Team Cyclingnews.com - Down Under - 2004

Puivelde Kermesse, Belgium, May 17, 2004

Feeding it some chain - finally!

By Nathan "Chookman" Russell

Action from the Puivelde kermesse
Photo ©: Team Cyclingnews.com
Chookman gives the signal
Photo ©: Team Cyclingnews.com

I seem to be increasing my words per minute on the Apple Mac lately with race reports and diary entries. It's nice to know I have a back up career as a secretary after all of this and please no wise cracks about how good I look in a skirt and heels.

The day in question here is Monday May 17 in a typical kermesse town called Puivelde. A pro kermesse basically means start money and that requires 8 starters or no euro. Some days there are no nerves, and the preparation was all falling into place. On the line some quick catch up goss with James Hannam kept it real and relaxed. At the first corner we chatted two abreast when some flying Dutchmen shot out of the bunch and down the road. This seemed to interrupt our conversation and the formula of riders attacking lacked our lads. Mid sentence the Campy Ergo shifter copped a shunt and I was driving down the road into a five man group that only increased in horsepower when Belgium Champ Geert Omloop joined the party with AXA guru Paul Van Schalen. We stayed away from kilometre two till the gallop at 170km and averaged over 47km/h.

I'll keep it short for yas. With 20km to go all guns started firing and as I was riding solo I went with anything that moved and wondered how many kicks I had left in me. Don't get dropped now, not after being away all day and so close to the finish. In hindsight, it was obvious who was working with who. This is hard to suss out when you're at full tilt. All part of learning this game and being more professional I guess.

Out of the last corner it was all together, again. Van Impe (Lotto-Domo) threw it down with a solid all or nothing attack. I looked at the other riders to respond as they had the numbers. After a push, shove and a 'f*#*k it' I all became very messy and at 400m to go it was time for mad max to pull the red lever and open up the blower. Only Van Schalen came over me in the last 20m. This was enough to give me fifth in a pro kermesse and with Veronica doing 'oh what a feeling, Toyota' jumps every lap it was a rippa of a day. Cody Stevenson played bunch kicker and finished in the money. I said nice one bruva!

Check the pic for the 'Tafi Elbow' signal at the 100km point. I was up for a bike race!

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