Ronde van Vlaanderen

Inevitable.

It was inevitable that I would write something about the ‘Ronde van Vlaanderen’. Forget Christmas, we’re talking about the ‘Ronde’ here, a day that all cycling fans are celebrating. They’re even celebrating in Brazil, from what I’ve just heard. Every year, de Ronde gets bigger and bigger. This year marks the entry of the no-fly zone over the track. Yes, it has become that big.

Do I like the fact that it has gotten this big? No. I was thinking of not attending at all. See, I wanted to do a photo op on the Ronde (I study photography in evening school). But, once again, I was snubbed of obtaining a pass that would allow me to photograph cyclists and bikes up close on ’t Zand in Bruges or the podium on the market square. High fences around the riders village make it impossible to even take photos through them.

After being quite frustrated over the last couple of days, I got over the fact that I will never get the VIP treatment, so I decided on three shots that I should be able to make on Sunday morning in Bruges. Without the necessary (press) passes that is. Our second stop will be the food supplies area around Nederename (Oudenaarde). The third and final stop will mark the ‘Muur’ in Geraardsbergen. That will give me plenty of opportunities to provide a consistent image of the Ronde.

Hopefully everything will work out. We have about two and a half hours to get to our second stop when departing in Bruges and three and a half hours to get from Nederename to Geraardsbergen. Maybe it’s a better idea to watch the ‘Ronde’ on tv because you don’t have to miss a single thing, but being there just tops it all.

And my Flandrien for the day? It’s that Swiss guy who shares the looks of the boyfriend. Why? I like his style (cycling-wise) and I like him as a human being as well. The latter is quite important to me. It’s one of the many reasons I stood by Jan Ullrich all that time…

Will you watch the ‘Ronde van Vlaanderen’ this Sunday and who is your favourite (and why)?