Luxemburg C2 Hotel Threeland

Posted: 1 January 2009 in Uncategorized
So I told myself as a new years resolution (not that I do those all the time, it was just a general rule for me in 09) that I wasn’t going to do any MTB racing this year and Focus the efforts on the road for H and R Block.  Obviously I didn’t know what the very first race in 09 was holding in store for me.  We got down to Luxemburg around 11:00am and had loads of time before the race actually got started and even before the race was fully put together for that matter.  There was a pretty decent turn out for spectators compared to what I imagined, although it is the 60 some anniversary of this race, so I’d hope that people would be keen on it.
 
I decided to pre-ride the course before the Women started their race, and was definately only going to do it once.  The course probably had at least a 300m Vertical change at least!!!!  and that’s in a cross race!  The starting stretch was on an uphill road that went for 750m or so, and then after a steep stair section jumped right into some frozen muddy single track and then back up to a super steep climb back on the road.  I thought it was steep even with my road gearing on!  Then it dropped back into the bushes for a bit (still going uphill of course) and then onto a false flat gravel road.  Then another Even steeper loose gravel/muddy climb out of that!!!!!  Which then tailed off into one of the Knarliest cross course decents that I have ever witnessed!  Or at least raced for that matter!!!  It was basically single track that ran over and around roots, stumps, trees, with a bit of frozen ground still remaining.  It was super fast and insanely cool!  Although I have to admit, for the most part, I was crapping my pants most laps.  Then it dropped into a pretty cool (basically single track trail through the trees at the bottom of the decent and then into an open greasy field (where the pits were) and then down onto the beginning of the mumma jumma road climb again!!  — AND REPEAT—  (like 10 times over!)
 
Hotel Threeland Cross
 
So I managed to get myself a last place call up once again, and I’m not going to sit around andd wait for them to call my name anymore, I’ve decided that I’m going to take the non-Canadian initiative and tell them where I start (at least tell them that I have UCI points anyways) because racing from the back kinda sucks sometimes.  Anyways, After seeing and Knowing that the start was ALL UPHILL I decided to just take it chill going to the first stairs/corner.  So After half way up the road climb I looked back and noticed that I was 2nd from the last person.  It wasn’t all that enticing.  Anyways, after the MASSIVE log jam on the first stairs, I jumped back on the bike and started to pass people.  I must have managed to pass loads of people because I WAS last at one point.  I began to work my way up the whole time, and after about 4 laps I got to a group that I knew was around my speed and I began to roll with them.  Tried to attack them once but on a course of this magnitude you really have to watch your efforts closely so you know that you don’t blow up.  With about 7 minutes of climbing and i’m sure 2 minutes of decending, you can kinda catch my drift.  Also, we came to the race with no pit crew (as it was a fair bit of a drive to this one) so I threw my second bike in the pits and hoped that my one bike could last at least half the race.  Well about 4 laps in, or more, I decided it was time to change and I went to change bikes.  Some dude saw me trying to grab my other bike and immediately jumped in and helped out.  After the next time by, he yelled something (in a different language and pointed at the bike) so I gave him the thumbs up and kept on racing!  About 2 laps later, I came back to the pits and he had the other one, freshly cleaned off and waiting for me to change with it!.  Man are the Luxemburgians pretty nice!!!  Anyways, so I was dropped from the big group I was in near the end and managed to pick one of them off though, and finished just behind Derrick St. John.  (probably abour 45 seconds or so).  It was a pretty good result though considering, and i’m looking foreward to many more faster races to come!
 
Tervuren on Sunday!
 
Peace out, Schooler style!!!!!  🙂
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