Shit Gets Real

Can you feel that? That itchy, twitchy feeling… that’s anticipation, it’s expectation, it’s Belgian fucking racing fever! You know you’ve got it, and you can’t fight it, you don’t want to fight it, you need it bad because it’s been way too long. Some may call it Spring Fever, Cobblebone, or Kassientitis. It manifests itself deep in the bones, chilling your very core, while simultaneously warming your heart. This is the best time of the racing season, and it’s affecting me more than ever, because I won’t be attending the clinic this year. And that makes me sick.

While the VSP doesn’t kick off until some 300k Italian sprint bores us to death in a couple of weeks, we all know that the real start to the season is this weekend on the bergen of Flanders, and we want the worst possible weather for it. As we bathe in sunshine in the bottom half of the planet, those of us inflicted with the sickness really long to be wrapped in our Flandrien Best and getting dumped on by cold rain and icy crosswinds on some shit-covered road, just waiting to get to the next sector of stones, the next steep and slippery climb, where once on it you curse with all your deep-seated hatred until it is crested, and a strange sense of joy briefly appears, not giving itself up fully until the first Malteni is opened hours later. It’s the medicine that doesn’t cure anything except a lack of Flahute in the system, and that’s just how we like it.

Related Posts

83 Replies to “Shit Gets Real”

  1. Nice weekend weather here, perfect for cycling and race viewing.

    As for -itis. Had my first stomach bug in many, many years last week. – = 12 hours of vomiting, including not even being able to keep water down. + = a nice way to get Spring fit is to not eat for three days!

    Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

  2. I’m giddy and glad I’ve restarted my Eurosport subscription. Ideal entertainment whilst learning about the innards of Power Torque in the practical manner

  3. How funny Brett, that I get back from ride no.1 today on the renewed Merckx. I was semi-beaten a bit from just teasing my legs again and keeping everything together. My seat pin slipped 3mm. Corrected it. Rode out of the saddle as much *as I could stand* to keep that issue together. Made it back. Maiden voyage success. So pull off the kit. Knee warmers were glued to my thigh using *model body glue* to keep them immovable In all this scenario it is the body glue itself that is out of place. Then I sit at the desk to read *SHIT GETS REAL* at the most perfectly timed point in my return to cycling (again). No more body glue.

  4. Fuckity Fuck I am Fully whipped up.   Even though there’s zero chance of rain in Flanders

  5. The title hits home for me as I realise I have more excuses than fitness, and it’s not long until I’ll be out there for G-W and RVV, cursing my starter pistols, wishing I’d done more over the winter.

  6. Altered course for Milano-San Remo this year, should provide for some more thrills.  Definitely doesn’t favor the sprinters…

  7. Omloop, Kuurne and an Hour Record attempt courtesy of a super cool young lady in the US of A. In all likelihood it’s looking like she’ll simply smash it.  What a great weekend. A handful of us are taking off tomorrow for a local classic 130km ride that includes a pile of red dirt deep south roads in celebration. Then Sun we take our NICA league High School Mtn Bike team to local state park to pre-ride next week’s season kick off race. Love it. Life is good in the spring time indeed. Cheers all

  8. So what are y’all’s’ prediction for Omloop and beyond?  Could the curse be broken with a Boonen Omloop/Ronde double?  Will van Avermaet finally win a race?  Sagan for a Monument?  A penny for your thoughts fellow Velominati…

  9. Sure, the wait is long. But then come spring, and with the joy of being able to ride without freezing your bollocks come the bests races of the year, the peak of the racing season being for me the cobbled races, culminating with the Ronde, then Paris Roubaix, where the true hardmen are forged. The rest of the races are nice, but don’t have the same athmosphere…

  10. @LeBelge

    Sure, the wait is long. But then come spring, and with the joy of being able to ride without freezing your bollocks come the bests races of the year, the peak of the racing season being for me the cobbled races, culminating with the Ronde, then Paris Roubaix, where the true hardmen are forged. The rest of the races are nice, but don’t have the same athmosphere…

    Yep, pretty much Pro racing season for me runs from now til the end of April.

    This time of year for us also means getting in as much riding as we can before the winter comes, topping up the tan lines and enjoying the minimal kitting up. Unfortunately, with injury I haven’t ridden for almost a month, so it’s fuck the injury and an attempt will be made tomorrow. Should we be rested from watching Het Volk until 5am…

  11. @wilburrox

    Omloop, Kuurne and an Hour Record attempt courtesy of a super cool young lady in the US of A. In all likelihood it’s looking like she’ll simply smash it. What a great weekend. A handful of us are taking off tomorrow for a local classic 130km ride that includes a pile of red dirt deep south roads in celebration. Then Sun we take our NICA league High School Mtn Bike team to local state park to pre-ride next week’s season kick off race. Love it. Life is good in the spring time indeed. Cheers all

    I am so rooting for Evie to break the record, and push the bar much higher. She is a great rider, who has the  ability to suffer enough to take the hour. I can’t wait, live streaming at 12:30 CST!

