Letters from Abroad – Small World

Editor’s Note: Peter Horn is an American racing with the Geox-Fuji Test Team, the amateur development team of Geox-TMC. As Geox-Fuji Test Team’s captain, he’s looking to lead the team to victories in Belgium and around Europe, and help break the team’s riders into the Professional ranks.

21 March 2011 – Oostkamp, Belgium

It’s the first day of spring and luckily for us, it actually feels like spring here. Since Saturday it’s been 10-12 degrees, sunny and very little wind. It’s rare to have it this nice but it’s a welcome change in West Flanders. We had no big racing this weekend and today is another rest day for me. It’s an easier week than normal and I’ve used the time to make sure I’m fresh for April – a couple interclubs each week and stage races starting soon – and to get in some endurance training and keep building my form.

Team Type 1 has been staying in Oostkamp for the last week and I’ve spent a few days training with them. We’ve done a couple easy days as well as two longer rides in the Flemish Ardennes. Tomorrow, Nat Thompson and I will go with the team to recon the course for E3, the first major spring classic in Belgium.

Cycling can really be a small world sometimes. From Type 1, I know Will Dugan from racing against him in college – he went to UVM and I went to Vassar. I recognized Alessandro Bazzana and Ben King from winter group rides in Boulder – and I know Ben much better now after riding next to that **** from Perth for four hours yesterday. A couple of the Dutch guys knew our team from racing in Belgium in past years. John, their mechanic, also writes a blog for Pavé. And Mike Carter, the director, used to be my coach as a junior; and with roots in Denver, our families have known each other for a long time. I look forward to seeing some more of them this week and best of luck to the team in E3.

With no big race this weekend we had the chance to have the whole team together in Oostkamp. Most of the day was spent with the physiotherapists from ProactiveKine, a new Belgian company that specializes in screening athletes from all sports and highlighting the weakest link in their bodies. The screening is simple enough – a series of tests that look at your form when you do a deep squat, for example. The system allows them to score each movement and at the end of the test, determine the quality of fundamental movements for each athlete. The idea is to identify the weakest areas and thereby prevent imbalances and injuries. It is truly worthwhile to be evaluated in this way, and even more valuable to get advice on exactly how to make your body stronger and more balanced. After our screenings, we spent the rest of the day training. Our new D-6s arrived this week, so we took the opportunity to get comfortable on the bikes and practice team time trials.

In other news, our espoir riders are preparing for a Belgian semi-classic on Wednesday, GP Stad Waregem. They reconned the course yesterday and with a few guys in good form right now we hope to have a good result there. We had the first poker game in the house last Friday. My roommate Nat is normally the shark but he was out after 20 minutes and one of the new riders, Brandon Johnson from Washington State, took home the pot.

And the Song of the Week: “My Lovely Man” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If I ever train with music, I like to listen to one song on loop. The song has to be something I love, obviously, and it has to have a great rhythm and beat for training. It sounds ridiculous and boring, but trust me – with the right song you can be completely focused and the time goes by more quickly too. This week I did two hours with nothing but “My Lovely Man.”

Now I’m going to finish my cup of tea and go to Brugge for the afternoon.


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One Response to Letters from Abroad – Small World

  1. Kurt says:

    Hey Peter,

    nice article!
    I'll try and follow your writing a bit.
    Thank you very much for mentioning us in your article, with a good discription of what Proactivekine tries to achieve.
    We felt that saturday was a intresting day and we look forward to working with you guys!
    Take Care, and remember, "first move well and then move often" :-)


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