7 April, 2024

Paris-Roubaix is more than a race for Lotto Dstny

The papers tomorrow will tell epic stories. They will say cyclists are made different, that we just fly over the cobblestones. That we make difficult work easy, that it looks like we don’t feel pain. They will talk about the good weather: it’s a great day for cycling.

But my hands hurt, my arms hurt, I can feel every stone. When will this be over? Another cobblestone sector.

Everything hurts, every inch of my body shakes; I can’t even hold onto the handlebars, my hands are bleeding, I would just get off my bike right here if I could. At least I didn’t have a flat or, even worse, at least I didn’t crash. Whoever threw these stones here, you have to be crazy to pave a road like this.

Here comes another sector, if the previous one even ended yet. 

Is that the forest? Is that Arenberg?

It is Arenberg. I’m here, this is Arenberg. It is me, I’m here, this is what I’ve always dreamed of. This is Roubaix, this is Paris-Roubaix. This has been my dream since I was a child. Since that year I came with dad; my God, it rained so much that year. I can’t forget the faces of the riders, covered in mud. They really suffered that year, they really wanted it all to be over. But I- I just wanted to be there, in their place, on the other side of the fence. I wanted to be one them.

Today I am one them. But not only one of them. Today I am Tijl.

Tijl, my friend, you are here. Tijl is in my wounds, he is in my pain. I look down, I can’t recognize my thighs. They are not mine, they are his legs. Is this why I don’t feel pain anymore? His legs do fly over every cobblestone, it is his legs that push the bike. I look up and see the bridge, I’m still in Arenberg, on this side of the fence. It is so crowded, I put my head down; listen, it’s not my name they shout out: Tijl, Tijl, Tijl. 

Tijl, my friend, every day of this last week has been for you. We do everything for you; the moments of laughter at the end of the day, every ride in rain or shine, you’re in every stretch, flying towards the finish line.

And I raise my head. I know this avenue. How did I get here if I was in the forest just a moment ago, surrounded by people and euphoria? Now I enter the stadium, I see that unmistakable blue line of the pavement and look into the distance. I can see him, on the podium. It’s been a year already, but he’s still there. I can see him, clearly, smiling surrounded by the whole team, the Lotto Dstny young guns and Tijl in the center, raising his cobblestone trophy.

Today has been for you, my friend, we all raced for you. We’ll be back next year, and it will always be for you.

Tijl de Decker was the winner in Paris-Roubaix last year as a U23. The six members of the Lotto Dstny development team finished in the top twenty.

The squad has a very special connection with the race.

 

Tijl passed away a few months later in a crash and has been very present these days among the entire Lotto Dstny family. Everyone remembers him fondly and everyone has worked and raced with him and for him.

It’s been a tough day; there have been flats and falls. Good luck and bad luck. Beullens took home some stitches, Slock finished twentieth and Robin Orins finished third U23. It seems that, in the end, it was a very good day for cycling.

Today the team flew over the cobblestones on Orca Aero. 

Steering away from a fully integrated cockpit gives massive ergonomic gains for very little compromise. Each rider can rotate his bars, change stem lengths or change handlebar widths to get the perfect position, improve aerodynamics and reduce fatigue.

Better ergonomics improve rider comfort, aerodynamics and control. Which means more speed.

The bikes are clean and ready. Maastricht is waiting this Sunday and we still have great times ahead before April ends.

Orca Aero

Steering away from a fully integrated cockpit gives massive ergonomic gains for very little compromise. Each rider can rotate his bars, change stem lengths or change handlebar widths to get the perfect position, improve aerodynamics and reduce fatigue.

Better ergonomics improve rider comfort, aerodynamics and control. Which means more speed.

We’re taking you to the Tour de France with Lotto Dstny

 

Enter our giveaway for two VIP adventures for two people, including hotel accommodations, to experience a stage of the Tour de France firsthand with Lotto Dstny.

 

The promotion is valid between March 14, 2024 and June 16, 2024, inclusive of both dates, in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Spain, United States, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom and Sweden. Only one entry per person. Two winners will be selected at random from all participants who meet the promotion’s terms and conditions.