Episode 9 – “Two Smiling Boys”
“You’re late, Warren!” Michael looked angry at Warren as he started cycling again. “I have waited ten minutes for you. We are going to be late for school!”
“Sorry, I took the long road,” Warren said. “With that climb in it?” Michael asked. Warren gave him a nod. The two boys were in the same class. Every day they peddled to school together and shared all kind of stories with each other. “Did you learn for that test today?” Warren asked Michael.
“I wanted to, but I started dancing to the music on the television instead.”
“You fool, and you need to get a good grade for French!” Michael sighed. “Yeah, I know… but I prefer English class.”
The school came into sight. Mister Merckx stood outside and saw the two boys coming. “Hurry up!” he yelled at them. The boys looked at each other and started sprinting. Michael was the first boy who entered the playground of the school.
“I won!” he screamed. He stopped his bike and Warren stopped next to him. “You won this time,” Warren said, but I will beat you in the mountains for sure. And now je veux un baguette!” Michael looked puzzled at him: “What?”
“You are so going to fail that test”, Warren said to him. And then both boys started laughing out loud as they walked into the school.
Episode 8 – “Gym”
“Ok, boys! Come with me! Today we are having our gym class outside.” All the boys cheered and clapped and followed mister de Vlaeminck to the grassfield.
Mister de Vlaeminck was their gym teacher. He was very tall and still athletic. All the boys were fond of him, but also a bit scared. He could get angry without no reason, but that was just because he wanted the best for the boys.
Alexander was the last one who came out of the school. He was not that fast, because he was sick last week. He felt better, but still not that great. He got through the group and stood still behind Peter. “Hey Peter”, he said loudly. I cannot see a thing. Your hair is in front of it.” Peter turned around and laughed. “I am very sorry, eh, but I don’t have hair thingy for it.”
“Sssttt, be quiet”, Fabian whispered. “Mister de Vlaeminck is about to start.”
And he was right. Mister de Vlaeminck was standing next to a white board. On that bord he drew a bike and he had put some photos on that board. “Just like every year, boys, you are going to compete against each other in two cycling races. One will take place today and the other will take place in our next gym class. Be careful though, because these two races involve cobbles.” When he said that, he pointed to the ground. A group of five cobblestones were lying on the ground. It gave Tom, a tall boy, the chills. Mister de Vlaeminck continued. “You all know that some roads with cobblestones are good to ride on and others are true hell.” Fabian grinned and said “Mister, I already won this race three times!” Tom was standing next to him and looked angry. “Me too!”, he exclaimed and a little smile got on his face. Fabian took a little bow towards him. He whispered in the ear of Tom: “I am 100% ready for this year, are you?” Tom looked frightened.
Mister de Vlaeminck sighed. “You all know I went to this school too. There is a lot of competition during these races, so look after yourself. I know you have all worked hard for this in the past few weeks, now it is time to show it!” With saying this, he looked at Greg. Everyone looked at Greg now. He turned all red and said: “I know I can win one of these races. I want to win one of these races.” Mister de Vlaeminck smiled. “It is about time you start to believe in yourself, Greg.” Then he turned to all the boys again. “Remember, enjoy every minute of it and have lots of fun. That is all that I am asking.” All the boys took off to get a bike. “Oh, Peter!” Peter stopped and came back to Mister de Vlaeminck. “Son, go and see a hairdresser some day.” Peter smiled at his teacher and said: “I like my hair like this, Mister Minckie.” And away he was. Mister de Vlaeminck watched him as he took off and whispered: “Best time of the year!”
Posted in School of Cycling
Tagged Cartoon, Cycling, Fabian Cancellara, Fiction, Greg van Avermaet, Paris-Roubaix, Peter Sagan, Roger de Vlaeminck, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Tom Boonen, Tour of Flanders
Episode 7 – “At The Playground”
Lunch was over, so all the boys went to play on the playground.
Tom ran directly to the horse and got on the back.
Chris stood next to him and said: “Hey, I want to stand there too!”
Tom replied: “No, now it’s my turn.”
Esteban, the new kid, was running around, smiling and yelling.
“Everything is so green here, so green!” Matthew, one of the older kids,
ran after him with a flower. “For you, little one.”
Esteban smiled at him, saying: “I like you, Matthew, will you be my friend?” Matthew smiled back, then his face went serious:
“Yes, of course! I will protect you in this school as if you were my little brother.”
On the other side of the playground, Joaquim climbed on the swing.
