24 March, 2024

A difficult day in Gent-Wevelgem.

Ypres, West Flanders. Late March.

From the bus, the team looks up at the sky. We are not in Italy anymore, it’s cold outside, the wind moves the trees and also the fans’ flags, huge full color flags showing photographs of their idols. The standards wave forcefully, the wind will undoubtedly be the winner today. Only those who know how to reach a good agreement with it will make it to the finish line first.

At least it’s not raining, it always rains in Gent-Wevelgem.

The team finalizes the details, nervous laughter, concentration, the excitement of racing at home, the fear of racing at home.

The teams presentation, the signatures ritual, the public cheers them on, they know their names, some grew up with them, some are family. It’s the home team, it’s Lotto, it’s not just cycling, it’s Belgian cycling. It is Lotto.

 

The spring classics have been unfolding little by little: Belgium, Italy, and now back in Belgium for the grand finale. No, not just Belgium, it’s the Ardennes, a territory full of history, scene of both World Wars, which are very present in monuments and memorials. A territory full of history, scene of epic victories, written by Merckx, Cipollini or Boonen.

Today we have seen the unexpected sun in Flanders but, in one of the most unpredictable races, the result has not been so much. Pedersen and Van Der Poel have starred in the battle until the end. Meanwhile, not much further back, barely losing sight of them, the peloton was fighting its own battle against the wind. Blowing from the first kilometer, it was after one hundred fifty when the god Aeolus made his spectacular attack.

Today there was no luck for Lotto-Dstny, the Belgian squad worked hard in a race full of punctures and crashes, the team kept riders in the first group but the opportunities did not come.

The “Holy Weeks” of Flanders, not always so holy, have just begun. Death and resurrection, cobblestones and wind, pain and beauty in the most delightful days of the year. In just seven days, the only, the inimitable, the great Tour of Flanders. Then Scheldeprijs, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Race, La Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and so many opportunities for the home team.

As the riders can tell, there’s no better feeling than slipping effortlessly through the air. The Orca Aero has a lower stack and a bigger BB drop, giving better aerodynamics and stability. An absolutely key factor in the days to come.

It’s time to clean and leave the Orbea Aero like brand new, this Wednesday we will definitely need it. Because another race, a race just as beautiful as its name, is coming. To use a cliché: the prelude to the Ronde: Across Flanders. Supporters, prepare your flags, this has only just begun.

Orca Aero

There’s no better feeling than slipping effortlessly through the air. The Orca Aero has a lower stack and a bigger BB drop, giving better aerodynamics and stability. An absolutely key factor in the days to come.