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Hey Sherp....I'm Gunna Need Help On This One!(4 posts)

Hey Sherp....I'm Gunna Need Help On This One!BigLeadOutGuy
Sep 18, 2002 2:49 AM
Hey Sherp.
I think I am going to have an opportunity to race over in europe for next season. Whats the scene like there...what should I expect....once i get there Ill have coaches to set me up with training routines but should i be doing anything different to prepare? any advice? thanks
you can email me if that would be easier
i would have sent you an email but i cant find your addy.
thanks dude
re: Hey Sherp....I'm Gunna Need Help On This One!Sherpa23
Sep 18, 2002 7:28 AM
BL, here is the deal. Europe is a big place and as you would imagine, the racing really differs from region to region. Italian races are much different that Belgian races and Spanish race are different than those. The terrain shapes the style of the racing and the heritage of the region shapes the kind of racers that you will be up against. Not knowing where you will be leaves a lot of gaps but let me take a stab in the the dark: you are going to Belgium. You are going to race with Bernard Moerman's setup in Oostende or Staf Boone in Ghent. I have never done either of those but I did race extensively in Europe and I do have some friends who did that.

Keep in mind that in the past I have gone to Europe on my own so I have a few tips that might be good for you to hear. I make my own (cheap) arrangements. Last time I stayed in an attic above a garage with no heat or plumbing (you gotta live the life) so I could put all my winnings into savings. I don't keep a car there so I get a map and ride to all the races by myself, with a backpack of dry clothes and I limit my racing to 4 days a week (a person can race 7 if they want). If you race well over there, lots of things will be taken care of for you. For instance, when I was in Belgium, after a month or so I got hooked up with the Belgian track team, which really helped me out because they would take care of my track bike so I could ride 40k to the track and have the track bike there and waiting. That way I would motorpace on the track on the days that I didn't race on the road. I also got some opportunities to race on the road and the track for a couple of big Euro teams for some races, which was a new experience. From time to time, fans invited me to their houses for dinner so that was pretty cool. So in short, if you go over there, be sure to race well because it takes care of a lot of problems, although if you are going with one of those programs, they will take care of all that for you.

The road racing in Northern Europe is pretty cool. It will be a little on the scary side at first because the roads are nutty. The first time I showed up for a Kermesse I took one look at the long, wide starting boulevard and thought that it would be cake. Well, one km down the road we turned off onto some cow road as wide as a bike path which swerved all through the country side and then we turned onto this cobbled rode for 500m and then we hard like 6 more tight turns onto narrow slabs of concrete until we got back to the start/finish line. Not too bad by yourself but throw in 200 other racers, ALL of whom want to win, and do 7 laps and 145 km of that and it is hard. Just getting into the top 30 of the pack is ridiculously hard.

The racing is attack, attack, attack and the only thing that matters is winning. EVERYONE wants to win. Second over there absolutely sucks. I cannot tell you the amount of times that people (some of them were bookies) would come up to me and ask how many wins I had for the year. I would say something like 6 wins, 13 seconds, 5 thirds, but as soon as I finished saying the 6 wins part, their eye would glaze over. They just don't care. Winning is the only thing over there.

There is a lot more I can talk about but I am not sure what you want to know. You will definitely have to prepare differently but it depends on where you are going and what time of year. Don't fool yourself, though. I was a cat. 1 with some good results the first time I went over and it took 6 weeks before I felt that I got the hang of things. It is really different. If you want a TT equivalent to that level, here's a good parallel. You know that TT you did in Tennesse? There are some guys who put in 52's - 54's in that TT that have yet to FINISH a race over there. No joke. So think seriously about whether you want to do that. I found it to be an awesome experience and I think that you will too but 65% of the guys that go over there and come ba
Hey, my message was cut off!Sherpa23
Sep 18, 2002 7:34 AM
Anyways, what I was saying that 65% of the guys who go over there get really disheartened and come back and hang it up. Let me know where and when and the other details and I will try to fil you in on as much as possible. Email me at
Hey, my message was cut off!BigLeadOutGuy
Sep 18, 2002 6:19 PM
cool beans, Ill be in belgium
I just sent you an email.
I would hope that no matter how poor my race results were I wouldnt hang it up! =)