Zandvoort: Drivers get on their bikes in Amsterdam

London, Great Britain -- In the build up to the 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season opener at Zandvoort this weekend a selection of drivers limbered up with a bicycle tour of Amsterdam. Leaving their new A1GP Powered by Ferrari cars at...

London, Great Britain -- In the build up to the 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season opener at Zandvoort this weekend a selection of drivers limbered up with a bicycle tour of Amsterdam.

Leaving their new A1GP Powered by Ferrari cars at the track, some of the drivers headed into the city for a guided tour around Amsterdam on traditional Dutch 'Yellow bikes' stopping off at some famous sites along the way. A1 Team Netherlands' duo, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Robert Doornbos, gave fellow competitors including Australia's John Martin, South Africa's Adrian Zaugg and New Zealand's Earl Bamber a guided tour.

As the group weaved around the city they had the chance to visit various landmarks including the Rembrandt statues, Dam square, where the drivers stopped off for a quick photo opportunity inside the giant clog, and the "I Amsterdam" statue. This gave the drivers a relaxing morning before the usual business of the race weekend began and they took the time to cycle along the canals and bridges alongside some traditional Dutch houses.

The final stop of the tour was a herring stall. Dotted all over Amsterdam, herring stalls are normally situated on canal bridges and allow visitors to taste the fish as fresh as it can possibly get -- raw. Robert Doornbos showed the rest of the group how to eat the traditional delicacy fresh out of the North Sea.

After the scenic tour of the city the drivers headed to Heineken the City brand store to meet fans and sign autographs.

Jeroen Bleekemolen, A1 Team Netherlands, said: "Normally I only come here by car and just rush in to the city to get somewhere but today we actually took time to see a few nice places. We had a good time."

Talking about his chances of victory at his home race he continued: "You always have to have the attitude that you can win, but for sure I think we have a good chance here. The structure in the team is very good now with some new people on board, so I think we have a very good group and we should be very strong.

"I absolutely think this is the year we have the best chance, as everything is equal. Certainly this is one of our best moments in A1GP as well. In all the races we've had I think at this moment we are the strongest compared to the others, so hopefully we can live up to it and win."

Adrian Zaugg, A1 Team South Africa, said: "It was a nice journey. We went through Amsterdam on bicycles and got to see quite a few things. It's very interesting as it's the first time for me here and I'm impressed with it. I'm sure you can still smell that I had one (herring) on my breath but no, it's not too bad actually. At first it tastes fishy but at the end it's a very nice taste and not bad at all. You could see that they (Jeroen and Robert) are used to eating it, especially Robert, you could see that he really enjoyed having it but why not; it's very healthy!"

John Martin, A1 Team Australia, said: "That was the first time I have ever tried raw fish. It's not too bad really if you can get over the fact that it's actually got a tail and everything on it still! The cycling was really cool. Cruising around Amsterdam it's been pretty cool."

The new season officially gets underway this weekend when the new Powered by Ferrari cars take to the track for the first official practice on Saturday morning.

-credit: a1gp

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Series A1GP
Drivers Robert Doornbos , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Adrian Zaugg , John Martin , Earl Bamber