Flanders 17 with Peter Livingstone

Tour of East Flanders 17 - Peter Livingstone & Oskari Vainionpaa (Finland) after the Stage 2 finish in Adegem.   

Tour of East Flanders 17 - Peter Livingstone & Oskari Vainionpaa (Finland) after the Stage 2 finish in Adegem.   

FLANDERS 17 DIARY

16-20 August - Tour of East Flanders (Ronde van Oost Vlaanderen)  www.rvov.be 

The lasr race for Flanders 17.  The Tour of East Flanders is for Under 23 only Belgian registered teams with 180 starters and 27 teams. The ASFRA-Flanders team started with seven riders but only three remained for Stage 3 - Peter Livingstone (Australia), Oskari Vainionpaa (Finland), Mathias Overberghe (Belgium), Marc Heaney (Ireland), Dylan Vercruysse (Belgium), Casper De Witte (Belgium) & Jack English (United Kingdom). Stage 4 started/finished just 300m from the Kokerelle B&B in Maarkedal   

Stage 5 - 20 August (Herzele - Zottegem) 155k - 124 starters - The final stage included one (large) single lap around Geraadsbergen with several local laps at Herzele. 40 riders were not classified as finishing and that included Peter. Oskari was the only classified Flanders team RVOV 17 finisher.  

Stage 4 - 19 August (Kokerelle - Oudenaarde) 156k - 139 starters @ 41kph  

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 4 - Something of a 'Queen' stage of this Tour being based in the heart of Tour of Flanders pro classic country. The 156k circuit had three bigger laps followed by three smaller laps that included climbing the Taainberg three times albeit by an (alternative) steep concrete laneway. Peter survived two punctures and a road blockage caused by a major crash on the Steenbeekdries cobbles involving 10 riders. Considering the challenges on the day Peter (pictured above coming off the Taainberg with 20k to the finish) again performed well to finish just 35 seconds behind the stage winner on what was another tough day.    

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 4 - Something of a 'Queen' stage of this Tour being based in the heart of Tour of Flanders pro classic country. The 156k circuit had three bigger laps followed by three smaller laps that included climbing the Taainberg three times albeit by an (alternative) steep concrete laneway. Peter survived two punctures and a road blockage caused by a major crash on the Steenbeekdries cobbles involving 10 riders. Considering the challenges on the day Peter (pictured above coming off the Taainberg with 20k to the finish) again performed well to finish just 35 seconds behind the stage winner on what was another tough day.    

Stage 3 - 18 August (Hassdonk - Antwerp) 155k - 144 starters @ 43kph

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 3 - The Lotto Soudal U23 team continued to dominant the East Flanders Tour and went 1-2 today in a 19 rider breakaway just 21 seconds off the front of the peloton. The stage was five (large) laps that included the nasty Beveren cobbles (1.3k in length) each lap. Peter (above in Flanders team red in centre of shot) finished comfortably in the peloton.    

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 3 - The Lotto Soudal U23 team continued to dominant the East Flanders Tour and went 1-2 today in a 19 rider breakaway just 21 seconds off the front of the peloton. The stage was five (large) laps that included the nasty Beveren cobbles (1.3k in length) each lap. Peter (above in Flanders team red in centre of shot) finished comfortably in the peloton.    

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 3 - Eddy Verbust congratulates Peter after the finish of stage 3 at Hassdonk. Eddy V is a major organiser with the Ghent 6 Day track event in November and has been a strong supporter of BiciSport riders in Belgium over the years. 

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 3 - Eddy Verbust congratulates Peter after the finish of stage 3 at Hassdonk. Eddy V is a major organiser with the Ghent 6 Day track event in November and has been a strong supporter of BiciSport riders in Belgium over the years. 

