Additions To The Nieuwrode Kermesse Report.

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Fri 17/Jul/09 4:33pm

Hiall.

 

Sorryabout the delay in sending these photos, we haven't been able to send manylarge files due to internet logistical issues. Also apologies to ourreaders who haven't had many blogs to go on, unfortunately for the blog, we'veall had pretty busy schedules, and as Mark tells me,"High performance first, blogs next" (sorry Benji), so that'sbeen our agenda. And our agenda has been pretty busy over the last month, we'vecollectively managed to capture many moments on camera. As time allows (unfortunatelyI can't keep you up to date 'real-time', as there's too much on), I will get achance to send through some images and some of the coaches comments to boot.However to give a full account of these 'tales of our escapades' take too muchtime currently, which is something we've been short on over here. Others havestarted contributing to the blogs which is great, thanks to Geraldo for writingthat Blog, that's pretty entertaining, was good having you here. Overthe last few weeks it's been great to have a few interactions with other Kiwi'spassing though; some are, some aren't-directly involved with the BikeNZ crew,but all large contributors to our Kiwi cyclists' progression, from a broaderperspective. Siobhane (Churbomboombooom), your blogs up next.

 

Sowe kinda blew it a wee bit for this race, athletes thought it was cool to leaveat 17:00 hrs and ride the 25 odd km to the race (start at 18:30 hrs, signon, etc.... before that). Usually it would have been, but the boysgot a little lost on the way their, despite Dreams' I-phone's failsafe GPS directions. Management had pulled up early (we had it programmed intoour GPS ;-), and set up at the top of a nice wee hill close to the start finishline, we'd been waiting there for a while wondering when the boys were going toshow, beginning to fret a little. Eventually, we see them come hammering up thehill, Corey and I looked at each other and were like "has the racingbegun?", they'd had to chuck it into themselves in order to make it ontime. But hey, maybe a solid warmup would put them in good stead for what wasabout to follow... 

 

Anotherthing also occurred, basically International teams aren't supposed to'officially' race these races, as it is a different level of competition,despite the fact that we're essentially a  bunch of 'trackies', lining upagainst competitive road cyclists who are used to racing for, minimally fivetimes longer duration than any of our boys events on the track in which they'recompetitive. The way we get around this usually, is that the boys also runBelgium licenses and we do not 'officially' line up as the national team,usually there's no problem. However, the way this day was turning out, it wasperfectly in tune when the official Commissar got a little bit'prissy' and said the boys weren't allowed to race in their NZ tops,(despite the fact that we've raced over here maybe fifteen times and have hadno problem, "no problemo Dr., no problems at all" as Saleam(our Turkish pizza guy a few doors down, who sees a bit ofus occasionally, and has become a friend and fan of the boys), wouldsay. However, it was a problem that occurred as the boys were on the line. Theonly way they were going to be allowed to start was if they raced with theirjerseys inside out. Dream and Jas, thought this was a bit on the nose (Dreamexplained to the commissar that he was a "disgrace"), andturned around and 'shut it down', there's been plenty of racing on and itwasn't such a bad thing that these two particular boys sat this one out, theweather was just about to take a turn for the worst also and everyone lovesracing these types of Kermesses in the rain, often there's sectionsof pave (or cobbles) and narrow windy roads, choice...

 

Sono real lead in shots to the race either, management staff thought we had ouract organised and were on cruise mode when we see the boys come charging roundon their first lap, not recognising them (as their black NZ tops were now,white and nondescript compared to what we were looking for), it wasalso a little hard due to the fact that they came past about a 150m away, turned and went the other way, we (and a fair few others) hadbasically set up on what did not turn out to be the course! No stress though,they shouldn't need a bottle change on the first lap, but we were a littlemortified as we thought we had the mint spot. So quick pack up, and we were inthe Boxer and off to find a more appropriate spot for feeding, etc.

 

Here'sthe first shot I managed to pop off, second lap. As you can see, the weatherhad turned nasty, and the field had already split and were 'going like theclappers'.  


