Sunday, October 17, 2021
HomeBlogsEx-Garmin Physio Toby Watson's BlogA Good Result, then a Fail-athon (Post Eneco Tour)

A Good Result, then a Fail-athon (Post Eneco Tour)

-

Fail-athon… The finale of the Eneco Tour was a time trial, and as hoped, our man Svein defended brilliantly, winding up fifth overall for the race.

This was a great performance by the big fella, and the bare minimum of what I believe he deserves for his persistence, determination and talent.

Fail-athon
Trav looking like he’s been shot by a dirt bazooka.

The race had been very tough on our boys, some coping better than others. The final stage ended in Genk, a town on the eastern side of Belgium, right near Holland and Germany, and as usual we were to head back to Girona (in north eastern Spain) afterwards.

As a rare bonus, we were booked to fly back as all of the vehicles we would normally drive were to head to another race in the area. Sweet!

Then our physiologist Marc Quod (Quody) read about a Trappist brewery that apparently served the best beer in the world, and we made a snap decision that despite the rules of getting into this place being pretty strict, we’d turn down the flights and offer to drive the only car going back to Girona.

It was somewhere around here that the fail-athon really kicked off. I should have known that Quody reading non-scientific journals was a bad idea.

a Fail-athon
JackyBobby after the final road stage: I swear it was tougher than it looks!

As I noted, the brewery was pretty tough to get in to: there were no official booking hours, and no official booking office, you just called as often as you could. If you did get through, you would only have one chance to book, and then your phone would be blocked for a month, and the one time you did book, you had to provide your car license plate, which would be allowed to enter once only for the month.

And you could only take one case of beer off the premises per car.

“Pretty tough” here means getting in to the place was akin to hitting all of the notes of the final, key changed “I really need you tonight” line in Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart. It is possible, but you’ve got to be bloody lucky, and it happens nearly never. I’m still waiting for both my time with the perfect notes, and to go to that brewery.

Fail number one.

We had already committed to driving, so figured we’d see about going to another brewery in the area, which we duly organised, and which didn’t require seventeen hoops to be jumped through. Excellent.

The hotel we stayed at that night was in Ghent, a beautiful, happening university town with a great night life. We chose there for closeness to the brewery, and the possibility of having a bit of a good night out. University towns, however, are not so good for nights out when the uni is on a break.

Fail number two.

Quody had been to Ghent previously, and had been enthusiastically regaling me with his recollections of the Aussie Pie Shop (or so he called it), which was in Ghent, and allowed homesick Australians the chance of a true taste of home — a hot meat pie.

We were particularly excited about this, and so decided to forego the (included) breakfast at the hotel so we could maybe fit a third pie in when we hit the pie shop.

Fail number three.

We then headed in the vague direction that Quody thought the shop may be, and there were several moments of “ooh this looks familiar” followed by “nup.”

We attempted to use the technology we had with us, putting “Pie” “Aussie” and other similar search terms into our Garmin, but to no avail. Garmins are good, but they can’t completely overcome the hurdle of being used by two starving Australians desperate for a pie.

We definitely saw a great deal of Ghent, and found ourselves at the Great Australian Ice Creamery twice (it was news to the two of us that Australia is a noted ice cream making nation — I’m sure there’s fancy Belgian ice cream you can buy in Aus), which was (predictably) closed.

It turns out we should have searched The Great Australian Bite, which I’m told does a great meat pie. I can’t comment either way, although I will attest to it being particularly difficult to find.

Fail number four.

We ended up with quiche and coffee from a nice little cafe, but this was several hours after we’d skipped breakfast, and several kilometres of walking later. Curses!

Fail-athon
A grand booty after a less than grand trip.

Things definitely took a turn for the better thenceforth though, as we found the St Bernardus brewery without too much difficulty, and despite the proprietor locking himself out of the brewery when he came to greet us (true story), we had a great visit.

So good in fact, that we bought two cases of beer, two cycling jerseys (got to love Belgium!) and two beer glasses (you apparently MUST drink St Bernardus out of St Bernardus glass).

If you ever get yourself there, talk to Markus and tell him I sent you. It won’t make a lick of difference, but will add a pleasant piece of random to his day. He’s a great bloke, and makes a cracking beer.

Admittedly it wasn’t all “fail” after Eneco.