Stage 2 - 17 August (Adegem - Bruges) 148k - 160 starters @ 42.6kph

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 2 - Peter passes through the finishing straight on lap 3 at Adegem with the rain coming down. The course was generally on narrow one lane paths around the outskirts of the Ursel Air Force Base. Conditions were simply awful being greasy, dangerous & wet which guaranteed numerous crashes with the roads literally awash with cow shit (it was everywhere). Peter was another excellent peloton finish just 19 seconds behind the breakaway winner for 74th. The Flanders team lost another rider retired today & another was lucky (?) to be classified as a finisher (not sure how the Commissaires reach that decision when the rider most certainly pulled out with over 20k to go). The Flanders team would start Stage 3 with just three riders and 16 riders retired on the stage today. The Belgian support team of Eddy Verbust & Freddy Verleyem (in grey jacket above) came to see Peter in the difficult conditions.      

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 2 - Peter passes through the finishing straight on lap 3 at Adegem with the rain coming down. The course was generally on narrow one lane paths around the outskirts of the Ursel Air Force Base. Conditions were simply awful being greasy, dangerous & wet which guaranteed numerous crashes with the roads literally awash with cow shit (it was everywhere). Peter was another excellent peloton finish just 19 seconds behind the breakaway winner for 74th. The Flanders team lost another rider retired today & another was lucky (?) to be classified as a finisher (not sure how the Commissaires reach that decision when the rider most certainly pulled out with over 20k to go). The Flanders team would start Stage 3 with just three riders and 16 riders retired on the stage today. The Belgian support team of Eddy Verbust & Freddy Verleyem (in grey jacket above) came to see Peter in the difficult conditions.      

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 2 - this is what 150k of full gas racing along tiny Flemish laneways covered in cow shit looks like.   

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 2 - this is what 150k of full gas racing along tiny Flemish laneways covered in cow shit looks like.   

Stage 1 - 16 August (Bavegem - Zottegem) 150k - 180 starters @ 44.5kph

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 1 - 180 starters across 27 teams over 150k meant the first hour was utterly chaotic. There were narrow concrete roads, numerous bits of road furniture, stress levels off the scale, 5 major crashes and an average speed of 45+ kph. Peter (in red Flanders jersey above in centre of shot) finished 80th safely in the peloton in a dangerous bunch kick. Peter was the only Flanders team rider to finish in the peloton and for the rest it was carnage. Except for Peter the Flanders team had a totally forgettable day with three non finishers and it would have been a fourth save for some supportive commissaires.          

Tour of East Flanders 17 Stage 1 - 180 starters across 27 teams over 150k meant the first hour was utterly chaotic. There were narrow concrete roads, numerous bits of road furniture, stress levels off the scale, 5 major crashes and an average speed of 45+ kph. Peter (in red Flanders jersey above in centre of shot) finished 80th safely in the peloton in a dangerous bunch kick. Peter was the only Flanders team rider to finish in the peloton and for the rest it was carnage. Except for Peter the Flanders team had a totally forgettable day with three non finishers and it would have been a fourth save for some supportive commissaires.          

*  15 August - Temse-Velle (East Flanders) - 120k

Temse-Velle 17 - BiciSport attended the Temse-Velle kermesse race organised by Maarten Ver Hulst (a long time BiciSport supporter). The star attraction on the day was current Belgian road champion Stijn De Bock riding for the Cibel Continental Team. 

Temse-Velle 17 - BiciSport attended the Temse-Velle kermesse race organised by Maarten Ver Hulst (a long time BiciSport supporter). The star attraction on the day was current Belgian road champion Stijn De Bock riding for the Cibel Continental Team. 

Temse-Velle 17 - The Ver Hulst family hosted the local street party with a caravan style coffee kart as the peloton screams past. Business was brisk.  

Temse-Velle 17 - The Ver Hulst family hosted the local street party with a caravan style coffee kart as the peloton screams past. Business was brisk.  

Temse-Velle 17 - a famous couple stopped by for a casual coffee at the Velle street party hosted by the Ver Hulst family ... none other than Ronald & Bernadette Van Avermaet (parents of the Olympic Champion Greg Van Avermaet). Both were outstanding competitive cyclists in their own right and Ronald represented Belgium at the 1980 Olympic Games. 

