Monday, May 21, 2012

Paris-Roubaix with InGamba: Part 3

These posts were made possible by Joao Correia's tour company inGamba. I rode with them along Paris-Roubaix and it was one of my most memorable bike trips yet. It definitely won't be my last trip with them.

At the next stop I'm a bit sleepy and we're there early so I take a nap in the field. I wake up about 30 minutes later and the riders are getting closer. I snap a picture of them as they approach in the distance.


The rest of the peloton rolls through and I still can't believe I'm watching Paris-Roubaix alongside such good company. We all pile back in the van and Bart floors it to the next sector.

I think it was after this sector that he gets in the with the team cars. We're blowing past policemen and barriers. Occasionally, the police will give a hard stare to the not-quite-Paris-Roubaix-team-car-grade van we're in. But by that point we've passed and it's too late. Bart clearly has some serious team car driving skillz.

At the next sector we find a spot near the end of the cobbles and not too far from some Belgian hooligans.


At this point, I believe, the separation of men and bigger men has been made. Boonen and company are in a break and the rest are watching another year's dreams die. One of those was Thor.


We watch them all roll through before we're back in the team car. There's one more sector to watch before we head to Roubaix. Bart's on the gas until we arrive at more police barriers. This time they've blocked the entire road. Nothing a little schmoozing won't take care of.

A few minutes after stopping we load back up and we're on the course again. More cheering fans, more skeptical policemen. At some point we hit a bit of traffic but the horn cures that and we're off.

We make it to the last segment and watch the riders roll through one last time. Early on we decided not to try to watch the Carrefour de l'Arbre. Jared and Ashley said you could either see that or the finish, but there's not enough time to get from the Carrefour to Roubaix. We're all intent on making it to the Velodrome so Bart gasses it once more and we're on our way...

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