Toby Watsonhttps://www.veloveritas.co.uk
Ex-Garmin Transitions physiotherapist and soigneur Toby Watson brings you inside the squad, and shows you what it's like to be working with a top team on the biggest races in the world. Through his regular blog updates, Toby shares his sense of drama and fun that were essential parts of his job. Toby is Australian, and currently lives in Girona with his fiancee Amanda. If he has any time, he enjoys reading and running, and occasionally skiing too, when he can.

Related Articles

Minor Details: Eneco 2010 Stage 4

Minor Details. Today was the first stage that the boys didn't have any specific job to do in the race. We had held the jersey for the first three days of the race, and will continue to fight out the general classification with Svein, but the stage today was quite flat, so it would not in any way effect the gc standings, meaning our boys finally had a low responsibility day.

A Hard “Easy” Day: TdF Stage 10 (breakaway)

A Hard "Easy" Day. Yesterday was always going to be the day that the breakaway succeeded. The profile of the course and the stages on the days either side of it meant that neither the GC nor the sprinter teams would be interested. It wasn’t hard enough to separate the GC lads, but wasn’t easy enough for the sprinters to make it to the finish with the main bunch.

How far to go? Stage 16 TdF2010 (mountain)

How far to go. Stage 16 TdF2010 was the biggest climbing stage of the Tour, but the last climb was some 60km from the finish, which made for a weird looking profile for the day. The boys scaled four enormous mountains, the first beginning from km 0. Tough gig.

Ah, the First Time!

Ah, the First Time. Everyone remembers their first time. And after many years of flirtation and "everything but," last night was JV's. Garmin have finally managed to break their cherry to win a stage at the Tour. Now that the hoodoo has been cleared, I'm expecting multiple wins throughout the race, with Tyler Farrar being first cab off the rank tonight with the Stage 3 Bunch Sprint.

United Nations of Awesome

United Nations of Awesome. Boombah! Or, as we like to pretend that the Italians say, Opahhh! So the last post I put through (earlier today) was 16km from the finish, and included a series of “hopefullys” all of which came to pass, meaning we won today! A great result for the team, and a super performance by the team.

Giro d’Italia Team Time Trial; 4 Hr Race – 4 Sec Difference

Yesterday was the Giro d'Italia Team Time Trial (TTT) a 33km shot through northern Italy where teams departed five minutes apart and raced the clock up the road. The order of starting was based on the overall standing of the best three riders from each team, with the slowest team going first, and the team of the race leader going last (regardless of how their team was faring).

At Random

Paul Kimmage, Part 2: “It wouldn’t take much – just a bit of honesty”

If you're a rider, you've have had issues with 'les vitamines' and Paul Kimmage turns up at your press conference, best ask for a brandy to sip, forget that Vittel. Kimmage is the man who wrote 'The Rough Ride', an exposé of his experiences as a young 'green as grass' young pro and his flirtations with 'the needle.'

In the Event of a Bee Sting when Riding Your Bike

We cyclists have a fair amount of skin exposed so here's some things to consider if you suffer a bee sting when riding your bike.

Joe Nally – Signed with Vitus Pro Cycling for 2020

Scottish professional bike riders are a bit thin on the ground so when we heard that 20 year-old Fifer, Joe Nally - who’s the youngest man ever to win the British Elite Points Race Championship - had signed with Vitus Pro Cycling for 2020 we thought we best ‘have a word.’ We caught up with Joe recently at his training base in Tenerife where he was on a two week block of base rides.

In Response…

If you write, one of the most satisfying things is when someone takes the time to tell you in response that they’ve enjoyed something you’ve written.

Grenoble Four Day 2012, Day Three: Kenny & Iljo or Morgan & Brian?

My pal Vik called me this morning; ‘the racing at the Grenoble Four Day can’t be very good if you’re spending so much time taking pictures of boys on the trapeze!’ If I could get him down here it would be different. It’s not just a bike race; if he was here, eating the nice food, drinking champers with friends, with the race whizzing around him and the amazing shows, he'd see things in a new light.

Fast, Furious and Free: Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 Cycling Road Routes Unvieled

Glasgow 2014 today revealed the routes for the Commonwealth Games Cycling road events that will see elite athletes from across the globe race through the heart of Glasgow and beyond. The excitement of the Games will reach audiences in towns and villages around the city as riders battle against the clock during the Time Trial event on Thursday 31 July, while Glasgow itself becomes the race track on Sunday 3 August with the fastest riders chasing each other through the city’s streets for the action packed Road Race.