As I write this, the Blotto racers of the southern hemisphere will no doubt be cultivating their sharpest tan lines and busting out the coconut oil to get a nice glean on their perfectly sculpted muscles. Things could not be more different in the northern hemisphere where riders are sporting road grime tans and reverse panda goggle residue. The days are getting shorter, the temperature colder and the weather fouler. These conditions produce one of cycling’s rarer breeds. I am indeed referring to the Flandrian, waffle-eating boozehound. Answering the call in their inaugural event were two Blotto veterans; Ant van Ferrenberg and Stijn Keltbar.
The event was the Woodlank Park GP which had a phenomenal atmosphere! Cyclocross competitors rode their hardest, put on a show and grabbed as many beers or $1 notes off spectators as they could as they raced past. Complete with pumping tunes, maniac fans, snow machines and a slick track, some fantastic crashes and interesting competitors were the order of the day.
See how events unfolded below:
Dumb and dumber assemble 1 hour prior to the race, instructed by veteran CX’er Ryan, who instructs them in the art of the dismount. “Make sure to jump on your bike and land on your inner thigh and not on your plums, he says”. Sound advice for any occasion, one could argue.
Van Ferrenberg and Stijn struggle to grasp the elementary concept of picking up the bike and running with it.
Nick, who we met on the day, graciously lends his bicycle to an unknown quantity in the CX world……….. Keltbar has the beard but does he have the skills?
Ferrenberg and Stijn look on with much confidence having mastered Ryan’s introductory course for special learners.
Typical of the CX scene, man with fluffy hat, case of beer and suspenders has brought his trusty steed along for a day out in the woods. While you may laugh as you sit back on your couch, it took Stijn Keltbar the better portion of a 2km lap to catch and pass this larrikin.
The main contenders are a little more serious… To these guys, this is their church and accordingly, they wear their Flandrian best.
Scott is in fine form and rides with the lead pack the entire race. Ryan, Stijn and Ferrenberg said their goodbyes at the start line as they knew it’d be the last they’d see of the pink socks until post race.
Ferrenberg makes a great start, his exceptional fitness still with him late in the season.
Stijn gathers confidence as he picks up speed and maneuvers his cycle.
Fluffy Hat Man starts with the leaders, drinks many of his beers on the way around the course and steadily goes backwards through the bunch. To him the winner is cyclocross today.
Stijn needs to pass Zebra Man if he is to have shot at beating Fluffy Hat Man.
Van Ferrenberg takes a tight line to avoid the slush out wide.
Ryan’s superior braking skills see him send one up the inside of this competitor caught napping!
Ferrenberg is riding well and his steely gaze says it all; it will take more than a scantily clad woman to take his eye off the prize.
Stijn having successfully past Zebra Man, is on the lookout for the Fluffy Hat Larrikin. A free beer for the days efforts wouldn’t be the worst result for the day.
Ferrenberg puts Ryan’s tuition to fruition!
Is this peanut laughing as he hauls his bike up the berg!
Ryan with picture perfect technique makes a mockery of this measely mound!
Ferrenberg enjoying a nice day out in the woods. He looks to be tailed by a 14 year old!
Stijn Keltbar, sucking in the big ones, while casually riding on the hoods. No doubt he thinks he is on location for Rapha’s 2014 product catalogue.
Ferrenberg back on the bike and upright….. a good result.
Stijn languishes up the hill, clearly it does matter which type of carbs you intake before a race. Having said that Stijn was a hit at the local pub last night over a game or two of darts.
Stijn looks to have heeded the lesson on thigh placement.
Ryan in action. Blotto CX newcomers Stijn Keltbar and Ant van Ferrenberg are eternally grateful for his work in sourcing rides and equipment. Hopefully he has finished cleaning the bicycles by now?
Zebra Man looks on in utter dismay as Ryan is already back on his bike while he’s left fumbling around in the dirt!
Ferrenberg sprints for the line. He sits about 70th of 150 in the preliminary standings, good job!