zondag 11 april 2010

Fabian,The Lonely Cyclist

It may surprise many but I do like to watch cycling competition! Not that the summer stands for the Tour de France but still. As a teenager I did witness Fignon loosing in one of the most dramatic ways his Tour against Greg Lemond. And because my dad loved watching the classics as well I did knew in no time certain bike vocabulary that makes the difference when I end up in all male company.

The day I left for the States as an exchange student I arrived at the exact moment as Eddy Merckx at Brussels airport. He was carrying bikes and was perhaps heading for Texas to hand over that personalised bike to his friend Lance! Eddy was during that year an opening line! I remember that many Americans knew something about Belgium once I announced he was Belgian!!

A few years ago P got an invitation to follow 'De Ronde van Vlaanderen' in a rather exciting way and I was allowed to go along! I still remember that morning in Brugges quite vividly. At the tourbus of Lance Armstrong there were tons of people standing to catch a glimpse of Sheryl Crowe!!

After a nice breakfast we saw the cyclists take off and got in a car. Imagine two cars with excellent drivers who know the whole way by heart because they were professionals themselves and 7 men and one woman (me!!) trying to keep up with them. The only sound in the car that mattered was the competition radio. It took me a few minutes to feel at ease amongst some amateur cyclists. Especially when the driver asked very seriously to make a prediction who had the best leggs and was going to win that day.

Most passengers started to analyse everything, compared previous results and called then out their favourite! 'And what do you think?', P then asked me. I felt so stupid at that moment because all I had to go for where a few articles I had been reading in order to prepare myself a bit not to look to goofy amongst those fanatics. 'Uhm, Tom Boonen, will win today!', I then said. The car went silent and I then stared out of the window thinking that I made a complete idiot of myself right there.

Well, turned out that day I was right!!! I witnessed that day Tom winning in a very nice way and a week later he won the hell of Paris-Roubaix as well! Perhaps that year I started to get the hang of keeping up with the whole biking world. When there will be a broadcasted ride on and the men will sit down and the women dissapear I stay!

Believe it or not I can go wild when something happens or when I do consider the way things go out there not as expected. Yesterday I saw the swiss super cyclist winning his Paris-Roubaix in a rather extra ordinary way.

I am reading the online newspapers for the moment and I do totally agree with many out there that Cancellare deserved to win yesterday. This Swiss athlete is blessed with the best leggs, condition, material and team spirit! Even the biggest loser of all, Tom admitted he was not able to beat this guy! The fact that the walser crush just took of at the moment that he was graving for a bite and a sip was his good right! 'I would probably have done the same thing!, Tom admitted.

Still, yesterday, about 30km before the finish I started to yawn and then decided that my book 'Talking About Jane Austen In Baghdad' was far more interesting then watching the cyclists crossing the white line. The only silver lining is that the guy is Swiss and because of present family connection I was able to feel a bit happy. But then I bet that my sis will had to put up with many more insults then me.

Bet that in Bern, the birthplace of the Spartacus on bike, the streets will be buzzing with this news. Perhaps they will even gather around one of the colorfull city fountains to celebrate and sing out their joy. I would consider the one her depicted for sure the most fitting one for that party! Cancellera is for sure the giant ready to digest many more victories! But forgive me, Fabian, I just seem not to get the hang of watching solo rides! Sorry!!!

P.S.: Fabian his wife, Stefanie, happens to be a hairdresser. But I wonder if she will cut her husband's hair because after winning so many you would start believing that those wonderful healthy looking hair are his secret powerbooster!. Fabian Cancellera, the Samson on a bike!! Uhm that would look nice as a headline, don't you think so?

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