Just when we thought we were getting over out Ronde van Vlaanderen hang-over, Cannondale-Drapac communications director Matthew Beaudin had to pen this piece for CyclingTips.
The man with the tray of Jupiler spilled the beers and the blond girls reached their thin arms out over the road, as if to hold onto the passing air.
Team group message, 2:48 PM
“Is Phinney out of the bike race?”
Sound came up the corridor of fans and over the cobblestones and off the Kappelmuur in a rising wave, rolling over as Tom Boonen led over the top. The moment distorted time.
Sep Vanmarcke was there, where he was supposed to be. As corners before corners decide the classics, days before the day decide these moments. It isn’t destiny. It’s more premeditated than an ethereal map. “Quick-Step will attack on the Muur,” Director Andreas Klier said into the radio during the recon ride. “It’s 100k out from the finish? I don’t care. You will see.”
The teenagers on the hillside saw, same as the statue on the cross above them, same as the man with the spilled beers and old woman with the dog in her arms. Same as me.
I saw Flanders rookie Tom Scully’s empty face as he took a bidon from my hand. I saw the soigneurs running to the cars and the little faces of children given a team bottle. Time came back.