Stijn Devolder takes Der Ronde de Van Vlaandren in the Belgian National Champion jersey!
The weather has been all over the map the past few weeks. Some days (inevitably days that I have time to get out on the bike) it has been cold, chilly, windy, rainy, wet and generally unfun approaching downright miserable. Then there have been brief sojourns into glorious springtime when you are warmed by a shining sun overhead and the birds chirp and sing in something out of a Disney cartoon. I'm ready for a more permanent spring. The elusive nature of pleasant weather has made the colder, grayer days that much harsher and I, for one, have had enough.
I do count my blessings that I am not in Belgium right now, staring down the barrel of the short, intense spring classics season that is now laid out upon the cobbles beckoning the flauhutes forward to glory (or disaster). Stijn Devolder burst out of the chaos to show that Quickstep are more than just a two-trick pony (Bettini and Boonen) to take the Tour of Flanders with panache (read more about it here). He is all set to give the peloton a good what-for in tomorrow's Gent-Wevelgem. The true gem, though, comes this Sunday with l'enfer du nord, Paris-Roubaix. The weather forecast is pointing towards classic Roubaix conditions:rain, mud, possible snow. There are some big men who are showing they are in with a shout: Boonen is claiming to have lots of power and the ability to win without the race coming down to a sprint; Magnus Backstedt is powering his way over the cobbles and claims that his form is coming along perfectly; even George Hincapie is showing glimpses of the right form for the cobbles in what can arguably be called his last legitimate shot at winning the Queen of the classics. Stay tuned...
Things have been pretty weather dependent around the shop. When the weather is good we're busy, when the weather is less than pleasant we're working on the bathroom (the soon to be unveiled, fully remodeled Taj Matoilet!). As a way of making room for Spring stuff, we are closing out all of our '07 and winter clothing for 20% off! We are also making an offering to the weather gods by putting all shorts and gloves on sale for 10% off! So something for the season that is passing and something for the season that is (hopefully) coming!
Last, but not least, get out and ride! Tuesday/Thursday rides are leaving at 5:30 and Saturday rides are leaving at 9am. Jeff and I have been doing some mtn. biking at Dark Mtn/Overmountain Victory and I think it is close to time for doing some Wilson's Creek mtn. biking. Give us a call or stop by the shop if you are interested in joining us for some fun in the dirt!