7 February 2009

Start Your engines

The road season is about to start, and I have just been looking over the program with Klas. It is looking pretty nice, with all my favourite races featured, and a few of my not so favourite ones as well. There are a couple of my most disliked races missing from the list, and when I saw that, I was completely over the moon. So it looks like a busy season again, with the odd breaks to recharge the batteries and reorganise things a little. We are currently sitting in Frankfurt airport awaiting our flights to the ‘Qatar Women’s Tour’, held for the first time this year. The Men’s tour is about to finish on Friday and a couple of days later we start the three day tour with the girls. Everyone is excited about a new country to race in, and we might even have a bit of a chance to have a look around the place as well.

While we were packing and organising all the bikes and equipment this week, we managed to catch a little bit of the Men’s tour on TV. They were right, a city in the middle of the desert, with long highways plonked right on top of the sand. Normally we get a technical race manual with every road, turn and obstacle we will come across. Sometimes the stage information can lead to three or four pages of info, this of course we can relay to the riders during the race if needed. We were having a good laugh checking out the race book for the coming week. The longest stage had about 6 lines of information, with stretches of road that are straight for 30km or more before we turn. Lets hope we don’t fall asleep in the car during the race, we may have to make our own fireworks on the road to keep it interesting for the day.

Most of the top UCI teams, and a few national teams will be racing there, so it should be nice to catch up with all the riders and staff again. It’s always a bit difficult for the first month of the season, it’s when we see all the transfers and changes the teams have made end of season. Half of them you hardly recognise in their new team kits, and you have to be really on to it in the car and on the radios when attacks are happening. By the time you have worked out who is attacking, it could be far too late, but it certainly makes it for an interesting race. Our new seasons bikes are ready for delivery and assembly, so we will be racing on last seasons bikes for this race only. It always is good to fly with old bikes, saves the airlines wrecking our new ones. When we arrive back we have a bit of a mission to build and setup 20 new race bikes. But it will give us something to do before the next race starts. We will be riding Stevens Bikes again this season, and as always, all the riders love the feel of them. As for me I love them as well, German engineering at it’s best. As for the colour, who knows, that’s part of the surprise for the season. I will be fitting the new 2009 Dura-ace groups to the lot of them, and I think we even have a couple of new electronic sets to play with in a month or so as well.

Ok, think I hear our flight being called, next stop Qatar.

International Race Program 2009 Team Flexpoint

08.02.2009 10.02.2009 Ladies Tour of Qatar QAT 2.2
28.02.2009 28.02.2009 Omloop Het Volk / Circuit Het Volk BEL 1.2

07.03.2009 07.03.2009 Gran Premio Brissag - Lago maggiore SUI 1.2
21.03.2009 21.03.2009 Costa Etrusca-Gran Premio - Riparbella-Montescudaio ITA 1.2
22.03.2009 22.03.2009 Trofeo Costa Etrusca-Memorial-GP - Santa Luce-Castellina ITA 1.2
29.03.2009 29.03.2009 Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio ITA CDM

05.04.2009 05.04.2009 Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres BEL CDM
06.04.2009 06.04.2009 Grand Prix de Dottignies BEL 1.2
10.04.2009 10.04.2009 Drentse 8 van Dwingeloo NED 1.1
11.04.2009 11.04.2009 Novilon Eurocup Ronde van Drenthe NED 1.1
13.04.2009 13.04.2009 Unive Ronde van Drenthe NED CDM
18.04.2009 18.04.2009 Ronde van Gelderland NED 1.2
22.04.2009 22.04.2009 La Flèche Wallonne Féminine BEL CDM
25.04.2009 25.04.2009 Omloop van Borsele WE NED 1.2
26.04.2009 26.04.2009 GP Stad Roeselare BEL 1.2
30.04.2009 03.05.2009 Gracia - Orlova CZE 2.2

01.05.2009 01.05.2009 Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs LUX 1.1
09.05.2009 09.05.2009 Omloop Door Middag-Humsterland WE NED 1.2
10.05.2009 10.05.2009 Berner-Rundfahrt / Tour de Berne SUI CDM
15.05.2009 24.05.2009 Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin FRA 2.1

07.06.2009 07.06.2009 Therme kasseienomloop NED 1.2
09.06.2009 09.06.2009 Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria ESP 1.2
11.06.2009 14.06.2009 Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira ESP 2.1
18.06.2009 20.06.2009 Rabo Ster Zeeuwsche Eilanden NED 2.2

01.07.2009 01.07.2009 U23 European Championship TT WU BEL CC
03.07.2009 12.07.2009 Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile ITA 2.1
04.07.2009 04.07.2009 U23 European Championship WU BEL CC
21.07.2009 26.07.2009 International Thüringen Rundfahrt GER 2.1
31.07.2009 31.07.2009 Open de Suède Vargarda TTT SWE CDM

02.08.2009 02.08.2009 Sparkassen Giro GER 1.1
02.08.2009 02.08.2009 Open de Suède Vargarda SWE CDM
08.08.2009 16.08.2009 La Route de France FRA 2.1
09.08.2009 09.08.2009 Holland Hills Classic NED 1.2
22.08.2009 22.08.2009 GP de Plouay-Bretagne FRA CDM
29.08.2009 29.08.2009 Multidigitaal.nl - Blauwe Stad TTT NED 1.2

01.09.2009 06.09.2009 Holland Ladies Tour NED 2.2
08.09.2009 12.09.2009 Tour Cycliste Féminin International Ardèche FRA 2.2
13.09.2009 13.09.2009 Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt GER CDM
23.09.2009 23.09.2009 Championnats du Monde / UCI TT World Championships SUI CM
26.09.2009 26.09.2009 Championnats du Monde / UCI RR World Championships SUI CM

18.10.2009 18.10.2009 Chrono des Nations TT FRA 1.1


Anonymous said...

Benny, I hope you enjoy working for Flexpoint. Women's racing doesn't get the exposure it deserves, especially not here in the UK, so I'll be following your updates with even more interest than I did in 2008.

Shame your time with Team Columbia was somewhat spoiled, but it sounds like you wouldn't have been entirely happy staying in that setup. As a commenter on that post said, Colombia's loss is Flexpoint's gain. Good luck and keep those unique updates (and photos!) coming. Simon E.

Anonymous said...

No Montreal World Cup? Oh c'mon, so there's pot holes the size of small cars, big deal! You can fix anything right? ;)


benny said...

thanks for you comment Simon, don't worry I will be trying to get as much exposure as I can for the Girls. They work just as hard on the bike, and get paid almost nothing as well.

benny said...

It's more of a budget issue with the Montreal race. The organiser is a dickhead, and he never pays us a cent for turning up. Supposed to pay the travel costs and expenses for the top 10 teams, and he never does. Even though he promises every year. Hey I even got a speeding ticket during the race one year. This on a closed circuit as well. Crazy