Velonews

FROM CALIFORNIA KID TO KERMESSE KING

Frankie, are you going to win?

The nonchalant tone of the question surprised Eamon Lucas, as if this Belgian fan had asked if he planned to wear shoes that day. The fan wanted to know if he should wager a few Euros on Lucas before the start of this kermesse race. After all, Lucas was the favorite, having claimed nine kermesse victories throughout the 2019 season — an amazing haul for a journeyman American in Belgium’s insular amateur racing scene.

“I don’t know if I’m going to win today,” Lucas replied. He thought about his answer and then clarified.

“OK, I’m going to win,” he said. “I’ll go full gas today.”

The August temperature soared as the 100 or so riders sped around the town of Marke, outside Kortrijk. Four riders sprinted up the road, and Lucas gave chase with a French rider in tow. For the next hour the six riders traded pulls. As the group headed into the finale, Lucas rode at the head of the breakaway. He took an extra-wide line into the final turn and watched his companions surge up the inside, as he quickly

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