Geoff recently sent me an email from his phone which I’m reproducing with his permission below:
Just a quick update of my overseas racing.
I’m beginning to settle in well with the rest of my Geox-Fuji Test team, being a new rider to the team you
have your work cut out trying to fit in especially when there is so many different nationalities.
Most of the foreign riders are set up at the team house which is a big unit block acomodating for about 15 riders,
in Oostkamp which is just out of Bruges (which is nothing like the movie “in Bruges” suggests it is) more the Venice of the north.
But the weather is spot on. Dark gloomy days much like a cold 5 degree day in Armidale just slightly cooler again.
There is a fair few aussies close by that i get to train with regulary which is good two of them locals to the Armidale area: Sam Spokes and Ethan Kimmence. As well as Robbie McEwen who has been the biggest help for me whilst here, I was lucky enough to train with him on the Gold Coast over summer so I have become good friends.
His experience and advice is spot on all the time and it has really helped me here, not to mention him lending me some equipment whilst I am waiting on some of mine!
The racing has been very full on and I am starting to find some better legs after battling the jet lag.
I have mostly been racing the interclub kermesses which are not small by any degree. you usually have 350 starters and roads not much better then a sealed fire trail to race on at 50kmph for 120km or so.
With most having a lengthy stretch of cobbles. now my best description of cobble stones is a cattle grid that runs for 1km plus with parallel boards on a wooden bridge so you have to choose your line.
The only way to get over them is Flat out!
I did race the U23 Doors van Vlanderen and finished 62nd, I had my first taste of belgian cobbles also in that race
hitting the deck twice. fortunently I was okay and just got a couple of bruises.
I am currently preparing for the U23 Liege bastone Liege which is 180km with 5 Cols or categorised climbs not to mention the 100 others in the middle so if goes according to plan that is in two weeks time.
Tomorow is the Ronde Van Vlanderen or tour of flanders which starts at my front door so it will be a great spectacle,
in Belgium a cycling race is like grand final day so there is thousands and thousands that show up for these all the way along the course
Any way I best be off,