12.30.2015

A Belgian Break 7: Gypsies in Oostende and Bredene Cyclocross

Oostende
Dark red at first, like coagulated blood, then rosy then softly orange then gold. Then, from the changing cloudy stretch, a pure light sphere emerged. Wind farms on a flat land and somewhere the sea. We left Antwerpen at dawn after a night passed in a last minute accomodation that with an understatement I'd say 'basic' - in fact we slept clothed and with our wool cap on. It was clean though, and near the river. The view from our train was such a breathtaking beauty that I forgot to check the exact location of the cyclocross in Bredene.
Oostende
We arrived in Oostende about 10 am: windy and cold, the harbour looked like at the end of the world. Our bnb is in Mariakerke-bad, by the coast, so we dropped our backpacks and went directly to the immense beach facing the North Sea. It was so beautiful! we walked to the city center and we had a good lunch at a fair price Chez Freddy, near the Casino. Leaving the beach was hard but we had to reach Bredene by tranway and to find the cross.
Start!
It was easy in the end. Too easy as far as the race is concerned. Yesterday Angus Edmond said it's a boring race and honestly it is: a flat circuit in a public park, just a little moved by a small steep artificial hill. Nevertheless it was crowded. We only watched the Elite Men race and the winner was Dieter Vanthourenhout, who early broke away and wasn't caught. Behind there was a large chasing group and Sven Nys considered Gianni Vermeersch exagerately aggressive, a - verbal! - fight ensued and finally the young one apologised. 
Posium
I saw few of that because I was busy taking pictures of the podium and then I ran to the camper of Klaas Vantornout. He made my day! 3rd, he arrived from the podium just after me, saw me, said "Hi!" and winked. His bike was ready on the roller and he started pedaling while a neverending procession of fans was posing at his side for a picture. He looked happy, calm and very friendly. I was respectfully standing and looking at him when he said: "Don't you want a picture too? Yes?come!". Of course I do! and I think my smile says it all.
With Klaas!
Our day finished in a café in the center of Oostende where we had an early dinner with tea and crêpes. Then we had a look to the splendid cathedral and to the harbour. Did I already said it was COLD?

MORE PICTURES TO COME (when I'm at home).

RESULTS
Elite Men
1 VANTHOURENHOUT Dieter
2 VANTHOURENHOUT Michael
3 VANTORNOUT Klaas
4 ADAMS Joeri
5 VERMEERSCH Gianni
6 VANTHOURENHOUT Sven
7 JOSEPH Thomas
8 GODRIE Stan
9 SWEECK Hendrik
10 MERLIER Tim
11 HUYS Stijn
12 NYS Sven
13 VANSPEYBROUCK Pieter
14 HOFMAN Bart
15 VAN DEN HAM Michael
16 VENS Quincy
17 DE SCHUYTER Tim
18 VAN COMPERNOLLE Kenneth
19 SPRAGG James
20 ROELANDT Kenny
21 VANDENHEEDE Brecht
22 MARTIN Jeremy
23 KOYEN Niels
24 VAN DE KERCKHOVE Nick
25 GOOSSEN Wouter
26 BONNE Jenko
27 ALDERWEIRELD Robin
28 MCCONNELL Mark

U12 Men and Elite Women HERE

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