dutch nonetheless which surprised me considering i was a bit lightheaded from lack of oxygen the last 45 minutes. Luckily she was easy to understand - and remember for when i was back in the press room twenty minutes later.
Directly after my race i did the trainer for ten minutes, a bucket bath for three, changed into my tiniest clothing and sprinted to the press room to catch the start of the mens race on tv. After watching most of the race, i sprinted back out just before their finish so i could catch them for post-race interviews.
Official Christine Vardaros Supporter
jackets courtesy of Marc and Tai Van Est
The first guy i tried to interview didnt work out so well. it was Frenchman Francis Mourey. Either he didnt feel like speaking a couple of words in english or he knows absolutely none. And after spending a season on a French team, i did learn some french but the moment i left the team all my words were somehow lost. Strange how that happens. Oh well. After collecting a few interviews - only one in dutch, the rest in english (i was getting tired), i headed back to the press room to finish the job.
how i looked when i saw the jackets-
photos courtesy of Danny Zelck
On a side note, i must say that the highlight of the day happened in the pre-ride when i spotted a couple of my supporters sporting a special "Supporter Christine Vardaros" jacket. wow, that blew me away. I always thought that would be the COOLEST to have supporters like that - a real genuine Belgian thing.  For the first time i felt like i made it, like i belonged both in the races and in Belgium - no matter my result (thankfully considering lately they have not been so steady). Thanks Marc and Tai!
The next event is this Sunday at Superprestige Ruddervoorde. The weather is supposed to cool down a bit so i look forward to it, although i am not quite ready for ice and snow.
Thanks for reading!