Hello from sunny Belgium, what an amazing day today. Yes today was my Paris Roubaix as it was our day to get to ride with George and recon the 14 sections from The Arenburg Forest through the Carrefour de l’Arbre, the last key section of the race. The boys were so excited but also a bit nervous as they had no idea what to expect. I was reluctant to have us all ride with him on such a key day but I also think we added a small amount of that home riding with the boys comfort. We rolled out of Kortrijk at 9:30 for the 45 minute drive to the outskirts of the Arenburg Forest section, George was going to meet us at the exit of the forest so it was good for the guys to dive in and get some practice before we latched on to the best cobble rider in the world. It’s amazing to see the crowds already building 2 days before the race I can’t imagine how packed the forest will be on race day.
Once George got there we all rolled out for the next difficult sections ahead, I myself was in full race mode as I wanted to make sure I stayed as close to George as possible for this epic day. Some of the guys lost contact on section 1 never to be seen again, since George was in full work mode we had all decided we would meet at the end of the Carrefour section. It was amazing to see how smooth and strong George was through the sections and especially how fast he took the corners, I stayed as close to his wheel as possible as I figured he would be the best person when it comes to knowing the best line. George seemed super focused and more quiet than normal but then again he did have some work to do trying his best to study every detail of the course. It’s rare in life that people get to see sporting heroes in full action but even rarer for them to be able to be in their element while they are preparing for their own Super Bowl, it’s one of those things in life that is hard to explain but I know all of the guys will never forget today.
I think all of us got a better appreciation of how hard this race is today, we only ended up riding 14 of the 27 sections but that was enough for us, most of us had blisters on our hands, our backs were cramping and our necks were sore, I can’t imagine doing our effort times 4, it’s what makes this sport the hardest in the world.
Lastly and amazingly enough, Matt didn’t crash today, It seems he got all of his crashing out of the way on day 1 which is great.