Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another Update

Just some more racing news to update you on.

Deinze Kermisse

This is the biggest razce I have taken part in so far and the crazziest and fastest. There were about 140 starters. I got dropped at the halfway point and my average speed was over 50km/h.

It was a bit disappointing to get dropped at this point as the high speed only stayed on for another ten minutes after i got dropped. This race is the first time I have ever been dropped when able to hold 55km/h for two-three minutes. There was a long straight section coming out of a sharp right hand turn, and it as the old elastic band treatment. The riders at the front of the race had it relatively easy, whereas at the back you had to sprint up to over 60km/h to keep pace with the front of the peloton.

So, I got dropped, but there were only about 40 riders left in the race when I got dropped so it wasn´t too bad.


This was the same circuit that we raced a few weeks ago, and it suits me well. Not too many sharp corners, two highway bridges- generally a pretty open and fast course. I rode this race to the finale, I attacked with three kms too go, got pulled in with 1km to go, then attacked again only to be overtaken in the sprint finish. 35th spot- not bad. But If I had of attacked once at the 1km to go mark I would have gone top 20 which is a bit disappointing. I attacked too early becaue I was a bit mentally smashed having riden 350kms in training in the preceeding two days. Doing the extra training really helped my legs, but not my poor old brain!


This course was insane! each lap had about 20 corners and three quarters of the course was the width of a footpath! Not really my kind of circuit. To make matters worse it was pouring with rain for the whole day, and I was nursing the beginnings of yet another cold. I´ve never seen it rain so much in a single day before! I got pulled off the circuit at the 50km mark but had done enough to ride into 27th place, and enough cash to pay the weekly shopping bill. I´ve never done more sprints out of corners in my life! It was a really slow and cold race that didn´t really suit me, so it was good to come away from the race with a little cash.


In all the races I´m doing i seem to be coming in around mid field which is not too bad given that I race against a mixture of full time pros and local weekend warriors. From what the guys at the farm tell me this is pretty common for people when they first come out and race in Beligum, as without very specific preparation, it can be difficult to adjust to the style of racing. Like criterium racing back home the most important thing is being on the front at the start and too just go like buggery from the gun. i keep getting stuck at the back of the bunch, and its very difficult to do anything special from the back- especially considering the nature of the circuits that always seem to favour breakaways and attacking riders. There is no place for sit in sprinters over here unfortunately.

In other news Melbourne riders Adrian Hansen and Jacob Sutherland are doing really well over here. Jacob won his first race over here last week. It took him three trips over here to finally crack it, so it was a great effort from him. Adrian has been getting top tens here and there, and with a bit of luck could grab a win before he leaves for home on the 20th of August.

The weather was really nice last week which allowed for some big kms, probably somewhere in the region of 700-800km. This week the weather has been pretty terrible again unfortunately., but things look to be improving again.

Well done to all the Hawthorn competitors in the team time trial over the weekend, and I can´t wait to get back home and ride some track.



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