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
Stage 3 - 18 August (Hassdonk - Antwerp) 155k - 144 starters @ 43kph
Stage 2 - 17 August (Adegem - Bruges) 148k - 160 starters @ 42.6kph
Stage 1 - 16 August (Bavegem - Zottegem) 150k - 180 starters @ 44.5kph
* 15 August - Temse-Velle (East Flanders) - 120k
* 12 August - Beveren (West Flanders) - 114k - 61 starters @ 45.6kph
* 11 August - Lokeren (East Flanders) - 120k - 124 starters @ 45kph
* 9 August - Beernem (West Flanders) 112k - 117 starters @ 45.2kph
* 7 August - Rumbeke (West Flanders) 110k - 46 starters @ 41kph
* 5 August - Overijse (Brussels) 110k - 89 starters @ 41kph
* 4 August - Zelzate (East Flanders) 108k - 84 starters @ 42kph
* 3 August - Oostkamp (West Flanders) 100k - 112 starters @ 45kph
* 1 August - Deerlijk (West Flanders) 112k - 88 starters @ 46.5kph
* 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.
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)
Stage 4 - 29 July (Landen) 140k (17.5k @ 8 laps)
Stage 5 - 30 July (Rillaar) 154k (40.0k @ 2 laps, 12.0k @ 6 laps)
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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