Friday, April 05, 2013

A History Lesson in Flanders: Belgium Tour 2013

Freddy Maertens in good form
The house that Flanders Built
So I have been a cyclist literally my whole life.  That said I have seen all types.  From fanatics to weekend warriors.  The most rabid to the most lax and all in between.  When I went to Belgium I figured I had a sense of what I was going to experience.  However I have to admit that once I arrived I was overwhelmed by the cycling experience (and the beer experience but that is another post).

Once we arrived we drove down to Oudenaarde to pick up my brother and fathers numbers for the citizens ride on Saturday.  While there we also decided to hit the Centrum Ronde Van Vlaanderen as well.  That was so sweet.

We had literally just walked in the door when I spotted a group of likely suspects hanging around an exhibit.  On closer inspection I saw George Hincapie and Freddy Maertens speaking to a large group.

 I immediately saw it for what it was.  A group of retailers getting the full song and dance and sure enough it was a whole bunch of BMC dealers from the USA getting a personal tour with Freddy.  I walked up and struck up a conversation with one of the dealers and it turned out that he was currently employing one of my former ski buddies at his shop.  Before you knew it we were part of the group and listening to personal stories from Freddy and George on the race.  My father and brother were super, super stoked and it was cool to experience it.
Cool team car in the museum

By the end of the tour I had a really solid first hand sense of what I was going to see in the next few days and I was really excited.  It was fun to be hanging at the Museum before the race.   There is a great pub there as well and we had lunch there.  When we walked in there were a ton of people sitting at one table.  We decided we should at least ask who they were.  Turned out it was all the police who were going to be managing the race and also doing the escort stuff on the motorcycles.  These guys are awesome and it was almost as cool to meet them as the old pro racers!

The cops
Freddy and George!
After spending a day in Oudenaarde I was really excited to shoot on Saturday during the tour and especially on Sunday during the race, as I had some potential access for shooting it.  I went to sleep full of stoke!!

So ends post one, look for more over the weekend!

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