Australian neo-pro Flakemore looking forward to Tour of California time trial and eventually competing against Richie Porte and Rohan Dennis in Australia at some point.
Australian neo-pro, Campbell Flakemore, of BMC Racing Team, placed 37 in the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland, much to the delight of punters who bet on cyling under Australian gambling laws, down under. Campbell, the world under 23 time trial champion, was quick to admit that a World Tour is a different level. His overall placement was 98th. Ilnur Zakarin, of the Katusha team, was the overall winner with Flakemore making a comparative time of 56 minutes 31 seconds.
- Tour de California begins May 10 and finishes May 17
- Tour de Belgium runs from May 27 to May 31
- Flakemore finished 156th in the Nokere Koerse-Danilith Classic
It was a difficult week and a difficult race, leaving most of the riders completely drained. The 5th stage was particularly mountainous. The Fribourg to Champex-Lac stage was 166km long. Flakemore placed 100th at 25 minutes 29 seconds. The winner for that stage was Thibaut Pinot from the FDJ team. But Flakemore confessed that the challenge of becoming a professional was present on or off the bike.
On the way to the top
The twenty-two year old Flakemore saw his final time at 1:28 fruitful enough to give him the force to participate in the Tour de California. Flakemore, gained a lot of experience having ridden with Avanti Racing Team and for the Jayco-AIS-World Tour Academy, as well as having participated in the Tour de Romandie. Beforehand, he had raced professionally for 15 days and had ridden a total of 1,999.75 kilometers.
In just a few days he will fly from France to the United States to participate in the Tour de California, on from Sunday May 10 to May 17. Then, he will fly back to his Nice base to jump back on his bike for the Tour of Belgium race. Flakemore told Australian gambling news reporters that “It’s a busy month with Romandie, California and Belgium. There is also a nice time trial in California. It’ll be cool to have a crack at that.”
Flakemore anticipated the difficulties that each tour represents
2015 has been a bitter-sweet year so far for Flakemore. He started out in the Australian road titles in January. He managed to nab the 6th place in the time trial and grabbed a cool fourth in the road race. Shortly after though, he was missing in action for almost one and a half months after having suffered a broken collarbone. Victim of a crash while riding back to the hotel to join his team after the end of stage 2, he was prevented from competing in stage 3.
Then over in Belgium, where gamblers can enjoy online betting on bikers, he was able to get back on his bike to participate in the Driedaagse van West Vlaanderen race on March 6. He said of his recovery that “It was pretty hard seeing the guys winning the Tour Down Under and I was just watching from the hotel room. I had a fair bit of time off just to make sure I fully recovered, that I didn’t rush back”
What a lovely place to stay
Based in Nice, on the French Riviera, Flakemore, who stays close to his team who are mostly based in Monaco said “In Nice there are climbs everywhere, so I have been doing plenty of climbing,” he said. The big challenge though] is not just the racing. It’s also sorting out my own apartment. Living on your own, looking after yourself, sorting out the apartment, the internet … and doing it in France was a big part. It’s just all a big learning curve …”
Flakemore is grateful to BMC’s sporting manager, the Australian, Allan Peiper for his support. Peiper, a former rider also overcame struggles as a professional rider when he first arrived in Belgium, especially for the first two years. He was 17 in 1977 , living in a “butcher’s shop that was so cold at night he had to use a beach towel he had brought with him from Australia as a second blanket”. Peiper made friends at the time with Eddy Planckaert, whose family welcomed him into their home.
All kinds of lessons can be learned from a good mentor
In 1979, after being struck down with hepatitis, Peiper had to return to Australia. Flakemore admitted that after hearing such a story he realizes that other people including his mentor has had it hard starting out as a professional “That’s the next level of doing it tough. In realty, it is easy for us now, but it is still hard being away from home. But hearing stories like that brings it down to earth …”
Meanwhile, Flakemore continues to ride all over the globe, participating in professional tours in order to gain experience. He also wants to excel in time trialling which so far has made him the world under 23 champion. He would like to ride for Australia in the time trial or for BMC in the team time trial at the world road titles in Richmond, USA, although he will be in for some big time competition.