Rodaniaaaaa in Leuven

On this hot hot summer day Leuven was the scene of the Belgian championship cycling on the road, as announced here already 3 years ago.

Over the last week many signs had appeared along the entry roads to direct the VIP's to their parking lots and team cars to their assigned spot whereas the no-parking zones were flagged as well. After some sweeping of the roads, Leuven seemed ready to host the cycling event.

Already when I woke up, half of the city ring was traffic-free and the police had installed themselves on some chairs under an parasol to ensure no car attempted to ram the barriers at high speed or so. I can't blame them though given the heat rising up from the asphalt.

A bit after 12 I heard the famous & irritating "Rodaniaaaaaa" tune of the preceding race car coming by for the first time. Funny how this jingle on the tunes of Beethoven is so linked to any cycling in Belgium. Since there were 17 lapses of 14,5 kms in and around Leuven, we'd here the Swiss watches quite often.

We watched the beginning of the race downtown when all came by at a rather relax rhythm.

Closer by home we found ourselves an excellent spot in the shade with excellent view on the many lapses. The great thing about the cycling sport is that it is so approachable, it's just all happening in front of you: the race, the disappointments of failing bikes, the speed, ...

My handsome

Relax atmosphere

While taking this picture I feel a hard bang on the top of my head and for a moment I thought that the people surrounding me hit me to warn me of a cycler coming close to the road up to me and warn me not to lean forward. Confused by this sudden burst of pain on top of my head, it takes me a moment to understand the commotion around me to learn that I had just been hit by one of the biker's drink container which landed just behind us (and was treasure hunted right away by the other fans). Oh man that hurts, I can still feel the slight bump on my head.
So far the fun of an approachable closeby sport. uggh.

Philippe Gilbert in the 2nd last lapse when I still thought he'd make it.....the Belgian champion 2010 was Stijn Devolder (2 cyclers behind Philippe Gilbert on this picture I believe)

Anyway it was a fun, hot relax day


Brian Miller said…
nice. now understanding your msg as this the first time i have seen your handsome as well...smiles. glad you did not get smacked too hard by the water bottle...sounds like fun otherwise...
Lesley said…
Looks like an interesting day - I can't imagine a cycle race in downtown Calgary!

I like the picture of them all in a single line with the empty streets, it's awesome.
Virtualsprite said…
What gorgeous photos! You live in a beautiful town. What a fun day... water bottle and all.

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