Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Tour of Flanders 2009 - this was the real thing!

Sunday, April 5th today and the Tour of Flanders, one of the greatest classics (if not the greatest) of professional cycling took place in a misty but later bright sunbathed day without a drop of rain! A Flemish winner, Stijn Devolder, also to keep the black lion on yellow tissue Flanders flag proud of her son, same winner athlete apparently as in 2008 (experts in the family and friends gettogether told me... I wouldn't know). I was just there for the photo-shooting, the colors, the bikes, their helmets, the moronic spectators... Unglaublich! Was more fun that I expected indeed. You gotta be there to believe it. The bikers drove 262 km in total with an average speed of around 45km an hour. From 9:45am to 4:05pm. Given some spots (hills that locals call 'mountains' - bergen) where they had to walk, bikes on shoulders, like that poor sod Cancellara with a damaged tire, then, I betsa, there must have been areas they had to do about 60 to 70km/hr. That's real quick! On my best days, when I do that gym bike and I gotta do 30 km max for half hour tops, my tongue hangs out and sweat like a pig. I am mid fifties and overweight... can't compare with these kids... Now, how can they still do that with all the insane crowds surrounding them, I got no clue! I mean, if the streets are empty, ok, I get it. But look at the shots! They ride on one another for crying out loud! Anyways, this job must apparently be paying them pretty good, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it, I reckon.

So, there I was with my... crew of siblings, I took the 40D myself with a tele zoom 70-300 with image stabilizer, and I passed two Nikons to Terry and Vincent, one wide angle 12-24 and one zoom tele 70-300, and sent them to the wolves-mountain (Wolvenberg). I went to the flat street just above our house instead, so called Wijnendale (whatever this may mean - valley of wines?), and went to wait for 30 minutes before the 'peloton' arrived. Caravans of funny and some luxury cars and police all over the place, driving up and down and making noises and feeling cool and important. Check out the slideshows here and here. the latter is about spectators who thought it was cinco de mayo today. One of them impersonated a topless babe, like in tittie bars, and went to dance around an electricity pole. Check this here...

BTW, if you like any of them pictures, feel free to interrupt the slideshow, click on the picture you like and get to its original at my Flickr account. Then click 'all sizes' on the top left corner. This will bring you to a number of available picture sizes. Download the so-called 'original' resolution for best results. The size provide is good to go for 6x4 inch (10x15cm) prints.

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