Last weekend I headed south to meet up with the team and officially start the cx season with the whole team and man did we kick it off to a good start. We headed to Oberammergau in the South of Bavaria to attend a local race put on by the family of one of our U23 riders. The course was looking good, along with the scenery, and I wasn’t complaining at all!
Took a bit of a detour to get to the course, and on this maiden ride I really felt like I was a part of something big. This team means business this year!
This got a bit dark early where we were so to keep warm we just rode the course a few more times. Onto race day:
Because this was a local race and we were headed to Switzerland or a C1 on the next day of the weekend we figured it would be best to take it a bit easier on the Saturday and just use it as a bit of a tuner upper for Sunday. Wasn’t really sure of the level of riders that would show up to this thing, but after the first half lap we pretty much figured it out. We were by far the cream of the crop that made their way down to this and it ended up being a bit of a team time trial for the majority of the race. It was really cool though because I got to see the lines that my team mates took and they got to see the lines that I would take so there was definitely a bit of learning going on. One thing I’m finding out quick is that there is a very large difference between the North American way and how the Euros do things. Anyways, we still had lots of fun with the crowds and I managed to hop the barriers every lap, so it’s really good practice for that!
Towards the end of the race, the U23 rider Lukas ended up pulling away from myself and Felix to clinch the win just one day after designing and building the course himself! Reminds me of a race I used to do this at back home that normally runs in September… Anyways, it was really cool to earn my first European podium flowers!
We then quickly headed straight down to Switzerland for the C1 on Sunday. Thought I was fully on track for my warm up, then quickly realized that the race was at 3:30 and not 3 like I thought, so I ended up getting a bit of a longer warm up in that day.
It must have worked though because I had a really great start, and really loved the truly North American style dry course with lots of turns. For the first time I felt like I was on form so far this year and it was a bit of a bummer to have rolled my tub with about 3 laps to go. The laps were pretty short so it didn’t take much time to get to the pits and change bikes, but it kinda took the umpf out of my legs and I eventually hobbled in to the finish still without getting lapped thankfully. It was a great finish to the first part of the European CX season as on Monday I flew back to Canada to start the CX Nationals campaign. Big thanks goes out to the incredible Roman for all the hard work he did this weekend and ahead of time getting all the bikes and wheels ready to go for the first big outting as a full team.
Next up: Rochester, Ellison Park CX!