Post Rás, I’m still in contact with a good few of the guys from the Collins Race Team. One of those guys is Connor Lambert, a confused Irish man, born in Australia to Irish parents, but racing in Belgium. I reached out to him in the last week or so to get his favourite training routes. He sent on the following …
I am an Irish/Australian cyclist for Belgian team Mysenlan-Spie-Douterloigne which is registered in the Flanders region. We are an U25 team and are apart of the Topcompetition in Belgium which allows us to race races from 1.12b kermeses to uci 1.2 races.
I have spent the past 6 months Living in a town called Ronse which is 12km south of Oudenaarde, one of Cycling’s most famous towns.
My favourite ride while I’m Belgium would have to be the red loop of the Tour of Flanders course. I like this ride so much because it has a very good mix of flat roads, hilly roads, smooth roads and rough/cobbled roads. It also goes up many of the famous climbs which are raced up in the Tour of Flanders. I follow the red signs which show the route up until De Muur van Geraadsbergen and then I turn off and head back to ronse. The signs go on for another 60km back around to Oudenaarde but usually by De Muur I have a few hours already in my legs and it’s time to head home which is another hour of lumpy riding still.
While back home in Australia I have a multitude of different rides and different variations of loops to chose from depending on how many hours I have or if I have efforts to do. My favourite loop to ride I like to call the “King Tree loop”.
This ride starts out from home and heads inland, I have about 15-20km of flat roads before any hills. After 40minutes if riding I get to a road called ironstone road which is about a 3.5-4min climb at a very inconsistent gradient so it really makes you think about gear choices and pacing. From there I continue inland out towards a little tourist attraction called “Gnomesville” which is about 3km stretch of gnomes scattered in the bush for people to walk around in and see. This is the furthest inland this ride goes as I head north for a while and turn on to King Tree road. This road is one of my favourites around, from this direction it starts with a 1km climb at 8-10% and from there Plateaus before turning into gravel. It has a nice gravel decent which is twisty but not too technical through some bush. It flattens out after 2km or so and is rolling till the end of the road which turns onto pile road and it is tarmac again. From there on it is mainly downhill into town for 45-50km or so with only one 4-5minute climb on the way. To top it off as well it is normally a headwind into town making the ride even more enjoyable.
Next season I go back to Belgium with Mysenlan-Spie-Douterloigne again to race from March onwards after spending some time in Ireland acclimatizing to the weather and time zones while staying with family.