Temse-Velle 17 - a famous couple stopped by for a casual coffee at the Velle street party hosted by the Ver Hulst family ... none other than Ronald & Bernadette Van Avermaet (parents of the Olympic Champion Greg Van Avermaet). Both were outstanding competitive cyclists in their own right and Ronald represented Belgium at the 1980 Olympic Games. 

*  12 August - Beveren (West Flanders) - 114k - 61 starters @ 45.6kph

Beveren 17 - A super fast & difficult kermesse with some light showers to complicate the effort. A near crash on lap 1 had Peter at the back of the peloton as the break of the day escaped, and escaped they remained. Peter attacked all day and finally finished an excellent 21st from 61 starters. This was the last of the Belgian single day kermesses with just the Tour of East Flanders to come. Peter (in light blue jersey above) passes in front of a Belgian bridal bus as the wedding party is about to depart the Beveren church.   

Beveren 17 - A super fast & difficult kermesse with some light showers to complicate the effort. A near crash on lap 1 had Peter at the back of the peloton as the break of the day escaped, and escaped they remained. Peter attacked all day and finally finished an excellent 21st from 61 starters. This was the last of the Belgian single day kermesses with just the Tour of East Flanders to come. Peter (in light blue jersey above) passes in front of a Belgian bridal bus as the wedding party is about to depart the Beveren church.   

Beveren 17 - The kermesse race having just departed its now the brides turn to exit the Beveren church

Beveren 17 - The kermesse race having just departed its now the brides turn to exit the Beveren church

*  11 August - Lokeren (East Flanders) - 120k - 124 starters @ 45kph

Lokeren 17 - The penultimate Belgian kermesse of this Flanders trip over 120k at Lokeren had a quality peloton of 124 starters with numerous international riders. The Asfra-Flanders Cycles team leader (Yiber Sefa from Albania) took a great win from the break of the day and Peter (above) finished strongly in the peloton only 38 seconds behind the winner.   

Lokeren 17 - The penultimate Belgian kermesse of this Flanders trip over 120k at Lokeren had a quality peloton of 124 starters with numerous international riders. The Asfra-Flanders Cycles team leader (Yiber Sefa from Albania) took a great win from the break of the day and Peter (above) finished strongly in the peloton only 38 seconds behind the winner.   

*  9 August - Beernem (West Flanders) 112k - 117 starters @ 45.2kph

Beernam 17 - The Beernam peloton with Peter third wheel chasing the small breakaway that contained "Rambo" Nico Eeckhout (Rambo eventually finished second). Peter cruised the day & finished in the peloton

Beernam 17 - The Beernam peloton with Peter third wheel chasing the small breakaway that contained "Rambo" Nico Eeckhout (Rambo eventually finished second). Peter cruised the day & finished in the peloton

Beernam 17 - Peter van der Livingstone # 91 has caught the eyes of the Flemish bookmakers !. Peter's original betting odds were 41.12 - being odds of 41 to 1 for the win and 12 to 1 for a podium place. Mike O'Reilly placed 10 euro on a podium result. The bookie having accepted the wager then immediately changed Peter's odds to 30.0 .... no more podium bets were then accepted. 

Beernam 17 - Peter van der Livingstone # 91 has caught the eyes of the Flemish bookmakers !. Peter's original betting odds were 41.12 - being odds of 41 to 1 for the win and 12 to 1 for a podium place. Mike O'Reilly placed 10 euro on a podium result. The bookie having accepted the wager then immediately changed Peter's odds to 30.0 .... no more podium bets were then accepted. 

Beernam 17 - Belgian bookmakers in action at the Beernam kermesse. What price for Peter van der Livingstone at the next Flemish kermesse ?

Beernam 17 - Belgian bookmakers in action at the Beernam kermesse. What price for Peter van der Livingstone at the next Flemish kermesse ?

7 August - Rumbeke (West Flanders) 110k - 46 starters @ 41kph

Rumbeke 17 - A typical Belgian 'urban' kermesse (more like a criterium) through the local streets of Rumbeke (24 laps of 4.6k). Peter (light blue jersey above) was prominent all day and got in the break of the day and things looked very promising for a top 5 result ... then 5 riders slipped off the front. The final outcome was the best result to date with a fine 7th but the day promised an even higher result.   

