The Scott Sunderland Diary 2000
Here comes the rain again...
It isn't the first time I'm complaining about the weather here in northern Europe. But while Spain is still bathing in the sun, we've been lucky to get above twenty degrees! It has been a shocking summer this year and as the leaves on the trees in front of my apartment are slowly turning brown (September?!), I'm longing for Australia.
We've really only had one month of summer. The rain has set in again since a few days and I'm watching the weather report every morning hoping for a change... Another 5 weeks and I'll be on the plane home; I've marked our departure date on the calendar in the kitchen.
But, another 5 weeks also means over a month of hard racing on the schedule before I'll greet a well-deserved rest. I've been feeling really good on the bike and it translates itself into some strong rides and nice results. The team has been flying and the guys are all in a good mood, winning means prize money, bonuses and points. Dave Bruylandts is still working towards a selection for the World Championships. He really wants to get a spot in the Belgian National Team that will ride the road race in Plouay (France) on the 15th of October. As I have missed out on the Olympics, I am looking forward to finishing off my season with that race too. The parcours really suits both Bruylandts, and me so instead of riding in each other's service we'll be fierce competitors on that day.
As I said, the racing has been great and I'm enjoying it, rain or sunshine. The form is improving still and I've been working hard for Bruylandts, Eeckhout and Van Dijck, while picking up some good placings myself. For the team it meant a second and fourth in Zottegem (1.4), a third and fifth in Overijse (1.3), a second in Midden Zeeland/Middelburg (1.2) and a win in GP Jef Scherens (1.3). In Brussels-Izegem (1.4) again our team has showed it's colours, Van Dijk finished third.
There has been an invasion of Aussies in these last few races. McEwen, Vogels, Drew, White and Phillips have been starting the races up here and it has been good talking Aussie slang again.
This weekend I'll be lining up for Paris-Brussels (1.1), 245 km on Saturday, followed by another 200km on Sunday (GP Fourmies/France 1.1). Both races suit me quite well so I hope to be in the midst of things in the finale. The Italian Olympic team is coming up to finalize their preparation for the Olympics and there are a lot of big names on the start lists, so the competition will be pretty hot. I'll keep you informed of the results!