  12. Omloop:

    Van Avermaet

    Kristoff

    Sagan

    Benoot

    Gilbert

     

    KBK:

    Ewan

    Kristoff

    Vivanni

    Sagan

    R. Kreder

  13. @bea

    Shall I tell you the weather? You’re not going to like it…

    Obviously I was already asleep when I wrote that. I never noticed @gilly ‘s forecast.

    This is the first nice weekend in weeks! It has been pouring and storming since the first of january… Timing is everything…

    I go for Van Avermaet. Or Boonen. No, Van Avermaet, he’ll be more keen.

  14. Love it. Watched a highlights package of last year’s Ronde last night and it got me feeling all tingly.

    Hoping our boy Luke Rowe can perform at Omloop in Stannards abscence.I’d like to see Sagan win something significant in the bands, too.

  15. I hope the Etixx squad did some tactical training since last year. Or someone gave Vandenbergh a good talking to. Those boys really fucked up in Omloop and Gent Wevelgem.

    Red leg warmers aside, last year’s Gent Wevelgem was the most awesome race of the season for mine. Rule #9 crosswinds for a start, then a selection of strongmen beating each other up for the last 40k.

    The last 50k makes excellent roller session entertainment (if such a thing exists).

  16. @Harminator

    Etixx did screw up on a monumental scale last year but Stannard rode superbly and I don’t think he got the credit he deserved for that win. While the other three fannied around he made just one all out attack in the last 4k and that proved decisive. I thought he demonstrated great race craft in addition to his phenomenal strength.

  17. @brett

    Didn’t get the training before winter part until it connected: southern hemisphere?

     

    For your injury…well i am not you nor your doctor, but the last time i was injured i wanted to force my return, injured myself even more, and ended up losing 3 month rather than wait 2 weeks. A friend of mine lost the ability to go fast forever by destroying his knee that way. So, at least, you should go reaaaaly easy. But yeah, after a month without riding i understand that urge to ride a bicycle: its one of the most enjoyable thing in the world after all.

  18. Anyone got a decent link for us southerners to get a some real racing under the belts ?

  19. @gilly

    @Harminator

    Etixx did screw up on a monumental scale last year but Stannard rode superbly and I don’t think he got the credit he deserved for that win. While the other three fannied around he made just one all out attack in the last 4k and that proved decisive. I thought he demonstrated great race craft in addition to his phenomenal strength.

    After Stannard reeled in Boonen’s attack they had to think he was toasted. No other reason Vandenbergh also joins Terpstra in the next attack. That was the knucklehead move indeed. It was a greedy attempt. Not only does Stannard counter that attack but then he hits it! Was wonderful.

  20. @wilburrox

    @gilly

    @Harminator

    Etixx did screw up on a monumental scale last year but Stannard rode superbly and I don’t think he got the credit he deserved for that win. While the other three fannied around he made just one all out attack in the last 4k and that proved decisive. I thought he demonstrated great race craft in addition to his phenomenal strength.

    After Stannard reeled in Boonen’s attack they had to think he was toasted. No other reason Vandenbergh also joins Terpstra in the next attack. That was the knucklehead move indeed. It was a greedy attempt. Not only does Stannard counter that attack but then he hits it! Was wonderful.

    Right. Stannard had been sitting in for 35k. He was very cool bringing back Boonen. Awesome even. When Terpstra goes if Vandenbergh sits on Stannard he gives Boonen a wheel and saves himself. Instead he gives Stannard an easier chase and gaps Boonen.

    Vandengergh does similar dumb stuff in Gent Wevelgem blowing Terpstra’s chance.

  21. @RobSandy

    Chapeau Luke-4th. And chapeau Lizzie.

    Odd tactics by that lead group. Prerace, Sagan said he was just riding for training. Apparently he wasn’t bluffing. He pulled like a domestique for what seemed like 20km. The AG2R guy was basically the only one who helped. Rowe took a couple short ones. But GVA just sat in. In the end, Sagan and AG2R guy had nothing.

  22. @fignons barber

    @RobSandy

    Chapeau Luke-4th. And chapeau Lizzie.

    Odd tactics by that lead group. Prerace, Sagan said he was just riding for training. Apparently he wasn’t bluffing. He pulled like a domestique for what seemed like 20km. The AG2R guy was basically the only one who helped. Rowe took a couple short ones. But GVA just sat in. In the end, Sagan and AG2R guy had nothing.

    Really? I thought they shared it around pretty fairly. I only caught the last 40k but every time I saw the break they seemed to be in a pretty smooth rotation. Kept the gap at 50 seconds for the last hour…

  23. @fignons barber

    @RobSandy

    Chapeau Luke-4th. And chapeau Lizzie.

    Odd tactics by that lead group. Prerace, Sagan said he was just riding for training. Apparently he wasn’t bluffing. He pulled like a domestique for what seemed like 20km. The AG2R guy was basically the only one who helped. Rowe took a couple short ones. But GVA just sat in. In the end, Sagan and AG2R guy had nothing.

