Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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Monday in the Flatlands

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Mondays in the flatlands of Belgium aren’t the best; most shops are shut but the flight back to Auld Scotia isn’t ‘til late so use has to be made of the time available.

Flatlands
Photo©Ed Hood

Looking out of the window on Monday morning, the man across the road has his priorities right – ‘keep that Jupiler cold!’

Flatlands
Photo©Ed Hood

John had only seen the top of the Oude Kwaremont on Sunday so we took him for a drive all the way down; it’s easy to forget just how mad it is.

The whole climb is cobbled and there’s a false flat in the middle which is paradoxically one of the hardest parts of the climb given it’s lack of banks or hedges and full exposure to the cross winds.

Flatlands
Photo©Ed Hood

QuickStep are looking for ways to make money, they have no main sponsor signed for 2019 and they’re up to all sorts to make a Euro.

They’ve opened a ‘pop up’ shop in the big shopping centre in Kortrijk in an empty retail unit.

The first thing to greet you is Tony Martin’s world championship winning Specialized Shiv complete with 58 tooth chain ring – ‘the full tool’ as my rallying chums used to say.

Flatlands
Photo©Ed Hood
Flatlands
Photo©Ed Hood

Tomeke’s Paris-Roubaix steed is there and also a selection of his bikes through the years.

The big man from Mol recently announced that he’s going to be an ‘adviser’ with QuickStep’s World Tour rivals, Lotto-Soudal – perhaps a symptom of the flooring teams lack of funds that they couldn’t afford what Boonen’s manager, Paul de Geyter was asking for him to do the same job for Patrick Lefevre’s team.

Flatlands
Photo©Ed Hood

On the subject of money, this display shows the size of the operation which Lefevre runs – he has one girl whose sole, full time job is to organise flights for riders and staff.