We did the Première Manche - the first round - of A Travers riding across France from Dieppe to Marseille in the summer of 2009, and it was the original inspiration for this blog. The plan to put the 'band back together again' for another go in 2013 for the second installment fell on stoney ground, with life just getting in the way for too many of us, much to our disappointment. However, our enthusiasm for the bike remains undimmed, and so I'll keep posting my thoughts on the diverse and beautiful facets of the sport regardless. But there's bound to be another big 'adventure ride' coming soon - quite possibly in Italy - so potentially a name change too: Attraverso l'Italia in Bicicletta anyone?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Here's our Tom Boonen & Niki Terpstra Impression

Nearly three years prior to Tomekke and his Dutch lieutenant Niki doing this very same thing at Roubaix, Jamesy and I were rehearsing the perfect 'just too strong' imperceptible escape from the lead group as we rode across Northern France. Clearly not the Hell of the North though, with its muddy cobbled farm tracks, but instead well-tarmacked smooth straight roads across extremely flat and sheltered farmland further west on Day Three of our 2009 A Travers La France trip. So straight in fact that there was absolutely no danger in (a) us riding close up behind the van, then overtaking it, and (b) Steve sitting on the roof and then inside the the van filming it. The link above already has a bit of footage, but here's a compilation courtesy of Jamesy which extends the clip and adds some music. Given our shared history, I'm surprised it wasn't Gimme Shelter by the Stones, but then again a bunch of 40-something has-beens poncing around on expensive bikes in gorgeous sunshine doesn't really jibe with "Ooo, storm is threatening, my very life today ..."

So, absolutely 100% just like the winning move in Paris-Roubaix 2012 then, eh? We can dream, can't we? And isn't great how a bit of fake tan can make you look just a little bit pro ...