Adam Lewis and three other riders are keeping rider journals for The British Continental this season. Adam, 23, rides for the Dutch UCI Continental team BEAT Cycling Club this season, an innovative team that markets itself as a professional cycling team based on a club. This is Adam’s second journal entry…
I find it is a lot more of a relaxed way of living out here and people enjoy themselves more
Back to Belgium
February has been quite a month, after returning home from Girona I was only in the UK a week before moving back over to Belgium where I shall base myself this year whilst riding for BEAT Cycling Club. Why Belgium, your team is Dutch isn’t it? I got asked a lot during the winter. I came to Belgium when I was an under-23 slowly moving way up through the Belgium system, year on year progressing to the next level. During this time I was fortunate enough to receive funding from the Dave Rayner Fund and slowly became adapted to the Belgium lifestyle. I find it is a lot more of a relaxed way of living out here and people enjoy themselves more. For me, it is a great environment to be in during the year and in terms of travelling to and from races, I live only 50 kilometres from the Belgian/Dutch border so it is fairly straightforward.
Chris was the former mechanic of none other than Lance Armstrong during the US Postal years
My home away from home
So where is my home away from home? For the past few years, I have found myself staying in Café SurPlace. I was put in touch with them by Jos from the Dave Rayner Fund a few years ago and have found myself coming back year-on-year, such is fondness I have for the place. Owned by a couple, Chris and Betty, it is an apartment the one side of the property and a café the other, hence the name. As it is in Belgium, it comes with its own cycling history as Chris was the former mechanic of none other than Lance Armstrong during the US Postal years. Chris spent many a season in amongst the World Tour working for teams such as Lotto Soudal and Katusha most recently. The locals of the café have now become great friends. They will regularly come and support the riders in races. It’s these things that make it that much easier living away from home, making it a great place to stay and an easy choice as my base for the year.
Christmas: ‘Take II’
You know the season is just around the corner when you start receiving all your new team gear for the year. It’s like Christmas day all over again. And with BEAT this year we have some fantastic sponsors on board to make it even better. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been getting kitted out with the new stuff.
Last weekend we had our final training camp before the season kicks off. We gathered in Oudenaarde, Belgium, for three days of training in the ‘Flemish Ardennes’: the region famous for its short cobbled climbs used in races such as the Tour of Flanders. On Friday and Saturday, two hard training rides of around 160km were on the programme, incorporating every climb and
With some tough looking stages on the cards which should suit me well, I’ll be looking for a strong start to the year
So what’s next?
The start of the season is approaching fast. In fact, as I am finishing this I am sat in Amsterdam airport waiting for a flight. We are off to the island of Rhodes in Greece for 11 days to start our season. Sunday we begin with the International Rhodes Grand Prix (UCI 1.2) followed a few days later by the three day Tour of Rhodes UCI 2.2. With some tough looking stages on the cards which should suit me well, I’ll be looking for a strong start to the year. Be sure to follow the social media channels (Adam Lewis, BEAT Cycling Club) to keep up to date with results.
Follow Adam on Twitter here.