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On the next one, and not too mysurprise Scully, or 'the Scud' had launched himself into it, keen to get intothe mix early. I say not without surprise because Geraldo (his coach) wasthere, and recently Scullies' been showing some spectacular form. With our busyschedule of racing, and occasional specific training (but oftenrecovery from this particularly intense racing is priority), Sculliesimprovement has been a remarkable thing to witness and measure. Although hisprevious form on the track is nothing to be sniffed at, but with all the recentracing lifting his level of aerobic conditioning and performance to a new high,I'd say it'd be a safe bet to say that we'll be seeing a fair bit more ofScully at an International level over the coming years.

 

The break contained 13 riders atthis point and was going away.


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The big man (in white) wondering ifthis guy was gonna come thru or what? Geraldo and Corey (our manager) in thebackground.


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Well then, 'roll thru you dickhead',is probably a polite way of putting it.... You guys know what I'm talkingabout.

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'It's Business Time.' Herewe are on the third or forth lap, decent break established, Scully heresprinting for a prem...


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Justhaving a 'wee wind', I think he's smiling here, sprinting on his hoods (?!?),looking pretty relaxed... Dunno if the other boys are though...


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It's either a wellcontrolled grimace or a smile, I'm sure it was the latter.

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 Because he was handling itpretty well. I think there was 50 euro on for this sprint...


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Meanwhile Aarons' early form was'on', holding good bunch position and riding very aggressively. Here showinggood strength sitting riding up this hill seated, compared to the other boys inthe shot...

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 everyone else is seated exceptfor 'Gatey', solid.


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Myron also riding smartly and quitestrong from the 'get go'.


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 Here's Gatey riding away fromthe bunch which was going so quickly, by now already contained less than halfof the field. A few of the locals must've noted this, as you shall see later...


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 Scullies break continued tostay away, here we are probably half way through the race. Scully stillhammering it.


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 Meanwhile, in line with eachriders individual plan (using the racing as training) andnot necessarily concerned about the result per se. Here'sShem and Novie sitting pretty at the rear of the peleton...


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 Or maybe not so pretty... Ericwould still be fizzing though, aye Novie ;-p

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Gatey,  still riding strongly.

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But after a few more laps hadchanged his tactics, here 'swinging with the boyz', NZ boys looking after eachother, nice one. 

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 Here's Tim (covering hisBritish Cycling Federation badge), and Jos his partner to his left, Geraldo tohis right. Tim and Jos have kind of been like adopted parents to the NZ boysand many other cyclist from around the globe. There's no way that things wouldhave been possible, or run as smoothly as they do without both of their help.Cheers guys! 


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Here's Shem and Novie behind askingif we could get some food organised, as the pockets weren't exactlyeasily accessible. The guy gesticulating besides them is one oftheir house mates, Dan (Shandy!), also one of Jos andTim's brood, a competitive and focused athlete. Looks like Shem'slistening intensely...

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I don't want any more fluidthanks... 

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'but can you organise some food?'

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"No thanks Chubomboom", itwas the first time any of us had ever heard a please or thank you inthis situation. Full respect shown and deserved, the boys new they'd be introuble otherwise.


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So, next lap. Food organised,Geraldo ready with the empty chip packet now converted toa musete bag, full of goodies... Staunch it up then Stotey...


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Threequarters into the race, Scud's break had been shut down by the hard chasing andever increasingly dwindling bunch. Here Scully following Novie, whosince the race start had been growing an increasing moustache of dirtas he continued to follow wheels hard and well, conserving his energy.

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This is the other British cyclistliving with the boys, Toby. His face shows the pain as he goes OTA. 

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 Shem was 'over it.' Whathappened? "Well, Geraldo, it's not that easy out there, most of thefield got spat in the first few laps. Use this bike and jump in if you don'tbelieve me."


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"Ah, its sweet thanksShem, as appealing as it sounds." You sure? You can have my gloves.Nah nah, its cool.


 

We'd had the pleasure of havingLogan Hutchings...(another very talented kiwi who lives in Belgium and racesfor a Pro continental team based out of Aussie, a friend of us all),styling Logs...


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and hispartner Siobhane for a stay for few days also, Siobhane orChubomboom as she's more commonly know these days-shownhere. Bidden at the ready, disappointed and ready to tear astrip off anyone who didn't take her bottle. She'd only be staying for a fewdays, but in that short time-had managed to whip the boys (and their place)into shape, and was pretty much running the show. To the point where, aftercoming back from a ride with the boys, we could smell cleaning productfrom about 100 m away from our sparkling apartment here in Ramsel....


