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Team905 Cycling Team is dedicated to providing cyclist an opportunity to be involved in a competitive, but also community focused cycling team. Our objective is to remain active while contributing to an eco-friendly life style and providing unique visibility to local businesses that support our team. We will be respectful to our fellow cyclist and citizens in an effort to grow awareness about cycling benefits, physically, mentally, and environmentally.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hanging with Eddy in the Ardennes

Stephen Cheung is nearing the end of his 18 month sabbatical where he and his family have traveled Europe. They have experienced once in a life time opportunities and Stephen has taken advantage of this time to ride roads the pros have raced on. Below is a recent experience Stephen has wrote about for the Team905 blog.

We're now settled into the Netherlands after a few fabulous weeks in Tuscany and Rome. We're in a tiny village of Hoogland, near the town of Amersfoort and the nearest big city is Utrecht (~1h SE of Amsterdam). Our neighbours two doors down have a deer in their backyard, and there are sheep, ponies, and goats all around. There's a good area of quiet farm roads (dead flat of course but mega-windy) only 1 km away for cycling. We're really enjoying ourselves here in the Netherlands. How can you not when bikes are everywhere and actually have legal right of way over cars? We're also set up now with Dutch commuter bikes for the whole clan. Heavy as stink but perfect for the purpose: full front/rear/side fenders, full chainguards, hub-driven dynamo lights, built-in horn and lock, 3 gears.

This past weekend, my friend Eric Groen and I drove down to the Ardennes region of eastern Belgium, in the French-speaking Walloon region. Our purpose was to get in some big climbing and kilometres into our legs, taking in much of the same hills as used in the famous Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic. We started in the tiny town of Trois Ponts, near Stavelot (base of some of the most vicious fighting in the WW2 Battle of the Bulge), and did 5 different circuits of about 20 km each. It was intense, 107 km and 2700 m of climbing, much of it in the bottom gear and standing just to keep momentum! We took in the Col de Stockeu  and also the Cote de Wanne climbs used in LBL, but there were more than enough other climbs that they have no problems finding hills.

At the top of the Stockeu, we found the awesome monument to Eddy Merckx, 5-time winner of LBL and pretty much everything else. A tiring but great day, and the nearly 6h of riding will hopefully ramp my fitness up for CX season!

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