Archive for 5 February 2007

Okay …  So!
 Since i’ve been over here for a few days already and have taken in a couple of the World Cups I figured it is a good time as any to send a race report if that’s what you want to call it.  So it’s going to be a little long as all of you know that I can talk forever expecially about races.  So here it goes!

World Cup # can’t remember        Nommay, France

I got into Brussels Belgium after a whole long 17 hour day of travel from Edmonton.  I got my rental car and ended up finding my way to the
house I stayed at in Tielt-Winge.  I slept a night there and then drove down 6 hrs. into France to get to the course.  That night we pre-rode the course and as soon as i jumped on it I thought I was going to die in the race.

The course was quite a flat course the only few climbs in it were basically too steep to ride, although some of the elite guys were able to.  Most of the race was in a field zig zagging back and forth.  But it was a Belgian field though, so it was wet and bumpy and crap.  During my pre-ride I was basically just trying to ride the course and my heart rate was at time trial pace.  Oh well, there’s always a fast pace race to slow that down!  So in the Races over here there is no starting on grass with an emediate turn to the right and up the hill.  All of the races always have a start that is on the road and has at least 100 – 300m of straight or relatively straight road to get a sprint start on.  This start I got a last row call up and after the start I was basically at the back of the pack going into the first huge set of the stairs.  My bars got tangled in some other guys rear wheel going up the stairs as that first one was pretty much a gong show.  Then after the stairs I took a look around and was now officially the last guy in the race.  So I looked forward and started to hammer.  After the first couple corners I Ended up passing Shaun Adamson from Juventus.  Then after a couple laps of me riding alone by myself I ended up passing Kyle Douglas (the Ontario guy or 2006 National U-23 Champ.) So I passed him as if he had gone out way to hard off the start and blown up.  Then I rode another couple of laps (Approx. racing time of 30 min. and was lapped by the man himself (Niels Albert)(I think that’s how you spell it)  Anywho, the race is supposed to be 50 min. and we were pulled as soon as we were lapped.
It was an okay course but really only a test of physical fitness and not much to do with technical ability.

So …  World Cup # after Nommay        Hoogerheide, Netherlands

Now this course is just insane!  I would say one of the best courses that i’ve ever done (there isn’t much of a list to choose from)  But this course had mud pits that were too muddy to ride, insane 20 ft vertical shute drop ins with a sharp 90 deg. turn to the left and then a 180 deg. turn to the right just after that.  It was crazy.  It had a cobble stone road through the middle of town, a cool section through the woods with a small 5 step stair.  It had a huge ramp that was 15 ft in the air and had a huge angle to get up it (luckily there was a carpet on it so we could actually ride it.  Well that’s the majority of it anyways.

The start went well with a middle of the pack call up i think i did okay.  Then after the mass start (probably 60 or 70 guys) i got to the end of the straight section of cobbles and onto a road to turn right.  I took the same line as everyone else and this crazy Belgian guy comes barrelling up the inside and took me right out.  The start was insane with elbows thrown and people pushing people all over the place in the sprint.  So after i slammed the pavement I got right back up and into the rush.  I ended up easily catching the back of the group.  after watching pile up after pile up of riders and a couple guys that got some waffled rims I passed Shaun on a slight uphill muddy section and then a half a lap later I caught up to Kyle again.  We worked together for most of the race and i figured he was feeling better than i was so i took a couple of pulls on the long cobble section of road (was pretty windy) and figured he’d totally drop me after that but I managed to keep his wheel and after a half of a lap i got in front of him again to take a pull and then after the drop in off the road he dropped his chain so that’s when I took off.  I figured if someone was going to catch the American I couldn’t wait for Kyle.  I was trying to catch the American and some other dude that was ahead of us but couldn’t.  Then just before the last lap we were lapped by none other than Niels Albert and Lars Boom and then we finished another half lap and as i let more guys pass me i did a couple of track stands waiting for guys to pass me so i wouldn’t screw their rythem up.  That’s when Kyle caught up to me and we pulled out at the next pit stop.  Normally they pull you after you get lapped so we figured we were done.  Which is why you might not see us on the results page but we were about 50 some in the race i think.  Just behind the one American team guy i think.  But oh well,  I’ll be sure to read the "race bible" they call it before the next race so i know exactly what to do.

It was a wicked awesome race and I learnt of many things that we can use to put into our races back home.

It’s crazy over here how fast these guys are, although I don’t think it’s totally impossible to be able to compete, as Greg Reain pulled out an awesome race with a 20th place (their race was insanely muddy) It down poored and hailed just for their race and then it let up right afterwards for the awards ceremony.  It was pretty dry for our race with a few mud pits from rain earlier on that morning.  If you ask anyone over here they will say … It’s not a cross race unless it’s raining.  Which is something we don’t get much of back home, but I hope will happen more than most people might want!

Anywho though I am off and I hope to send out another one after the Worlds so everyone can get a jist of what the international experience is like!

Signing off is ME!  Can’t wait till Worlds and Next year racing with the E.R.T.C. team!

Anywho, Chao!