Seven young Americans race in Meulebeek bear jersey: 'The competitors are much stronger here'

Seven young Americans race in Meulebeek bear jersey: ‘The competitors are much stronger here’

Franky Verhoye and Noël Dejonckheere take care of seven American juniors and their supervisors. For this, they worked with coach Joe Holmes from “Tête de la Course Cycling,” a coaching program.

“Because of the pandemic, youngsters and newcomers in America have had little or no chance of racing,” says Frankie Fairhoe. “I took care of Logan Owen for eight years, an American who was a professional for four years and won Logan Baston Liege in 2016. Now Chloe Dygert, the former American time trial champion, will stay with us.”

Frankie Fairhoe approached former racer Noel DeJonquiere to accommodate seven young Americans and their coaches. They arrived in Belgium a week and a half ago. “The boys have already raced in Veldegem and Kanegem. It seems they still have some work to do. In Veldegem, two of the seven managed to finish the race, on Sunday in Kanegem, none of them made it to the finish. A group holiday, I think, Or they haven’t figured out the time difference yet. They’ll be here for another two weeks.”

Yesterday (Thursday) they explored the Flemish Ardennes with some cycling tourists. “They see the cliffs of Tour Flanders on TV in California and Seattle. Now that they’re here, they obviously want to see those cliffs with their own eyes. These guys have to pay for everything out of their own pockets: plane ticket, accommodation, food, drinks, you name it. What you will. In America, these guys do a kind of open race in parks. Their opponents are actually tourists who ride bicycles. Here the opposition is much stronger. On Saturday they are going to the fair in Gestel.”

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Americans belong to a club in their own country, but they wear the same jersey here. T-shirt with an advertisement for Frankie Fairhoe’s asphalt company, but also with a bear graphic: the symbol of California and Mulebec.

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