    Fucking Sagan was the MAN!  Totally guts and glory today for that man and totally relaxed and happy in the post-race interviews.  Wasn’t able to watch it live but read the live tickers and have now seen most of the finale as well.  GVA was decent but for me, the Man of the Match was Sagan. Luke Rowe and Benoot were pretty amazing as well, not to mention the poor French bugger who held onto the front all fucking day, Gougeard!  Hopefully Sagan has bigger fish-to-fry over the next 6 weeks!!!  Really hoping that he gets his first monument this year!

    And Bravo and Chapeau to Evelyn Stevens for crushing the hour record!  What a day!!!  Hope KBK is just as awesome tomorrow!!!

  24.  Hey Sagan!  Rule #33, yah dickhead!

    Four exposed inches of fluff cost him this race.

    (Who’d have thought calling the world champ a dickhead would lead to screwing up a post? Anyone else superstitious?)

  25. @Blah

    Hey Sagan! Rule #33, yah dickhead!

    Four exposed inches of fluff cost him this race.

     

    (Who’d have thought calling the world champ a dickhead would lead to screwing up a post? Anyone else superstitious?)

    Huh ?

  26. Even Terpstra leading the sprint so early seemed crazy against a diesel like Stannard, played right into his hands. Having said that, we’ll never know what the DS was advising the Ettix trio.

  27. @gilly @Harminator is right on the money ’cause if Vandenbergh just sat on Stannard’s wheel as he bridged to Terpstra then Boonen woulda had the wheel with him. He just got greedy.  And you’re right about the, who knows?

    Anyways, I’m reading the current live txts re: KBK from cyclingnews and they state >>> It looks like Sagan is alone and without teammates…<<< That’s news ?!? And sure doesn’t matter. What a stud. Anyone kinda get the idea he’s just warming up for crushing PR ? Oh would I love to see that!

  28. @wilburrox

    @gilly @Harminator is right on the money ’cause if Vandenbergh just sat on Stannard’s wheel as he bridged to Terpstra then Boonen woulda had the wheel with him. He just got greedy. And you’re right about the, who knows?

    Anyways, I’m reading the current live txts re: KBK from cyclingnews and they state >>> It looks like Sagan is alone and without teammates…<<< That’s news ?!? And sure doesn’t matter. What a stud. Anyone kinda get the idea he’s just warming up for crushing PR ? Oh would I love to see that!

    Yes!  Right there with you!  Dude’s a fucking STUD!  I am also following live ticker.  Need to find a live feed, though!!!

  29.  

    He attacks again, catches the break and blows right through them!  Man, he is Vive La Vie!!!

  30.  

    Finally found a link on Cyclingfans.  Of course, my computer is now glowing with pop-ups for Russian whores and on-line casinos but hell, it’s worth it, right???

    The VMH looks over from across the room and asks what porn site I am looking at in the middle of the kitchen?!?!?!  I told her that it is a porn site for old men, illegal cycling feed from Europe!!!  Go SAGAN!!!

  31. @Buck Rogers

    Jasper Stuyven with style and class! Chapeau to him! Only 23 yo!

    VMH was trying to sleep in, she didn’t appreciate my cheering him on. But, she knew what she was getting into when she married me.

    Every spring I think it’s high time I learn Dutch, since that’s the crappy pirate feed I tend to watch on…

  32. @Blah

    @wilburrox

    Isn’t there some sort of rule that stipulates hairy legs if you can rip other peoples’ shaved legs right off? Missing the sprint against GVA notwithstanding.

  33. Yeah, Sagan gets the Rule #33 exemption: “If, for some reason, your legs are to be left hairy, make sure you can dish out plenty of hurt to shaved riders…”

    Besides, he’s still just in training mode for the Big Races.

  34. @LeBelge

    @brett

    Didn’t get the training before winter part until it connected: southern hemisphere?

    For your injury…well i am not you nor your doctor, but the last time i was injured i wanted to force my return, injured myself even more, and ended up losing 3 month rather than wait 2 weeks. A friend of mine lost the ability to go fast forever by destroying his knee that way. So, at least, you should go reaaaaly easy. But yeah, after a month without riding i understand that urge to ride a bicycle: its one of the most enjoyable thing in the world after all.

    Well that was a great weekend. Not only for the racing, but I got back on the bike, without major pain, and without suffering like a dog. A nice easy 50km roll in the sun with @rigid, but with @LeBelge’s advice in the back of my head. I fucking love Cycling.

  35. @Owen

    @Blah

    @wilburrox

    Isn’t there some sort of rule that stipulates hairy legs if you can rip other peoples’ shaved legs right off? Missing the sprint against GVA notwithstanding.

    I hope he leaves them hairy all season! I’m thinking of a series of articles breaking a key Rule a month, this being one of them…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.