Tuesday, July 27, 2021
HomeBlogsTeam Wiggins Pro Dan Patten's BlogLiving in the Heart of Flanders!

Living in the Heart of Flanders!

-

The things that can happen in the space of a week when you’re living in the heart of Flanders. As mentioned in the last blog post I happened to meet Kurt Asle Arvesen on a ride and had a nice spin and chat with him. A couple of days later I was in the Asfra bike shop when fellow Norwegian and Team Sky rider Edvald Boasson Hagen walked in on his way out training.

Again I got to have a little chat with Edvald and like Kurt was a thoroughly nice guy too… seems to be a common trait with these Norwegian Team Sky riders!

Heart of Flanders
Edvald and me at the bike shop.

We happened to be treated to a stage finish of the Three days of de Panne here in Oudenaarde, which was great but was merely a warm up to what was to come at the end of the week – the Ronde van Vlaanderen!

A great experience to be here and see the race live… it really is a special day of the year here in Belgium. The atmosphere had been building in and around Oudenaarde with more and more cyclists about as the Ronde drew closer.

Heart of Flanders
I was pretty close to the action on the bergs.

However the day it self was something special: every town welcomes the passing of the race, every berg every pave section is packed full of cheering spectators (clearly aided by the flowing beer) and traffic is left at a stand still as the race passes and the spectators dart from one location to the next.

Clearly the bike was the best mode of transport for getting about to see the race and also had the added benefit of being cheered by all the fans as you pass.

A very special atmosphere indeed for this monument and hopefully something I will get to experience for myself in the future.

Living in Oudenaarde means easy access to the RVV route and so anyday of the week I can ride the Bergs and pave sections that make the race so special – I like to think Im building the ‘local knowledge’ for the future in doing so 🙂

Heart of Flanders
Unfortunately, there’s no crowds like this when I train on these cobbles!

Of course I have also had my own races in this time.

I put together 3 kermesses within six days to use as a good little block of races/training. Some very wet and windy Belgium weather experienced in Herne and Anzegem but consistent placings of 17th and 16th.

Heart of Flanders
Using the races for training means I don’t get too fussed over the actual result.

Anzegem I took the bunch sprint leading out the sprint early, some consolation after missing out on the lead group when the race split after 10km following a mass pile up in the bunch.

I would also place 31st in Schepdaal. Nothing spectacular in terms of results but some more racing km’s in the legs, which I’ll be the better for.

Until next time…

Related Articles

Cancellara broke our hearts at the Ronde van Vlaanderen

Fabian Cancellara rode a clever race to take his first Ronde van Vlaanderen this afternoon, making sure he was always in the important part of the peloton, biding his time perfectly, and attacking with such force that only Tom Boonen could go with him.

At Random

The Peebles Criterium 2011

Enjoying the evening sunshine and large crowds around the town for The Peebles Criterium 2011, young Pedal Power\Endura rider Robbie Hassan rode an intelligent and strong race to win the inaugural event, part of the Tweedlove Festival, fending off a strong challenge from Director's Choice's Allan Clark and Endura Racing professional Callum Wilkinson.

Introducing Two of my Astellas Teammates

Two of my Astellas teammates are Ryan Aitcheson, 25, from Kitchener, Ontario (Canada) and Olly Moors, 19, from West Sussex (England). Ryan is one of the best criterium racers in North America. He is also my longest standing teammate. Olly has only been on club teams up until this point. He’s now a professional and he and I are teammates; Ryan and I passed Olly on the way home from our ride and he told us about a racing memory, because I asked.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 21: Cercedilla – Madrid 115.0 km

Degenkolb made it five; it was no surprise - we all knew the break was doomed. But it was good for the estimated 100,000 spectators around the course - and for the TV. It's never a chore to watch the best riders in the world set off from Cercedilla and hammer round the streets of a beautiful city.

Patrick Galbraith – Kerry Youth Tour Winner

It was a good week for Scottish cycling, in the same week that David Millar (Saunier Duval) won the British elite road race title; at the other end of the spectrum, 14 year-old Patrick Galbraith took two stage wins and the overall win in Eire's Kerry Youth Tour. The Kerry Youth Tour is one of the largest events of its kind in the world; comprising four stages over three days - two road races, a circuit race and a time trial.

Geraint Thomas – busy with “all the fast, punchy stuff”

When Taylor Phinney crossed the finish line at the end of the Giro prologue, a big sigh went up here at VeloVeritas – ‘there goes our Giro prologue winner exclusive!’ Sky's Geraint Thomas had been top of the leader board until Phinney used those amazing genes of his to great effect and the Weshman had to make do with second place.

Scottish Olympic Time Trial Championships 2007: Preview

Fullerton Wheelers present the Scottish Olympic Time Trial Championships 2007 this weekend, with double British TT Champion Jason MacIntyre (Edge RT) starting number 39 and last off, in a small field which all the same contains a lot of quality riders.