Rumbeke 17 - A typical Belgian 'urban' kermesse (more like a criterium) through the local streets of Rumbeke (24 laps of 4.6k). Peter (light blue jersey above) was prominent all day and got in the break of the day and things looked very promising for a top 5 result ... then 5 riders slipped off the front. The final outcome was the best result to date with a fine 7th but the day promised an even higher result.   

5 August - Overijse (Brussels) 110k - 89 starters @ 41kph

Overijse 17 - Overijse is on the outskirts of Brussels and is the region used for the Brabant Pijl professional semi classic in mid April. This kermesse circuit was hilly and included a 400m long "berg" that Peter used 39x26 on each of the 13 laps. Lets not forget the mandatory cobbles and one cobbled section was on a descent. Peter was prominent all day in numerous moves off the front of the peloton and finished an excellent 12th. The kermesse started outside the In De Kroeg café (Peter on left of shot, light blue & black helmet).  

Overijse 17 - Overijse is on the outskirts of Brussels and is the region used for the Brabant Pijl professional semi classic in mid April. This kermesse circuit was hilly and included a 400m long "berg" that Peter used 39x26 on each of the 13 laps. Lets not forget the mandatory cobbles and one cobbled section was on a descent. Peter was prominent all day in numerous moves off the front of the peloton and finished an excellent 12th. The kermesse started outside the In De Kroeg café (Peter on left of shot, light blue & black helmet).  

*  4 August - Zelzate (East Flanders) 108k - 84 starters @ 42kph

Zelzate 17 - The peloton split after 45k and Peter (in blue) made the front group. What looked like a very promising move faded when some teams stopped working and the front group grew to 35 in number as small groups bridged across. In the final bunch kick Peter finished 18th.

Zelzate 17 - The peloton split after 45k and Peter (in blue) made the front group. What looked like a very promising move faded when some teams stopped working and the front group grew to 35 in number as small groups bridged across. In the final bunch kick Peter finished 18th.

*  3 August - Oostkamp (West Flanders) 100k - 112 starters @ 45kph

Oostkamp 17 - A twilight kermesse starting at 6.30pm over 100k of a 5.6k "figure eight" circuit passing the rustic old Oostkamp Town Hall twice each lap (in picture above). Peter (above in Mobius blue) combined well with Mobius team mate Aaron Bicknell for another solid performance. Aaron went top 20 just off the front of the main peloton. "Rambo" Nico Eeckhout was also sighted again in the Oostkamp peloton still looking for his Belgian social security pension cheque.     

Oostkamp 17 - A twilight kermesse starting at 6.30pm over 100k of a 5.6k "figure eight" circuit passing the rustic old Oostkamp Town Hall twice each lap (in picture above). Peter (above in Mobius blue) combined well with Mobius team mate Aaron Bicknell for another solid performance. Aaron went top 20 just off the front of the main peloton. "Rambo" Nico Eeckhout was also sighted again in the Oostkamp peloton still looking for his Belgian social security pension cheque.     

*  1 August - Deerlijk (West Flanders) 112k - 88 starters @ 46.5kph  

Deerlijk 17 - A fast kermesse with an average speed of 46.5kph had long straights & few corners combined to ensure a complete bunch kick - Peter combined with Mobius team mate Aaron Bicknell (in Mobius blue above) who both finished in the top 40. The notable "retiree ride" of the day was the only Masters in the peloton wearing all black with no sponsorship ... a certain # 55 ... none other than 46 years young "Rambo" Nico Eeckhout who rode in the professional peloton from 1996-2013 for numerous professional teams including Lotto, Palmans & TopSport Vlaanderen. Nico won the Flanders Championship (4 times), the Dwars Vlaanderen semi Classic (twice) and the 2006 Belgian National Professional Road Championship (defeating a young and soon to be famous Tom Boonen in the process).     

