Rainbow Stripes, more mud and a tired individual

Posted: 3 February 2014 in Uncategorized

It’s pretty hard to get used to racing in the mud EVERY race you attend here in Belgium, but that’s just the way it goes.  You need practice in the mud?  Spend more time in Belgium.  This weekend was the World Championships.  And I was representing Team Canada for the 4th time in my cycling career.  It’s a special feeling to put on the maple leaf and wear it proudly, especially when there are so many people there to cheer you on.  I know it’s only one race, but when you have a bad race at the world champs, it’s hard to take as an athlete.  You spend so much time making the selection and doing well to get here, but what’s the next step from Worlds?  Obviously to win would be nice, but there’s no life or death feeling I get when I show up to Nationals and have to make it on the podium or I can’t race Worlds.  I’ve had a lot of people tell me how good it is to just be racing at Worlds, but as an athlete, your always looking for more.  Why are Canadians at the back of the pack?  What will it take for us to shine on the international scale?  What will it take for me to shine?  What’s the answer? I don’t know.  Maybe I should spend more time with Geoff Kabush to find out.

Worlds weekend is always stressful.  Regardless of how prepared you are or not it’s a big deal.  Each country sends their top riders pitting the best against the best.  There is no other higher level event than that.  I was hoping that with my connections here in Belgium, I’d have no better preparation leading into Belgium and all was set up pretty well or at least I thought.  At least I was all smiles before the race:

Signing autographs for fans

Signing autographs for fans

You never know what can happen, but when the stripes are on the line, people tend to get a bit aggressive. I started quite well on the road and all was fine until riding through the first mud pit when a rider who was running around a crash just pushed me off into the barrier forcing me off my bike and to start running.  You can find the video of this on Facebook.  Shortly after this I managed to somehow get T-boned by a French rider from behind.  The first photo on this site shows the aftermath.  http://www.wkhoogerheide2014.com/HoogerheideEN/goto56.aspx

I ended up tangled in his bike and felt like throwing it into the crowd.  Anyways, when I righted, I noticed that my rear shifter was broken in half rendering my bike a two speed (both gears being utterly unusable)

If you look close enough you can see how messed up the shifter is.

If you look close enough you can see how messed up the shifter is.

After changing the bike I tried everything I could to chase back but it was a rather large deficit to come back from.  I lost it mentally and after endoing a couple times in some ruts later in the race I was totally out of it.  I felt like a fish flailing around without water.  Eventually I got pulled with 3 laps to go.  It’s hard to accept that sometimes you just have to roll with the punches, but I guess it’s also how you deal with them.  This years worlds I dealt with things poorly and am feeling the effects of a really long season.  All learning experiences that are worked out with a new coach, but also a change of life events.  I’ve dealt with a lot this year, so I’m happy to come out of it with the great results I have earned.

Worlds 1

Next up:  Lille and Hoogstraten.  The last 2 races before the much needed off season!

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Comments
  1. Lydia says:

    Glad to meet you, hope we will see you next year

  2. Whatever. You’re still the man. 🙂 I hope I get to see you race over there next season.

  3. Kiffy shannon says:

    Aaron you will always be first on the podium to us. So don’t get so down om yourself. You can only
    Be the best you can be and you will get better and better. Keep you chin up . Love from Canada

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