The Flanders Classics youtube channel has just uploaded a number of full race packages from the recent editions.
Hot on the heels of Italian cycle clothing companies announcing that they were going to turn their factories over to making scrubs for the health service, controversial sponsor Ineos is building a hand gel factory in 10 days.
Now there is no doubt that the sponsor and its owner Sir Jim Radcliffe have an interesting and not universally praised back story but these are times that we have to ignore that in these unusual times.
Click here to read the press release. I am sure that there will be more examples of cycling joining the fight back in coming days and weeks.
We are all going to have a bit more time (possibly) as a result of the current situation. So let’s use it wisely!
I am going to learn the piano (maybe), but before that I am going to keep up to date with the excellent recycle podcast from Eurosport.
Make sure you give it a listen. Series 2 has longer episodes so there is more to keep you going on the turbo.
I didnt choose the turbo life…
However I have been out on the roads this week before first light and it just felt eerie and odd.
So despite being annoyed at how long winter in the garage has felt, I am going to be training in there for the majority of our partial lock down.
See you on Tacx maybe?
British Cycling has put a post out cancelling all forms of bike racing for the foreseeable future and that includes our own local “Flemish Classic” just up the road in Rutland.
I am particularly devastated as I have a long relationship with the race and its associated sportive.
So whilst I understand and accept wholeheartedly the reasons for this. I want to express my support for the organisers and hope against hope the event will be back next year.
Elsewhere the actual Flemish classics appear lost for 2020 with Paris-Roubaix now offically postponed.
Stay safe all and speak soon.
I am a bit of an obsessive for training diaries with my still owning written ones back to the mid 90s. So it was a pretty easy search to find my March 2010 ones.
And it confirmed that this coming Tuesday 17th March is the closest date as possible to a 10 year anniversary of the first officially organised group ride of Yaxley Riders.
You can read more about the foundation of the organisation by clicking here or selecting the menu item above.
The first ride was from the bottom of Church Street at the top of Holme Road (so before the White Bench was used as a meet point) and to beat the fading light at this time of year headed out down Holme Road before turning right at the crossing and heading to Radcliffe’s Yard and the old A1.
We were still waiting for delivery of the original white and royal blue jersey’s at this point so a wide range of colours and machines were on that first ride.
Incidentally you can read a piece on the evolution of our jersey from when I wrote for Road.cc here.. https://road.cc/content/blog/138769-evolution-jersey
Before getting to Sawtry we headed left on Gains Lane.
Nowadays the road is un kept and not suitable for your best wheels! If you blink you can also almost miss it on that little drag away from the first roundabout. Back then it felt like you were riding Flanders or Roubaix with narrow little tracks and a few twists, turns, rises and falls.
We came back the crossroads outside of Conington and then back past the airfield before re-tracing our steps back to separate at the end of Holme Road and go our own ways.
As rides go it was barely 20 miles and run off at a fairly sedate average speed. We set out together and fully intended to get back together, which we did.
On that night I wouldn’t have believed that in the next 10 years we would have a guided ride to the Tour de France, numerous reliability rides and have the areas most renowned group training ride in Hare and Hounds.
But all of those things have happened and despite plenty of criticism and hostility from a number of angles in the early days, the group is still going and still flourishing.
So this morning with all of that in mind I clipped in from my home and headed out in to the Lincolnshire fens where I now live fully kitted out in Riders clothing and remembering fondly that first evening out.
The conditions might have been much less friendly this morning with cold wind and the constant threat of rain, but that original spirit of getting out there and doing it remained.
So Happy Birthday Yaxley Riders.
As the week has worn on, the whole world has been edging nearer and nearer a period of shutdown.
Despite taking place, Paris Nice has ended a day early to allow riders to get home before their respective nations shut down for a couple of weeks or so.
The race itself was pretty exciting with lots of wind, rain and one of my favourite words of the spring, Echelons.
But all through the week there was an impending sense of doom that became reality Thursday into Friday when a number of teams pulled out.
And that it would appear is that in terms of bike racing for the foreseeable future. No Giro, very little chance of the Flemish classics and a growing sense of feeling despite all of ASOs posturing, the Tour de France will be next.
But as my post earlier in the week stated, public health must come first and this period where a lot of the things we take for granted are taken away, we will grow to appreciate them on their return.