Deerlijk 17 - A fast kermesse with an average speed of 46.5kph had long straights & few corners combined to ensure a complete bunch kick - Peter combined with Mobius team mate Aaron Bicknell (in Mobius blue above) who both finished in the top 40. The notable "retiree ride" of the day was the only Masters in the peloton wearing all black with no sponsorship ... a certain # 55 ... none other than 46 years young "Rambo" Nico Eeckhout who rode in the professional peloton from 1996-2013 for numerous professional teams including Lotto, Palmans & TopSport Vlaanderen. Nico won the Flanders Championship (4 times), the Dwars Vlaanderen semi Classic (twice) and the 2006 Belgian National Professional Road Championship (defeating a young and soon to be famous Tom Boonen in the process).     

*  26-30 July - Tour of Flemish Brabant www.rondevanvlaamsebrabant.be

The Flemish Brabant Tour is for 25 Belgian (only) registered teams. 

Stage 1 - 26 July (Hakendover) 147k (16.4k @ 9 laps) - The circuit was a mixture of very narrow farm lanes and dual concrete pavements which included the Landenberg cobbled climb each lap. The finish was in a narrow lane in the centre of Hakendover. Peter rode well for a solid peloton finish of 94th @ 1min 46secs. All six ASFRA riders finished in the main peloton.

Brabant 17 (Stage 1) - Peter Livingstone (4th in line) climbs the Landenberg cobbles

Brabant 17 (Stage 1) - Peter Livingstone (4th in line) climbs the Landenberg cobbles

Brabant 17 (Stage 1) - The ASFRA Racing Team prepares for stage 1 of the Flemish Brabant Tour

Brabant 17 (Stage 1) - The ASFRA Racing Team prepares for stage 1 of the Flemish Brabant Tour

Stage 2 - 27 July (Leefdaal) 9k Individual Time Trial. This 9k ITT was more of a mobile rest day for the vast majority and totally meaningless when placed in context of what is to follow over the next three days. Peter finished 125th @ 2min 6secs.

Stage 3 - 28 July (Leefdaal) 153k (25.0k @ 6 laps) 

Brabant 17 (Stage 3) - The main peloton climbs the Everberg climb with Peter in red on right of shot. Across the top of a smoothe Everberg climb was then rewarded with a nasty trench of Belgian cobbles for 1.3k. Peter finished 74th from 125 finishers @ 2min 59 seconds

Brabant 17 (Stage 3) - The main peloton climbs the Everberg climb with Peter in red on right of shot. Across the top of a smoothe Everberg climb was then rewarded with a nasty trench of Belgian cobbles for 1.3k. Peter finished 74th from 125 finishers @ 2min 59 seconds

Stage 4 - 29 July (Landen) 140k (17.5k @ 8 laps) 

Brabant 17 (Stage 4) - the peloton goes over the top of the Landenberg climb in heavy crosswinds (Peter in red on left of shot). The peloton split & then reformed numerous times in what was a gruelling day. Peter finished 113th on the stage @ 6min 10 seconds.  

Brabant 17 (Stage 4) - the peloton goes over the top of the Landenberg climb in heavy crosswinds (Peter in red on left of shot). The peloton split & then reformed numerous times in what was a gruelling day. Peter finished 113th on the stage @ 6min 10 seconds.  

Stage 5 - 30 July (Rillaar) 154k (40.0k @ 2 laps, 12.0k @ 6 laps)

Brabant 17 (Stage 5) - at the top of the Brabant KOM somewhere in the back blocks of Flemish Brabant with Peter sitting in the main peloton. Peter went on to finish 92nd on the stage @ 2min 36 secs. Overall Peter finished 75th from 125 starters @ 14min 13 secs. By any measure a great result for a first up Belgian tour.

Brabant 17 (Stage 5) - at the top of the Brabant KOM somewhere in the back blocks of Flemish Brabant with Peter sitting in the main peloton. Peter went on to finish 92nd on the stage @ 2min 36 secs. Overall Peter finished 75th from 125 starters @ 14min 13 secs. By any measure a great result for a first up Belgian tour.