“I can almost touch the clouds,” he screamed out loud.
A little boy with a funny accent ran by and climbed on one of the playground equipments. He screamed: “For me it cannot get high enough.
If I could touch the clouds, I would do it!” He laughed at Joaquim.
Meanwhile, Fabio and Rafal were playing on and around an elephant slide.
They went down on the slide and laughed, having fun.
Rafal was singing: “Up and down, up and down, yeah, yeah.”
There was one boy doing nothing at all. He yawned, while sitting on the trampoline. Nairo was calling out for him:
“Alejandrooooo, come climb with me on this thing!” Alejandro took a deep breath. He was getting too old for this. “No”, he said, “I’m alright here.”
A boy came out of the school and walked towards the playground.
He was walking around, asking everyone the same question:
“Time for a few scoops?” Esteban whispered to Matthew: “Who is that?”
“Ooooh, that’s the Irish guy, mate. Don’t worry about him. He’s okay.”
Matthew took a step forward and said: “G’day Nicolas! I would like to have a drink together.” “Bang on!”, Nicolas said. Matthew turned around to Esteban. “C’mon little pup! Let’s have a refreshing drink inside.”
Esteban hesitated, but then went inside with the two boys.
On their way in, they came across mister Merckx. “Wait there, boys!
Where do you think you are going?” “We are going to drink some water, sir”, Matthew replied. Mister Merckx looked at him for a second.
Then he said: “That’s fine, but when you’re finished, straight to class!”
“Yes, sir,” all the three boys said. Mister Merckx smiled and went outside.
All the kids were laughing and having fun and mister Merckx
noticed that everyone was in a very good, relaxing mood.
“Boys!” he screamed, “playtime is over! Get all your butts back in school!”
Posted in School of Cycling
Tagged Aru, Cartoon, Chaves, Dumoulin, Fiction, Froome, Haymann, Majka, Quintana, Roche, Rodriguez, Valverde
Episode 6 – “Dinner”
Fabian was preparing dinner in the kitchen of the school.
He was keeping a close watch on all the clocks in the kitchen.
One oven included a chicken and the other oven a casserole.
There was also a sweet chili sauce in the microwave.
Several teachers were helping Fabian by fixing salads,
cutting up vegetables and stirring in pots and pans.
A new school year was about to begin and every year the school
would organize a dinner beforehand for all the students and teachers.
It was a perfect opportunity to look back on the year that had past
and motivate each and every student for the upcoming year.
Sounds were coming from the dining hall, which was next to the kitchen.
Some of the boys there were wearing green shirts and singing a song.
Greg was not too pleased with his spot at one of the dining tables.
“I do not want to sit next to Philippe!” he said and sighed.
“We will be in the same class again all year, just like two years ago.”
Everyone looked at Phillipe, but he just shrugged off Greg’s concerns.
“I may have been the best student last year, but that does not guarantee
anything for the upcoming year. Greg’s chance will come, for sure!”
Greg looked surprised and eventually decided to sit down next to Philippe.
Mr. Vannieuwkerke, one of the cleaners at the School of Cycling,
was putting napkins on every table. In the meantime he was
listening to a conversation between two of the students.
“Why aren’t we having a barbie?” Cadel wondered.
Tony nodded: “With a delicious bratwurst, yummie!”
Andy interrupted them. He pointed to his brother Fränk and said:
“We only want to eat fish! We love to fish during the holidays.”
One of the boys that was sitting across the table was wearing a lot of medals.
“Just bring me some eggs and bacon and I will be happy!” he said.
It was Mark, who, just like Philippe, had an amazing 2011.
Next to Mark sat Juan José, who said that he preferred tapas.
All of a sudden Alberto came walking by and exclaimed:
“No meat for me, I repeat, no meat for me!”
Nick took a peak into the kitchen and asked Fabian if there
would also be some patatekes? Fabian frowned: “Patawhat?”
Nick smiled and explained himself: “I mean French fries!”
“Ooooh,” Fabian said. “No, I only cook haute cuisine.”
Now all the kids looked puzzled in the direction of the kitchen.
Except Johan, who was way too busy reading a book.
Tyler, who was sitting next to Johan, looked at the cover
and read out loud: “Tolstoj.” He was astonished.
“Anna Karenina is a very interesting book,” Johan explained.
Mr. Vannieuwkerke finished decorating the hall and entered the kitchen.
“That smells great, Fabian” he said and gave him a pat on the back.
