HOMEBOY Belgium: I Have A New Dream!
Our own original HomeBoy is back on PEZ and bigger than ever! Gregg Germer returned to Belgium last month to begin his 3rd season chasing the coveted pro contract, and within hours of his landing, he was signed to the Flanders-Afincom cycling team!
A little over two and a half years ago I embarked on a journey. It was a chance for me to seize my dream and goal of becoming a professional on a European team. There were countless hours spent through intense training with this solitary goal the sole source of my drive. Now, two and a half years I no longer have that dream – the dream is gone, but not for a lack of drive but because I am now a professional in the European peloton!
Dig that new kit – he looks like a real pro!
Sometimes you achieve goals in life through direct result, other times it’s a bit of luck involved. In this case my procurement was overtly by chance, but Istill like to think that luck is the direct result of consistent work towards your goals. The question of how this happened is probably the main question running through your heads right now, so I will quickly run about my evolutionary path to the pro ranks.
Back in January I made plans for coming back to Belgium and called around to different teams to find a place to stay and a team with whom to race. I decided to ride with the ASFRA team out of Oudenaarde; ASFRA being the amateur side of the professional Flanders-Afincom cycling team. I liked the way the team director, Frans Assez, looked at cycling and his approach to management.
Well in February I called Frans to confirm everything and it happened that two days before the team was denied Division II status. In a way it was a bad situation for the team, but not too bad. The team wouldn’t be able to do some of the larger Belgian races, but could now ride everything from UCI races like Dwaars Door Vlaanderen and Tour of Belgium (1.2 and 2.2) all the way to local Kermesse races. Quite a range! Division III also means the team doesn’t need to pay all their riders the minimum wage of a DIV II team, so they were able to take on more riders and give those riders the chance to ride in the professional ranks. So that is what happened to me.
It was kinda a weird way it all evolved and having never meet Franz in person. But the fact that he presented me with a situation that is the wet dream of about every amateur cyclist is amazing. My dream is a reality! I never would have thought this would have happened this year, but it has and I am very grateful.
With a full team of riders and a large support staff the team has the infrastructure of everything a cyclist could want. Despite the Division III status the team is going to large events like the Three Days of De Panne. My first professional race was this past Saturday here in Belgium, the UCI 1.3 Omloop Wase Scheldeboorden, near Antwerp.
So it’s no longer the lowly suffering of some amateur in Belgium, but the lowly suffering of a pro in Belgium! In spite of the momentous challenge ahead of me I am ready to take on this task. It’s funny how a small contract of four pages has opened the door for me to advance myself in the peloton.
My foot is in the door and I am willing to suffer all the way to the top.
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: