3fidi’s northern hemisphere season kicked off today in the cyclo version of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad – see Bleeksie for pronunciation. The pros rode a variation (200+kms) in pouring rain yesterday. The cyclo is only 95 kms, runs anti-clockwise in the map below and has rather less than 6000m of climbing in it. But there were plenty of long stretches of bone-jarring cobbles, including on the short steep climbs (of up to 20 per cent) in the middle of the course. Many of these are used in the Tour of Flanders (and other Spring Classics). I can hardly wait to ride them again… Organisation is a bit different from the French cyclos – no massed start, for example, which helps when the five minute rule gets stretched to a twenty-five minute guideline. But all good fun. Next one is mid-March.