"Lächle du Sau" is written in curved letters on the redesigned jersey sets and it turned out that this one-liner should actually have the makings of a motto...
After this very successful visit from Rapha in May in the cap and the fantastic tour through the Düsseldorf area, the Rapha Prestige Limburg was coming up: 25 teams of 4 riders, 192 km and over 2600 vertical meters, through the border triangle: Netherlands, Germany, Belgium.
The journey of the cap team starts in the cap yard, where Konrad's old Benz was converted into a team car and loaded with 4 wheels from steel to aluminum to carbon frames. Quickly checking the last things and off we went to t' Hijgend Hert , where the first riders sat together with a beer in the forest café after a little social ride in the afternoon. There was a big hello when the many familiar faces hugged each other with anticipation. New acquaintances were made between the house pig and the peacock, the energy storage tanks were filled for the coming day and a beer or two was enjoyed together. The night that followed was short, but there was a lot of laughter.
The next morning greeted all participants with a low cloud cover and just in time for the starting signal of the first team at 07:30, the weather god emptied his bucket, so that the first 4 hours turned into a real slippery slope. Smile you pig!
It started down from the forest café in the direction of Germany, through beautiful foggy fir forests, over gravel, stick and Bang! – the first puncture of this lap, after about a kilometer. The hose was quickly changed and we continued towards the first checkpoint at the Eupen reservoir. There the big gray Rapha bus was waiting for us, including an espresso machine, to chase away the morning sleepiness with a delicious espresso. After a short cup of coffee, a bit of tinkering and a banana, we made our way around the reservoir. The weather didn't make it easy for us. The short break at the first checkpoint had cooled us down immediately and it took a few kilometers and a climb to warm up our bodies again. But as I said: Smile you pig! And so we drove through the rainy landscape. It was incredibly quiet and above all: not a single team overtook us caps. Well, we thought to ourselves, the rain must have made the others weary and cranked on easily until - Bang! – the next hole in the rear wheel . When changing the tube, the nice colleagues from Veloheld appeared from the single trail, who made it clear to us that we were driving the big loop around the reservoirs the wrong way around. That also explained the absence of other teams. It doesn't matter: Smile you pig and off we go, into the narrow gravel road Bang! the new hose had burst again. A serious crack in the jacket caused by incorrectly adjusted brake pads turned out to be the culprit on closer inspection. Handicraft time in the cold wet. This game was repeated again, the smiles left their faces for a moment, but at least the sky, the sow, smiled soon after. And so it went up and down around the Eupen reservoir, until suddenly a village with the funny name Mützenich appeared in front of us. The smile wasn't difficult at all.
Caps(I) Prestige Team
After beautiful paths through the High Fens we reached the checkpoint for the second time and Andy from Rapha finally put a smile on our faces again: We were given a new coat and inner tube, so that the last 70 km became pure driving pleasure. OK, one of us got it after all: Bang!
After 11 hours on the bike, we were greeted in the forest café with warm applause from the teams that had already arrived. We were soon fed up with isotonic drinks and exchanged stories of the day with our neighbors at the table.
It was fun and we're still smiling.
Thanks to Rapha and all the participating teams. We look forward to more trips together.