A Belgian Christmas, some cross racing, and Cyclocross Groupies

Posted: 27 December 2013 in Uncategorized

I’ve officially been in Belgium now for a couple weeks and it’s been a rocky road to start things off.  The first race in St. Niklaas was not that good as a few days after arriving here I came down with a sore throat that turned into a whole lot of phlegm that I ended up coughing up.  Still, I probably had not too bad of a race as I feel my general fitness getting better from last year.  They did make us ride WAY more of the sand this year which meant that I had to do a lot of running.  I need to keep practicing riding in the sand, particularly when there is a 90 Deg turn into the sand pit, because I feel like an amateur sometimes out here…  The field was a bit stronger though which made it a much faster race in general.

St. Niklaas C2 a

Since I’ve been away from my wife for a while, it was pretty great to finally be in the same house together let alone the same country!  Emily took an all night train ride into Belgium from Tuebingen just to visit with me for Christmas.  So we took some time to ourselves and went shopping, avoiding all the things that seemed odd…

Belgian Trap

 

And sent out a Merry Christmas Belgie gram to the social media universe…

Merry Christmas in Belgium

 

Now, onto some World Cup action:  Namur.  This time I remembered my contacts, and it definitely made a difference as I think this years version of the race was actually much harder than it has been in the past just based on the fact that it was still muddy as hell, but not as wet making the mud sticky and Edmonton style heavy clay.  Very rough on the bikes, and after dealing with traffic on the first lap, eventually got into a groove to move up many spots and battle heavily for the top 50 bringing me in with some points and some well received prize money! Not to mention a favourite World Cup photo!

Namur World Cup Tom Prenen

 

Onto a couple days of rest and I was prepped for the Zolder World Cup.  It is one of my favorite courses normally, and this year it was super fast with a very small amount of sandy mud!  I tried again to have a flawless start, but some of the other riders at the back of the pack were starting to be a bit aggressive forcing me off the bike a few times and just generally not working well in a group but instead disrupting the chase.  Because that’s what we’re all doing at the back of the pack, chasing!  Oh well, found an ok group to ride with if they would stop chopping me after doing the majority of the work on the road then get dropped with 2 to go.  I’m very happy to have finished on the lead lap as I had done a few years ago, but this time in the top 50 and oh so close to a top 40 spot.  43rd and my best ever World Cup finish.  Can’t wait till the next one!

What a beautiful day to top off a Boxing day World Cup Cyclocross race!

Zolder World Cup 1

 

Next up: Baal C2 with GP Sven Nys!   Check out my Race Calendar Page for my next up and coming races!

 

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Comments
  1. Aaron says:

    It’s awesome seeing you mix it up with the WC on TV! Just introduced the sport to some of my family pointing out ” That’s Aaron Schooler, he’s the real deal!” Their jaws dropped seeing how muddy Namur was. Have a great New Year!

  2. Kiffy shannon says:

    Way to go Aaron. You will do it. Love Auntie Kiffy and Uncle Denny

  3. Dominik Kubicki says:

    You are a machine man, nice to see how far you’ve come since your first worlds in Europe. Keep it up boss.

    DK

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