Thursday, January 20, 2022
HomeDiariesA Weekend in the Flatlands; Het Nieuwsblad 2013 and a Cancelled KBK

A Weekend in the Flatlands; Het Nieuwsblad 2013 and a Cancelled KBK

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VeloVeritas and chums were over at the Belgian season opening Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne Brussels Kuurne semi-classics. Unfortunately the latter was cancelled but we still snapped away – here’s a selection of our favourite images from the weekend.

Het Nieuwsblad
The paper backs the race.
Het Nieuwsblad
Today’s parcours in glorious colour.

Vik always gives us stick for attending Het Nieuwsblad; ‘the race has sold out, it’s all glossy marketing!’ and to an extent he’s right.

But when you’re out there in the Flemish Ardennes and the wind is trying to take the skin off your face and there’s ice on the puddles beside the ‘kassein,’ there’s no doubting that this is the real deal.

Het Nieuwsblad
Professional Fans’ banners.

We drove part of the parcours on Friday on our way up from Charleroi – it’s always good to be back in Flanders and especially good after you’ve been aboard a Ryanair plane.

Despite the sub-zero temperatures and the fact that the race was a day away, the camper vans were out; and the banners aren’t half baked, professionally produced in the 2013 team colours.

That’s real enthusiasm.

Het Nieuwsblad
A typical windmill.

At the top of the Molenberg it’s real Heartland, bleak, agricultural with little to break the landscape, except this hard working old windmill.

Het Nieuwsblad
Johan is the face of the race.

Vik does have a point though; it’s all very slick now, Johan is selling the race, not riding it and there are VIP tents everywhere – and worse, you cant’s get near a lot of the bikes…

Het Nieuwsblad
Russ checks his bikes for the correct setup.

Russell Downing was a little tense before the start, checking and double double checking his position – that’s why he’s a good pro.

He’d end the day in the main group.

Het Nieuwsblad
Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team.