Tour De Weird: Kenny Van V

C. Bradshaw, editor of TCOD catches up with the classics specialist & DS of Top Bonk! during a training session in the gym of Gits...

Hi Kenny, how’s it going?

Listen, I have many kilometres, spending 4 hours on the home trainer today. I am starting at 3 o’clock, I finish at 7 so I can spend 2 minutes with you for talking.

I like the hat that you are wearing today huh?

Yeah, big fan of the team, but it’s an old one I think?

Ja, you need the Flemish Fish Flans of Flanders cap. You speak to Edwin he maybe give you a good price on the euros for the new hat.

Flemish Fish Flans of Flanders? That’s your new sponsor? Who are they?

Flemish Fish Flans of Flanders is the second best flans inside Flanders containing fish, also we have the special flans for the vegetarians, containing only the peas.

Is that your nutrition?

Yeah because inside the flan, I speak to Sean Kelly, always Sean is texting me like, Ian Stannard, also Tom Boonen, had big problems with Boonen. The flans. All of them want my flans, but it is unique nutritionals, inside one thing you have the pastry for the carbohydrates and then you have the eggs of the flan, for the protein, you have more protein with the fish. Although we do not know which type of fish is in the flans. Also we have peas for the minerals.

Just peas?

Ja, peas for the minerals. Again the peas also have the carbohydrates, the minerals and the protein, place them in your pockets, for the big training.

What are you training for here? Is it true you’re planning a comeback when Boonen retires?

No, I have to come to the small gym here in Gits because I still have no bicycle, so my own training is walking in the canals, also digging the vegetables, and I come to make the training inside the gymnasium.

I do not have a bicycle, I am always looking for the sponsors because, for three years now, I am the one professional bicycle team without any bikes. It is a big problem.

You have sponsors but no bikes?

Ja, this is true huh. Always I’m trying to find the bicycles.

We have competed in 2 stage races, my team have the very low moral, because as soon as the flag is dropped, in the neutral zone, the guys they are running. It is difficult to keep up the same tempo as the other guys on the bicycles.

Always the guys are eliminated, never finish inside the time cut. Because running is not mechanically as efficient as cycling.

I hear you, it takes 2/3rds more energy or something?

Those are numbers, and some equations, ja it’s normal. So I’m hoping within maybe the next 2 or 3 months, maybe for the Tour of Britain, the UK tour of England we maybe have the bicycles. But always I have the morale for the training inside. I look around I see people with the same minds, the same inspirations, they see Kenny and they are inspired also.

I’m inspired, you’re one of my all time heroes, it’s good to see you in shape.

Ja I’m 32 now, I still am in good shape. I see the guys in the team and they look at Kenny and they know I am not in the races but they see the condition and it inspires them to try and become nearly as efficient as Kenny the manager. So I have a duty to be pedalling many times, although not on a real bicycle. As you can see I am not moving forwards or sideways, I am remaining totally stationary.

I’d lend you my bike man.

Ja it’s nice but you cannot lend me your bike, you must give it to me.

I can’t give it, I only have one.

It’s not a good deal, I cannot be borrowing the bicycles, you’re speaking to Kenny Van Vlaminck 11th place in the Ghent-Wevelgem 1993, 19th place in the prologue in the tour of Morocco, with that palmares I can't borrow a bicycle, that's not normal.

I understand, sorry. You’ve ridden Roubaix as well?

I’ve ridden the neutral section of Roubaix, I get 4kms on a bicycle but I am choking on the crackers and cheese preparation, so I am not finishing the race, but normally, if the legs are good, I think a top 5 is normal on that day.

Are you gonna be there this year?

I will be there with Tom Boonen as part of his entourage, he has called me and he say hey Kenny can you come to give me the inspiration and also some peas. And maybe some flans for the final. I think he can do it huh?

I spend many days with Tom in training, at the moment he’s in very good condition because of my inspirationals that I place inside him. I will be there in Roubaix to cheer him on for the big one, hopefully this is number 5 for him.

One last thing, before I let you get on with your training, we have this thing when we ride, if anyone stands up on a climb, they have to shout ‘SORRY ROBERT’. In apology to Robert Millar, who would never stand on a climb. What would we have to do on the cobbles to warrant shouting ‘SORRY KENNY’?

I am not understanding.

I think what I’m asking is, what is the greatest sin you could commit on the cobbles? What would upset you Kenny?


And you must always respect the pavé. And never ever speak on the pavé. You must let it speak to you. Through your bicycle. DO NOT SPEAK ON THE PAVÉ.

On the Asphalt, on the normal road it is ok for the communicating, but never speak with your lips and your eyes and your mouth on the pavé.

Thanks for speaking to me while you’re training, really appreciate you taking the time.

Yeah, maybe next time we can talk have a beer, a flan, I give you some peas, to go inside the flans for free. Only the low quality peas but I can give you some for a few euros.

Anyway I must go because I still have maybe another 3 hours to be riding on the home trainer in the gym of Gits…