Bidon beggars look for the better souvenir

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Young rider asking for water bottles from riders at Oomloop het Nieuwsblad

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Hoping for a closer contact, young riders ask for the water bottles from the returning pros.

“Bidons? Bidons?”

Photographer’s notes: Post race, the atmosphere seems to have two key themes. The top riders are sought after  by the media. The rest seem intent on getting to their team vehicles so they can get into anything more comfortable. But, standing alongside the exit are the bidon beggars. The young riders who ask for the water bottles from the riders, a chance to take home a souvenir that is a bit more substantial, stand on the exit lane and call out for the bidons.

This is actually quite a haul, when successful. Team water bottles are sold around €10. Walk home with a few and you have a great score – and something to remember the race. Something akin to the foul ball from baseball. Just easier to get.

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