Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sorry, no pictures this time. They are on another computer.
So, we're back in Utah now! It has been a tiring journey to get here though, let me tell you. Taunya and I left Belgium Monday morning, arrived in Phoenix Monday night, but still had to drive three hours to home. We woke up Tuesday around 4am, we were too used to Belgium time. So we decided to just pack up and head out. We got to Moab and camped that night then woke up at 4am again to finish driving to Salt Lake.
We'll be staying with our coach, JR smith (see ) until we can get work and a place to live. What a guy- took in me, my wife, and our two dogs!

Here's the race report. Went to Bear Lake Classic Saturday, got a killer sunburn, and some serious cramps. I drank about four huge water bottles during the 100 mile race but it just wasn't enough for the heat. I cramped up bad with about 10 miles to go and had to actually unclip my left leg and go 0ne-legged for a while. It wasn't the strong come back I had in mind. The heat just wiped me out, I got to accustomed to the wind and cold of Belgium I guess.
Next up is the Thanksgiving Point Stage Race. I'll update later with some pics and a report.
Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Day in Brugge

This is Taunya and me in front of the canal in Brugge. Not too far from here we had the best pannini sandwich you could imagine. We spent most of the day in Brugge exploring, taking pictures, and picking up a couple souvenirs.

This is the Chapel of the Precious Blood. Just to the right of this picture was a priest with a sacred relic, a golde caped crystal vial containing what is said to be the blood of Christ. People were lined up to pray to or kiss the relic that has been kept at this church since 1147. See for the full historical story. You can also see a picture of the relic at You can't tell in the picture but it looked like an old dirty, possibly moldy, wadded up rag.

The lovely canal road near the city of Oostkamp where we've been staying. We walked down this very historic road after getting off at the wrong bus stop. The far side of the canal was patrolled by German soldiers during WWII. The left side that we were walking on was U.S. allies territory. We passed by three large cement bunkers covered in grass and moss, one of which had a large rupture on one side from what we're guessing was a german grenade.

Even with all the sightseeing training has been going well. I woke up Wedensday morning to the most dense fog I've ridden in while being here. I was pretty nervous to ride down the farm roads because I wasn't able to see very well.
Tuesday I rode with the team for just over 5 hours on a new hilly route. It was nice to get a few hills on my legs before I head back home. We were supposed to have done a Kermese, but new rules were put in place just a couple days before stating we had to have a signed paper to participate, which you usually only need for the big UCI races. The paper was left at the CC and so we were left to our own devices. Since I hadn't been living at the CC for the last week I didn't know about the new rule. There was also a German team there who wasn't allowed to race becuase they didn't have their paper either.
So that's it for now. Taunya and I are going out to explore some more.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Race report from kremis

The team had a good race this last Friday. The Belgians were up front and ready for whatever they could hit us with. Since our kit is the stars and stripes we all have a big target on our backs every time we show up to a race.
The race was going pretty smooth for the first couple of laps then a good break formed up the road about two and a half laps in. Since my title sponsor Taunya was at the race I was really trying to ride my smartest race. While the break was establishing up the road I found myself on the wheel of a couple guys taking off to bridge to the break. It was a harder effort than what all three of us were planning on though. I was the only one who actually made it on to the tail of the break. I got on and tryed to recover but the Belgians soon noticed an American flag was with them and they ramped it up some more. I hung with them for about a lap. We had a fairly large break and I don't think the big guys liked that. Quite a few guys started getting spit out the back and after that one lap of being with them I was one of those to get spit out. I was surprised at how long it took the main field to come up. Once back in the field I sat in and recovered as best I could but the peloton was finally in chase mode and I was thinking I was going to get worked over again. Luckily I got in a sweet pocket out of the wind and I was fine. The rest of the race for us was a lot of surging and small groups of guys trying to make it up to the break. I went with a couple of them feeling that the pack was slowing too much. If nothing else I figured I could help up the pace enough that the peloton could stay within close range of the break. All in all I guess it worked out. I didn't get anything special as far as placing goes but I sure worked hard for what I got. I got 38th. Heck I was even still in the money. I won a whopping 10 euro. Still beats the pay out back home though. A kremis only costs 8 euro and you even get 5 of that back when you turn your number in after the race. Much better deal than the $30 on up for a crit back home. Have to really hand it to the Belgians on the organization of their races.
I would like to thank my coach JR Smith for all of his help to make all this happen. JR is one heck of a guy and an even better coach. Thanks!
Robert Lofgran

Giro photo gallery #5

Henk Vogels, a real hard man. From what I hear this guy has been racing all over the place the last few weeks. Last week I heard he was hitting some local races in Colorado.
To bad Vino didn't come to the Giro.
Savoldelli getting ready to rock the TT.
Cunego was one who seemed a little stressed. He almost litterally ran to his team bus avoiding all contact with the fans.
Michael Rasmussen. There were guys like Robbie Mcewen who rode pretty standard road bikes with clip on aero bars but Rasmussen rode a standard road bike with no aero bars.

giro photo gallery #4

Taunya and me hanging out at the riders village.
Allessandro Petachi, Mr. Italian style
Ann, who owns the CC with her husband. Then You've got Wesly who's from South Africa. Then good old Derek Timmeraman from Michigan I believe. That's me on the end I guess.
Ivan Basso getting the engine reved up before he heads to the starting house. Focused on being number one. We also saw Bobby J. and Jens Voight put in their TT's.
Illes Balleares. Now these guys had some sick TT bikes.

