Mettle @ Ronde Van Vlaanderen

We took some time to see parts unknown to us this spring. Planning against the 2016 UCI calendar made the Tour of Flanders a no brainer. We didn't bring bikes but we did bring a camera. Here's proof:

58 minutes via train from Brussels.  

58 minutes via train from Brussels.  

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Waiting for the peloton to come up the Koppenberg.  

Waiting for the peloton to come up the Koppenberg.  

 


At the women's start in Oudenaarde.  

At the women's start in Oudenaarde.  

The most attention was being paid to the ladies of Canyon/SRAM. Either because of Canyon or because of Rapha (we're betting on the latter). Having ridden this exact bike, I can't imagine any relief was had across the cobbles. It may be carbon but this bike is stiff as hell across mixed surfaces. 

The most attention was being paid to the ladies of Canyon/SRAM. Either because of Canyon or because of Rapha (we're betting on the latter). Having ridden this exact bike, I can't imagine any relief was had across the cobbles. It may be carbon but this bike is stiff as hell across mixed surfaces. 

eTap in the house. 

eTap in the house. 

Coolest human not racing. He had a classy Colnago Master with a CX set up (as far as I could tell) and was cruising and steering so hard.  

Coolest human not racing. He had a classy Colnago Master with a CX set up (as far as I could tell) and was cruising and steering so hard.  

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So Pro.  

So Pro.  

Bike path to another site from where to watch.  

Bike path to another site from where to watch.  

Pre-bacon. So cute.  

Pre-bacon. So cute.  

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At the base of the Koppenberg.  

At the base of the Koppenberg.  

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And this was to be the last impact The Gorilla had on the race, coming through first.  

And this was to be the last impact The Gorilla had on the race, coming through first.  

Ian Stannard testing the max watts a Stages Power Meter can take.  

Ian Stannard testing the max watts a Stages Power Meter can take.  

"I'm not here. This isn't happening..." 

"I'm not here. This isn't happening..." 

Pro support. Just lounging in the grass with the fans at the summit of The Koppenberg with some of the most coveted tyres in the world.  

Pro support. Just lounging in the grass with the fans at the summit of The Koppenberg with some of the most coveted tyres in the world.  

Tyler Farrar. Most underrated hard man of the pro peloton.

Tyler Farrar. Most underrated hard man of the pro peloton.

Tyler. He's finished more races out of spite from crashes than just about anyone this season. Lots of holes in his kit and plenty of skin left on the Tarmac.  

Spartacus cares not for anyone's words (or help). This was not a deciding sector for his game plan.  

Spartacus cares not for anyone's words (or help). This was not a deciding sector for his game plan.  

No words being surprised by the champ. We only had a little knowledge of the make up of what was happening on the road.  

No words being surprised by the champ. We only had a little knowledge of the make up of what was happening on the road.  

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Elastic being snapped.  

Elastic being snapped.  

That moment when a climb turns into a descent into darkness.  

Rodeo Labs.  

Rodeo Labs.  

Knew these guys had plans to watch the race but didn't plan on meeting up. After the race these guys came mobbin through town and those kits cannot be mistaken.  

Plan ahead. Rent a bike. Hire a guide. We walked through random pastures on the way back. Free shuttles from the Flanders Classics org were not as prevalent as advertised.  

Plan ahead. Rent a bike. Hire a guide. We walked through random pastures on the way back. Free shuttles from the Flanders Classics org were not as prevalent as advertised.  

I'll never come back here without a bike. Promise.  Also, carry purses when it's your fantasy to watch a bike race, not hers. Mad bonus points, gentlemen...

Posted on April 5, 2016 .