Born in Brussels, Belgium, and grew up in the great era of Eddy Merckx, Freddy Maertens, and Lucien Van Impe. Following these iconic riders on television instantly made me realise what a fantastic sport cycling really is, and the hardship and struggle of my childhood heroes was played out on my local streets of Overijse – a little town in the province of Flemish Brabant in Flanders where I was living at the time. Now, looking at live images from the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, I can physically sense the muddy farm tracks of April and the sudden, hard shocks of uneven pavé. Although I am a Norwegian passport-holder, a large part of me is Belgian. And Belgium is Cycling!
Flanders 2013 was one of those violently cold ones, with biting winds constantly kicking in from the North Sea. On the startline of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, temperatures barely reached freezing point. Riders stood shaking, desperately trying to keep warm in their Flandrian Best – arm warmers, vests, Belgian booties, and a cotton cap under the helmet. Bad weather will never hold the Belgian supporters back, though, and massive crowds cheered their very own wonderboy and triple Ronde winner Tom Boonen out of the streets of Brugge. However, after only 19 kilometers of fast racing, «Tomeke» hit some solid piece of road furniture on the way through Lichtervelde, suffering injury to his knee, hip and back, and was left lying at the side of the road in severe pain. High on adrenaline, the Belgian champion tried to get back on his bike, but it turned out to be impossible. Boonen’s race was over, and he left the Belgian supporters in a state of total shock and disbelief. 227 kilometers later on, Cancellara made his move up the Paterberg and won the race solo in to Oudenaarde.
Starting up the 2014 season with a broken collarbone, just like Thomas Voeckler, but we will both be ready for Paris-Nice in mid-March. Will catch up with the peloton at Milan-San Remo, and then… Who knows? Velonode, of course!
I am not obsessive when it comes to bikes and equipment, but I really do appreciate quality components, and put a fair amount of pride in the aesthetics and harmony of my bikes. I have three at my disposal – all custom built by myself. Each one with its unique history, ranging from the solid aluminium workhorse to the more refined carbon racing machine. All bikes are set up with Campagnolo groupsets – mainly because of proven durability over time, feelings, looks and being Italian. Wheels are ranging from basic Zondas for training to a pair of Lightweight tubulars for grimpée and racing.