Tour de France = Annual bike race/circus around the country of France.
Liège = City in the Ardennes of Belgium. Very beautiful area, probably the prettiest side of Belgium.
I am just returning form the start of the Tour de France, in Liège Belgium. I know that makes no sense. I think France is either confused, or maybe they are being imperialistic. You know, attempting to annex some or all of Belgium, while they are not looking. After all, there is no government in Belgium. How hard can it be to take over a place with no government?
It actually appears that Belgians do not care that they do not have a government. (No they do not speak Belgish there Hanna.) In fact, they probably have it right anyway. Who really wants to have to pay attention to elections and the whole silliness of Republicans and Democrats anyway?
When you think about it, why wouldn’t France want to take over Belgium.
- Happy people
- Ronde Van Vlaanderen, best bike race of the year, would be in France then.
- Liège Batogne Liège, 2nd best bike race of the year, would be in France then.
- Frites. Then the French would not have tolerate Belgium making the best French fries in the world.
- Cyclocross – well just because it is.
- They have an Atomium there. They wouldn’t have to keep answering what happened to the Holy Grail then. They could just keep saying “We have an Atomium.”
- Trappist Ale. Having this would help to counter the embarrassment of Lourdes.
This past week, ahead of the Tour de France we introduced the rest of the Domane line (Fabian’s bike for the cobbled classics, that has turned into a fantastic bike that is nearly the perfect every day race bike), and the All New Madone. If you are reading this, you know it is a big big dealeo.
Wow, 2 new bikes introduced this year, and both in Belgium. It would seem that all roads cross in Belgium for me. This is the 3rd time in Belgium this year for me.
Madone vs. Domane... This is epic. I do not know which to use. Which weapon on the day.
July is a great time!
1. It is summer. Duh. You ride your bike with just shorts and jersey. You get tan lines. The smell of sunscreen. Belgian beer (just threw that in, as it is one of the hold overs from all the other 7.3 seasons). flip flops. Girls with less clothing...
2. The Tour de France. It is not just a bike race, it is the Tour and the biggest circus of the year.
3. New bike intro's. Madone, Domane lineup, and who knows what else will come...
(Did I mention it is summer?)
We stayed in Francorchamps near Liège. The best area of Belgim, as noted above. This is the land of Fleche Wallon and LBL. Bike racing is everywhere here. Roads are stained and painted from many races that have gone through. They show the names of riders, written over the past years on the climbs. Gilbert, Andy, Frank, anybody with Van something in their name… Truly cool and inspiring.
We intro’d the bikes. You can take a look at the photo’s and video’s below and see all of the evidence.
Because the TDF12 was starting here, I stayed for the start. Wow, what a start it was. Fabian Cancellara stormed the course and put 7 seconds on Bradley Wiggins in 2nd. Holy cow…incredible.
I know I am the luckiest person in the world, with the greatest job in the world. Yes, I got paid for this week.
Until next time.
That is 4 very fast guys. Jens Voigt, Andreas Kloden, Frank Schleck, Chris Horner. All on stage during the New Madone intro talking about the new bike.
RSNT guys out on their Speed Concept bikes the day before the prologue.
No comment really necessary.
"I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel."
That was the view out of my hotel room for a week. The week before the TDF is unreal. And, it is in Belgium. We were just down the road from Francorchamps F1 course. The motor noise from F1 tire testing was incredible. (BTW, I am told that is Jacky Ickx house in the background.)
This statue of Eddy Merckx is at the top of Col de Stockeu. It is a famous climb that is used in Liege Bastogne Liege. It is brutal. Plus, we did the climb and the descent in the rain. The descent in the rain was sketchy.
You gotta eat.
Frank at the team presentation the Thursday before the TDF starts. That is the new Madone that he is on.
Roger (the worlds best mechanic) building the all yellow Domane for Fabian to ride after he won the TT prologue. It was a 4 hour build in the night after he had won the tour, it is that precise. There was no complaining from the mechanics though.
The man warming up before the race. He is a machine.
Maxime Monofort cooling down after his TT. Seems like harsh duty for such a nice new Madone. (Maxime said that he needed me driving behind him and Jordan talking on the radio to do a better TT - like Suisse)
He was awfully happy after his win.
I do not even know what to say about this one.