I spent the night in Oostende and when I woke up, the sun was shining and the forecast promised dry weather for most of the morning. Well, it lasted for the first 50 minutes of my ride to Koksijde. With 4 km to go, it started to rain, but it wasn’t too bad. No need to put on the waterproofs, I thought. A minute later the heavens opened and it took me no time to get soaked literally to the skin. At least I learned my lesson and was more prepared for the rest of the day, out on the course when it really mattered.
Yefri Tercelin was kind enough to bring an old camera of his to help me out since my Canon 1DX packed it in yesterday. It was interesting to try to get used to a camera that works more or less the same, but it works just a little bit different to make pretty basic things a little bit tricky. Still, I was very grateful for the spare body – thanks, Yefri!
And let’s not forget the helicopter! It did a couple of flyovers during the day, but they waited for the main show until after the elite men’s race. As the riders after the top 10 slowly filtered in, the helicopter landed about 100 meters away from the podium. But instead of shutting down the engines, they kept it running. They kept it running for a good 10 minutes, while the whole ceremony was put on hold. Eventually, the organisers couldn’t wait any longer, so the podium ceremony started and that was the cue for the helicopter crew to switch off the engine. It definitely reminded me of the passive-aggressive border control guards at the Eurostar terminal in Brussels on Tuesday, who checked papers and passports and everything in a very relaxed manner, even when the train was 20 minutes delayed because of the backlog they thusly caused.
Next week will be the second weekend of this season, when I’ll be driving to the races, the Kortrijk – Besancon can’t really be covered otherwise. I’m looking forward to Besancon, as I always look forward to new race venues and French crowds are always great, so it should be a good weekend.