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She'd managed to bake, without anoven... A domesticated goddess......? Who can take the mickey out ofanyone within range... And be at the 'ready' at alltimes...'She got that boom boom style'! Thanks for your help andentertainment over the last few days. 


 

By now 'hitler' as he'd now come tobe known as-over the course of the race, was beginning to move up, Gatey on hiswheel.

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Lookinggood.


 

One thing that some of the youngerfellas like Scully are beginning to learn, often by watching 'the Dream' andhow you ride a race craftily-is that as a track rider, you've got a bigger morepowerful 'motor' compared to the roadies who they race against. When this isthe case, if you want to win, then you need to be careful when you decide toplant the foot, because despite a powerful motor, you only have so much gas,and it has to be used wisely. Disregarding this fact 'The Scud' had wanted toride aggressively from the beginning and 'smash' himself... possibly firing offtoo many missiles too early on. 


 

 The 'DS' in me had let theannoyance at the petty ruling of this particular Commissar who'ddecided that the boys had to ride with their jerseys inside out, making feeding(unless you're the Novie) rather impossible. And I believe, was probably afactor in this particular race for a few of the boys who probably didn't eatenough fuel, 'blowing' as we see the Scud here. Anyhow, I'd let the annoyancein me brew to the point of anger, I caught Scully here as I was wondering downto question the logic of this particular Commissar, unfortunatelyhe'd already gone, but I did re-enforce Dreams' perspective on thingsnone-the-less. I'm glad the camera was in the pocket for this one.


Doesn't matter, was probably one ofyour best 'hit outs' Scully.


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 So it's all sweet then! Coreyalready 'banging up' a recovery shake in the background... important to get itthere early aye Glenn?


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The Novie came to the campaign witha natural talent for understanding what is required for winning and despite thefact that he's never experienced Belgium racing nor anything like it, haslearnt a lot and probably been our most consistent finisher in this type ofracing. In the case of this race (where he'd had the previous four or five daysoff), what was required for a win was swinging near the rear and moving up asrequired (as your form's not great after a lay-off the bike). Here you can seehim at the rear, possibly too far back as you can see the gaps opening up, andNovie's going to have to expend significant energy covering that gap if thisguy isn't capable.

 

He's fizzing on that prospect...

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Aaron, despite his real good formearly on, learnt more of the same lesson that Scully also had-had re-enforcedtoday. 

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He's still in good spirits though,as he should be, probably one of Aarons best performances so far, nice to seehim back in the fold after a bit of a lay-off post illness.  

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Not really stoked to be here...


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butafter some aggressive riding near the front towards the front of the bunch nearthe end of the day, Novie found himself in the right break, at the right time.This break of about eight was going away from the rest, only probably aboutforty riders left in the field at this stage, only a few laps to go. I doubtthis last point had anything to do with the 'yellow van' that we'd heard muchabout, but not seen yet, as it rolled up for the final half of the race.


Sodespite sub-optimal preparation for this race, the Novie gave it what he had.



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Here we go, bunch kick. Novie aboutsix back the only one sprinting in his seat (up the hill)!, obviously abit too many kicks used during the day.

 

He rolls over still on his hoods,tranquelo styles, top six. In-fact he wasn't sprinting, he didn't really thinkhe was capable. He certainly wasn't chucking his bike at the line like theseother boys.

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Good job Novie.

 

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Apparently the yellow van (drugtesting vehicle) only tests the hitters and a few randoms. Gatey, today youwere a hitter! Obviously stoked to get his first drug test and know that he,like the rest of the team are 'running clean'. I hope that was only aparacetamol I gave you prior to the race....(joke everybody)


 

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Hopeyou guys enjoyed the photos and the comments from the coaches perspective.Hopefully it's not too long before the next one. But athlete reports and muchmore racing and individualised training to be completed before the next one, Ihope it's not too long.

 

catchyou then,

damian.

 

Dr. Damian Marsh

 

Medical support, Leadcoach (NZ track team, Belgium road phase)

 

 

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Original Published: 9:33am Wednesday, 1st July 2009 - NZST
Melissa_Theuriau
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