What's Cool In Road Cycling

HOMEBOY Belgium: A Mid-Summer’s Day Dream

Summer? Where has summer gone? The past few weeks appear to have disappeared for our Homeboy in Belgium – Gregg endured a little illness, racing some of the world’s smallest crits, and a day at the Tour de France…

Starting off with the week after the Olympia’s Tour which was themed by a long felt feeling of fatigue that didn’t go away for almost a week. I had tapped deep into the reserves of my body’s ability and it took a bit of time for me to feel back to 100%. Just when I was back to feeling good on the bike and racing well again I got hit with a nasty stomach virus.

I can’t remember a time when I had felt so weak, so drained from sickness, but I do know I don’t want to go through that again in the middle of the season. I didn’t get it as bad as some of my roommates, but non the less it severely taxed my fitness and condition. Follow that up with a harsh cold a week later and I had a two weeks of nothing but rest, recovery and light riding.

So in the last couple of weeks I have started to rebuild my fitness up and regain my form and suffering ability. There were a few kermesse races and some UCI races that all went about the same … rode well, went hard, didn’t quite have that extra edge to make the break, finished in the field. It’s not quite where I want to be, but it’s near enough and better than expected.

There is some racing I want to write about, the German Criteriums. This past week I went to race three-days of criteriums for the Glesen-Net Tour and an extra criterium the day after. I haven’t raced a criterium in about two years and I wasn’t sure of how it would all go, but what I was in for was a sure surprise.

The first day we show up under ominous rain clouds and sporadic showers. The course, 800 meters in length, with a little up and down to it, in addition to some cobbles is like nothing I had ever raced in the US. It was crazy small. The race had about 70 guys start each day, featured 100 laps of racing on each course, large crowds and even some cheerleaders dancing before the start of the race. It was a huge show and well planned production.

The second race was on a 660 meter course and the third was all of 505 meters and even had a 180 degree corner! Like I said, not like the US racing. Still, it was a good old time and my first time to Germany. It rained just about every day I was there, which it has been doing for about the last three weeks it seems.

But there was one day last week where the rain and the clouds did part for a bit of sun and henceforth came Le Tour De France. I got to catch stage three as the Tour went though Geraardbergen, Belgium. Despite having to park about 4 kilometers outside of the city and walk it all the way it was well worth it. I planted myself firmly at the top of the Muur climb and had the perfect place to watch the biggest race of the year.

So things are going well yet mostly uneventful, but that is the usual July lull as the cycling worlds focus (and also mine) on Le Tour.

Tot Ziens,

Gregg Germer

About Gregg:
Gregg Germer is now in his third year in Belgium and is racing professionally with the Flanders-Afincom cycling team out of Oudenaarde, Belgium. Between races and training he likes to spend his time consuming mass quantities of coffee, watching movies, reading and doing website design in addition to his writing articles.

You can always find out more information about Gregg and see more photos of his journeys and travel by visiting his website at: CyclingLinks.com/gregg
and he always welcomes e-mails at [email protected].

You can also directly help Gregg in his quest in Europe by buying from his internet shop VeloStuff.net.

And now some sponsor name dropping:

VeloStuff.net – www.velostuff.net
Flanders-Afincom – www.flanders-afin.com
Trial-Tir USA – www.trialtir-usa.com
Cane Creek – www.canecreek.com

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