Tommeke comes good

You may well have concluded that greenjersey just trawls the ‘net and re-hashes stuff from other sites and usually you would be right but not this time. Last Wednesday I took the ferry to Dunquerke and although a road diversion meant I couldn’t make it to the Kemmelberg I did see the G-W twice, the second time on the Monteberg. Then into a bar to watch Oscar take a very comfortable win. I then drove to Tournai where I was to stay for five nights.

On Thursday I took an easy ride down the river towards Ronse where it got a bit tougher as I tested the old legs on the Oude Kwaremont. On Friday I headed into France where I rode four sections of pave. In a small village I came across the Quick-Step bus parked in a side street with maybe twenty fans hanging around. I joined them and ten minutes later the riders returned from a recce on the course. As soon as Tommeke dismounted he carefully checked his tyres and seemed rather worried about something. I took a look and the team were using two similar tyres with either a green or a natural side wall. There was no brand name but moulded into the tread were the words Made in Thailand !

After fifteen minutes Devolder did a TV interview on the steps of the bus. He was asked to speak in French but declined to do so and the interview was in English. Boonen followed and he was happy to answer in French.

On race day I went to Arenberg where I arrived far too early. I decided on the left side of the road but after about thirty minutes the Police moved everybody to the right hand side! Then after another thirty minutes they allowed us to move back again. I suppose French cops, like their English brothers, just like to keep the public, who pay their wages, on their toes. Still I suppose if somebody would pay me a good wage then a big fat pension for standing around chatting to my mates I would be up for it. Although I have ridden Arenberg before I had not previously seen the race in the foret. It certainly brings home the meaning of the phrase “on the rivet” The race it one long line of suffering.

It was then back in the car and a thirty minute drive to the secteur pave Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle where the big three had a commanding lead. Then, of course, the ritual crowding round a tele to watch the finale. Tommeke certainly had me fooled.

Click on thumbnails (all photos by greenjersey)

\Arenberg ForestBallan at Secteur 6

Tom Boonen

Tom Boonen

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