24 July - Grand Prix Raf Jonckheere (Westrozebeke West Flanders) - 164k - 100 starters. Peter gained selection to his first ASFRA Interclub team for the GP Raf Jonckheere and this was a real step up with several professional teams in attendance in the 100 rider peloton. Weather conditions were poor with heavy rain and nasty crosswinds for 16 laps of a rectangular circuit. It was gutter grovelling and crosswind misery at its worst with ASFRA picking up 3 punctures.   

Westrozebeke 17 - Flanders Cycles-ASFRA team before the start with the rain about to arrive that made for a wet, greasy and somewhat miserable Grand Prix Raf Jonckheere

Westrozebeke 17 - Flanders Cycles-ASFRA team before the start with the rain about to arrive that made for a wet, greasy and somewhat miserable Grand Prix Raf Jonckheere

Westrozebeke 17 - The Belgian "Interclub" series are selection only races and the calibre of the peloton is significantly higher than a more traditional Belgian Kermesse peloton (where anybody with a UCI Elite licence can enter). The Roubaix Lille Metropole team arrived in force. 

Westrozebeke 17 - The Belgian "Interclub" series are selection only races and the calibre of the peloton is significantly higher than a more traditional Belgian Kermesse peloton (where anybody with a UCI Elite licence can enter). The Roubaix Lille Metropole team arrived in force. 

*  23 July - Landskouter Kermesse (East Flanders) - 89 starters - Peter finishes 9th

A good sized peloton of 89 faced 12 laps (of 9.3k) up the slight climb of the Rooberg each lap. Peter covered the moves that mattered and looked comfortable all day. A great result to crack the top 10.

Landskouter 17 - Peter Livingstone (in Mobius blue) leads the peloton on the early laps

Landskouter 17 - Peter Livingstone (in Mobius blue) leads the peloton on the early laps

Landskouter 17 - Peter crosses the line for 9th from 89 starters on the Rooberg in the village of Landskouter

Landskouter 17 - Peter crosses the line for 9th from 89 starters on the Rooberg in the village of Landskouter

 *  22 July - Sinaai Kermesse U23 only (East Flanders) - 38 starters. Sinaai was named after Mount Sinai in Egypt and that was about it save for light rain and two long & filthy stretches of greasy Belgian cobbles. A smaller peloton was due to being Under 23 only.     

Sinaai 17 - Peter Livingstone (Mobius light blue on left of shot) at the Sinaai start line for the Under 23 only kermesse over 115k. Light drizzle and greasy corners made for very tricky conditions especially on the cobbles. Peter crashed on the first lap (not serious) but in the process bent a rear derailleur for a DNF.

Sinaai 17 - Peter Livingstone (Mobius light blue on left of shot) at the Sinaai start line for the Under 23 only kermesse over 115k. Light drizzle and greasy corners made for very tricky conditions especially on the cobbles. Peter crashed on the first lap (not serious) but in the process bent a rear derailleur for a DNF.

21 July - Lebbeke Kermesse (East Flanders) - 70 starters @ 42.5kph. The Lebbeke claim to fame is the Callebaut chocolate factory. The 114k kermesse was over 16 laps of 7.0k per lap with very technical single lane corners. Lebbeke itself was more about the Under 23 Sinaai kermesse the next day.  

Lebbeke 17 - Peter Livingstone (in red) punches out of the first corner at Lebbeke

Lebbeke 17 - Peter Livingstone (in red) punches out of the first corner at Lebbeke

*  19 July - Deinze Kermesse (East Flanders) - 126 starters @ 45.6kph. Deinze is not famous for much except a 9 year war in 1695, the start of the Ghent Wevelgem pro classic and the Team Sky Service Course. 

Deinze 17 - The only time for Peter Livingstone (red jersey black helmet) to pass the Deinze Church as a puncture after just 4k ended the day before it even started.

Deinze 17 - The only time for Peter Livingstone (red jersey black helmet) to pass the Deinze Church as a puncture after just 4k ended the day before it even started.

