zaterdag 28 juli 2007

Five mountain ridges on a scorching day

near the top of Kazahari Touge 風張峠

Tsuru Touge  鶴峠

utter exhaustion on top of the Tsuru Pass

welcome refreshment for overheated muscles
distributed for free by Jerome

"banana burner" David J.

David L. going real strong

Nishibe-san, special guest & formidable climber
from Kobe joining today's ride

7:20 a.m. Saturday 21, 2007
with new "POPEYE" jersey...

donderdag 26 juli 2007

Perfect finish

Just how did we end up winning it?'s the story:
Dear All,

While all of us are constantly engaged in a series of hard trainings and even harder race events, we have all failed to miss the best result so far this season. I must admit that the same is true for me, I also have not noticed what has happened. But last week a trophy was delivered by mail to my house from the organizer of the Shuzenji race, beautiful in design and made out of precious materials so that it will definitely qualify for "non burnable garbage" as per Japanese municipal waste collection stipulations. Please take a look at the attached photo.

So how did we end up in third place despite being 19th in the results? Ok easy : Almost all teams better placed than us consisted of groups of 2, 3 or 5 riders, only THREE teams where ahead of us which consisted of groups of four riders. That,s why we made the third place in the Team-with-4-riders category. Ah, wait a moment, if there are three teams ahead of us, why did we make the 3rd place and not the 4th place? To be honest: no idea, perhaps one team was disqualified because of doping?

Anyway, the trophy is now with me, but I would be more than willing to rent it out to any of our team members who want to put it on his desk in the office.



Shuzenji in the rain

The 5-hour Endurance at Shuzenji turned out to be a real thriller! Our 4-member team (POSITIVO ESPRESSO with David L., David J. & Michael) ended 19th out of a pack of 119 teams...not bad! There was a constant drizzle of fine misty rain which rendered the surface slippery...quite a few falls but nothing serious. The Shuzenji 5km-long course was designed specifically for cyclists and their training needs. It is just ups & downs with plenty of curves (wide road) and max inclination of 12%...very tough!! I was particularly thrilled because I was given the "honor" of also riding the final two lapses with less than 20 minutes left on the 5-hour clock and I managed to add the final lapse just on the very last second!! I could hear the count-down from 200 meters or so from the finish line...never felt my heart pounding that much...what pressure and what joy after crossing the line! Will try to add this race to my schedule for next year...

woensdag 25 juli 2007

Hitachi-Naka...first-time experience in a peloton!

With "Sir" Alain...ex-Road Amateur Champion of France and member of CLUB NFCC.
Alain took the first place in his category but almost missed his gold medal on the podium (as an obedient team member, I was more than happy to take his place & receive the medal from no one less than Miss P-Cup! - not to be featured on this blogsite...sorry). On the podium's very left is our lonely hero from the DDR (Michael of TEAM POSITIVO ESPRESSO).
Zelf nam ik deel aan de 4-uur durende "Enduro" waarin ik op de 23ste plaats eindigde met een ongelooflijke gemiddelde snelheid van 39.07 (dank zij het "drafting effect" van het peloton)!!

Participation in Utsukushigahara Hillclimb

Spectacular two-day event near Matsumoto, Nagano Pref. Stephan, Thierry and I left Tokyo early in the morning to get in a surveillance ride & check out the notorious "killer slope" of 21%. Turned out to be a piece of cake and this had to be celebrated with a few (or was it one?) bottles of beer in the evening preceding the race. Fared quite well with a time of 1:19:05 and 27th place in my category.

Participating in my first Fuji Hillclimb race!

Met leden van CLUB NFCC
Tijd: 1:18:30
14de op 411 deelnemers in leeftijdsgroep van 45~50

L'equipe de cyclisme Franco-Japonaise

COLNAGO CLX third (and last) bike?

...this one equiped with a compact drive is for the longer mountain rides, the so-called "Gran Fondos"...very comfortable and responsive bike!

...Ubiquitous Fuji-san

...some cycling buddies

The cyclist on top is not exactly what I should call a "buddy"...