World Championships Hoogerheide, Netherlands 2009

Posted: 13 February 2009 in Uncategorized
So I am actually getting around to writing the race report from Worlds now a whole 2 weeks late. I kinda dropped the ball on this one!
 
Anywho… We decided to stay int he house in Belgie as long as possible in order to keep with our regular schedule of everything for as long as possible.  We drove up to Hoogerheide on Thursday morning in order to ride the afternoon and after hitting the hotel and unpacking most our junk we got changed and headed over to the course.  By this time, it was basically the 3rd or 4th day of No precipitation and sunny but quite colod weather.  It would freeze over night and then relatively thaw out during the day and loose more moisture from the ground.  Oh ya, I met Dan Proulx who is a rpetty wicked guy!  Loads of experience and a pretty awesome coach from the sounds of it!  (Wrubleski and Pendrel).  Anyways, so I was pretty pumped in general coming into the week and really knew it was going to be a super fun experience.  I took some extra time out of the day to look at my bikes and fix my wheel issues earlier in the week so I knew (or so I thought) that all my stuff was good to go!  The only issue I knew of was that my all around tires (the tread on a challenge grifo) were starting to come off the casing, but i’d been racing on it like that since Nationals so I didn’t really worry too much about it. 
 
So the course started off with a semi cobbled road down main street Hoogerheide and after a fast 90 deg turn got onto the grass and jumped down almost a meter before heading into a sweeping fast corner on the grass and then into the first pit area.  After another jog on the grass it headed up and over the fly over and then down and into a sketchy off cambre dirt corner before heading back up and along a treed section and then dumped out onto a very choppy grass section.  Note: because of the frozen ground there were irregular grooves and divoted and car tracks in the course all over the place which made it pretty sketchy to be railing corners at night speeds.  They weren’t as bad as Tervuren, but still.  Then you hit a 180 deg turn (most of the course was by far wider than the 3 m minimum, so there was loads of room to get a good fast corner in.  Then it went on a very fast downhill (over more sketchy frozen tracks) and into a super cool decent that had a left and a right and then another left in it.  It wasn’t sketchy, just super fast and fun.  Then it dumped out into a 180 deg corner right in front of the VIP building (massive temp built building just for the event).  Then it headed into the woods on a narrow (1 person at a time) trail until you hit the Stairs.  It was only like a 4 stair but it was fairly slow to jump back on the bike as it was an uphill mounting.  Then a very long drag section (this section hurt the most) before another fast 180 deg turn after a small hill that went around a tree.  It then came up and wround a couple of corners, through the pits and then dumped out onto a short road section before heading right into the field again.  It hit a sharp right 90 followed by a 180 Left and then a long shoppy drag to a steep accent onto another road section.  Then you hit the 180 deg corner and then dropped into the big decent.  This year it was BONE dry and managed to get SOOOOO chopped up that I started to sketch myself out in the race a bit.  Normally it was my strength, but something that day just freaked me out and I becan to ride it like a true roadie (oh ya at the bottom of the steep decent, it turned sharp left 90 and then 180 right, so you have to be on the ball and on the brakes pretty good the whole time).  Anyways back into a 180 deg turn before a  small road section and then a very fast left turn over some choppy frozen grass and then onto a drag of grass before dumping out onto the road uphill section to the finish.
 
World Champs 2009
 
So I managed to not get last call up but was basically 3rd last on the call up (or something) and started to get ready for the race.  Off the gun I hit the gas and managed to not be completely last into the first couple of corners.  After the step down onto the grass some spanish dude bailed hard in front of a group and I slammed on the brakes and endoed into the group of guys.  My face actually managed to be stopped by Derrick St. John’s seat just in front of me.  Oh well.  Get back on the bike!  I kept rolling strong and the group that DSJ and I were in were really chasing hard due to the crash.  Everything was rolling good and I was tryingt o conserve as much energy as I could while still hanging with the group.  About 2 laps later I screwed up huge and bailed on the decent.  I got up and by then the group was gone.  I knew I needed to be up there, so I drilled it for the next 3 laps in order to get back to them but with no success.  I ended up bailing a second time on the decent after another few laps and then I really started to chase HARD.  I was going so fast I started to not think about my riding and I took one of the fast corners way too hot and ended up fighting with the side rail and the ground.  I got up and after stopping to fix my front wheel, I ended up getting lapped by Niels Albert.  To see the difference in speed between those guys and me was pretty demoralizing, but oh well.  I know I learned lots and am always on the up and up with my fitness so I think I’ve decided to take a break from European racing for a couple years in order to focus on increasing the fitness part of it.  I’ve got the experience I need to get me far, but I really need to back it up with some balls out fitness in order to really excel!  I’m thinking to do a heavy North American Season though, that’s for sure!!!!! 
 
I now want to thank all my sponsors, especially CAP Management Servies for allowing me to have the opportunity to race in Europe for a third time! and Louis Garneau for the frame and great bikes!  I also would like to thank H&R Block for bringing me the extra level from a great season of road racing and OGS for all the sweet components, and my coach and Greatest person in the World Corey Torgness.  Now enough with the sappy stuff: Next race?  Sometime in May I think.
 
Until next season!
 
Aaron
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