16 July Diksmuide Kermesse (West Flanders) - 144 starters @ 44kph. Diksmuide was very much a front line town in World War 1 and the 117k kermesse renewed hostilities over 16 laps of 7.3k.  A massive peloton of 144 starters greeted the off with numerous corners, bumpy roads, crosswinds, traffic furniture & gutter grovelling the order of the day. Peter got into the first break of the day and went to a 25 second lead but this was taken back almost immediately. Another break went after 55k and stayed away. Peter was a peloton finish in a tough kermesse with just 70 finishers.

Diksmuide 17 - Peter Livingstone (red jersey) in the early breakaway

Diksmuide 17 - Peter Livingstone (red jersey) in the early breakaway

Diksmuide 17 - 144 starters made for a very busy first corner

Diksmuide 17 - 144 starters made for a very busy first corner

Diksmuide 17 - last years winner (for some reason) received yet more flowers before the start of this years Diksmuide Kermesse in front of a totally disinterested peloton. Peter is in red on right of shot. 

Diksmuide 17 - last years winner (for some reason) received yet more flowers before the start of this years Diksmuide Kermesse in front of a totally disinterested peloton. Peter is in red on right of shot. 

Diksmuide 17 - Bookmakers ran a comprehensive book on the peloton at the Diksmuide Kermesse.

Diksmuide 17 - Bookmakers ran a comprehensive book on the peloton at the Diksmuide Kermesse.

Diksmuide 17 - World War 1 monument in Diksmuide in respect of the fallen

Diksmuide 17 - World War 1 monument in Diksmuide in respect of the fallen

13 July - Gistel Kermesse (West Flanders) - 75 starters @ 45.5 kph - Gistel is the home of Belgian cycling legend Johan Museeuw and is out on the coast near Ostend. It was a heavily urbanised circuit over 118k with numerous corners, speed bumps and road furniture (if you can imagine racing around Lane Cove, Chatswood or Artarmon it'll give you some idea as the pictures indicate). Peter broke away on lap 1 and was joined by the winning break. A mishap on a corner on lap 2 relegated him to the main peloton and that was the way it finished. All in all a great first taste of top class Belgian kermesse racing. Next race is in Diksmuide in West Flanders.

Gistel 17 - Peter (second in line) in the main peloton chasing the breakaway on lap 3. The circuit was highly urbanised and you can't help but be astounded as to where these Belgies actually run a bike race

Gistel 17 - Peter (second in line) in the main peloton chasing the breakaway on lap 3. The circuit was highly urbanised and you can't help but be astounded as to where these Belgies actually run a bike race

Gistel 17 - Peter attacked solo on lap 1, only to be joined by the winning break of the day on the next lap

Gistel 17 - Peter attacked solo on lap 1, only to be joined by the winning break of the day on the next lap

Gistel 17 - Peloton rolls through the start line with Peter (in Flanders red) well to the fore

Gistel 17 - Peloton rolls through the start line with Peter (in Flanders red) well to the fore

Gistel 17 - Peter Livingstone in warm up mode in mild conditions

Gistel 17 - Peter Livingstone in warm up mode in mild conditions

11-12 July - Settled into the Kokerelle B&B (www.kokerelle.be) at the base of the Eikenberg cobbled climb just outside Oudenaarde. A quick visit to Flanders Cycles to collect the new ASFRA team kit & chat with Luc Assez (ASFRA Sports Director) plus a light pedal around Oudenaarde, Kortekeer, Patersberg, Kwaremont, Kluisbergen & finally home past the Koppenberg

Flanders Cycles, ASFRA RACING TEAM & oudenaarde

                 Peter Livingstone at the Kokerelle B & B at Maarke Kerkem near the Eikenberg climb

                 Peter Livingstone at the Kokerelle B & B at Maarke Kerkem near the Eikenberg climb

                                  ASFRA Racing Team is based out of Flanders Cycles in Oudenaarde

                                  ASFRA Racing Team is based out of Flanders Cycles in Oudenaarde

                      Oudenaarde on the Schelde River is an ideal setting for a Flanders racing experience

                      Oudenaarde on the Schelde River is an ideal setting for a Flanders racing experience