Giro photo gallery #3

Heres a guy that you could tell was all bussiness. I was pretty surprised he came over to sign this gentlemens jersey next to me. Before this he was walking around the bus taking care of things looking very focused. Just from seeing his demeanor this once I would title him the Ice man. Smooth, calculated, focused and no nonsense.
This is as close as we could manage to get to the starting house. It took us twenty minutes just to get this close. Earlier in the day they let some pretty serious and pumped looking kids race the TT course.
The Keiser! I can honestly say that Jan doesn't seem nearly as a big a guy in person. Jan was actually one of the cooler big names at the race that took time out to sign autographs.
I think this Euskatel rider is Mayo but who nows? All the Basque country boys at their tent looked alike.
Unusually hot and sunny day for Belgium. Just a couple hours earlier the rain came down pretty good but luckily for the fans and riders it passed quickly. There was quite the variety of fans.

Giro photo gallery #2

Giro photo gallery #1

Some of the riders were more willing than others to sign autographs.

Sean Yates chillin before the Disco guys start going off. Nothing but high tech, high priced gear. Normally you have to have a v.i.p. pass to get into the riders village but not this time. What other sport can you get this close to the athletes and their entourage? You have to love this sport.
Mr. Axel Merckx was very fan freindly. He was one of the few to just hang out and talk with the fans. This guys really has class. Axel was one of the most professional acting guys we saw.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco de Mayo!

The last couple of days have been great aditions to my adventure. First of all my awsome little wife Taunya arrived here in Belgium yesterday. That was a great reunion. I picked her up at the Teilt train station not to far from where the CC is and we headed out to start our adventure. Little did we know how soon it would start. The other guys had used "the fun bus" earlier that morning to go grocery shopping and left it with a bone dry gas tank. There aren't gas stations on every corner here like back in the states I had no idea where the closest one was. On top of that we were sent off of what I knew as the shortest route two times by road construction. I was really starting to think we were going to make it back to the house with no problems. Soon I was coasting into the driveway of an old farm house trying to get out of the road. We were in the middle of absolute nowhere on some old farm road. I left Taunya in the van and thought I'd be gone walking for some while. I got lucky though and only a hundred yards down the road I noticed a good sized farm and they had their own gas pump. They hooked me up with about 10 euros worth of diesel and we were back on the road. We lucked out pretty big time. I would have been walking for at least a couple of hours. After that Taunya recieved a small tour of the CC and Bernard the CC owner drove us to nearby Oostkamp to the new place they are building for masters racers and for pro and continental teams to stay during the race season. This is where Taunya and I will be staying until we head back. The place isn't even finished yet and man is it nice place. We have a small apartment type room with all the goods. Heck this place is bigger than the first apartment that we had when we got married. To say the least when they put the final touches on this place this would be the pro cyclists/teams dream stay place.
I've taken that sweet wife of mine around Oostkamp and we've seen some cool stuff. The architecture is somthing to be admired here and it's cool to dream of someday having a sweet euro pad like the ones around here.
Well, it's pretty late and tomorrow we're headed to watch the opening TT of the Giro pretty danged early in the morning so my race report from today will have to wait. Taunya got some good pictures too so you'll have those to check out. All I will say for now is that the race went very well. I'll fill you in tomorrow. Have a good one folks!
Robert Lofran

Monday, May 01, 2006

Flanders Photos #3

That's the last of my Flanders pictures that turned out. It has been pretty cool to be able to watch these races live on tv. This coming up weekend we're going to go watch the Giro prologue in Seraing. My wife gets here on Thursday so that should make it a bit funner too. I'm going to miss not being able to see this stuff live right on the living room tv. Even ran across pro races out on training rides. That sure as heck doesn't happen back home.

Aqueles sao as ultimas de minhas fotos de Flanders. Tem sido muito legal assistir estas corridas vivo na televisao. Este final de semana nos vamos a cidade de Seraing para ver o prologue do Giro de Italia. Minha esposa chega na Quinta entao vai ser legal ver a corrida com ela. Vou sentir falta de poder assistir as corridas grandes na minha propria casa ao vivo. Ate deu para passar algumas corridas professionais enquanto treinando aqui. Aquile certamente nao acontece nos E.U.A.

Flanders Photos #2

Flanders Photos #1

Here are some pictures from the starting of Flanders in Brugge.
The city square was packed and we could barely move but within fifteen minutes it was empty and everything was being dismantled. Talk about orginization.

Estas sao algumas das fotos que tirei na largada da corrida Flanders em Brugge. A quadra inteira do centro da cidade estava cheia mas depois da largada so levou quinze minutos vasar e tudo estava sendo dis feito e limpado. Que oraganizacao!