Lauren Hall

Mississippi native, retired professional cyclist, advocate for all things cycling, mentor, ambassador of happiness

Second half of the spring block

The second half of the spring was just as full, fun, hard and intense as the first half, hence no updates.  My last blog, we were headed to Italy for Trofeo Alfredo Binda in the area of Cittiglio.  The weather was PERFECT, the race was going great(for myself) until a couple of gals in front of Brie and myself hit a guardrail.  Brie and I came out way better than a couple of the other girls.  I ended up in a parking lot and by the time I found my way out, Brie and I worked like crazy to get back but it wasn't going to be our day.

Driving through Switzerland towards Italy, it was so beautiful! 

Our first stop on the drive was in France and walking to dinner this graffiti made me stop... 

The view from our hotel:) 

Then it was a 2 day drive back to Belgium and the rest of our races were there.

On the way back we were in a traffic jam for a couple of hours, so we got bored and everyone else was out of their vehicles, so we went on a walk...

It was so good, it deserved a photo. Wonder if I can get this in the US? 

We woke up Monday to the news of the Brussels bombing and I immediately messaged my family that I was fine and we were far enough away from Brussels to feel safe.  Our home base, Oudenaarde is about an hour away from Brussels but it was still shocking and scary.  

We raced Gent Wevelgem the following weekend(the race I won in 2014) and it was such a different race and I didn't end up near as successful - keep plugging away, win some, loose some. 

These two are crazy...

The Fuji Transonic I used after my bike was stolen...

We spent a lot of time here, watching races, previewing races, hanging out. 

Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen - Tour of Flanders museum in town.  This was my 5th time racing on these roads. 

We cooked team dinners towards the end of the trip and had so much fun spending time together. 

The host house little girl, Evie.  She warmed up to us pretty fast and she was such a cutie!

Our favorite butcher, they had such good food! Meat, cheese, wine, bread.

The butcher from the outside, they saw a lot of us. 

Our last BIG race was Tour of Flanders in our home town and we had a lot of fun seeing all the signage, teams, start/finish and stages get set up and the fans come to town.

About to walk up on stage...

Teach em young.

Running from the rain, we ended up in here.  The local bar at lunchtime... 

Coffee and food please! 

We spent a lot of time going over these....

The town of Oudenaarde celebrating the 100th edition of Tour of Flanders, decorations were everywhere.

Bike path with the girls...

Sometimes it gets so cold you have to get in the trunk of the car to warm up...

Cresting the Paterberg - a famous climb in Flanders..

Waffle stop is important to happy athletes with Emily, Jered and Ashley Gruber.  They are super photographers, so badass and fun to hang out with! 

I think this is a walking path but we used it to ride through the fields:) 

Made some wonderful, lasting friendships in Oudenaarde.

After the racing was over, we all had to go our separate ways since flights were changed from Brussels for some, my flight was still out of Brussels, because I was in town a bit longer.  Flying out of the airport was interesting, they have worked magic, I think, to be able to be back up and running like they are.  It did take a long time just to get through security but I don't care, if that's what it takes for my safety - deal with it people. 

I stayed in a small town that Vincent van Gough lived and painted, how cool! 

We had a sponsor event that started at this location and couldn't resist taking a photo with this.  I tried high jump in high school, this is so amazing!

I loved this hotel - their food was amazing, everyone was helpful and very nice and this coffee pot was interesting. 

I also like how they use the ivy for a bit of privacy. 

I flew straight back to Arkansas for Joe Martin Stage race, April 21-24.  The cool thing, I got to stay with my high school buddy - Hannah Banana(it's actually Lambiotte but that's her nickname) and her daughter, Emma. It was such a great visit - we played basketball, went to tee ball practice, cooked great food and just had a great time catching up with her and her parents. 

Hannah Banana!!!! 

Team truck, the wrap job looks GREAT! 

Reading: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Watching: the news to catch up on election information

Eating: salad, sweet potato, kimchi, steak, grilled veggies

Listening: morning news

Website:, this weekend's race.

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