“Thank you!” Fabian answered. “Dinner can be served now!”
Posted in School of Cycling
Tagged Cancellara, Cartoon, Cavendish, Cobo, Contador, Evans, Farrar, Fiction, Gilbert, Martin, Nuyens, Schleck, van Avermaet, Vansummeren
Episode 5 – “Presentation”
In one of the classrooms someone was giving a presentation.
A student named Taylor was talking about his family.
Every new student had to give a presentation about his background.
This one took place in the class of Mister Cipollini, teacher of Italian,
one of the languages offered by the School of Cycling.
As usual, Mister Cipollini looked like a movie star.
He did not resemble the average school teacher at all.
Sometimes he would even wear his sunglasses inside the school,
just because he thought that it made him look more sophisticated.
Taylor’s presentation was very interesting and lively.
He pointed out all the skills he learned from his family
and how succesful his parents used to be on a bike.
He did this by showing his classmates famous photos,
important medals and by giving them some impressive statistics.
Everyone listened quietly and enjoyed following the story.
At the end it was time for some questions.
Ted wanted to know if it is Taylor’s aim to achieve more than his parents.
Taylor said that he would try, but that it “would definitely not be easy”.
Ted smiled. He was wearing his ‘iamted’ t-shirt.
The boy next to him, Peter, was wearing an ‘iamnotted’ t-shirt.
Danilo also had a question: “Do you want to focus on sprinting?”
Taylor said “maybe” and that “he liked sprinting very much”.
After that answer, Taylor turned to Mister Cipollini.
“I would like to finish my presentation with a formula,” he said.
Mister Cipollini was curious and let Taylor use the blackboard.
After a little while the board was completely filled.
Mister Cipollini looked at it for a while and then said:
“Is this what they teach you at maths nowadays?”
The conclusion of the formula on the board was that girls are evil.
Mister Cipollini was looking very angry all of a sudden.
“Do you remember the first thing I taught you, kids?”
“Yes, it was ‘ciao bella’ and that was with a reason.
Women are not evil, they are very, very, very important.
In fact, I cannot live without women and I bet neither can you.”
Mister Cipollini went on for a while about the importance of women in his life.
Taylor was blushing the whole time.
When Mister Cipollini was finally finished Taylor stammered:
“But, but.. it was just a joke.. I love girls too!”
Episode 4 – “School Doctor”
The principal of the school, Mister Merckx, was perplexed.
He was standing in the waiting room of the school doctor’s office,
staring at the long line of kids with all kinds of injuries.
They were making a lot of noise together.
Wout said that he felt really sick.
”Sick? I fell two times!” stated Jurgen.
Frederik could not believe what he heard.
”At least you two didn’t break anything!”
”But Frederik,” Janez replied, “you only broke your collarbone.”
Janez not only had a collarbone fracture, but also a concussion.
Bradley then showed that he had broken his collarbone too.
”Hey, I also have a concussion” Tom said while looking quite pale.
He bent towards Alexandre, who was sitting on the floor.
”Why do I see your head twice?”
Everyone then stared at Tom and thought about the fact
that he played on too long after his fall on the playground.
It had made him feel worse, for sure.
At the end of the line there was a confused boy.
He tapped on the shoulder of the kid in front of him.
”What am I doing here?” he asked.
”Chris, you are seriously injured,” Juanma answered.
”Oh, so that’s why my nose hurts so much!” Chris replied.
Then Fränk walked by with a big smile on his face.
”This time I didn’t fall, so no injuries for me!”
”Lucky you,” said Jurgen. “I have to face a long recovery.”
Mister Merckx cleared his throat.
”Who is inside the doctor’s office now?” he asked.
”That’s Johnny. He and Juan Antonio got hit by a car
in front of the playground,” David answered.
”He even landed on a barbed wire fence,
can you imagine that?” Ivan added.
”What did you just say? A barbed wire fence?”
Mister Merckx looked shocked.
Then the door of the doctor’s office opened and
a boy in a shirt with red dots walked out of it.
His legs were completely bandaged.
All the others stared at him.
”I’m okay,” he said and smiled.
”Now let’s get back to the playground!”
Posted in School of Cycling
Tagged Accidents, Boonen, Brajkovic, Cartoon, Crash, Fiction, Flecha, Garate, Hoogerland, Horner, Merckx, Poels, Schleck, van de Walle, van den Broeck, Velasco, Vinokourov, Wiggins, Willems, Zabriskie