At Last, The Season Begins

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What with dubiously monied sponsors appearing at the door and a litany of excuses, plucked straight from the dog-ate-my-homework book of legal defences, opening fissures in the walls and shaking debris free from the eaves of the the self-proclaimed bastions of virtue and meticulousness, it’s been an off-season to turn the sound down on for me. I’ve been to this dance before and I didn’t like the tune that was being played. And then, through the noise, seem to float four little notes to lift the soul…

Ro-Daan-I-Aaa! Beep Beep Beep Beep!

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A fractious and slate-grey Het Gent-Gent (or whatever they call it now) with a piano-wire Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne hot on its heels on the last weekend of February, both topped off with as near a perfect  invocation of Cobbled Classic bike racing as you’re likely to see at GP Le Samyn (even the most ardent Flemish purist can surely forgive the race’s Walloon setting?) on the first day of March.

This is what I signed up for. This is the essence of it all. On the roadsides. In the bleak beauty and searing soul of Flemish bike races. In the thousand yard stare of the winner as finish line words tumble into incoherence…

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Pic Credits: Pieter Van Hoorebeke

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