Sunday, April 8, 2007

Racers' Point of View: the Ronde

In 2002, 2x winner Briek Schotte, recalling the first "Ronde" held after World War II called it a "nightmare" of a race, commented:

It was 330 of seemingly unending kilometers... In the Valenciennes region we rode
over a track that had been totally ravaged by the tanks. We just stopped counting our punctures.
Andrea Tafi, the last Italian to win the Ronde (2002):

There is one secret, stay up front at all costs. If you are in the back you
are able to recuperate but it will cost you dearly.

I raced Ronde eight times. It is not only a race, all of the surroundings are special. To think that it is the only race where the announcer at the start line begins speaking at six in the morning. And the gathering point in Brugge is in the middle of town that is like an enchanting castle. You think 'The adventure starts here.'

Barry Hoban(raced against Merckx) winner of Gent-Wevelgem, and eight Tour de France stages when asked what it took to win Flanders:

Heart! Strength and fitness. Flanders can be over before the first hill; the hills are just part of it, the wind, the rain, the cobbles and the tiny roads all make the race what it is.

Bernard Hinault rode it 1978 and never went back:

I told the organisers it wasn't a race but a war game. Instead of a race, it's a lottery.
Oscar Freire:

Flanders is a special race where experience plays an important role. You have to know well the pavé sections.

Quotes:, pez, daily peloton.


TRI Vortex said...

Now I have a cycling source to keep me updated. Even though I know nothing about the events you speak of. Sounds cool. The only thing I know is watching Lance on youtube give "The Look" and destroy everything in sight till theres nothing in sight.

fasterjim said...


There are lots of sources out there, most more knowledgeable than me. I also started as a Lance-era roadie ('99). In the end cycling is cycling. Thanks for reading.